shopping for classic style

many of you may have noticed there’s lots of discussion about timeless classic style on the blog. entire blog posts are dedicated to timeless classics – timeless classic military coat or timeless classic riding boots. typically, there’s a backstory on how certain clothing items turned into classics. i love to share those bits of history with you like when and how the iconic, timeless classic pencil skirt came onto the fashion scene. many of you enjoyed the blog post that discussed how easy it is for a classic style to become dated or stodgy. there are definitely ways to prevent that from happening! last fall i was pleased to partner with Talbots as their Fall Classics guest editor where we looked at ten key classic pieces.

shopping for classic style

beth from Style at a Certain Age wears Ralph Lauren pinstripe pants, Misook white blouse, J.Crew black blazer, cap toe pumps and black handbag

shopping for classic style

some of you may be scratching your head as to what classic style is all about? there are lots of style quizzes on the web that can help identify your signature look. but since a teenager, i’ve preferred classic style above all other styles. there’s something steady and true about pieces that never go out of fashion: trench coats, pencil skirts, anything nautical. the classics are simplicity at its best and are well designed. they can also be dressed up or down because they are forever stylish. classic style speaks to me but they also keep me on my toes. i’m always asking, “how does a cashmere crewneck sweater go best with a blazer?” or “how does a pencil skirt go with a faux leather moto jacket?” there’s nothing i love more than reinventing those classic pieces that are rooted in beauty and usefulness. remember, you’re in good company when it comes to timeless classic style. jackie kennedy onassis, grace kelly, audrey hepburn, lauren bacall, victoria beckham, amal clooney, princess diana, and kate middleton are all exemplary examples of classic style in motion.

shopping for classic style

beth from Style at a Certain Age what i wore to the rehearsal dinner Theory blazer, Theory black pants, Vince striped tee, polka dot slingbacks

shopping for classic style

today, i wanted to talk about how to shop for classic style. who are the designers or brands i’m fond of that offer those timeless classic pieces? in this post, i’ve rounded up a list of brands i gravitate towards. it’s not an exhaustive list but it’s representative of those brands i love and have shopped for years. most fall into the mid-priced brands’ category. but i’ve never been afraid to shell out a few bucks for a well-made piece from a luxury designer. remember, classic style stands the test of time. once you’re familiar with classic style and know what you love (read ten wardrobe essentials to get started), it’s easy to shop at Target or Kohls to fill in gaps in your wardrobe. there’s absolutely no price-point that defines the classics. whatever your budget there’s a classic clothing item created just for you. so grab a cup of coffee and start scrolling through my list. the good news? in case you hadn’t heard (ha!) thursday is when many brands launch their sales. it’s a great day to shop.

shopping for classic style

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

shopping for classic style

Talbots: since 1947 Talbots has been delivering timeless and timely fashion. i shop for many things at this store but i particularly love RSVP Occasion.

 

Gap: founded by the Fisher family in 1969 Gap went from selling levi’s and lp records to private-label merchandise in 1974. there are several brands underneath the Gap Family: Gap, Old Navy, and my two favorites Banana Republic and Athleta

J.Crew: what started as a catalog company in 1983 has become one of the most iconic american retailers. this is one of the first stores i shop for blazers.

Everlane: this is a new brand with a fabulous online presence and two brick and mortar stores on either coast. there are quite a few key pieces i like from this brand. but their loafers are top-notch.

Levi’s: what can i say about this iconic brand that brought us the first blue jean other than i adore them! they still carry the original trucker jacket a.k.a. denim jacket.

Ralph Lauren: i could wear Ralph Lauren head-to-toe on any given day. but i always count on Ralph for classic outerwear

Boden: founded in 1991 by Johnnie Boden  Boden initially launched with eight menswear products. womenswear was introduced in 1992. their sweaters always catch my eye.

Ann Taylor: Ann always carries those ‘outfit basics’ every wardrobe needs. i’m a big fan of their denim.

Tory Burch: love Tory’s take on sporty casual. but i can always count on this brand for timeless handbags.

Theory: clean and sophisticated Theory has a nice compilation of best sellers.

Chanel: this luxury designer has delivered trends that turned into timeless classics since Coco was at the helm. chance by chanel is my go-to fragrance. i’m also a big fan of their lipsticks. and i love, love, love their costume jewelry. it’s pricey but gorgeous.

Burberry: this is one brand that has consistently delivered iconic elegance for decades whether it’s their signature trench or field jacket.

St. John: if you want classic knitwear look no further. love their take on sportswear.

Lafayette 148: this brand is quickly becoming a favorite of mine. yes, it’s a luxury brand but worth every penny spent.

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16 Comments

  1. Maryellen wrote:

    Hi Beth, Thank you for this post. I am shopping today and you list will be very helpful. I love your style and look forward to your posts.

    Posted 9.19.19
    • it’s always a good day when shopping is included. xo

      Posted 9.19.19
  2. Cyndi wrote:

    What a great post – the list of iconic women that we think of when we think classic & the list of classic brands. Levis, Gap, Loft, Ann Taylor & J Crew are always on my radar & in my closet.

    Posted 9.19.19
    • the classics are always ‘in’ style! and i love that so many brands are devoted to the classics. xo

      Posted 9.19.19
    • Elli wrote:

      Have you thought about writing a book about fashion?

      Posted 10.3.19
  3. please please tell me where to buy the pink coat!!! LOVE IT!

    Posted 9.19.19
    • the pink coat is several years old by Misook.

      Posted 9.19.19
    • Susan wrote:

      Hi Beth..Love today’s post! I have bought most of the brands. Not familiar with Everlane, have seen on you post before. I also frequent Eileen Fisher and J. Jill for time to time!

      Posted 9.19.19
  4. Love this blog. Thank you for sharing so much with us.

    Posted 9.19.19
  5. Ruthann wrote:

    Hi, Beth. This post is great! I buy a lot of my clothing on consignment and always find classics to freshen up the closet! But, there is always more to learn. Today gave me inspiration to try on some modified pencil skirts (aka sheath, right?). Your posts suit my style and help remind me that I don’t have to jump into a tired and stretchy wardrobe just because I’m in my 60s. Please carry on!

    Posted 9.19.19
  6. Cheryl wrote:

    Maybe I missed it, but I wish you’d post a link to that FABULOUS pink coat you’re wearing. You never looked prettier.
    Love this post and all the choices in it.
    Sending hugs and best wishes.

    Posted 9.19.19
  7. Cheryl wrote:

    Maybe I missed it, but I wish you’d post a link to that FABULOUS pink coat you’re wearing. You never looked prettier.
    Love this post and all the choices in it.

    Posted 9.19.19
  8. I just loved today’s posts! Thank you for featuring the classics and more tailored outfits. As always, you look terrific and have given me quite a few pairing ideas. Again thanks!

    Posted 9.19.19
  9. Suzanne M Smith wrote:

    This is a good list of stores that carry lots of classic looks. I completely agree–timeless items really do last for years, and can be mixed in with so many pieces, new and old. They can be updated to look totally different with little tweaks and still look fresh. Well done.

    Posted 9.19.19
  10. Annette wrote:

    I really like Talbots but they have pretty much left California!

    Posted 9.19.19
  11. Dee wrote:

    Dear Beth I love the “Audrey” look check pants & black boat neck top with long pink cardigan coat above. Do you have purchasing details for the pants & coat please? Thanks!

    Posted 10.11.19

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