2020, the start of a new decade — it has a resounding futuristic tone, doesn’t it? Like it has for most people, this turn of the decade has inspired me to take a fresh look at my wardrobe and how I’d like it to be curated. I no longer have a desire for trendy, wear-it-once, statement pieces that can only be styled a handful of ways. This year marks the start of creating an investment wardrobe that is stylish, yet pared-back, and filled (not to the brim) with clothing I can wear over and over again that doesn’t have a single-season shelf life. I’m aiming for elevated, but understated simplicity.
While it may seem like a good time to snap up those coats and boots at 70% off, I’m in an ahead of schedule spring cleaning mindset of sorts that has me hunting for timeless warm-weather staples that’ll last through the years. As I searched through every nook and cranny of Nashville, I took note of the outstanding stores for each investment-worthy category on my list.
There are two things that Imogene + Willie do better than most: t-shirts and denim (we’ll discuss the latter in a moment). While they are rather talented in the in-house, small-batch dyed graphic tee department, they also make a mean plain white and faded black tee. Dubbed “the drop tee” for women, this effortlessly chic and lived-in top features a slightly cropped hem for a more feminine silhouette, and will be the perfect match for any bottom you choose to pair it with. Don’t worry, there’s one for men, too. While you’re there, snag the “classic knit pocket tee” made with the same premium, American-made fabric. Three cheers for perfect t-shirts!
The Footwear Update
When it comes to shoes, let’s be honest, there isn’t really one pair that can do every job. Don’t worry, though, you’re talking to a resident shoe addict and I’ve tested more brands than I’d like to admit in this department (or more fitting, shoe salon). Below is a list of styles, and the brands that I think take the cake for each.
- Black Pumps: Jimmy Choo. Hands down. They’re comfortable, durable, and look top-notch. Available at Nordstrom.
- Sneakers: Golden Goose. They’ve already got that worn-in look, so the pressure of ruining a new pair of white sneakers is relieved. Available at H. Audrey or Golden Goose at The Mall at Green Hills.
- Flats: Chanel. A staple in any wardrobe. Need I say more? Available at Nordstrom.
Nearly every blazer or jacket I own once found UAL to be home before I brought it to mine. While it’s hard to say exactly what brands you’ll find on a given day or at a given location, I can tell you, it’s hard to leave empty-handed. Some of the brands I’ve managed to snag here? The Row, Chloe, Bottega Veneta, Altuzarra, Balenciaga, Gucci, Max Mara, Maison Margiela, and so many more. I can’t emphasize enough how much of a gem we’ve got here in Nashville with UAL, and they’ve just opened their fourth Music City location in 12th South.
Here’s where Imogene + Willie reenters. It would be nothing short of downright wrong to exclude them from this heading given denim is where I+W began. They make incredibly flattering cuts for both men and women, out of only the best American or Japanese selvage fabric. Outside of this local designer, MODA, a fellow 12th South resident, is home to a rather impressive denim bar that is certain to have a pair for every woman. From Etienne Marcel to Moussy, you’ll find unique denim brands you won’t find many other places in Nashville.
Without much searching at all, I quickly realized Hero is a matchless destination for investment trousers. For quite some time, I had been coveting a pair of relaxed velvet drawstring pants by ForteForte that Claudia, Hero’s owner, and curator, has in store, and after my 2020 wardrobe realization, I took the plunge. Upon browsing the remaining racks of the store though, I noticed just how many truly staple trousers there are in-store, by brands like Nanushka, Giada Forte, and Raquel Allegra. Claudia is inarguably one of the most stylish to inhabit Nashville, and she certainly won’t steer you wrong when it comes to investment-worthy pieces.
When paired with the right shoes and accessories, nearly any classic dress can be suitable for both day and night. The first store that comes to mind when it comes to pieces like this is the contemporary and effortlessly chic, Emmaline in downtown Franklin. The boutique is known for being both sophisticated and understated, which happen to be two very important qualities when searching for the ideal day-to-night dress. Whether you opt for a slip dress by Fifteen Twenty or something a bit more structured by IRO, it’s hard to go wrong in this highly curated store.