Less Is More: 8 High-End Pieces That Can Makeover Your Wardrobe

Celebrity stylist Joe Zee says these are the clothes to splurge on.

— -- intro:As the fashion goddess Coco Chanel used to say –- less is more.

And these days, it's never been truer.

Fashion industry experts say more and more consumers are buying more high-quality clothes than ever before, spending an average of $900 annually in high-end fashion and investing in what the industry calls "accessible luxury."

A new crop of designers, such as Rebecca Minkoff, are paying attention, keeping their prices anywhere from $200 to $500 per item and catering to customers looking to upgrade their closets with better quality staples.

"It doesn't have to break the bank," Minkoff said. "We focus on the cut and the fit a little bit more than someone who is churning out massive amounts of units and that alone makes a difference."

Joe Zee, one of the top stylists in the country, has recreated fashion at Elle magazine and is now editor-in-chief of Yahoo's fashion site. He says most consumers are starting to buy "investment pieces."

"Spending a little bit more, but having a little bit less," Zee said. "We in the industry, we like to call it 'a return to luxury.'"

A woman's closet, Zee said, should be 70 percent staples and 30 percent trendy, and often the problem people have is not that they have "nothing to wear," it's that they actually have too much.

"Having more doesn't solve the problem of having nothing to wear, that actually compounds it," he said.

Below, Zee lays out the eight investment pieces he said every woman should splurge on for their closets.

"The investment pieces will last forever," Zee said. "Those are the things that never change, as long as I have been in fashion, which is two decades plus."

quicklist:1 title:Black Dress text:

quicklist:2 title:Nice Blouse text:

quicklist:3 title:Fitted Jeans text:

quicklist:4 title:Trench Coat text:"Whenever a woman asks me, 'What is the one thing I need to have in my closet,' it doesn’t matter who you are or what age you are or body size you are, I always say a trench coat," Zee said. "It works for every season. Good for work. Even over an evening dress."

quicklist:5 title:Cashmere Sweater text:"You can really tell inexpensive knits really quickly," he said. "You want a good quality cashmere. You want one that doesn't pill."

quicklist:6 title:Pencil Skirt text:"A pencil skirt is literally a must-have for every woman," Zee said. "[It] feels professional, feels feminine and feels strong."

quicklist:7 title: (and 8) Suit: Good-Fitting Trousers and Blazer text: "Styling doesn't have to be frustrating," Zee said. "Fashion doesn't have to be frustrating, if you have all those great pieces. It really all mixes and matches in a very organic way."