Well, I know we’re all still recovering from tinsel covered band jackets last Friday, so let’s turn to happy fashion for today’s Fashion Friday!
Or, as one genius marketer put it in their weekly sales email blast, “The Faithful.”
Sigh. I love the faithful.
Timeless, classic, beautiful fashion that stands the test of time.
There are so many pieces that could go on this list, but I’m going to tackle four today (and where you can find them these days).
The trench. The little black dress. The trouser. The cardigan.
Hobbs, my regular British inspiration from who I can never afford to purchase, gave me the “faithful” tag line and also reminded me of the timelessness of a classic trench. Their trench is picture perfect, of course it is, they’re British, but it’s pricey ($395). As a more affordable option, I grant you the Via Spiga trench from Nordstrom’s which is marked down to $130:
I will take this moment though to remind you the classics ARE investment pieces. That means, if you can, you should spend a few extra dollars on these items because you’ll want them to last for years.
The little black dress. There are so many iterations on this number you risk making it trendy if you don’t go simple. Stick with solid black, an interesting embellishment, and a flattering fabric (if it says stretch in the description, it’s probably not timeless).
Imagine the President, your client, or the love of your life calls you to meet for drinks. This dress should work on all fronts.
It’s truly a faithful standby; your closet go-to item. Here are a few items in ascending order of price, but there are options for those of us on wardrobe budget (I didn’t even mention dresses over $500!).
This utterly simple Vince Camuto adds a twist with the off the shoulder neckline. Forgive the Tadashi Shoji Off Shoulder Mixed Media. I realize it’s not solid black which I just recommended, but this is a stunning option if your figure cooperates. We should all wear Diane von Furstenberg – she just knows how to dress women.
For trousers, focus on two particular colors because you all (hopefully) have navy and black already. I have assorted ones in assorted fabrics and it’s getting harder and harder to find really quality trousers. In fact, my girlfriend Kristi just sent me an article about why women’s buying is down. Stores are making poorer quality clothes it seems. They even mention the pair of Banana trousers I have! I love the cut and bought them at 50% off but they are completely right about synthetic fabrics and unlined pants.
If you find gorgeous trousers, and need them for work like I do, then buy them in every shade. As fall is upon us though, I’m going to focus on two beautiful trousers in necessary shades: Ivory and Charcoal. You need these staples.
For ivory, go look at the Derek Lam flat front trousers in Ivory at Neiman Marcus, and then go find them somewhere for $100. I realize that’s not particularly helpful, because it’s impossible, but they do exist.
Ralph Lauren has the right cut of an ivory trouser but not the right fabric though the price is right.
Wait for a sale, but I love these Boss wool trousers at Nordstrom’s.
There’s a lovely Preston trouser in Italian wool at J. Crew though it’s not quite as dark as I like for charcoal.
As for cardigans, you need a few in your closet to either throw together with your skirt for church or to toss over your handbag when you run to the movies. They’re tremendously versatile, as well as comfortable. Plus, with a pretty blouse they work for office attire in most offices now. In addition to a few staple colors like dove gray or black, you’ll also want a couple of bright colors most flattering to your complexion.
These are easy because you just need to find the right cut and size for you. I personally favor Banana Republic’s lightweight silk cardigans. I can pick them up when there’s a 50% off sale for less than $40. The gray and orange are both pretty. Other staple cardigan providers are Ann Taylor and Nordstrom (from Kate Spade at $200 to Halogen at $30).
So what say you? What wardrobe essential can you not live without? And where do you find it?