Tired Of Trends? These Are Our Top 5 Classics
Scrolling through your Instagram feed on any given day, you’re bound to be immersed in a sea of the most coveted, on-trend items imaginable. But in a world of sold-out statement sneakers, quintuple-digit It bags and niche brands reveling in their fifteen minutes of fame, sometimes it’s difficult to splurge on a piece that may eventually lose its clout, aesthetic appeal and place in your heart. When you’re caught up solely in trends, enough is never enough, and soon you can find yourself surrounded by flashy logos and street style show-offs, only to lose interest in them after the hype dies down.
It’s a relief, then, that there are wardrobe staples not only to fall back on, but to help define your look. Classics remain classic for a reason, and when impeccable design meets high-grade materials and expert craftsmanship, there’s nothing better than adding an investment piece to your online shopping cart with a confident, satisfying click.
Here at The RealReal, we’ve learned the importance of having go-to pieces that will last a lifetime. Read on for a rundown of our top five classic pieces, plus our experts’ care tips so you can keep them forever (or consign when you’re ready to invest in the next essential).
The Iconic Trench
“Working at The RealReal can be rough,” says Ekin Kalayci, Senior Designer. “Every day you’re exposed to beautiful things and you can’t help but all of a sudden need this or that. I’ve been trying to be conscious about it and buy pieces that won’t just sit in my closet.”
A Burberry trench is the best coat to keep in rotation 24/7 not only for its surefire style, but also for its unique durability. Burberry’s weatherproof cotton gabardine makes the trench a perfect grab-and-go piece in any climate. Over a hundred individual processes take place when crafting a Burberry trench, proving that every detail matters – the collar alone has more than 180 stitches so that its curve sits perfectly upon the wearer’s neck. “Just like the little black dress, everyone should have a trench coat in a versatile fabric and color,” says Billy Garcia, Brand Expert. “And when it comes to a coat you’ll wear for years to come, what’s better than a heritage brand like Burberry?”
“I guess it could be considered somewhat non-traditional since it’s not beige,” muses Ekin. “But I love it! It’s incredibly essential for San Francisco weather, and it’s ended up being one of my favorite pieces.” Take your coat to a specialty dry cleaners that will both clean and re-proof your trench to ensure its water-repellent properties remain up to snuff.
The Classic Watch
Though in recent years the tech-savvy (and fashion-forward) have adopted smart watches to keep themselves on track, all signs point to traditional timepieces making a comeback. And why wouldn’t they, what with brands like Cartier creating watches as modern, understated and refined as the Tank solo?
“Cartier’s enduring Tank watch design has seen many iterations since the initial 1917 model, but it received a revamp in 2004 with the Tank Solo,” says Katherine Ward, Senior Valuations Manager, Fine Jewelry & Watches. “It’s a clean, classic look that instantly conveys luxury.”
Its minimal, elevated aesthetic is what drew Jory Bidart, Marketing Project Manager, to the watch in the first place. “I would definitely describe my style as more ‘classic,’ so when I saw the Cartier Tank Solo watch on the site, I knew it would have a place in my collection forever,” says Jory. “Now I wear it every day. It’s one of the best purchases I’ve ever made! The black leather band lets me pair it with practically any outfit… I never feel like I have to worry about accessorizing or sacrificing form for function.”
In order to keep your Cartier watch looking sharp, it’s best to keep it away from extreme temperatures, other metals and anything magnetized. And for watches with a leather band, steer clear of water or other liquids that will wear down the material. “Fine watches should be serviced every two years by a trusted horologist to ensure the movement is working to standard,” advises Katherine.
The Perfect Evening Bag
No classic must-have list is complete without some Chanel. For Lisette Diaz, our Email Marketing Manager, her bag is the ultimate investment piece to own. “I mainly use my Chanel Wallet On Chain bag when I’m traveling or when I go somewhere nice for dinner,” says Lisette. “I’ve worn it in Paris, Italy, Greece, Thailand – you name it! Nothing like a good pinot, a different time zone and a little Chanel.”
There’s no question that its versatility and clean lines have kept it in the handbag hall of fame. The first official quilted Chanel bag was designed by Coco herself in 1955, chain strap included. “The Wallet On Chain or WOC is a classic style that can be worn as a crossbody or, when the chain is tucked inside, as a clutch,” explains Claire DeBoer, Handbag Valuation Manager. With its elegant chain strap, the initial bag’s design was intended to keep a woman’s hands free.
“Versions like Lisette’s in caviar leather, a type of grained calfskin, are incredibly durable and resist scratching and staining,” notes Claire. “But in order to preserve the beautiful leather, make sure to store your Chanel piece in its dust bag and in a cool, dry place away from sunlight.”
The Wear-Everywhere Shoe
Since Alessandro Michele’s reign at Gucci began, the horsebit loafer and its many variations have been all the rage. From the pearl-accented Peyton pumps to the furry Princetown mules, it seems you can’t peruse a street style blog without running into some fancy GG-accented footwear. But as far as we’re concerned, nothing beats the original. Take it from both Ekin and Jory, who each own a pair of the polished staple in always-chic black.
“These Gucci loafers were my first luxury purchase ever!” says Ekin. “I had to justify my first pricey, non-sneaker shoe somehow, and I thought these were perfect because I can wear them every day. Which I literally do now. They’re super classic, well-made, non-logo screaming… and so comfy.”
“They’re the most comfortable shoes I own,” agrees Jory. “I actually have them in both brown and black because they go with everything. Whenever they get scuffed or the soles start to wear out, I take them to the cobbler immediately because I know they’re worth maintaining.”
The Gucci horsebit loafer has long been a universally-flattering shoe-of-choice for everyone from D.C. lobbyists in the ‘70s to current celebrities like Gigi Hadid and Dakota Johnson today. “Keep your loafers in their dust bag and box, and leave the original tissue paper packed into the toe box to help the shoes maintain their shape,” says Billy.
The Timeless Ring Combo
At the end of the day, nothing polishes off an ensemble quite like the right fine jewelry. Though investing in it can seem like a commitment, Tiffany Liya Chen, our Women’s Pricing Lead, knows the value of her classics: a Tiffany & Co. T wire ring and, because layering on the fine jewelry is one of our favorite things to do, a BONUS classic… the Cartier LOVE ring.
“What I love about my Tiffany and Cartier rings is their simplicity and sculptural shapes,” says Tiffany. “They’ve become part of my everyday uniform, and my hand feels naked without them!”
The Tiffany & Co. T collection was introduced to the brand’s offerings in 2014, but its rings, bracelets, earrings and necklaces have quickly become instant icons with their minimalist lines and diamond accents. For those interested in the ecological impact as well (that’s us!), Tiffany & Co. is also a great choice due to it sustainable mining practices. And any piece from the Cartier LOVE collection, with its high resale value and the brand’s renowned craftsmanship, is always a safe bet.
But how should you keep your high-shine classics in pristine condition? “Fine jewelry and watches should be the last things you put on in the morning and the first things you take off,” says Katherine. “18 karat gold is a durable, wearable choice for everyday use, and the appearance of superficial marks can be mitigated by polishing services from a trusted jeweler.”
Fill your wardrobe with a new set of classics — shop our Editors’ Picks now.
All items are pre-owned and consigned to The RealReal. Trademarks are owned by their respective brand owners. No brand owner endorses or sponsors this ad or has any association and/or affiliation with The RealReal.