There are some women—like French style icon Inès de la Fressange—who have mastered the fine art of timeless personal style. They can exist in any decade, era, and wave of fashion and still be en vogue, and we're always trying to capture their secrets.
Well, we sat down with J.Crew's head stylist, Gayle Spannaus, who shared her top tips for achieving style that transcends the the trends. She was kind enough to let us pick her brain, and ladies, we uncovered some super-simple ways to make your style as timeless as it can be.
Keep scrolling for J.Crew's head stylist's advice!
When it comes to finding wardrobe staples that stand the test of time, Spannaus says to pay attention to: "Craftsmanship, simplicity, and versatility."
"Every woman should invest in a chunky cashmere sweater, a watch, and a camel hair topcoat," Spannaus says. "My mother has the most beautiful camel topcoat with a bit of an androgynous cut, and it looks amazing with everything—jeans, dressed up, dressed down!"
"I think it all comes down to the accessories: shoes, jewelry, and bag," Spannaus says of styling both younger and more mature women. "There is so much you can do, like flats on younger women and more mature women in a heel. Or younger women wearing sparkly jewelry or beads, and mature women in more classic gold or fine jewelry. Also, younger women tend to wear an It bag, where someone older might go for a classic, dressier one."
"When it comes to timeless essentials, there are a lot for me but at the top of the must-have list are a classic white button-down and a dark denim jean," Spannaus advises. "Also a camel topcoat, pea coat, trench coat in navy, black or khaki, a strand of pearls, a black pump, clean white sneakers, a great-fitting cream or camel trouser, and a crew neck cashmere sweater. I’m not a big black person, which is why I didn’t include black pants; I skew more towards navy. I think navy, camel, and cream are great building block colors in an outfit, then you can go anywhere with the other items."
"It really comes down to how you wear it and how you own it," Spannaus concludes. "Confidence and your personal style is what makes a person stylish. Put your personal stamp on outfits and believe it, then everyone else will believe it too."
What do you think makes a woman truly timeless? Share your thoughts in the comments below!