Your Definitive Guide to Fashion Investment Pieces

In your shopping journey or fashion search, you've likely come across the phrase "investment piece" more than a handful of times. Put simply, this type of closet staple is something that may come with a large price tag, but because of its timeless design is worth the splurge. Another good way to figure out what type of item falls into the investment category? Basically, it's anything that isn't really season-specific or tied to one of-the-moment trend that may be out of style in five months. Think a classic Gucci handbag, a quality leather jacket, or an elegant gold necklace.

Investment pieces withstand time and trends—plain and simple. They're made of top-quality fabric that lasts a long time, and their design is simple and sleek but still stylish. Sometimes people scoop up these items on a whim (like when they walk into a department store and instantly fall in love with that iconic Chanel handbag). Other times, they save up for years so that they can feel a bit better about dishing out such a large chunk of cash in one swoop.

Finally, investment pieces are the basis of any smart wardrobe. They can be worn in multiple different ways, whether with another classic or with a more of-the-moment trend, and you'll never get tired of them. They boast a great cost per wear, and last but certainly not least is that you won't (or at least you shouldn't) feel any buyer's remorse.

Ahead, we've curated the ultimate guide to fashion investment pieces, highlighting the splurge-worthy essentials you'll reach for year after year (plus, how to really tell what's an investment piece and what's not).

Shirts

When it comes to investment-worthy shirts, there are a few things you should look for. First off, quality fabric is key. Silk, cotton, and linen are guaranteed to last the longest (and look the best, too). Proper care is always needed with such pieces, of course, so make sure to read the garment instructions when it comes to laundering because improper care can shorten the lifespan of the fashion staple.

The silhouette is just as important. You'll want to look for a shirt with clean-cut lines (think something modern and streamlined over anything with more of-the-moment detailing). Finally, when it comes to the price point, you can find great, timeless shirts without having to break the bank—check out Nordstrom and Shopbop for amazing under-$200 finds.

Denim

Denim is one category where you may end up splurging a bit more for quality, long-lasting staples. When it comes to material, stretch fabric is oftentimes the most comfortable, though it can wear out more quickly, especially after countless washes. This is one criterion you can pick and choose, based on your preference.

When it comes to denim color, opt for a light or dark wash. Why? Well, because they're two classic options that will never go out of style. Skip the acid-wash jeans, for example, because they may not always be considered on-trend.

Outerwear

Outerwear is the most splurge-worthy category of all because coats don't always come cheap. Many people save up for years to buy that iconic Burberry trench coat that they know they'll have hanging in their closet for years. A good leather jacket and a warm, cloud-like puffer coat are two other investment pieces that will never fail you and can be worn season after season. 

Don't get us wrong—there are still great, wallet-friendly options within the outerwear department, but top-quality coats are definitely worth spending a bit more on.

Shoes

The footwear market is chock-full of so many timeless, investment-worthy shoes, so you'll have no problem finding a pair to suit your personal taste. From Chanel's iconic slingback pumps to Gucci's classic loafers that just about every celebrity owns to Dear Frances's always-sleek boots, shop the top-quality styles you won't feel any buyer's remorse about because they come with a great cost per wear.

Bags

The options are endless when it comes to investment-worthy bags, but of course this closet essential typically comes attached with a large price tag. That's because many designer handbags were made to be lifelong companions. Unlike trendy It bags with all the extra bells and whistles (which certainly isn't a bad thing either), timeless purses, from brands like Chanel, Hermes, Gucci, Fendi, and Saint Laurent are made to last you years.

Jewelry

You can never go wrong when splurging on jewelry because you'll always have a need for chic, elegant rings, earrings, and necklaces. Go for gold (or silver) pieces, as these metals will still be relevant season after season (and they'll look nice the longest). A good pearl piece is also a classic that will never go out of style. When it comes to investing in jewels, don't feel bad about spending a bit more.