We know all too well that fashion trends can disappear as quickly as they arrive, so when it comes to buying designer items with a hefty price tag, it pays to be shrewd. The phrase "investment piece" can be used easily (and in my case, often to justify a spontaneous purchase), but what it really refers to is finding that one great item you'll wear for years to come because each time you put it on brings as much joy as the first time you wore it.
When it comes to a designer purchase's financial value, there are a few brands whose resale price can nearly match the original cost. (And in many cases, vintage finds can be worth even more.) So before you part with your money, it's always a good idea to find the piece you love and think of its long-term wearability. Is it a trend-led statement piece, or is it versatile enough to work with your existing wardrobe? Do you trust the quality of the fabrication, and is it made to last? Finally, does the cost per wear justify the price? One brand that always manages to tick the right boxes is Prada and its meticulous craftsmanship and timeless tailoring (and the occasional eccentric twist).
There are three particular Prada styles that we believe have true staying power and are worth investing in. Keep scrolling to see our Prada picks that are worth buying now and loving forever.
1. PRADA BAGS
The Cleo Bag
The Cleo shoulder bag is a new classic based on an archival silhouette from the house's 1990s archives. Its sleek, minimalistic shape is as instantly recognisable as the Dior Saddle Bag or Hermés Birkin.
We love the colourful geometric jacquard motifs from the A/W 21 collection.
Another key print from the collection, this leather-trimmed bag has an air of '60s nostalgia.
There are only a couple of the elusive Cleo Bags left in this glossy, tobacco colourway.
The Tote Bag
This is an XXL carry-all for all of your everyday essentials. Whether you go for classic leather or one of the seasonal fabric iterations, this deep bag is the perfect purchase for the one who always comes well prepared.
This sleek, high-shine tote is new for spring and summer 2022.
If statement bags are more your thing, it comes in triangle jacquard too.
The must-have bag this summer will still be a great beach bag for many years to come.
The Bucket Bag
Prada fans will remember the nylon drawstring bucket bags of the '90s, but there are now plenty of luxurious, leather-based bags designed to be both durable and timeless.
A surprisingly roomy mini bucket bag in brushed spazzolato leather.
Subtly embossed leather with a big enough bamboo handle to wear on the crook of your arm.
You needn't worry about the contents of your bag. There's also a detachable pouch for everything you need kept secure.
2. PRADA SHOES
The Leather Loafer
There was a time in recent history that the only loafer to be seen in was the Gucci Horsebit, a slim-lined leather loafer (often backless) adorned with the brand's signature horse-bit. Then in autumn 2020, a chunkier, edgier answer to the Horsebit would arrive: the Triangle loafer. Now with upgraded soles, embellishments and colour options, this is the loafer loved by the fashion set.
The O.G. pair you've seen all over your Instagram feed.
A traditional loafer silhouette in a contemporary colour
If you wanted a shoe that is out of the ordinary, you just found it.
Take the loafer to new heights with the extra-chunky Monolith sole.
The Kitten Heel
We have Miuccia Prada to thank for a revival of the kitten heel in the 2020s. Sleeker, sportier and a whole lot cooler, these aren't the micro-heels of the past. The low heel has had a fashionable upgrade.
The original slingback from the A/W 20 collection has been revamped in the brand's ubiquitous black nylon.
It wouldn't be Prada without a pop of colour, and fresh sky blue will do the trick.
So new you may not have even seen them yet, this is the kitten heel 2.0.
The perfect party shoes for dancing the night away.
The Combat Boots
Lace up your boots, and prepare to enlist in the Prada army. Along with Bottega Veneta's Tire Chelsea Boots and Chloé's rubber Betty boots, these chunky, heavy-soled boots have taken over the last few winters and show no signs of slowing down. A practical trend we can get behind.
What other boot would come with detachable pockets?
These are part leather, part recycled nylon as part of the brand's commitment to sustainable textile use.
A classic, chunky Chelsea boot that is as functional as it is fashionable.
3. READY TO WEAR
A padded nylon coat is a Prada staple, and you can guarantee you'll see it everywhere from the city to the slopes.
Tailored wool coats never go out of fashion and are one of the few items in your wardrobe you can be sure you'll wear year after year.
Femininity is at Prada's core, so you can always expect form-fitting pencil skirts, micro minis, or full-skirted A-line silhouettes.
Eveningwear is always a sound investment. A dress like this is a certified conversation starter no matter the event.
This belted pencil skirt is available in two colours, but why choose black when you can have zesty orange instead?
A skirt now so Insta-famous it deserves its own hashtag.
Remy Farrell is a London-based shopping editor with nearly 10 years of editorial experience covering fashion, beauty and lifestyle. After graduating with a journalism degree and working on the editorial and fashion teams for titles such as Grazia, Elle, Cosmopolitan and British Vogue, she moved into the luxury e-commerce sector, working as fashion assistant at TheOutnet.com styling for the social media channels and helping to develop the collections for the in-house brand Iris & Ink. After expanding an assisting and styling portfolio that includes shooting talent such as Gigi Hadid, Victoria Beckham and Miquita Oliver, she also branched out into beauty, creating tried-and-tested reviews and diverse beauty content.
In her role as shopping editor at Who What Wear, Remy is interested in discovering new and exciting brands to share with the Who What Wear readership and particularly loves uncovering hidden gems at affordable prices to make shopping accessible to everyone.
Born and raised in Sheffield, Yorkshire, Remy moved to London in 2014 and lives in the Docklands with her partner and pug Billie.
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