What is the difference between modest fashion and dressing fashionably? At Salt and Honey, we believe these terms represent a vast difference in values. Fashionable is a standard that is dictated by society and promoted by most mainstream companies. This is often accompanied by over-consumerism and the assumption that one needs to purchase a new wardrobe every season to stay in style.
Instead of pursuing what is fashionable, we encourage a thoughtful wardrobe with an emphasis on quality and timeless choices. This allows you to select clothing that you love instead of pieces that will look dated in a year.
Probably most of us know the feeling of looking back at old photos – with our children saying, “I can’t believe you wore that!” Fashionable trends are always shifting, leaving something from twenty years ago looking unimpressive today. However, some women have mastered the art of timeless style. They are polished, effortless, unassuming, simple and sophisticated. How do they do it?
We’ve put together a list of tips to help you curate your own timeless style and avoid being identified with a particular fashion decade. This functional wardrobe is created from foundation pieces and classic items that are versatile and neutral – one you’ll love for years to come!
1. Choose Flexible Pieces
Start with pieces that will speak to your personality and style. It may help to take a stroll through your home. What colors make you feel relaxed and comfortable? Do you appreciate textures such as ribbed knit, smooth linen or chunky crochet? Do you tend toward stripes or floral prints? When choosing basic pieces for your wardrobe, start with some of these ideas in mind. Be sure to include foundation items such as white or black layering tops and neutral, feminine tees that are not see-through. Add to your closet a few basic jackets or cardigans, several functional dresses and a variety of comfortable, versatile skirts.
2. Invest in quality + things you love.
While it’s tempting to buy thrift or Walmart items simply because they are so cheap, you are aiming to have a closet full of long-lasting pieces that fit you perfectly. You don’t have to go overboard, but you should be intentional with your purchases - and willing to spend a bit more money on your clothing so the pieces fit you flawlessly and become ones you love. This is the best strategy for timeless and sustainable style – and will be a worthwhile investment of your time and money. Avoid cheap products and fast fashion – they don’t endure and they can never create a sense of quite poise.
3. Focus on Fit
Fashion often alternates between oversized and tight fitting styles. In contrast, timeless outfits are balanced. Clothing purchased too large and worn baggy will not stand the test of time and soon looks tacky. On the other hand, tight clothes are immodest and used to make fashion statements as well. Choose clothing that fits well while not compromising the values of modesty. These pieces will feel effortless and comfortable: items you will reach for again and again.
4. Limit Trends
Trying too many trends with colors and prints will leave your wardrobe mismatched with many incompatible pieces. If you’re wanting to try something new or a little unusual, opt for a neutral-colored version and pair it with some elevated basics to keep your look more timeless. For example, instead of a floral blazer, go with tan or black and some simple clogs. When vibrant colors are the rage, choose more muted tones – instead of orange, look for clay and swap out royal blue for cornflower.
5. Respect your body shape and personal needs.
For moms, going from maternity to post-partum and nursing wardrobes can be hard work and sometimes discouraging! It will be worth your while to dedicate some time and a little money to shop for pieces that will serve you well in your current stage of motherhood. Maybe it’s an easy top and elastic-waist skirt or maybe it’s a button-down, flowy dress that adapts with your body from pregnancy through newborn. Recognizing your needs, what styles you wear well and dressing for your shape is what gives your clothes that easy to wear, “made-for-you” look which is the master of timeless style. It means a lot to feel a quiet confidence in your clothing choices and to enjoy your relationship with your closet! Don’t stuff yourself into clothes that simply don’t work or feel awkward. Know what you wear comfortably and search for similar items when you need something new.
6. Overcome closet fatigue.
Most women stand in front of their closet wondering what to wear in the morning! When you put together an outfit that you feel comfortable in, snap a picture or hang the pieces together in your closet for next time. This way, you’ll have an easy go-to when you’re overwhelmed and uncertain what to put on! This is especially helpful for church outfits or days when you’re going to be in public. If you’re energetic, take a few minutes and create an outfit for 3-4 recurring occasions like errand/grocery shopping days, evenings with friends or those upcoming graduation parties. Being able to quickly choose an outfit that you’re comfortable wearing takes pressure off the beginning of the day and leaves you with energy for things that are more important.
7. Keep A Neutral Palette
Colors obviously come and go – and usually it’s the fashion experts who decide what’s “in!” The easiest way to exude a timeless look is to maintain a neutral-based wardrobe. Black, navy, tan, white, and earthtones such as olive and taupe stand the test of time. Keep prints simple. Add gentle color to your outfits, but keep colorful pieces secondary – use them to brighten, but not overpower the overall look of simplicity.
Timeless choices always feel complete. The look is not over done or lacking. It avoids the extremes we term fashionable. A classic cardigan is still in style, despite decades that have passed. Black and white are always in season. While this shouldn't be taken to extremes of severity, all of us benefit from a timeless style – one that can be appreciated in years to come – not gawked over in family photos!
But more importantly, investing in classic, modest pieces that fit well and endure, sets us apart as a small, glowing light in a vast society of immodesty and over-consumption. A timeless wardrobe will provide your feminine soul with inspiration, plus peace of mind, each time you open your closet doors!