19 Tips to Shop Smart When Buying Investment Pieces

Building the perfect wardrobe doesn’t happen overnight! It’s just the opposite, actually. Curating a collection of pieces you love takes an investment (both money and time) to achieve a closet that will transcend trends, fads, and years. (Is it just us, or does every woman dream of passing down a few fabulous pieces to her daughter?) 

We can all agree that there are some pieces that are certainly worth a splurge—but what? And how can you tell? To answer, we turned to a handful of our favorite bloggers: Read below as they gave us savvy tips for purchasing investment pieces. 

Ditch the trends, and go with timeless staples 

image via Kelly In The City

  • Ask yourself: “Are there at least three different ways I can wear this piece?” If yes, you know it won’t be a one hit wonder that sits in your closet and gets worn in only one situation, once a year! Think about whether it’s realistic that you will wear this piece five years from now. –Mary Orton, Memorandum
  • Always opt for classic over trendy. Nothing is worse than investing in something that will only be cool for a couple of years! – Krista Robertson, Covering The Bases
  • Invest in accessories. Clothing can wear out quickly, and you get bored of it easily. Shoes, handbags, and jewelry will last a lifetime. – Sydney Carver, Summer Wind
  • When I’m shopping for an investment piece I like to go for something classic, but with a twist—a simple shoe silhouette with a versatile pattern (say, classic pumps in leopard). I know I can wear it forever, but also won’t feel like I’m splurging on something boring and expected! – Courtney Quinn, Color me Courtney
  • Invest in timeless pieces that you will always love seeing in your closet like a little black dress, colorful coat, great pair of sunglasses, black blazer, or a lace skirt. – Adriana Contreras, Leopard Martini
  • I’m totally fine spending a on a great black bag or a perfect pair of jeans; for trendier items, I stick to fast fashion stores like H&M, Topshop, or Zara. – Grasie Mercedes, Style Me Grasie
  • Versatility is key. If you can wear it year round with several different looks, the cost per wear will be much lower making the investment more rewarding. – Megan Elliott, Lush to Blush

Take your time—shop around for the right fit 

image via Happily Grey
  • Stay focused on buying what you really want. For example, if you’re dying for a classic black Chanel bag and you find a pink one for a lot less, don’t settle for the pink one! Be patient while you save up. There is nothing worse than jumping the gun on something and then later wishing you would have got what you really wanted in the first place. Also, don’t shy away from consignment stores. They often carry exactly what you’re looking for, at a fraction of the price! – Sydney Carver, Summer Wind
  • Shop around. I always want to make sure I get the very best deal when I’m investing (and spending a lot of money). If this purchase is a forever thing, the search can be as long as it needs. – Krista Robertson, Covering The Bases
  • Do your research and look for customer reviews online! This will really help you decide if it’s worth the splurge. – Kristin Brophy, Fancy Things
  • Each season, invest in one splurge-worthy piece that will last for years. Get a great coat in the winter or some to-die-for strappy heels in the summer. Slowly growing your wardrobe helps you be more thoughtful about each piece you select. – Megan Elliott, Lush to Blush

Go with your gut 

image via Style Me Grasie

  • When you invest in something new, follow your emotions! If you love something that badly, you probably do need it! – Courtney QuinnColor Me Courtney
  • If you’re not absolutely head-over-heels for it in the dressing room, you’re most definitely not going to feel that way when you get home. Invest in pieces that absolutely steal your heart from the moment you slip them on in the not-so-flattering lighting of the dressing room. This way, you know you’ll love it when you get home. – Jessi Afshin, The Darling Detail
  • If it’s a bigger investment, sleep on it before you buy. If you’re not thinking about it the next morning after a good night of sleep—say adios, amigo! It’s a great way to figure out if you really want something and also the most efficient way to ward off impulse buys. Sometimes I even wait a week or so before pulling the trigger. If it’s sold out, it simply wasn’t meant to be! – Jessi Afshin, The Darling Detail

Prepare for upkeep 

imaga via Elle

  • If you’re investing in items made of silk or cashmere, know that you’ll need to store and launder/dry them in special ways. Make sure you are ready to take on that responsibility! For example, I send my Barbour jacket back to the factory in the summer to have it re-waxed. I also like to store my cashmere in a dark, dry cedar trunk. – Sydney Carver, Summer Wind
  • Pay attention to the material. When I buy shoes, I always make sure that they are made of leather. A leather insole and leather sole are important to me because I know that if I invest in shoes and they wear out, I can have them resoled and brought back to life! – Sydney Carver, Summer Wind 

Less is more 

image via The Darling Detail

  • When shopping for an invest piece I always follow the quality vs. quantity rule. Investment pieces ask more from your budget, but gives you a lot more in return. I recommend taking your time with it. Searching for the perfect piece and researching for what style you love the most is half the fun! – Adriana Contreras, Leopard Martini
  • With an investment piece, sometimes less is more. Instead of investing in a few semi-expensive pieces, it’s sometimes best to seriously splurge, it will just make it that much more special! – Courtney Quinn, Color Me Courtney
  • I’ve learned that it’s smarter to invest in a more expensive piece that will last for years to come (and that will be extra special to the heart) than wearing your way through cheaper items that easily break/tear with minimal wear. – Jessi Afshin, The Darling Detail


What are your tips when shopping for investment pieces?