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Posts Tagged ‘classic style’

Autumn is my favorite season – for the colors in nature, the shift in the sun, cool mornings, shorter days, and of course the fashions! I like sweaters, wool skirts, scarves, hats, and boots. I like to layer. I like to wear autumn colors: green, golden yellow, brown, black, burgundy.

Leafing though the September 2019 issue of Victoria magazine (the British issue) I came upon a classic look perfect for autumn in any year.

A suede skirt by Ralph Lauren is paired with a cotton broadcloth blouse and a Faire Isle sweater. I really like the small crossbody bag and the grey hat by Anthropologie adds pizazz.

A lovely ensemble just right for a stroll along a wooded path on an chilly autumn afternoon.

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Chanel slingbacks.

When it comes to my own style I am very much a uniform dresser. Shoe-wise, it’s kind of what your grandma would wear, which is why I was drawn to these Chanel slingbacks. I purchased them five years ago at the brand’s SoHo store in New York and saved up all my money to do so. I’m not a heels person. They always make me feel overdressed and not in my own skin. But I needed one classic shoe that I could have forever and would look nice with everything.

Maggie Holladay, furniture designer and founder of Claude Home.

I found this quote in the December 2021 issue of Harper’s Bazaar.

Chanel slingback shoes sell for $925. That sounds like a lot, but for a quality classic shoe that one can wear forever with everything (almost) it’s not that bad. There’s much about this quote that I like –

1. The fact that Ms. Holladay saved up to buy her shoes. Saving up for something special, waiting, thinking about it, planning the big trip to the store when you can finally pay and take it home – that’s what I call a treat and a memorable one. Slipping out the credit card? Too easy. Not memorable. I once saved for a Coach handbag. It was a present to myself after my first year of graduate school. I still have that bag, of course, and it reminds me of a very important accomplishment. I could have whipped out the credit card, sure, but that wouldn’t have been as much fun. Instant gratification is overrated.

2. Uniform dressing. My mother did this and I tend toward it too, although I always add an accessory. My mother favored skirts and button-down shirts for her daily wear with perhaps knee socks and flat shoes if she was staying home or sheer stockings and a low heels if she was running errands. Skirts and t-shirts, or sweaters are my daily go-to as well. It’s nice to have several outfits already created that you can just pull out, dress, and go.

3. Investment in a classic. Buy one quality thing and wear it forever. One pair of classic shoes for special or professional occasions. One wool winter coat. One hardy suit (maybe two). You get the picture. Quality over quantity.

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iamn

Iman with her husband David Bowie in 1991. Photo: Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images

I’ve always lived by the philosophy that in a world full of trends, I want to remain a classic. True style is like a great black-and-while picture: It never looks dated. 

Iman, the great Somali-American fashion model and icon.

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elsa_schiaparelli_getty_1600x500

These things you ought to bear in mind always: buy good things only and never be afraid of wearing them too often or of not ‘being in style.’ If you have good clothes, in good taste, you will always be chic and you can ignore passing fads. 

Elsa Schiaparelli (1890-1973). Italian fashion designer.

In these modern days of throwaway fashion, this is good advice.

I used to have a problem with wearing something too often. But since I started making my own clothing as well as having them made, I want to wear my things over and over. That’s kind of the point, right? Plus this is the way to create a signature look. (I have several unique summer and winter hats that I’ve been wearing for years. Now people recognize these hats as my signature.)

The trick is to stay with simple silhouettes that never really go out of fashion – a-line skirts that hover around the knee; sheath dresses; straight-leg pants; Oxford shirts or button down blouses. A basic t-shirt is always in style (but not the ubiquitous cold shoulder). Accessories will add any needed interest.

One might ask – how about getting bored with the same old thing? Well, I don’t find that to be the case because I dress by season. Yep, even up against Climate Change and warming temps I stick with certain styles and colors for each season. After a winter of greens and browns in tweed skirts and cardigan sweaters by spring it feels fresh to revisit my violet shirtwaist dress or my cotton black and white skirt.  It’s almost like a new wardrobe only better because it’s familiar.

 

 

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