Even the rich don’t always buy off the runway. Not everyone with cash is into fast fashion, but still always look fashion forward. Some looks are just so fabulous, they are timeless and never go out of style. There are three reasons for this. The main reason is that some pieces of clothing are universally flattering to many body types.
Function is another reason why some pieces never go out of style. For example, as long as temperatures dip, fur coats will remain in style. This is because New York, while the fashion capital of the world isn’t also the weather capital of the world, and a fur coat will keep a lady warm like no other there. The Burberry Trench Coat is another example of functional fashion, as it was originally designed for soldiers in the trenches. Now it keeps the rich and fashionable protected from the rain. Natural and functional, cashmere’s coziness has helped it remain a timeless look. For a more warm weather timeless look, you need to think Palm Beach, where Lilly Pulitzer’s bright print dresses were actually designed as a product of necessity, but evolved into a fashion essential.
Fame is the third reason some looks remain timeless. René Lacoste’s Polo Shirt is one of the most popular looks today. Less on the casual side, white button down shirts were once limited to menswear, but their popularity evolved into a woman’s wardrobe staple.
10. Lacoste Polo Shirts: $120
Most people think the Polo Shirt was invented by Ralph Lauren, but it was actually first designed by René Lacoste, who was a French seven-time Grand Slam champion tennis player, in 1933. Lacoste’s nickname was “The Crocodile,” which is why there is an embroidered crocodile on every Polo shirt. Classic polo shirts are made of cotton piqué and have a signature collar and placket with two or three buttons. Originally designed for tennis and golf, while Lascoste shirts have remained popular sportswear, they are great for an everyday casual look. Taylor Swift, Kate Bosworth and Eva Longoria have been spotted in Lacoste. For the current season, a polo will cost between $90 and $120.
9. Lilly Pulitzer Dresses: $300
Lilly Pulitzer is known for her Upper Class following, who have given her the nickname “The Queen of Prep.” Her signature vibrant print dresses were designed as a product of necessity. Pulitzer’s husband owned orange groves and when Lilly began to operate a juice stand in Palm Beach; she designed print dresses to cover up juice stains. Her customers fell in love with her dresses, so she began to sell them. Ultimately, her dresses outsold her juices. In 1959, she became president of Lilly Pulitzer Inc, and “Lillys,” as they are called have been worn by the rich and famous ever since. Jackie O, Caroline Kennedy, Kristin Davis (and her fictional counterpart Charlotte York on Sex and the City), Courteney Cox and Elizabeth Hasselbeck all love their Lillys. For $200-300, you can wear one too.
8. Anne Fontaine Dress Shirts: $395
Button down shirts have been a popular look for women, although the item was originally designed as menswear. They have been popular for women for a long time, most memorably when Sharon Stone wore a very drab white shirt from the Gap to the 1998 Oscars, which she paired with a rather luxurious Vera Wang skirt. There are also numerous pictures of Marilyn Monroe wearing a white button down. French designer Anne Fontaine makes the most luxurious and fashionable ones on the market. The current collection sells for between $295 to $395 for simple to runway ready shirts.
7. Diane Von Furstenberg’s Wrap Dress: $595
In 1974, fashion changed forever when designer Diane Von Furstenberg launched her famous wrap dress. This dress is so legendary, it has its own place at the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The wrap dress has long sleeves and closes by wrapping one side across the other. This design is very flattering on a woman’s natural curves. Von Furstenberg has said the dress was inspired by her divorce and was considered a symbol of female liberation in the 70’s. Coco Rocha, Madonna, First Lady Michelle Obama, Miranda Kerr have all been spotted in DVF Wrap Dresses. While definitely an investment piece, the current designs cost from $250 to $595.
6. Cashmere Sweaters: $2,000
Cashmere wool is not actually wool, but the hair of the Kashmir goat. It is incredibly soft, yet strong and light. Most of the world’s cashmere comes from India and Mongolia. Cashmere is warm, comfortable and of course, luxurious. Unlike certain wools, it does cause itching or discomfort. The beautiful look of cashmere as well as its quality and durability, assures it will never go out of style. Celebs like Kate Hudson, Jennifer Garner, Reese Witherspoon and Jessica Biel love cashmere. Of the finest brands is TSE (pronounced say), which makes a variety of cashmere sweaters from crop tops to luxurious wrap sweaters priced from $425 to nearly $2,000.
5. Sonia Rykiel Sweaters: $2,290
Dubbed “The Queen of Knits,” French designer Sonia Rykiel became a sensation when she took over the management of her husband’s renowned Paris boutique, Laura in 1951. Without any formal training, Rykiel soon began to design clothing for the shop. Inspired by menswear and a personal desire to design a sweater to fit her body, in 1962, she designed The Poor Boy Sweater, which has long sleeves, but a short shape. First made popular by style icons Brigitte Bardot and Audrey Hepburn, the Poor Boy Sweater is still a stylish look today, worn by celebs like Marion Cotillard and first Lady Michelle Obama. Fictional fashionista Carrie Bradshaw was also a fan of the line. Although it’s called a Poor Boy Sweater, it doesn’t come cheap; a cashmere one will run you $2,290, but there are less expensive ones to be had for around $200.
4. Hervé Léger Bandage Dress: $2,690
Hervé Peugnet, who designed the original bandage dress for his line Hervé Léger profoundly stated, “I like to make women look beautiful, who want to please and be noticed.” He certainly accomplished this. In 1989, it was designed to appear to be made of multiple strips like bandages to compliment and highlight the female form. This look will remain timeless not only because of the uniqueness and versatility of the bandage dress, but how it really compliments a variety of figures, as shown by the number of celebrities with different body types who have worn it from Kate Winslet, to Lindsay Lohan and Megan Fox. No longer designed by Peugnet, BCBG designer Max Azria designs bandage dresses under the Hervé Léger label for $2,690 for the most expensive one, with less expensive ones available for $780.
3. Burberry Trench Coats: $4,995
While they are classic tried and true fashion items, trench coats were actually first designed for French and British soldiers during WWI. Designed by Thomas Burberry in 1901 (although fellow British designer Aquascutum claims to have designed the trench in the 1850’s), trench coats are raincoats made of waterproof heavy-duty cotton gabardine drill. They have insulated linings and raglan sleeves. Traditional trench coats are double breasted with wide lapels, a belt and are almost always khaki colored. A celebrity favorite, Kate Middleton, Angelina Jolie, and Emma Watson have been spotted in Burberry Trench Coats. Burberry still sells classic gabardine trench’s for $2,195, as well modern inspired versions with python sleeves for $4,995.
2. Chanel Suits: $20,000
Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel has made countless contributions to women’s fashion and all of her designs truly remain timeless. Designed in 1921 in Paris, her iconic suits were inspired by menswear. The boxy shaped, collarless jackets have a braid trim, fitted sleeves and metallic buttons, paired with a slim-line skirt. The purpose of the suit was not just to look gorgeous, but to make women look professional, while they tried to build careers in the workplace post WWI. One of the most famous Chanel suits was worn by Jackie O, the day JFK was assassinated. It has been consistently popular with celebrities from Princess Diana to Penelope Cruz. Definitely on the pricey side, a suit from the current collection will run from about $5,000 to over $20,000.
1. Fur Coats: $140,000
It’s safe to say fur coats have been popular since humans occupied the earth during the time of the cave man. Like it or not, the fur coat is here to stay. This is because fur coats are truly the best way to keep warm. This is especially applicable in the fashion capital of the world, New York. Fur coats are also versatile. There are so many ways to wear and design fur coats, from fox to mink and even chinchilla, designers can make fur work for a variety of looks from traditional to outlandish. A good fur coat, if stored properly, can last for years, but they don’t come cheap. J Mendel, one of the premier furriers in the world, sells a basic mink peacoat for $12,000 and a long Russian Barguzin sable coat for $140,000.