Your best fashion investments aren’t those classic favourites such as a timeless LBD (little black dress) or tailored suit. Yes, they’re essential and a good investment but they aren’t the ones that (thank you, Marie Kondo) spark joy. The truly best investments are the pieces that express your style and that you never get tired of. They are the outstanding pieces that you reach for over and over, and become recognized as your signature style. I don’t know about you but I don’t want to be thought of as a tailored suit … My style? 100% interesting light knee-length coats in a variety of textures and patterns. I buy most of them on sale, but if I spot a really good one, I snap it up regardless. 

Topper, Smythe. Tuque, Roots. Hoodie, Uniqlo. Bag, Anya Hindmarch. Leggings, Adidas. Sneakers, Vejas. Sunglasses, BonLook.

I really noticed how much I’ve worn certain pieces of clothing over the past year – during the pandemic when I’ve been working from home and venturing out infrequently. My wardrobe has suddenly shifted to casual activewear BUT not at the expense of my favourite signature piece – a patterned topper. I have more than (ahem) a dozen but I just bought this one by my friends Andrea and Christie at Smythe. I didn’t have a basic black and white one – and yes, animal patterns are a classic basic to me – and have had my eye on this one for a while. These days, I’m wearing it with my casual gear. When I go back to dressing up, it will look super chic with skinny trousers and heels, or a black dress and patent boots.

TIP: Don’t save your best investments for special occasions. As the pandemic proved, we haven’t had any of those in the past year. I wear my favourite toppers everywhere – grocery shopping, and even when walking the dog. The key is the styling – add a hoodie and a cotton scarf. Slip into sneakers. Just wear it!

Topper, Dries van Noten. Hoodie and jeans, J Crew. Shoes, Gucci.

I hadn’t worn this Dries van Noten topper in a while. I love how the casual pink hoodie picks up the pink metallic pattern – and dresses it down. Adding wide leg jeans and my favourite Princeton Gucci slides are the perfect high / low mix. Why do I love these toppers? They express my creative side and go with everything in my wardrobe – weekend jeans to work dresses. The fit is easy and flattering. Throwing on one of these boldly patterned toppers elevates everything else – even if that’s just a hoodie, leggings and sneakers. 

Gucci Princeton slides

Don’t let anyone tell you that rose embroidered backless shoes are a waste of money! I bought these Gucci slides about four years ago. I was in between jobs so the investment was ridiculous but I wear them all the time. They’re super comfortable and look great with everything. 

Gucci crossbody bag

I don’t collect designer handbags. I invest in them carefully and then wear them forever like this Gucci logo print in a convenient crossbody size. It carries all of my essentials and looks better as the leather ages. This truly is a forever style that looks chic dressed up, and equally stylish with jeans and sneakers. 

Topper, Dries van Noten. Leopard hoodie. The Upside. Leggings, Zella. Handbag, Gucci. Boots, Prada.

And here’s that Gucci bag with my newest Dries van Noten coat. I justified buying this one because it was in a lighter cotton blend and looser silhouette. Truth is I was obsessed with the green background and brown pattern that felt like the perfect match with all of my leopard print basics. 

Tip: When you buy a new piece, style it with as many of your favourite pieces as possible. Snap selfies and keep a styling file on your phone. You won’t think of it one way – ex. as a great work piece – but as a versatile item that flexes throughout your wardrobe. I’ve worn this green topper so many different ways around the clock.

Another Dries van Noten coat with a COS scarf and Chanel 2.55 handbag

And last but not least … this is the most “outrageous” of my Dries van Noten coats. I find it works best really dolled up as an evening coat, or totally dressed down with jeans and boots as I’m wearing it here. A cotton scarf in my favourite marigold yellow from COS (surprisingly versatile) and a super classic Chanel bag finish the look.