It seems like lately everyone is throwing around the term “investment piece” when it comes to fashion. Is this just another one of the fashion industry’s ploys to make us spend more money? Not necessarily. If you think of your wardrobe as a recipe, “investment pieces” are the basic ingredients — the flour, water, eggs — that hold everything together. Purchasing “investment pieces” isn’t about spending more; it’s about spending smarter, by buying good quality basic wardrobe staples that you know you’ll wear again and again. For example, a classic camel-coloured wool coat is a great investment piece, while an über-trendy neon pink, designer mini-dress — not so much. Here are 10 must-have pieces that are well worth it, in dollars and sense.

1. Winter coat
It’s likely you’re going to spend at least half the year wearing a winter coat, so you might as well invest in one that is good quality and that you love. Look for a cashmere or wool blend in a classic cut like this military style Kate Middleton Coat (available at Sheinside)

2. Leather jacket
Whether you go for earthy brown suede or an edgy black motorcycle-inspired style like this one by Mackage (Aritzia), a leather jacket is a great wardrobe addition and works perfectly as a fall or spring coat. Wear it alone or with a sweater layered underneath, for a look that is stylish and chic.

3. Sunglasses
Spending a bit more on your sunglasses usually means you get better materials and a warranty that will cover repairs. Choose a classic style like these stunning shades by Tom Ford (Scoop NYC) that will surely make you feel, and look, like a superstar for seasons to come.

4. Classic trenchcoat
The basic trench coat never goes out of style. Come spring, a chic coat like this one by Panos Emporio (Nelly) is a piece you’ll enjoy year after year.

5. Black pumps
From business attire to a night out with the girls, you’ll always get a lot of fashion mileage out of a pair of sexy black pumps, like these ones by Jean Michel Cazabat (Eluxe). Buy the best quality you can afford and have the heels and soles repaired as needed.

6. Jeans
Everyone deserves to have at least one pair of jeans they feel totally sexy in. Higher quality denim tends to have a better fit and last longer, and you can’t go wrong with a pair chic of dark wash jeans. like these ones by 7 for All Mankind (Eluxe).

7. Handbag
Invest in a high quality leather (or leather alternative) handbag. Go for a neutral shade or a more daring, but surprisingly versatile, metallic shade, like this Marc by Marc Jacobs hobo bag (Shop Kitson).

8. Boots
Like your winter coat, you’re going to get a lot of wear out of a pair of boots. Whether you prefer heels or flats, a classic style like these tan riding boots by Tory Burch is a great addition to any footwear collection.

9. Fitted blazer
Tailored basics like blazers, trousers and pencil skirts are always a great investment because they can be easily dressed up or down. Go for basic black or lighten things up with a structured blazer in a pretty blush colour, like this one by Top Shop.

10. Signature accessory
Whether it’s a silver charm bracelet, a pair of pearl earrings or an Alexander McQueen skull ring, every woman should have at least one piece of jewellery that is special and beautiful to her. Consider this to be the icing on the top of the cake.

Simone PagetSimone Paget is a freelance writer and the author of Skinny Dip, a cheeky blog about love, sex, relationships and everything in between. When she’s not writing her heart out, she loves wandering around her city, large cup of coffee in hand, in search of the next great story.