Trends change and fashion is created depending on fabric, colour, cut and style. What is in today may not be in vogue 3 months later. Spring colours vary year to year , seasons change so do fabrics, all these factors are important while finding the correct piece which will suit you.
There are certain items which never go out of fashion and always look classic. The key to have a perfect and functional wardrobe is having these and using them as per the occasions. These pieces depend on colour , fabric and fit. You can keep some for years and never make a fashion faux pas while wearing them. So my choice might be different than yours, but some are universal so lets take a look :
1. White shirt : this is not only an essential but one with the right fit can make you look stylish with ease. The key is finding one which is not too starchy or straight as the fit is what makes the look. Sleeve length depends on what works best for you, pair with jeans, khakhis, shorts and maxi skirts for an outing or pencil skirts, trousers for professional wear. You can never go wrong and it will never go out of fashion. This is one of the most versatile pieces you will ever own.
2. Blue jeans: this is a staple and you can own a variety of them. But the one with the best fit is what you need. It can be dark or basic denim and the style which works for you the most. Refer to damsels in denims and style it for a day or evening look. This is the most functional piece of your wardrobe.
3. LBD : well now its just not a ‘little black dress’ as there so many styles to choose from as per all dressed up! A well fitting black dress can be your rescue item for any formal occassion with the right accessories you can go from chic to sexy to glamorous. The ability of one dress to make you look so many things just gives it bonus points for a must have. And Remember black makes everyone look slimmer, so this has to be your go to dress.
4. Solid tanks : you might think tanks are so basic and not necessarily something you are comfortable in. But pair it with a jacket if you are sleeveless shy and see its trannformation of you to ultra chic. Wear it under a suit jacket or basic hoodie. Wear it with a printed skirt or a pair of khakis, it adds colour, layer and gives a nice fit. My basic preferences are racer backs in colours of grey, blue and hot pink. These are basic but add burst of colour and also offer a break in pattern for maybe a basic outfit. Wear it under a transparent shirt or Kurta and see the structure it gives you.
5. Denim jacket : any colour and any style but it is always a classic. Perfect for chilly weather or even on a printed summer or maxi dress. Not very warming, but keeps you wrapped up against even the cool winds. Denim blazers are becoming popular as business casuals and vests a staple with summer dresses. Pair with a lighter or darker denim bottom to avoid looking monochrome head to toe. Always chic and always stylish.
If you think these might not work for you but give it a chance of versatily, pair a black slip dress with a denim jacket , a white shirt with a tank underneath paired with blue jeans and you already have 2 outfits ready. These are just the basic but the options innumerable.
6. White chikankari kurtas : my actual classic in this category is white chikankari anarkali as it never goes out of fashion and always looks classy. But even a basic white chikankari Kurta works well even with a pair of blue jeans. It is the perfect summer outfit, add nice jewellery or gotta Patti work and you are ready for an evening affair. Though black makes you look slimmer, white always makes you look elegant.
7. Silk sarees : whether banarsi or south silk, a silk saree is essential in any Indian womens wedding trousseau if already not in your formal clothes. It never looks outdated and a simple saree with a nice border is the easiest saree to pick. It can look good for a wedding or even a dinner party depending on its heaviness, and especially during winters it is the warmest saree you will own. Even if you stick to basic colour combinations they always look great. My favourite and the one I think always looks classy is cream and maroon or white and red, they might be popular but they look good at every age.
8. Colourful chunni : this piece might not come to your as classic but one dupatta which is a statement piece will work on any plain Salwar suit or maybe even useful as a scarf. Your perfect statement chunari can be leheriya, bandhej, phulkari, chikankari or even handpainted silks, pair with a one colour outfit not limiting to black and white or even same colours top and bottom. My wishlist of these consists of Turqoise phulkari or a red handpainted tussar silk, as they look so classy for an evening wear or colourful and fun during the day.
9. Brocade blouse : a brocade blouse in colours or even the basic gold and silver is a shaadi staple. Pair it with a saree of the same or contrasting colour and you will look trendy. The choli cut with a low back or a style in all buttoned up! can make even a monotone dull gold saree look glamourous . Fed up of matching blouses pair it with a saree with borders or printed saree and see your transformation to the style queen of the party. The best is to pair it with a darker saree than the shade of the blouse to give your look colour and oomph.
10. Solid churidars : some women are dicey about donning a churidar but try a solid one in a darker hue and see the effect on your legs. Not only does it give you more structure but the variety of kurtas you can pair it with goes to a gazillion. The Kurta can be straight, aline or flared, printed , embroidered or even plain solid. The colours can be contrasting or even of the same family. You can dress it up or make it casual and you will always win. My go to staples are white, black, maroon and maybe a dark green. Very basic and very versatile.
If you think fabrics and trends change as per style , wear your printed silk saree of black with a brocade blouse and see heads turn. Pair your white chikankari anarkali with a maroon churidar and maroon and mustard leheriya duppatta and see how the colours bring out each other. But these are just basic examples.
What if you have all the above classic pieces then see how many outfits you can get out of them. White Kurta with jeans is basic, pair your handpainted silk duppatta with a black dress worn with a scarf and see the burst of colour. Or try a long brocade choli top with a pair of jeans for a night of clubbing, or a white tunic teamed with a denim vest and a green churidar, yes you have fusion and ethnic chic.
But the point is not only having these items but having them in the right fit for your body and using them to glam up a boring work look , a fun day look or even an elegant evening attire. I try and always have these items as they are my go to clothes when am in doubt.
This is just part one of the classic wardrobe staples read this space for more gyan and to amp up your style quotient by using these very basic pieces.
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