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, straightforward, 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 throughout the years. It’s never helpful to mow people down with words when we can be honest and uplifting.)
But the trouble with classic, timeless clothes is that they can look dated and boring, stuffy and stale if we’re not careful how we put our outfits together. So how do we keep the timeless classic style modern, fresh, and relevant year in and year out? Today, I'm sharing 5 ways to keep your look modern, fresh & relevant.
Today, I've got 5 things to keep in mind to keep your look modern, fresh & relevant
Per usual, I've also scattered throughout some inspiration outfits to show you that classic dressing truly does stand the test of time
For each outfit, I've put together budget alternatives, a new feature we're trying out
All of the inspiration outfits are shoppable via text- and image-widgets
If you’ve heard me say it once, you’ve hear 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 blond. How about a bold shade of red? Or if you’re like me you’ve embraced your natural grays and are loving it!
But we’ve all seen blondes, redheads, and silver locks trapped in a dated haircut. Keeping your hair current and fresh will keep your timeless classic outfits updated. Tell me, what does your hairstyle say about you?
There are several handbags, belts, and scarves sitting in my closet that I’ve had for at least twenty years or longer. TWENTY YEARS! That’s the beauty of a classic wardrobe. We can invest in accessories knowing they will last a lifetime. But it’s important to keep our outfits current so we need to stay abreast of trends.
While handbags, belts and scarves are almost trendproof when it comes to shoes, heels change shape, as well as toes. What was popular ten years ago isn’t popular today. Some years large handbags are all the rage and other years small handbags are definitely better.
The devil is always in the details so pay attention to how to mix and match current trends with classic pieces. 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 outfit wil 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.
Do you have a signature style? Many times through the years people who know me and know my style can pick up an item and say, “that’s so you!” My mother was so good at identifying items that were quintessentially me. Mr. Style was darn good at it too!
But don’t let your signature style go stale. Let your style evolve and keep up with trends just don’t let the trends sway you too much. I have an 80/20 rule. 80% classic items with 20% trends. My wardrobe is built on neutrals but I love to add bold colors and patterns too.
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 lugsoles, mules, and slides are seen everywhere this year and I love to wear those too as well as over-the-knee boots. Wide-leg pants are popular as are slouchy pants. How about sheer and gauzy fabric? If your outfit is anchored with at least one classic item don’t worry about being too trendy. And don’t forget to add texture to an outfit. Faux leather pants look fabulous with a tweed blazer.
So go ahead and experiment with your signature style and step out of the style box now and again.
Jewelry will last you a lifetime if chosen wisely. And fine jewelry is an investment that can be full of intrinsic memories. Many of my most treasured pieces were gifted by my parents or Mr. style.
Now it’s up to me to continue to update my jewelry collection and share my favorites with my daughter-in-law, Kelly, and future DILs.
Jewelry can shift from bold and dramatic to soft and delicate. Metals are always popular and you might prefer gold over silver or vice versa but it’s quite on trend to mix metals these days.
No matter the trends, I always recommend investing in:
Makeup trends come and go. Anyone remember the 70s and our crush on bronzer? Who didn’t want that sun-kissed glow? Eyebrows were plucked into a thin line. The popular eyeshadow colors were blue, green, and purple! And we loved a smokey eye.
The 80s came along with big hai and bold makeup. 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. Puf sleeves, anyone? ‘Nuff said!
The 90s introduced scrunchies, glossy lips, and crimped hair. Eyebrows were back to being plucked and skinny, and 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! Perhaps we still do…
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 keep my classic pencil skirt and blazer from looking dated. So keep your makeup updated. No one wants to be stuck in another decade.
Kelly and I are on a river cruise this week. We started in New Orleans, so what better time to share what to see & do in The Big Easy. Click the title or image below to read the article.
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.
Great post! So on point. I’ll reread again later … and think about what I can do to improve.
P.S. Will look at the NOLA info too — thanks!
I agree that a hairstyle is the most important thing to keep updated. I have a picture of my mother taken when she was in her early 60s. She looks older than I do at 80 because she has short permed gray hair. She also never did anything with her complexion but wash it with soap. I had a friend whom I always thought was older than I was because she had the same old lady hair and found out she was younger when she died. I am letting my hair grow out and am experimenting with styles that don’t make me look like an aging hippie. I don’t think older women look good with the flat straight hair that the 20-30 somethings are wearing. It needs to have some kind of style and a good cut that is flattering to one’s face. Your hair style looks good on you and is classic. I can’t imagine it ever going out of style
Beth, classics are just the best! My husband is retiring on 31 March so I’ve been hitting some great sales at Dillard’s, Loft and Chicos. I’ve picked up some great classic, and updated, pieces in neutrals that will be in style for several years.
I love wearing bright colors too essentially during the Spring and Summer. But, then I need my neutrals after several days of color. I used to religiously follow Color Me Beautiful and other color programs through the years. I know there are a few colors that aren’t good for my skin tone, however I really feel that I can wear a much wider range of colors than what I’ve been told. And, oh my, I wear cool AND warm colors even though I’m essentially cool/neutral. I’m guessing that you don’t prescribe much to all the color hoopla either, Beth!
Excellent fashion and style tips, some items are always in style but not all of them like you said.
Thank you again for sharing your classic modern style.
This was a great post! I had to laugh because I lived thru most of those trends! And now, I’m embracing my age and your info was spot on! Thank you!
I love the classics – with a twist now and then. When I was still working, a young lady that was an intern in our office said to me how great I always looked, and that she had never seen me wear the same thing twice. I just smiled and said thank you. Nothing could have been farther from the truth. I didn’t have a minimalist wardrobe, but everything worked together – all good quality classics. Long retired I still keep up with trends like a black leather moto jacket, chunky loafers, a French bob, but the foundation of my closet is based on the classics.
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