11/7/2022 | By Donna Brody

Being fashionable doesn’t have to mean spending buckets of money to stay current with the latest trends. Seniors Guide writer Donna Brody suggests 10 classic clothing essentials for a polished, timeless wardrobe.

As I approached the seasonal task of exchanging my warm-weather clothing for a cool-weather wardrobe, I was intrigued to learn about a “capsule wardrobe.” This is an approach to thinning out items in your closet to build a more versatile collection of timeless pieces that reflect your style while reducing the stress of putting together an outfit each day. Plus, it may save you money.

Timeless, classic clothing basics “deliver fast, smart solutions,” says beauty and style editor Lois Joy Johnson. “They make you feel glam without a lot of fuss or stress.”

A timeless wardrobe starts with classic, basic pieces to mix, match, and reuse. It adds statement pieces to inject personal style and allow for seasonal or trendy accessorizing. These classic pieces become the foundation of different outfits.

10 classic clothing choices

Fashion mavens agree that these 10 classic clothing essentials can provide the basis for a timeless wardrobe.

Classy senior woman reading a book outside. Being fashionable doesn’t have to mean buying new clothes to stay trendy: these 10 classic clothing essentials create a timeless wardrobe.
  1. Jeans: Skinny or baggy, flared or straight legged, zippered or elastic waist with a flat front. Choose the style that flatters you most and gives a smooth look, especially with untucked tops.
  2. Blazer or jacket: Ah, the most timeless of classic clothing essentials! Most experts suggest a good structured blazer in a neutral color and fabric, but you might substitute a jean or faux leather jacket for a more casual look to wear with dresses, skirts, and dressy pants.
  3. A-line or tunic top: A-line sweaters or tunic tops go from day to evening with the addition of jewelry and scarves and can camouflage pants or jeans that might feel a little snug. High and low hems, side slits, and round, boat, or v-necklines can dress up a basic-colored tunic.
  4. Dressy blouse: A jewel tone, white, or neutral colored blouse in a rich fabric like satin or silk can be paired with any pants or skirt and even good jeans.
  5. Comfortable dress: Any dress that doesn’t require shapewear to look good can be classified as comfortable. The most classic style is the midi (mid-calf length) with a slightly defined waist. Look for small prints like geometric or floral with a flowy skirt to pair with a jacket or cardigan.
  6. Black or navy pants: Knit pants made with fabric like ponte double-knits keep their shape and flatter yours. No-crease stretch fabric and flat fronts with no pockets lead to a smoother overall look to pair with a tunic or T-shirt or tank top and jacket.
  7. T-shirts and tank tops: Tees (long and short sleeved) and tank tops made with good quality fabric that holds up through numerous washings are essential to wear with dress pants, skirts, and jeans. Mix in some turtlenecks if you live in a cold climate. It seems these items of classic clothing never go out of style.
  8. Skirts: Add a few skirts to the closet for times when pants won’t do. Pull-on or zippered styles with a full or A-line shape are usually more flattering than a pencil style. Like dresses, a midi-length skirt is the most classic and looks great with knee-high boots.
  9. Cardigan sweater: Every classic wardrobe includes a few cardigans in soft pastel and darker neutral colors. Choose chunky or small cable knits to flatter your particular shape since sweaters add emphasis to the front part of your frame.
  10. A “good” coat: Although puffer, anoraks, and pea coats might be a necessity in your climate, a chic coat can elevate any outfit to the next level. Belted trench coats or knee-length wool button-front styles are always a good investment and never go out of style.

Related: Create a capsule wardrobe for classic style

Donna Brody

Donna Brody is a former community college English instructor who retired to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. She enjoys freelance writing and has self published three romance novels. Besides writing and traveling with her husband, she keeps busy visiting her seven grandchildren.

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