The Investment Piece


A key investment piece is my Miss Dior bag

I’m always impressed when I hear the younger crowd at work talking about saving up for an investment piece.  When I was their age and in my mid twenties I didn’t even know what an investment piece was! (In my defence, I was somewhat occupied by a toddler and the mortgage at the time.)

I didn’t actually get introduced to investment dressing until I was in my early thirties and even then, I was slow to convert. I have a girlfriend who is the ultimate investment dresser and it was she who convinced me that I wouldn’t get bored with one expensive thing rather than stacks of cheap stuff.

When I reflected on my I own investment pieces, I realised that my key acquisitions – apart from my Hugo Boss black pants – have been on accessories. Which, as it happens, is a very French thing to do. The French will honour a classic coat or vintage bag for years, favouring the classic over faddish.

Investing in accessories also allows for a lot more flexibility in your wardrobe.

In terms of return on these assets though, some of my purchases have been more valuable than others. So today, I thought I’d share my top five accessory investments.

  1. Black Burberry Trench coat. Perfect for three Australian seasons, my trench coat takes me from autumn, through winter and all the way into spring. The black is very versatile – it can be dressed up or down. The quality of my coat is amazing. Despite being on high rotation for years now, it hasn’t marked or faded and I know I’ll be happily wearing it for years to come.
  2. Louis Vuitton Speedy bag. Designed by the luxury luggage maker back in the 1930s the Speedy is shaped like a classic doctor’s bag, and was a smaller version of the brand’s iconic Keepall bag. You’d be amazed at how much I can fit in my sturdy Speedy 30. And again, it works just as well with casual clothes as it does with my work suits.
  3. Miss Dior Promenade bag. I’d been looking at a Chanel wallet on chain for quite some time but couldn’t get my head around the fact that I would be spending a sizeable amount on a bag that couldn’t hold lipstick and car keys at the same time. Enter my Dior bag. Small enough to work for evenings, large enough to work when I’m travelling, I fell in love with this baby immediately. And the leather is still as soft as the day I bought it.
  4. Slim line Swiss watch. I recommend a white face for the most versatility. Made by Tissot, mine is stainless steel which sits nicely with my choice to wear white gold jewellery.
  5. Diamond studs. My friend, the one who got me started with investment dressing in the first place, has the best pair of diamond studs I’ve ever seen but with that said, I’m still pretty happy with my pair of princess cut solitaires. Diamond studs can take you from day to evening and add just the right amount of sparkle to your look.

Are you a fan of investment dressing?  If you could invest in only one item, what would it be? Please share your thoughts in the comments sections below.

And until next time – au revoir.


About Janelle

I believe that everyone can bring French elegance and inspiration to their life, no matter where they happen to live in the world. They only need to learn a secret or two to be on their way. When you join the Distant Francophile community, you’ll have access to the secrets that allow you to bring the best of the French lifestyle into your everyday life. I’m talking about things like style advice, recipes and book reviews. And you’ll also receive regular doses of French inspiration, as well as travel and packing tips galore.

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10 thoughts on “The Investment Piece

  • Liz Holtfreter

    Definitely a fan, and your Dior bag is stunning! If I could have one investment accessory at the moment it would be a good quality cashmere scarf to see me through Autumn/Winter for years to come.

  • Sandra Regan

    My dream investment piece would be a Birkin bag! But since it’s a small fortune, I’m thinking either a Chanel or LV clutch. Last year I bought 2 silk scarves from LV – tip: ask the counter person at LV to show you the skinny neck scarves that aren’t on display. You can get great deals this way. I’d also like to buy some red heels. Only to say, “I bought these in Paris!”

  • Roz

    My number one investment piece is a man’s Movado “museum” watch – the thin one with a black face, gold hands, no numbers, a gold dot at twelve and a fine black leather strap. I bought it 15 years ago in the West Indies, have worn it every single day since… I love it to bits. My one regret is not buying the same watch in white when I saw it on sale in a store somewhere in Florida – the only white one I have ever seen.

    • Janelle Post author

      I just googled your watch Roz and it is gorgeous. And it certainly doesn’t owe you a penny – wearing something every day for 15 years definitely rates as an investment piece. My heart goes out to you on the ‘watch that got away’. Scott is the best at making me buy things I want when I find them….probably because he can’t deal with the regret I might have later!!

  • Taste of France

    I have a pearl necklace, a tad longer than a choker, that I ordered from a Cantonese-speaking colleague (who looks like Sean Connery!) in Hong Kong. He personally chose each pearl and had them strung, and did this for several others in the office as well. It’s my favorite necklace and goes with everything. I also ALWAYS wear my mother’s engagement ring, as well as my own. I had a pair of solitaire earrings that my dad gave to my grandma, but one popped out of my fingers as I was taking it off and went down a vent in my brother’s house! So it isn’t exactly lost, but it isn’t available for wearing, either. If he can’t get it back, I’m going to get an extra piercing on one ear so I can wear the remaining one every day.
    These are more gifts than investments, other than the pearls, but they are classic and meaningful.