It is a truth universally acknowledged that investing in quality for core wardrobe basics is a strategy that pays off. Yet there are items I never manage to convince myself to fork out seemingly extortionate prices for. Perfect jeans - fine, I know only too well what a rare breed they are. Great shoes, great dresses, a lovely jacket or coat, no problem. But some items - like scarves, for example - I have just never seen the added value.
Encouraged by my boyfriend, I bought a black scarf in the spring sales in Italy, for the sum total of 40 Euros. I know, not exactly a bank-breaker, but 40 Euros for a simple black scarf?
Over the summer it sat in my room patiently and each time I looked at it I thought hmmm, mistake, why did I let myself be persuaded?
Then autumn came. And with it went my doubts.
I would never have thought a super simple accessory could be such a game changer. Suddenly I have an item that makes me look polished in an instant. The scarf is simple, no pattern, no special texture, of medium weight, no frills, nothing special. Except the quality. It is a silk mix from an under-the-radar Italian cashmere brand: supersoft, light yet somehow substantial. And every time I put it on, whatever I wear it with, it makes me look classy, sophisticated, refined and, somehow, an adult. But not in a pretentious way. Not scruffy, yet not stuffy.
It works with all black without turning me into a black widow.
It elevates a biker jeans, sneakers and leather jacket look into smart territory.
Call me infatuated but I am convinced it even smoothes out my frizzy hair.
Somehow, it just hangs the right way, in a non-creasing, sophisticated way, in a way that somehow says 'I may be black and simple but you look at me and see elegance and feel peace and in no way boredom. Just silky, cashmere-y sophistication.'
Money well spent, after all!
And this, I have understood, is the power of a quality accessory - especially of a basic one: that without shouting anything from the rooftops, it is capable of transforming an entire look by adding that necessary touch of class.
(May stock up.)
note the images below are for illustration only