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The New Classics: 20 Modern Pieces Every Girl Should Own – Part Two


Editor’s Note: This is part 2 of our series, The New Classics – Pieces Every Modern Girl Should Own. If you haven’t read part one yet, see: The New Classics: 20 Modern Pieces Every Girl Should Own – Part One, then come back here for the second half!

I couldn’t limit my New Classics list to just one post- 10 pieces just isn’t enough. So today, I’m continuing my New Classics series with the final 10 modern classics that every girl needs in her wardrobe.

As I stated in Part One, whereas most “wardrobe classics” lists talk about items that have been popular for centuries, this post is about the new era of timeless pieces – OUR classics: the new wardrobe staples for this generation. While of course there will be some overlap with old-school “fashion classics” lists, this list focuses on the next generation of classics, and lists some newer pieces that every modern girl needs to own, as well as a few items that have been in style forever.

Without further ado, here are the final ten pieces…

11. Leather (or Faux Leather) Jacket

Rachel Bilson wearing a black leather jacket over a yellow dress
photo credit

I know most of you have probably forgotten about your favorite leather jacket over the past few months. After all, Summer isn’t exactly their season. But when Autumn arrives, I know we’ll all fall back on this wonderful staple.

Wear your leather (or faux leather) jacket with jeans, dresses, or skirts, buy cropped, long, or detailed styles, rock it in brown, black or grey… it’s all good. While the denim jacket seems to go in and out every other season, the leather jacket will always be there to add a rock-chick edge to any look.

12. Floral Dress

Sienna Miller wearing a floral dress with a leather jacket
photo credit

Oh, florals, how we love you!! Although florals are often associated with Spring, the perfect little floral dress can be worn all year round – it’s fab for winter with tights and ankle boots, layered under a cardigan or worn over a long-sleeved top. Floral dresses are effortlessly girly and available everywhere, meaning they’re easy to get and usually super cheap!

13. Shorts

Lo Bosworth from The Hills wearing white shorts
photo credit

Perhaps the heading is a little vague, but I think every girl should have a pair of everyday shorts in her wardrobe – any style goes! They can be worn all year round (think tights for winter), and, let’s face it: they’re a lot more convenient and modesty-protecting than skirts, especially on windy days. There are so many types of shorts out there – from floral shorts to military shorts to high-waisted shorts and denim shorts, there are endless styles to choose from, meaning you’re sure to find the right pair to fit your style.

14. Waist-Cinching Belts

Sarah Jessica Parker on the set of Sex and The City movie wearing a green dress and black belt
photo credit

Again, “waist-cinching belts” is perhaps a pretty general heading, especially as belts have gone from chunky to studded to skinny to super skinny over the last few seasons, but the fact remains- the hourglass shape is timeless and will always be in. So whatever the style, a belt that cinches you in at the waist can make all the difference in any outfit.

15. Statement Scarves

Nicole Richie wearing a red scarf
photo credit

Gone are the days when you had to be cold to wear a scarf! As celebs like Nicole Richie have shown us, scarves can be worn all year round and can truly “make” an outfit. As with belts, scarf trends are always changing, but fortunately, scarves can be found so cheaply (have a look in your local vintage shop) that you can easily update your wardrobe for less than the price of your morning coffee!

16. Pearls

Taylor Momsen in Pearls
photo credit

No longer reserved just for your Grandma, the old-school pearl necklace is a great way to add an element of class to your outfit. Throw them on over jeans and a t-shirt or rock them with a girly dress and your outfit will instantly look kitschy-cool.

17. Classic (or Not-So-Classic) Blazer

Blake Lively wearing a floral blazer
photo credit

Whether you go for a slouchy boyfriend style, a girly floral blazer like Blake Lively’s above, or a classic black fitted number, a well-fitting blazer will take you anywhere, and work with everything. Go for a neutral color like black or gray for every day, but don’t be afraid of bright colors and prints for fun.

18. The LBD

Kristen Stewart wearing an LBD - little black dress
photo credit

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, although this list is all about modern classics, I did include some old-school staples as well. And honestly, no “wardrobe classics” list would be complete without the LBD. You can literally throw it on with a pair of statement shoes and you’re ready to go. The LBD never goes out of style; once you find the right one, you can wear it for life.

19. The Nautical Striped Top

Alexa Chung wearing a nautical striped top
photo credit

The nautical striped top is a many splendid thing. It manages to pack a bit more of a punch than your stand PWT, yet still goes with everything and looks perfectly effortless at all times. This little beauty will go under anything and is perfect for layering come winter. When it comes to investing in a nautical striped top, long-sleeved tops are the most classic and wearable, however, you can also rock a striped tank if that’s more your style.

20. The Prom Dress

Dannii Minogue wearing a black and white striped dress
photo credit

Okay, I don’t literally mean a prom dress; instead, I’m referring to any gorgeous little number that makes you stand out and feel fabulous. Your “prom dress” can be a lovely little bandeau that you wear in the daytime or a sexy LBD for evening, whatever makes you feel gorgeous and amazing. My favorite thing about a “prom dress” is that it is usually a stand alone piece- an outfit in itself. Just add your favorite pair of heels, and you’re ready to make a statement.

What do you think?

So there you have it- the twenty “modern classic” pieces that I think every girl should own. Of course, this list is not conclusive- depending on your style, budget and tastes, you could find certain items surplus and your favorite pieces missing. As always, this post is meant to inspire you, not tell you what you HAVE to buy. Have fun with it and use it to express your unique sense of style!

So now I want to know your thoughts. Which of my “new classics” do you already own? Which are you planning to buy? What are your wardrobe classics? What pieces do you think every girl should have in her closet? Let us know in the comments!

Posted on on August 4, 2010 / Filed Under: Fashion Tips / Tags: , , , ,

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31 Responses to “The New Classics: 20 Modern Pieces Every Girl Should Own – Part Two”

  1. 1
    August 4th, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    I love that dress, definitely should be in every girls closet

  2. 2
    August 4th, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    I’ve found dressy shorts (not jean shorts) can be a great way to dress up an outfit without going overboard. I found some really cute summer shorts here that would go with just about anything:

  3. 3
    August 4th, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    Great list–especially the “prom dress”. Statement and signature pieces are a big thing now.

  4. 4
    August 4th, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    Great second part! I completely agree with everything except the nautical striped top. Strips make you look wider and that is something many girls try to avoid. Great call on the leather/faux leather jacket and blazer. Those truly are must have pieces!

  5. 5
    August 4th, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    I totally agree with the classics. I wouldn’t have chose the Prom Dress but I couldn’t think of anything else.

  6. 6
    August 4th, 2010 at 6:08 pm

    After looking over the lists, some possible additions, at least based on my style, would be a pair a of comfortable black pumps and a go-to cardigan

  7. 7
    August 4th, 2010 at 8:15 pm

    last time I had 5 of the items, this time I have 8. great post! =)

  8. 8
    August 4th, 2010 at 9:28 pm

    This is awesome! I completely agree with everything! I have 11 of the 20. Well at least, when my blazer gets here it’ll be 11…

  9. 9
    August 4th, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    argh I wish I could find waist cinching belts that would fit me! I have an abnormally small waist and i have yet to find a cute belt that will fit it. it’s kinda frustrating haha. but i agree with all of these :)

  10. 10
    August 4th, 2010 at 11:57 pm

    ahhhh, I LUUUURVE my leather jacket. Great post Charlotte :)

  11. 11
    August 4th, 2010 at 11:57 pm

    What a great article! I have most of these pieces and agree that they should be staples in every girl’s wardrobe.

  12. 12
    August 4th, 2010 at 11:59 pm

    Love this post. I really need to get a leather jacket!

  13. 13
    August 5th, 2010 at 12:05 am

    Does anyone have any websites selling leather (or faux leather) jackets that aren’t super expensive??

  14. 14
    August 5th, 2010 at 12:14 am

    I don’t have as many of these as I did from the last list. Great post, though, and thanks for the tips!

  15. 15
    August 5th, 2010 at 12:21 am

    Another great post! I cannot pull of the wait-cinching belt thing. I love the look- it just looks horrible on me. With a larger bust and a long torso, a belt just cuts my body in a weird way. I have yet to figure out how to pull it off. Anyone want to do an article about that, because I would definitely appreciate it :]

  16. 16
    August 5th, 2010 at 12:41 am

    OMG! Both parts are so true! And the good thing is that you can actually mix and match everything from this list! I was so excited to read this that I save a copy in my computer to translate it into spanish and give copies to my friends… We don’t have sutffs this cool in latin america so… THANKS! :D

  17. 17
    August 5th, 2010 at 12:59 am

    great article! I’m glad to see I have most items on these lists :) like another reader said the only things I would add are probably some black pumps and a cardigan. my black cardigan has been one of the most versatile pieces I own. oh and maybe a great classic bag. :)

  18. 18
    August 5th, 2010 at 2:49 am

    Love this list!

    It’s very true!

  19. 19
    August 5th, 2010 at 8:00 am

    Pretty much agree with most of these :) Now to actually remember to acquire them at some point…

  20. 20
    August 5th, 2010 at 8:35 am

    I would love to add Blake Lively’s blazer into my wardrobe!

  21. 21
    August 5th, 2010 at 11:34 am

    I love articles about classic pieces or about building your wardrobe… I would love to see more articles on CF about building a quality wardrobe that will last well after our college years.

  22. 22
    August 5th, 2010 at 5:51 pm

    well idk…????

  23. 23
    August 6th, 2010 at 12:52 am

    Great picks! Definitely an inspiration for back-to-school shopping. Besides the cardigan and pumps Julie suggested, I would add a hat to the list. It doesn’t matter what kind, as long as it works for you and your style. A great hat completes an outfit, and people don’t wear them enough!

  24. 24
    August 8th, 2010 at 12:55 am

    i love this series
    its great to c the new age classics.

  25. 25
    August 8th, 2010 at 3:42 pm

    i love blazers and leather jackets so much ! but i cant find a belt that fits thats not kid size

  26. 26
    December 27th, 2010 at 10:12 pm

    Lol. I definitely agree with shorts being a staple, but only for summer – I think people who wear them with tights just look silly!

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