Classic items are timeless and ageless — think simple black blazers, sheath dresses, white button-down shirts, bootcut jeans, tailored trousers, riding boots, pencil skirts, denim jackets, pointy toed pumps, Audrey Hepburn inspired dresses and trench coats.
Here’s the secret: A classic item can be the key element to a totally trendy ensemble. As with most things fashion and style, it’s not nearly as much about the item itself as it is about how you style it. Combine it with unexpected pieces, or match it with interesting accessories and footwear.
You can even reinvent a classic item by dramatically changing your own hairstyle or choice of eyewear. After all, your hair and specs are your most important accessories!
Let’s take a few classics out of their comfort zones:
Tone down the formal integrity by adding an arty layering piece or men’s necktie. Take a plain sheath dress to an edgy level with combat boots and cropped leather jacket. Add a pair of ankle-length leggings. Layer underneath it with blouses and shirts. Leave off the heels and wear dressy flats or flat oxford shoes.
Try layering a sleeveless, faux-fur, shaggy vest over a denim jacket for a fun ’70s vibe. Wear it over a formal gown, vintage frock or cocktail dress.
Purchase a classic trench coat in an unexpected color, like turquoise, citron, tomato red, animal print or silver. Of course, neutrally toned trench coats are still stunning, and the possibilities are endless. Wear them over everything from jeans and sneakers to your ball gown. You can even replace the buttons with vintage ones found around town or online.
Classic ’50s Style Dress
Think outside the box by adding a boyfriend blazer, biker jacket or cropped tuxedo coat. Scrunch up the sleeves for a more relaxed vibe and watch those heads turn.
White Button-Up Shirt
Wearing a white shirt with jeans, a blazer, belt and heels will always be a fabulous look. But tuck the shirt into a pair of short shorts, slouchy tapered pants or bubble skirt and it suddenly gains extra character.
Suits look formal, conservative and businesslike most of the time. So add in playful casual touches to break the strict suit stereotype. Wear it with a T-shirt, floral pin, colorful pumps or cross-body bag. Add a tucked-in turtleneck or V-neck sweater, leather belt and casual-heeled ankle boots. Match it up with a chambray shirt and heeled oxfords. Scrunch up the sleeves of the suit blazer and add an oversized watch and chunky bangles.
You probably have a treasure trove of classic items in your closet right now, just waiting to be reinvented. Spend some time combining them with unexpected clothing, footwear and accessories. Invite some friends over, turn up the music and make it a party.
Then try your unexpected combinations in public. Trend setting designers constantly look to street style for inspiration, so you could be their next inspiration just by putting together an unexpected combination!