The key to putting together a wardrobe that will stand the test of time is to structure it around perennial items that will make you look and feel great over the course of whole years, with other clothes that hit the most recent trends but have, by nature, a shorter lifespan on your shelves and hangers. We’ve put together three suggestions of classic clothing that can form the heart of outfits for years, that you can dress up and down, and accessorise to add some stylish flair when you really need to be up to the minute.
A good sweater is an indispensable item: picking one that you can use across many years and seasons is a job in itself but well worth doing.
More so than cut or pattern, you will probably want to look fabric as a guide here: cashmere is a classic material, a mark of good quality across many different movements in fashion across the years. It’s not something that’s likely to go out of date so it can be a reliable staple of outfits for as long as you like. It’s also not as fragile as people assume: properly cared for, it can comfortably last for 30 years, meaning an investment now will stand you in good stead for years to come.
Chinti and Parker’s black cashmere sweater is a great example of what to look for: they have a range of carefully chosen styles that are simple and therefore timeless.
Whether this is your outer layer on a hot summer day, or underlies a sweater or jacket in the winter, a well chosen t shirt (more realistically, several well chosen t shirts) are a definite necessity. This is the sort of elementary clothing that it’s worth getting right: find something that makes you look and feel comfortable and pay attention to the details: picking a v-neck over a round necked shirt means you have options for layering in necklaces to really dress up a simple option.
Another simple choice that, made carefully will reward you for years, jeans have diversified a great deal in recent years: they’re not just something to wear if you’re doing DIY now. A well chosen pair of jeans are good for a walk in the country or drinks after work. A high-waisted cut will flatter your legs, and you can’t beat a classic true-blue wash.
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