Investment pieces: Our Style Panel weighs in with 14 best fashion bets for the season

Investment Pieces Style Panel
Investment Pieces Style Panel

Investment pieces mean different things to different people. To some, it means a piece of clothing that you save up for, buy every so often, but love forever. To others, it simply means a classic piece that never goes out of style, fits well and can be worn in a multitude of ways.

This week, we asked our Style Panel to talk about their favourite investment pieces that they plan on wearing this spring. None of the answers were too surprising, the styling however, was top notch as always.

The Style Mogul’s Christina Cravero likes to invest in a statement shoe every season. She likes to make a big impact on an outfit with her footwear. Stephanie Sterjovski’s gorgeous white blazer definitely renews our love of winter whites. Who says white can’t be worn after Labour Day? Krystin Lee of Suburban Faux-Pas shows off her high-low look. Her top, purse and sunglasses were all investment pieces, but she lets us know she is on the hunt for more: a vintage Chanel brooch, a pair of Christian Louboutins and an Hermès bangle are all on her list.

New panellists, Zoe Smythe of Zoe’s Fashion Feed and Nicole Wilson of Dainty Girl, each went for an item that they feel will be worn often this season. Smythe, a footwear designer living in New York City, loves vintage and thrift shopping so it’s no surprise that she chose a vintage Panetto necklace. Wilson, a fashion loving blogger from Toronto, chose a classic Kate Spade handbag in a bold pink colour. But knowing the above, we don’t doubt this piece will be a classic in her wardrobe.

Question 41: What investment pieces will you be wearing this season? Read the answers now! »


Investment Pieces Nicole Wilson

Nicole Wilson, 29
Toronto | Dainty Girl

Over the years (and a few too many impulse buys), I’ve learned to balance the latest trends with the classics while extending my wardrobe with accessories and new combinations. Spring is all about bold colours and neon is having a BIG moment. I decided to work the trend into a variety of looks with an accessory worthy of an investment. I’ve been coveting an iconic Kate Spade handbag for quite sometime and sealed the deal when I laid eyes on this hot pink bag.

She’s big and bold with a feminine silhouette and an optional cross-body strap for versatility. I’ll work her into office-friendly ensembles and dress her down on the weekends too. I love this pink contrasted with blues and greens but it goes with pretty much everything, including my favourite neutrals. Naturally, I had to get a pretty pink manicure to celebrate her maiden voyage!

Nicole’s wearing: Blouse, Vince Camuto. Pants, Joe Fresh. Necklace, Minling Studio. Bracelets, Biko. Shoes, Aldo. Bag, Kate Spade.

Investment Pieces Zoe Smythe

Zoe Smythe, 30
New York City | Zoe’s Fashion Feed

In the world of fast fashion, I love the idea of investment pieces. An investment piece is a high quality item that will last and ideally increase in value over time. For me the ideal investment piece is consistent enough with my fashion aesthetic that I will love and wear it for years to come.

My investment piece this spring is my vintage Panetta necklace. Panetta was known for making high-end art deco inspired costume jewelry. I have always been attracted to art deco pieces and I know this necklace is something I will wear season after season. The aquamarine coloured stones make this the perfect piece to transition into spring, and it is a classic enough design to be worn year round.

Zoe’s wearing: Necklace, Vintage Panetta. Jacket, H&M. Vest, Propaganda. Trousers, Mac & Jac. Pumps, Ann Taylor.

Investment Pieces Cara McLeay

Cara McLeay, 28
Vancouver | A Fashion Love Affair

When you say, “investment piece,” you instantly think of a Chanel bag or a YSL pump, but to me, I think one should invest in something they will wear everyday! My investment piece was a leather jacket… it is so versatile, can be dressed up or down and only gets better with time.

Cara’s wearing: T-Shirt, James Perse. Jeans, American Eagle. Leather jacket, Muubaa. Beanie, Aritzia. Bag, Marc by Marc Jacobs. Sunglasses, Ray-Ban. Boots, Aldo.

Investment Pieces Jacquelyn Son

Jacquelyn Son, 20
Vancouver | Style Worthwhile

To me, an investment piece means purchasing something that I will potentially wear many, many times with many different outfits until ‘forever.’ This could mean paying more than I would normally for something that has better, long-lasting quality. I usually invest in classic items that won’t go out of trend quickly. The most common pieces that I invest in are leather jackets, bags, boots and jeans. I would definitely say that my Alexander Wang Emile Tote was an investment; it holds all of the things I need and I carry it all the time with almost any outfit!

Investment Pieces Krystin Lee

Krystin Lee, 26
Toronto | Suburban Faux-Pas

It’s time to chat investments and I’m not talking about stocks, bonds or RRSPs. I’m talking fashionable investments. Anyone who reads my blog knows I am a firm believer in mixing high and low. For instance, take this outfit. While my top, purse and sunglasses were reasonsable investments in my humble opinion, the jacket, boots and skirt were all items purchased for under $50. When paired perfectly, investment items can amplify the look and feel of an outfit. Some investment pieces I’m on the hunt for? A vintage Chanel brooch, a pair of Christian Louboutins and an Hermes bangle.

Krystin’s wearing: Jacket, Zara. Shirt, J.Crew. Necklace, c/o Luxe Craving. Skirt, Joe Fresh. Boots, Target. Bag, Prada. Sunglasses, Karen Walker. Watch, Michael Kors. Bracelets, c/o Stella and Dot and J.Crew.

Investment Pieces Barbara Ann Solomon
Photography by Trevor Negin

Barbara Ann Solomon, 25
Toronto | Barbara Ann’s Style Blog

I personally believe that everyone should invest in their wardrobes, at least time if you can’t money, in quality pieces that fit your body well. Everything regardless of what it is goes on sale. I’ve been in the retail game for over a decade now, and there has rarely been a product that doesn’t get reduced in price for at least a few days a year. This simply means if you’re interested in investing in high-priced items like quality denim or statement shoes, sign-up for e-blast for the stores that sell them, like them on Facebook, and follow the brand’s Twitter. These brands are reaching out to you, and handing out offers all the time.

I believe in investing in quality and memories, like everyone should have a piece of leather than makes them feel young and rebellious. Biker jackets are a big trend that will always come back, so buy a good one that fits well and allows a hoodie underneath. Buy quality jeans that fit you properly on sale, this will take some time to find the perfect combination of soft denim, fit and price. For me, as I work in a corporate fashion environment, work basics like dress shirts are super important, and luckily available everywhere right now. When your work basic becomes a fashion trend, you should spend the time to find the brands and sections that you’ll need then they aren’t so popular.

Barbara Ann’s wearing: Jacket, Danier. Leather shirt, Joe Fresh. Jeans, 7 for all Mankind. Shoes, Jeffrey Campbell. Belt, hair clip and purse, Banana Republic.

Investment Pieces Christina Cravero

Christina Cravero, 27
Toronto | The Style Mogul

Every season there’s always investment pieces, whether you’ve had them from previous seasons or you’ve recently purchase them, these pieces can transform any outfit to make it current without having to purchase an entire new wardrobe. One of my favourite investment pieces season after season, has to be a statement shoe. I always believe that accessories & footwear are the icing on the cake, and can really transition your outfit making it current without breaking the bank.

Christina’s wearing: Jacket, Versace for H&M. Jeans, Zara. T-Shirt, H&M. Pumps, Zara. Bag, DKNY. Sunglasses, Alexander McQueen.

Investment Pieces Amber Desilets

Amber Desilets, 30
London | Canadian Fashionista

I rarely ever spend more than $80 on a piece of clothing for my blog, most of my regular posts come from retailers like H&M, Forever 21, Joe Fresh, Smart Set & Dynamite to name a few. I do however know it’s sometimes necessary to invest in a quality piece that can handle the mileage of my weekly wear and for me this has to be a good handbag. I often buy a good quality handbag twice a year, once in the Spring and then again in the Fall. Since I’m pretty lazy and only switch out my purses a few times a month I want to make sure I have a durable/ reliable one that can handle my busy lifestyle.

Amber’s wearing: Dress and blazer, Forever 21. Purse, Coach. Bracelet, H&M. Bracelet, I Heart Accessories. Boots, Spring.

Investment Pieces Stephanie Sterjovski

Stephanie Sterjovski, 22
Toronto | Stephanie Sterjovski

Taking the plunge on investment pieces are worth it, because you get so much wear out of them and you can count on them to look timeless throughout the years. This season I am investing in a lot of white, it is my favourite tone to wear and I recently found this gorgeous blazer from Zara. It has zipper details and a sleek cut that will look fantastic with a dress, or worn more casually with a simple v-neck and boyfriend jeans as seen here. Work or play, this blazer can take you from day to night.

Stephanie’s wearing: Blazer, Zara. Tee, Wilfred. Jeans, American Eagle. Heels, Zara. Purse, Topshop.

Investment Pieces Stephanie Koch

Stephanie Koch, 27
Kelowna | Inherited Jeans

To me, investment pieces aren’t synonymous with exorbitant purchases; in fact I am quietly calculating before spending more money on an item than usual. When I hear the term investment piece, I think of something that is well made, multi-seasonal and not trendy. Some key questions to ask yourself before a major purchase might be “how many ways can I wear this, how many times will I wear this, is it classic, and can I take it across different times of the year?”. If you can think of how it works well with your existing closet and the answer is yes to the other questions then it might be worth the money! I chose this picture because it represents the wardrobe staples I value: a leather jacket, quality denim, silk blouses, a nice bag, boots that go with everything, and accessories. My budget tip is that when you’re limited (as I often am), invest in accessories as they have they ability to bring a whole new look to clothing you already own!

Stephanie’s wearing: Jacket and sunglasses, Joe Fresh. Blouse, Aritzia. Jeans, J Brand. Boots, Sam Edelman. Bag, Marc by Marc Jacobs. Bracelets, Crown & Glitter and Stella and Dot.

Investment Pieces Whitney Cosgrave

Whitney Cosgrave, 25
Los Angeles | See Shop Eat Do

To me, an investment piece doesn’t necessarily mean something super expensive but rather something that you love and will get a lot of use out of. This spring the piece I know I’ll wear a ton is my denim jacket from James Jeans; it’s super versatile and the perfect thing to tone down a dressy outfit or to keep warm on a cool night.

Investment Pieces KD Faustino
Photography by Faby Martin

KD Faustino, 28
Calgary | The Girl With the Messy Hair

Some people call it a splurge but I call it investment. This Prada Saffiano Lux Tote was a purchase from last Christmas but I know that I would be wearing it until I get older and probably even pass it on to someone else. The cameo colour makes it wearable for both fall/winter and spring/summer. The fact that it can also transform from a handbag to a sling bag makes it quite a versatile piece. You can wear it to the office as a handbag and wear as a sling on casual weekends. The size is very functional too — not too big, not too small. What’s a $1600 bag if it’s going to last you a lifetime? Now, that’s what I call an investment!

KD’s wearing: Cable knit top and nails, Joe Fresh. Maxi skirt, Forever 21. Boots, Go Jane. Tote, Prada. Watch, D&G. Jewels, Sewsephine, BaubleBar and Stack-em. Sunglasses and ring, Aldo. Lips, M.A.C Satin Red.

Investment Pieces Iva Galic

Iva Grbesic, 37
Toronto | One Chic Mom

Investment pieces are different things to different people. I’m a stay at home mother and retired my power suit a long time ago. However, a great blazer will get me from day to night – I can wear this blazer while running errands and still wear it out in the evening for date night or drinks with the girls. It is also something I can wear year round – except maybe the hottest days of summer. This Smythe blazer is structured and cut perfectly for my frame. It tapers in at my waist and sits perfectly on my shoulders. It is a classic shape and won’t be subject to changing fashion whims. The lapels are done in a satin fabric, which give it a nice touch. I only need one good black blazer and this one’s it.

After the age of 35 women need to think about cut and fit. Nothing ages a woman more than ill-fitting and poorly cut clothes. Clothing that fits properly accentuates our shape and camouflages any problem areas we have. Thank goodness well cut clothing can be found at every price point!

Iva’s wearing: Blazer, Smythe. Blouse, Ann Taylor. Jeans, J Brand. Shoes (not shown), Prada. Belt, Tory Burch. Watch, Michael Kors. Jewellery, Forever 21.

Investment Pieces Kayla Short

Kayla Short, 26
Halifax | Short Presents

Investment pieces for me are almost always footwear. I have freakishly narrow feet, like probably somewhere around an annoying “A” width or something. So because my feet are so painfully narrow (and flat) I usually need to dish out quite a bit dough on footwear, and then even more on “accessories” to go in them. I often joke that I need an entire tickle trunk just to keep my foot in a shoe.

Which is why I love my Hunters, not only do they keep my feet dry as a bone in blustery weather, but I can also sneak a little orthotic in there, and no one is the wiser. I walk to work in the morning, and so these boots are a win for me especially in Halifax’s unpredictable weather. I often see people discreetly leap over puddles whereas I trudge right on through them without a care in the world. With all the things to worry about in the morning (did I leave the flat iron on again? did I take my multivitamin? where is my iPhone?) soaking wet feet is not one of them.