Stylist Advice: Your Classic Uniform, My Way!
No-brainer fall into winter dressing starts with a great coat…
Dear Sharon: I get confused at what to wear when I have appointments all over town and getting ready for work gets complicated. I wish for the days of a classic uniform, like school but a stylish one of course!
Do you have any ideas on how streamline my wardrobe to a few good, solid pieces to where to work on those days when figuring out what t wear in the morning is just too stressful? (J.K. via Fashion Advice)
I get where you are coming from. I have days when I’m ready to pull out the goodies in my over-stocked closet but on crazy-busy days, more than not, I find myself reaching for my classic “uniform” pieces. These clothes are far from boring, but workhorses that can go with almost anything & be styled a gazillion ways with all the fabu pieces that I think I’ll wear but really don’t bother.
For me, classic lines with a bit of a style punch work best.
As the seasons morph from fall to winter, I like to start with the coat first. It’s the first thing people notice when you’re running appointments and whatever else you’re wearing has to fit nicely under it.
Proportion is key. All those super styled toppers are great but issues start when you want to wear that full skirt dress & a swing coat and start looking like Man Mountain Dean with all the bulk. Trust me, I know.
I have a handful of black coats with clean lines in rich fabrications that I’ve been building for years as they never really go out of style and always look chic, similar to the one pictured at top which is from H&M! All of mine are a version on a theme of elegant simplicity with a man-tailored edge be it single breasted, double-breasted or trench. Their hemlines and shoulders vary so that I can switch out my underneath layers for the best proportion.
Here’s some directional ideas of non-fussy and easy to wear chic black coats:
(more stylist tips on what to wear after the pretty pictures)
From a Yves Saint Laurent sharp shouldered that I’ve loved for years to a softer Jil Sander cashmere and many other black beauties in between, a crisp Thom Browne Chesterfield that I picked up at a Housing Works thrift shop event (new!) for a fraction of its insane price gets the most mileage as it works so well with everything from jeans to midcalf skirts because of it right above the knee hemline.
>>READ: Discount Designer Shopping Tips
When it gets super cold, I have a collection of puffer coats with a similar aesthetic that take over.
Ok, so what do you wear under that great coat? Try some of these crispy chic essentials that will be the core to your fashion “uniform” dressing:
- Black turtleneck- perfect to layer or wear alone. Collect them in everything from featherweight silk to yummy cashmere.
- Straight black skirt- in a length that flatters.
- Straight black pants- try a crop right above the ankle.
- An L.B.D. or two or three. A little black dress is the easiest and chicest thing to literally just throw on.
>>WATCH: How to accessorize your L.B.D.
- Heels you can walk in and look sexy too.
- Ankle boots with a fab heel- low or high.
- Button down white shirt or one in a bold color.
JUST ASK: Do you need some quick stylist help to amp up your style? Email us for Fashion Advice.
Photo: H&M Autumn CollectionPublished on September 27, 2012
Resident fashion expert & style mentor- With just about 20 years experience in the glamour industry as a New York-based photography fashion stylist, syndicated columnist, contributing editor, lecturer, on-air television/radio fashion expert, and founder / editor in chief of FocusOnStyle.com. Sharon Haver knows the modern-thinking woman wants easygoing style that suits her individual needs, spiced with just the right amount of flip and wit to make it personal.