Fashion glossies have kind of a skewed understanding of the word “investment.”

Or at least that’s what I think after years of thumbing through Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar and seeing statements like, “This black trapeze coat is a great investment piece,” or “These such and such [name of designer]s are a perfect investment shoe.”

I like the concept, actually, of “investing” money in a piece from which you will metaphorically profit by its endless wearability. In other words, it seems like sensible “investment piece” means something you can wear for seasons to come, for ever and ever: a simple black wool coat, a classic belted trench, a subtly sexy LBD.

But whenever I see the phrase in a glossy, it’s seldom used to describe a truly timeless coat or dress, but rather appears to circumvent the (self-aware?) writer’s embarrassment at suggesting to you, the consumer, with a straight face that you should in fact spend $2,500 on a pair of fucking shoes.

So I’m a little divided. I think the idea makes sense: spend a little more than usual on something that will never look out of fashion, something you will always use, something that will look smart at any age with myriad styling. But has “investment” been bastardized into a simple short-hand for “spend a shitload of money”?

Over to you.

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