The first time I heard Nirvana's song Smells Like Teen Spirit on the classic radio station, I thought I was going to cry. Had it been that long since my glory days of '90s grunge that Kurt Cobain could be qualified as classic rock? Since then, I've heard many of the tunes I rocked out to in high school jammin' on the local classic rock station.
Which has to call into question the definition of a classic. As time presses on, more and more things from my youth are making the list of "classic". I suppose that's better than making the list of "vintage", (which I'm sad to say, is not that far off!) or worse, "antique"! Those years are yet to come.
Most of us know classic fashion as the straight laced, all time garments every stylist has recommended for any given wardrobe time and time again. White Oxford shirts, black pencil skirts with coordinating blazers, a little black dress, a strand of pearls, a pair of khakis, and a pair of black pumps. A short but dignified list of classic examples. The white tee shirt has even been dubbed the "classic tee". These garments have not just been on the need list of every great wardrobe, but the epitome of "must haves". As the decades have passed, these classic garments have been fail safe choices that are never "in" or "out" because of their ever-present place in style.
That isn't to say the classics truly are for everyone. If you aren't yourself dressed in straight laced garb, then there is no shame is passing over the "must have" for something more suitable. Something you must have not just because a famed stylist or wardrobe consultant might say so, but because you really must have it out of your own personal style desires. After all, isn't personal style what creating a fabulous wardrobe is all about?
Here we are in 2010, the beginning our our second decade of the 21st century, and we are still reflecting on a stale list of a few plain garments that are accessible to everyone, and recommended across the board. Stocking your closet with nothing but the classics might be a great way to insure you are never "out" and would never make a worst dressed list, but where is the fun? Where is the personality? Where is the fashion risk with the big pay off? Where are those garments that make you squeal with joy when you see them hanging in your closet? Every woman should have those pieces!
Let go of the old idea that the classics have to be the same 10 straight laced garments you've known and loved since the dawn of modern fashion. Choose from new classics instead! Garments that have been in trend for 40+ years, such as a maxi dress, a bell bottom or wide leg pant, a pair of oversized sunglasses, even an off the shoulder, distressed sweater a la Jennifer Beals on the cover of Flashdance.
Many styles have come and gone, and many styles have stayed true to themselves over the decades. Instead of thinking of the classics as the hum-drum you're used to, instead of categorizing your fashion choices by the decades they were made notorious in, broaden your horizons and your wardrobe by broadening your definition of a classic.
If Kurt Cobain is classic rock, then surely we can move forward with the classics in fashion too.