There's a scene in Something's Gotta Give when Harry (Jack Nicholson) and Erica (Diane Keaton) run into her Hampton home to escape a rainstorm. The tension between them has been building for the entire first half of the film, and he can't tug the ribbed cashmere turtleneck off of her fast enough. She hands him a pair of scissors from her bedside table, and he cuts. With the sweater off, Erica can finally shed the emotional, and physical layers, she's been donning. She literally wears V-necks for the rest of the film.
I've watched this movie so many times I now laugh a beat before every joke, anticipating it before it lands. ("Are you on birth control?" "Menopause.") But I stop laughing when the sweater comes off. Who in their right mind would destroy such a classic sweater? I'm not saying she looks anything less-than-chic in her date night-ready suits or black V-neck at Le Grand Colbert, but she looked so pulled-together on the beach just hours earlier. Sun conscious and fabulous.
It's been sixteen years since Something's Gotta Give was first released, but my affinity for a monochrome turtleneck hasn't waned in the least. Some of my absolutely favorite outfits come from women twenty years my senior. They wear practical shoes (sneakers are totally back)! And weather-appropriate layers! They rock barely-there makeup (hooray for skincare!) and monochrome head-to-toe! They look so comfortable! And they don't give a hoot about following trends.
I'm not saying I'm about to start wearing sweater sets (actually, that's a lie. I love this one.), but I am building my wardrobe around classic, lasting pieces. And in a closet of classics, the few trendy pieces I buy—like a tie-dye t-shirt (or headband), neon sandal, or oversized pearl hair clip—pop even more. By investing in timeless basics, I'm able to spend on pieces I truly love and plan to have for years to come, and spend a lot less in the longterm. Here are some of my favorite classic pieces I have in my closet:
Oversized blazer: Anine Bing Fishbone Blazer ($279)
Updated white oxford: RAILS Amara Button-Down ($139)
Best everyday tee: The Great Slim Tee ($95) and Madewell Ex-Boyfriend Tee ($35)
Work to happy hour cocktails blouse: I bought this Everlane Japanese GoWeave Cami ($68) on the spot when a friend wore it to dinner recently. She wore it tucked into vintage jeans with a black oversized blazer and Zac Posen cross-body bag and looked so chic.
Vintage-inspired jeans: AGOLDE Pinch Waist Jeans ($198) and Everlane 90s Cheeky Jean ($78)
Ribbed cream sweater (the "Erica Barry," if you will): Everlane Ivory Sweater ($155)
Cream denim (to complete a monochrome look): LEE Cropped Wide-Leg ($98)
Leather tote bag: I recently bought the 'Allyn Tote' from Dagne Dover (after seeing ads for it on Instagram) that's become my new favorite work tote, since it has pockets for everything built-in—my laptop, a sleeve that fits a book perfectly, and even my coffee cup. I'm obsessed. I also love this unstructured bag from Cuyana.
Summer sandal: Ancient Greek Sandals ($250)
Everyday flat: I bought a pair of Jenni Kayne slides in 'cheetah' two years ago and love them. At $425, there's no question they're pricey but I'm planning on buying another pair in black leather I love them so much.
Boots: Nisolo Chelsea Heeled Boots ($228)
Here are some of my favorite brands, by category:
Have you ever watched a move and said, "I HAVE to have that?" Who are your style icons? Tell me in the comments below!