It’s my job to think about style, and I’ve broken it down to one digestible concept: A want is to follow a fleeting trend and a need is to stay stylish in perpetuity.
You should strive for the latter. How you achieve the goal of remaining a classic is through investing in timeless pieces.
Trends are generally forecast three years prior to production and distribution, so there is no point in guessing what will be in style for a limited amount of time. What one must do is find staple pieces that remain within the parameters of one’s aesthetic.
Here, I have found five key pieces and/or looks for any aesthetic that will keep you eternally stylish.
1. A Rebel with a Sustainable Cause: The Moto Jacket
Whether vegan, living that sustainable life, or simply needing a statement jacket that will withstand the test of time, owning a moto jacket will never let you down. From Rebel Without a Cause to Grease to The Terminator to every moment Wolverine appeared in the MCU universe, the moto jacket was the noticeably chic co-star.
When a costume piece repeats itself a decade after decade on celluloid, as films often take cues from the era it lives in, it further proves the items continued importance. The moto can be dressed up with tapered slacks or an A-line skirt or dressed down with denim and a classic white t-shirt. There are so many wonderful variations in style and material that it would be difficult not to find one that’s right for you.
2. Out and About or Simply at Home: The Pleasing Aesthetic of Monochrome
Wearing a monochromatic outfit is easier than you think. There are two types of creating a monochrome, or single color, outfit: Mixed textures or variation of shades. The first step is finding a color that you are both drawn to and works best with your skin tone. The next step is to choose the type of monochromatic style you wish to play with.
If it is mixed texture, then consider a suede jacket with a cable knit sweater paired with a corduroy pant or skirt. When trying a variation of shade approach, I suggest deeper shades as the base and working out to lighter secondary pieces, like jackets, belts, and attachés or handbags. From active leisurewear to a preppy Hamptons classic, regardless of style choice, a monochromatic look is always appreciated.
3. To Handle with Love and Care: The Case for Cashmere
There is something very special about wearing cashmere during the winter holiday season. To me, a traditional must. However, there seems to be a narrow vision of how one wears cashmere. Generally, it is looked at as stuffy and out of touch, but I’ve seen a rock n roll tie-dyed refurbished cashmere sweater walk the red carpet at Sundance.
I have seen hot pink cashmere knee-high socks paired with leather short shorts strolling down Melrose Avenue. Certainly, the Ralph Lauren cable knit cashmere sweater is a classic gift for any special someone in your life. There exists cashmere at any price point and in any style for everyone. If cared for properly, read the directions, your cashmere piece can live in your wardrobe for decades. Cashmere has evolved in such a way that you’ll find it is more than a stuffy conservative piece only to be found in a country club.
4. Always a Do: Dynamic Denim
If you don’t know this already, I’m glad you’re here for me to write to you about how very important denim is to the history of fashion and American tradition. Every single style has used denim as a staple. From streetwear to country cowboy to the skinny hipster jeans often found briskly strolling along the streets of Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
There exists no piece of clothing or accessory, in this century or last, that has not played with denim. I would encourage you to really focus your attention on the need for jeans and jackets. The best part is if deemed a trend, don’t worry it will always make a powerful comeback. After all, mom jeans were rebranded as high-waist jeans, and have never looked better. Trust, never worry about adding to your collection of denim.
5. Artfully You: The Power of Accessories
The artful way of truly setting your personal aesthetic is through your use of accessories. This is where the fun really begins. A classic Cartier watch or a funky Shinola? The Louise Vuitton Pochette purse or a Rock Nano Grained Clutch from Zadig & Voltaire? A pair of retro Jordan sneakers or that same outfit with cowboy boots?
Your choice when accessorizing is one fantastic way to showcase your creativity and personality. Lastly, let us not forget about jewelry. Your bling, subtle, or statement, can convey your mood and the tone you want to set when entering any room. In the end, the accessory may very well be the most important piece to your style puzzle.
I must close by stating the fact that there are many other elements that will assist you in defining your style aesthetic. However, if you’re a beginner or intermediary fashionista(o/x), try these five steps first. After that, skies the limit.