timeless classic style | the sunday brief

beth from Style at a Certain Age wears a lightweight blazer, gingham shirt, skinny jeans, espadrilles and wicker handbag

since a young girl, i’ve always been drawn to a timeless, classic style. tailored clothes with structure suit me and my personality. it’s who i am – steady, sure, concise, straight-forward, polished, determined, and honest to a fault. if you ask for my opinion, you’ll get just that no mincing words with this girl. although i’ve learned the art of diplomacy through the years and never find it helpful to mow people down with words. but the trouble with classic, timeless clothes is it can look dated and boring even stuffy if you’re not careful. so how do you keep timeless classic style working for you year in and year out? today, i’ll share a few secrets with you.

hair and makeup

if you’ve heard me say it once you’ve heard me say it a thousand times – your hair is your number one accessory. it isn’t your hair color that ages you; it’s your haircut. love blonde hair? then keep it blonde. how about a bold shade of red? or if you’re like me and embrace your natural grays then go for it! especially if it suits your personality. but we’ve all seen blondes, redheads, and silver locks trapped in a dated haircut. keeping your hair current and fresh (yes, it should change to a degree over the years) will keep your timeless, classic outfits updated. so what does your hairstyle say about you? 

beth from Style at a Certain Age wears a black and white tee, black a-line skirt, pointy toed flats and black handbag

 

beth from Style at a Certain Age wears a denim duster, striped tee, white denim, suede sandals and wicker handbag

makeup trends come and go. anyone remember the seventies and our crush on bronzer? who didn’t want that sun-kissed glow? eyebrows were plucked into a thin line. popular eyeshadow colors were blue, green, and purple. and we loved a smokey eye.

the eighties came along with big hair and bold makeup that was in your face. there was nothing sweet or delicate about that decade; it was all about power. and most of us would love to forget our bad fashion sense that erred on the side of outrageous. ’nuff said.

the nineties introduced scrunchies, glossy lips, and crimped hair. eyebrows were back to being plucked and skinny (btw i’m still waiting for mine to grow back from the seventies trend of over plucking). our updo’s loved tendrils and butterfly clips. and if you can believe it, blue eyeshadow was still in vogue…

at the dawn of a new century, chunky highlights were all the rage, short spiky hair, and zig-zag parts. and we loved fake tans and fake nails. as you can see trends come and go not only with clothes but with hair and makeup. it’s important to stay abreast of what’s currently in style. fresh makeup and hair trends are what keeps my classic pencil skirt and blazer from looking dated. so keep your makeup updated. no one wants to be stuck in another decade.

timeless classic style

 

beth from Style at a Certain Age wears a denim military jacket, striped sweater, and white denim
 

accessories

there are some items in my closet that i’ve had for twenty years. TWENTY YEARS! that’s the beauty of a classic wardrobe. but how do i keep those items current rather than dated? it’s as simple as adding trendy accessories. my favorite ways to do this is with shoes, jewelry, and handbags. and, yes, even accessories can be classic in nature like a string of pearls, pointy-toed pumps or a structured handbag that never go out of style. but we all know that shoes go through trends – heel shape, toe shape, heel heights, and colors come and go. jewelry shifts from soft and delicate to bold statement necklaces and back again. metals are always popular, but years ago we would never mix gold with silver. now we do. these days smaller handbags are all the rage whereas a few years ago bigger was definitely better.

the devil is in the details, and the details will update your classic wardrobe. mixing and matching trends with your classic pieces are the secret to a successful outfit. want to wear classic jewelry and shoes? pair them with a top or skirt that are currently on trend. or maybe you’re in the mood for a timeless tweed jacket? then wear it with a fresh and modern handbag and sassy booties.  if every single item you wear is classic and timeless, then you risk being frozen in time. by adding a few trendy items here and there your classic look will look edgy instead of stodgy. one trendy item per outfit may be all you need to stay current, and that’s when trends can be your friend.

stay true to your signature style

yes, stay true to your personal style. so many times through the years people who know my style say “that is so you!” my mother was so good at identifying items that were quintessentially ‘me.’ mr. style is darn good at it too. but don’t let your signature style go stale. let your style evolve and keep up with the current trends. just don’t let the trends sway you too much. stay selective on which trends you choose to adopt. that’s what i do. neutrals will always have a place in my closet. black, navy, white, and brown are the workhorses in my wardrobe. but i love bold colors and throw in pops of reds, pinks, yellows, and greens every chance i get. especially during the warm summer months. sheath dresses, blazers, pencil skirts, cardigans, pointy-toed flats, and riding boots are classics that have true staying power. all of them are on my ‘must-have’ classic list. but mules, flatmores, and slides are seen everywhere this year and i kind of like them. over the knee boots are to die for. wide-legged pants are popular as are slouchy pants. how about sheer and gauzy fabric? distressed jeans or a summer suit? but i don’t worry about being ‘too trendy’ when my outfit is anchored with at least one classic item. and don’t forget to throw in texture from time to time. a leather skirt looks fabulous and fresh with a tweed blazer. animal print? it’s classic and edgy mixed together. and stripes? they’re always a good choice no matter what decade.

peasant blouse striped jeans

similar striped jeans | blouse | earrings | sandals | straw tote | lip shade exotica

timeless classic style

denim | shirt | similar belt | similar wedges | handbag | similar bracelet

beth from Style at a Certain Age wears a kimono, white cropped chinos, white tee and orange sandals

chinos | similar tee | kimono | sandals (old, similar here and here) | earrings | similar handbag 

timeless classic style

similar skirt | shirt | belt | similar shoes | handbag

timeless classic style

c/o pants | c/0 tank | c/o vest | shoes | belt | similar necklace | similar bangle | earrings

beth from Style at a Certain Age wears a cashmere turtleneck dress, black over the knee boots, and ivory and black coat

timeless classic style with a trend added.

timeless classic style

timeless classic style

timeless classic style

timeless classic style

see how easy it is to keep classic style timeless instead of dated? even as the trends and styles shift i stick to my signature style. that’s what keeps me looking like me.

 

have you read these blog posts?

how to shop for classic style

timeless classic shirtdress

spring and summer beauty and skincare

signature

13 Comments

  • Reply
    Janet L Witthuhn
    June 23, 2019 at 12:36 pm

    Excellent post! Lots to think about, even for a 70+ like me. Thanks again!

  • Reply
    Susan
    June 23, 2019 at 1:09 pm

    Beth I agree with you 100% ! I love classic style, I am a Talbots’s girl.
    But that being said, you have to add a few trendy pieces to your wardrobe to keep it current. I feel like I am to mature to wear blue jeans, I can manage the same look with colored jeans,I love them !
    Thank you for your blog, you inspire me and I look forward to reading daily. I also have tried several recipes, the sheet pan chicken with feta was delish! Have a wonderful weekend!

    • Reply
      Debbie Saenz
      June 23, 2019 at 10:29 pm

      I never know what color eyeshadow to wear. My eyes are small and hazel (even though my mother will say they are brown’ish!) I’ve been wearing browns, beige and olive colors. I wear mascara on top only. I never wear liner as ut tends to my my eyes appear smaller. I use mostly Bare Esenctuals products and It Cosmetics. Both of these are easy.to use and don’t fall in my 60’ish fine lines! I admire your looks. I too tend.to be more structured and classic. Any eye shadow color suggestions you might have for me would be appreciated! Thanks for your wonderful & informative blog!

  • Reply
    Julie Mycock
    June 23, 2019 at 2:36 pm

    Hi Beth, it’s nice to look back on some of your posts, also talking about makeup and hair. I agree that hairstyle and colour go hand in hand, I would rather have my hair look good and wear no makeup because if your hair feels terrible than so do you. You have got it clown to a fine art. You always look good whether it’s a classic, casual or formal you get it right. Xoxo

  • Reply
    Rhonda
    June 23, 2019 at 2:41 pm

    Love all if these. The lavender jacket is my fav!

  • Reply
    Carol Spears
    June 23, 2019 at 5:45 pm

    Hi Beth, Love your posts and especially look forward to the Sunday ones. I am a classic as well, and although I’ve tried other ways of dressing, it always feels like I am wearing a costume.

  • Reply
    jackie
    June 23, 2019 at 7:11 pm

    Great post and you are looking fabulous in all of those photographs

  • Reply
    Jeanie
    June 23, 2019 at 7:53 pm

    The lighter lipstick you are wearing with the light purple jacket and jeans really makes you look younger!!! What self tanner do you use, if any?

  • Reply
    Cathy
    June 23, 2019 at 8:55 pm

    This is a very thought provoking post! Through the years, I’ve mostly wore my signature classic staples. Now that I’m retired I’m have fun adding a few trendy items to spice up my look. I think small changes can give you great results, haircuts, hair color and makeup can make you feel amazing!

  • Reply
    Marcia
    June 24, 2019 at 9:48 am

    Thank you Beth ! I so enjoy reading your posts , they are informative and fun 🥰

  • Reply
    Linda L.
    June 24, 2019 at 10:04 am

    Great post! I relied on all the great classics during my career to get through all those very hectic years of raising children and climbing that proverbial corporate ladder. Whew, all over now! I retired this past year & moved from NY to Southern California. I did bring many of my classics but I’m trying to step out of my box & add some fun pieces. It’s summer all year round here & our lifestyle is casual and country club chic; I stopped coloring my hair & I am letting a very, very short pixie grow out. I agree, your hair says so much & right now mine is screaming cut me but this is taking patience! Love your advice!

  • Reply
    Suzanne Smith
    June 25, 2019 at 11:35 am

    This is a terrific post, Beth, and I agree with everything you said. I am always hearing people tell me “oh, that’s such a ‘Sue’ look.” I definitely have a signature look, but I do like to mix it up, too. And I try hard to make clothes be workhorses–use them in different ways with different items at different times, so they extend their usefulness. You look great!

  • Reply
    Jacalyn Nelson
    June 27, 2019 at 9:06 pm

    Hi Beth: I have a style challenge for you, should you accept. I am the twinset queen. At one time I had more than 100 twinsets (BTW not especially proud of that little fact). A lot of them were cashmere from Neiman Marcus and other high end stores. I still have many of them–how can I part with such luxury?
    So the challenge is ways to update–they spend far too much time in my closet unworn. I do where them as separates already but I am looking for other alternatives as well. The underpieces are sleeveless or often short sleeves.
    Game on?
    Jacalyn

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