I think the most fail-proof way to begin to to buy better and buy less, is to decide on which go-to elements you need and might be missing in your wardrobe for a season. If the idea of creating a reliable uniform doesn’t interest you, consider these pieces your signature basics.
While a coat might seem like a heavy basic to start with, they’re selling out, and if you live anywhere where it gets cold like NYC, your outerwear is often all anyone sees of you for months on end, so your coat(s) deserve attention and investment. Most of my winter coats are somewhat fitted and don’t allow room for bulkier sweaters. This year, I am making purchasing a longer, looser style a priority. I have ordered the Toteme Annecy coat (they had this coat last year too, which is part of their strategy of creating classic basics–something I LOVE). The Row version is equally gorgeous (and a more serious investment). Then I imagined the pieces I’d wear with a longer coat and return to again and again if I was going to run out the door and wanted to still look pulled together, which would include jeans or leggings, a cashmere tee or oversized sweater and flats.
**An aside, be PICKY when choosing long term items like a coat. I’ve wanted a looser coat for a few years, but couldn’t find one I loved and then last year, gave other items priority. I promise you can usually live without something longer than you think (my Prada down coat which I am finally laying to rest this year, I have used every winter for 20 years). But if you keep feeling a need for it, then seek out one that feels worth it.
Toteme coat, $1100 (also available in gray and black), Toteme sweater, $550; The Row loafers, $795; Re/Done Originals jeans, $265; Veja sneakers, $150; Joseph cashmere tee, $335; Toteme leggings, $195; Khaite tote, $1800; The Row coat, $3350.