A convenient truth about modern fashion, is that almost every high end look will inspire millions of well tailored knock offs with virtually no wait time. With the quality improvements of cheep imitations items the designer looks often get liquidated to consumers through wear-house sales and discount sites. My closet is a collection of vintage gems, athletic wear, and funky trend pieces. I like to buy quality pieces, pieces that I know I will wear for more than one season. Some trends are short lived, and others timeless. When investing in your wardrobe it is important to consider both the timeliness of an item, and the cost per wear.
Cost per wear: Price of the garment/number of expected usages
Your best, and most valued fashion accessories and garments should always be; Your purse, your coat, your boots, and your glasses. These fashion essentials, have low cost per usage and can instantly vamp up any scruffy look.
Cost per use: Lets say you are like me, and dream of owning a Channel Tote which costs approximately $2,500. You know that you use a purse every day and will use the bag until it disintegrates. If you were to use the purse for 5 years straight (1,800 uses) the cost per use of the bag would diminish to a meager $1.39.
In contrast, a cheep "target" purse may look cute on the rack but will likely collect dust as it does not compliment your wardrobe to it's fullest potential. A good purse must go with your wardrobe, and can pull any look together in a seemingly effortless way. Designer purses often come with a manufacturers warranty that will repair damages cause by use. ( I have a well loved Louie Vuitton wallet that I have had for 7 years, and is being fixed by the LV).
If you live anywhere close to the 49th parallel you are well schooled in the extremes differences of the seasons. A good coat can transition through the seasons, and can be used for a lifetime of winters. A fashion coat is not a ski jacket.
Nothing says instant glam better than a trench coat and big shades. Coats and jackets, like a purse have a low cost per use, and are often the only piece of clothing we frequently take off while in company. A nice coat says something about your character. A coat is one of those fashion pieces, that can act as a social cue.
Pretty much a no brainer in my mind. Go for something comfortable, and easy to walk in. Boots are great year round. They can be easily dressed up or down, to fit the setting. Good quality shoes are important for injuries.
You might not be able to justify blowing $5000 of a Tom Ford coat, but you may be able to splurge $250 on a pair of good shades. Sunglasses are useful year round and fit wonderfully in your purse. In addition glasses are relatively affordable in contrast to other designer goodies. A sassy pair of shades can again like a purse and coat instantly lift your look and your mood.
Shop around as you look for your statement pieces. Manu designer goods can be found for less on line and through sample sales.