(Originally published on 3/3/17 on vintagelillies: https://vintagelillies.com/2017/03/03/statement-denim-chunky-knits-finding-the-perfect-investment-piece/)
A couple days ago, my friend Lucy from Write.Style.Travel and I braved the 20 degree weather to snap these outfit pics! We’ve been having unusually nice weather for Buffalo lately so we intended to write transition style posts. Then, the day we chose was freezing, snowing, and back to winter. So, disclosure: this is not a good outfit for winter. I was so cold I could barely take these. We were running back and forth switching between one pair of gloves, one scarf, and one hat for whoever needed it the most. Gotta do it for the gram.
However, if you’re luckier than us and live somewhere that is getting a bit springier, then this outfit is perfect for you! Printed denim can be a scary fashion risk but if styled right, it can be the perfect final touch to a look. The key is to make sure your printed denim is the only print you’re wearing. I mixed different textures and colors, a chunky gray knit with a classic green military coat, but kept them both relatively neutral so the pants are the statement piece.
I also wanted to talk about one more thing and that’s investment pieces.
When putting this look together, I realized that I’ve had this jacket since… I think 8th grade!? I got it at the flagship Juicy Couture in NYC with my mom (I had a hardcore JC obsession in middle school, slightly embarrassed about it) and I was so excited because it was one of the most expensive pieces I owned. Years (and many blog posts) later, it’s still with me. I’ve worn this jacket so much, and it’s never shown any wear and tear. That is an investment piece.
I have a lot of investment pieces since I tend to buy a couple items that I become obsessed with. My trench coat from the previous post is another one I’ve had for years. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking fast fashion. I’m a broke college student and those stores are great for buying trendier, statement pieces. But for classic pieces, invest.
Would it really be a style post without a list…?
4 Keys for buying the perfect investment piece:
- Invest in jackets, shoes, and accessories
These are pieces that a. don’t go out of style quickly and b. fit for a long time. Jean and shirt sizes fluctuate faster than jacket sizes. Plus, since these pieces are usually built to endure the weather, they shouldn’t show wear and tear much. Obviously, you need to take care of them, but if they’re well taken care of you could get years out of them.
Why these are worth the splurge: Some less expensive brands make good dupes, but for the most part, you can tell when a jacket or pair of shoes is quality. They fit better, move better, and match with more things. Quality over quantity with these pieces.
- Did someone say thrifting?
I know, I’m sorry, I’m obsessed. But these jeans are Current Elliot (retail $248) and I thrifted them for around $20. Investment pieces are hard to build up because good brands cost a pretty penny, but if you check your thrift stores, you’ll find some amazing and quality pieces for Forever 21 prices.
- Style the item in your head before purchasing
Too often, I’ve bought pricier pieces thinking I’ll wear them all the time, and then they rarely leave my closet. If you’re going to buy something nice, make sure it fits in with your personal style. Think of different ways to wear it with pieces you already own, and maybe even try it on with a few of those items in store. If you want this piece to last years, it has to be worth it.
- Wait for sales and buy off-season
We all have our favorite stores, two of mine are Anthropologie and Banana Republic, but they’re insane full price. However, they know they’re insane full price, which is why both of those stores have amazing sales. They pretty much always have ongoing clearance sales, but at big sale points in the year they have massive ones. Usually any sort of long weekend (President’s Day was a good one) or the beginning and end of a season are huge sale points. During these times, they usually offer some sort of store-wide discount, and additional discounts on clearance.
However, the downside to waiting for sales is usually the clothing is a bit off season. Fear not, life goes by quickly, and you’ll be so happy when the time comes around to wear it. Also, there are tons of ways to style summer clothing into fall/winter outfits and vice versa. It can make for a unique outfit combination.
Check out Lucy’s blog post at Write.Style.Travel to see how she styled her transition look; leather pants, an oversize sweater, and bright red espadrilles!
Also, if you like street style, I have a weekly style watch column for my school news outlet The Record! I got to school with some pretty stylish people, so you can see it here!