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Top: Express | Shorts: Express | Shoes: Steve Madden | Bag: Tory Burch | Sunnies: Prada

It's a constant struggle: the pull between sticking to my simple, classic style and or buying that adorable ruffle top in the store front window.

The thing is, I know I'll wear that top a few times - and, depending on the fit, I may wear it almost non-stop for that season - but then the season is over, the trend dies out, and I'm left with another hanger occupied by a top I loved once.

So how do I reconcile this? The desire to have a closet containing only items I love versus the excitement of experiencing a new trend and stepping outside my comfort zone? The key is in my Building the Perfect Wardrobe Series (you can read those here: I II III), but in a nutshell, the way to do this is to buy trend pieces that have timeless qualities.

What do I mean by this? Let's take this gorgeous blue and white striped OTS top from Express as our example:

This top is so on trend for this season, from the color (blue and white are big right now!) to the neckline (bare shoulders are everywhere) to the sleeves (puffy, bell, ruffled - embellished sleeves are the way to go). But it's also classic.

It has a definitive classic button-down vibe. The stripes are simple. And the color scheme, while very in right now, is a timeless pairing.

I picked this top out of all the OTS embellished tops this season because I knew it would last far beyond Spring 2017 thanks to those timeless details.

What do you look for in a timeless trend piece?

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