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.
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.
Cathy @themiddlepageblog above (read her style interview here) chooses a shirtdress that offers a modern take on the classic blue shirt.
She is wearing a dress from Misook and accessorizing it with a handbag from BENE
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.
Celebrities with a classic style personality
Are you drawn to the style of the celebrities above? If so, you are likely to have a classic style personality yourself.
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.
Ralph Lauren – Kate Spade New York – Chanel
Here 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.
Suzie @suzie.richetti above puts together classic pieces that would all go with plenty of other options in anyone’s closet.
Recreate her outfit with this similar blazer, maxi skirt, heels and bag.
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.
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.
Nora @juststylela above (read her style interview here) chooses a poncho that could be worn over other knitwear in colder months, over your shirt in summer, and to keep you cozy on the plane if you are travelling.
Get her look with this similar top, ruana, jeans, sandals, handbag, necklace and sunglasses.
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.
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 will also work for you.
ANINE BING Mika Shirt – Vince Band Collar Silk Blouse – Boden V-back Jersey Top – Loveappella Faux Wrap Top
Beth @styleatacertainage above (read her style interview here) wears a wrap shirt that would go with all the pants and skirts in her closet.
Recreate her outfit with this similar wrap blouse (other options here and here), jeans, pumps, bag and necklace.
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.
ANINE BING Quinn Blazer – J.Crew Emilie Patch-Pocket Sweater Lady Jacket – J.Crew Collection Cropped Lady Trench Coat – FARVALUE Double Breasted Trench Coat
ANINE BING Quinn Blazer – Boden V-back Jersey Top – ANINE BING Carrie Pants – Aquatalia Hildy Block Heel Sandal – BOSS Scarlet Leather Work Bag – Sterling Forever Sterling Silver Cubic Zirconia Stud Earrings
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.
Wit & Wisdom Ab-Solution High Waist Itty Bitty Bootcut Jeans – ANINE BING Sonya Jean – ANINE BING Carrie Pants – J.Crew Kate Gingham Straight-Leg Pants
Sylvia @sylviacolella (read her style interview here) chooses timeless Chanel to go with her jeans.
Steal her look with this similar contrast jacket, jeans, pumps and shoulder bag.
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.
Fraiche by J Wrap Front Long Sleeve Dress – Karen Millen Soft Tailored High Low Midi Dress – J.Crew Gwyneth V-Neck Cupro-Blend Slip Dress – Boden Bias Linen Midi Skirt
Shepherds Land 100% Lambswool Ruana – Karen Millen Soft Tailored High Low Midi Dress – Marc Fisher LTD Zala Block Heel Pump – Nina Willow Clutch – Nordstrom 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.
Tory Burch Claire Cap Toe Ballet Flat – Aquatalia Hildy Block Heel Sandal – Marc Fisher LTD Zala Block Heel Pump – Superga 2750 Cotu Classic Sneaker
Adaline @sdmomstyles above opts for an outfit that will never go out of style.
Recreate her outfit with this similar tee, blazer, jeans, sneakers and tote.
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.
Shepherds Land 100% Lambswool Ruana – Kate Spade New York Stripe Oblong Scarf – BOSS Scarlet Leather Work Bag – Nina Willow Clutch – Sterling Forever Sterling Silver Cubic Zirconia Stud Earrings – Nordstrom Tube Hoop Earrings – Kate Spade New York Pavé Halo Pendant Necklace – Burberry Meryl 54mm Cat Eye Sunglasses
Loveappella Faux Wrap Top – Boden Bias Linen Midi Skirt – Superga 2750 Cotu Classic Sneaker – BOSS Scarlet Leather Work Bag – Sterling Forever Sterling Silver Cubic Zirconia Stud Earrings – Burberry Meryl 54mm Cat Eye 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 my 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 could wear the stripe cardigan with the white jeans or skirt, the red top with any of the bottoms, and the white blazer with the black or red dress.
shop THE items above 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.
While the capsule below is from previous seasons, you may also like to take inspiration from the looks here:
A well designed classic capsule wardrobe will make you feel pulled together, chic and confident, and will make getting dressed easy and stress free.
- The Ultimate Guide To Creating A Capsule Wardrobe That Works For You
- French Fashion: 14 French Style Secrets To Steal
- Understanding The Different Styles
Do you have a classic style personality? What are your go-to pieces?
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Feature image by Nora @juststylela
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Thank you for the refresher/update! I really needed that given that my wardrobe has been sweats, sweats, sweats!
Thankyou very much for understanding my style
This sounds about right, but some of the styles don’t look right for an apple shape. Can you put together a capsule wardrobe for classic/apple? Suggestions and sources for buying each item and prices would be great too.
These personality guides are not created for certain body shapes. To see our ideas for the apple body shape go to https://40plusstyle.com/how-to-dress-the-apple-body-shape/ In all articles you will find lots of links of the sourced items if they are still available.
I love the classic styles that are shown in the capsules. I would like to see how some of these styles would work with a pear shaped body or some alternatives. It does give me some ideas on where to start and what to look for at some of my favorite shops.
This describes me to a T, but I also incorporate Glamorous and Rock styles. I love to look classy but slightly goth.
I am for sure a Classic style. You got me right on in many areas.
I had my colours & style done back in the 80’s.I was a classic with a little dramatice.g accessories.That for reaffirming my style as I’m now 69 years old & have found knowing these things has saved me from making costly mistakes.
Sylvia, you are Spot on understanding my Style. Classic is Very Feminine, but not over the top. My Friend got me interested into dressing like a Woman, and Women have so many options that Men just don’t have. I like wearing casual, when hanging out with the Girls, and Elegant when the time presents itself. Heels define a Woman’s personality, and when I am in them, they give me Confidence, and my True sense of Style. Thank you again for Knowing my Personality by my outfit selections!
No, this doesn’t suit me at all. Classic isn’t me. The styles are boring and the way I used to have to dress when I worked in banking. Honestly, I didn’t know who any of the fashion icons were, I haven’t seen any of the movies so I just picked something in order to move to the next question. I don’t wear perfume, but I wear essential oil.
Knowing what you don’t like can also help you to discover what you DO like. Browse through our other style personality guides to see which one best defines you 🙂
I am 5’2, weigh 183, and I am 65 years old. I am retired and I stay at home so I wear pajamas a lot. When I do get out, I prefer leggings over jeans and I wear tunic tops with my leggings. I love dusters. Because I am so short, dress pants are too long. I hate my legs so I wear maxi dresses when I wear dresses. Also I have had two knee surgeries so I want to cover up my scars. Any suggestions?
There are many tips for you on this site. Start by looking at https://40plusstyle.com/how-to-wear-leggings-over-40-an-extensive-guide/ and https://40plusstyle.com/how-to-dress-when-you-are-short-petite/ Wishing you lots of styling fun!
Took the quiz and came up with ‘classic.’ Color descriptors are wrong for me. I seldom wear black and certainly not near my face. Off white or winter white looks better on me than stark white. I have light ash blond hair. White washes out on me. My eyebrows are non-existent as in too light to see them so a gel brush and lip gloss are my makeup staples. I have 2 red tops in my entire closet and no red accessories. I don’t wear tan or brown as a single color either. Those colors can be in a mixed color top but I prefer jewel tones like bluish green, pink, rose, periwinkle, royal blue, etc. Bland colors don’t go well with my coloring and as I age, my light ash blond is light grey on my crown and white streaks up front. And yes my belly is expanding but for the last 10 years I have held steady in a size 16. I think your tips on asymmetrical and soft flowy fabrics will work for me and I intend to try soon. You will laugh. I haven’t bought any new clothes except for jeans and yoga pants in about 9 years. I do however, browse the thrift stores near me. I have 4 Coach bags and I rotate them with the season.
Knowing your “colors” is as essential as your style. Back in the 80’s, many of us had our colors done. The palettes were named spring-summer-fall-winter. We received a sample set of our colors that we could take to the store with all the hues and shades that work for us across the color spectrum. I never made color mistakes again!
Thankyou very much for understanding my style
Brooks Brothers is another good place to shop.
I refer to myself as a casual classic personality. I combine elements of both. I enjoyed this post. I like to shop Ann Taylor, sometimes Talbots, J Crew and sometimes the J Crew Factory. I don’t wear wool sweaters though because my skin is super sensitive. I have several sweater cardigans and short sleeved crew neck cotton sweaters, like my other wore in the 40’s from Lands End. Used to be great quality and timeless colors.
It was hard to pick sometimes as I am a plus size woman and what I like may not be carried in my size. Luckily, I am mostly Classic style, but again, the stores cited rarely carry 2X,18-22 W…
I’ve apparently always gone for classic and timeless pieces because I’m still getting compliments on skirts and other garments I’ve had for 25 years!
Great article! I’m a classic at heart so this article resonates with me. Lovely outfit collages.
Another thing about colour, Sylvia…my usual ‘neutral’ is chocolate brown, but I find that I don’t enjoy white at all. It has to be cream or ivory – any shade but pure white…must be my complexion?
Really enjoyed this article..so helpful for our understanding.
It has talen me a while to get used to leopard trend but I just love your bag here. Just got myself some leo chelsea boots. So total fan now! Sabina
Very well done. My compliments. I am swooning over that J Crew leopard bag…
A question..why is dark brown not considered a ‘choice’ in the list of black, navy, grey, tan for a neutral color? Can it be a correct choice? If not, why?
Hi Kam, Yes you can use brown too. I think the other colors are just a little more associated with this style though.
I think, dark brown is especially nice for the so called “Autumn type”, as grey and black don’t suit this type. And dark brown is a timeless colour, that can easily be combined with stronger colours like orange or certain kinds of blue for an “eyecatcher” …
Thanks for another great article Sylvia.
I agree with Sherry and I’m definitely looking more towards Classic styles. But I also want to add a twist to the basic Classic style and use interesting jewellery, shoes or scarves. I now describe my style as ‘City Chic’ a little bit of Classic, with a bit of Natural thrown in to add interest, soften the look a little and steer it away from ‘boring’.
Sylvia, it would be great if you could write an article on the ‘City Chic’ style.
Hi Aileen, Yes I’m hoping to create these articles for all styles.
I don’t have a classic personality style, however, as I get older I am trying to become more “classic”. I’m trying to introduce more classic pieces into my wardrobe. When I go shopping now, I look at a piece and ask myself is this something I can keep and wear for 5 years? It’s still difficult, however, I keep getting better with every shopping trip. Great article with a lot of food for thought.
Hi Sherry. You can also refer to it as timeless. Doesn’t necessarily have to be classic. It’s definitely good to have more timeless pieces and then just a few trendier pieces.
I took the test twice. My first result was eurochic. It felt a bit hobo to me. My second test result was Spot-on, Classic style. Thanks so much. I am definitely Classic with a bit of eurochic. And I love your style pieces for Classic. They are so Sharp, not boring to me at all. Chic, Chic Chic!!!