High-Low Fashion

Today we’re talking about one of the best things you can do to have a great wardrobe.  Sure, if we all had unlimited funds and could buy all the clothes we ever wanted, it would be easy for us to have amazing closets. But that’s not realistic for most of us and truthfully it isn’t that fun either.  We think the best wardrobes are built over time.  We are also practical and want to be thoughtful in our purchases while still having fun. 

So, what do we think is one of the secrets to having a great closet?  We call it the High/Low Effect.  What do we mean by this?  We are referring to having the right balance of more expensive staple pieces and less expensive trendier pieces.  We aren’t going to address what amount you should be spending on individual pieces because that will be different depending on your budget.  For some women $250 - $500 would be a great amount to spend on a staple item, but for others maybe $75 is the right amount or even $50.  Whatever your budget, when you are investing in a staple piece try to spend money, so you can get the best quality for your money.

We have always talked about what we believe to be essential pieces that every woman should have in her closet.  This post and this post talk even more in depth about these items. We’ve also included a link for our Essentials Shoes Post and Essential Necklaces. These pieces are a great starting point to determining what your “High” pieces might be.  You need to think about your lifestyle and what pieces you will wear for multiple seasons.   Your high pieces are the ones that are the foundation of your wardrobe and provide the perfect backdrop for your “Low” pieces.  If you’re a stay at home mom, maybe that means two of your pieces are great jeans and a pair of black pants that can work for day and evening.  If you work outside the home that might mean, two of your pieces are a great skirt and blouse that has some fabulous design detail on it (ruffle, great French cuffs).

Let’s look at a couple of examples with staple pieces so you can see that it pays to invest and how once you have done that it makes it easier to add in the less expensive pieces. You have a great pair of jeans that you have had for nearly two years.  You buy a new stylish top that you think might last you for one season.  You pair your new top with your jeans and a great jacket that you’ve had for three years.  So, now you’ve pulled a new outfit together with staple pieces and it’s still updated because you have your new fun top in the mix.  And if you want to dress the outfit up, you can always pair the top back with your staple black pants.

Here’s another example.  You buy a new pair of pants that are printed and seem a bit more memorable because of the print on them.  You didn’t invest a lot in them because you’re pretty sure you won’t want to wear them after this year.   If you have the right staples in your closet, you know that you can wear your go to blouse with them or for a more casual look your nicer t-shirt, with a sweater layered over if necessary.

As much as it pains us to spend money on key pieces, if you do it, you will be amazed at how much more mileage you can get out of your wardrobe.  You will have more possibilities with fewer pieces.  In the same way, if you have these “high” pieces, it makes it so much easier to work your less expensive “low” pieces into your wardrobe.  Too often, we buy the trendier, less expensive pieces, but we don’t have the right basics to go back with them. Then we are frustrated with our purchase and add other “low” pieces, but we never really seem to achieve that cohesive wardrobe. It takes some time to build your wardrobe, but once you do, you will be set for most any occasion!