Based in New York city, The philosophy of dress is a blog dedicated to smart style inspiration by Britt Erb

The problem with investment pieces

The problem with investment pieces

I’ve come to terms with the fact that I no longer love wearing long skirts. I look at my closet at the rack of dresses and skirts—of silk, of wool, leather and pleated cotton jersey—one’s which I was certain I would wear forever, ones which I deemed investment pieces in an effort to reconcile the price tag with a minimal cost per wear given longevity of the life I was certain it would have.   

And I feel I am not alone in making such reconciliations. The investment piece is as much a political statement as it is an aesthetic choice, one rooted in quality and minimalism over garishness and disposability. 

And yet the very practical snag inherent in this line of thinking often manifests itself with a closet full of pieces that are no longer wearable for one reason or another.  We change jobs and suddenly the new office is replete with joggers and supergas, and we find ourselves glaringly out of place in shift dresses and ballet flats that was part and parcel of another office culture. Or, we gain 20lbs and suddenly knee length dresses border on outright inappropriate instead of innocently cute.  Or simply we tire of the pieces we own. 

It is far from the classic “it isn’t you, it’s me” which implies that the beauty of such pieces remains in tact, while it is its owner who changes. In truth, the skirts which I no longer want to wear have undergone a sort of metamorphoses, too. It seems impossible to find them beautiful, even in an objective sense since the person who once did the coveting is no longer there.

What we come to value is not a question of hard lined objectivity, but rather something inexplicably personal and subjective.   And so we tailor our closets in accordance with our tastes, with who we believe ourselves to be and how we wish to be perceived. 

The inevitability of change, the flimsiness of our projected certainties—these are at the crux of the problem with investment pieces. In some respect, we tailor our closets with the notion and the hope that tomorrow, we’ll be much different than we were today.  And having a wardrobe that reflects this ethos only supports us in our quotidian adventures.  

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