he thrill of fast-fashion is a familiar sensation for all. Spurred on by the spontaneity of “why not”, buying a new item on a weekly basis and paying pittance for it results in the overstuffed, under-worn wardrobes that manifests the stress of deciding what to wear on a daily basis. A shift in the way we see our workwear is long-overdue. The ethical implications of indulging in fast fashion are no longer a secret and fun as the pick-n-mix approach is towards cheap wardrobe essentials, the reality is a biannual bulk trip to the charity shop when the quality, style and performance fails you. The recent sensation of Marie Kondo and her international best-seller, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up focuses on decluttering one’s life and prioritising things that “spark joy”. Concerning clothing, Kondo emphasises how we should invest more in the joy of wearing as opposed to the joy of buying. Indeed, we have only ourselves to blame in failing to understand that our clothes should be our companion for a whole career, instead of committing to the cheap pieces which makes us the masters of our own wardrobe demise.
Cheap, throw-away fashion offers neither the quality or craftsmanship to set our hearts a-flutter that commitment investment pieces do; nor does it follow the age-old mantra of dressing for the job you want, rather than the one you have (unless a demotion is what you’re aiming for). In applying the same efficiency we use at work towards our shopping habits, it’s high time we woke up to the value of investment fashion. The notion of buying less and wearing more is possible when prioritising investment pieces, especially in an age where time is of the essence and we’d all cherish a little more time in the morning and on the weekends, to ourselves. For Beth Buccini and Sarah Easely, co-owners of New York boutique Kirna Zabete, the trick with investment shopping is to invest emotionally as well as financially, as the reality of longevity is simple; "when you're spending this much money on clothes, you need to have an emotional attachment." We may fall hard for the occasional bargain and wear it until well after the expiry date; but with almost half of our waking hours spent at work, surely our working wardrobe deserves better than the cheap and cheerful approach? Politely excuse yourself from the fast-fashion cycle and focus on the benifits of investing in clothing that will last a lifetime; these 5 points of preference will see you though.
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Shop the look: Cashmere Jeans by EmmaJane Knight | White Shirt with Bow by MOS | Cashmere Jumper by EmmaJane Knight | Lumen Pearl Earrings by ORA | Mona Lisa Cufflinks by Purple Luxe | Pulp Gold Metal Toecap Heels by Lucy Choi
Luxury, as Karl Lagerfeld has us believe, “is the ease of a t-shirt in a very expensive dress.” The quality, always a foyer into comfort, in a hand-crafted, well made piece stands out a mile in comparison to throw-away clothing. Investment office pieces are as timeless as they are versatile; easily updated with seasonal accessories and effortlessly integrated into your working wardrobe. EmmaJane Knight’s Cashmere Trousers are a prime example of a piece you’ll never want to part with. Paired with a classic white shirt such as MOS’s White Bow Blouse or EmmaJane Knight’s matching cashmere jumper, the tactile texture and clean-cut aesthetic of these staple items will make up the building blocks to your office selection with effortless ease. Appreciating the quality of well-made clothing is an unfolding affair, something you notice years after you found it; they are pieces that can be depended on time and time again, thanks to the inherent attribute of quality; smart yet feminine, structured yet flattering.
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In moving up the career ladder, the days in which your dress was purchased for a specific event, only to leave it abandoned at the back of your wardrobe after, are gone. Cecily’s Anastasia Dress is a classically-cut, smart investment piece that pines for monogamy of investment fashion. Sleek and stylish, it will always be of service at the office and for the occasional night out on the town, thanks to its modest style and elegant accents. The three-quarter length-sleeves cement it as an easy desk-to-dinner option throughout the year whilst the exaggerated collar adds the hint of drama to stop it fading into flings of the past. Set it off with a pair of Swift Lipstick Heels by Chillerton and what presents itself is a combination to cherish forever.
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Buying less and wearing more means you can consciously curate a working wardrobe that you depend on and others recognise you for. Creating a consciously curated collection of investment pieces not only ensures that these items see you through the days that stretch over the 12-hour mark with their unrivalled longevity, but the value of investment pieces is found in aiding your visual corporate identity. Joining the ranks of Christine Lagarde and Caroline Issa whose business acumen is almost rivalled by their boardroom style, investing in key office staples builds a consistent personal brand for your work-place persona. Just like the company that you diligently serve, you need to be consistent in your presentation as much as your performance. With the help of investment shopping, our wardrobes may no longer be fit to burst and as such, a carefully chosen selection of workwear needn’t be polluted with a multitude of cheap garments.
Words by Shannon Blanks