Sustainability has become an increasingly important factor to consider when we are making good fashion choices. According to experts, we should be aiming to wear a piece of clothing, or an accessory at least 30 times, rather than jumping on the wear-it-once, fast-fashion train.
It was an interesting challenge to apply to my own wardrobe, so I did a quick audit to see which key pieces have stood the test of time and why.
- Jeans don’t need to be expensive; they just need to fit beautifully.
A flattering, comfortable pair of blue jeans can be worn hundreds of times, often getting better as they get older and more faded.They are still my go-to most days, they feel a bit youthful and a bit cool and I intend to continue to happily wear them as I get older and more faded.
- A soft, dark-brown men’s cashmere sweater with a V-neck that I bought in a Marni outlet store about 15 years ago.I prefer men’s sweaters as the cut tends to be slightly longer, and roomier, and they don’t cling to every bump.I’ve worn this sweater with a pencil skirt and high heels, with evening trousers and diamond earrings, with jeans and sneakers, and on the couch in my track pants. I have lovingly hand-washed it for all these years and it has never pilled.
It has also escaped moths and silverfish, no doubt because I wear it so frequently. It’s hard to chew on a moving target.
- A mid-calf, teal-blue column dress with a boat neck and three- quarter sleeves by Dries Van Noten bought in Paris in 2009. The simplicity of the drape and the cut has meant I can wear it in the boardroom, to a lunch, a cocktail party, or a wedding, and always look appropriate. And the beautiful blue shade always makes me happy.
- A floppy, long-line, khaki, silk DKNY trench coat I bought on my very first trip to New York 26 years ago. I wore it to a cocktail party just last Wednesday over silk pyjama pants, a T-shirt and sandals.
It is one of the most chic, and useful things I have ever owned – thrown over anything it instantly makes me feel pulled together.
- A divine black, wool, 50’s-style swing jacket, with leopard cuffs and collar, again by Dries Van Noten, bought at a 75 per cent off sale in Barneys Beverly Hills two years ago. It is on the first part of its journey, but I intend to be still be wearing in thirty years time, with a red lip, comfortable shoes and my wig tilting a bit sideways.
- An unstructured navy wool Emporio Armani overcoat with raglan sleeves I bought at a press sale in 1990. It still looks perfect today, worn with a simple sweater, jean and white trainers, in the classic style of Mr Armani himself.There’s a common denominator to all these items – quality fabrics.While the initial price tag may be daunting, buying quality clearly makes the best financial sense in the end. Plus you’ll look fabulous along the way.