Jazzing Up Modern Classic Style

It’s hard to go wrong with a wardrobe that’s anchored by classic pieces. The best ones have clean, simple lines in quality fabrics that always look polished and timeless. They’re easy to reach for time and again because they’re often in neutral colors and by their very nature, versatile. But are they boring?

We’ve all seen that woman in head to toes classics who keeps the look fresh and modern. What’s her secret? It’s all in the details. Using colors, patterns, and unique combinations goes a long way but the often overlooked place to start is your grooming.


Keep your hairstyle updated. If you’ve worn the same classic style for many years, it may be time to tweak it. A classic blazer, white shirt, and single strand of pearls can verge on stuffy if you pair it with a classic bob and pearl stud earrings. Picture that same look with a spikey pixie and it has a totally different feel. A stodgy hairstyle, combined with head to toe classic pieces can make you look like you’re stuck in a time warp.


Classic pieces are often in neutral colors but you can also find them in patterns and brighter or unusual colors. A pair of classic chino’s in cobalt blue makes a very different statement than the same chinos in beige. Your spring blazer or classic satchel would be anything but boring in Fuschia or canary yellow.


If you love pearls and classic jewelry, try styling them with edgier tops. Stack a few necklaces with your pearls to give them a modern look.


Classic loafers and ballet flats look great with everything but switching them for a trendier shoe will update a classic outfit. The squared toe is on trend this spring so a flat or sandal with that tiny detail will modernize every outfit. A bit of whimsey or drama adds an unexpected edge to classic outfits.


A small pop of bright or unusual color in your handbag will update any classic outfit. Try a unique shape or pattern with an otherwise traditional outfit. Switch up your shoes. Go big on your accessories.

Yes, cookie-cutter dressing can be boring but well-chosen classic pieces, combined with interesting details makes your classic style unique and keeps it looking fresh.

Clothes are a powerful form of self-expression and meant to be enjoyable. Let’s be sure they’re speaking our language.

Is classic a large part of your wardrobe?




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  1. Dianne🇨🇦
    May 21, 2020 / 10:15 am

    I love classic but I also have to remind myself to add some colour & print.
    I also often add a scarf, I have some light silky ones for spring.

    Kind of liking my hair a bit longer.

  2. Penelope
    May 19, 2020 / 3:41 pm

    I like things that last, that become a meaningful part of my life. So classics are my consistent choice. But I also like to add bits of quirky or unusual to the basics. Something that speaks to me. I don’t wear things just to be fashionable. It has to resonate with me somehow. Then things feel easy and natural, not contrived.

  3. cindy
    May 17, 2020 / 7:12 pm

    That Anthro blazer has such a fresh look. Love it!! Great post!

  4. Nancy Walden
    May 17, 2020 / 4:43 pm

    I like classics like pencil skirts, wrap dresses, sheaths and Chanel style jackets. I don’t like blazers or “classic white shirts.” Boxy shapes and stiff fabrics just don’t look good on me. The closest I’ve come to a classic white shirt was a semi-fitted shirt in a knit fabric that had a cotton collar and french cuffs. My “good” tops are all jersey or silky fabrics.

  5. Beverly the Inspired
    May 17, 2020 / 10:33 am

    Love the idea to bring more colour, prints, & textures into the basic classic wardrobe. I flirt with classic style in a delicate feminine twist.

    A canvas in my room says it all…
    “In the South bare feet & pearls go with every outfit.”

    Have to add crystal quartz does, too =}.

    • Jennifer
      May 17, 2020 / 6:14 pm

      Oh, I love that quote! Such a vivid image:)

  6. Marian
    May 17, 2020 / 10:22 am

    Thanks for this great and timely topic! My wardrobe is built on classics which is practical but sometimes boring. I am about to take advantage of all these phenomenal sales and was hesitating- do I replace all those classics? It won’t feel very exciting.

    But I have learned a thing or two from you. Now I’ll curate my classics with a different eye. And I may do a modified spiky pixie if we ever get back to our hair stylists!

    • Jennifer
      May 17, 2020 / 6:13 pm

      Maybe find a few interesting accessories to spice up your classic pieces.

  7. Kay
    May 17, 2020 / 10:05 am

    I think those spiky pixey cuts make a woman look older. You hardly ever see them on young women. My hair is currently heading into ponytail territory (from that bob length) and coming in white. I think I’ll let it go now.

  8. Eve
    May 17, 2020 / 9:22 am

    Classics on the wild side! As in leopard, snakeskin and I really like them in colors the way we see them now. Gingham shirt with a floral edge. And my favorite regular old two pocket shirt in raspberry and tied at the waist. I still like all the classic shapes but this post proves we can kick it up a notch. Great post Jennifer, especially for these days. Black just looks too bleak for these times.

    • Jennifer
      May 17, 2020 / 6:11 pm

      Fun styling ideas, Eve!

  9. Patti Shannon
    May 17, 2020 / 9:05 am

    Can I be a mix of classic and natural fabric/boho/tie dye? If not I’m going to have a real identity crisis!

    • Jennifer
      May 17, 2020 / 11:06 am

      Of course you can! Very, very few people have just one narrow style type in the style recipe.
      I’m a mix of several styles because I love so many. That’s why our style is so unique.

    • Claudette
      May 17, 2020 / 11:11 am

      You and I have the same mix of styles. Thank you asking the question.

  10. Terry
    May 17, 2020 / 8:08 am

    I’m not classic at all, unless classic includes boho – I haven’t worn a blazer since I retired and have never found chinos that suit me. I like natural fabric and ethnic prints in things that swish and flow. Maxi dresses and palazzo pants are my uniform. I wear sandals nine months out of the year and ballet flats the other three months. Luckily, I’ve always lived in Southern California, so my un-classic taste fits right in. 🙂

    • Kay
      May 17, 2020 / 10:06 am

      You are my style sister, Terry.

    • Jennifer
      May 17, 2020 / 6:12 pm

      I think your unclassic taste fits in everywhere…except maybe the sandals in snowy weather:)

  11. Jan
    May 17, 2020 / 5:24 am

    I’ve never put a label on my styling habits but “modern classic “ just might be it.
    My wardrobe includes some neutral, well made pieces that I will be able to wear for years by just updating with a few more modern elements. A new striped tee or a new colorful purse or shoes can change the whole look of those basic pieces.
    I let my hair grow some and now it’s at a length that I can clip up on a warmer day or slip into a pony tie, throw on a ball cap and work in my garden.
    I sure like the look of those square toe shoes and hopefully will be able to try on a pair before they go out of style. 😂
    All the pictures today appealed to me. Thanks for a great morning read!

    • Jennifer
      May 17, 2020 / 7:43 am

      I hope we can. I’ve got wide feet so square toes should be good for me.

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