Timeless Style: A Guide to Being Forever Fashionable
In a society where fashion trends are changing every month and the market is dominated by mass-produced and unsustainable fast fashion, it is difficult to discern what clothing items are going to remain stylish over time and are worth your money. One of the best ways that you can maintain a personal style and consume fashion and clothing sustainably is to create a versatile and timeless wardrobe. Making thoughtful investments in your closet can mitigate the desire to constantly change or abandon your clothes in favor of new micro-trends.
Admittedly, this might feel easier said than done at first pass. But, looking back at the evolution of style in our recent history, we can see which trends society has returned to time and again. So, to build the foundation for a timeless closet, let’s start with the basics.
One of the first places to start is to find a good pair of jeans. From their creation in 1873 by Levis Strauss and Jacob Davis to their role in counterculture in the 1960s and their emergence into high fashion in the 1970s, jeans have become a staple for the last half century. While styles of jeans have changed over time, jeans themselves have remained consistent in peoples’ wardrobes since they became popularized in the 1970s. In particular, straight leg jeans are a style that have remained fashionable in recent decades. Above all, it is important to choose a style that makes you feel like you.
Ten short years after Levis Strauss patented jeans, he came out with the denim jacket, creating a piece that is now a staple. In the 1950s, the jean jacket would come to symbolize youth and freedom in America, and has remained endlessly fashionable for the last half century. And it is easy to see why: much like denim jeans, the jackets are versatile and can be effortlessly styled over many different outfits. From fitted to oversized, acid-washed to classically dark, there are boundless styles to play with and something to be found for everybody.
Next up, the button-up. From their beginnings in 19th century England to their arrival into western fashion trends with the rise of designer John E. Brooks, button-up shirts have grown to become a clothing staple. From flowy, satin tops to pressed oxfords, these shirts are an essential clothing piece in everyday fashion.You can simply wear them on their own, but there are boundless styling possibilities with these. From layering them under or over anything from shirts to sweaters to dresses, there is a wide range of creative liberty to take when fitting these pieces into your own personal wardrobe. This is one of the easiest ways to make an outfit look put together.
Sweater weather is upon us, and knitwear has been a staple in people’s closets for centuries, with hand-knitting dating back thousands of years. With emergent designers such as Elsa Schiaparelli and Coco Chanel, sweaters and knitwear became popularized in American clothing trends in the 1920s.
While knitwear has changed to accommodate current styles, it has never ceased to remain in fashion. Cable knit sweaters are one of the most iconic and long-lasting fashion trends, having been famously worn by celebrities ranging from Marilyn Monroe to Chris Evans. In providing warmth and comfort, knitwear has proven to be both practical and stylish. Today, sweaters and other knit and crocheted outerwear items can be found in almost everyone’s closet.
Tailored trousers or dress pants are a pragmatic and classic pant option, often worn in solid, neutral colors. Trousers have been around for centuries, but the styles we typically see today, a loose fit with buttons, emerged in the 1800s after Edward VII of England adopted this fit. Furthermore, we have really seen a widespread adoption of women wearing trousers beginning in the 1970s. Since then, trousers have remained a staple in everyday and high fashion trends. Trousers are great base pieces to build an outfit from, being easily styled with various tops and layers.
While these outerwear pieces have been a practical coat option for men for centuries, they became a closet staple for everyone after being featured in Vogue in the 1980s. They appeal to a wide audience for their warmth and versatility. While being convenient in cold climates, overcoats are also a great way to elevate and dress up any basic outfit. From commuting to classes and workplaces to going out on a date night, overcoats are a strong addition to any outfit.
To build a wardrobe that feels comfortable and timeless and avoids the pitfalls of fast fashion, investing in a few key pieces is a must. With these pieces in your wardrobe, you can mix and match items to effortlessly create classic and put-together outfits. These sartorial puzzle pieces have such a wide range of styles that there is truly something to be found for everyone. When building your timeless wardrobe, the focus should be quality and what feels genuine to you. And don’t think for a second that timeless means boring. These pieces are great because they allow you to incorporate unique pieces that will easily pair together and highlight your personal style. A black trouser or button up shirt can emphasize the bright colors and loud patterns of your other pieces. A classic jean can be transitioned from day to night and complement you on nearly any activity.
Additionally, the enduring appeal of these pieces make them easy to shop in second-hand or thrift stores at affordable prices. To shop sustainably, you can support local second hand shops including Philly AIDS Thrift, Circle Thrift, and The Second Mile Center.
While these items are a great place to start, the most important thing to remember in curating your closet is finding your own style. This may take time and a lot of experimentation with different fashion styles and clothing pieces. Ultimately, the pieces that are going to last you the longest and get the most wear are those which you love and can easily style. This way, you will always be wearing outfits that make you feel comfortable and confident.
Featured Image Courtesy of Harper’s Bazaar