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Five Investments Worth Every Penny

I talk a lot about buying the very best that you can afford and using it for a lifetime–but how do you know if what you’re buying is good enough to actually last a lifetime? In a world of “planned obsolescence,” it seems as though fewer and fewer things are being built to last. I wanted to share my thoughts on five investment items I’ve either purchased myself or been given that have been a significant, but worthwhile, investment. Let me know your thoughts, and if you have something that you swear by! I’m posting this before Christmas in case you are contemplating any of these particular items as either a potential gift for someone you love–or for yourself! I hope you find this useful!

Le Creuset Dutch Oven, $230 – $570 depending on size*: I bought this Dutch oven* a year out of college during a sale at Le Creuset. It was a significant investment, especially at the time, where I was working several jobs and babysitting on top of that, but it has been worth it. I use this at least three times a week for everything, from sautéing something on the stove to baking something in the oven. You can pop it in the refrigerator. It gets only better with age–I’ve had this for nearly ten years now, and it’s truly one of the most-used pieces of cookware in our kitchen. Yes, it requires some care–for instance, do NOT use metal utensils!–but it’s truly an heirloom piece that will last your lifetime and most likely the next generation’s as well.

Hudson’s Bay Blanket, $400 – $550 depending on size: After years of absconding with my father’s, my parents bought me this blanket after graduating from high school. Not only mine, which is more than a decade old, held up well; my father’s, which is at least forty-five years old, has too. It’s a very heavy blanket, but very warm, and only gets better with age. This also requires careful treatment when it needs to be cleaned (they recommend dry-clean only, but you can spot-clean, and I like using the Laundress’s products). Periodically I spray with the Laundress’s wool and cashmere spray to keep it fresh! But this is a rugged, tough blanket that will last forever with proper care.

Barbour Bedale, $395*: So this is cheating, I suppose, as this is very vintage (my mother bought this about twenty-five years ago), but with the proper care, Barbours do last a lifetime. The one I was given for my twenty-first birthday from my grandfather is ten years old and still in perfect shape after its yearly rewaxing (a guide on rewaxing your jackets is here!) These jackets will take a beating, and if necessary, can be repaired at the Barbour factory.

Belgian Shoes, $500: While I recently bought my first pair of Belgians, my grandmother had a large collection and hers lasted forever. I feel confident in recommending these as a long-lasting investment. At $500, the cost is steep, but the shoes are handmade and extremely comfortable. Immediately after receiving my first pair, I wore them for what ended up being a day I walked four miles, and there was no pain and no blisters–a miracle! The shoes have held up extremely well during several other long treks, and I know that with regular resoling, they’ll be in my closet forever.

Kiki Jacket, Ann Mashburn, $550: I’ve spoken about this jacket here–and posted about it several times on Instagram–because it’s certainly one of my wardrobe heroines! The tweed is made at the same factory as Chanel’s, and the cropped silhouette is very flattering and chic. The jacket instantly elevates any outfit, and the quality is exceptional!

What are your best investments?

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19 thoughts on “Five Investments Worth Every Penny

  1. Ann Mashburn can do no wrong. If I could just live in her store, I absolutely would.

    This post is timely, because I was actually going to ask if you have any investment handbag recs? 2022 will be my first year working for myself full-time, and I’d like to save for an end of year “bonus” to celebrate.

    1. Completely agree! And I essentially lived in her Georgetown store because it was on my way home from work 😀

      I actually do NOT have any investment handbag recommendations!! That’s something I’m searching for myself. I use a Longchamp every day that I’m out and about, or a Boat & Tote if I’m with my toddler. I do have a stunning chocolate suede Gucci shoulder bag I’m obsessed with, but it’s super vintage (I think thirty years old at least, a gift from my godmother!) I have my eye on Mark Cross. Since the label isn’t prominent, that’s a huge plus, and their quality is really, really, really fantastic. My mom had a lot of Mark Cross luggage, which sadly my sister absconded with! It held up really well. Keep me posted on your search and let’s compare notes!!

      1. Have your Longchamps held up well? I’m not someone who’s hard on their possessions, but the three I’ve had all but deteriorated with normal use. Maybe I need to go vintage? And YES to the Boat & Tote. I bought one for my daughter that we currently use as a diaper bag, but I’m hoping she’ll be able to use it herself once she’s older.

        Re: Gucci—that’s actually the brand I’ve had my eye on, specifically their Jackie 1961 suite in leather. Mark Cross though… is so beautiful. I was going to link my faves but there’s too many! And the resale prices are confusingly reasonable?

        1. I have found that Longchamp Le Pliage bags do tend to fray at the corners, and the fabric can sometimes “bubble.” I’m not sure if they still do this, but Longchamp stores used to repair frayed bag corners free of charge.

        2. Mine have! My newest one is maybe twelve years old though, so perhaps the older ones are better quality. I also don’t leave a lot of things loose in the bag–they are stuffed with pouches to keep everything organized, and that may help with the corners staying intact.

          I’m not sure how I feel about Gucci now, though I love my bag (it has no visible logo; only the lining has the logo.) With the new House of Gucci movie I feel sure it will be everywhere if it isn’t already. The Jackie bag is a classic, though, but it is definitely more formal. I’d try to find a vintage one if you’re on the hunt for that specific style–TheRealReal and Vestaire Collective are always good places to check out 🙂

          Yes, Mark Cross is very reasonable and the quality is amazing. I also love that you can browse vintage pieces directly from them, which have been authenticated: https://www.markcross.com/collections/all-vintage It’s not a “fashionable” brand and really hasn’t been ever. They are one of those “if you know, you know” brands, which is why I really love them.

          1. So much great intel! I love talking to fellow product people. It’s interesting because I didn’t get overly formal vibes from the Jackie—definitely very polished though for sure. Either way, I definitely need to expand my knowledge of luxury brands.

            I love that Mark Cross has a vintage section—they totally know their audience. I’ve been looking at their bags all day and just can’t get enough. Thank you for the rec!

          2. @Quincy: I guess I’d say more formal in the sense of I’d use the Jackie on a day I had a lot of business meetings, or a lunch/dinner at a private club. Definitely NOT for a black tie event (no leather handbags!)

            I love that they do, too! And also Etsy has a great selection of vintage Mark Cross. Fun fact: Gerald Murphy, whose family started Mark Cross, was the inspiration for Dick Diver in Fitzgerald’s novel Tender is the Night. He and his wife, Sara, are big inspirations for me!

  2. With slight reluctance, I would say any pair of Stubbs and Wootton. One word of caution: when assessing my collection (my favorite pair are over 20 years old!), I noticed my recent pair has thinning spots/holes through the needlepoint. Sadly, unlike resoling, this can’t be repaired. When examining these comfortable, chic beauties against one another, I realized why the “newer” pair (10 years old?) has worn more: they aren’t lined with leather anymore. This is a travesty! All that said, like the Belgians shoes you mentioned, these are wear out of the store comfortable and an IYKYK item: no blinging logos, but those who know … know!

    1. I would too, but I have noticed that! Please everyone and their brother seems to be wearing Stubbs now… they’re getting a bit too mainstream. And some of their slogans on their shoes are really gauche!

      1. Agreed on the logos. I only buy (if I do again?) the needlepoints.

        Ann Mashburn has a stunning pair of shoes with Liberty fabric. They are on my list!

  3. In addition to Le Creuset, Staub and Mauviel for cookware. For everyday dishes, I love Burleigh and have found them to be very durable. For vases and glassware, Blenko Glass water bottles (these make great everyday vases) and Simon Pearce.

    Haws watering cans for both outdoor gardening and houseplants.

    For sleepwear, I love Bonsoir London pyjamas and silk eye masks, nightgowns from The Sleep Shirt, and slippers from either Quoddy or Draper of Glastonbury (available from O’Connell’s).

    Le Chameau Chasseur boots are also well worth it – mine were purchased in 2006 and are still going strong.

    1. Mauviel is my absolute dream kitchen brand–my aunt has a large collection and truly all their pieces are so easy to cook with! Thank you so much for the everyday recommendations–I’m still trying to decide what will be our go-to “everyday” dishes and glassware, so I will check these out! I love Simon Pearce. My parents have a large collection of their glass icicle ornaments, which I love.

      My gardening skills leave… something to be desired, haha, even after spending literally days of my life in the Dumbarton Oaks gardens speaking with their gardeners and studying the plants! But I’m hoping to improve, and my mother-in-law and toddler both love to garden, so that’s something good to keep in mind for the future 🙂

      Great recommendations for sleepwear–I take sleep VERY seriously so I’m going to check these out!

      And I have had my eye on those boots for literally a decade? Maybe 15 years?! So that’s on my wishlist for my birthday 🙂

  4. Off the top of my head, LC Tagine (admittedly I have not used it in a while), garlic press, and Zwillings/Henckel santoku knife. In terms of clothing/accessories, quality (and crap) can be found at all price points. I look more at the fabric content.

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