Understanding classic and unique clothing styles
Having a multipurpose wardrobe is essential for getting through all the roles you play in life. Plus, buying a new outfit for every occasion just isn’t practical, so you’ll want to have several pieces in your closet that can seamlessly transition your look from working woman to going out with the girls. When you’re well rounded, you’ll be proud of your unique style, and it’s easy to feel confident when you’re wearing looks that exude refinement.
So let’s look at some practical approaches to the perfect wardrobe for you.
Timeless Wardrobe, Classic Fashion
These types of outfits never go out of fashion, no matter what trends come and go throughout the decades. They’re built on a foundation of quality fabrics, expert fit and beautiful colors. Classic clothing outfits rarely show everything off. Instead, they fit and flatter without being matronly, skimming the body in comfortable ways while keeping you from feeling exposed.
Similarly, classic accessories tend to be understated. Instead of bright bangles and statement necklaces, women who adopt this style opt for sleek watches and a simple string of pearls. In essence, classic clothing style is all about balance. You’re never too colorful, too accessorized or too anything. Instead, every piece is versatile, flattering every body and matching every time period. The following are closet must haves for any woman who wants to embody the classic clothing style:
- A striped shirt: Whether you opt for short sleeve, quarter length or full length, a striped shirt is a classically casual option. Wear it with jeans on the weekend, or pair with black slacks and a gray blazer for a comfy work outfit.
- Ballet flats: With the right cushion, ballet flats are the perfect combination of comfy and chic. If you can’t find any supportive pairs, buy some inserts so you can wear these all day. Black is of course a classic option (think movie star Audrey Hepburn), but beige and tan work well, too.
- A white button-down shirt: There’s a reason you can always find a white button down in practically any store. These shirts are truly timeless, retaining the same structure throughout the decades. Chances are, people will still wear white button downs 200 years into the future. Once you’ve got your white button down, feel free to expand with other colors. In fact, delve into spring hues as the weather warms up to bring some brightness to the office!
- Jeans that fit perfectly: There’s no law saying classic can’t also be casual. While bell bottoms, high-waisted and skinny jeans might be trendy on occasion, straight leg and bootcut have withstood the test of time.
- A neutral cardigan: When the air gets a bit chilly, a cardigan will help you keep warm without sacrificing your classic style. Choose one in a neutral color (with an understated pattern, if you wish) to make sure it matches everything.
- A little black dress: Every single woman needs a little black dress. This is arguably the most classic, versatile outfit in the world – perfect for work events, parties and last-minute engagements when you simply don’t know what to wear. To keep yours in style, opt for a slim or A-line cut with thicker straps and a higher neckline.
- A fitted suit: Few things are more professional than classic suits for ladies. While many people think of the iconic Chanel suit silhouette, women these days have all manner of options. You can choose a traditional skirt suit set, or opt for wide leg or cigarette pants.
- A pearl necklace and earrings: If you need some go-to jewelry, pearls are your best bet. And you don’t have to splurge on an expensive pair – plenty of necklaces are made with beads covered in a pearlescent gloss that looks just like the real thing.
One great aspect of classic clothing is that you can wear one or two things that are trendy without ruining the look. If giant hoop earrings are your thing, pair them with flats and an LBD. Obsessed with glittery pumps? Wear them with a pair of slim, navy slacks and a white button down.
But if you’re ready to broaden your choices and be a little more adventurous, here’s some fashion help with . . .
Livening Up Your Wardrobe
- Versatile Blouses: Whether you tuck a silk or chiffon blouse top into a pencil skirt or pair it with a professional pair of slacks, blouses are a staple in workplace wardrobes. Luckily, this office classic can be dressed up for a weekend look as well. Jeans and heels will easily turn the formal tone of this clothing piece into weekend-ready garb. When the weather is still warm, roll up the sleeves on the top and wear it with shorts and sandal wedges. While it gets cooler, wear your top beneath a denim or moto-style jacket with skinny jeans and some high heeled boots. Or relax the look of a blouse even more by pairing it with a maxi skirt. Not only will the flowing style get you in the mood for carefree Saturday afternoons, but the length of the skirt will provide extra warmth on those chillier days, making it the perfect item for fall.
- Dresses Anywhere: Dresses of any style are especially convenient because the entire outfit is hosted in one clothing item, making getting ready in the morning a breeze. With the right fashion accessories, you can transition it from work to weekend in a snap. Take off the office heels and slip into a pair of fall boots for a comfier, instant fashion-forward and casual look. A fun and flirty scarf will keep you warm and instantly make your ensemble more relaxed. Shift dresses have become synonymous with office wear, but you can opt for strappy sandals or flats as the weather warms up. Don’t hesitate to let your hair down and wear some of your bolder accessories – especially if you keep it conservative at the office! This look is perfect for grabbing a coffee with your friends, a drink with your spouse, or a trip to the farmers’ market.
- Jackets & Blazers: Jackets, blazers, cardigans and shrugs can easily change the look of your ensemble. For example, you can wear tank tops or blouses each day of the week and create versatility with the top layer. For a more casual vibe, wear your cardigan with a pair of light-wash jeans. The straight edges and defined outline of a blazer give the look an edgy, fashion-forward vibe, so wear it with jeans and a pair of pumps for a dinner date or a night on the town. And that power blazer jacket you spent so much money on? Spring is the ultimate time to work this piece into your weekend wardrobe. As opposed to wearing your blazer with a blouse and dress slacks, try a pair of cropped pants, strappy heels and a V-neck tee for the weekend. This will give you an effortless, yet put-together look.
- Jewelry Accents: Instead of draping colorful jewelry over your finely tailored skirt suit, go with metallic options such as silver, gold or bronze. Additionally, make sure they don’t overwhelm your shape. That is, you can wear a long dangling necklace as long as the chain is relatively thin and it’s not adorned with more than one bulky pendants.
- Classy Footwear: Sometimes, you just don’t feel like teetering on heels all day – which is why women’s oxfords are such a gift to the fashion world. You can wear these versatile shoes with just about any outfit. Though they look great with jeans, it’s possible that the best way to dress up a pair of shorts is with oxfords and a tailored button-down.
- Patterns: It’s OK to have a lot going on with an outfit pattern-wise. Try to stick to wearing various shades of one color palette so everything works together. Pair a patterned light gray shirt with a darker shade chunky cable knit sweater and the two balance each other out. It also helps to have one solid-colored piece to ground an outfit full of patterns. Add your favorite pair of solid gray trousers and some leather shoes to complete the outfit. Bold colors can help to pull a pattern-heavy outfit together. Pick a color that is part of your patterns and wear a non-patterned piece of clothing in that particular hue. Maybe you have a tweed blazer with a hint of magenta in it. Pair the blazer with a solid-colored magenta shirt underneath and a skirt that has a hint of pink as well. The bold solid item will pull together the other patterns.
- Rich, Dark Colors: Purple has long been associated with royalty, and wearing this shade can help you achieve a rich, luxurious look. Go with the fall color aubergine to effectively incorporate purple in an on-trend way. Aubergine is a dark, eggplant purple, and we have tons of clothes featuring this gorgeous shade. Wear this sophisticated color to work with a V-neck aubergine blouse and black dress pants or a pencil skirt. The neutral bottoms automatically coordinate with your bold top, and the shade will instantly boost your confidence level. Pair it with a black professional jacket to keep warm in an air-conditioned office. Wear darker shades under lighter ones for a slimming effect. Try a navy cardigan under a light gray jacket with a black or dark red pencil skirt. The skirt will allow the layers up top to lie flat, adding to the thinning effect.
- Textures: Especially as the weather gets colder, don’t forget to include your coat when considering your outfit. Try a mixed-material jacket to add some unexpected texture to your chic going-out outfit. If you tend to wear a wool peacoat to every occasion, mix it up with the leather jacket that’s hidden in your closet. The unexpected texture will add some excitement to your look and your day.
- Weights: Summer clothing doesn’t need to be put away for fall so long as it is worn with warmer layers on top. That trenchcoat you bought for quick summer rains is easily transitioned to winterwear with the addition of a thick cardigan and a scarf. Those ballet flats that were on sale at the end of the season can be worn into the winter so long as you wear weather-appropriate shoes for the commute.
- Self Confidence: Remember, just because you haven’t tried that cardigan with a fun print or those burgundy jeans with that top doesn’t mean you can’t give it a go! Spend some time rearranging your perceptions of which items in your closet work together for you and which don’t. Even a T-shirt and jeans can look elegant on a woman who carries herself well. So the best-sophisticated look of all is your own sense of confidence.