It’s becoming trickier and trickier to determine whether wardrobe items are dated because fashion has become an incredible melting pot of colours, fits and silhouettes. Throw in the fact that vintage pieces can look trendy when remixed with a good dose of modern, and it’s even MORE confusing.
On the other hand, there are items that defy the trends and have a high longevity factor. I find that they normally fall into one of three categories.
Classic pieces are versatile because they can be worked into almost any style. Therein lies their power. I like to put the word “modern” in front of classic because classic items do date and it’s important to keep them current.
It’s common to keep a classic piece for more than five years if the quality holds up. Some classics like Ray-Ban Wayfarers and Aviators, Chuck Taylor Converse sneakers, the original Dr. Martens boot, cowboy boots, the 2.55 Chanel handbag and a Burberry scarf have an exceptionally high longevity factor because they have become iconic, and therefore timeless.
Retro pieces are not the same as vintage pieces. Where vintage pieces are old, retro pieces are current, but they imitate styles from past fashion eras. The distinctive retro piece has a home in your wardrobe because it’s not competing with the trends. Like modern classics, retro pieces can complement the trendy pieces in your outfit. Although retro pieces are current, the throwback to a previous era makes them a little more immune to dating.
An avant-garde piece is highly unusual. It does not fall into mainstream trends, nor is it retro. But it isn’t dated either because it has no sense of time. Their innovative and experimental qualities make them stand on their own. In some cases, styles go from avant-garde to fringe trend. Avant-garde pieces can be remixed with trendy items, retro pieces and modern classics.
In my most recent outfit post I combined two retro blouses with a pair of avant-garde harem pants. The lace blouse and pants have been in my wardrobe for years and will continue to live there until they’re worn out. I’ll have fun reinventing their support acts so that they stay true to my style and feel fresh for the season.