Before meeting Amanda Jungman of Socialite Auctions, I never thought Jimmy Choo might one day be in my shoe closet – nor did I care.
It wasn’t that I didn’t appreciate the quality of designer brands, I just assumed that spending hundreds of dollars for a single garment probably wasn’t worth the money. If a brand like Guess is ripping off a popular shoe design, then it’s probably good enough, I thought.
And, I’m just not one of those people who’s into wearing brands for brand sake.
However, that was before Amanda totally sold me on the idea of making my wardrobe an investment – instead of an expense.
I visited her in her L.A. office last week to get a good look at some luxury brands – and it was heaven. I love my thrift shops, but this was secondhand paradise. There were oodles of shoes, all in perfect condition, confection-like handbags and racks of immaculate clothing.
Amanda’s theory on building a wardrobe is simple: save up and buy best you can afford. Shop less and invest in pieces you’ll wear for up to 10 years and beyond. As opposed to constantly buying overly-trendy and cheaply-made clothing and shoes, slowly building a wardrobe of investments can prove to be a smart strategy. Much like traditional commodities, designer goods can be re-sold at a future date. This strategy allows you to keep trading up to better and better clothing.
And who doesn’t want better clothing?
However, knowing which brands hold their value is key to investing. According to Amanda, it’s best to avoid what she calls “diffusion lines” like MK by Michael Kors, Calvin Klein and go for the real deal like Chanel, Prada, Fendi, Jimmy Choo, Hermes, Gucci and (some of her faves) Giambattista Valli and Yves Saint Laurent.
So, are you thinking about dipping your toe into the designer kiddie pool? The best part about investing in your wardrobe is that you don’t have to buy new – but you DO have to do your homework before you start to invest. Here’s Amanda’s advice for transforming your wardrobe:
How to Start
The first step is to do a little fantasy shopping. Amanda recommends visiting Bloomingdale’s or Sak’s so you can scope out which brands fit you best. Go during a sale if you’re uneasy about trying on a dress with a 4-figure price tag; there will be so many women shopping that you’ll blend in better. However, Amanda says not to worry about salespeople anyway – they usually have no idea who’s buying and who’s not.
Once you’ve figured out which brands are your faves, you need to hop on the interwebs and do a little research. Check eBay for the styles you found while shopping, and set up saved searches and alerts for the brands you like in your size.
Acquire, wear, re-sell, repeat. And, slowly but surely, you’ll develop a wardrobe you love that’s actually worth something.
According to Amanda, the best investments for beginners are cashmere cardigans, shoes and jackets. If high-end brands like Chanel are still out of your price range, brands such as Tory Burch, Elizabeth & James and cashmere by Juicy Couture are a good place to start as well.
Registration is OPEN for Becoming You: Personal Style Camp! If you’ve ever stood in front of your closet and thought, “I have nothing to wear,” then you’ve got to check this out. Click on the image for more details.