So the classics list. Because I have the original article, I at least have a picture of each of the items that they cited as being timeless, and they all do have a very classic aesthetic. Here's how I'm going to tackle this little classic style issue. Today, for the items that I couldn't find, I'm going to give you the best alternatives that I can find that are the most like the ones in the original article. They might not be my choices, but they'll be the truest to the article. Next I'll give you the list with my choices based on the 32 items on the list. If I'm feeling really nice, I'll give you a splurge option and a realistic option. Lastly, I'll make a list of the 32 items I'd choose as the best choice for your wardrobe if I were making the list from scratch. Are you ready?
I thought so.
Ralph Lauren Twinset. I can't find the silk cashmere blend set the article references, and the best alternative that I can see is the J. Crew Crewneck Cashmere Cardigan and Cashmere Shell. Someday my son will stop gnawing on my shoulders and puking all over me and I'll be able to wear cashmere. I'll be running around singing to the hills like Julie Andrews.
Maltesta Olimpia Stole. This was just a pashmina. Go forth and buy one. I think this particular one in Bordeaux is lovely. The Malatesta version apparently came in loads of colors.
The Coach Legacy Crescent Handbag. Looking at the picture, I fell in love. So much so that I thought I might bite the bullet and buy it. Alas, it's no longer in existence. This is the only photograph I can even find. You'll notice that the bag has simple, classic lines. It is large enough to get you through life without being so big that you're tempted to put things like dogs or laptops or gallons of milk inside. It also has one strap, and I love a purse with one strap. That way the other strap isn't constantly falling off your shoulder causing you to fidget. If there's one lesson I learned from watching Pretty Woman, it's that you're always more beautiful when you're not all fidgety. I can't find a great Coach alternative, but I feel like in the spirit of the list, I should. The Coach legacy Zip is closest in appearance. Alas, the strap is considerably longer because cross body is apparently the new black. However, I don't think that the cross body look is true to the classic aesthetic we're shooting for here. (By the way, if anyone ever told me I'd type this many words about a purse, I'd swear they were nuts.)
I forgot to include diamond studs on the original list, but these are on there.
The A.P.C. nylon rain hat. A rain hat? Really? This one is almost identical.
Barbour's Flyweight Quilt Jacket. The exact jacket in the article is gone, but with Barbour of England, you're always getting the same look. Here's a pretty close alternate jacket. The Barbour look? Essentially you could throw on some Wellies and stomp around Balmoral. I could live that life. Totally.
Speaking of Wellington boots, the article referenced a pair by Smith and Hawken, but who are we kidding? Hunter Boots are the way to go. I adore mine. I do kind of wish I'd opted for a more subtle color than orange, but I don't care. I still love them.
Petit Bateau tee shirts. I can't find the crew neck version of these tees that the article references. It's a crew neck tee shirt, though. The article says that the Petit Bateau tee is soft, snug, and carefree. It also claims it's sophisticated enough to wear with a ballroom skirt. Since I can't find this exact shirt, here's a link to J.Crew's perfect fit tee. I chose it over their vintage cotton tee because the fabric is a little heavier. Slub cotton is not classic. It also doesn't hold up terribly well in my experience.
Ralph Lauren's Saturday Corduroys. I actually had a couple of pair of RL's Saturday cut jeans in grad school. I loved them. They were, miraculously, the exact right length for me, which had never happened before and hasn't happened since. They no longer make them, but they were a relaxed fit without being slouchy. Because we're going for classic, I'm ruling out slim leg or boyfriend styles as an alternative. I'm settling for these. Garnet Hill's Fine-Wale Corduroy Trousers.
Tod's Driving Loafers. They don't make the exact shoe in the article anymore, but it's Tod's, they make loads of driving loafers. These are pretty classic.
Swiss Army watch. Nobody wears watches anymore, do they? We've all got mobile phones with clocks. Here's a nice alternative, though.
Benetton's wool crewneck. This is just a basic sweater. The article calls it effortlessly stylish. It says to pair it with a crisp collared shirt, jeans, and worn loafers. That's cool. If you want to look like you summer in the Hamptons and you're hanging out at Turkey Hill for Thanksgiving and this is your outfit for the annual backyard game of touch football. The picture they painted with that description is just too vivid...and too dowdy for my taste. Alas, here's an alternative sweater from Lands' End.
The Drina Pump by Cole Haan is a thing of the past, but it was a lovely shoe. A squared off pointed toe, but not the extreme pointed toe that was all-that-and-a-bag-of-chips about seven years ago. I found a pair of my black pumps in the attic the other day, and the toe was so pointed that it looked like a joke. At the time, the shoe was totally basic, so it just shows that even seemingly basic pieces can date you. Acid wash, anyone? Anyway, for a classic pump, here's the Cole Haan Air Talia Pump.
I can't find a Laura Ashley nightgown, but here's an alternative by Eileen West. I mean, it's pretty and all, but if I put it on, Mr. Ouiser would laugh me out of the bedroom.
I can't find the Izod Cotton Waffle Robe, but Real Simple says it was great because it wasn't all bulky. It looked a little man-ish for my taste. Here's the Pure Jill Jersey Knit Robe from J.Jill instead.
The Jockey Round-Neck Tank was touted as being "as soft and delicate as gossamer and as warm as Grandpa's thermal underwear." Here's their Naturals Seam-Free v-neck tank. I will say that I read a few years ago that we should wear tanks or camis under our clothes for a couple of reasons. One: warmth. Two: it protects your clothes. If you're wearing an undershirt, all the lovely oils and things from your body get on the undershirt, not your actual clothes, which enables you to take your real clothes off, air them out a bit, then put them away without having to wash them. I pulled that off for a couple of years, but my new status of "constantly covered in puke and drool" means every article of clothing must be washed every time I wear it. Just the same, I love having an extra layer.
Lauren by Ralph Lauren kneesocks. Apparently, these stayed put pretty well. Here's a link to some SmartWool kneesocks, and if you're not on the SmartWool bandwagon, get there. Now.
Banana Republic Black Turtleneck. I don't wear turtlenecks. I haven't been able to tolerate them since S was born. I also cannot tolerate anything remotely scratchy. Eek. Here's a knit turtleneck from Gap. If that's your kind of thing.
Echo no longer makes their cashmere blend cable knit hat, but here's one on Etsy.
That's everything as close as I can get to the original intent of the article. Next time, I'll take the 32 items and choose the ones I'd buy if I were buying them for myself. That'll be loads of fun, won't it?