There are genuinely iconic looks like Gene Simmons’s KISS costume or Lady Gaga’s meat dress that are immediately recognizable and very difficult to miss, but look like they’re hardly worth the trouble and discomfort to put on. At the same time, there are others that are every bit as iconic minus the risk of being pounced on by wolves.
Classic polka dots
Polka dots are undeniably retro chic, but the layout itself goes so well with wrap dresses that you would be right to think it could pass as a year-round affair. While a solid black dress certainly carries more gravitas and has a truly timeless appeal, it’s too stark a look for general wear. The points of brightness here let off just enough tension to let it look right at home on a casual stroll out.
White button-up shirts
Harper’s Bazaar traces the modern history of the white shirt to a 1783 portrait of the infamous Marie Antoinette that caused some consternation at the time for how profoundly unroyal this mode of dress was. Now though, there’s nothing that manages to convey elegance better than a bright white button-up shirt made from luxurious material.
Dark blue suits
And what better to match a crisp shirt than with a blue suit that fits like it was tailor made for you? Though black blazers are a strong statement, they’re highly formal and don’t dress down well for casual use. A classic navy blue is far more versatile, and has the added bonus of being a calm, tranquilizing color.
Though they won’t work for every face shape, aviators are versatile enough to complement the look of many people with oval, square, or heart-shaped faces. That said, there are many different variations on the classic pilot’s glasses that can adapt to just about anyone. Because of how popular they’ve been with celebrities from the ’50s onwards, they’re immediately recognizable and have massive staying power.
Though most popularly used in jeans, denim is a far more versatile fabric that lends itself to many articles of clothing (except maybe underwear—that might be a bit uncomfortable). The fabric was used in many uniforms around the 20th century for how durable it was, and that same quality only adds to its appeal as a timeless garb.And while denim used to come only in indigo, nowadays you can get it in just about any hue or shade.
But the classics aren’t bad.
You wouldn’t necessarily know it to look at them, but once you try them, a good pair of brown boots turns out to go well with most outfits and stays fashionable all year through; it’s more what you wear with them that you might need to worry about.
It helps that boots are built ruggedly, so you can get a lot of mileage out of just one good pair.