22 Jan 2018

To Have and To Hold: The Forever Piece

To Have And To Hold: The Forever Piece on vickiarcher.com

“Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening”. – Coco Chanel

Here at VA we’ve been talking about ‘To Have and To Hold’ fashion, the essentials we will always have in our wardrobe collection, the staple pieces that make us who we are, the strategy we use when dressing and what fashion items we splurge on and where we save.

Shall we think of this as our fashion handbook to curating the perfect wardrobe?

Starting with our forever piece. These are the items of clothing we don’t see ourselves saying goodbye to anytime soon and possibly never.

Fashion is a key part of our lives. We all have that item of clothing we feel put together in as soon as we slip it on, the garment we find ourselves gravitating towards every morning. But can we really wear the same little black dress as last time to the next family occasion? Of course, we can if it makes us feel self-confident and happy.

Why are we drawn to a particular piece in our closet collection?

The answer is a combination of knowing yourself and what works for you.

After dressing ourselves for so long we come to learn what items suit our individual body shape and lifestyle. For example, women with hourglass figures know how to highlight their curves and emphasize their waist; a skirt, accentuating curves, may be the forever piece they are grabbing on a Monday morning.

Once we master our dressing, a reoccurring pattern begins and our signature style becomes familiar and comfortable. It’s the unique variations we discover that differentiate us and make us feel strong enough to face the world and all it throws at us. With a signature style in mind, there’s always going to be a forever piece we automatically go to, whether it be a crisp white shirt or a simple tee we’ve had for as long as we can remember.

When we discover our forever piece we get to know everything about it. What other wardrobe items does it pair well with? How do we dress it up and how do we dress it down? A versatile item is an easy item to throw on and go and that is why we wear it time and time again.

If you were to take a peek into our wardrobes you would find a handful of forever pieces. Apart from the obvious essentials, the one we all agree on is the sweater dress. We hope this fashion lasts forever and a day.

What are your to have and to hold, forever fashion pieces?


The Forever Piece

virgie knits midi dress ||   eileen fisher sweater dress   ||  vince cashmere dress  ||  alice & olivia crewneck  ||  long sleeve crew neck

images, giulia maenza by giampaolo sgura for rené caovilla

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Taste of France

I have a black sheath dress that is 25 years old. Still in great shape–it was very good quality. Still chic. I no longer wear it often, but I’m glad I have it. It’s always just right, faithful for the occasions when it’s called upon. I also love that, despite the passage of time, it remains in style.
White dress shirts, jeans and black turtlenecks will always be in my wardrobe, too.


I also have a black knit sheath dress – it has a little stand up collar. Mine is 10 years old – always dry cleaned and ready to go. It’s comfortable, versatile. I will keep it forever. Also – white dress shirts, jeans and black turtlenecks. One Christmas I wore a black turtleneck to a get together at my daughter’s house. She said how young I looked – I told her I had a mini-facelift and she took a second look!

Traci Dorr

I love sweater dresses, but when you’re 5′ tall it makes it almost impossible to find one that the length is right. Most all sweater dresses can’t be hemmed because of the way they finish the hem off. This is so frustrating. I will always have jeans, white shirts, black turtlenecks, and a navy cashmere sweater in my closet. And the LBD!!


Can you try an above knee and it should be an ok length? As long as the arm and neckline are ok?


My clothes are my intimate “friends”…I know where I purchased, I know the occasion..*sigh* What can I say…I have a clothes fetish….franki


Staple: my simple, elegant, black leather ankle boots, purchased at Bergdorf’s on a hot NYC summer day. I’d never spent so much on a pair of shoes in my life but boy, I have learned cost-per-wear is where it’s at. I love them, they go with everything year round.

Lynne Savage

While at uni i had 2 blouses to wear in rotation and when one finally died it was like losing a friend. I too am only tiny and while a good weight, have a 70 year old tummy and waist shape so can’t wear sweater dresses unfortunately. I can however wear a pencil skirt with a tshirt over, having first made it shorter with a thick hem which helps disguise the tummy.


I love the Vince choice! Sweater dresses are great if they’re not too tight fitting. I need to buy one!

Donna D

Cannot survive without the classic little Chanel ballet slipper….great with jeans, sweater dress, capri’s, linen, even worn them with a paper taffeta skirt! But also am never without the crisp white cotton shirt, cashmere sweaters and I am with you girls…….the turtleneck is flattering, practical and comfortable!


Forever piece? The black turtleneck – longsleeved & sleeveless. Perfect with everything.

Linda Weldon

Dear Vicki
I enjoy reading your blog, but would love it even more if some of the pieces you recommend could be found in the UK. Customs charges make it unrealistic for us to shop from the US, much as i would live to. Good luck with the decorating!


I have a few pieces as such, and I have a few dresses that I want duplicated and it so happens that my neighbor across the street is a tailor/dress maker. He said he’d make me a few dresses! There are just some things that will forever be your best dress. I’ve found them.

Helen Douglas-Irving

I have found that I cannot do without my classic trouser, straight skirt and blazer. Good natural fibres that breathe and cut in a style that makes the most of my tall frame. I also wear a black leather straight skirt that I wear with the blazer and a little black dress that I make in linen, wool crepe or silk to suit the season. These are my ‘close friends ‘, clever accessories keep them fresh.


Black and beige pencil skirts, black turtleneck, black and navy blazers, a “smoking”, a few interchangeable evening pieces, slouchy chinos, slim black ankle pants, jeans, peacoat, LBD, cashmere sweaters, white, black and navy tee shirts, classic real fur coat (I know, I KNOW), Minnetonka mocs, black Chelsea boots, block heeled, almond toed sling-backs, suede shoes of any kind.


My forever pieces:
* Black leather pants
* Black blazer
* 501 Levis (they’re fringed by me)
* Black ankle boots
* Black moto-jacket
* Tan slacks — a perfect neutral that go with everything
* Crisp white long-sleeved button-down shirts
* Burberry Sandringham trench
* Black/white slip-on sneaks
* Graphic white tee shirts
* Denim long-sleeved shirt with snaps

I’m seeing a pattern here. ;)


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