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Learn to love classics—with a twist.

Dressing effortlessly chic makes great use of classic shapes—the tried-and-true basics that have been around forever. And to keep them from being, well, classically boring, make sure they have some kind of a twist. Maybe it's a cashmere cardigan without buttons. Maybe it's a V-neck in a fresh color. A trenchcoat in black patent leather, rather than the expected khaki. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, who was the picture of ageless chic throughout her life, seldom strayed from the classics: a basic cashmere turtleneck sweater, a pretty twinset, a black sheath dress, fitted tweed trousers, and designer pumps. The principle of simple, casual shapes in quality fabrics holds true for every occasion—even cocktail parties: The idea there is to find those items in dressier fabrics such as eyelet, silk, chiffon, brocade, or velvet.

Forgive me if I repeat myself, but I can't say this enough: No matter how classic the look, or how hot it may be, don't be tempted to wear anything that doesn't flatter you. The tunic, for example, is a classic shape that's in style right now, but if you're very petite, a long tunic can overwhelm you and make you look like a sack of potatoes. Which brings me to my most important shopping to-do…

Excerpted from How Not to Look Old: Fast and Effortless Ways to Look 10 Years Younger, 10 Pounds Lighter, 10 Times Better by Charla Krupp. Copyright © 2008 by Charla Krupp and the Stonesong Press, LLC. Published with permission of Grand Central Publishing. All rights reserved.


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