You know that woman – the one who seems to always be effortlessly stylish, no matter the trend. She works with you; She might even be your friend. She could be you. If you started to shop for timeless fashion instead of for-the-moment trendy items, you could keep your style sanity and put less pressure on your pockets. Gone are the days of watching the runways every season as if your life depended on it. It doesn’t have to!
Take a look in your closet. Ask yourself, how many pieces stood the test of time? How many were worn a few times before you absolutely could not be seen in them again? Wearing trendy clothing makes us feel a little bit cooler, but it’s ephemeral. Keeping up with the next trend can add unnecessary stress to your budget, sometimes every few months.
Before we reveal some not-so-secret style staples to keep you stylish for years to come, there’s a catch. There is one rule that if broken may cancel out the timelessness of an item: Keep the lines and silhouettes classic. If it’s dangerously structural or uniquely geometric in shape, it could spell out exactly which year and season you bought it.
Here is our list of effortless fashion staples that have been reincarnated for decades:
The Crisp White Blouse
Nothing says classy and put together like a nice, white blouse. Oversized, buttoned-down, silk, chiffon; white looks clean and conveniently pairs well with anything!
The best thing about florals: they are in style every spring and they aren’t going anywhere. Not as long as flowers bloom in the spring, anyway. Florals have long−time been considered effeminate, however, recently men’s fashion has hopped on the floral train as well. Tip: Try mixing floral patterns for a fresh take on the classic look.
This trend began during World War II when it became popular to wear government issued military trench coats. Yes, we have the military to thank for trench coats (and bomber jackets, and pea coats!), not to mention khakis, cargo pants and white T−shirts, oh my! We feel it is our duty to salute military designers of yesteryear for their awesome timeless staples. Olive not−so−drab after all.
The Little Black Dress
LBDs are just…essential. Black is – dare we say it’s always appropriate. We can thank Coco Chanel for our favorite cocktail/evening go-to. Try for one that has one detail that makes it special (i.e. lace, ruffles, pleats, tool), then jazz it up with a bright or bold accessory for a pop of color.
Denim…on Denim (on Denim!)
Never too much, never too much. From your favorite pair of jeans that fit just right, to that denim top that goes with just about everything, denim is what we consider a neutral. Denim can make anything seem casually chic, especially when paired and layered with other denim. Tip: Keep all your denim! Even patchwork denim has made a comeback in the last year or so. Be careful mixing and matching ⎯ choose washes that flatter your shape. Here are a few more dos and don’ts of denim from Stylecaster.
Animal print has been around for centuries: It was first worn as camouflage and protection. Later, royals brandished expensive and exotic furs and rugs from the most intimidating animals of the jungle to flash their status. Finally, the Bohemian chic movement brought the jungle to our closets faster than a cheetah can run to catch its prey. Animal print can be fun, flirty, and easily transitioned from day to night. Tip: Be wary of skintight options for this one. If you need more help, Cosmopolitan give us 10 stylish ways to wear animal print. We prey this staple never goes away.
The Leather Jacket
If you haven’t already invested in one of these bad boys (James Dean being the obvi bad boy of choice here), it’s time to give in and go for it! Originally associated with tough, manly men, leather jackets can now be found in anyone’s closet. There are so many ways to wear them and just as many styles and cuts that can match your personality. Whether you are going for a tomboy look, looking to toughen up a girly look, or giving a little edge to your LBD, leather jackets can do no wrong in our book.
We. Love. Pants! Let’s bury our resentment from being in dresses and skirts for so long and revel in the phenomena of comfortable clothing for women. There is nothing like a pair of pants that fit perfectly. The style options are endless; and now with the almost−anything−goes vintage trend (we will touch on that in a sec), it has become easier to create a cohesive look, whether vintage, casual, or tailored.
The Black Turtleneck
Mysterious. Artsy. Rebellious. Intelligent. These are just a few adjectives that describe a person that wears a black turtleneck, which is of course, always chic. Iconic and unisex, black turtlenecks are as functional as they are stylish. The high collar virtually eliminates the need for a scarf in the cold winter months. Men replace button up and ties with turtlenecks; women love its form fitting shape and slimming effect. We consider this, a closet essential.
The Pencil Skirt
Big ups to Christian Dior for our final fashion favorite. Pencil skirts can be paired with the first eight effortless pieces/styles on our list (see what we did there?). It’s the ultimate way to say I am woman, hear me roar! While celebrating the curves of a woman’s body, they instantly throw a little tailored classiness to any #ootd (outfit of the day). Pencil skirts are also surprisingly warm, because of the close proximity of your legs when in the slim cut garment. P.S.- Don’t be afraid of a good slit. It can add an alluring edge to your evening wear. Learn more ways to spice up your pencil skirt and how to shop for your body type here.
You might find that you already own a few of the timeless fashion staples on our list, but we have a curveball to throw into your closets: Vintage! You can pretty much dive into your closets and create a look to channel a certain time period or era in fashion, whenever you feel like it. If you have already gotten rid of your old garments from (insert decade here), never fear! Consignment shops and thrift stores no longer have the stigma associated with used items (thanks, Macklemore), and they are a great place to travel back in fashion time. Ah, the sweet smell of style nostalgia.
Time−proof your closet and become that woman – the one that’s always fierce. How many time−proof garments do you already have in your closet? Which one is most essential to your wardrobe? We want to know! Leave us a comment below. Happy closet diving!
This is a guest post by Shannon White, the choreographer of the MECKids Dream Team.