I'm a Former Nordstrom Buyer—8 Investment Pieces I'm Still Wearing 3 Years Later

Whether you're the kind of fashion lover who likes to test-drive every trend or one who prefers a more uniform style of dressing, there are a handful of items that are essential to nearly every wardrobe. According to Susie Wright, former Nordstrom buyer and stylist, just eight pieces are worth the extra investment.

Of course, Wright recommends investing in timeless pieces like trench coats and designer bags that can be worn for literal decades. They might require a bit of maintenance after repeated wear and tear, but you truly cannot buy the patina that develops on a well-loved bag over time. Conversely, items worn regularly like jeans and T-shirts can deteriorate quickly if they are not made of quality materials. So it can be more cost-effective (not to mention much more sustainable) to buy better-quality pieces. They might be a bit more expensive now, but when you consider the cost per wear over the years, the difference is tangible, both on your budget and the garment itself.

Keep scrolling for all of the pieces that Wright recommends investing in, plus outfit inspiration that incorporates a few of each. And remember: You don't need to buy every piece at once! Investing in your wardrobe over time will help keep your budget in check while allowing your style to evolve.

1. Classic Blue Jeans

Susie Wright wearing blue jeans and a white top.

(Image credit: Susie Wright)

On Susie Wright: Cinq à Sept jacket; Rag & Bone jeans

"Classic faded blue jeans are always in style, and this medium-blue wash will go with everything in your closet. I'll probably be wearing this style for years to come!" — Wright

2. Basic White T-Shirts

Susie Wright wears a white T-shirt.

(Image credit: Susie Wright)

On Susie Wright: ATM T-shirt; Spanx pants

"A simple white T-shirt is a wardrobe basic, and I've been wearing mine for over 20 years. They are so easy to style! Wear it alone, or pair it with everything from a blazer to denim shorts. Classic and easy." — Wright

3. Sneakers

Susie Wright wears Veja sneakers.

(Image credit: Susie Wright)

On Susie Wright: Veja sneakers; Zella jacket

"Simple white sneakers like Adidas Sambas or those by Veja will always be in style. Nowadays, you can wear them with literally everything in your closet, from dresses and skirts to trousers and jeans." — Wright

4. Lightweight Puffer Jackets

Susie Wright wears a black Moncler puffer jacket.

(Image credit: Susie Wright)

On Susie Wright: Moncler jacket; Mother jeans

"I've taken this Moncler jacket on every trip, no matter the weather, for the last several years. I don't see this style of jacket ever going out of style, which makes it a really great investment." — Wright

5. A Classic Blazer

Susie Wright wears a black blazer and jeans.

(Image credit: Susie Wright)

On Susie Wright: Rag & Bone blazer; Citizens of Humanity jeans

"For over 25 years, I've worn some version of a black or navy blazer. It always looks good, and it's another piece that's worth the investment. And you'll wear it almost all year round." — Wright

6. Button-Up Shirts

Susie Wright wears a blue button-up shirt.

(Image credit: Susie Wright)

On Susie Wright: Frank & Eileen shirt; Aritzia trousers

"A relaxed button-up shirt is another key piece every closet needs. Look for a gently oversize style that's not too pressed. Then fold the sleeves up and wear it with trousers or denim." — Wright

7. Trench Coats

Susie Wright wears a white trench coat and jeans.

(Image credit: Susie Wright)

On Susie Wright: Avec Les Filles trench coat

"Who doesn't love a classic trench coat you can wear almost all year long? Try it over your favorite dress or on casual days with a hoodie and sweatpants. It always looks chic!" — Wright

8. Timeless Handbags

Susie Wright carries a Lady Dior bag.

(Image credit: Susie Wright)

On Susie Wright: Frame dress; Dior bag

"Choosing to invest in a classic bag is truly worthwhile. You'll wear it for years to come, and it completes every single outfit!" — Wright

This post was published at an earlier date and has since been updated.

Drew Elovitz
Director of Content Strategy

Drew Elovitz is originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but has spent the last decade living and working in New York City. She earned a master's degree in media and popular culture from New York University, then began her career on the internet as the Twitter voice of Barbie. She worked previously at Who What Wear as the director of content strategy and also spent several years leading the social media teams at Teen Vogue and Entertainment Weekly. You'll find her byline on the site around topics such as celebrity fashion, must-have basics, beauty favorites (particularly nail polish), and wellness tips and tricks. Her personal style tends to favor the classics: She loves crisp white button-downs, sneakers, and skinny jeans—and no look is complete without a great pair of oversize sunglasses and a trusty leather jacket. After she finishes reading the entire internet every day, she can be found dining out at her favorite restaurants, trying new beauty treatments, or indulging her historical-fiction habit.