Susan Feldman is the co-founder of One Kings Lane and In the Groove, a style destination where she shares her age-defying outfits and shopping tips. Feldman is also our resident style expert here at Who What Wear, and she’s shared everything from the basics she packs for every trip to the style mistakes she won't repeat. Today, we’ve tapped her to discuss the wardrobe basics she always relies on to look chic.
In a few weeks, I’m turning 65, and as the saying goes, with age, comes wisdom. Over the years I’ve definitely gotten smarter about what items are the most important in my closet. I love a new trend as much as the next person, but at the end of the day, these are the pieces I can always count on. They’re the building blocks of my closet. That means they need to be classic and versatile—able to be dressed up or down. I look at them as real investment pieces because no matter how much they initially cost, I want them to last. If there's anything I've learned about building out a solid wardrobe, it's that when you go for quality over quantity, less really is more.
Ahead, I'm sharing my eight forever basics and the exact versions of each that I love.
1. White Tee
Photo:Get In The Groove
A great white T-shirt is the workhorse of my wardrobe. It goes with everything, and you can wear it anywhere. There is nothing chicer than the perfect white T-shirt and jeans, but if I’m dressing it up, I’ll pair it with black pants and a fun fashion necklace. Right now, my favorite is from Everlane. You can’t beat the price for the quality, and I even have it in black and navy.
Denim is always a good idea. I’ve always loved jeans, so I’ve done them all: skinny jeans, baggy jeans, stretch jeans, you name it. But at the end of the day, a great pair of vintage-inspired, worn-in denim will always look good. I love the contrast of a fancy shirt, comfy denim, and great heels. Although, that was pre-COVID. Now, it’s mostly T-shirts. Citizen always has some fabulous washes, like this one below.
3. Black Blazer
Putting on a black blazer instantly makes me feel put-together and stylish, especially if I take the time to find one that is tailored perfectly and made in a high-quality fabric. Trust me—it’s worth the investment, and it can last you a lifetime. A black blazer, black suede heels, and jeans will make you feel like a million bucks.
4. White Shirt
My love of white shirts started as a teen when I used to take my dad’s button-downs. As I got older, I only got more appreciative of how versatile a classic white shirt is, especially in a nice fabric. Remember Sharon Stone at the Oscars in a Gap shirt? Timeless. I love them when they’re knit or woven, and I have a ton of both. I tuck them in, leave them untucked, roll my sleeves up, pop the collar, or whatever I feel like that day.
5. Stan Smith Sneakers
My Stan Smiths have taken me a lot of places. They’re super comfortable and look just as good now as they did when they were designed. Back then, it was a more casual look, but today, anything goes. I’ll wear them with a suit or even a great sundress.
When I bought my first pair of Gucci loafers, I thought I had died and gone to heaven. I still have them, and I wear them all the time. It’s definitely an investment piece, but my cost per wear is down to zero basically. I prefer them with pants, like white jeans or a linen suit.
7. Gold Chains
On my first trip to Europe many years ago, I wanted to buy something that would remind me of that very special trip. Of all the lovely things, I went for a box gold chain from Florence. It was a great decision. It’s a beautiful, understated chain that I still love wearing today. Recently, I’ve been wearing it layered with other fun necklaces. It’s an easy way to mix up my style when I’m not leaving the house that much.
8. Leather Belt
There are a few great belts in my closet that I’ve collected over time. Black is always a good option, but saddle goes with pretty much everything too. Belts come in handy when I want to create a more polished look. Of course, they look great with jeans, but I also love taking a big oversize dress and throwing a belt on it. It gives the whole thing a new look.