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Thread: Help Me Construct A Wardrobe of "Classics"!

  1. #1

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    Default Help Me Construct A Wardrobe of "Classics"!

    One day I hope to perform a wardrobe "make-over" as I have been a SAHM for 5 years and it's gone a bit stale... I have also had weight fluctuations (you get that with 2 pregnancies LOL) and recently weight loss. Even my favourites are kinda stretched and saggy



    In the meantime I'm happy to Op Shop but when I return to work I'll have to buy some basics... preferably classics that won't date.

    I thought it would be interesting to find out what other people consider classics... casual, work, formal clothes included... oh and accessories and shoes. You can include the brand if you think they do a particularly classic version.

    I'll start:

    Jeans, dark blue (Levis)
    Trench coat, taupe (Burberry)
    T-shirt, white
    T-shirt, black

  2. #2

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    A good quality, well-cut pea-coat is at the top of my list - have one of those and anything looks classy LOL.

  3. #3

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    black cardigan (country road do the best)
    black tulip skirt (portmans classic)
    several pairs of leggings and ballet flats (target)
    warm hoodie jumper for weekend walks (surf shop )

  4. #4

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    Maybe get some of the same sorts of things in different colours. Some colours I think that are classic would be navy blue, red, browns. So you could get good quality shirts, jumpers, pants that are for your shape in different colours. And then accessorise from there with little things that are from that 'time' like scarves, cheaper jewellery, belts...
    I desperately need new clothes too, but I'll have to wait til I have this bub and get back to pre pg weight, or at least to a place I'm happy!

  5. #5

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    A black pair of pants, I usually find ones that fit nicely at Sussan but it varies season by season for me. I find you can dress them up or down with flats or heels.

  6. #6

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    My entire wardrobe would be considered classic LMAO! That being most of it is black! Big classic no no's are "in things" like hipsters, 3/4 pants, sack dresses, mini skirts etc. I have mostly long skirts, with a few 3/4 length a-line skirts, Wide leg Pants, singlet tops, a few classic coats, cardigans etc and some pretty pieces that are also timeless.

  7. #7

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    Definately a pair of tailored man-style black pants, and a nice fitted white shirt
    (funnily enough, at the moment I don't have either LOL)

  8. #8

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    Regarding coats:

    Sherie: I didn't know what a pea coat was so I Googled. Wiki explained it well with photos and said that yes, it is a Classic. However my body shape often needs a belted style coat but I'm glad you mentioned it 'cos now I know! I have a Laura Ashley wool/cashmere deep green duffle coat with a hood that I absolutley adore... I dunno are duffle coats "Classics"? I've had it for 6 years now and worn it every winter! The good thing about them is that they are roomy so on a bitterly cold day you can wear a cable knit jumper under it comfortably.

    Hats: a black beret, a canvas summer broad-brim (I've got a lovely pale pink one)....what else?

    Dresses: I love dresses, but all my favourites are too loose on me now. I guess the little black dress is a must...

  9. #9

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    Yes, I think it totally depends on your body type. I've got big boobs so V-necks suit me best. I've got a smallish waist so anything with a belt (jacket, coats, dresses) looks good but big hips/thighs so I can't go for anything too clingy. Legs not too much to write home about either. I also have to resist my temptation to do wide leg pants with pockets - I LOVE THEM, but not good on big hips. Better to go wide leg with no pockets or just good old bootleg.

    I have a thing about jackets and coats. So I generally buy at least one colourful jacket/coat per season. Last year I got a Cue bright green jacket (sounds hideous I know). The cleaner at work called it my "cheeky jacket". So I could wear it to work with black top/pants or wear it casually and match it (or should I say "team" - I read a lot of glossy women's mags LOL) with some green Converse runners.

    I tend to go cheap for "in" stuff like smock tops etc. but expensive for coats/jackets.

    I tell ya what though, I saw a woman at the Nick Cave exhibition in town today and she looked like a million dollars and she was wearing what I would have done 15 years ago. Nothing classic there at all. Cool jacket, really short skirt (I used to have bloody good legs), opaque tights and brogue boots. I sighed.

    Sorry, that was very rambly - and I didn't help with your list Bath. The Trinny & Susannah books are quite good for giving tips on what suits particular body types. I'm not huge fans of theirs but I think they know what they're talking about even though I don't particularly like how they go about it.

  10. #10

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    Bath.....I have had my winter coat........wait for it.......for 20 years! My parents bought it for me when I left home to go to uni in 1987! And it is still going strong......looks like new still to be honest! It is a dark navy blue duffel with bone toggle buttons and it is a cashmere and wool mix, so it is brilliantly warm, but very light. I love it!

    Aside from that, my "classics" are:

    ~ Definitely the jeans as mentioned: I buy a pair straight legged dark blue at the beginning of each season....that way you always have a few pairs in varying different comfiness and genuine fade!
    ~ Cream coloured cords - you can dress them up or down so well
    ~ Light tan coloured Old Navy chino style pants: for work or play
    ~ Tailored black pants: for work or evening wear. I have a few pairs in different fabrics for different seasons.

    ~ White linen shirts: dress up or down
    ~ Several long sleeve plain t-shirts in black/white/chocolate/navy

    ~ Sweaters.......I would not be without my black roll neck skivvy. It literally goes with everything. It is quite a fine lambswool, so is a bugger to wash, but invaluable al winter. I also have a collection of crew & v neck sweaters in different colours......so versatile. As well as some tunic stule sweaters/cardigans.

    ~ Suits: I have Ebayed most of my old work suits but I have kept 3.....all very simple cuts and styles that I know flatter my shape: one in black, in in charcoal and one in chocolate.

    (Reading the above makes it sound like my whole wardrobe is totally colourless.......but I do wear a lot pale pink!)

    And my jewellery tends to add a bit of glamour......I deviate from classic here.....a lot of chunky silver for me........

    And I spend my $$ on shoes and bags.......
    Last edited by Lucy; March 26th, 2008 at 07:44 PM.

  11. #11

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    Oh and you need a denim jacket
    A cream & a black scarf
    A nice pair of gold or silver hoop earrings
    Some black leather pointy toed high heeled boots

  12. #12

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    Oh and you need a denim jacket
    A cream & a black scarf
    A nice pair of gold or silver hoop earrings
    Some black leather pointy toed high heeled boots

  13. #13

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    Oh and you need a denim jacket
    A cream & a black scarf
    A nice pair of gold or silver hoop earrings
    Some black leather pointy toed high heeled boots


    aggggggggghhhhhhhhh sorry guys don't know what happened there!
    Last edited by sneakysparkle; March 26th, 2008 at 07:50 PM. Reason: extra posts!!

  14. #14

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    I think it would help to make a distinction between "classic" and "basic." Both are good, but the two aren't exactly interchangeable. Through uni I did design work, and also worked in retail dressing all kinds of women. Bear in mind that I'm American, I've kind of worked out since moving here that aussie dressing norms are a bit more- relaxed- than what I've been used to. So if I come off a little "snobby" (Dh's adjective for how I dress), I'm not. Its just difference.

    "Classic" conjures clothes with a certain sort of style to them- clean tailored lines, tasteful but interesting designs, pure colors, clean patterns.
    "Basic" would be more of solid colors (think navy, black, white, "safe" colors), durable pieces, interchangeability, and, well, basic designs.

    For example- T-shirts are a basic. Knits have little to no place in a classic wardrobe. There's just something, well, basic about them. I'm not knocking t-shirts, I love them. Classics are more of woven fabrics, good cuts and drape, carefully selected to fit well. There's a certain amount of overlap between the two categories I think, but not much really.

    An absolute 100% must for a classic wardrobe is a little black dress. It's hard to tell you what kind to buy, since I don't know your body shape. Do a bit of research (or you may already know what best flatters your figure) and buy a dress recommended to suit your body shape. Don't buy one that's too small. It will look awful. And you'll see a pic of yourself in it and feel awful and never wear it again. A good little black dress is versatile- good for parties (with pretty stockings, good makeup, killer heels, and a nice handbag) or for work (a cardigan, flats, shoulder bag) or for just about anything. The point is, it can be a sort of "last resort" dress that you wear when you don't know what else would be suitable/ are completely uninspired but still want to look nice.

    Also incredibly important- get fitted for a bra by someone who does it every day. The ladies at Myer are quite nice, in my experience. I can't stress this enough. You'll feel good, your posture will be better, you'll look great.

    Another rec- if you're going to go for Classic sorts of clothes, a good rule of thumb is to buy natural fibers. They breathe better and are more comfortable to wear. They look better. Usually more a pain to take care of, and generally more expensive- but I would soooo rather spend the same amount of money to have one well-made wool jumper than five or six acrylic ones. It just looks better. More "together."

    On colors- you don't need to be afraid of color. Think about colors you've worn in the past and been complimented on. For me, that's pale greens and purples, for example. I would suggest buying a few pieces in those colors. If there's a color you absolutely adore but makes your skin look somewhat jaundiced, thats ok too. You can still wear it, just don't wear it close to your face. For instance, I have a watermelon colored swirly skirt I wear all the time and I love. But that color makes me look ill, so its a skirt. And it works.

    I think what's most important, though, is to buy things that make you feel good about yourself, that you like to see yourself in, and that you are comfortable wearing. If any of those things are lacking, you'll just spend money and not wear it. And be confident. Attitude is half the battle.

  15. #15

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    what a great thread lots of good ideas.

    i have wanted to do this also and like you Bathsheba im a SAHM but think i should pop my last 2 before i go the new wardrobe. it will be fun for you to shop for all the new stuff.

    im a big bra fanatic most people don't were the right bra and to be honest the most beautiful outfit is ruined by saggy baggy post natel boobs. i recomend tossing most if not all of you old knickers and bras and going to get fittered by a professional pref in DJ's, Myer or a specitaly store. that bras and things shop never does a very good job when i go in there.

    my biggest problem is i don't much like todays fashions the young stuff looks trashy and the rest makes me feel like im in my mother's clothes she is a (good quality) pants, top, cardi / waist coat and sexi heals mumma and i don't want to look like my though very fashionable mother. im starting to feel old and todays fashions are not helping.

    sexy i want to look sexy even DH thinks todays ladieas fashion is anything but sexy.

  16. #16

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    Ah Bath - I'm right in the middle of doing exactly the same thing! I have been secretly stashing away some $$ here and there (it's takes ages!) and I'm ready to revamp my sad, sad wardrobe.

    I must say I am having a bit of trouble finding stuff that will suit me. I love lots of the fashion out, t-shirt dresses, tailored dresses etc. However lots of it is just CHEAP and badly made. I'm also worried Ill look a bit muttonish - I can't tell what suits my age anymore iykwim?

    So I'm sticking to good quality basics and I'll build from there.

    So far I have already

    White linen shirt
    Pea Coat - got it for $60 - down from $245!
    Dark Denim Jacket
    Charcoal Tailored pants - (Colorado do some lovely stuff)
    Black, White, Brown singlets
    Same in long sleeved T-shirts
    Black leggings
    Teal Jumper Dress
    Black and Silver Ballet Flats

    What I need

    LBD
    Jeans
    Light pants
    Black turtleneck (absolute MUST for a winter wardrobe)
    Boots
    Poncho (I don't care about fashion, I LOVE these things!)

    Don't forget accessories! You don't need to spend lots but you can change your entire look with a different scarf/bracelets etc.

    I'm trying to buy everything at the same time, and keep adding things so I don't get so run down in the wardrobe dept again. Pity shopping isn't as fun as it used to be.....

  17. #17

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    This is what I'd like, not necessarily what I wear.
    coat or trench (but a wool coat for mine) at least long enough to cover my bottom, but not necessarily 3/4 length.
    . a good pair of jeans in a style that suits you.
    a crisp white shirt with full length sleeves
    knee length or longer skirt aline or tulip for me but style to suit your body shape.
    shoes - court shoes, mary janes, ballet flats and a good pair of boots.
    a tailored suit
    manstyle trousers, pref cotton or woven.

    I try to get natural fibres where possible for the breathablility.
    I'd rather pay more and have less items that are well cut and well made, from good quailty fabric.

    I love my duffle coat but its really only for the footy.

    I also have a penchant for cloche hats

  18. #18

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    Ha I'm the last person to give advice on clothes however scince I know what you usually wear, I can say that you look great in all the one colour outfits eg. a full length not to fussy dress. There are two shades of blue that I have seen on you that looked great, a light blue suit I think you wore to my wedding and navy blue. I definately would include a pair of black pants and a black dress, they are flattering and look good on a wide age group. I think coming into winter that some medium to dark greys would look nice as an alternitive to black and usually doesn't date.

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