I am getting to a point in my life, where I want a core group of classics that I’m not going to get bored with, which can serve as the backbone of my wardrobe. It doesn’t mean I don’t want some unexpected “wow” when it comes to clothes–I definitely do, but I also want reliable pieces that are just as delicious because they are timeless and chic. (Most, but not all, also come with price tags to match, so acquiring them can be a slow, deliberate process. Luckily, most of available every season, so, you know, patience.)
In the same breath, I will admit that some of the pieces below are getting overplayed on IG, like so many things these days, but you just have to ignore the visual noise, and also learn to personalize how you wear iconic pieces so they become your own. Mix them up with wow factor items–new and vintage, choose a statement piece of jewelry, dress up casual pieces and dress down fancier items. This is not a finite list and in no order of importance, merely suggestions and pieces I keep thinking about. (And it is missing some of the obvious–a Chanel 2.55 bag, Hermes Kelly and Birkin, Chanel shoes….)
1.The Manolo Blahnik Carolyn slingback. Because it’s SO classic, I’ve avoided buying a pair, but the lower heel height, with jeans and a blouse or blazer. Today, if I threw on an LBD I would choose a different, standout heel.
2. The Bottega Veneta Mini Jodie intrecciato bag. Since I purged so many of my bags, I’ve been looking for an evening clutch/bag that is big enough but not huge (I carry very little with me–lip gloss, reading glasses, phone, keys, blotting papers and sunglasses if it’s day-to-night). Black or cream/white as far as color choices.
3. I also love The Row’s Bourse clutch, it comes in a smallish size in black, but I prefer this slightly bigger one (which comes in cream and other colors.) Plus it has a thin shoulder strap, and I’m a fan of some practicality when it comes to a handbag.
4. Khaite Scarlett cardigan. Sure, Katie Holmes wore one a few years back and it kicked off a trend, but Khaite’s cashmere is high on quality (this sweater is multi-ply) and at this point, I consider it an updated classic. In my ideal life I would have the tan (also called barley) and black. It is a lot for a sweater, but if you think of it as a jacket replacement–which it is, it seems more palatable.
5. Gucci Jordaan loafers and Gucci Brixton loafers. Honestly, Gucci’s latest incarnation, in general, is not my thing, but these iconic loafers are. An update on the original Gucci loafer from 1953, they are an elegant shape and super comfortable. The Brixton version has a collapsable fold-down heel. Either or or–they are equally perfect.
6. Adidas Stan Smith’s. I have been wearing Stan Smiths off and on for decades and it’s funny because they wax and wane in popularity. When I think I’m tired of them and they are less popular (like now), is also when I realize they still are the best go-with-everything, walk-everywhere sneaker and I pull them out again. (I kind of need a new pair, bought Nike Air Force Ones, which I do like, but think nothing beats a pair of Stans.)
7. A really nice watch. I have an Apple watch, it comes off my wrist the second I’m done exercising in the morning, and I put on my vintage Rolex. I still think a classic watch, whether it’s stainless, gold or sprinkled with diamonds, is still one of the smartest looking accessories a woman (and man) can wear. Plus, if you invest and hold onto it, they usually appreciate in value.
8. Celine sunglasses, especially the oversized Cat Eye. Sunglass trends come and go, but the Phoebe Philo era Celine sunglasses continue to be a favorite. Good enough for Joan, good enough for me. I’m glad they have continued them.
Great list. Thank you Jennifer. I am determined to buy better buy less this coming year. I feel the same way as you do in wanting selected classics to be the “backbone of my wardrobe”. I am going back through your Wardrobe Project videos and continue to learn and define my style. I also just bought a Frances de Lourdes cashmere turtleneck at your suggestion. When I first opened it, I thought I paid this much for this????Then I put it on and it was absolutely dreamy and well worth the investment. Please keep sharing your perfect finds.
The Stan Smiths beat out the Nike Air Force 1’s for me, big time! I never wear my Nike’s because they just aren’t as comfy, and they’re much “clunkier,” which isn’t attractive on big feet, IMO.
I love your sense of style!
Elizabeth Velasquez says
I replaced my 12 year old Manolo black smooth leather Carolyn sling backs with the same shoe but in black patent. I have been eyeing the mini Jodie for a few months…perfect for evenings. Perhaps if my latest The Real Real consignment yields enough to cover it, I’ll purchase.
I love the Gucci Jordan loafer I am searching high and low for a 2nd pair of the brown with black piping . But I would buy a vintage Cartier or Rolex or Patek or Bulgari Tubogas watch . . . Happy to consult xo Brooke
oohhh, I haven’t seen the brown with piping…..and one of each watch would be ideal!