Stylist Advice: Your Classic Uniform, My Way!

Classic chic uniform

Wardrobe Reprise- I don’t know about you but this sudden cold snap has me relying more and more on my favorite classic pieces before I even think about turning my closet over (yes, I’m layering).  Take take a look back at some of my favorite tips to make getting dressed easier. And chic. —S.H.

No-brainer fall into winter dressing starts with a great coat…

q Dear Sharon: I get confused at what to wear when I have appointments all over town and getting ready for work gets complicated. I wish for the days of a classic uniform, like school but a stylish one of course!

Do you have any ideas on how streamline my wardrobe to a few good, solid pieces to wear to work on those days when figuring out what to wear in the morning is just too stressful? (J.K. via  Fashion Advice)


A:I get where you are coming from. I have days when I’m ready to pull out the goodies in my over-stocked closet but on crazy-busy days, more than not, I find myself reaching for my classic “uniform” pieces.  These clothes are far from boring, but workhorses that can go with almost anything & be styled a gazillion ways with all the fabu pieces that I think I’ll wear but really don’t bother.

For me, classic lines with a bit of a style punch work best.

>>READ: Stylish & versatile options for the office

As the seasons morph from fall to winter, I like to start with the coat first. It’s the first thing people notice when you’re running appointments and whatever else you’re wearing has to fit nicely under it.

Proportion is key. All those super styled toppers are great but issues start when you want to wear that full skirt dress & a swing coat and start looking like Man Mountain Dean with all the bulk. Trust me, I know.

I have a handful of black coats with clean lines in rich fabrications that I’ve been building for years as they never really go out of style and always look chic, similar to the one pictured at top which is from H&M! All of mine are a version on a theme of elegant simplicity with a man-tailored edge be it single breasted, double-breasted or trench. Their hemlines and shoulders vary so that I can switch out my underneath layers for the best proportion.

Here’s some directional ideas of non-fussy and easy to wear chic black coats:
(more stylist tips on what to wear after the pretty pictures) 

From a Yves Saint Laurent sharp shouldered that I’ve loved for years to a softer Jil Sander cashmere and many other black beauties in between, a crisp Thom Browne Chesterfield that I picked up at a Housing Works thrift shop event (new!) for a fraction of its insane price gets the most mileage as it works so well with everything from jeans to midcalf skirts because of it right above the knee hemline.

>>READ: Discount Designer Shopping Tips

When it gets super cold, I have a collection of puffer coats with a similar aesthetic that take over.

Ok, so what do you wear under that great coat? Try some of these crispy chic essentials that will be the core to your fashion “uniform” dressing:

  • Black turtleneck- perfect to layer or wear alone. Collect them in everything from featherweight silk to yummy cashmere.
  • Straight black skirt- in a length that flatters.
  • Straight black pants- try a crop right above the ankle.
  • An L.B.D. or two or three. A little black dress is the easiest and chicest thing to literally just throw on.

>>WATCH: How to accessorize your L.B.D. 

Build on different color tops, interesting jackets, snappy cardigans, oodles of jewelry & belts, anything and anything. You’ve got your core fashion uniform. Now, from here on, its fashion gravy…
What is your go-to fashion uniform? Please comment below…

JUST ASK: Do you need some quick stylist help to amp up your style?  Email us for Fashion Advice.

Photo: H&M Autumn Collection

Original Publish Date: Published on September 27, 2012


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