Back at university I wrote a monthly column for the student magazine with tips on how best to spend those precious pennies when it came to fashion. Being such a firm believer in curating a wardrobe of classics, rather than one of whimsical passing fashions, it made perfect sense for the column to adopt the name Investment SOS. Whilst my university days are now firmly in the past and I have segued into working life in London, the need to spend my money wisely is still very much apparent. As my pragmatic motivation still stands, so does my interest in seeking out the most timeless of pieces. The result?..the resurrection of Investment SOS. This time round, I will start off my tackling suede.
This season suede has fast become editors’, bloggers’ and stylists’ texture of choice, but the love affair with suede is not just a recent phenomena. Back in the Sixties, button-through shift dresses and skirts cut from coffee bean coloured hide made for the most covetable looks of the King’s Road, whilst shin-skimming panelled A-line skirts, Bonnie and Clyde flares and full-length coats showed suede’s persistence at staying both relevant and completely desirable in the Seventies. Fast-forward to 2014 and suede is still marching down the catwalk with the same defiance – in the guise of resurrected styles from the past with heavy referencing to bygone eras, as well as in the shape of entirely contemporary designs and concepts.
We need look no further than Ghesquière’s exquisite teal suede jackets with futuristic silver collar and zips galore, and the throwback of toffee-coloured patchwork suede at Saint Laurent SS15 to understand the extent of suede’s versatility at the hands of great designers. Proving to be punchy and on point regardless of which era the fashion time machine has transported, the timelessness of suede is undisputed. This lends perfectly to the very idea of it making the cut as an all-important investment piece for your wardrobe. After all, anything that is guaranteed to stand the test of time and pervade cyclic trends is something worth hedging your bets on.
This season high-end and high-street alike are offering a myriad of options when it comes to adorning oneself in suede. Skirts, dresses, jackets, trousers, shoes and tunics in various colours and with details spanning from fringing and tassels to studs and stitching resemble more of a motley crew than a pinpointed trend. But with no clear direction, how does one possibly choose between Marks & Spencer’s new pink coat of the season – a scrumptious midi skirt which has already found its way onto Alexa Chung – and Valentino’s fringed poncho?
With timelessness and trend-pervasion being just as much of a necessity for the garment as the fabric, classic shapes and silhouettes are probably the safest option when it comes to investing in suede. Whilst a plum coloured mini skirt might be great for a jaunt down Carnaby Street and after-hours dancing on tables, it may not be as easy to transition into the work-wear stratosphere or onto yourself aged fifty when thigh-grazing hemlines may not necessarily rate so highly on your agenda. Instead opt for longer A-line shapes (a well-cut skirt will turn heads when teamed with a roll-neck, or elevated with a great heel for the evening), or jacket-form (preferably one durable enough to survive a few decades of being slung over shoulders in the rain) – both are fail safe options.