We spend a lot of time talking about what’s in and what’s out, but these conversations primarily focus on the trend items. The statement items. The seasonal fun update items.
What about the rest of our wardrobes?
The rule of thumb in building a balanced wardrobe states that your wardrobe should be only 20-30% of these fun pieces. The other 80%? Those should be modern classics.
These are the wearable, versatile, largely neutral everyday pieces that can and probably should be the building block of most wardrobes. I call them essentials, but they can also be called basics or staples. But what they really are, more than anything, is classic.
These are the pieces you’re going to find in my Essentials Over 40 Wardrobe Guide. And while all of the pieces in my wardrobe guide are tried and true and vetted by women just like you and me, I thought it would be fun to take it a step further and ask the women in my Ageless Style Program for their favorite modern classics. I wanted their go-to, day-in day-out pieces. Fortunately, they delivered, with some of the most wearable, stylish, and versatile modern classics available.
All of these Modern Classics can be found in this catalog.
Modern Classic Brands
Half the battle is knowing where to shop. These 5 stores are go-to sources for modern classics for the women in my Ageless Style Program.
I did a whole post on Mott & Bow here. I have been a huge fan for years.
Straight Leg Jeans
While skinny jeans are not out of the question, the current trend is towards oversized, voluminous, and baggy jeans, which can be hard for most women to wear. The modern classic jean, however, is the straight leg. It works on pretty much every body type, is flattering without being skintight or uncomfortable, and works in a variety of modern outfits.
ALL OF THE PICS BELOW ARE LINKED. 🙂
Dark Neutral Pants
A versatile pair of pants in a dark neutral, one that you can dress up or down with equal ease, is essential for most of the women in the program, who love them in navy, charcoal, chocolate, or black.
ALL PICS BELOW ARE LINKED.
This almost didn’t make the list, because I know that fewer women are getting dressed up these days, but many of the women in the Ageless Style Program reach for these for special events, business functions, and anytime they want a step up from their everyday pair.
All PICS BELOW ARE LINKED.
A denim jacket easily turns separates into an outfit, and is the perfect warm weather layering piece. If denim isn’t your thing, try a cropped casual jacket in linen, cotton, or a knit.
I did a quick live on tees in the Facebook group that you can watch here, but you want a simple style for your first ones. Either a crew or v-neck, in a substantial fabric so that they are flattering and not see-through, and with a simple classic sleeve.
My fave tees come from Mott & Bow and I’ve done a whole post on them here.
Whether it’s leather, suede, or knit, a moto jacket adds instant edge and personality, as well as flattery (it can define the waist on something slouchy) to many outfits.
An essential coat even for hot climates (it’s the only one I need most of the time in Florida), it also makes a great completer piece over outfits. A classic khaki should be the first one, followed by another in a neutral or color, if desired.
White Shorts (Or Linen Pants)
If you’re going to wear shorts in the summer (and it’s by no means mandatory) make them white. They’re fresh, chic, and pair well with all of your tops. Linen pants are an alternative if shorts are not for you. J. Crew has dozens this season.
A wardrobe essential, especially for spring and summer, white jeans give you another denim option that is fresh and classic. Go for head to toe white if you’re worried about white bottoms. It will create a flattering monochromatic look.
This doesn’t need to be a basic button-down, unless you want it to be. It can be silk or linen or cotton or knit, drapey or tailored or flowy. The only non-negotiables is that it’s white or cream and long-sleeved. Buttons make it more versatile as it can serve as a layering piece.
Which of these modern classics is your wardrobe missing? And which go-to classic didn’t make this list? Let me know in the comments!