Your hit list of wardrobe staples

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

When the going gets tough, the tough still go shopping, but they invest in wardrobe staples that will look good for years to come, says Carola Long

When Kate Moss turned up for her appointment with the Metropolitan Police after that scandal, she relinquished her usual rock-chick attire for an ultra-classic belted camel mac, wide black hairband and big Jackie O shades. Of course, she was avoiding the connotations of rock'n'roll excess evoked by her usual groupie get-ups, but her 1960s Catherine Deneuve look also showed that, when under pressure, there's nothing like taking refuge in the classics.

Similarly, it may be uncertain whether capitalism will last much longer than the X Factor losers' careers, but one can be certain that a well-cut, skinny leather biker jacket will look good for years to come. Personal liquidity issues (ie being skint) won't necessarily stop people shopping, but it makes sense to buy things that don't induce the heart-sinking sense of consumer guilt that comes from a wardrobe stuffed with cheap clothes. The sales are the perfect time to stock up on classic investment pieces rather than trends that go out of fashion before you even reach the till.

That's not to say that classics should make up the whole of one's wardrobe – just the bulk of it. Think of items such as straight indigo jeans, a white or striped shirt, and sleek riding boots as being like the carbohydrates in a diet that can be spiced up with other food/fashion groups. And don't wear them all at once, unless you want to resemble Katie Holmes on her Stepford Mom setting, but mix them in with seasonal accessories. Last year, or even last decade's little black dress can work for current Christmas parties if combined with chunky costume jewellery, or tough platforms. At the autumn/winter shows, typically an opportunity for the fashion industry to wear the new season's trends, many on the front rows shunned "it" pieces in favour of recycling a well-cut blazer with jeans and a fine jersey T-shirt.

On the catwalks, Bottega Veneta showed why it is fast becoming the stealth-wealth label of choice, with a collection of timeless, simple shifts in luxurious fabrics; and the little black dress was back at Balenciaga and Lanvin, albeit with a futuristic twist, with a futuristic twist, and there were sharp tailored suits at Jil Sander.

Classic needn't mean boring. Rather, it describes something that flatters and has its own distinctive, timeless charm instead of pandering to a trend. As Moss herself has said, "Clothes go in and out of fashion, but that's not real style. Style has to be classic".

Fashion’s revolving door: What’s in & out this week

In...

Crazy cover-ups

Fake fur, sequins and feathers are the only way to top off your dress this party season. With marabou trim and other flirty Twenties looks on the catwalks at Marchesa and Christian Lacroix, take inspiration from 'Vile Bodies', and 'The Beautiful and Damned', and make like a capricious starlet in a striking shrug. Try Topshop's ostrich-feather bolero for £85.

Out...

Boring boleros

If you find yourself adding a sensible shrug purely for the purpose of keeping warm, you've got it wrong. The cover-up has stepped into the limelight, and now demands as much attention as the dress itself. So don't kill an outfit with a boxy bolero, or colour co-ordination, or anything remotely demure. Harriet Walker

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Recruitment Genius: Senior Environmental Adviser - Maternity Cover

    £37040 - £43600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's export credit agency a...

    Recruitment Genius: CBM & Lubrication Technician

    £25000 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides a compreh...

    Recruitment Genius: Care Worker - Residential Emergency Service

    £16800 - £19500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to join an organ...

    Recruitment Genius: Senior Landscaper

    £25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: In the last five years this com...

    Day In a Page

    Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

    Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

    But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
    Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

    Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

    Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
    Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

    Britain's 24-hour culture

    With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
    Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

    The addictive nature of Diplomacy

    Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
    Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

    Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

    Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
    8 best children's clocks

    Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

    Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
    Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
    Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

    The Arab Spring reversed

    Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
    King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

    Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

    Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
    Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

    Who is Oliver Bonas?

    It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
    Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

    Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

    However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
    60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

    60 years of Scalextric

    Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones