Written by Isabella Boston.
“Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance.” ~ Coco Chanel.
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Whether it’s an unexpected dinner invitation or a last-minute request to a formal event; it can be a challenging task to put together an outfit without the proper items in your wardrobe.
I have always felt that I was born in the wrong era. I love looking at vintage Hollywood photos; the women look flawless, elegant, and exquisite. From their makeup down to their shoes, these ladies were the epitome of beauty.
However, most women of the vintage era had fewer clothes than we do today, and they knew how to purchase for less and choose well, allowing themselves to always look well-polished and put together.
With a little time and effort, you, too, can look like a timeless beauty for any occasion. Here are the nine must-have items you should keep in your closet to look elegant.
1. Sheath Dress: An absolute must! A sheath dress is the most versatile dress that you can own; it can be worn all year long and to any occasion. I keep at least two, depending on the event; one in black and the other in a printed pattern. A sleeveless sheath dress with a low neckline, preferably square, will look classy and offer the most versatility. You can pair it with a blazer, shawl, or wear it solo, depending on the weather. Keep it simple with a pair of elegant pearls, pumps, and your favorite shade of red lipstick.
2. Suit: A well-tailored suit is so elegant and classy. It can be mixed and matched with other basic items depending on the event. I recommend that you own at least three in navy, black, and grey.
3. Skirt: Have at least one skirt in your closet. I suggest an A-line or pencil skirt with a hem to the knee in a basic color such as black. If you are a full-figured gal, a flare at the bottom will look amazing on you!
4. Fitted Blazer or Jacket: A well-fitted blazer will slim any figure and can be paired with a variety of bottoms for a smooth, polished, and chic look. Keep three colors: white, brown, and black.
5. White Blouse: A white blouse will instantly add a touch of elegance to any outfit. For a nice silhouette, select one that tapers in at the waist. Wrapped blouses are very elegant and can be worn with a pair of jeans or a skirt. I like to keep several white blouses in different materials: lace, satin, and cotton depending on the weather and affair.
6. Jeans: Yes, jeans can be elegant! They can be dressed up with pumps, an elegant blouse, and pearls. You can also wear them with a blazer or cashmere sweater. Dark jeans offer the most versatility, especially for a business luncheon or semi-formal affair.
7. Dress Coat: When the season permits, there is nothing more elegant than a beautiful dress coat. I love a princess cut or a wrap. Adding a matching handbag in the same color will turn heads! If you are looking for a touch of glamour, a trench coat will do the trick and it can also double as a raincoat.
8. Thigh Highs and Lingerie: Thigh High stockings can be worn on every occasion and are so classy, elegant, and sexy. Even if no one sees them but you, they just feel ELEGANT. And I think every woman should invest in a nice gown with matching robe and sexy lingerie. Learn to pamper yourself with nice things. You deserve to feel like royalty at all times. (LUANA Sheer stockings and Garter belt sold at VienneMilano.)
9. Elegant Handbag: An elegant handbag that is also versatile and can go with many different outfits is a must! One of my favorite bags is the Emma 39. It it can take you from the boardroom to a formal event. There are many different colors and materials to choose from as well. The leather bags are made from Italian leather and are absolutely gorgeous. This bag fits your laptop, notebooks, cosmetic bag, and so much more! It even has a suitcase sleeve. I have never seen a bag more elegant and sophistocated than the Emma 39.
*A quick note on shoes and jewelry:
You should keep a basic black pair of pumps in your wardrobe staple. They are versatile and can be used for any occasion. I also like to keep a pair of metallic high-heel sandals in my shoe arsenal, one pair in gold, the other in silver. They add a touch of glamour and elegance instantaneous!
A neutral mule or heel, preferably pointed, will also help you to look more refined. I do not recommend wearing white shoes unless you are a bride. They do not look elegant to me and can appear tacky.
Dress boots are a must! They pair well with a dress, pair of jeans, or skirt; with the right pair, they create a classy and sophisticated look.
Pearls are always appropriate. ~ Jackie Kennedy.
Keep jewelry to a minimum. Pearls are always elegant and go with anything! If you are not a pearl girl, then invest in a nice pair of diamond studs or cubic zirconia earrings, whichever will fit your budget. (Pacific Pearls International has a wide selection of beautiufl pearls with certificate of authenticity. Please visit them through this link.)
Keep nails well-groomed at all times, nothing looks worse than scraggly unkept nails. A clear polish does wonders at the last moment. It looks natural and feminine.
If you can, invest in a nice perfume. Macy's has wonderful sales from time to time and always ask the saleslady for free samples!
An elegant wardrobe doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. Knowing how to shop for the right pieces of garments and what to match together is the key.
If you like high-end items, like I do, then watch and wait for the sales from your favorite stores. I have bought dresses worth hundreds of dollars for a fraction of the cost. This goes for high-end shoes as well.
So, there you have it!
And remember, ladies, true elegance comes from within.💋
Isabella Boston is a multi-talented writer and the founder of Bella’s Attic Studio. She is well-versed in content writing, copywriting, and social media strategies with a focus on health and wellness, fashion and beauty, and natural healing as it pertains to the body, mind, and the soul. She is also a diarist and the author of Passion of Flames.