Magnificent seven to rescue your wardrobe
Style expert Katie Wright reveals her favourite fail-safe fashion choices and where to get them
If you're going to splash some cash on an investment buy, you want to make sure it's going to have longevity in your wardrobe, not just in terms of quality but style-wise as well.
"I believe in considered shopping, investing carefully in fewer, better pieces that I adore," says Jo Bennett, head of womenswear buying at John Lewis. "I believe that many women feel the same - they want to invest in products that are good quality, aesthetically beautiful and offer value for money, that they will wear and cherish."
So how can you sort the fast-fashion from the wear-forever pieces, aside from looking at the price tag?
"Make sure that your investment pieces make you feel good," is Bennett's number one rule. "Each item should make you feel great and be versatile - matching with four or five different looks from your current wardrobe. This way, you'll want to wear them over and over again."
"Always pay attention to the quality of the fabric," is her other top tip. "Our design team carefully hand select the fabrics for our collections, utilising the finest materials including Italian spun cashmere and heavyweight sandwashed silks, to create modern, well designed wardrobe staples that will stand the test of time and be cherished for years to come."
Here, Bennett lists seven staples that are well worth investing in and reveals what to look for when shopping for them.
"Jeans are the perfect foundation for an outfit - a quality pair can make all the difference," Bennett says. "I would recommend choosing a pair of black fitted jeans as they're versatile and can work as part of both casual and formal outfits. I wear And/Or's Silverlake straight style."
And/Or Silverlake Black Straight Leg Jeans, £85, John Lewis
"Beautiful jewellery can transform any outfit," says Bennett, who favours intricately designed sterling silver pieces. "These styles compliment clothing and offer elegance from day to night."
Monica Vinader Riva Diamond Hoop Earrings, £275
A versatile dress is a must for Bennett, who says the pieces in John Lewis's Modern Rarity collaboration with up-and-coming designer Eudon Choi offer: "The perfect wardrobe update. They are elegant and timeless and perfect to dress up or down depending on the occasion."
Modern Rarity Eudon Choi Altman Dress, £160, John Lewis
4. Silk Blouse
"A beautiful silk blouse feels wonderful on your skin and is the perfect companion whatever the climate," Bennett says. Consider retro styles like the pussy-bow blouse for evening or a sleek button-down silk shirt for work.
Stine Goya Alfie Metallic Silk Blouse, £210, Very Exclusive
"A great pair of shoes is a wardrobe staple - just think about the variety of occasions you will wear them for," Bennett advises. "For me, it's business meetings, office wear and socialising. A black stiletto will look great with a variety of outfits. Comfort is key for an investment pair of heels," she warns, "so consider heel height and the lining of your chosen pair of heels. You want to be excited about wearing your shoes, not worrying about aching feet the next day!"
LK Bennett Floret Leather Point Toe Court Shoes, £195
It's all about the fabric if you're looking for a coat that's built to last. Bennett recommends cashmere or wool for warmth and longevity: "A great cut will flatter your shape and the beautifully rich fabric will keep you warm."
Whistles Magdelina Belted Wrap Coat, £285
7. Cashmere Sweater
When it comes to cashmere, you can play around with playful colours and shapes, Bennett says: "A statement cashmere sweater in an extravagant silhouette is great as a day-time piece and also fantastic when travelling."
Hush Cashmere Brick Marl Boyfriend Jumper, £110