Recently over on my YouTube channel, I shared a video on 7 things you will never regret buying. The video is intended for anyone who is interested in developing or improving their personal style, for those who appreciate quality over quantity and who are interested in maximizing their wardrobe. I thought it might be useful to share my thoughts on this topic over here on the blog as well.
These are the 7 items which I’d encourage you to spend a little bit more on, compared to some of the items we generally consider to be wardrobe “basics” or “essential pieces”. The 7 pieces on this list aren’t solely restricted to clothing either – we’re going to be considering a variety of items you won’t regret purchasing, which will help you to feel your best on an everyday basis and across multiple seasons. We’ll look at what the items are, why I feel they’re important and I’ll also share some of my tips for each category & my top picks.
I’ve learnt these are the most important items to spend a little more on and to place a high consideration on quality and craftmanship as I’ve made the mistake of overlooking these factors in the past. Since I’ve begun to prioritize high quality with my wardrobe over recent years, I’ve noticed a concrete improvement not only in my wardrobe in terms of how I feel about my pieces and their longevity, but also with my confidence when it comes to my personal style. As with many of you reading, I’m on my own personal style journey and I’ve honestly made so many mistakes! I feel making these mistakes is simply part of learning, so hopefully by sharing some of my mistakes I might be able to help and inspire you with your personal style journey and wardrobe. So let’s get into the 7 items you will never regret buying.
1. Good quality coat
What? Good quality coat made of natural fibers such as wool or cashmere
- Natural fibers are going to last much longer compared to synthetic materials like polyester – they also appear more luxurious in terms of the quality of the fabric
- Wool and cashmere retain your natural body heat without causing you to sweat compared to non-natural fibers – they also will keep you cooler in the sunshine if it’s warm
- Your coat is the first and perhaps often the only part of your outfit that people will see during the cooler seasons, so investing more in this can help to elevate your look during autumn and winter
- Consider what additional design features you’d prefer in a coat – look out for details such as pockets, the overall silhouette (such as fitted, A-line, oversized) as well as a waist tie if you like to cinch in your waist
- Darker colours like black, navy and burgundy are going to wear well in terms of hiding marks, especially if you take public transport
- Consider neutral tones but don’t be afraid to incorporate brighter colours, if that’s more suited to your personal style. Red, royal blue, mustard yellow and forest greens are always prevalent in outerwear during the cooler seasons
- Keep your coats stored in coat or suit bags in your wardrobe when not in use – this will ensure they are protected from mothballs and your other clothing, whilst being ventilated in the bags
- Always make sure you have your coats dry-cleaned – I have mine dry-cleaned at a minimum in the middle of winter and at the end of the season. This ensures when I store them away at the end of winter they’re clean and stains won’t set in over the half of the year whilst they’re stored away
2. Well fitting lingerie & underwear
What? A range of lingerie and underwear which is in good condition, fits you properly and is functional for your lifestyle and clothing
- The most important point to consider is that our lingerie and underwear forms the basis or structure of any outfits we wear. If we don’t have well fitted bras or underwear, then it doesn’t matter how nice or expensive looking your clothes are, because your overall silhouette is going to look off if your bra doesn’t fit you and if you have obvious panty lines.
- As women, most of us often need a range of lingerie – so by this I mean everyday bras and underpants, strapless bras or convertible bras where you can create a range of straps such as halter necks or crossover straps at the back for racerback tops, sports bras and also those really special sets with lovely embellishments or lace or intricate designs.
- The third point is in relation to ensuring your lingerie and underwear is functional for your lifestyle. You might not be someone who likes the dainty or filly feminine pieces, maybe you prefer plain and more comfortable items. A basic t-shirt bra is definitely a must-have and especially one in nude, if you like to wear light or white t-shirts or tops, then this is something you will need.
- At least once a year, review your lingerie and underwear. Try each piece on and check the fit and condition. Consider which pieces you aren’t wearing and why and also the pieces you wear the most often. We should be updating our everyday bras and underwear at least once a year as a minimum.
- I recently went through my lingerie and underwear at the beginning of the year and did a review or clean out. I purchased some new sets from Chantelle and Simone Pérèle – two French lingerie brands which I’ve always wanted to try out.
- My final tip is in relation to fit. It’s always better to go in-store if you can and have your fit checked – our sizes and cup shapes can often change over the years, especially after having children, losing or gaining weight as well as due to hormonal changes which we will all experience. If you can’t go in-store or if there isn’t a fitting service available, you want to ensure that the front part sits against your chest and the cup is well fitted. When you bend over, you don’t want a gap between the cup and the chest and conversely you don’t want to be spilling out of the cup either. Another point to keep in mind is the straps – making sure the back is sitting horizontal and isn’t pulled up too high. And you should ideally start with using the outermost hooks – as the bra stretches over time, you then use the middle hooks and then the inner ones.
3. Good quality functional handbag
What? At least one good quality handbag which is functional and suited to your lifestyle.
What do I mean by this? Let’s break down the keywords here: quality, functional and lifestyle.
Quality – one which is ideally made of leather because it is going to wear very well over the years and will last longer than a cheaper, synthetic material. The craftsmanship also comes into play – so considering the alignment of the stitching in the leather and any zips used.
Functional – consider design details such as the:
- Style: tote bag, shoulder bag, cross body, top handle
- Size: nano, small, medium, large, jumbo
The style is going to determine how you carry the bag and the size will influence how much you can fit inside your handbag. Both of these factors are also going to influence how often you use it as well as for what purpose, such as everyday use, to the office, for events or evening wear, on holidays, etc.
Lifestyle – consider where you’re at in your life now and your daily routine. If you’re working in an office, you might need something which is quite classic and practical, or alternatively, you might need a large tote to carry your laptop and other items. Conversely, if you’re working from home you may not need a large or structured handbag, perhaps a smaller crossbody or shoulder bag which carries your essentials may be preferable and easier to grab & go.
Why? A good quality handbag which is versatile and made ideally from leather is going to last a lot longer, compared to a poorly constructed and cheaper fabric option. As women, we tend to carry quite a number of items with us on the daily (think of items such as our mobile phones, wallets, keys, sunglasses, make-up or hand cream, lip-balms & lipsticks, chewing gum/mints, hand sanitizer, face masks and more…). Our handbags are not only extensions of our wardrobes from an aesthetic point of view, they’re also one of the most practical items we use in our day to day life. Ensuring you invest in a good quality option will stand you in good stead for many years to come, as opposed to having to re-purchase or replace a cheaper or lesser-quality bag each year or two.
- Don’t feel pressured to purchase a designer bag if you don’t have the earning capacity or funds available. There’s plenty of non-luxury brands which make amazing quality handbags that are just as stylish as their higher priced counterparts. A great example is the French handbag brand Polène Paris. They have beautiful designs which are all hand made – the craftmanship is excellent, there’s a wide range of colours and I’ve found their bags are excellent in terms of wear over the long-term.
- Don’t forget about handbag maintenance! If you have a lovely leather bag which may need some repairs, there are plenty of options available to refresh your handbag. You may find you need a hole in the lining or some of the stitching repaired. Perhaps there are some makeup marks on the inner lining – this can be resolved by taking your bag to a dry cleaner. You can also clean & condition the leather of your handbags at home – I picked up this leather cleaner and conditioner and have found them to be brilliant in terms of refreshing and maintaining my handbags (as well as for my leather jacket)!
4. Blazers / Jackets
What? A well fitting and good quality blazer or jacket which suits your personal style.
This can vary from a casual denim jacket to an edgier leather option. Blazers such as a structured suit blazer, an oversized style, a tweed or boucle option or something with is more fitted are wonderful examples of blazers to consider adding into your style repertoire.
- These are the pieces which not only keep you warm by virtue of them being an outer layer – they also provide structure and an element of polish to an outfit.
- I really noticed a difference in how I felt more confident and pulled together once I started to include blazers in my wardrobe. They add an element of polish to an outfit and help to elevate a simple outfit such as jeans and a t-shirt from being casual to a smart casual look. They’re also one of the most important items you can have if you prefer a sophisticated style aesthetic.
- Consider your own personal style before searching for a new blazer or jacket. If you have an edgy style then a leather jacket is going to serve you better compared to a corporate style blazer.
- If you prefer more of a relaxed vibe, then an oversized blazer might be something to consider. Alternatively, simply going up one size might look more relaxed than trying an oversized style of blazer. I went up a size in one blazer from Reiss which I purchased last year as I was after a slightly more relaxed style but didn’t want it to be too oversized which would drown my petite frame.
- Don’t forget about the power of tailoring. I’ve had a few of my blazers professionally tailored, particularly on the sleeve length. This makes an obvious difference in how they fit and how they look.
What? A couple of items of good quality jewellery in gold, platinum, pearl or silver
- Gold, platinum, pearl or silver jewellery is inevitably going to last much longer compared to costume jewellery by virtue of the material composition
- Jewellery is also a very personal way to express your sense of style – it instantly adds a point of interest to an outfit and is something which often has a very personal meaning to us
- Consider whether you prefer dainty or statement pieces. If you’re after a sophisticated look then daintier pieces will often look more elegant.
- Get to know your personal preferences with jewellery – just because a lot of influencers or other people might be wearing chunky chain style necklaces doesn’t mean you have to. Personally I know I prefer the dainty pieces and pearl jewellery, so I generally stick towards what I know I love and works for me.
- Educate yourself on different types of gold and materials. A lot of the luxury jewellery brands have an immense mark up on their jewellery items. Think of gold bangles such as the Cartier Love bracelets – you might be able to save a lot of money buy going to a non-luxury branded jeweller and getting a bracelet which has the same type of metal and weight, for a lesser comparative price.
What? Knitwear which is comfortable and made from quality materials
- There’s a range of material used in knitwear and they aren’t all equal, especially when it comes to the comfort factor and wearability.
- As I mentioned with coats, wool and cashmere knitwear are my top suggestions for this category as well. Wool and cashmere feel lovely against the skin as well – this is important if you have sensitive skin as well as when you don’t always wear a layer underneath your knitwear.
- Wearability is another key factor – as much as I love the look and feel of some materials such as angora and mohair, I find these items can be frustrating to wear. If you have a knitwear item which sheds fibers easily, they can end up all over your jeans or trousers and also your car seat! I’ve had knitwear where I felt I needed to carry a lint brush with me all day because the fibers kept shedding – they seem to end up sticking to my face and because they’re transparent can be really hard to find!
- For versatility, stick to knitwear in neutral colours. As much as I love a pop of colour, I find that having neutral knitwear means I get more use of these items – colours such as cream, black, grey, navy and camel are great colours to consider.
- A crew neck knit is great style to consider due to its versatility – you can layer collared shirts or blouses underneath with the collar popping out over the neckline and cuffs showing or alternatively you can wear a crew-neck knit on it’s own.
What? A variety of comfortable footwear fit for your lifestyle
- Our feet literally carry our bodies through life and you can cause a lot of damage to your feet by choosing poorly made & designed footwear and also by not choosing the right size of footwear. There’s also nothing worse than having your feet hurt throughout the day, especially if you aren’t at home with the option to easily change shoes.
- Our choice in footwear can literally make or break an outfit. So similar to lingerie, it doesn’t matter how nice or expensive your clothes look, if your shoes aren’t good quality or they don’t fit wel, then it’s going to take away from anything else you’re wearing.
- We need a variety of footwear as well – so for work, for the weekend, for being active and for special events. A lack of variety when it comes to footwear is also something which I’ve learnt from – I used to only have stiletto heels, really cheap ballet flats, platform ankle boots I hardly wore and one pair of sneakers. Over the last couple of years since I’ve been working from home, I’ve started to focus on increasing the variety of footwear, trying out new styles and investing in quality shoes.
- The two styles of footwear which I’ve begun to focus on lately are loafers and block heels. I feel that loafers are amazing because not only are they comfortable, they also exude a sophisticated and elegant, pulled together look. Block heels provide the height boost I need whilst being much more stable for all day wear, compared to a thin stiletto heel.
- Consider your lifestyle and the different types of footwear you need. If you’re no longer working in an office five days a week then you might not need as many pairs of shoes for office wear. If you’re very active then sneakers or flats might be more valuable in terms of suitability for your everyday lifestyle.
- Make sure you have at least one of each of the following categories:
- Sneakers or trainers
- Flats – loafers, ballet flats
- Heels – stiletto, block heels, barely there strappy sandals, mules, kitten heels
- Boots for winter – ankle, knee length, OTK, flat, mid heel or high heels, stiletto/block heel
- Footwear for summer – leather sandals, rubber flip flops, espadrilles
Today we’ve gone over the 7 items you won’t regret purchasing – we’ve looked at what the items are, why they are important and I’ve also some of my tips and personal experiences as to why you won’t regret purchasing these items. Below I’ve linked some of my top picks in “SHOP THE POST” as well as my YouTube video, in case you’re interested in watching.
I’d love to hear your thoughts and if you have any suggestions or experiences to share, then please share with us all in the comments below.