The first thing that everyone should understand about fashion is that it turns in cycles. Styles that look good today will look good tomorrow … with a touch of something chic, of course. Stocking up on classic styles makes style sense – no matter what you “dress it up” with, the simple, impeccable style of some specific pieces will always work well.
Take a few minutes to flip through your own closet wardrobe. How many pieces are in there that are already “so five minutes ago”? If you take a look at these clothes, you’ll notice that they were dressed up with extras, or cut in lines that were a fab hit for about fifteen minutes. I notice that a lot of these are the ones I wear once or twice before gagging and wondering, “What was I thinking?” … not something that you want to have cramming your closet hangers.
Now, look specifically for the clothes that you’ve had for months – possibly years – and still wear whenever you get the chance. These are usually the simple sweaters, plain blouses, and well-made jeans that you couldn’t live without.
How can you make sure that your closet is filled with stuff you love, and not stuff you’ll regret spending your hard-earned pennies on? Keep reading.
Materials, Tailoring, and Dressing It Up
When you head to the store hoping to buy something new for your wardrobe, don’t pinch your pennies. Look for pieces that are well-made and in good fabrics. These will feel better, wear longer, and look better on you. Often, you can find a piece or two on the clearance rack that will cost the same as something at a discount store – but will last a lot longer and make you much happier.
Fabrics to keep your eye out for include textured microfibers, silk, cotton, linen, cashmere, and lightweight wool gabardine.
Once you’ve got that almost-perfect piece of clothing, go the extra mile to make sure that it fits right. If you need to, take your clothing to a tailor to have them altered to fit your frame properly – it’s well worth the extra money. When you’re at the store, if you have the hard decision between a shirt, for example, that almost fits right but is a bit too tight, and one that almost fits right but is too loose, go for the one that’s too loose and take it in to the tailor – they can do a lot more by taking fabric away than they can by trying to add inches to a piece of clothing.
Now, it’s time to dress your classic look up with a style that’s all your own. Flip through some fashion magazines and pinpoint pictures that contain styles similar to what’s currently in your closet. How can you emulate that look with what you already have? Some classics work perfect with untraditional additions – a leather jacket and leather pants with a classic cashmere sweater, for example, adds a touch of goth to your look without causing you to go haywire trying to purchase all the pieces … some of which you might not like in a month.
Ten Classic Clothes You Can’t Do Without
If you’re on a budget, you’re going to learn to love your classic pieces. They will last you longer because they’re crafted better, and by having them you’ll be able to mix-and-match easily, which reduces the need for a mad dash to the mall to buy something for just one evening.
By adding little touches – a bright scarf, a solid jacket, or several necklaces or a belt – that simple little black dress takes on a variety of looks that will suit any occasion you need it to.
These are the essential 10 pieces you should have in your wardrobe:
1. 3 Piece Suit – Choose a solid color like black, white, or navy and get a set that consists of a jacket, skirt, and pants. These pieces will work great together and can also be matched with less “traditional” clothes like your jacket with a pair of blue jeans for a trendy casual look, or your skirt with a silk scoop-neck blouse for a dinner out.
2. Solid Blazer – There’s nothing that will make a sharper impression than a well-crafted and tailored to fit your frame blazer. Match it with your suit pants and a print blouse for a professional look, or top a mini skirt and knee-high boots with your blazer for something much more chic.
3. White Shirt – Seriously, you can never have enough plain white shirts. You will want at least one crisp cotton shirt and one in a light-hanging material like silk or blended cotton. These shirts will pair up with anything in your closet and can be dressed up on their own with jewelry for a variety of looks.
4. Khaki Slacks – Again, this is one piece that you can wear with anything. Paired with your white shirt and a bright ethnic necklace, you will have an artistic, practical look. Blend it with your blazer or suit jacket and you’re set to take on corporations.
5. Cashmere Sweater – Get at least one in a solid color, and you’ll love your decision forever.
sweaters come in so many cuts, I can guarantee that you’ll want more than one so that you can look subtle or seductive as your mood suits, and they can be worn with anything.
6. Jeans – Blue jeans are here to stay. Get a couple pairs of well-fitting styles in at least two colors (standard blue and black, for example) and you will have something to wear at a moment’s notice. To keep them looking sharp and not tacky, make sure that you have them dry-cleaned, or press them yourself after washing and remember to turn them inside out before shoving them in the washing machine.
7. Standard Black Dress – Get a simply cut black dress that is knee or mid-calf length, and you can mix and match for a variety of occasions that range from professional meetings to a ballroom setting.
8. Formal Attire Set – Just like the 3 piece suit, this is a must simply because you can mix and match to create dozens of different outfits. Get a set that looks gorgeous and formal together, but can be separated to work with jeans or your casual white shirt. Using formals in this way can create a dramatic impact.
9. Trench Coat – If you can find one with a zip-out lining in a solid color like black or dark gray, you’ve made a find that you’ll use for years to come. This is a true classic that will stay with you no matter what style you’re going for.
10. Confidence and a Smile – Nothing is more classic than a woman who shows that she is comfortable in her body and happy to show it. Brightening any outfit with a smile is sure to win you brownie points in any situation.