When I refer to the term timeless fashion, classic, or basic – it means that it’s versatile and flexible to wear for a multitude of occasions and seasons. An example is a trench coat – it works for work, school, leisure, and evening attire throughout the year – from spring to winter:
A timeless fashion piece can also serve as the foundation of your outfit – like for example a tank top worn underneath another top, or a cardigan for layering with your tops, t-shirts, and dresses:
A classic piece also evokes little to no emotion and is less likely to affect the rest of your outfit. This is why basic colors such as black, white, beige, browns, olive green, and dark navy blue are considered to be basic – they won’t compete with other colors, prints, and textures.
Let me explain in further details how a timeless piece works:
A classic garment or accessory always looks right for any season. Fashion trends come and go, but timeless pieces will always be there without ever looking outdated. So if colored jeans are the hottest “IT” item for any given season – you’ll still look stylish wearing a pair of dark blue denim jeans:
You’ll also find general trends (or “trend essentials”, as I call them) that show up every season. Examples are popular Fall colors such as purples, black-on-black-on-black, greys, and mustard yellow. If you have a garment in one of these colors then it will last you a good 2 or 3 years, depending on how fast your style and taste evolve. However, if you’ve secured these colors in a versatile clothing style then I don’t see any reason why you can’t wear it until it starts to fall apart.
A timeless fashion piece goes hand in hand with your lifestyle and the activities you partake in on a week-to-week basis. Having a classic, solid closet also means that it consists of the right amount and the right type of clothes where you spend most of your time.
For example, if you’re an office worker 8 hours a day, 5 days a week – then your wardrobe should naturally consist of mostly clothes appropriate for your office dress code and the long/frequent amount of time spent there.
I know that some women may have a few reservations about the items listed on the Wardrobe Essentials-list. I mean, why would you need a white dress shirt if your work’s dress code is casual or you live in your tees and jeans?
The list is meant to be a guideline for women who appreciate classy and chic fashion. So if you happen to have rejections about these classic pieces, then skip them and rather focus on the garments and accessories appropriate for your lifestyle.
The inevitable occasions
However, you can never escape the occasional dressy event that happens at least once or twice in a year, such as weddings or other occasions where you have to look semi-formal.
Add your own flavor
These closet essentials are also flexible enough to be worn with all clothing styles – creating an ultra-chic outfit juxtaposition.
See how well a bohemian-print cardigan looks juxtaposed with a classic black wrap dress and stud pearl earrings? And the snake print clutch and the red sandals add the perfect amount of interest to this neutral-colored outfit. If you really think about it, essentials help play down and balance out prints, colors, and attention-grabbing details.
Your Personal Style
The essentials for clothing types and accessory types on the Wardrobe Essentials-checklist give you a minimum on what clothing types you need. So if your style is far from minimal or Classic – then feel free to select basics in a style that suits your personal style and what looks good on you.
I always recommend securing your first piece on the Wardrobe Essentials-list in a plain and simple style as possible and then build on it from there with styles that resonate more with your personal style. For example, if you already have a basic white v-neck t-shirt, try other necklines, sleeves shapes, and top lengths.
What looks good on you is your closet essential
I also want to stress that the term “basic” varies in definition based on your fashion persona. A basic, timeless piece should be essential in the sense that it looks good on you and reflects your personal style. So no matter what the current fashion trends are telling you – what looks good on you is the BEST basic for you. Not on the catwalk model, your best friend, your sister, your neighbor, nor your mother – but for YOU, for your body and personality that will be wearing it.
For example, if simple rounded sunglasses are considered versatile – but your face shape looks best with angular frames then you should always choose what suits you to be your fashion staple.
Or if black looks too harsh on your skin tone, then try dark chocolate brown or dark navy blue. Or be flexible by topping (warm it up or cool it down) it off with colors from your personal color palette.
by Anna Villaruel
(Seoul, South Korea)