Allegra is a paralegal by day and a graduate student studying Creative Writing at Emerson College by night. When she isn’t busy with work or class, she enjoys binge reading on pop culture sites and ice cream. She’s starting a new blog with her cousin on fashion and fitness. Stay tuned for the grand opening!
If I hear the word basic one more time to describe someone’s style, I may give up social media altogether! Well, that seems drastic. However, this term basic is overused and has gotten a bad rap for being associated with banality and conformity. I say let’s do away with the word basic! Let’s use classic to describe ourselves and others instead.
A look is classic when it keeps reappearing throughout the decades again and again, because it is that powerful. Powerful is one word I am happy to hear repeated and associate with.
Five classic looks I love that are pulled from across the decades are the cat-eye, the bob (and the updated version the lob, or long bob), plaid, fur vests and short coats (fashionably fake of course), and neon colored, eyes, lips and nails.
The cat-eye is achieved best with a liquid, not pencil, eyeliner in the form of a pen or pot and pointed liner brush. Two other great and unexpected tools I like to use to get this look are a playing card or clear tape. These two household items help get a professional looking wing from the outer corner of the eye to the start of the brow bone. This mod look widens and opens the eye, making it appear larger. I love this look for a night out with or without eye shadow.
The second look I love is the bob. I’m trying to grow out my hair now, but am so temped to get it chopped into a cute little bob or a longer version of that, the lob. This look, stolen from the flapper days, is easy yet structured. Simply use some frizz tamer, a round brush and viola! Of course it’s all in the cut itself. Typically, a bob is longer in the front and shorter in the back and has some long layers so the ends easily roll under. I see so many variations of this look on Pinterest and almost every one is flattering.
A staple in my closet is plaid (after all, I did grow up in the 90’s). I am rocking it almost every day with my blanket scarf. If you don’t have a blanket scarf or know what one is, take a look on Etsy. There are so many beautiful ones at reasonable prices. But back to plaid! I can never have too many plaid shirts; well maybe I can, just not yet. I love how plaid isn’t just on flannels now, although it is still an awesome, classic print on this fabric, but has taken a more sophisticated, grown-up approach when screen printed on gorgeous flowing silk. I am not sure how I feel about plaid pants. I did have a friend that totally owned them in green with red and black cross hatching though, so any clothing or accessory can up its game with plaid.
My favorite purchase as of late is my fake fur vest. It’s an updated version of the cropped vests of the 70’s, being that it’s a bit longer towards the back and curving along the front. I think that this length and gentle curve create an elegant shape. I have been layering it with everything from a crisp white button-down (more on those later) to my print dresses. It’s warm enough that on the coldest day all you need to do is slip on your coat and off you go with no need for a big bulky sweater or hoodie. Plus, it looks like you spent much longer than you did putting together your outfit for the day when it only took you three seconds to put on that fur!
A final favorite look I that I love right now is neon make-up. The trend is pulled right from the 80’s and it’s back and brighter than ever. The look is super easy to do and very cheap, so I love it even more for these two factors. One of the easiest ways to brighten up your little black dress is to enhance your eyes with teal eyeliner and even, dare I say, blue eye shadow! The blue eye shadow, however, should be understated and paired with a nude lip. Another great neon to try right now is a fuchsia lip. Again with this, take all other make-up down a notch, watching the blush especially. Another way to try out this trend is on your nails. I’ve seen just about every neon color from highlighter yellow to electric blue. If you think you can pull these nail trend off, I recommend it!
I will leave you with a few of my timeless tips and one challenge. One is never underestimate the power of a crisp white shirt and some well-fitting jeans. When I think of this look I see Marilyn Monroe in a pin-up pose, looking better than she did in any red carpet gown. This classic look paired with some black pumps is perfect for so many occasions. A second tip that really follows the first: accessories can make or break a look. My grandmother’s best piece of advice (likely stolen from Coco Chanel’s infinite wisdom) was to take off one accessory before leaving the house. My last tip is to learn to appreciate your body and dress it accordingly. If you have a long torso, wear high waisted jeans to create a higher waist. If you have curvy hips highlight them in a pencil skirt. Have fun with learning what works for your body and your life.
Here is your challenge: take a minute to describe your style in one or two words. It’s pretty tough, huh? I know I’m still learning how to describe best my style, but I’m definitely not basic.