10 French Investment Wardrobe Pieces for Your Closet

I often get asked, what do I really spend money on in my closet? What are the French investment wardrobe pieces worth splurging on? Today I’m going to share what I don’t mind spending extra on when building my French wardrobe.

I’ve been a big fan of French girl style for as long as I can remember. I spent time in France as a child and moved here to Paris about two years ago as an adult. It’s opened me up to a whole new world of sartorial endeavors!

How to Decide What’s Worth Investing In

Now, how do I decide what’s worth investing in and what’s not? I personally ask myself a few key questions: 

  • Is it high quality? I try to only invest in pieces that I know are high quality and well made. If not, what’s the point? This includes the fabric. Is it made of a high quality fabric like wool, cashmere, cotton, silk, or linen?
  • Will it last a long time? If I’m going to invest, it must be something that will last a long time. 
  • Will I be happy to pass this down to my children? I want to invest in pieces that I will be proud to pass along to my daughter or granddaughter one day.
  • Does it have historical significance? If a piece has been popular throughout the decades, was worn by a historical style icon, or was featured in an old movie, then I’m much more likely to invest in it! 
  • Can I get something really similar elsewhere for less? I like to invest in items that are very difficult to find elsewhere. If a very similar item is available for comparable quality at a lower price, I won’t invest in the more expensive designer version. 
  • Does it bring me happiness? The last question I ask myself is to make sure it brings me joy and confidence when I wear it! 

Investment Wardrobe Pieces

Keeping these questions in mind, here are the investment pieces I spend more money than usual on for my wardrobe.

Little Black Dress

The little black dress is a great first French wardrobe investment piece. This piece is extremely versatile and can be styled up or down depending on your needs. It can go from work to cocktail hour to dinner with ease. A little black dress can feel fresh each time you wear it by styling it with different accessories. This is definitely one dress I would be happy to splurge on! I’d go with a Givenchy black dress reminiscent of the one Audrey Hepburn wore in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Black Blazer 

A well-cut black blazer by a French designer like Yves Saint Laurent is another great investment wardrobe piece. YSL’s iconic Le Smoking jacket is coveted by women to this day. A good black blazer can be used at work and during the evening. If a day-to-night blazer isn’t a great investment, then what is?

Black Slip Skirt

A black silk slip skirt is a piece I have no problem shelling out money for. Silk is one of my favorite clothing materials and you can’t go wrong with a black skirt for so many occasions. Wear it with different tops to keep your look fresh and chic. The Anine Bing bar skirt is fabulous.

Trench Coat

A crisp, cotton trench coat is a worthy investment wardrobe piece. The thicker cotton is a must to pull off this look well. Trust me, once you feel the difference between a cheaply made trench coat and a quality one, you’ll know what I mean! 

Black Swimsuit

A simple black swimsuit that will last a lifetime is a great wardrobe pick. Grab it and go the next time you plan a last-minute vacation! The Les Essentiels line by French luxury swimwear brand Eres is a great place to look. I love the Aquarelle swimsuit.

Black Pants

Investing in well-tailored black pants is a wise wardrobe decision. This is another piece that will take you from day to evening.

Workwear Suit

A blazer and pants set is always a good investment. A workwear suit can be worn to interviews, important meetings, and presentations. 

Button-Up Shirt

A white button-up shirt made of thick cotton will serve you well year-round. I have a beautiful white Oxford shirt by Figaret. I definitely notice a difference between it and the cheaper Banana Republic button-ups I wore when I was first starting to build my wardrobe. If you can invest in a well-tailored shirt, then definitely do! 

A Black Coat

A high-quality wool black coat is a good investment for your French wardrobe. I recently invested in a 100% wool Corrèges long black coat for winter. I don’t use it during the day, but only at night when I’m going out to dinner or drinks. It’s a beautiful French evening coat that I’m happy to own.

Wool Wrap Coat

A quality wool wrap coat by a brand like Max Mara is a fantastic wardrobe investment, especially if you live in a cold climate. I’d go with a beige or camel color, depending on your skin tone and color preferences.

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