Invest in the Best
Focus your money on key items – not simply clothing – that will give you years of service. Here’s our thoughts for 6 investment pieces worth hunting for
Article by Rupert Watkins
Everyone in fashion – be it male or female – talks about investment pieces, those hardy perennials that see so much use and don’t date which are worth spending that little bit more on. However, all too often they focus exclusively on clothing. With the best will in the world and care, any item worn frequently will eventually look rather scruffy about the edges and need rapid replacement which means items such as shirts, trousers – even jackets – may be fall short in being the true investment you might think them to be. Genuine investment pieces are those items – for use, not just to be worn – that you will be able to use for decades to come and gain great satisfaction and enjoyment from every time they’re used. With that idea in mind, here are six suggestions:
1. A Weekend Bag:
We all travel. Whether it’s for business of pleasure, add a sense of elegance to your trip by investing in a good weekend bag. A full leather one is best; it will be more robust and develop a patina through use. With care and the occasional clean with leather oil, a good leather weekend bag should last many, many years. Rather like good shoes, should anything break through sheer use, it is worth getting it repaired and it’ll continue to look as good as new.
2. A Leather Washbag:
Whether you’re a grooming fanatic or not, carry a little bit of luxury with you on your travels by investing in a proper leather washbag. There are numerous styles to choose from; from the military style roll up, the single or double zipped wetpack through to the box type – often found in bridle leather – there is a timeless style out there to take your fancy. For a touch of dapper style wherever you need to put your toothbrush.
3. A Badger Shaving Brush
It’s all too easily forgotten in a blizzard of Gillette advertising that you actually clean your face as you shave. As such, you need something to drive the shaving cream not just into your bristle but also into your pores to clear them out and allow the metal razor blade to whisk away excess oil, dead skin cells and other accumulated dirt. A shaving essential, pound for pound a badger shaving brush will be one of the most essential investments in a chap’s life. Clean it in fresh water after every use, hang it upside down so water doesn’t work its way into the handle and start making the hair fall out and a top quality one will give you 15 years plus of shaving indulgence.
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4. A pair of cufflinks:
A subtle and elegant way to show taste, every man should have one truly outstanding pair of cufflinks for the special occasions in his life. These could be new or antique, Cartier or Longmire, classic understated chain or with quirky working parts. They are worth spending a bit on as they will be an heirloom your son (or daughter with a double cuffed blouse) can wear with style and pride too.
5. An Overcoat:
The first item of clothing on the list. Clearly a necessity in the northern hemisphere for a number of months each year, the overcoat is a considerable purchase anyway. All the more reason to make it a worthwhile one. In a work environment it’ll cover a suit whilst – if chosen with care – it can look equally stylish over jeans and Chelsea boots. A high quality wool or tweed overcoat will last many years if cleaned, dried and stored properly.
6. A pair of top quality black shoes:
All the major milestones in a chap’s life are likely to be fairly formal, weddings, black tie events, final interviews, critical promotion presentations and so on. So even if you do not wear a suit on anywhere near a regular basis you will need one truly top notch pair of classic English Oxfords which will lift and enhance the outfit when you do.
It is all to easy to get carried away on a sea of Instagram images and believe you must buy certain brands or buy at a certain price point; there is no point in believing you must spend £1,000 plus when your budget (including judicious use of the credit card) is £750. Buy the very best you can afford now, wait for the annual sales – or save for two or three months. These are investment pieces – items to give you years of use and pleasure, not transient fashion whims.