Cody and I moved our stuff out of the storage unit we were keeping in Bel Air a few weeks ago. We realized we’ve hung on to a lot of crap – and it kind of grossed me out.
I don’t know if it’s an effect of getting older, but the idea of having fewer, prettier, higher quality things appeals to me more and more every time I pull a warped and shrunken forever 21 tee shirt out of the wash. It’s not that forever 21 doesn’t have a place in my heart and my closet. I just feel like it’s time I built a solid set of basics that don’t need replacing every couple of seasons.
I want to start collecting staples like the classic trench coat, the perfect ankle boot, the basic black pump. I feel like I need to start investing in these things if I want to stay sane and, in the long run, save money.
I don’t love shopping. I like looking at Pinterest and ogling store windows, but serious purchase-minded shopping is kind of exhausting for me, because working within a budget while trying to get great stuff is hard work. That said, I figure the more effort I put into searching and making smart choices upfront, the less I will have to shop, and the easier it will be to get dressed in the morning (that’s another thing I don’t especially love). I’m after the highest quality I can get for the best price – that sweet spot where longevity and affordability meet.
I want to crack the code on the point of diminishing returns here too, which I assume exists in fashion. For example, I have a feeling there comes a point where the price of a leather boot has more to do with prestige than actual quality. I have a pair of riding boots from Madewell and, though they are the most expensive shoes in my closet, they have held up beautifully, and I’m quite certain I will keep them for years and re-sole them several times before I buy new ones. Are Jimmy Choo boots that cost four times as much as my Madewell boots four times as good? I kind of doubt it.
Anyway, it turns out there are a lot of companies out there that agree with the idea that quality pieces can be affordable. Here are a couple I’ve found:
Cuyana is mostly about leather goods and accessories. My sister was gifted a monogrammed tote from Cuyana for her anniversary. It’s gorgeous and feels like it will last for years.
Everlane is one of those companies that make just a handful of things, but they try to make them really well. They seem to be obsessive about soft fabrics and perfect, slouchy fits – plus they’re made in the USA. I haven’t tried Everlane myself, but I’ve heard good things and have already ordered a few tees to test (I’ll get back to you on how they rate after a wear and a wash).
So I’m beginning a quest – for timeless, essential, investment-worthy wardrobe pieces that will simplify my life and polish my “look” (whatever it is).