How amazing would it be too look back on old photos of yourself and ooze timeless elegance? To be seen as a classic beauty who felt comfortable in her skin by staying authentic to who she was. This was what I had asked myself for years, before transforming my style, and I’ve never been happier with my wardrobe.
Whilst for many, timeless style may seem boring, I have always found it empowering. Timeless style is made up of classic, essential pieces, that never look dated or go out of trend. They are universally flattering, comfortable and safe, and make amazing investments. It is a fascinating phenomenon, considering that fashion is, by definition, a realm of constant transition and in a constant flux of change. Therefore, timelessness in terms of fashion can seem paradoxical. Nonetheless, timeless style does exist and it’s not as difficult to achieve as it may initially seem.
Over the past few years, I have been constantly asked by numerous people how I achieve timeless style so effortlessly. Apparently, many would easily believe that I wake up all Cinderella like in the morning. Although I would love to say that I have bluebirds flying to my window to help me get dressed. This is certainly a far cry from reality and I’ve spent years experimenting and perfecting the art of timeless fashion. I am by no means an expert (yet) but I have discovered the important elements of classic dressing.
Read on for my seven secrets to dressing timelessly everyday.
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Avoid all trends
I really cannot stress this enough but avoiding trends is without a doubt the most important rule to dressing timelessly. The fashion world is like a spiral. Trends get regurgitated and discarded before popping up once again. They fly by so fast, that before you know it, you are deeply regretting that neon top and matching leg warmers you were told looked really cool, at your friends birthday party, 15 years ago. Trends are simply made to keep you buying the next season’s collections so that you will be a loyal customer forever. They are one of the smartest, most effective marketing ploy out there.
One of the reasons I started dressing timelessly is due to iconic women from history inspiring me. There is just something so moving about the way Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly carried themselves. Moreover, they look just as stylish now as they did 50 years ago. These are the women who are the most memorable and stylish, yet, they were never followers of fashion. They were the ones who were unique in their style, breakers of the rules. They were authentic, genuine, original. They were not following the trends.
The key to classic dressing and following the likes of Audrey Hepburn is to develop a personal style and stop following fad trends. Fashion comes and goes, it says “me too”. Whilst style is enteral, it says “only me”. Timeless dressing is about being true to who you are and not listening to someone else’s visions of who you should be.
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Wear classic cuts
If you are unsure how to avoid following trends then I suggest looking into classic cuts. Ensuring you stick to shapes and styles, which are timeless is the easiest way to be successful in staying classic. This includes items such as the trench coat, a little black dress, wide leg pants and a simple pair of pumps.
If you study these classic pieces, you may notice the similarities when it comes to shape and construction. Take note in the simplicity of these pieces. They are not over embellished, the lines and detailing is simple. This makes them versatile and easy to style according to the occasion.
Have a look at my Crucial Classics category for the classic pieces and how to make the most of your investments.
I can not stress this enough: avoid sloppy silhouettes. Although oversized looks are a current trend, if you are looking to dress timelessly, loose clothing is best avoided. Once again, it is advisable to steer clear of trendy fashion.
Tailored pieces are the essence of a classic look. This is because they ooze sophistication and achieve a polish look. Hence why it is important to get your clothes tailored if they don’t quite fit your figure.
Every women’s body is different. Consequently, it is rare to find a garment that fits you perfectly. For this reason, I recommend to purchase a size that allows precise changes to be made. Even if it just hemming your trousers or adding in a few darts to your new dress. What makes timeless clothes so memorable is how the clothes appear as though it was made for the wearers physique. Wearing ill-fitting clothes is a one way ticket to damaging your chances of ever becoming a classic.
Have a go-to outfit formula
Having a go-to outfit formula is the best tool for making style development easy. Moreover, this is a great way to find your building blocks. Depending on your lifestyle, you may find that you have to create multiple outfit formulas; one for work, weekend, night out, Season appropriate, etc. This is going to take some time and I would recommend to firstly find the clothes you love wearing and feel the most comfortable in; it’s going to be much easier if you already have a foundation to build upon.
Through experience, I found that I started to experiment with fashion. I spend a whole weekend trying on a wide range of various designs and shapes to help me whittle down what I liked on my body. This helped me understand the silhouette I liked and the body parts I enjoyed emphasising. I have always adored wearing dresses predominantly. Therefore, I knew that this would be my dominant fashion piece to style around. I then looked at which dress styles are considered classic and the designs I love. After which, I looked at how I could style my dress and chose to dress around colder weather as this is more common for where I live, in the U.K.
As a result, I concluded that my formula would be: Little Black Dress + Floral Tights + Beige Trench Coat + Oxford Heels. Due to the simplicity and classic cuts this outfit formula entails. I have room to accessorise with ease. I could add my quilted black or larger beige bag depending on my destination. If the weather is a little nippier, I can easily add a beret- one of my favourite autumn wardrobe essentials. If I need to dress up even further, I can add a pair of simple diamond earrings and an understated necklace. If I’m walking a long distance, a pair of black ankle boots would look equally as chic. Consequently, from this one outfit formula, I can start to change out one piece to make the outfit more appropriate for summer or work or a typical date night with my arcade-loving boyfriend. This is the beauty of going classic. Your wardrobe will be made up of predominantly simple, elegant pieces all of which will be easy to style. Moreover, almost everything will match together.
Master the art of refined luxury
The key factor for timeless style is to avoid decreasing the level of your high quality garments. This means taking care of your clothes and viewing each item as an investment not a means to an end.
So bring out your iron and ensure there are no creases in your clothes. Take your clothes to the dry-cleaner and read the care label carefully if washing yourself. It is important to present a polished you each and every time if you are striving for that classic look.
Consider your environment
Classic fashion is only half of how you achieve timeless style.
You can have the a flawless, classic wardrobe but if you turn up in a crisp white shirt and jeans to a black tie event, your classic look is going to suddenly feel out-dated. There is a time and place for everything and it is important to know how to dress for different occasions.
To avoid this, I recommend that each time you dress yourself, ensure that you are carefully considering the environment. Ask yourself if your outfit is appropriate for where you are going and what you will be doing. Don’t forget that this also includes the time of the year. The last thing you want, is to be shivering in your little black dress because you forgot to layer up and the temperature is below freezing.
Develop your own authenticity
As Coco Chanel once said: ‘Nothing makes a woman look so old as trying desperately hard to look young.’
The most important factor when it comes to timeless style is staying authentic to who you are. Don’t try and be someone else. Regardless of what you are wearing, it should only be for yourself.
Make sure that you understand your reasons for going timeless and why dressing classically appeals to you. In addition, ensure that you truly know yourself and are practicing self love everyday. Although timeless style is mostly about the clothes and shoes. Becoming a true classic, like Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly, is also about who you are and how you carry yourself. This is why I also write about body confidence and self care. It is these pillars which hold up the timeless woman. Once you understand the fundamentals of a classic woman and apply empowering etiquette to your authentic self, can you truly achieve ultimate timeless style. Anyone can wear a little black dress but it is how a woman carries herself, which determines if she is a legitimate classic.
It is important to understand that moving towards a timeless style is a commitment. Not only will it take time but also money as you start to add new pieces into your wardrobe. You may find it a challenge in terms of your self control as it may be hard to pass up that cute but not-so-versatile sale find. This is why it is good to have a concrete reason as to why you are becoming a classic. Once you can crystallise your reasons, it will be easier to figure out what you need to do to get to the wardrobe of your dreams. Follow this guide and keep checking in to my new posts to help you build up your timeless wardrobe.
Do you have any tips for achieving timeless style ?