Category Archives: Fashion

Best Fashion Brands That Give Back

We’re a world of shoppers. We like to keep up with the latest trends. But do we ever really think about what damage our shopping habits are having on the planet? Do we ever stop to think how buying that $10 dollar t shirt has affected the person making it? We’ve become accustomed to fast fashion that’s extremely accessible and cheap. But it comes at such a greater cost to others. Think of who made that shirt, how much they were paid, and their working conditions. It’s a subject we simply cannot ignore any longer.

But things are changing. Slowly but surely. There’s a load of amazing fashion brands out there that are upping their game and helping to change the face of fashion. These are the brands that value sustainability, ethics and helping others as their main ethos. Whether it be through sourcing sustainable materials or donating profits to charity, these brands are making changes. So next time you go shopping for a new tee, pair of glasses or even shoes, check out these amazing companies that are giving back:

1. Ivory Ella
Ivory Ella is a fashion brand which donates a portion of their profits to help the elephants. 10% of your purchase goes straight to which aids the research, prevention and awareness of the ivory trade. The brand has currently raised over $135,000 dollars, impressive huh! Delivery is currently only available within the U.S but the brand say they will be opening up to international orders soon. I hope so because I’ve got my eye on this cute necklace!

2. ASOS Africa
ASOS are the e-commerce giants of fashion, and home to hundreds of amazing brands. It’s no surprise then that they introduced a line that appeals to those with more ethical values when it comes to their clothing. ASOS has now released eleven collaborations with SOKO, Kenya. Proceeds from the collection help to boost the workforce, which is predominantly women, enabling them to afford schooling for their children. Their latest range is currently on sale!

3. Elagantees
Selling great quality basics, Elagantees is on a mission to employ 500 women from Nepal to manufacture their clothing. So why Nepal? Sex trafficking is a huge problem there, and thanks to the Nepali Rescue Project, over 20,000 women victims were returned last year. Help to fight the trafficking by supporting this brand and their mission to put a stop to human sex trafficking and get more Nepal women into legitimate work.

4. Toms
This is one that will be on most people’s radar, but also one that is definitely worth mentioning! Toms has pioneered the way as a sustainable, giving brand. Their unique business model works on a ‘one for one’ basis. For every pair of shoes Toms sell, they donate a pair to someone in need. So next time you want a guilt free pair of casual shoes, you know where to head. You can find out more about the brands incredible charity work here.

5. People Tree
Sustainable clothing and fair-trade fashion are what stands at the heart of UK brand People Tree. They aim for their supply chain to be 100% ethical and fair trade. People Tree collaborate with groups such as the Bombolulu workshop which empowers physically disabled people. People Tree also partner with a group in Nepal, which provides jobs for more than 2,500 women. Check out their latest Eco Edit.

6. Miki Moko
Miki Moko is a relatively new fashion glasses brand. They operate with a unique business model where the customer chooses the price they want to pay for their frames. Pretty cool huh? From the chosen price, 50% of that goes straight to charity! Miko Moko currently supports the Nepal Youth Foundation which helps to rescue indentured girls and return them to their families. The brand has loads of fashionable prescription glasses online but these are my personal favourite!

7. Sevenly
Sevenly is an apparel brand which ‘exists to bring funding and awareness to the world’s greatest causes’ now if that’s not a reason to buy a new tee, what is? Each week Sevenly supports a different cause, and you can even see how much has been raised on the live homepage counter! Check out the brands new arrivals section which is updated regularly.

Known for their amazing collection of bags, FEED was founded in 2007 with the simple idea of creating a brand that could engage in fighting world hunger. Just one of their Feed Kenya Bags can provide 370 school meals for children in Kenya. So far, the brand have provided an outstanding 87,683,710 meals.

9. H&M Conscious Collection
It’s a good sign when the high street notices and adopts the call for sustainable fashion. The H&M conscious collections feature garments used from organic materials which support sustainability. Prices still reflect H&M’s affordable fashion, but without sacrificing the planet. This jumper is a must have for autumn!

10. Made
For unique Fairtrade jewelry, Made is your answer. Each piece is hand crafted by artisans, dedicated to using environmentally friendly materials. Sustainability is important to Made and they extensively use reclaimed metals. Investing in employees is also extremely important to the brand, they employ over 60 men and women from developing communities in Kenya. They’ve also collaborated with some pretty big names, Tommy Hilfiger, Louis Vuitton and Topshop to name a few. The dainty trio necklace is top of my wish list!

So what are you waiting for? It’s time to get shopping! It’s helping a good cause after all.

Tips for Newbie Fashion to Grown Up Men

Just over a month ago, I ran into a friend at a CES event. While I see this friend around town once in a while, this was the first time I’d seen him in a non-casual setting since Blogworld 4 months earlier. After exchanging the usual pleasantries, he asked me an odd question: “Is this like your conference party outfit?”

Indeed, I was wearing the exact same clothes I’d worn to the event four months earlier. Since he doesn’t usually see me dressed up, it stood out enough for him to remember. But that’s not the real point, here; the real point is that I have few clothes suitable for “adult” gatherings.

I have a suit, of course, for weddings and funerals. (I haven’t had a job interview in 9 years, but if I did, it would be suitable for that, too.) And I have my day-to-day clothes, which aren’t awful but which aren’t anything to brag about, either. Functional casual, basically: jeans and khakis, an assortment of button-front shirts, some cotton sweaters.

As a college professor, there’s not a lot of pressure on me to dress up. If anything, it’s just the opposite. For one thing, I interact regularly with younger people, mostly teenagers (I teach 100-level courses), and being too formal creates a barrier between my students and me. That might be ok in business or law (think John Houseman in Paper Chase) but for my classes and my teaching style, some level of rapport is crucial. For another thing, my fellow professors don’t exactly set the sartorial bar very high – and there’s a certain sense of bohemian “me-against-The-Machine” attitude expressed by violating “corporate” standards of dress.

But mostly I dress the way I do because I’ve never really learned how to dress otherwise. Like a lot of my fellow geeks, fashion just wasn’t on the radar for me. Fortunately I have a brother who has always been very fashion-conscious, and he’d take me in hand every few years when my fashion sense got too out of touch with reason and social acceptability.

Well, my friend’s off-hand comment was a wake-up call for me. I mean, I’m a grown man – I should have more than one pair of slacks and one shirt nice enough to wear to an industry event without embarrassing myself! So I set out to educate myself on some fashion basics – what shoes go with what kind of trousers, how to distinguish various sorts of dress shirts, and so on.

I did what any true-blooded geek does when he or she wants to find out about a new topic: I googled it. But what I found was scattered, often contradictory, and for a newbie like me, downright confusing. A lot of the information out there is tied to specific social contexts: the workplace, the nightclub, and dating, mainly. And a lot of it’s quite vague – the answer to most questions is “it depends on your personal style” which I’m sure it does, but what if you don’t know your personal style yet?!

With some perseverance, a few trips to department stores, and the help of friends on Twitter, I managed to assemble the following rules. As with all rules, they’re meant to be broken – but only by people who know how to break them. For the rest of us, this is a pretty good primer on basic men’s fashion.

Dress Suits
1. You eventually want to own three suits. Your first suit should be either navy blue or gray, possibly with a light chalk stripe (like a pinstripe, but softer), and in an all-season, medium weight. Either of these colors will fit into most social settings. Your second suit should be the one you didn’t get the first time around. Your third should be black – not for funerals, but for black tie affairs. If you work in a field where suits are the norm, you’ll probably want more than three; once you’ve covered the basics, you can move on to more distinctive suits (pinstripes, different weights, unconventional colors, etc.).

2. Suits are made of wool or cotton. Higher thread counts signify higher quality, but are ironically not as durable, so stick with something mid-range. Ask the salesperson to help you with this. (Yes, ask the salesperson. Suits are not self-serve.) Synthetic fibers need not apply.

3. You never button the bottom button. Apparently, Edward VII got fat and couldn’t button his vest over his belly, so now nobody does. On a three-button jacket, you button the middle; the top button is optional. If you have a jacket with 4 or more button, you obviously know what you’re doing already.

4. A gentleman carries a handkerchief in his front breast pocket. You don’t have to get fancy, just fold it square to fit and have 1/4” to 1/2” sticking out the top. Then proffer it as needed. And wash it after.

1. Don’t wear your sleeves too short or too long. 1/4” to 1/2” of cuff should show beyond your jacket sleeve.

2. Shirts with button-down collars are not dress shirts. They’re sports shirts, so wear them with a sports coat. Polo players used to button their collars down so they wouldn’t flap up in their face while they played. (Are you beginning to sense a theme here? Fashion rules are largely dictated by what English gentleman and nobility did generations or even centuries ago. Sports coats? You wore them during sport, i.e. hunting. Regimental stripes on ties? They indicated your regiment in the British military. And so on.)

3. If you unbutton your collar, remove your tie. You can wear a suit or sports coat without a tie – just ask Obama – but wearing a tie with an unbuttoned shirt looks sloppy.

4. You can unbutton the top button always (provided you’re not wearing a tie), the second button usually, the third button only on disco night at the Rollerama.

15 Must-Have Items For Men To Look Fresh And Professional
1. Wear your pants at your natural waist. Too high and you look like Grampa, too low and you look like a high school kid. Your waistband should sit 2-3 inches below your belly button.

2. Pants should almost touch the ground without your shoes on. Jeans can be a little longer, since they shrink a bit when you wash them.

3. One pleat, maximum. If you’re a big guy, like I am, you learned somewhere along the line that pleats are slimming. They’re not. At best, they look like you’re a big guy trying to look slimmer; at worst, they actually make you look heavier because they pull out across you, broadening your appearance. In any case, the job of a pleat is to maintain that crease sown the front of your pants. For pants without that crease (and many with it), pleats are unnecessary; for pants that need the pleat, they only need one.

4. 1” to 1 1/2” cuffs. Or not. There’s nothing wrong with cuffs, there’s nothing wrong with no cuffs. They are understood, however, to be an older man’s style – not in a bad way, think sophisticated, experienced, distinguished, and conservative. For younger men, a cleaner line is generally preferred.

5. A useful piece of trivia for the American abroad: in British English, “pants” are underwear. So if, for instance, you are in London and get invited out and maybe your trousers are dirty from work, don’t say “I’d love to go out, I just need to go home and change my pants first.” And if someone should ask, “Why, are your pants dirty?”, don’t say, “Yeah, I always get my pants dirty at work.” You will be laughed at. Er, I assume.

1. Pay attention to your shoes. Everyone else does. It’s hard for the non-fashion-maven to tell a more expensive suit from a less expensive one, a high-quality shirt from a medium-quality one, and so on. But everyone can tell cheap or poorly cared-for shoes. Buy the best ones you can afford, and take care of them. Polish them regularly (a few swipes with a wax-infused polishing cloth is often all it takes) and store them covered if you won’t be wearing them for a long time. Shoe trees, it turns out, are important: they not only hold the shape of the shoe but the cedar ones absorb moisture (and thus odors) which helps preserve the leather. (Aside: women tend to pay a lot of attention to men’s shoes. Keep that in mind when a) dating, and b) interviewing for a job.)

2. Shoes are made of leather (besides sneakers). Anything not made of leather you can consider a non-shoe. Leather breathes and adapts to the shape of your foot. The soles don’t have to be leather, but the uppers do. (True story: as a young man, my brother was a car salesman here in Vegas. In the summer, the tarmac could get well over 150 degrees F. Standing out there with leather-soled shoes could give you second-degree burns! So they wore rubber soles, which melted after a month or two and had to be replaced.)

3. You need more than one pair of shoes, but not too much more. Black oxfords (lace-up dress shoes), black loafers (slip-on shoes), brown oxfords or loafers, and you’re set (not counting your athletic shoes, of course). A pair of ankle-high boots in black or brown can substitute for the loafers. Ox-blood (burgundy) shoes are harder to find but in theory go with everything. You can pretty safely ignore white shoes.

4. The shinier the shoe, the dressier. Matte-finish shoes – nubuck (that pebbly leather), suede, and distressed leather shoes are automatically compatible with jeans or khakis; shinier shoes might still go with jeans but it depends on the rest of your outfit, the dressier you are the shinier your shoes can be. If you can wear them with a suit, you probably can’t wear them with jeans, and vice versa.

5. Shoes should be the same tone or darker than your pants. This is all the rule you need to know when trying to figure out what shoes to wear. This is why you never wear brown shoes with black trousers, but you can usually wear black shoes with brown trousers. When in doubt, wear black.

Top Outfits That Are Incomplete Without A Pair Of Blue Jeans

The most basic and most worn piece of clothing in a man’s wardrobe is surely a pair of blue denim jeans. Its popularity is because of its comfort, style and colour. The number of outfits that can be worn with a pair of jeans is infinite, which is why it is also the most versatile piece in the wardrobe too.

A pair of denim jeans can be worn in so many different ways that most outfits are incomplete without it. Whenever you run out of options, a pair of denims is the only thing you can fall back on and it will never fail to impress. Having said a lot about the popularity of blue jeans, it is only right that we tell you how it is a must-have for most outfits.

Top Outfits That Are Incomplete With A Pair Of Denim Jeans

1. Plain White T-shirt + Blue Denim Jeans + White Sneakers

2. Green Half-Sleeved Henley + Blue Denim Jeans + White Sneakers

3. Black Polo T-shirt + Blue Denim Jeans + Brown Formal Shoes

4. Navy Blue Henley T-shirt + Blue Denim Jeans + White Sneakers

5. Grey T-shirt + Waistcoat + Blue Denim Jeans + Burgundy Formal Shoes

6. Plain White T-shirt + Checked Shirt + Blue Denim Jeans + White Sneakers

7. Plain White T-shirt + Black Bomber Jacket + Blue Denim Jeans + Brown Boots

8. Plain White T-shirt + Denim Jacket + Blue Denim Jeans + Red Sneakers

9. Grey T-shirt + Black Leather Jacket + Blue Denim Jeans + White Sneakers

10. Checked Half-Sleeved Shirt + Blue Denim Jeans + Brown Formal Shoes

11. Blue Denim Shirt + Blue Denim Jeans + Brown Formal Shoes

12. Printed Shirt + Blue Denim Jeans + Brown Sneakers

13. Checked Blue Shirt + Tie + Blue Denim Jeans + Burgundy Formal Shoes

14. Plain Sky Blue Shirt + Tie + Blue Denim Jeans + Brown Formal Shoes

15. White Shirt + Brown Checked Blazer + Blue Denim Jeans + Brown Formal Shoes

16. Black T-shirt + Blue Blazer + Blue Denim Jeans + White Sneakers

Best Tips to Transition Summery Plus Size Pieces to Fall

The summer season is slowly coming to an end. However, that doesn’t mean you should store your warm-weather essentials just yet—some of your favorite staples can seamlessly transition from summer to fall. To that end, we picked out three of our favorite pieces from the closing season—the slip dress, T-shirt, and printed skirt—and asked Jodi Arnold, Eloquii’s creative director, to share her expert tips on what we should buy for fall to mix with these lightweight faves.

We love the stark contrast of a lightweight slip dress paired with a warm separate. Arnold suggests layering a fine gauge turtleneck under your dress. For an alternative look, layer the sweater over the dress for a sweater-and-skirt look.

A T-shirt is a classic that will forever be a year-round staple. The possibilities are endless but for a perfect fall look, Arnold suggests mixing the casual with the luxe. “Try knotting the tee at the waist and drape a cropped moto jacket over your shoulders,” she says. “Pair with a skirt that either hits at or just below the knee.”

Whether your summer print of choice is a gorgeous floral or bold stripes, you can count on a crewneck sweater to ground the airy piece. “Taking a skirt into fall is a breeze when paired with a fisherman sweater,” Arnold says. Tuck it in or wear it out and belt it at the waist. This sweater in particular comes in more than 10 shades and can pair nicely with the busiest of motifs.

Tips to Create the Perfect Workwear Wardrobe

Nothing to wear to work? Never again. To create the perfect 9-to-5 wardrobe, we assumed the role of sartorial scientists and grouped all workwear essentials by category before setting out to figure out exactly how much real estate they should take up in your closet. Behold, a percent-by-percent breakdown of everything you need. We suggest investing in a healthy balance of office-friendly staples and building that up with layering pieces and style statements, so that you’ll get out the door in minimal time with maximum polish. Study up on each category and scroll through to shop out your dream work wardrobe.

Dressing for a job doesn’t mean you have to leave your fashion savvy at home. Your outfit is an integral part of your professional brand, and mixing in a few personality-packed pieces not only will make you feel more like yourself but also can make a distinct impression. The trick is to strike a balance that says you’re uniquely chic but doesn’t provoke side-eye from your boss. Classics with a twist never fail—think a new silhouette in the form of an asymmetric skirt, or a classic blazer made a bit less conservative with an updated floral print.

There’s truth to the saying, “Dress for the job you want,” and nothing looks more put-together than smart pieces that fit you like a glove. You don’t have to spend a fortune, either—just seek out solid dark-hued items in breathable fabrics that don’t wrinkle easily (test them out by sitting down in the dressing room for a few minutes, then stand up to check for any crazy creasing). The most important thing is that you take pretty much all of your off-the-rack finds to a good tailor who can transform them into custom-crafted treasures.

These are the building blocks of your wardrobe—the background players that work overtime so you can mix and match separates with ease on hectic mornings. The goal is versatility: Shopping for them shouldn’t feel exciting but more like the retail equivalent of opting for a salad instead of fries. Stick to simple shapes and colors with very little print, and buy across all seasons. That means stocking up on everything from cozy sweaters to lightweight tees. And if you find a piece that fits you perfectly, don’t hesitate to snap up three.

Sometimes your 9-to-5 wear just won’t cut it for client dinners or office parties. Pick up a few items that put an elegant twist on your everyday uniform, such as satiny, pajama-y black pants or a silk top to wear under a blazer. Statement heels also pack a punch, along with delicate (yet impactful) sculptural earrings. When you really need to go for it, bring a knock-’em- dead dress and change in the bathroom.

Common pitfall: You put together a bulletproof ensemble only to ruin it by layering a puffer jacket or schlumpy coat on top. Save yourself from this fate by investing in a long number to wear with suits and a sophisticated camel wrap style to cinch over skirts. And if you don’t own a trench already, get on it. It does wonders to compensate for frizzy hair and a grumpy attitude during a downpour.

Best Ways to Show Off Your Over The Knee Boots with a Skirt

Let’s just get this out of the way: Yes, Pretty Woman featured Julia Roberts working the corners of Hollywood Boulevard in a pair over-the-knee boots with a skintight cut-out dress and, no, we don’t endorse trying the same ensemble beyond Halloween. But after logging several, infinitely more respectable years on the runway and street style scene, the thigh high design has clearly redeemed itself. Where pre-Rodeo Drive makeover Vivian gave you one bad way to wear it, fashion can offer up dozens of chic and sophisticated alternatives.

Our favorite option of the moment? Teaming super tall footwear with skirts of all lengths (even short ones—more on that below!) in lieu of tights, especially when the two pieces contrast in an interesting way. Think of a lace and embroidery-clad Cara Delevingne on her Suicide Squad tour, her famously long stems encased in black suede, or Selena Gomez in March of 2015, who updated the old school denim mini by swathing two thirds or her legs in stretchy black fabric. Now it’s your turn to get in on the action! Scroll down for 6 skirt and over-the-knee boot formulas that feel so right now.

Making this combo work for the office is all about the right balance of full coverage and conservative elements: menswearish fabric, blocky heels, bottoms that pass the fingertip test. Patent finishes and pointy toes need not apply.

Don’t let the prim-and-proper shape and girlish color fool you! Teamed with a leggy silhouette and rugged shade of forest, a blush mini has plenty of swagger.

Anchoring an abbreviated hemline with rough-and-tumble details—rounded toes, lug soles, and matte leather are all good things to look for—let it feel more streetwise than sultry. (Editor Tip: This under-$70 mini from Zara is a less expensive, but equally awesome, way to finish this look.)

As spring’s ’70s-inspired craze continues straight into fall, take advantage by combining thigh-skimming footwear in tan suede—for a splurgier option, Saint Laurent just came out with this fantastic pair—with a retro-chic pleated midi.

Repeat after us: the frillier the skirt, the sleeker the boot. And if the fit hits extra high on your leg, aim for an asymmetrical finish or side slit to show the additional length off. (This Vince Camuto design would be a great way to go.)

A brilliant way to take this trend into the weekend: with snuggly sweater textures and flat, window shopping-friendly soles.

Tips to Fake the Vetements Look with Men’s Pieces

In the battle to win the hearts, minds, and dollars of fashion insiders (and their notoriously short attention spans), Alessandro Michele of Gucci has found a worthy rival after seasons of standing solo in the spotlight—Demna Gvasalia, who, until his recent appointment as creative director of Balenciaga, was still relatively unknown in mainstream fashion. But on the streetwear scene, he had already made quite a name for himself in the last three years, with the launch of his and his brother Guram’s very buzzy Paris-based brand Vetements, which has not only earned the endorsement of Yeezus himself, but has become something of a status symbol of cool.

But to say Vetements is a “hypebeast-esque, streetwear brand” doesn’t quite cut it. Gvasalia has carved out a new category that’s a little androgynous, that pushes the envelope in a way that piques the interest of even the most jaded editor (aka industry veterans who have seen it all—trends, both the original and the remakes), yet doesn’t fall back on the more-is-more maximalist approach. The Vetements girl (or boy or whatever) wears outsize silhouettes—comically large, intentionally disproportionate shirts, boxy outerwear, extra-long hoodies—that’s boldly unapologetic in its untailored tailoring, without compromising magnetism.

Unfortunately for us, and so many others like us who are desperate for Vetements greatness, the goods run upwards of a thousand dollars each, which, to get the full look, totals to a heart attack-inducing, bankrupt-resulting amount. On the flip side, we’ve found a terrific fashion loophole: raiding the menswear section. It’s been pointed out that menswear on women comes with its fair share of problems when it comes to fit, but in the case of Vetements, that’s kind of the whole point. And so, we shopped out the men’s pieces for that natural oversized shape (all at a considerably more affordable price point, we might add), styled them with women’s, and—voilà—three Vetements-inspired looks that are worthy of the attention of street-style paps.

Classic staples with structured shapes, like a trench coat and a shirt, still look put-together even when they’re deliberately oversized. But to avoid the drowning effect (or looking as though you’re a child playing dress up in adult clothing), we suggest finding a pair of pants designed to fit your body (aka in the women’s section) and stepping into a killer heeled booties for a hit of femme fatale sexiness.

Counter a bulky top, courtesy of an enveloping men’s hoodie and puffer, with slim-fitting jeans and skin-tight thigh-high boots. When in doubt, just remember: unsexy above the waist, and sexy below, for a no-fail get-the-Vetements-look formula.

Nix the librarian, no-nonsense feel of a plaid skirt with cool streetwear separates, like a men’s shirt and a denim jacket (and when it gets cooler, a gray hoodie). Bad hair day? Hide strands underneath a nondescript baseball cap, and no one will ever know.

The Best Outfits to Wear for Every Activity This Labor Day Weekend

Labor Day weekend is a mixed bag of emotions. On one hand, it unofficially, heartbreakingly marks the end of summer—the end of sunshine, the end of rosé (or frosé) season, the end of wearing cut-offs with carefree abandon, and so on. On the other hand, we get a bonus day! A three-day break without any obligations! (Unless, that is, you have a wedding to attend, then we’re sorry.)

But for the rest of you—the unburdened folk, whose plans are to roll with whatever the weekend throws at you and to take advantage of everything that summer has to offer (even if you are in denial about autumn’s arrival)—the last thing that you want to stand between you and fun is figuring out what to wear. Ugh, talk about an instant buzzkill. To minimize time spent indoors and maximize everything else, we did you a solid and pieced together five outfits for any activity that may happen your way. Looking to practice your serve? Rival Serena Williams’ style with a hit of on-court tennis fashion. Or, got an invite to an impromptu bar crawl? A sexy off-shoulder top and walkable block-sandals are for you.

Treat this weekend as your last summer fashion hurrah, and save the adulting and outfit decision-making for Tuesday morning.

Achieve a sporty, laidback-cool vibe for a day of barbecuing with an easy striped tee, shorts, white sneaks, and a cross-body bucket bag (a hands-free option that’s perfect for when you’re manning the grill).

Practice your serve for next year’s U.S. Open with a preppy knit and darling skorts—a look that even Serena Williams would be jealous of. And when the sun’s set, store your racket in Tory’s ingenious sling backpack.

Get all your summer fashion in before temps drop with a breezy off-shoulder top and white kick flares. And since you’ll be making multiple pit stops, we suggest walkable block heels and a hands-free bag to accommodate any double-fisting action.

Clock in quality beach time a nautical-inspired one-piece, and once cockhail hour rolls around, throw on a fun fringe-y cover-up to take your look from the beach to, well, wherever the party’s at.

When the dress code is all white, pack a visual punch with textures, like ruffles or intricate cut-outs, and statement-making extras (ie graphic raffia clutch and embroidered lace-up sandals).

Top Pieces That Will Never Go Out of Fashion

“Does this spark joy?” That’s the question author and tidying queen Marie Kondo wants us to ask ourselves when we want to declutter and purge our closets, and better our lives. No offense to the organizational guru, but when it comes to the foundation of our wardrobes, the very pieces that have made what our closets are today, there is an exception to that rule, and it’s: If you’re paralyzed by indecision on something that falls on this list, we beg of you, don’t toss it in the donation pile.

Because obviously, a black pencil skirt isn’t going to stir up the same kind of happiness as a colorful tassel-tastic caftan that reminds you of sipping pina coladas on the beach. As it shouldn’t, but as boring as that black pencil is, it’s one of those wear-forever staples that remain a constant in your life, despite fashion’s revolving door of trends. And much like a reliable BFF, these oldies-but-goodies see you through both the good days (when you’re feeling creatively inspired to ‘breathe new life’ into said pencil skirt) and the bad (stuck in a style rut? Meh, a shirt and a pencil skirt will do).

Basically, all we’re trying to say is, do declutter for the sake of mental health and to free up precious closet real estate, but don’t discard the pieces that will never, ever go out of fashion (because you’ll regret it, believe us). So before you tidy up, scroll through and double-check our list first, and if you don’t happen to own one or two of the pieces, buy them now so you can wear them forever.

The white button-down will forever be the hardest-working piece in your closet. Suit up with menswear-inspired separates for the office, dress it down, half-tucking it into skinnies on the weekend, or fully tucking it into an evening skirt for a fancy affair. We especially addore the stitching along the cuffs and collar for a little something special.

For an unfussy earring situation, studs are, obviously, a go-to. But you can always count on a pair of delicate 14k gold hoops to fill that negative space.

A versatile clean-cut wool-blend coat that has the tailoring of menswear, but fitted to mold to a women’s is, without a doubt, a cold-weather fashion fixture.

Create a fluid, languid line with relaxed silk shirt tucked in (Victoria Beckham would approve).

A classic shape in a classic color (that just so happens to be completely on-trend for fall).

The chicest solution to looking put-together during a torrential downpour.

The loafer gets an update every season, with metallic coats, cool embellishments, embroidered fabrics, and backless silhouettes, but the original—a patent black penny—will continue to remain a tried-and-true staple.

Out of all the knits in the world, you’ll get the most mileage out of a classic cashmere V-neck sweater in a soft shade of gray.

The slip dress had a major ’90s moment (in no small part to Kate Moss), but it’s returned to prove its immense staying power. Layer it over a button-down shirt, a sweater, a turtleneck, or tee; or under a sweater to fake separates or a see-through dress—the possibilities are infinite.

A black blazer. Enough said.

If we could get away with wearing a white tee every day, we totally would. Buy these in bulk.

OK, so we know we said a black pencil skirt is boring, but this one, while simple, is anything but, with its thigh-high slit and ribbed knit waistband.

An elegant, more feminine alternative to a white button-down shirt.

A solid base layer (wear it under a button-down shirt, a sleeveless dress, or a silky cami) that you can wear solo (with jeans for a “Steve Jobs” look or with a classic pencil).

A crisp white shirtdress is just as much a classic as its abbreviated counterpart.

Oh, the black pointy-toe pump—an oldie, but definitely a goodie.

Tips to Wear a Silky Camisole Like It’s 2016

If you asked me to speak on silk camisoles two years ago, I’d have painted a bejeweled, over-tanned tale of the early aughts. It would start with the ladies of Laguna Beach (those innocent days when, siiigh, people still associated Speidi with the superhero), wearing the cut extra long with flared jeans and flip-flops, and veer to peak-O.C. Misha Barton in a newsboy cap. There’d be a few mentions of Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan clubbing—a hot pink bra peeking beneath their dangerously low necklines—before declaring satin-y spaghetti strap tops over, done, dead.

But the style’s real glory days? Turns out those were yet to come. The coolest of cool girls have been revamping the dated design’s image this summer and, indeed, even this former naysayer likes what she sees. To wit: Emily Ratajkowski, spotted effortlessly balancing the sex appeal of a slinky negligee top with stiff and faded ‘90s-style jeans last spring, and the chic come hitherness of the Hadid sisters’ go-to cami/choker formula. Factor in Kendall Jenner, elevating a lace-trimmed yellow number from Gucci with a black mini skirt and matching booties on Jimmy Kimmel, and suddenly the recycled trend feels totally new.

Let’s make sure the rest of our outfits do, too. Here, courtesy of the InStyle market team’s styling wizardry, three perfect ways to revamp your approach to the look.

Where your 2006 self would finish her camisole outfit with bootcut denim (bless her heart), an elegant midi-length skirt feels far more of-the-moment. Mix-and-match punchy, personality-filled accessories—like a printed clutch and lace-up metallic sandals—to put your own stamp on the finished ensemble.

Structured off-duty staples in this season’s coolest silhouettes (we’re looking at you, kick flares and bombers) not only dress a lingerie-inspired top down, but give it a modern twist. To create flattering curves, always tuck.

It’s time to give that white oxford a breather. In rich jewel tones, especially, a thin-strapped tank is equally sophisticated (but twice as special).