Investment Piece Doesn't Have To Be Expensive


Hi, guys!
In the light of COVID-19, I'm sure we all have been making a few financial adjustments (my family will not have any income until the pandemic is over) and therefore it is more important than ever to acquire the skill of purchasing items that you know will get a good wear off and will last you for a long time, most people call it an investment piece.


When you hear about investment piece in fashion, you might thought of luxury handbag such as Hermes and Chanel, And while those two do have good financial return, there are other less expensive way you can invest in your wardrobe.

Investment is described as allocating a certain amount of money in hoping to receive something in return.
That something doesn't always mean money. For example, medicines can be an investment. I have a medical condition and for me my meds are an investment since I know those tablets help me to have a better quality of life. In this case, the return that I receive is a healthier life.

In the world of fashion, how many times and how long you can wear said item are also good variables to measure whether that investment is good or not.

Since "expensive" is a broad term and can be different for each individual in different scenario, I want to clarify that when I mention expensive and affordable in this post, I measure it to my own financial situation. I am middle class. I have food on the table three times a day. I have a roof over my head. I can pay my bills on time. However, Chanel and Hermes are definitely out of my price range. With that in mind, let's get started.

The easiest way to explain something is through examples. Therefore, here are a few examples of items that for me, serves as an investment piece even thought I didn't spend a fortune on it. I will also mention points that you can pay attention to as to asses whether an item is worth to spend your money or not.



First item is a denim jacket. I bought this denim jacket secondhand back in 2012? 2013? (here's the link to me in this denim jacket circa 2013). Since it's thrifted, I bought it for a really good price and I know for a fact that I wear this jacket at least 2 to 3 times a month. Times the 7 years I own it, that means I've worn this for at least 200 times. And I still reach for it to this day. I'd call that a successful investment.

I declutter my closet every year and never once it crossed my mind to get rid of this jacket. Why is this denim jacket lasts so long in my wardrobe? 
  1. It's a classic. While denim jacket has a few tweaks every year, you can never go out of style with a denim jacket. Other classic pieces : plain black t-shirt, striped tee, plain white shirt, etc.
  2. It's wearable throughout the year. I live in a tropical country and we do have rainy days where throwing on a jacket is acceptable.
  3. It matches with a lot of other items I already own.
  4. It flatters my figure. The style of this jacket is slightly cropped so it accentuates my waist.
  5. The fit is not too loose or too tight. I do find in the last three decades of my life, loose items tend to have more staying power since it's more forgiving when you gain a few pounds.


Second item is my beloved Longchamp Le Pliage Neo. I bought the black one at a duty free store in Paris around May 2014 (here's the link to me in 2014 with the bag). therefore I do get it for a good price (around US$100). Now the price in Indonesia can get up to US200. I bought the grey color in 2018 (from an online store, with a decent price) since I feel like the small is well, too small for traveling. And yes, I use these two bags often when I travel since they are lightweight and the nylon fabric can handle all kind of situation. I can also wash it with ease if I get it dirty.



I even owned a light grey one (gave it away since I got my black one) from my mom and I wore that so many times too. Here's a link to 2013 me wearing it

I wore the black one A LOT when I first got it. Not so much these days but I still reach for it when I travel. I'm one of those people who brought a second bag in a suitcase and since it folds like a clothing, it's easy to pack. I usually wear the gray one for travel day (since it fits everything I need) and then the small one when I arrive on destination. 

In all the six year I own it, and then the need to buy a bigger one, I would say that these two bags are good investment pieces. I would recommend anyone who is interested with this bag to purchase it. And just get the nylon one, I think the leather ones are not only more expensive, but also heavier, not as durable, and more high maintenance.

Why would I recommend it?
  1. For the quality, it's a really good investment. I had it for six years and it looks pretty much the same to the first time I bought it.
  2. It achieves the status of a classic bag. Generally, a classic bag is a bag that is still in demand even after 10 years of the hype. The first Le Pliage collection was launched in 1993 and reached its popularity peak in 1996. And here we are 24 years later and you can still see Longchamp stores displays their Le Pliage bags in all the colors and prints you can imagine.
  3. Like no. 2 said, it has all the colors and prints that you can imagine. So no matter what your style is, you bound to find one that you like. Although I would still recommend to get it in a plain neutral color. Black, navy, grey, and deep green are all good options. If you're brave, you can also get it in lighter color, like a cream maybe, but do be careful of discoloration when you wear the bag with jeans.

Last item is a pair of black loafers. I had one back in 2013 (here's me in Tokyo rocking that loafers) and I loved it so much since it matches the vintage granny vibe I had going on back then (my style is a bit more current these days). That said loafers then of course fall apart since I bought it for only US$5 I think. It's definitely not more than US$7. I fixed it once but then the front part keep re-opening so I threw it away.

I think I threw it away in 2015 and ever since I felt a hole in my shoe collection. I wanted to buy another loafers but I couldn't find one that's flattering for my calf. Most of them had really rounded front and I need something of an almond shape. Throughout those loafer-less time, I do find myself reaching for black pointed flats. But with black pointed flats, I have so many reincarnations of them just in the past three years, from really pointy to soft point and with a few different details every now and then. I do think black pointed flats is also a good investment piece. But in general, almond shape flats have more staying power than a pointed one.

Lo and behold, in October 2019, I found a pair of loafers that I truly love at H&M. And yes, it's basically a rip off from Gucci but at that time I couldn't bring myself to bought one from them. It was US$25 and I really don't mind spending that kind of money for a pair of shoes. And even though I know this loafers won't last for a long time, since it's not real leather, it's still something I can cherish for as long as it looks wearable. I would say two or three years? In my experience with fake leather footwear, that is usually the amount of time for them to look wearable. After that, you will start to notice chips here and there. You can prolong it with using clear nail polish as to not make the chips worse, but you can only do that for so long.

I would say a pair of loafers is a good investment for me since my core style is classic. If you're core style is more bohemian, then a pair of loafers is not a good investment for you. With any kind of purchase in fashion, it's important to understand your personal style. There are plenty quizzes out there on the internet but what I find to be more accurate is to find your style idol. 

My style idols are Kate Middleton, Julia from Gal Meets Glam, and Jean Wang from Extra Petite. From all three of my style idols, their core style are classic. Julia is a bit more feminine and flirty while Kate Middleton and Jean Wang is more conservative. I find myself to like both since my style is more like a cute classic. I like classic silhouette but I can find them a bit to constricting, hence my love for Julia and her effortless feminine chic.


Anyway, back to the main topic, a good point to notice when making a purchase is to make sure that item will blend seamlessly with your style. 

In conclusion, here are some main points that investment pieces have in common.
  1. It's a classic (timeless and always in style).
  2. It has good quality.
  3. It's plain in pattern and have neutral color.
  4. It fits with your personal style AND lifestyle.
  5. It doesn't have to be expensive.
Do you have items that you consider to be an investment piece?

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