Those gift cards are burning a hole in your pocket. All your urges say “Let’s go shopping!” “Four courses of fun tonight, baby!” or “This round’s on me!” I’m sure you want to give in to frittering all of it away on the next cool doodad or deluxe dinner experience, but don’t! Invest in something that will last you damn near forever instead.
These timeless pieces are gifts to yourself that will keep on being relevant long after your New Year’s hangover is (mercifully) gone.
A Nice Leather Handbag
Yes, I have spoken the gospel of a quality leather handbag before. It’s worth mentioning again. As much as Target is really trying to get your hard-earned holiday cash with their $20 incarnations of classic shapes, know that their materials will disintegrate before your very eyes, leaving you with a hole in your pocketbook to match the one in your heart. The goal of a splurge-worthy handbag is staying power—you want something classic, well made, and sized appropriately for all your daily doings.
Brands to try:
Michael Kors—a great resource for mid-priced investment bags ($200-$400). Folks that carry a Kors report that they last several years, looking good-as-new the whole time.
Mulberry—the British luxury brand is known for it’s beautiful Alexa bag, a shoulder satchel named for the fashion “It girl” Alexa Chung. This one is a doozy of a budget buster ($1,000+), but is said to last a lifetime without losing its luster.
Jeans That Really Fit
A cash and time investment, finding the perfect pair of jeans is, frankly, a pain-in-the-ass. Everybody searches for that “just right” pair, but most of us settle for “they kinda fit ” time and time again. Devote a day to trying on some fancy jeans and get yourself a pair that will make you feel good every time you slip them on.
Brands to try:
Not Your Daughter’s Jeans (NYJD)—despite the worst name in fashion, these jeans fit like a glove: stretchy in all the right places, comfortable, and very flattering.
J Brand—My sister swears by this high-end brand, and she’s normally a dress person. They are literally the only pants she owns.
Madewell—known for its quality denim and free alterations (for shorties).
Even in Houston (insert token too hot-and-humid reference here), a pair of cool boots will give you years of mileage if you treat them right. A pair of black leather ankle boots are guaranteed to stay in style year after year and go with most of the things you already own. Investment boots can be a bit steep (usually around $400+ for a higher end pair), but will last much longer than anything from Steve Madden or Nine West.
Brands to try:
Acne—the brand’s Pistol Boots are just high enough to look damn sexy in with a dress, but low enough to keep you from being barefoot in a parking lot by the end of the night. Unless you’re in to that sort of thing. Weirdo.
Rag & Bone—the celebrity-favorite Harrow, Newberry and Durham boots are classic, comfortable, and perfect for folks looking for a little edgier look.