Our first entry into our Essential Series this month is 5 timeless fashion essentials you need in your closet, including the essential Spring raincoat (’cause it’s almost that time of year). They are:
This post continues the Essential Series we began in January:
One of the goals of this series is to help you build a classic and timeless wardrobe that you can “shop” for years to come. So for each essential item today, I put together a widget of shoppable items. I’ve also gone back into the archives and found different ways you can style each item.
The trench coat has made many appearances on the blog over the years. To my mind, it is the essential Spring & Fall raincoat. Did you know that during WWI British Officers wore trench coats that had been modified with shoulder straps and D-rings? the ring was included so that map cases, swords, or other equipment could easily attach to the belt. (After all, necessity is the mother of invention.)
Burberry reigns supreme when it comes to a khaki trench, but other retailers like J.Crew have them at lower price points. I’ve put together a shopping widget below for a variety of different options.
Style tip: If you already have a khaki trench, but want to add another, consider something more exotic like animal print.
We ran a list of essential accessories back in January. Handbags were featured there heavily. If I had to pick one and only one handbag I would carry with me, it would be the satchel handbag. Yup, even above a crossbody or clutch. What I love most about the satchel is its versatility. Style them up, or style them down—satchels can work for you in just about any situation.
Style tip: Pick one time in your outfit to match your bag to create a perfect synergy between your accessories and that outfit.
Jewelry is the most personal part of any woman’s closet. From heirloom pieces to costume jewelry, choices reflect highly specific and often memorable points in our life. It truly is difficult to recommend jewelry for other women to buy.
But if you backed me into a corner, I would say that every woman should own a pair of gold hoops. If you were to scroll through my past posts, I’m willing to bet that I’ve featured gold hoops more than any other piece of jewelry. I get that much use out of mine.
Style tip: Pair gold hoops with gold bangles to create a subtle, easily reinforceable theme for your outfit.
Just like trench coats, blazers are a regular fixture over here at Style at a Certain Age. Tweed blazers are such easy transition pieces from Winter-to-Spring or Fall-To-Winter, they can be reused often. And given that they can be dressed up or down, you’ll have no trouble finding new ways to wear them.
Style tip: Pair a tweed blazer with denim, because it works every time.
The cap-toe slingback might not need any introduction due to its iconic status. Coco Chanel introduced this beauty in 1957 and nicknamed it “the height of elegance.” This shoe ticks all the classic boxes and is a cult favorite due to its neutral color scheme – black toe and nude body. The heel is not too high nor too low and looks fantastic with skirts, dresses, pants or blue jeans.
Today, we’re introducing “Real vs. Steal.” Who doesn’t love a bargain?
Walmart carries the Easy Spirit cap-toe pump that’s easy on your budget. Hands down the best dupe are the Exclusive Baton Heel available at TuckerNuck that looks almost identical to the Chanel slingback. Karen White pointy toe slingback is elegant and sophisticated thanks to a v-shape opening. And the Vaneli Aliz slingback is a perennial favorite available at Nordstrom.
Style tip: this shoe is as practical as it is beautiful because the nude color lengthens the leg while the black toe shortens the foot.
We just posted a new DAILY LOOK, so make sure to check it out. Daily Looks is a really simple feature: a dedicated photo feed of my daily outfits. And you can shop those outfits easily through the shop the widget below the picture.
Winter is still here for a little while, but here’s a comfy sweater to beat the cold.
is the Founder and CEO of Style at a Certain Age. She writes Sundays-Fridays on all topics ranging from fashion, health, wellness, home design and more.
She’s 63, 5’8, and size 8.
Love these ‘essentials’ posts, Beth. I have started editing my wardrobe and embracing the ‘slow’ fashion movement. These essentials posts hit that spot perfectly. I actually realized, the other day, that I have always gravitated to the essentials, quality items, and neutral workhorses. The essentials make me feel, unique, confident, and, dare I say – sexy 😉. There is something quietly captivating about, even the simplest outfit, well put together – regardless of price point.
And yes, I agree wholeheartedly, gold hoops. I have them in three sizes to suit different occasions and as you say they are my go-to choice. Pearls are my other option, and again three styles – studs, drops, and a fancier multi-drop.
pearls are always a good choice! one reason i love classic style is that it’s a sustainable style. it always has been and always will be the smart choice when it comes to building your wardrobe.
Love your column which I follow and enjoy reading.
A comment about handbags. It has been trendy for years to have 2 handles on a bag ( a shoulder strap and a short handle ). I personally prefer shoulder bags but am dismayed that the strap, which usually needs to be attached, is so thin!
Even for large handbags which can be full and heavy. This thin strap then digs into your shoulder. It hurts!
I don’t understand why fashion bags took this wrong turn. Most of us need our hands free, except perhaps for evenings out, and therefore don’t use satchels
What are your thoughts on this?
Can we get thru to designers to make wider attachable straps ? Help!
love your hair. When first cut,do you have it cut above the ear?.
Great post Beth. I took the plunge and went gray when I retired. I love that you continue to wear bold colors.
And I forgot Totes.
They don’t work as handbags or shoulder bags, because they have no zipper. .
Ever put one down on your car seat and have it flip over and pour contents on the floor? All The Time !
We need a new perspective on handbag design.
Thanks for listening Beth
I have an “older” Dooney & Burke cream/brown satchel…would you consider that too old to bring out again? It IS heavy but what is your opinion?
I have an old Dooney & Bourke cream/brown satchel….think I should take it out of the closet or is it too old?
Great post! Thank you, Beth.
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