Updated: Jul 15, 2022
Over the years my style has changed and it will continue to evolve. I have had many influences on the way I dress ranging from well-known icons like Diane Carroll to contemporary muses such as Winonah de Jong and Miranda Kerr. Also, I have taken style cues and tips from a few of my relatives and close acquaintances. Despite having have their own unique sense of style, they all have one thing in common. Each of them inspired me to stay true to dressing in a way that makes me feel comfortable.
While the women I looked to in the style department have greatly impacted the way I dress, the best advice I ever received was from a male former colleague. He had exceptional taste in clothing and would even go to Italy on occasion with his partner to have his shoes custom made. As we got to know each other more we would often joke that someday we would jet set to France and attend Paris Fashion Week together.
One day while I was in the office, I became extremely cold. The air conditioning in the building we worked in would often be on full blast. For this reason, I kept a cardigan close by to put on in case I started to get chilly. This day I needed a jacket to borrow because I was freezing to death. I left my "spare" cardigan at home after wearing it leaving the office the previous day.
I walked over to my colleague's cubicle because I knew he would have something I could borrow. It seemed like he had a backup of everything on hand for any fashion dilemma you may face. That day I was in luck. He graciously offered me his spare wool sweater to borrow until it was time to leave the office.
Later, I returned his sweater and expressed my thanks for coming to my rescue. I jokingly mentioned I wanted to keep it since it was so plush and warm. He mentioned he bought it several years ago. It looked brand new. I was shocked because it was in such excellent condition.
He then told me, "When you buy well, you buy once." This means when you invest in clothing made of higher quality fabrics such as wool, cotton, cashmere, and silk they tend to last for a long time. On the other hand, if you consistently buy items of lower quality they do not have as much longevity.
At the time I was a few years out of college and gradually building my professional wardrobe as I was managing my own household. The simple advice he offered helped to influence the way I would introduce clothing into my closet from that point forward. Rather than buy something because it is on trend, I became more deliberate about incorporating items into my wardrobe that would last for many years to come.
You may think you need to spend a lot of money if you want to build a timeless wardrobe. You can find great deals on higher quality items from a variety of sources. One way is to do so is to avoid buying clothing at full price by purchasing them when they go on sale.
Another alternative is to purchase from consignment retailers. They offer many items on their website that have never been worn and are in pristine condition. This is great especially since you can update your look at the fraction of the price and have money to spend on other things of more importance to you.