Celebrate the Iconic Classics
The big game may be one of the highlights of every new year, so why not take some time to celebrate the iconic classics in our wardrobes that have become big winners too? These basic fashion staples are the essentials you will be cheering for year after year. (And if you don’t like football, then take a break from the game and plan a shopping trip instead...and take this list with you!)
Here are the top five fashion favorites that have become MVPs in my own playbook:
The trench. This well-known coat has come a long way since British military officers wore it in World War I. The double-breasted design with epaulets and buckled belt quickly gained star power after Clark Gable, Humphrey Bogart, Marlene Dietrich and Katherine Hepburn introduced it on the movie screens in the 1940s. Today the trench coat has morphed into a seasonless classic in a wide variety of colors far more fun than the original khaki. A shimmering silver trench is a favorite in my own closet; ditto for a zebra print trench, too.
Animal prints. This is another fashion classic that just keeps getting better and better as designers reinvent the old prints and patterns on innovative fabrics. Leopard is my personal preference, but there is a menagerie of patterns that will work in any wardrobe: tiger, cheetah, zebra, giraffe and even snake. Popular since the early 20th century, animal prints have become basic neutrals that will stand the test of time. I have enjoyed wearing my chiffon pleated leopard print maxi skirt for 10 years. The possibilities to dress it up or down are endless.
A bomber jacket. Inspired by military pilots in the 1930s, the leather bomber jacket has stood the test of time in many shapes and forms. Motorcycle riders got in on the trend, too, giving the jacket more of a rebel vibe with lots of hardware. Pick the one that works for you, and you will keep it for years and years. I still have my dad’s Air Force bomber jacket from the ‘40s framed in a shadow box, but a faux leather bomber jacket I bought years ago is one of my favorite go-tos that I grab weekly to wear with everything from jeans to my animal print chiffon skirt.
A black pantsuit/skirt suit. Yes, you get several pieces for the price of one with this most valuable pick, but stretching a wardrobe’s versatility is one of the best ways you can win at playing the fashion game. You will probably need to update these pieces occasionally since silhouettes and hemlines change. Find the best quality you can afford and don’t be afraid of mixing and matching these classics with other separates in your closet. Accessories can also create a unique personal style that will take you from day to night, from office to cocktails.
An oversized scarf/wrap. If there’s one “accessory” in my closet that I depend on day in and day out, season after season, it’s a wrap scarf or shawl. From soft knits to elegant velvets to wispy linens and silky chiffons, there are so many “variations on a theme” out there now, you’re sure to find one or two that works for you. I shop for these all year long. They are perfect for layering over just about everything. Wear them on cool days, chilly planes and even as beach cover ups. They are instant game changers.
Score more extra points with these classics.
> Not so basic white blouses and white T-shirts. Now is the perfect time to shop for these.
> Turtleneck sweaters. Black is an all-time boho favorite. Audrey Hepburn liked it, too!
> Cardigan sweaters. Fifties chic that is back in a big way a la Jackie O.
> Blue jeans and jackets. Denim will never go out of style. You can't go wrong with dark denim.
> LBDs. Little black dresses are another classic wardrobe staple. Find one you love, love, love. It will serve you well.
> Good quality leggings and yoga pants. I have to admit that these have also become winners in my own wardrobe. I'll be wearing them to my Super Bowl Party!
Sharon Mosley is a former fashion editor of the Arkansas Gazette in Little Rock and executive director of the Fashion Editors and Reporters Association.