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. then there are classic jackets, the little black dress, and an iconic white shirt. 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! fall of 2018, i was pleased to partner with Talbots as their Fall Classics guest editor, where we looked at ten key pieces. but today, we’ll take a look at where to shop 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 their 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.
today, i wanted to talk about how and where 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? well, it may not be exactly news but it’s oh so easy to shop online from the comfort of your home.
Talbots: since 1947 Talbots has been delivering timeless and timely fashion. i shop for many things at this store but i particularly love.
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.
L.K. Bennett: this affordable luxury brand was started by linda bennett in london in 1990. i love their shoes but especially their boots.
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 can 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 opens in 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.
Burberry: this is one brand that has consistently delivered iconic elegance for decades whether it’s their trench or field jacket.
St. John: if you want classic knitwear look no further. love their sportswear.
Everlane: this is a 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 cashmere and loafers are top-notch.
Vince.: this is an upscale brand that draws from the natural beauty of its California homeland. i particularly love their blouses and sweaters. Vince has terrific sales.
LaFayette 148 New York: this is an American company based in NY. love their take on the classics with cleans lines and natural fabrics.
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.
I just love these classic looks you posted.
I am too a classic with a bold look sometimes. I love bright colors, like red, bright pinks, bright blues, etc.
I am looking for the classic button cardigan that you show with the plaid skirt. I am looking for both pieces. I use to have a 2 basic button down cardigans but wore them out. Thanks for your hard work on putting these
that cardigan is from Talbots. they typically carry classic cardigans as does J.Crew.
LANDS END has GREAT all cotton sweaters.
Check out THREDUP for pre-enjoyed!
thanks for sharing!
You failed to mention Eileen Fisher which offers wonderful classic pieces that truly stand the test of time and wearing.
love Eileen Fisher but that brand doesn’t focus on classic style.
PLEASE, can you help those of us petites over 60 who want to dress COOL and Classy! We do not want to look like little girls, nor old grannies! Petite bloggers tend to be very young and very, very thin. Many of us, though very short in stature, do not weigh under one hundred pounds. We especially struggle to find shorts that are not crotch length, skirts that are not up to our um hums, and dresses! Do not get me started on appropriate dresses! I live in a very hot climate and there is virtually nothing to wear in our weather from late March through October!
thanks for the suggestion. i’m certain you are shopping the brands that offer petite selections? Talbots, Banana Republic, and Loft to name a few. it’s all about proportions, not height nor stature.
I have terrific luck at Ann Taylor. I’m petite in height but I’ve never been a waif! Their “regular sized skirt lengths are also perfect for me, hitting just at the knee. And I don’t feel like I’m being dressed like a doll.
Good luck in your search!
Could you please tell me where the outfit is from …..it is the picture of you on the museum staircase. You have jeans, long blazer and black sweater.
whenever i put posts like this together i pull photos from the archive for examples. so this outfit is about a year and a half old. but the blazer is from LaFayette 148, the scarf is Talbots, the jeans J.Crew and the booties Easy Spirit.
Talbots is the only brand that I have found that carries petite plus sizes. At five feet I really need petite and lack of activity due to my multiple surgeries has put me in the plus range. Do know if any of the brand’s you mentioned carry plus petite?
i’m sorry to say that i’m not aware of a plus/petite brand.
You may have some luck with Lands End. They do carry petite in varied sizes (not just 0-4). I’ve had luck with them. I hope that helps
Love this post! My sister and I were just speaking about our preference for timeless classics, instilled in me and my two sisters by our 97 year old mother. We are regular Talbot’s shoppers. Great mid-price items and wonderful red hanger sales.
In my opinion, one other great source is Land’s End. They carry many casual classics in all size ranges. LOVE their cardigans…must have at least 20 of them.
Lands’End is always a good idea!
Great reminder post. Classics always work and look fresh because they are simple, easy to accessorize and can be paired with almost anything. I love cardigans of all styles and lengths and have dozens. To SHERRY: Check out Walmart’s Time & Tru Everyday Cardigan. The perfect completer piece. Many, many lovely colors (and some patterns). I have ALL of them. Inexpensive and charming.
Time & Tru and Scoop are both good Walmart brands. thanks for sharing.
My first time commenting. I love following you and have since you lived in CA. I live in GA also not far from Athens, just a little fyi.
I was wondering what you think orif you have tried Misook clothing. I know they can be a little pricey but I love many pieces of their clothing, like jackets and dresses.
I would be interested in what you think.
i love Misook. they come in a close second behind St. John’s. i have a few of their pieces and love them all!
I have several basic black St.John pieces that I have owned for more than 15 years. (Short pencil skirt, slacks, shell, two jackets..one beaded) It was an investment that was well worth the money.
i totally agree!
I would love to know about the handbag in the picture with the twin sweater set and plaid skirt. I pretty sure that it is older but I’d like to keep checking the resale websites in hopes that one comes up. Thanks.
that handbag is from Talbots 2018
love your blogs, as i am 60 and love the classic style of all things; fashion, homes, interiors, food, drinks. I was wondering where you found the long sweater you are wearing with gray slacks and turtleneck. I have a few long sweaters from Talbots, but nothing with a lapel which is nice. I must say i only shop at three stores for classic fashion style, as they do well to mx and match.
the double-breasted cashmere cardigan is from Ralph Lauren. one of my favorites.
LANDS END + TALBOTS have shorts, capris for us modest older gals!
Beth….why don’t you include Meghan Markle in that list of timeless classics? I love her style.
definitely not an exhaustive list. Meghan has great style.
I really enjoy your ”style at a certain age” columns that I receive. They are all beautiful, but not for us mature plus size ladies. I would like to see clothes for us plus size ladies that can be purchased both in the USA and Canada. You are far from a plus size. There must be some brands that also make plus sizes, and not just ultra sexy things that I wouldn’t be seen dead in, as I am sure, other mature plus size ladies feel the same as me. Talbots, Old Navy and Nordstrom Rack do not ship to Canada. Anyone out there ship to Canada? Please help!
Thanks, and keep showing us beautiful clothes.
I would never have thought that a smart jacket would look good with jogging bottoms/leggings, but it does! Thanks for this idea.
glad you liked it!
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