How to Create a Classic Wardrobe

Two Methods:Look for Timeless BasicsInvest in Classic Accessories

Classic wardrobes are in fashion no matter what the current trends are. In order to build a classic wardrobe, you need to stock up on timeless pieces in flattering fits, shapes, and colors. You can build on these basics by layering them with modern, trendy garments, or you can mix-and-match them with other timeless classics.

Method 1
Look for Timeless Basics

Classic style staples are versatile pieces that can be layered, mixed, and matched in order to create an abundance of clean, timeless looks.

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    Select clothes that never go out of style and work with every season.
    • Invest in a basic knee-length pencil skirt. Look for one in a neutral color, and go with black for the most versatility.
    • Buy dress slacks in a neutral color. Take your time in choosing a pair that flatters your legs.
    • Purchase a few colorful knit tops. Choose colors that work well with your skin tone.
    • Own a white, fitted button-down shirt.
    • Keep a stock of fitted, short-sleeve t-shirts.
    • Keep a stock of fitted tank tops and camisoles, as well.
    • Look for a blazer. Choose one that matches the color and style of either your pencil skirt or dress pants.
    • Pick out a cardigan sweater.
    • Pick out a little black dress. A good little black dress can be dressed up for semi-formal occasions or dressed down for a night on the town. For best results, look for a dress in a classic cut.
    • Have at least one pair of flattering jeans. Look for a timeless dark-wash denim and a classic style, such as boot cut or straight leg.
    • Also own a pair of flattering khaki pants. For some occasions, jeans are too casual and dress slacks are too dressy. Khaki pants are good for bridging that gap.
    • Purchase a fitted coat suitable for spring and fall weather. Think trench coats and pea coats.
    • Own a heavier fitted coat capable of keeping you warm in the winter.
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    Add in a few seasonal basics.
    • Keep a few casual sundresses handy for warm spring and summer weather.
    • Purchase capri pants for the warmer weather. Choose a length and cut—loose or fitted—that flatters your legs.
    • Consider purchasing a fitted pea coat for autumn and winter.
    • Look for a few heavy sweaters for the winter. Turtlenecks are considered classic, but many other styles also work well.
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    Stock up on neutral colors. Think black, gray, tan, dark brown, white, and cream. Neutral colors are the most versatile.
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    Search for classic shades and patterns.
    • Think primary and secondary colors. A few brights and variations will not hurt, but try to stick with colors that are always considered acceptable. Avoid colors that are only "in" for the season.
    • Look for colors that coordinate well with your skin tone.
    • Consider a blouse or dress with a small polka dot print.
    • Search for pinstripe pants or shirts.
    • Try on a subdued floral pattern.
    • Look at muted, mellow plaid prints, especially for the fall and winter.
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    Check the fit. Always choose clothing that fits your body properly. Ill-fitted pieces will prevent your style from looking classic, regardless of the pieces you have in your wardrobe.

Method 2
Invest in Classic Accessories

Stock up on accessories that have survived through the ages.

  1. Image titled Create a Classic Wardrobe Step 6
    Keep your jewelry box stocked with accessories that never go out of style.
    • Look for basic gold and silver chains. Own a mix of both metals.
    • Lean heavier on the metal that suits your skin tone best, however. Individuals with fair, rosy skin often look best in silver, while those with yellow tints to their complexion usually look best in gold.
    • Own at least one basic pendant necklace.
    • Have a selection of posts, hoops, and dangling earrings if you have pierced ears.
    • Invest in a watch. Look for one with a metal or leather band, but avoid plastic.
    • Keep at least one nice tennis bracelet.
    • Look for classic stones like diamonds and pearls.
    • Keep colored jewelry subdued. Opt for small colored birthstones over chunky, funky beads.
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    Purchase timeless dress shoes.
    • Own a pair of high-heeled pumps. Black pumps are considered the most classic, but other neutrals may also work.
    • Look for a pair of low-heeled, strappy sandals for summer dress up occasions.
    • Consider a pair of fashion boots. Knee-high boots work well, but so do shorter boots. Look for black boots with a low to high heel.
    • Keep a pair of simple flats handy. Avoid wild colors and designs, and gravitate toward a neutral color with subtle detail.
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    Purchase casual footwear.
    • Purchase a pair of simple white sneakers.
    • Have a pair of flat boots in your closet for winter.
    • Own a pair of casual flat walking sandals for summer.


  • Purchase only those items you like and feel comfortable with. You don't want to end up with a closet full of pieces you'll never wear.
  • If a classic staple does not fit quite right, take it to a tailor for alterations.
  • Consider buying vintage jewelry to find pieces with a classic aura. While "vintage" and "classic" are not necessarily synonymous, vintage pieces that still look stylish by modern standards may fall into the "timeless" category.

Things You’ll Need

  • Classic bottoms
  • Classic tops
  • Classic shoes
  • Timeless accessories

Article Info

Categories: Creating Fashion Wardrobes