Survival of the Chicest: The Versatile Staples to Buy Now and Wear Forever

Emma Spedding

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.

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. 

Free People Gia Boilersuit (£118)

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.

Hugo Racela Satin Skirt in Black (£159)

A new entry in the staple shoe stakes, but "dad" sandals are set to become a trusty piece. Watch this space. 

Who What Wear Axel Snakeskin-Print Faux-Leather Sandals (£90)

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

Hyke Navy Striped Cotton Shirt Dress (£490)

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

ACNE Studios Jensen Leather Boots (£410)

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

Arket Ecru Jeans (£55)

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. 

Heist The Outer Body in Black (£95)

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

Raey Batwing Split-Back Cotton Trench Coat (£695)

This was a wardrobe staple for Audrey Hepburn, too. 

H&M Boat-Necked Top (£10)

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

H&M Puff-Sleeved Dress (£30)

When it comes to sunnies, Ray-Ban's wayfarers are a wear-forever investment.

Ray-Ban Bio Based Acetate Wayfarer Sunglasses, Black (£45)

When it comes to leather jackets, the ACNE Studios biker is the one you want hanging in your wardrobe. 

Acne Studios Leather biker jacket (£1200)

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

Ralph Lauren Linen Shirt (£127)

A pair of tan leather sandals are a wardrobe classic—whether you go for Hermès Orans or a Zara equivalent.

Dune Loupe (£85)

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

Alighieri Il Leone 24kt Gold-Plated Necklace (£350)

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

Chanel Grained Calfskin and Gold-Tone Metal (£4620)

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

Gucci Brixton Leather Horsebit Loafer (£540)

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

Arket Cashmere Roll-Neck (£135)

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

Arket Crew-Neck T-shirt (£15)

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

Khaite Bambi Hardware-Tipped Leather Belt (£570)

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 spring.

Chanel Patent Leather Ballet Flats (£480)

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

Nasty Gal Don't Rain on My Parade Double Breasted Coat (£30)

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

Missoma Lucy Williams Gold Double Square Snake Chain Hoops (£139)

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

Veja V10 (£115)

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

Gabriela Hearst Descartes Polka Dot Silk-Twill Shirtdress (£1595)

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

ASOS Design Button Through Maxi Tea Dress in Floral Animal Print (£39)

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

APC Demi-Lune Leather Crossbody Bag ($274)

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.

Zimmermann Printed Scarf Long (£95)

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

Gianvito Rossi 70 Leather Pumps (£520)

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

Topshop Indigo Leigh Jeans (£30)

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

Polo Ralph Lauren Knit Double-Breasted Blazer (£249)

This piece was published at an earlier date and has since been updated. Next up, the biggest spring/summer 2020 fashion trends you need to know. 

Opening Image: @emmahill

This article originally appeared on Who What Wear

Read More from Who What Wear