What Constitutes A “Piece”?

6423c90b12bd3e865c6cb584b508965dYou know you have fashion problems when you find yourself sitting at a bar on a Friday night having a heated discussion over what constitutes a “piece” in your wardrobe. Welcome to my life.

Most people would define a “piece” in a wardrobe to be something straight out of the racks of Barneys. Chanel, YSL, Marc Jacobs … basically anything in the three to four to five to six digit price range. Me … well, I think that is a bunch of hogwash.

How do I define a “piece,” you ask? Well, it could be ANYTHING, really. The key to having a proper “piece”, whether you obtain it at Walmart or at Barneys, is how you take care of it. To give you an example, I’ve heard that people refer to Forever 21 clothing as “wear two times and toss.” Listen, if I’m spending money on a garment, no matter where I get it, I’m taking care of it, even if it is Forever 21, because it’s true, money doesn’t grow on trees, kids. And because of that mindset that I’m in, I have pieces from Forever 21 like, t-shirts, jeans, and jewelry that might be around four years old. I now call these pieces “F21 vintage.”

A “piece” is something timeless, something that stands out from the crowd, and something that is beautiful … much like a designer piece, except not always with the designer price tag. And if you find something like this at a discount store … Burlington Coat Factory, Marshalls, TJ Maxx, Forever 21, H&M, don’t just turn your nose up at it because you think it is a poor investment. With garments like this comes dedication. By deciding to not spend $1,000 on a sweater and instead spending $20 means you have to put in the work to make it last. It’s very simple … and clearly not something for the lazy people at heart.

I personally think you can find some of the most original and stand-out pieces at stores like Burlington Coat Factory and TJ Maxx instead of walking into a store like Express and getting the same thing every 20- or 30-something is wearing at the moment. So don’t think just because you don’t have designer labels hanging in your closet doesn’t mean you don’t own “pieces,” because you do. Just take care of them like they are your children by following these simple rules:

1. Dryers are the devil: I rarely dry anything. If you are trying to get the longest life span out of a cheap-ish piece, a clothes rack is your best friend. And if you are concerned that they will be stiff as a board by the time they dry, throw them in the dryer at the end to soften them up a bit. But seriously … down with dryers.

2. Hang with caution: I like everything to be hung up so I can see it instead of rummaging through drawers. But I’ve found that hangers aren’t always the best thing for shirts. This is how they can become deformed, hole-ridden, and can obtain the dreaded hanger-shaped shoulders. Hang wisely, my friends, hang wisely.

3. Treat your jewels like they were Cartier: Make sure your bling has a proper and safe home, not at the bottom of your handbag, with copious amounts of space for it to live and frolic so it doesn’t become a tangled mess with out jewels, or even worse, break. And for the love of Jesus … NEVER get them wet. Water is like God damn kryptonite to an inexpensive piece of jewelry.