Even after 40 years, we can look to Audrey Hepburn, in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, as an example of what dressing with style is all about. Audrey’s wardrobe in that movie was designed by Hubert de Givenchy, who believed in clean lines and restraint. The editors of InStyle Magazine make our case so eloquently that we will quote them:
Givenchy’s message of simplicity is the essence of timeless design. It’s the reason a look endures, not only for seasons, but for decades. Trends, on the other hand, are mercurial by nature. Chasing them is not only exhausting and expensive, but the payoff – a fleeting moment of hipness followed by a lifetime of groaning at old photos — is pretty paltry, too. That isn’t to say that trendy items have no place in the wardrobe of a well-dressed woman. But they should be used sparingly,like seasoning, so they complement a wardrobe of your favorite classics without overwhelming them.
So what are our favorite classic pieces? Well, at Isle of Skye Cashmere, we would start with the list below. And by the way, you can find them all at our store:
- Tailored Pants – a pair of flat front pants without pockets made from high quality, lightweight Italian wool is the foundation of classic style. The length should work with the heel height you wear most often. The leg style (tapered, straight, and flared) should be one works best for your body type.
- Tailored Skirt – A knee-length black skirt made from lightweight Italian wool that fits perfectly and gives a slim, tailored appearance. The pencil skirt is a classic, but the flared skirt works better for some body shapes. Choose the style works best for your body.
- Tailored White Shirt – chic and simple of high quality Italian cotton. It can be paired with jeans (Jackie O in Hyannis Port), black pants (Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction), a long skirt (Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday), or a gown (Sharon Stone at the Oscars).
- Cashmere Cardigan and Turtleneck. Every woman needs a well-made cashmere cardigan in her favorite color. This one piece can brighten up a whole wardrobe of black and white basics…. it works beautifully over a white shirt with jeans or a tailored black dress. The classic jewel neck cardigan can be made into a vee-neck by buttoning the bottom buttons only. The cashmere turtleneck also goes casual or dressy. It will give your jeans a Left Bank Parisian chic and bring sleek luxury to your tailored pants or pencil skirt. Black is a timeless favorite for the cashmere turtleneck, but a creamy white, rich camel, or chocolate brown are all great basics.
- Blazer – A great Cashmere or Italian Wool blazer is the starting point for so many great looks. Like the other basic tops, you can pair it with jeans, tailored pants, or a skirt. Start with a versatile color like black or navy. A well-tailored single breasted jacket suits most bodies best. Avoid fussy details like big lapels or buttons that think they are jewelry – these limit the life of your jacket.
- Great Jeans are simple and practical. Great jeans are elegant and rebellious. They are so versatile – they can dress anything down and make even the most uptight item look relaxed.
- The Simple Chic (Black) Dress – This is the dress that is going to let you shine – it is going to flatter you, but not detract from you. It lets your hair, your accessories, and your personality take center stage. The simple sheath dress is a classic; layer it under a jacket for day, but remove the jacket and accessorize it for evening. The classic version is black, but it looks great in white (or a soft toned print) too. Add drama with killer heels and jewelry.
I am a big fan of Tom Ford, the renowned designer turned film director who re-vitalized Gucci and has just released his own women’s collection. Tom knows all about style: ” Style is very different from fashion. Once you find something that works, keep it.”
Fashion Apprentice – Isle of Skye Cashmere