Luxury items: your $1,000 T-shirt, your $30,000 handbag; those $5,000 loafers, and the age-old debate over whether or not it’s all worth the sticker price. Let’s be honest: very often, prices are set by inflated brand identities rather than the quality – craftsmanship, concept, distribution, and supply – of an item itself. But not always. In the world of luxury goods, some really are worth the investment. You just have to know which ones, and why. Let’s take a look at a few that pull their weight, shall we?
Hermès scarves, $510
The signature Hermès scarf is first on the list — the brand has practically become synonymous with the word luxury. But what makes a scarf from Hermès worth the cost? Made in France of pure silk, Hermès scarves are issued in new colors and patterns each season, making the innately scarce accessories doubly collectable. Each one tells a story through its design, and this particular one represents the cycle of the seasons. Wear it around your neck, around your bag, or even as a top; when it comes to an iconic Hermès scarf, the options are endless. While they may be a bit pricey, they’re actually pretty reasonable compared to its leather goods…and nothing Hermès makes ever goes out of style.
Goyard Saint Louis bag, $1,890
Many designers aspire to create a pattern or print instantly synonymous with their brand but you can spot one of Goyard’s classic Saint Louis bags from a mile away: their piled-up dot pattern, with Goyard printed at intervals throughout, is unlike any other. But what justifies the price tag over other similar totes? To start, the brand has been hand-making luxury leather goods since 1792, so it know a thing or two about craftsmanship. Its bags are made from Goyardine canvas, a naturally coated cloth that is flexible, hard-wearing, and waterproof. Goyard bags started out as a technical revolution, and continue to be some of the longest lasting luxury pieces you can invest in.
Delvaux Brillant MM Surpiqué, $8,300
In business since 1829, Delveaux prides itself on being“the oldest fine leather goods house in the world,” so safe to say it long figured out how to perfect its craft. The brand mainly sticks to what it knows, which is exquisitely-made, classic leather goods with polished hardware and minimalist silhouettes with a bit of a twist: clean lines and bold hardware are consistent throughout Delveaux collections, and the contrasting stitching on this particular style sets it apart from other bags in a similar style. The real impact comes from its pristine craftsmanship, which ensures its bags will last you forever, even if worn daily. If you invest in a leather bag from Delvaux, you’ll never look at another handbag the same.
Loro Piana Parksville crewneck sweater, $1,900
Loro Piana is expensive for a reason. Its luxurious cashmere is some of the softest, most finely knit you can find on the market — this particular one is crafted from ultra-soft baby cashmere fibers sourced solely from the undercoats of baby Capra hircus goats that’re uniquely plush and warm. Loro Piana’s Parksville crewneck sweater is a classic in every way, from the silhouette to the color and, of course, the cashmere itself. Compare this to other mass-produced cashmeres sourced cheaply and thoughtless from ordinary goats, and you can understand why they just don’t hold up or wear the same way. Every piece from Loro Piana is designed specifically become a wardrobe staple, so when you factor in cost per wear it’s really a no-brainer.
Max Mara Teddy Bear Coat, $4,190
As the winter season settles in, we reach a point where all we want to do is wrap up in a cozy blanket. Max Mara’s iconic Teddy Bear Coat lets you do just that. The style has been a staple in the brand’s winter collections for years, worn by celebrities like Blake Lively and Emily Ratajkowski to name a few. But why Max Mara and not its vastly cheaper competitors? Artisanal craft. The brand weaves an alpaca wool on a silk base into a shaggy pile, each Teddy Bear Coat crafted in Italy using unique technology to create a faux fur unlike any other. The coat’s oversized fit is “a celebration of the opulent extravagance of this fabric,” Max Mara itself explains — with this much coverage you’re sure to stay warm all winter long.
Cartier Trinity Ring $1,960
The Cartier trinity ring simply adds a sense of effortless luxury to every look. This tri-color piece is made of three types of gold — white, rose, and yellow — so it truly does go with any other piece of everyday jewelry. Its balanced shape looks great on any finger, instantly granting a little glamor to a casual look, and will always be a classic piece. It’s also made entirely of solid gold, meaning it won’t tarnish with age and is fully waterproof.
The Burberry Trench, $2,590
A trench coat is quite possibly the most unanimously agreed-upon outerwear staple, and no one makes a trench better than Burberry. Its signature plaid lining is instantly recognizable without being over the top. Each trench from Burberry is made in the United Kingdom (Yorkshire, to be exact) from rain-resistant cotton gabardine, so a sudden shower won’t have you sprinting for cover. Side pockets, a back button vent and hook-and-eye closures make a Burberry trench as functional as it is chic.
The Row Eleni Shirt, $1,290
The magic of The Row is in how it imbues ordinary pieces —button-down shirts, chino pants, and loafers — and makes them feel not only luxurious but also distinct. A white shirt from The Row is not just another white button-down. Every seam is finished cleanly, the materials are expertly fabricated to improve with age, and silhouettes fit seamlessly into existing wardrobes while simultaneously standing out, which is what you get from a company founded by the Olsen twins. The focus is on classic silhouettes and high quality craftsmanship; the pieces are mostly oversized with clean lines. So, sure, you could get your button-downs from another brand and wear them for a season before they lose their luster… or you could invest in a piece from The Row that will wear the way that timeless pieces are meant to wear. The Olsen twins were mastering the concept of quiet luxury before it became mainstream, and an investment in one of their pieces is an investment into a sophisticated wardrobe.