Fall Investment Pieces —MAV

Four sweaters.

I unpacked my fall/winter bin last weekend (the one I hauled up from the basement) and found only four sweaters. I sure found lots of wool hats, gloves and boots but just four sweaters. For a moment it made me think perhaps there was a second bin somewhere but then I remembered … yep … I’m a minimalist. I have four wool sweaters for a reason.

Each fall/winter I invest in just one or two sweaters with plans to keep them for several years. In fact it’s not just sweaters that I have these kinds of ideas about. I usually only purchase a few new pieces each season. I invest in my clothing and abide by the mantra: less is more. Instead of taking my “welcome the season” clothing budget and spreading it out to buy a quantity of new inexpensive often poorly made items, I like to put all of my money for new things into just a few items. It works for me. I like knowing that I am investing in what is on my body and it helps me take better care of my garments. Now, I know this kind of thinking is not for everyone, I feel lucky to even have a “welcome the season” clothing budget set aside, but regardless I thought I’d take a minute to tell you what my favorite investments for the season are. At the very least I think it’s a really good thing to have less and take better care of what you have. Perhaps that’s what these thoughts are really all about anyway. Quality over quantity and care over careless. Just my thoughts anyway …

1. A Black Top (seen up top)
This season I fell in love with the Linear Top from Filly Designs. The reason why I think a black top is important is pretty obvious. No rocket science here. You can dress a black top up, you can dress it down. I’ve been wearing my Linear top with jeans, skirts, over dresses and have even thrown it on a few mornings after just getting up. I love the fit, the feel of the fabric and the fact that I know it’s well-made. It’s so nice to have a standard, yet interesting, black top in my closet. I plan to take very good care of this one!

2. Leggings
All of these leggings here are designed by Caitlin Mociun. Caitlin is a friend and I think she’s an incredible artist. I try to invest in one pair of leggings from each of her collections (this season is actually her last one designing clothing; sob!). The blue stripes must be four or five years old by now. They are still in great shape! The triangles are from last season and the triangles + dots are from this season at Anaise. It’s all fine and good to have a standard pair of black leggings, and I do have that pair from three seasons ago, but I love to inject a bit of fun into my wardrobe. Leggings with prints just cheer me up! That’s always a good thing and that makes them a good investment in my eyes.

3. A Wool Sweater
This year’s choice is from the Australian knitwear company, Primoeza. In the spirit of full disclosure this is a client (and friend) of mine; my creative team, along with chelliswilson, worked on Elizabeth’s Collection No. 2 campaign. But you know what … all that did was make me realize even more strongly that this was a gorgeous piece and a very good investment. The Primoeza sweaters/scarves are made one at a time; it takes Elizabeth one day to make a garment! That is amazing and I respect her craft so very much. The four sweaters I unpacked from my bin all spanned the course of the last five years. They were all investments and I have treated them as such. When I take a trip in the winter I pack just one wool sweater so that’s always an indicator of how important this piece is in my closet. So, now I have five wool sweaters. Feels almost like too many! I may have to look around for holes in the oldest one after this season is up.

4. Comfortable Jeans
My brand is J Brand. I buy no more than one pair of blue jeans each year and sometimes a pair of black as well if I need them or if my weight has changed. Right now I have four pair of jeans in my closet: two blue and two black. I need nothing more and in fact the two black is almost excessive to me but one pair is now three years old and just getting to its amazing stage where it’s starting to fade out to blue. Ooooh. So nice. My one little piece of advice on jeans as an investment is this: make sure they are comfortable! Try on as many pairs as you can and take your time. Once you find the pair you love wash them as little as you can and wear them until they have holes … then get the holes fixed and wear them until those holes rip through again. A good pair of jeans is like coming home. I love coming home.

5. A Blazer
This Boy wool blazer was purchased in 2009 at a 50% off sale at the Barney’s in San Francisco. I freaked out after I bought it (it’s the most pricey thing I own). I am still freaking out a little bit actually. However, it certainly is the piece I wear the most out of anything in my closet. This blazer has made me realize the importance of having a blazer. I wear it in every single situation imaginable … I love it. I love how it envelops me and makes me feel like I’m covered … like I’m going to be okay (if that makes any sense). Now, mind you, I won’t buy another blazer for years and years I’d imagine; this baby is only going to get better! But it’s still high on my list as a good investment and I definitely recommend looking at these higher priced pieces in February at the end of the season.

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If you want to read other MAV-thoughts on clothing (goodness knows why you would want to read my babbles but still) you can see my closet clear out post here, a post on my favorite dress here, thoughts on button downs here and SCB wrote a great post about giving secondhand clothing new life here. Have fun!