"'Investment pieces' can mean anything from a good pair of jeans to a quality pair of shoes," says Shimon Ovadia.
"Things that you wear over and over, get better with age, and will always be in style. A tweed sports jacket or a leather bomber—for example—will look, fit and feel better over time. You can find a great denim jacket in a vintage shop for $5 that might have been made 25 years ago that's of better quality than the $500 version on Madison Ave."
Shimon and his twin brother Ariel have been working clothing since they were just ten years old. They helped ticket clothing items for the family business, which sold children's clothes. Ariel would often prick his finger with the tagging gun during the process—an early lesson that this business really does require some blood, sweat and tears.
Two summers ago, the twin brothers decided to pursue their dream of starting their own menswear label. Now, Ovadia & Sons is one of the most buzzed about brands on the web and have seen increased interest from shoppers and stores alike. Their clothing is by no means cheap. They adhere to their own strict standards of fabric and construction. Which means they know a thing or two about what makes a worthy investment piece, so when Valet. stopped by their Union Square workshop, we talked about what makes for a splurge-worthy piece.
The two subscribe to the school of thought that one should buy less, but buy better. Ariel suggests starting with quality basics. A well-fitting blue blazer or a double-breasted sport coat—the kind of piece that can be worn with a multitude of shirts and pants, dressed up and dressed down and will forever be in style. Only after you have all the basics covered, he says, can you start thinking about the special occasion pieces.
"I think the key is to first block out what people are telling you to buy in order to start building your wardrobe," says Shimon. "Get pieces that you'll get use out of—that Glen Plaid blazer with purple overcheck may be amazing, but how often are you gonna wear it? How versatile is it going to be in your wardrobe?"
The Ovadias have high standards and specific tastes when it comes to what they want to make, which means high-quality fabrics like cashmere and rugged-yet-refined leather for their outerwear. Combine that with precise tailoring and sturdy construction, and it can add up to a hefty price tag. However, Shimon is keen to point out that the customer is paying for this kind of attention-to-detail—that the price tag is attributed to a quality piece rather than a high-profile brand name.
"In our eyes our products aren't a 'splurge,' the price is justified in the product," says Shimon.
When it comes to items of lasting quality (read: expensive) that you plan on wearing for the next couple of years, you want to make sure it's something that speaks to your personal style. "Even before you start looking at individual pieces, you have to look at yourself," says Shimon. "You want to ask yourself 'What am I comfortable wearing,' because if you're not comfortable or it's not your style, you're never gonna look right."
Online at OvadiaandSons.com