After I wrote my post about minimalism last week, I began thinking about the pieces in my wardrobe that make it through each round of decluttering and realized that some of these pieces have been with me for over 10 years now! Fashion can be a trial and error process of discovering what your personal style is, and what sorts of things you like to wear. In the early years of wearing Vintage, I bought a lot of secondhand pieces that, over time, I discovered didn’t really suit me. I don’t regret those purchases, because they did help me to hone my own style. However, there are some pieces that became instant signature pieces for me…and I am still wearing and loving them years later.
While of course many items I loved have been decluttered from my closet simply because they wore out from daily use (I loved them too much!) I am sharing today 10 of my favourite lightly worn pieces, such as accessories, that I can actually see lasting me for many more years. These are all pieces that have been repeated in outfits on the blog so often you’re probably tired of seeing them, but I just can’t imagine ever getting rid of any of them. They are either staples in my wardrobe or unique vintage finds that make me happy when I see them in my closet, and I love to use them in outfits. While it’s fun to search for new pieces to add to your wardrobe, it’s also nice to have those beloved pieces that suit you so well and have been with you for the long haul. Here are 10 of my favourite signature pieces that I hope to still have and love in 10 years.
Vintage Cashmere Coat
There is a picture of me wearing this coat in 2014, but I think I got it a year or two before that. I found it at Goodwill for $12 and it originally had a tie belt , which I removed because it gave a very housecoat-ish look. It has such a classic shape that reminds me of a swing coat, even though it’s actually 1980’s, and it has been an absolute staple in my wardrobe. I have waxed eloquent about it before, but when you live in the North, you really do need a warm winter coat. This coat is so warm that I sometimes don’t wear it, because it’s not cold enough outside! I love that it’s a good neutral colour and also coordinates well with the rest of my wardrobe.
When I bought it, slim and fitted coats were more popular and I remember a young coworker asking me why my coat was so baggy. She always dressed in the trends of the day, so she’s probably now wearing an oversized coat herself. Other than replacing the lining a few years ago, it still looks and feels great and I hope to get a lot more years out of it!
Vintage 1960’s Faux Astrakhan Coat
While on the topic of coats, here is another favourite thrift store find from around the same time…also for $12! The best thing about this faux astrakhan coat is that after I bought it, I found an advertisement for it in a Woman and Home magazine from 1967. Also, because it’s actually faux Persian lamb, it has lasted longer than a real astrakhan fur would have (in this climate, at least).
I did find a real Persian lamb fur at a thrift store, but it ripped after I wore it a couple of times whereas this one is still in one piece. My camel coat is a practical classic piece, but this coat is my fun statement piece. I don’t wear it very often, it is 55 years old after all, but it works well for either classic or modern pairings.
Vintage Tulle Pillbox Hat
I found this vintage 60’s tulle hat for $2 at a Goodwill. It was completely squashed out of shape, and was being buffeted around in a basket with a bunch of wallets. I was able to rescue it and steam it back into shape…and it’s still one of my favourites! I call it my “C’mon Daddy” hat, which is very weird, yes, but it reminds me of a hat that the character Helen would wear in the movie Secondhand Lions, and that was one of her lines. It’s such a ridiculous, fluffy cupcake of a hat…and that’s why I love it!
Pearl Earrings & Necklace
I received a pair of pearl earrings and a matching necklace for my 18th birthday, and I have worn them an incalculable number of times since then. If I was to choose a signature piece of jewelry, it would have to be these. They are classic and dainty and they go with absolutely everything. While I do have other classic pieces of jewelry, the pearls are the ones I always reach for, and they’ve been in a lot of outfits on this blog too. I don’t wear the necklace as much, but it is also one of those pieces that goes with everything, and will never not be a classic.
Satchel Style Purse
This purse is a newer addition to my wardrobe, but it replaced a similar crossbody style of purse that I had before. I love a classic leather satchel style bag, and this one is a unique and slightly different shape. I searched for a long time online before I found this one on Etsy and I love that it has brass hardware and a real buckle instead of a clasp. That was something that always bothered me about my everyday purse from before- it had silver hardware. I was also able to customize the colour of leather for this purse to be the most perfect cognac brown shade; this is my favourite colour of leather! If this purse ever wears out from daily use, I will definitely be replacing it with another exactly the same.
Vintage Fur Collar
I took this fur collar off of a ripped patchwork fur coat I found at a flea market in 2013. I wore the coat once, just for fun, but it wasn’t in good enough condition to repair so I salvaged the collar. While it’s kind of strange to have a lapel style collar unattached to a coat, I do wear it a lot because it’s such a nice fluffy fur, and it layers nicely over other coats and sweaters.
The colour is also a good one for my colour palette. The coat was probably close to 50 years old, so it’s nice I was able to give the collar a second life. (Ps. That picture was taken when I went to see “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” in theatres with friends. I don’t know why I thought it was a good idea to wear a fur- it was so hot! But definitely worth it for style points.)
Leopard Printed Beret
I received this beret for a birthday present in 2013, and it has also been featured on this blog a lot. It’s such a great hat since it’s neutral, but because of the leopard pattern it’s not boring. Somehow leopard is a neutral; I don’t know why, but it is, just like jeans. This one is by Parkhurst and is angora so it’s also nice and warm for winter. I wear this hat more than any of my other berets because it’s so easy to wear and still coordinates perfectly with my wardrobe- even after 9 years of changes!
Ten Thousand Villages Silk Scarf
You just can’t go wrong with a classic silk scarf. This one was from Ten Thousand Villages and was made in India. Navy and blue is a classic colour for me and I like the monochromatic scheme of this one.
I have several nylon scarves, but silk ones are much nicer since they have “grip” so you can tie them in different ways, or use them as turbans and they stay without slipping. It’s a dressy scarf, but can also work well for more casual outfits.
Niquea.d Straw Hat
I don’t know if I could decide on a favourite straw hat, but I’ll share this one since it was one of my first and it is a unique one with a black and natural brim, straw hat band and gathered silhouette. It’s the perfect hat for shading from the sun. I bought it just before we went on a holiday in 2013, (in a stationery shop of all places; I guess they figured that the same people who liked stationery would also like hats…and they were correct) but the hat had to stay in the car at the airport while we were gone. I was afraid someone would steal our vehicle while we were away…but I wasn’t concerned about the van, just the hat!
Black Mary Jane High Heels
I was really trying to decide between my Mary Jane’s and my Oxfords, since both are staples in my wardrobe, but I eventually decided that the Mary Jane heels are more of a signature piece for me. I’ve had this pair for 7 years and they replaced a pair of patent faux leather heels from before. I had that pair since I was 17 or 18 and I loved them so much I even sketched a picture of them. They were my first real pair of high heels and they were so classic; they went with everything! The thing I love about the Mary Jane style is that the strap makes even a modern heel style look more vintage. These shoes work well for all seasons and are very versatile. Even though I can’t wear high heels as much as I used to, I will be keeping this pair for special occasions. I’m also glad that this pair is leather, because they will hopefully last me many more years!
Well, there are ten of my favourite wardrobe items that I’ve had for close to ten years and hope to still have in ten years time. Some of them are vintage, some of them aren’t, but all of them are definitely tried and true pieces!
What signature pieces have you had in your closet for a long time? Or are you still looking for tried and true pieces like this to add to your wardrobe?