One of the things much-envied about French women (apart from their seemingly relative ease of keeping extra pounds off) is their ability to build an incredibly stylish yet small wardrobe.
French women always say that they do not need a big collection of clothes. What they need is a wardrobe that has classic pieces for a “style” foundation.
Some of the classic pieces they consider musts are a silk white blouse, a structured jacket or blazer, a denim or chambray top, a striped top, neutral-coloured trousers, and a little black or white dress. There’s no going wrong with any of these because they are easy to dress up and down, and they go well with each other.
Indeed, it is good to have classic pieces as the foundation of your wardrobe. Likewise, it is smart to just have fewer clothes to choose from. However, looks can become rather predictable if you keep on using the same pieces over and over again.
This is not a bad thing.
But, if boring and the same old same old are not the “descriptors” you want people to use for your style, you may want to rethink the way you use your classic pieces.
To get you started, here are five easy ideas on how to give classic fashion a more modern flair:
1. Pair them with rubber shoes
Not sneakers but real rubber shoes that you can wear comfortably while walking around the metro all day. Rubber shoes can give your classic pieces a more youthful and approachable vibe.
This styling trick is easy to pull off that everybody — from social media influencers to today’s supermodels, and Hollywood celebrities — is just doing it.
2. Wear the pieces in different ways
Do not just experiment with the various ways you can tuck your classic white or chambray button-down shirt. Find new ways to wear them.
One way fearless fashionistas have tried is wearing the blouse backward and tying the ends from the back to the front for a wraparound look.
Another fresh way of wearing an oversized button down top is by turning it into a skirt. You just need to undo a few of the top buttons so the shirt can fit around your waist. Pull the unbuttoned part of the top down to cover your thighs and use the sleeves to create a tighter fit along the waist.
If you are using a classic printed long sleeved blouse like an oversized tribal printed boyfriend shirt, the better, especially since you do not have to wear a slip underneath.
3. Accessorise creatively
Do not underestimate the power of a brooch or pin collection. Brooches and pins can alter the shape and overall look of your classic pieces. Say, you have a shapeless white cotton dress that is your go-to for the summer, you can make it fit around your waist better with the help of a nice-looking pin.
Another thing that you can do is to create an asymmetrical hemline by bunching up one side of your dress hemline with a brooch. Or you can try the same tactic for the neckline. You can transform a deep V-neckline into an off-the-shoulder one with a pair of brooches pulling the neckline toward the tips of your shoulders.
Pins and brooches can also turn formal blazers into funky jackets. You can even attach a chain necklace to the pins if you are into steampunk fashion, which is on trend. Brooches and pins can also glam up classic shoes such as high-heeled sandals and pumps to mimic straight-off-the-runway jewelled footwear.
When you only have a few classic pieces in your wardrobe, your best friends for improving their look are accessories.
4. Pair classic pieces with more funky ones
This is the easiest thing to do if you want to modernise your timeless faves.
Go bold with your choice of skirt when you wear your white silk blouse. Fringe skirts, tulle skirts that seem to be intended for a ballet recital, or a satin or georgette lehenga (a type of Iong skirt worn by women in India) can make your classic piece fashionably fun.
5. Pair your formal classic items with rugged pieces
Distressed and rugged clothes are all the rage these days — whether you are a millennial or a Gen-Xer. Jump on the bandwagon and look more “now” by pairing your structured blazer with “hole-y” tops, or tribal-inspired clothing. You can also wear it over “thrifted” pieces like camp shirts and denim cut-off shorts.
Try dressing down your fancy LBD (or LWD) by wearing a denim vest or jacket over it. Or wearing a shirt over the dress and knotting the shirt around the waist to make the LBD look like a simple skirt.
Don’t forget about footwear. Birkenstocks, Doc Martens, Timberlands, Chuck Taylors, and chunky platforms can look great with your wardrobe’s timeless pieces, and instantly give them a modern, edgy style.
The only limit is your imagination
When it comes to giving classic wardrobe pieces a more contemporary flair, there really is no shortage of ideas to work with.
The key to great style even with a few basic pieces is to think outside of the box. If you are creative, you will never run out of ways to give whatever clothes you have an entirely new look.
For more fashion tips so your every day is stylishly super, check back in here.
We, at Finchitua, regularly churn out easy-to-implement fashion content for anyone who wants to look his or her best at all times.