Do you love the classic style looks of Audrey Hepburn, Kate Winslet or Princess Diana? They all have a classic style personality.

Many of the world’s most recognizable beauties choose a classic wardrobe style and for good reason.

A classic wardrobe lasts, rarely goes out of style, and a few well-selected pieces can take you just about anywhere at any time.

How to be sure you have a classic style personality

Are you certain of your style? Do you know you have a classic style personality.

If you aren’t 100% sure, you could try this fun style personality quiz. Most women find they have one main style personality but are drawn to elements of others.

Here are some other ways to determine if you have a classic style personality…

As a classic style personality you prefer timeless looks

While you are aware of the trends, you prefer classic looks which are totally timeless. The clothes, shoes and accessories you wear look stylish year after year.

Beth wears a striped jacket and white pants |

Beth @styleatacertainage above (read her style interview here) chooses a classic neutral outfit and tops it with a striped cardigan.

She is wearing a jacket from J.Crew and flats from Kate Spade New York. Check out this similar top, pants, bag and earrings.

You don’t like throwaway fashion

You aren’t one to hit the shops every weekend. You would rather have fewer, quality pieces in your closet that you know will last you for seasons.

If this sounds like you, you might also like to take a look at our article on how to do more with less.

You always look elegant and well put together

You aren’t bothered about being the trendiest person in the room.

But you do always look elegant, refined and your outfits are well put together.

That’s partly because your outfit choices suit any occasion and partly because you tend to gravitate towards well-cut pieces in good quality fabric.

You tend to have classic colors in your closet

If I opened your closet, I would likely find a lot of neutrals, but you do like classic shades such as red.

You also like classic patterns like polka dots, leopard print and stripes. I’m unlikely to find more unusual hues such as orange or purple.

Also, if I were to take a peak into your wardrobe, I would probably see you have many of the items from our list of 33 essentials every woman over 40 should own.

What are the characteristics of classic style?

Adaline in trench coat, sneakers and sneakers |

Adaline @sdmomstyles above wears an outfit that combines casual jeans with a chic, timeless trench coat.

Get her look with this similar sweater, coat, wide jeans, sneakers, crossbody bag and necklace.

We take a look at the elements of classic style below.

How to dress to look classic?

Below, we give you lots of tips so you can dress in a classic way. You’re thinking about timeless, classic shapes, natural fabrics, neutral colors, not being captivated by trends, and taking inspiration from celebrities who have a classic style. You’ll also find classic style has lots in common with old money style.

How to develop a classic style?

If you want to develop a classic style, or you aren’t sure it’s for you, then start off by adding some classic pieces into your wardrobe and combine them with your existing outfits. For example, a trench coat goes with everything, or a classic white shirt will look great with your jeans. You don’t have to start building your closet from scratch to change up your style.

Below are tips on how to build your own classic capsule wardrobe

If you have a classic style and you really want to hone your closet, here’s how.

You may also like to read our ultimate guide to creating a capsule wardrobe that works best for you.

Start with a neutral palette

Black, navy, gray or tan work as an anchor color to build your classic capsule wardrobe.

Choose wardrobe staples in one of these neutrals and build your capsule wardrobe from there.

Choose classic shapes

A classic capsule is built from tailored classics that flatter the body.

One of the best investments is a fitted blazer; a flattering style that works on just about any size or body shape.

Select a blazer style jacket in your chosen neutral shade.

Make sure the blazer buttons comfortably and doesn’t pull across the bust line, and it’s loose enough through the arms and back to allow ease of movement as well as allow you to comfortably layer a shirt or sweater underneath.

A stylish pair of cropped pants are another classic wardrobe staple. A flat front style with a side zip is flattering for most body types.

They work with flats, booties or heels, and can transition easily from daytime to evening with a simple change of jewelry or shoes.

Emms in red pencil dress and pumps |

Emms @beautifuleveryday_uk above shows how you can still add a twist to classic style. Her red dress is beautiful, classic and timeless, but the asymmetric neckline gives it a little bit of an edge.

She is wearing a dress from L.K.Bennett. Check out this similar pair of pumps and handbag.

Choose fabrics that can work year round

If you’re a classic style personality, I’m sure you agree with me when I talk about why I have a problem wearing synthetic fabrics.

A crisp cotton poplin shirt can be worn knotted with a pair of cropped pants for summer, or worn underneath a sweater and jacket for fall.

A cashmere or lightweight wool sweater can work during winter months when layered with other shirts and jackets.

Invest in a few high quality timeless pieces

It may actually save money in the long run to invest in a few well made pieces that will work for years to come.

A leather or suede jacket in a classic shape, a wool overcoat, trench coat and merino or cashmere wool sweaters are all pieces that will stand the test of time.

Celebrities with a classic style personality

Are you drawn to the style of the celebrities below? If so, you are likely to have a classic style personality yourself.

Celebrities with timeless style |

Kate Middleton (who also loves some preppy styles), Princess Diana, Kate Winslet, Audrey Hepburn, Victoria Beckham and Angelina Jolie (although she combines elements of the minimal style personality) All have a classic style personality.

Some designers you may like to take inspiration from if you have a classic style personality are Ralph Lauren, Kate Spade New York and Chanel.

Classic runway looks |

Ralph LaurenKate Spade New YorkChanel

A capsule wardrobe for the classic fashion personality

Now that you are thinking about your style and what will work best for your every day outfits, you will find all the tops, bottoms, shoes and accessories below that the classic style personality needs to build a capsule closet.

The classic style capsule below has been especially updated for 2023.

Tops with a classic look

Start with a classic white shirt that you can layer underneath jackets and sweaters.

Add a silk blouse that can be dressed up with slacks or worn with jeans for a more casual look.

Choose a cashmere or quality wool sweater and think about patterns which won’t date when choosing tops and blouses.

When selecting knits, select styles that are not too clingy, especially if you tend to carry weight in your stomach area.

A longer cardigan sweater can help camouflage a tummy area without clinging, and cover your arms when wearing a sleeveless top or dress.

If you carry weight around your hips, avoid sweaters that hit above your hip, which can draw attention to that area and make you appear fuller.

Sweaters that fall at or below mid hip work well on most women and flatter lots of body types.

Wrap styles and timeless prints like stripes will also work for you.

Tops with a timeless look |

Vince Band Collar Silk BlouseBoden Sienna Silk ShirtBoden Supersoft Boat Neck T-ShirtLoveappella Faux Wrap Top

Jona in stripe shirt, deinim skrit and slingbacks |

Jona @the50plusgirl above chooses a striped shirt and denim midi skirt that could easily be worn with so many different things, and she adds interest to her outfit with her silver shoes.

Recreate her outfit with this similar shirt, denim skirt, slingback pumps and sunglasses.

Jackets and coats to add to your classic clothing capsule

Make sure the jacket fits properly, but not too snug.

Jacket and coat styles to give you a classic look include a blazer, trench and moto jacket. For cooler weather, look for a longline, belted wool coat. For warmer days, you could also wear a shorter, Chanel-inspired cardigan.

Jackets and coats to add to your timeless clothing capsule |

Boden Semi Fitted Jersey BlazerMisook Side Tie BlazerBoden Textured Interest Crop JacketTheory Oaklane Admiral Crepe Trench Coat

Blazer, silk shirt, printed pants and Mary Jane pumps |

Misook Side Tie BlazerVince Band Collar Silk BlouseBoden Highgate Printed PantsBoden Block Heel Mary JanesTory Burch Robinson Leather Wallet on a ChainKate Spade New York Mini Imitation Pearl Pendant Necklace

Pants and Jeans for classic fashion style

When selecting pants and jeans think about shapes, shades and patterns that won’t date.

While you may find that skinny jeans are “in” one season and “out” the next, a pair of bootcut jeans will stand the test of time.

You could also add black pants, white jeans and a pair of pants in a subtle pattern such as a check, polka dot or stripe. Plus, don’t shy away from color. Just make sure you pick a color that is always on trend.

Pants and jeans for classic fashion style |

Wit & Wisdom ‘Ab’Solution Itty Bitty Bootcut JeansJ.Crew New Essential Wide Leg PantBoden Hampshire Ponte Wide Leg PantsBoden Highgate Printed Pants

Classic style: Suzie in blazer, jeans and pumps |

Suzie @suzie.richetti above elevates her jeans with a white blazer.

Steal her look with this similar top, blazer, jeans, pumps, bag (another option here) and belt.

Dresses and Skirts to create classic outfits

Invest in a classic dress. A sheath or wrap style are both classic shapes that will quickly become wardrobe staples.

Pair with heels for work or dressy events and tights paired with booties for more casual days. You could also wear with wedge or flat sandals, or white sneakers for weekends.

Select skirts in a length that flatters you best (an inch or two above the knee is flattering for most women). Stay away from anything too tight or too baggy. A pencil skirt or a-line is a timeless shape.

Dresses and skirts to create classic outfits |

Karen Kane Cascade Faux Wrap DressSTAUD Ellison Pleat Effect Sweater DressMing Wang Grid Stripe Flare Knit DressJ.Crew No. 3 Pencil Skirt

Classic style outfit: jacket, midi dress and pumps |

Boden Textured Interest Crop JacketSTAUD Ellison Pleat Effect Sweater DressStuart Weitzman Eva 35 PumpsTory Burch Robinson Leather Wallet on a ChainArgento Vivo Sterling Silver Chunky Tube Hoop Earrings

Shoes to go with your classic style clothing

As with your clothes, you will want to make sure that your shoes are classic, timeless and versatile.

A pair of classic heels, some black booties for cooler months and some flats, including a pair of classic white sneakers, should take you through most situations. For warm months, block heeled sandals will go with all of your outfits.

Shoes to go with your classic style clothing |

Stuart Weitzman Eva 35 PumpsBoden Block Heel Mary JanesTory Burch Claire Cap-Toe Ballet FlatsSam Edelman Poppy Sneakers

Classic style outfit: trench coat, wrap top, wide pants and flats |

Theory Oaklane Admiral Crepe Trench CoatLoveappella Faux Wrap TopJ.Crew New Essential Wide Leg PantTory Burch Claire Cap-Toe Ballet FlatsLongchamp Large Le Pliage ToteMignonette 14k Gold Pearl & Diamond Stud Earrings

Accessories to add to your classic wear

Add color to your classic capsule wardrobe with tops, jewelry and accessories. Or layer other neutrals to add texture and interest.

Pair your basics with statement necklaces, scarves, and bold accessories to add emphasis and personality. If it’s too warm for a coat, you could always add a wrap to your accessories to cover your arms.

Accessories to add to your classic wear |

Longchamp Large Le Pliage ToteTory Burch Robinson Leather Wallet on a ChainKate Spade New York Mini Imitation Pearl Pendant NecklaceArgento Vivo Sterling Silver Chunky Tube Hoop EarringsMignonette 14k Gold Pearl & Diamond Stud EarringsQuay Australia Call The Shots 48mm Gradient Cat Eye SunglassesKate Spade New York Snow Dot Bandana Scarf

Classic style outfit: Nora in cardigan, bootcut jeans and pumps |

Nora @juststylela above (read her style interview here) adds a print scarf to her classic outfit.

Check out this similar top, cardigan, bootcut jeans, pumps, handbag, belt, scarf and sunglasses.

Stores and brands for the classic style personality

Where do you like to shop if you are a classic style personality? Don’t forget to tell me in the comments below. Here are some of our own favorites.

Here are 9 looks created from these classic wardrobe choices

Below you can see many of the separates shown above put together in one capsule wardrobe. You could easily mix and match to create countless different outfits.

For example, you can wear any of the tops with the jeans, wear the red jacket and pants as a suit, pair the Chanel-style jacket with the print pants, or wear the beige top with the red pants or white skirt.

A capsule wardrobe for the classic style personality |

Shop the pieces for the classic style personality here:

More classic style inspiration for you

Below are some earlier classic capsules we created. While the items are past season, they may still provide you with inspiration as they are all so timeless.

A capsule wardrobe for the classic style personality |
    A capsule wardrobe for the CLASSIC style personality |
A timeless style capsule wardrobe |
A capsule wardrobe for the CLASSIC style personality |

While the capsule below is also from previous seasons, you may also like to take inspiration from the looks here:

A capsule wardrobe for the CLASSIC style personality |

A well designed classic capsule wardrobe will make you feel pulled together, chic and confident, and will make getting dressed easy and stress free.

Further reading:

  1. The Ultimate Guide To Creating A Capsule Wardrobe That Works For You
  2. French Fashion: 14 French Style Secrets To Steal
  3. Understanding The Different Styles

Do you have a classic style personality? What are your go-to pieces?

Like this post on the classic style personality? Share it on Pinterest!

A style guide and capsule wardrobe for the CLASSIC style personality |

Feature image by Nora @juststylela


Sylvia is 40+style’s editor-in-chief and has been helping women find their unique style since 2011. An alumni of the School of Color and Design, she is devoted to empowering women of any age to look and feel their best. Read more about Sylvia and 40+style on this page.

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