There are lots of classic pieces out there but here are my top 10 you should own. They are less about the colour of the piece and more about the shape and function. For example, I’ll picture a navy pencil skirt below but as you can see in my “Buy Coloured Bottoms” page, you should definitely consider getting some of these pieces in colour. Just consider the palette of the rest of your wardrobe and try to pick your coloured pieces in shades that will compliment each other.
My TOP 10 CLASSIC PIECES:
1. A Collared White Shirt – I love these, especially on mature women. They look super polished and frame the face beautifully. They look great under a suit with a statement necklace or tucked into a shapely pencil skirt. Super versatile but keep in mind that it needs to look crisp and new to look polished. The style will last you but you may need to invest in an updated version ever other year or so.
2. A Grey Pin Stripe Suit Tailored to Fit You
Why not black? I guess I just feel that grey or even taupe (especially for red heads) is way more versatile in terms of being able to wear it in the summer or winter. It’s also easier to break up the suit and pair it with other dress pants and skirts or pair the blazer with anything dressy or even casual like a pair of dark wash jeans.
Also, black suits can be very heavy-looking and most complexions/colourings look SO much better in anything ranging from grey to browns to taupe to navy. Get one that’s designed for women and is cut to emphasize your waist.
3. A Pencil Skirt
If your suit doesn’t already come with one, I highly suggest investing in one of these. Super curve hugging in all the right places and they fit every body shape. You’ll know it’s a pencil skirt because it hugs your hips and then comes in tighter toward the knee. A-Line skirts flare out in an ‘A’ shape and Straight skirts follow your hip line down to the floor (gives you a more boxy/less sexy look). Pencil skirts can be paired with jackets (because pencil skirts balance the volume of the top with a closer fit on the bottom), cardigans or just a cute blouse. So many ways to wear them I could go on and on…
4. Cardigan Sweater(s)
I say sweater(s) because I have about 10 myself. They are so comfy and easy to wear and are a really simple way to complete and add colour to your outfits. The most flattering and versatile cuts tend to be ones with 3/4 sleeves (hitting middle of the forearm) and have a scoop or V neck. Stay away from versions that are too big or boxy (they should hug you waist a little *see above photo) and styles that are too long. They should stop somewhere on your hip area.
5. Shirt Dress
I love dresses period because they are simple, feminine and are an outfit unto themselves! How much easier can you get??? Shirt dresses in particular are a great way to look put together, and feminine without looking overly girly (if you aren’t into that sort of thing). You’ll know it when you see it because it has a collar (the top looks like a shirt…. hence ‘shirt dress’), they are usually belted and also usually come in fabrics with a bit of weight to them to the dress is structured so the material won’t hug your lumps and bumps – just skim your shape. LOVELY!
6. Wrap Dress
Another dress of course! Wrap dresses are fantastic because they are universally flattering on all shapes and ages. The wrap also yields a v-neck feature that enlogates the neckline and makes you look long and lean. Also great because you can dress them up or down and wear them at work or off the job.
WORDS OF CAUTION, most wrap dresses are made of stretch fabrics to hug your curves so make sure to wear some shapewear for a streamlined effect. Also, sometimes the V created by the wrap can reveal a bit too much cleavage for the workplace. Pair with a cami tank top underneath if you are at all questioning this.
7. A Sheath Dress
Yes…..another dress! Sheath dresses are super figure flattering and really lock and load the girls & they are great under any completer piece like a jacket or cardigan. They also work for all shapes but if you are a pear (weight on bottom) or apple (more top heavy) just be sure to fit your larger half and then take your dress to a tailor to ensure the fit is perfect for you. Also, they usually come with cap or no sleeves so keep in mind your the other completer pieces in your wardrobe when you purchase this item in a non neutral colour.
8. Trouser Jeans
These are pretty much essential in all but the most formal workplaces and unlike ‘weekend jeans’, are totally appropriate M-Friday for all business casual workplaces. Unlike weekend jeans, trouser jeans are (you guessed it) cut like trousers and usually have a waist band and possibly a flat tab front. They are ALWAYS a dark wash and they DO NOT have embellishments or fading on them or any sort. They can be straight leg or boot cut but be careful that the rise is not too low. You should be able to move around comfortably and not be worried about bending down or over.
9. Cropped Pant
These are all over the place right now but the way to keep them classic is to not go TOO skinny and the cut off place is key. They should be cropped right above the ankle and the cut point should be more narrow than the knee, not the same width as the knee. For example, if you are short and try to shorten the crop of a regular length pant, you won’t end up with the same look – you’ll need to purchase a petite version or also tailor the bottom width of the pant (which can be more difficult).
10. The Trench Coat
Made famous by Burberry of course, this wardrobe staple is a must. If you get just the right fabric you’ll be able to wear it year round. Khaki is the standard but don’t be afraid to go out on a limb and grab some colour. You’ll look super fresh and you’ll be amazed at the attention you get.