Let me tell you about the biggest hazard of working here at The Mom Edit. It’s, hands-down, buying all.the.stuff that your colleagues make look SO freaking good. And thanks to the deep dive approach we take when it comes to evaluating fashion — the trends, the specific pieces, the price points, the whole nine — these purchases are usually pretty dang informed. Which means?
I keep most of the recommended pieces I buy.
Which is both a good and bad thing for my bottom line.
Good in that I’m buying pieces I know will last, both in terms of style and quality. And good in that these pieces are almost always stellar investments from a cost-per-wear perspective. Bad, well, because no matter how many pairs of $200 rag & bone jeans I buy — and no matter how much I will wear them — the bargain shopper in me still can’t resist also buying the $20 Gap jeans. I mean, I just have to know. What if they’re the deal of the century? What if they’re so good that I should be buying not just one wash…but two? I can’t help it, friends. I got it from my momma.
Two “Forever Closet” Pieces That Are Totally Worth It
But, while I could write a whole post on said $20 denim (spoiler alert: they’re good, and not just good for $20 — good, as in they’ll get at least as much wear as the denim that I’m slowwwwly getting back to discussing right…now), the point of this post is to talk about two investment pieces that have become seasonless staples in my closet:
Both are timeless, lasting pieces that are worth the upfront cost.
And — *shocker* — both happen to be pieces that Shana has been raving about all. freaking. along.
1) rag & bone Maya High-Rise Slim Jeans
(the not-quite-mom, not-quite-boyfriend…easy, trend-free, straight-leg jeans…phew!)
First up: the jeans. I’ve been a pretty die-hard fan of straight-leg jeans for a while. And no, this isn’t me trying to prove I’m not a millennial cliche. I’ve worn — and intend to keep wearing — my fair share of skinny jeans, too. But I also grew up with a mom who could spot a thrift store score from a mile away, and as such, I’ve been wearing secondhand Levi’s for the past 10 — maaaaybe 20? — years. AND as I’ve made abundantly clear, I’m also pretty hot for rag & bone denim. Their sizing has been more or less foolproof for my body type, and I find the quality to unsurpassed. If I’m going to pay upwards of $200 for denim, I want it to feel made for my body. And I want it to last.
Note: Oh wow, as we speak, this exact pair is on sale for $89 at Neiman’s, sizes are going fast.
So when S raved about these Maya High Rise Straight Leg jeans again and again, I took the bait. We have a fairly similar body type — she’s called it “aging ruler,” I think I’d go with “waistline wasteland,” but the bottom line is we’re pretty straight through the middle — and I loved how much the Mayas remind me of my beloved Levi’s 501s. A little slouchy, totally easygoing and classic. The kind of fit that goes from sneakers to heels and still feels really effortless. And rag & bone has the best washes. You get what you pay for in that respect.
Unsurprisingly, they’re great. I bought my true size (a 25, but I’m probably closer to a 26 right now, and I’m still making them work), and they were snug at first but broke-in pretty quickly. I did use Julieta’s trick to wet the areas that I wanted to stretch to contour to my body just a bit more, and now they’re downright perfect. They’re not quite mom jeans, not quite boyfriend jeans. Just a totally non-trendy jean that feels decidedly…on trend. Funny how that works.
Shop rag & bone Maya High-Rise Ankle Slim Jeans
So here’s the deal. The exact pair I’m wearing is the Maya High-Rise Ankle Slim in Aquarius, and it’s on super sale ($89!) at Neiman Marcus with free shipping and returns, sizes going fast. The Harper is a close second in terms of wash, but without distressing. Super classic. Your best bet is probably to nab them directly from rag & bone, where you can save 15% off with an email signup (they also offer free shipping and returns). If you’re diehard for Nordstrom, they’ve got the Harper wash, too — plus quite a few other washes (including this full-length lighter Raven wash — also at rag & bone if you’re chasing that 15% off email). Shopbop’s got this really cool, retro Resin Rinse wash (just add Chucks!), which I’m eyeing up next, also with free shipping and returns — ohhh, and an email sign-up discount. All of these, and more, are linked up below.
2) NAADAM Sustainable Cashmere Sweater
Is it worth it? Lemme work it…
(I put my…thang…down…flipitandreverseit…?)
I realize it’s May and I’m still extolling the virtues of cashmere, but hear me out. Around here, cashmere season is practically year-round. As I type this, the lows are still in the 40s, which means when we’re huddled ’round the fire pit at night, or if the fog rolls in while we’re on the beach, a sweater is but one of the layers I need to have handy. And it stays that way more or less through summer.
This is one of two sweaters I picked up around the holidays, motivated (again!) by S’s cashmere guide. (I just barely caught it on sale; it’s back up to full price now, but it’s also almost fully restocked, which is a pleasant surprise.) I chose the mockneck version, which isn’t nearly as mockneck-y as it sounds, and it’s the ideal mid-weight for seasonless wear. It has just enough loft to feel luxurious and warm without being bulky or heavy. I went with the navy because it was the closest I could get to my security color (black) — but I’ve revisited the site no less than 10 times since then to contemplate the marled brown or, swoooon, the fuschia, which is so out of my comfort zone but also exceptionally pretty.
(The other sweater I picked up at the same time was this wide sleeve v-neck — in, big surprise here, the black. I couldn’t bring myself to shell out for two of the heavier sweaters in one go, so this one is on the lighter side but not what I would call thin, and the drapey sleeves and swingy, boxy cut are surprisingly flattering. Just about the only thing it’s not good for is cooking or washing dishes since you can’t push the sleeves up. Unless you almost constantly have multiple hair bands on your wrists (guilty), and then you’re good to go with a little temporary cuff hack. I can’t count the number of compliments I’ve gotten on this one. One note: this one sheds a bit more than the other, so I avoid layering it over light colors if I intend to remove it later.)
Shop NAADAM Sustainable Cashmere
High-quality cashmere is slowly joining denim and leather jackets as one of the few items I’m willing to pay a premium for knowing it’ll have a lasting spot in my closet. And NAADAM’s cashmere is sustainable and cruelty-free, too. If you choose to invest in just one piece, I can’t recommend this mock neck sweater enough. It’s thick and lofty but not overly dense or warm — just shy of the really thick stuff NAADAM makes that retails for $100+ more. After months of wear, it’s held up beautifully. I haven’t even taken the ol’ lint shaver to it yet; I just hand-pick any little linty bits (no real pilling) and it genuinely looks like new.
Jeans (on sale, sizes going fast): rag & bone Maya High Rise Slim (Aquarius wash) // As elaborated on above, they’re not quite mom jeans, not quite boyfriend jeans. Just a totally non-trendy jean that feels decidedly…on trend. Fit is TTS. I’m between a 25 and 26 right now; the 26 probably would have been an easier fit out of the box, but the 25 has broken in beautifully (and I used Julieta’s trick to break them in in just a day). Lots more washes and retailers here.
Sweater: NAADAM Cashmere Ribbed Mockneck Sweater // One of my most-worn pieces of the last few months, and it’s held up beautifully. A little shedding, no pilling. Perfectly suited for three, maybe four seasons here in Northern California. Will be a part of my closet for years to come. Also in a pretty brown and a verrry tempting fuschia. Usually between an XS-S and sized up to S in both the NAADAM sweaters I own.
Bag (on sale): Rebecca Minkoff Feminista Tote // OK, I can’t resist. This Rebecca Minkoff Feminista tote might not be as timeless as they come, but it IS on sale (it’s been wavering between $50 and $75 — normally around $200) and is the perfect size for toting all the essentials — including a laptop or coloring books. Looking forward to it being a travel essential as the world reopens its doors.
Shoes: Vans Platform Slip-On Sneaker // These should have a post of their own, because they’re just as much a forever closet essential as the others. Classic, with the slight twist of a micro-platform. Honestly, they’re nearly indistinguishable from the originals, but I do love the little bit of lift. Like all Vans slip-ons, they are flattering on the leg, even with shorts, and these happen to work with my wide-legs and flares, too, since they have that tiny bit of height. Size down half.
Sunglasses: Le Specs Air Heart (also at Shopbop) // I’ve talked about these a bunch at this point, but they’ve been my go-to sunnies for a couple years now. The weight and quality of designer frames at a fraction of the price. They were completely out of stock for more than a year after Meghan Markle was spotted wearing them, and now they’ve been re-stocked at Nordstrom and Shopbop. No obnoxious logos; great price point.
I suppose it should come as no surprise to me that S wouldn’t steer us wrong, but I still had a little bit of a fist-shaking *dammit!* moment when I pulled on both of these pieces and realized just how spot-on she is when it comes to recommending timeless picks. And yes, even though those $20 jeans are still on hard repeat over here, my bargain-loving brain has made peace with investing in brands, fabrics and silhouettes that’ll see years of wear.
Like I said — hazard of the job.
Friends! Follow me on Instagram for more peeks into our life on the Northern California coast. And if you feel so inclined, pop over to my personal food + lifestyle blog, The Pig & Quill, where I share salty scribblings from my kitchen and home life. Byeeeeee!
Photos by Carolyn Stockman.