style & substance – wardrobe staples worth the splurge

Falling for FALL

  As much as we want to hang on to Summer, Fall is just around the corner and with these 10 investment pieces you can’t go wrong.

In every woman’s wardrobe, there are places one should splurge and places one should save.  Unlike fleeting trends, closet classics—things you’ll love for years to come, regardless of ever-changing fashion fads—are the obvious best place to sink your shopping dollars. Here are 10 splurge-worthy staples that, while guaranteed to take a bigger chunk out of your budget, chances are they’ll be sticking around for awhile.

Black or Camel Coat


Outerwear trends come and go every autumn, but there are a few coat classics that never change—and two timeless hues in particular, black and camel. A Burberry duffel coat’s casual enough that you won’t have to save it only for special occasions, while a chic peacoat infuses any look with instant prep appeal. As for Max Mara’s beautiful self-belted topper, it’s the sort of piece you could pass down to your daughter or niece one day.

from left: wool-felt duffle coat, $995, burberry brit,; gaila coat in roanoke wool blend, $695,; manuela coat, $1,456, max mara,

Classic Watch


More practical than nearly any other piece of jewelry, a watch adds instant polish and professionalism to any look, and is something you’ll keep for years to come. Why shouldn’t yours be an absolute knockout?

from left: chronograph watch in rose gold/navy, $275,; medor, $4,050,; tank française watch, medium model, $4,700,

Patent Pumps


A simple, classic pump works for everything from job interviews to first dates to black-tie weddings to girls’ night out. Find a pair that’s comfy (OK, relatively so) and take the plunge. (Side note: while I love a smooth calfskin heel too, I think there’s something about glossy patent that just adds that extra somethin’ somethin’.)

from left: decollete 868 100 mm, $625,; aimee patent platform pump, $675, jimmy choo,; tayler patent leather d’orsay pumps, $735, manolo blahnik,

Ballet Flats

Though less overtly sexy than the aforementioned stilettos, ballet flats are (or should be, at least) the day-in-day-out workhorses of a modern girl’s footwear wardrobe. Chances are you’ll likely clock more miles in these babies than in your heels,


so take care when shopping for them. Porselli and Repetto make beautiful, ballerina-approved versions, and many editors swear by Lanvin’s flattering hidden-wedge take on this sleek staple.

from left: porselli ballet flats, $190,; leather ballet flats, $560, lanvin,; the cendrillon textured-leather ballet flats, $285, repetto,

Little Black Dress


Audrey wore them. Carine Roitfeld lives in them. Kate Moss accessorizes hers to the hilt. A simple black fit-and-flare dress, body-con number or sleek sheath works for pretty much any scenario imaginable and is guaranteed to make you look your absolute best, so it’s a sound item to spend a little extra on.

from left: sleeveless dress, $2,367.50, lanvin vault,; ripple stretch-crepe dress, $1,150, preen by thornton bregazzi,; arabesque metallic embroidered dress, $3,351, azzedine alaïa,

Printed Cocktail Dress


That said, when you’re in the mood to make even more of a statement, there’s nothing like a boldly patterned party frock. The trick here is to choose one in a relatively classic print—think florals, polka dots or easy geometric graphics.

from left: ruby printed silk crepe de chine and cotton-blend lace dress, $3,220, erdem,; garden-print dress, $895, red valentino,; embellished lace and silk-faille dress, $6,990, oscar de la renta,

Perfectly-Fitting Denim


There’s absolutely nothing—nothing—like finding that amazing pair of derrière-perfecting, leg-lengthening, hip-slimming jeans. Sink a little extra cash into your blues, and they’ll pay for themselves in compliments.

from left: 811 mid-rise skinny leg, $191,; the marrakesh, $168.30,; stretch cotton-blend leggings-style jeans, $187, rag & bone jean,

Gray Cardigan


Yes, black cardigans are great too, but hear me out: when you’re already dressed in head-to-toe noir, sometimes you need another, slightly lighter neutral to keep the look from veering into Morticia Addams territory. In such cases, gray’s your go-to. Heather-colored cardis look equally great with little white dresses, too—as well as pretty much everything in one’s closet.

from left: cashmere and silk-blend cardigan, $640, miu miu,; asymmetric hem cardigan, $595, alexander wang,; collection cashmere boyfriend cardigan, $238,

Oversized Cashmere or Wool Wrap


How do we love our enormous cashmere throws? Let us count the ways: they’re the perfect way to stay warm in snowy weather (when you live in a windy city, a coat alone just doesn’t cut it), they double as blankets (and pillows!) on long plane or car trips and they sort of make us feel like Stevie Nicks. Solid.

from left: cashmere travel wrap, $295,; striped wool-blend wrap, $600, missoni,; cashmere ruana, $498,

Timeless Handbag


If you’re looking for the absolute most reliable place to sink those wardrobe dollars, a classic carryall’s your best bet. Whether you opt for a classic flap-front 2.55 shoulder bag, a quilted tote or even a tiny crossbody carryall, there’s just no going wrong with anything double-C-adorned. Proenza Schouler’s cult-forming PS1, meanwhile, has made the tricky transition from trend to cool classic with ease. And of course, few can resist the heritage-steeped house of Hermès. While Birkins and Kellys may yield the longest waitlists, we’re currently smitten with the smaller Constance crossbody.

clockwise from left: vintage constance bag, $6,700, hermès,; ps1 medium leather, $1,695,; classic flap bag, $4,400, for locations

In my INbox: From Lucky Magazine by Elana Fishman.

So….how did you score?  Are you a perfect 10?

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