The Hardest-Working Staples to Buy Now and Love Forever

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, you can't 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 also will 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 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.

1. Black Blazer

Style Notes: A black blazer will work hard in your wardrobe year round; Wear it with jeans, leathers, leggings, skirts, dresses and more. We love Frankie Shop's classic style, but for a more affordable alternative, you can't go wrong with Arket.

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Arket blazers are a firm favourite among Who What Wear editors, so we're well-placed to say expect premium tailoring for a high-street price. 

1. The Tailored Trousers

Classic fashion items:  @aidabadji_ wears Tailored trousers



Style Notes: It doesn't get much more classic than 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.

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COS always knows how to nail tailoring, and if you like your trousers longer with a wider leg, this is the pair for you. 

3. Chunky Boots

Classic fashion items: @lefevrediary wears black chunky boots



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

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4. Satin Midi Skirt

Classic fashion items: @monikh wears satin midi skirt



Style Notes: 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. Choose a simple black slip skirt or opt for a metallic or gemstone hue. 

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The satin midi is the ultimate in day-to-night dressing. 

5. White Jeans

Style Notes: When it comes to denim, we believe everyone should own a pair of white jeans. Style with a blazer or knit in winter and a blouse or silk cami in the summer.

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Non-stretch for that classic denim feel.

6. Bodysuit

Classic fashion items :@emmahoareau wears a bodysuit



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

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So chic (and a favourite of Rosie Huntingdon Whiteley).

7. Trench Coat

Style Notes: Designers, editors, celebs and influencers all agree on one thing: A classic trench coat never goes out of style.

8. Breton Top

Style Notes: This was a wardrobe staple for Audrey Hepburn, too. We love how it can be worn in all seasons with a clever swap of layers.

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An oversized shape is a refreshing take on an age-old style. 

9. LBD

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

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A bodycon fit always looks so chic in winter. Add boots or go for bare legs and heels. 

10. Leather Jacket

Style Notes: A good leather jacket will be in your wardrobe for years. Copy Sylvie and wear yours with other staples for an elevated look.

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When it comes to leather jackets, the Acne Studios biker is the dream.

11. White Shirt

Style Notes: White shirts aren't just for work, as they will slot into your weekend wardrobes, too. 

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All of the Who What Wear editors love Arket shirts.

12. Leather Belt

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

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13. Simple Gold Necklace

Style Notes: A gold necklace is another chic item that will survive all your wardrobe clear-outs.

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14. Cashmere Jumper

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

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Simple, effortless and a staple piece you'll love for years to come. 

15. White T-Shirt

Style Notes: You might have to replace your white T-shirts regularly, but they will forever be wardrobe building blocks.

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The kind of thick cotton that doesn't go sheer and expose your underwear. 

16. Ballet Pumps

Classic fashion items: @sabinasocol wears ballet pumps



Style Notes: Ballet pumps are the skinny jeans of the shoe world. They're definitely one of the trending flat-shoe styles of 2023. Choose nude like Sabina or opt for classic black.

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The almond-toe shape will always be in style. 

17. Camel Coat

Style Notes: When it comes to outerwear, a classic camel coat never dates.

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Max Mara's camel coats are one of the best out there.

18. Hoop Earrings

Style Notes: A pair of gold hoops is a solid investment whether they are tiny, simple rings or have a more statement silhouette.

19. White Trainers

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

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Yep, you've seen these around for years, and they're not going anywhere. 

20. Printed Midi Dress

Style Notes: It's always worth having a printed midi dress in your wardrobe. Dress it up or down with a quick switch of accessories. 

22. Black Heels

Style Notes: Black heels are the pièce de résistance of trends, and you'll have them as long as the stilettos remain standing. Choose from a plain style, embellished pair or a mule. All are worthy of a place in your wardrobe.

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A fresh take on the archetypal black pump, courtesy of Toteme. 

23. Heeled Ankle Boots

Classic fashion items: @anoukyve wears heeled ankle boots



Style Notes: Ah ankle boots, you can never do wrong in our eyes. Chances are you already own and love a heeled pair thanks to their versatility and ability to go with just about everything else in your wardrobe.

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24. Leggings

Classic fashion items: @smythsisters wears black leggings



Style Notes: Yes, leggings are forever. Thanks to the numerous ways to wear them (from knits and trainers and the weekend to heels and a fun top in the evening) they have fully cemented themselves as a wardrobe hero.

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No surprise, Frankie Shop has created some of the best leggings this season.

Next Up: How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe With 8 Pieces You'll Wear Forever

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