10 classic essentials that transition to spring

happy Easter from our family to yours!  it’s a holy weekend for many of us of different faiths, and this year, we cannot celebrate in the way in which we traditionally do.  there’s a sadness in that, but that does not mean we cannot celebrate.  true celebration begins with an inward thankfulness that itself leads to a sort of peacefulness that radiates outwards.  and that’s what we need right now:  a sustaining peace throughout this storm.   

10 classic essentials that transition to spring

today, i’m refreshing a post we published earlier this year.  it’s relevant for spring, but in addition, we cut a new YouTube video to accompany it.  so make sure to watch.   

we are going to revisit the timeless classics:  the wardrobe staples everyone needs in their closet. i cannot stress enough how important it is to have at least one of each of these items because the ability to pull together a classic, chic, on point outfit is priceless. in addition to wardrobe items, i’ve included a few classic accessories as well. sometimes, it’s the perfect accessory that can really set off your outfit: think pearls, a leather handbag or a fabulous pair of sunglasses! i’m going to show you how to build a timeless wardrobe, and to that end, i’ve included past posts for you see how i have styled each of these items over the years.

little black dress

it’s important to always have a little black dress in your closet. the go-to, always appropriate LBD that you can reliably reach for when you need a dress for date night. i think it’s good to have at least two LBDs—one that is fun and flirty, and one that is a little more conservative. a conservative style will get a lot of use for day to day as it can pinch hit for the office, church, or any kind of meeting when a more reserved style is appropriate.

little black dress

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prescriptives

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michael kors dress

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pearl necklace

pearls are absolutely my favorite go-to jewelry. they add instant panache no matter if you’re pairing them with a casual denim outfit or an LBD. i love to mix them with jeans and a blazer. the classically chic style of pearls make them an easy choice for anyone, since they go with every style, anytime. even if you don’t normally wear jewelry, you can always try a pearl necklace and rest assured, they look great on you! 

beth at Style at a Certain Age wears an Ann Taylor tweed military jacket, Everlane crewneck cashmere, J.Crew cropped flare denim, pointy-toed boots and strings of pearls

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how to wear pearls

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happy new year 2020

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going to the chapel

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white blouse 

this one is an obvious choice for a timeless classic. much like pearls, you can elevate any outfit by wearing a crisp white button up – but this is also true for a soft silk white blouse. it’s also true for more trendy styles, like collarless tuxedo shirts, or tie-waist kimono styles. while some styles and cuts will fade in and out of fashion, the idea of a classic white blouse keeps this classic relevant.

classic black and white

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beth from Style at a Certain Age wears a Ralph Lauren blazer, Helmut Lang winter white blouse, J. crew Maddie pant, Ann Taylor suede pumps, and Gucci handbag

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beth from Style at a Certain Age wears a lemon print skirt, eyelet blouse, pointy-toed flats and o-bag

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back to basics

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leather handbag 

a leather handbag is a timeless classic because if you go for a well-made classic design, like a satchel or tote, and if you choose a color that is versatile with items in your closet you will definitely get your money’s worth in use and it will last for years to come. a well made leather bag is something worth spending a bit more on, if you can. with brands like Everlane, you can get a quality, beautiful bag without spending your whole paycheck! 

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traveling with accessories

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winter whites

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ballet flats

like many of the items in this list, ballet flats can go from casual to dressy with ease. and like the leather handbag, it’s worth searching out a well-made pair in a neutral color. you will reach for them everytime you can’t decide on what shoes to wear with those wide-leg jeans, or when you know you’ll be on your feet all day at the office. i highly recommend Everlane’s Day Glove ballet flat, they are affordable, well made and very comfortable.

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beth from Style at a Certain goes shopping wearing a Lafayette 148 white shirt, St. John Sport sweater, girlfriend jeans, and ballet flats

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sunglasses

sunglasses have been an iconic fashion staple for ages. sunglasses are often a very personal expression of style because you wear them on your face. many factors play into how we choose sunglasses: face shape is probably the biggest factor and mostly we tend to stick with sunglass styles that work best with our face shape. but this is where you can really have some fun! there are certainly sunglass fads, but for the most part, classic styles remain so. think: aviators, oversized, or Wayfarer styles. within these iconic style groups there are myriad variations and designs that make them more or less trendy. i recommend having multiple pairs, so you can choose for your mood!

airport style for wiinter

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traveling with accessories

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happy new year 2020

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blazer

if you have followed me for any length of time you know i regularly sing the praises of the mighty blazer. my personal style is decidedly preppy and the blazer is the cornerstone of preppy style. having a few blazers in your closet is not excessive at all! a well-fitting, well-made black blazer will see you through office outfits, date night outfits, over jeans for brunch – trust me you cannot go wrong with a black blazer. but consider a tweed blazer for fall and winter when you need an extra layer. a tweed blazer over jeans and a sweater is a picture perfect outfit for any day of the week. and what about summer? yes, indeed – a lightweight linen blazer for summer is a dream! check out my blazer blow out post to see how i love to style the mighty blazer.

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black leather jacket

maybe you stray from a black leather jacket because you don’t think a motorcycle jacket is your style. well, let me tell you that black leather jackets come in all sorts of styles! from the typical  motorcycle jacket with zippers and pockets, to the more streamlined cafe racer style, to bomber styles, to blazers! whatever style best suits you and your wardrobe, i bet you can find a black leather jacket.

vince camuto leather moto jacket, everlane cashmere sweater, j.crew skinny toothpick, talbots riding boots, michael kors handbag

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beth from Style at a Certain Age wears a floral jacquard sweater, black skinny jeans, black leather moto jacket and pink suede pumps for date night

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tees

tee shirts don’t have to be relegated to weekend or bedtime wear. tee shirts are a beloved staple and deserve a spot in your regular outfit rotations. i love to wear a graphic tee with a pencil skirt. or under a blazer with pants or jeans. you can elevate your tee shirt with what you pair it with: tweed blazer and pearls, skirt and heels…suddenly your humble tee shirt is the perfect go-to. or reverse it, sometimes a more “over the top” item, like a sequined skirt, can be toned down with a tee shirt.

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

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jeans

you all know i am true blue jean mama. i am more likely to be found in blue jeans on any given day than most other items from my closet, which is why i have a steady rotation of styles. i have classic straight leg and boot cut styles as well as the new classics: skinny, wide leg, cropped and flare. well made, well-cared for jeans can last for many years, so even if a particular style has fallen flat one season, it will definitely come back around. so if you have the space for it, store them and wait until they make their way back to the top of the heap. read my ultimate denim guide for tips on fit and styles.

fall fashion with Walmart

boot cut | wide leg | ankle | boyfriend | skinny 

wide leg jeans, gray turtleneck, red handbag

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17 Comments

  1. Millie Gonzalez wrote:

    Love all your style tips…I had seen you on Pinterest. When I found you on YouTube I was elated. Thank you for all your great tips on style. Have an awesome week.

    Posted 3.8.20
  2. Cindy wrote:

    What a wealth of information, and so timely as we approach (finally!!!) Spring. As a new reader of yours, this post is so valuable and will save me money and time in the long run as I purge, splurge, and resist the urge, haha!!

    Posted 3.8.20
  3. Marcella wrote:

    Excellent!! Thank you!

    Posted 3.8.20
  4. Alanna wrote:

    Hi Beth,
    I have just discovered your blog through and absolutely love your style. Today’s post was brilliant because I had the opportunity to see you in a wide range of clothes from earlier posts. I learnt so much about how to put an outfit together that would fit my lifestyle. Nearly every single outfit got a big tick from me.
    One problem though… whenever I look at your posts I’m bombarded by ads. Is this a problem with my browser?
    Looking forward to following your posts.

    Best wishes,
    Alanna

    Posted 3.8.20
  5. Lyn wrote:

    This is such a wonderful post. I have about 90% of similar items in my closet. I just did my yearly tee refresh – white, black and grey in both long and short sleeve. Other than that I will be shopping for a new pair of black dressier pants. That’s it – I will use your post for fresh ideas without having to shop. I decided this year will be a year using what I have in interesting, and perhaps edgier ways.

    Posted 3.9.20
  6. Susan wrote:

    Beth love all the outfits especially the one with the jean jacket, I don’t do blue jeans, only chinos and colored jeans.
    Thank you for your inspiration!!

    Posted 4.12.20
    • chinos are always a good choice!

      Posted 4.12.20
  7. Trisia wrote:

    Beth, I’ve been following you for several years now and I love your style. Yours is more elegant than mine but very similar. With deepest love and affection, please keep your hairstyle, don’t grow it out. You are so beautiful and the short style compliments your face and eyes. I hope you accept this with grace because That’s how it’s conveyed.

    Keep us elegant and teaching us the classic looks whether old classic or new classic.

    With love,

    Posted 4.12.20
    • thanks for the feedback, trisia. at the moment i don’t have a choice about the style of my hair. and there will always be people that think short hair suits me best. i wouldn’t disagree. but change is good for the soul and about every five years or so i grow the mop out. i would like to add that before we make a judgement let’s get my hair to the length it needs to be. the in-between stages are the worst especially since i haven’t had my stylists input for weeks and weeks.

      Posted 4.12.20
  8. Marilyn Bornstein wrote:

    Happy Easter!
    Love, love, love all that you do!!
    Thank you!
    By the way, I keep a fashion album of pictures on my phone.
    Styles that I like with items that I have. Many of your style pics are in my album!!
    Love it!

    Posted 4.12.20
  9. Maria wrote:

    You Look Awsome Thanks For Your Videos Love Them.

    Posted 4.12.20
  10. eve wrote:

    I have most of these but I don’t have a leather jacket. I just find I won’t it something that isn’t soft these days. I have a moto jacket in lined black silk that I throw on a lot. It’s still edgy for me at my age. I loved the way you’ve styled these.

    Posted 4.12.20
  11. Cyndi wrote:

    Happy Easter to you and your family. It seems like we dress up less and less, even when we were not quarantined. I love these looks, because they are so versatile for all situations. I live in my jeans or leggings and rarely wear dresses – I’m just more comfortable wearing pants. The only silhouette I wouldn’t wear is the wide leg pant, since I am VERY short and don’t wear heels anymore, this style tends to make me look shorter and wider. Thanks for all the style tips, I’ll be putting similar looks together when we are finally able to emerge from our homes.

    Posted 4.12.20
  12. Mary wrote:

    Lie it

    Posted 4.13.20
  13. Hi, Beth. How about a post one day on graphic tees? I like your Cali tee. Thanks, Linda

    Posted 4.13.20
  14. Cynthia Bulharowski wrote:

    For Alanna below re ads: I use ‘Ad Block’ and it’s great. It’s free, but you can donate (which I do b/c it is so great). Just type in ad block and choose the version you want – it covers your whole system. I use both the ‘regular’ and the ‘Plus’ versions – gets most everything! I love it. (There are some companies that get around it but very few and you can delete them. Ad Block explains it. I hardly every get one.

    Posted 4.14.20
  15. Denise wrote:

    I need all the help I can get for fashion and style! Thank you!

    Posted 4.16.20

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