The Hardest-Working Staples to Buy Now and Love Forever

June 15, 2021 at 06:00AM

As an editor of a fashion website, I spend a lot of time reporting on new trends, new labels and new ways to wear things. However, sometimes you really never can beat a classic, and it’s arguably more important to build a wardrobe that you’ll love for years, if not decades. Thinking of the longevity of your purchases not only is a way to have a more sustainable approach to fashion but will also help you to carve out a style that is timeless and feels truly you.

The idea of a capsule wardrobe created a real buzz around 2014 when a number of industry figures promoted a compact closet built of pieces that all perfectly match. There are some items that we think will always rise high above trends, making them the perfect pieces to invest in and add to your capsule (or not-so-capsule) wardrobe.

From the jeans that have been popular for decades to the accessories you’ll treasure forever, here are the chicest items that will quite simply never die.

You can’t get much more classic that tailored trousers. Whether you dress them down with a slouchy knit and boots, or add polish with a shirt and heels, this is a chic staple that is sure to serve you for many seasons to come. Trust us.

When it comes to dresses, a vintage-style floral tea dress will have a place in your wardrobe for years and years.

The jumpsuit is one of those pieces that work for every season and are so easy to style. For winter, add a roll-neck and chunky boots. In summer, just add a pair of strappy sandals. 

Flattering, timeless and chic, the shirtdress is the wardrobe icon that looks good one everyone.

Comfy, sturdy and cool, the chunky boot will never let you down in the shoe stakes. 

Longer lengths have proliferated over the last couple of years, with midi skirts becoming one of the fashion crowd’s go-tos for a polished getup.

When it comes to denim, we believe everyone should own a pair of white jeans. They work year-round. 

Black leather Chelsea boots are always elegant, and ACNE Studio’s Jensens are our favourites.


In our experience, a neutral bodysuit is a serious multitasking wonder: Wear it with high-waisted trousers, slip under a dress or layer up with a shirt. 

A pair of slip-on leather sandals are a wardrobe classic—whether you go for Hermès Orans or a high street equivalent.

As Burberry proves, a classic trench coat never goes out of style. 

This was a wardrobe staple for Audrey Hepburn, too. 

Another Audrey-approved buy? A little black dress that will last you decades if you opt for a classic shape. 

When it comes to leather jackets, the ACNE Studios biker is the dream, but we also recommend this Mango iteration as a high street alternative. 

White shirts aren’t just for work, as they will slot into your weekend wardrobes too. 

Belts might seem like a boring purchase, but they can actually make any outfit look so much more put-together. 

A gold pendant is another chic item that will survive all your wardrobe clear-outs.

When it comes to handbags, a Chanel 2.55 quilted bag is the definition of timeless. 

Whatever age you are, a cashmere jumper is always considered a stylish luxury. 

These Gucci horse-bit loafers could feature in Eva Chen’s signature pose for decades, as they are that timeless.

You might have to replace your white T-shirts regularly, but they will forever be a wardrobe building block.

Ballet pumps are the “skinny jeans” of the shoe world. They are making a comeback that this year in cool, fun tones and were definitely one of the trending flat-shoe styles of 2020.

When it comes to outerwear, a classic camel coat never dates. Especially if it’s Max Mara.

As for jewellery, a pair of gold hoops is a solid investment—whether they are tiny, simple rings or a more statement silhouette.

Simple white trainers—whether they’re Veja or Converse—are also not going to date. 

It’s always worth having a polka-dot dress in your wardrobe.

A.P.C.’s half-moon bag is a timeless accessory, and it’s under £345.

A printed silk scarf is the sort of item you’ll pass on to your grandchildren. And the good thing is they can be styled in dozens of ways.

Black pumps are the pièce de résistance of trends, and you’ll have them as long as the stilettos remain standing.

Denim trends come and go, but skinny jeans remain timeless.

Thankfully, there are plenty of double-breasted jackets around this season.

This piece was published at an earlier date and has since been updated. 

Next up, Spring/Summer 2021 Trends: The Most Important Fashion Looks You Need to Know

Promo image: @thestylestalkercom

Author Emma Spedding | Whowhatwear
Selected by CWC

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