There comes a time in every girls’ lifetime when she opens her closet and thinks to herself “holy crap, I can’t wear any of this anymore.” It can vary depending on lifestyles – maybe you’re 16, 19 or even 25. You’ve been collecting trendier pieces for so long that you have finally accumulated a decade’s worth of stuff that is impractical and unwearable. It’s not even old enough to be considered “vintage” yet.
Flipping through magazines over the past several years, you can see the evolution in the way designers and stylists view trends and fashion at that current moment. What was trendy in 2003 is practically unthinkable in 2012 (think velour tracksuits with the word JUICY written in rhinestones). Despite the changes that occur and the various pieces that have rotated through your closest, there are some pieces that should and will always remain in your possession.
Classic pieces are the items you’ll be wearing season after season – usually in neutral colours, which makes it easier to pair them with more on-trend pieces. While some of these items are available to be purchased at really low prices at Wal-Mart, it’s usually advisable you invest a little more in them. It pays off spending more money on several good quality clothing items that will last years, rather than repurchasing that item ten times a year.
Also, keep in mind the fit for many of these items. You can either look stunning or uncomfortable depending on how that clothing item is tailored on you.
This is no official list by any means and can vary depending on your personal factors. It’s just a list of things I feel would flatter a wide spectrum of girls and is still versatile enough to mix with more colourful and fun items.
1. Black blazer. A casual black boyfriend blazer is not just a business ensemble – I often wear mine casually with a floral print top and skinny jeans. Yet, it still comes in handy for when I have an interview or any event in a professional setting. Make sure to shop around for a blazer, because getting a good fitting blazer is the most important thing. You don’t want to look frumpy or have it be skin tight!
2. Dark denim skinny jeans. Skinny jeans were considered a trend when they first exploded circa 2007-ish. Magazines and blogs warned girls about owning “too many” because they were only going to stay around for a season or two. Now, a vast majority own skinny jeans or jeggings (which are more on the jean than legging side). Dark denim is flattering on all figures – you don’t need to have skinny jeans necessarily. It can be a straight or boot leg too! Skinny jeans are just easier to tuck into boots and look nicer when worn with flats, in my opinion.
3. White short-sleeved t-shirt. White t-shirts are one of the few items you can get away with buying at a lower cost and in bulk most of the time. A great layering piece that can be worn casually or dressed up a bit, it should be a staple in everyone’s closet.
4. Black long-sleeved t-shirt. Another great layering piece, I find a black long-sleeve t-shirt looks much classier when layered under a dress than a white or coloured t-shirt.
5. Camis/tanks in neutral colours. Black preferably, as they can be dressed up or down in any occasion. I sometimes wear a black cami or tank top with a pair of jeans when I’m going out and it’s perfect. They can be dressed up or down, and you will always need them in your drawers. If you’re going to choose a neutral that isn’t black, go with nude over white.
6. Cardigans in neutral colours. The range of neutral colours for cardigans is wider than with the camis. Don’t stick to just Black and white – go with shades of grey, brown, creme colours, baby pinks, navy blues … you get the point. Cardigans are great alternative to wearing a baggy sweatshirt while still looking cute. Longer ones that hit right at the hip are the most flattering.
7. Ballet flats. A simple pair of flats are my go-to shoe. Look for one with a comfortable sole that isn’t going to cause your feet to be in pain after a shopping trip. Again, a simple pair in a neutral colour is what you should be looking for in order to match most of your outfits. Investing in a good pair of flats that will last you a while is more worthwhile than buying a cheap pair from Wal Mart that will rip your feet apart.
8. White button-downs. Get one that’s cotton and another made of a silkier materiel. Button downs are like blazers – you can wear them casually and make them look great for a trip into town, but you can also look smart and wear them in a professional setting. Button downs that are more fitted are easier to tuck into your pants but also look good when you keep it out.
9. Black versatile boots. So no thigh high platform boots. These are boots you can wear in cooler months that are comfortable yet stylist. A pair of knee/calf high slouchy leather boots are my favourite, but a pair of booties with a comfortable heel are a good option too. Suede isn’t the option if you’re living in wetter climates or somewhere where it snows often.
10. Pencil skirt. A black pencil skirt that grazes at the knee is the perfect length and classic style. They’re flattering on all shapes and are a great alternative to dull black dress pants. If you have an interview at a more fashion-forward setting, a pencil skirt with a trendier top and great heels keeps you looking professional but not boring.
There are several other items that can also be included in this list such as the LBD, a beige trench coat, black pea coat, etc. The key with most items that are long-term is to keep them in the neutral family and make sure it fits comfortably. If you feel at all awkward in a piece of clothing, it will show.
What are some of your favourite classic wardrobe essentials that are or aren’t mentioned?