Fashion designer and style guru Rachel Zoe said “Style is a way to say who you are without you having to speak.” While not all women have to love clothes, fashion, and style, all of us women do have to wear clothes! Since we can’t get out of wearing clothes in our daily lives, we may as well invest in fashion that we do plan to wear!
Great fashion doesn’t always have to come with a high price tag, there are certain wardrobe items that you can get under budget and they will last a life time. On the other hand, there are certain pieces that will prove the “you get what you pay for” theory. The CGS Team is going to break down why fashion is so important, and how you can invest in fashion and find pieces to build the perfect wardrobe for you.
Why fashion is so important (even if you don’t care about fashion)
According to Dictornairy.com, fashion is “a prevailing custom or style of dress, etiquette, socializing, etc.”, “a manner; way; mode”, “a conventional usage in dress, manners, etc.”. Fashion is more than the clothes on your back, it’s a form of being. Fashion (even when you don’t care about it), is how you represent yourself.
Since we are visual creatures, what you wear gives someone an idea of who you are. The way you dress leaves an impression on someone, good or bad. You can be wearing a low-cut, mini dress and be perceived a certain way; just like you can wear a tailored power suit and be perceived an entirely different way. What you wear gives an impression, like it or not.
Another reason why fashion is so important is because it dictates how you feel about yourself. If you are uncomfortable wearing dresses, it will show when you wear a dress. Your body language will show that you aren’t comfortable or confident. When you wear pieces that make you feel good, feel powerful, feel pretty, feel confident, it radiates from your being. Whether you like clothes or not, you can’t deny the impact they can have on you and people in your presence.
Quality versus quantity, when it comes to fashion
When was the last time you spent under $20 on a piece of clothing? Who knows, right? Well, when was the last time you spent above $100 on a piece of clothing? You can probably tell me when, where, why, and how. When you spend more on your fashion, you are making an investment. You are choosing quality over quantity (most times), and you are looking at the purchase for the long haul.
When you don’t spend much on your clothing, you may like or need it at the time, but you probably aren’t counting on the piece lasting you for years and years. There’s nothing wrong with picking up low-cost pieces, unless you expect high-cost quality. Here are a few reasons why quality trumps quantity when it comes to fashion:
- You will replace quality pieces less frequently – This means you buy pricier pieces that you enjoy and “fall in love” with, making you happier to wear it for years to come. Over the long run, investing in quality items means less trips to the mall.
- The fabrics feel better – Touch a plain cotton tee. Now, touch a cashmere sweater. The difference is night and day. When you invest in costlier pieces, you are paying for better, more durable fabrics. This means more durability against stains and spills, longer life through washes, and softer material.
- You enjoy your pieces and treat them better – When you shell out major cash for your wardrobe items, you aren’t going to treat them like they came from the bargain bin. You will care for your quality items more than you would your cheap pieces. This contributes to their longer life, and your overall enjoyment.
Pieces worth investing in
Now that you know why it’s important to care about your fashion, and why quality trumps quantity, it’s time to talk about the wardrobe pieces that are worth investing in. Not all items are the same, and you don’t have to spend a lot of money on every fashion piece. There are certain items that should be invested in. Those items include:
- A fitted Little Black Dress (LBD) – Whether you are going to a fancy dinner party, a reception dinner, or a formal work event, having a go-to little black dress will come in handy. Go for designs that compliment your shape, show a little skin, and run just above your knees. You can expect to pay anywhere from $250 to $1000 for your perfect LBD.
- A tailored suit – You may not always wear suits to work, but you will need one at some point in your career. A suit tailored to your body is perfect for your next job interview, major client acquisition meeting, or business trip. The great thing about a tailored suit, is the fact that it is tailored to fit you perfectly! When you find the suit of your dreams, take it to a local tailor to have it seemed appropriately. Look to shell out upwards of $600 for both pieces (blazer and bottoms).
- A high-quality handbag – Marissa Webb, stylist and Banana Republic maven, says that a great quality handbag is a must. “It’s something that you use every day and, in a neutral color, will last you for many years.” High-quality handbags range dramatically in price.
- A trench coat – It doesn’t matter if you live in a cold city or not, you will likely need a trench coat at some point in your life. The great thing about investing in a trench coat is that it will last years, especially if you live in a warmer climate. Opt for neutral colors like classic camel, nude, black or light beige. You can expect to spend between $300 to $1700 for your quality trench coat.
- A classic pair of pumps – Ladies, you can’t live life without a pair of great pumps. They don’t necessarily have to be black (although I’d recommend it), they just need to be comfortable and easily paired with anything. Christian Louboutin pumps are worth every penny.
Pieces you can get for less
Like I mentioned earlier, there are certain fashion pieces that don’t require you to make a large investment in. These pieces may be worn more frequently, may get you through a season or two, or may serve a single use. If you are going to go cheap on any fashion pieces, make sure it’s these:
- Plain white tees – Plain cotton tees come and go. If you need a few tees for layer effects, get them for the right price. These tees don’t last incredibly long, but they don’t need to either. Stock up on different colors when you find a good deal.
- Ballet flats – Thanks to a thin sole and light material, ballet flats are adorable but can wear down quickly. This applies to the cheap or expensive ones. Since wearing down your ballet flats is inevitable, buy some that look great and cost less.
- Thongs – I heard this from Glamour once, and it stuck with me. Unless you are buying a matching lingerie set, don’t shell out extra cash for high quality thong underwear. There are plenty of budget-friendly options that will last over time. Focus your funds on a nice fitting bra instead.
- Everyday sweaters – I love the light sweaters from They last me throughout the fall and spring seasons with multiple washes. They are the perfect layering piece when it’s not too cold. They cost about $60 and are worth every penny. I have one in black and light grey.
James Dion, retail consultant and author of “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Starting and Running a Retail Store”, says “if clothes last longer, ultimately consumers will learn the age-old lesson about the difference between cost and price: price is what you pay today, cost is what you spend over time.” If you haven’t invested in a quality piece for your wardrobe, make that a next saving goal. You will see the difference.
Are there certain pieces you have invested in over the years? What were those pieces and were they worth the investment? Share your fashion investments and preferred cheapies in the comments section below! Also, check out 10 Style Advice Tips Every Woman Should Follow.
The CGS Team