This week, I posed a question to the Who What Wear edit team: What item has been in your closet for years, and still gets worn regularly? Essentially, I was trying to understand what the most long-wearing looks in our wardrobes are or what we all deem as forever pieces, so to speak.
Unsurprisingly, the team came back with a chic list of must-haves which included vintage family heirloom pieces and even a few high-street gems. Our assistant editor, Elinor Block, has had a Gucci scarf in her closet (which once belonged to her grandmother) for upwards of 11 years, while our shopping editor, Joy Montgomery, was "influenced" into buying a pair of Topshop wide-leg trousers nine years ago, long before influencers were even a thing. Emily Dawes, our freelance branded content editor, regularly relies on her trusted Marks and Spencer blazer, which she's had for half a decade. As for me, I personally still wear my vintage Levi's jeans (which I purchased about six years ago) at least twice a week.
For me, when purchasing new items, price-per-wear is always top of mind, so it's refreshing to see such a versatile list of items that have stood the test of time. Keep scrolling to see our most long-wearing wardrobe items, and shop their modern-day counterparts below.
"Red has always been my colour so when me and my sister were looking through some of my grandma's clothes after she passed away, it was a red silk scarf that caught my eye. I only realised later that it was Gucci. In fact, it was the print that was made especially for Princess Grace of Monaco—the flora print—with a red border around it. Even today, it's a staple of the fashion house, even under boundary-pushing Alessandro Michele. While it wouldn't matter to me if it was still in fashion, it's always great to know that classic prints last."
"For some reason, I remember the exact moment I was inspired to buy these trousers. I was at uni and saw that the fashion editor of the student newspaper had created a 'How to Wear Wide-Leg Trousers' story, and long before the days of Instagram, I was totally influenced. I found this pair at Topshop a few days later and they felt like my first sophisticated, 'adult' purchase. Flattering and comfy, I’ve worn them constantly ever since with everything from long-sleeve tops to chunky jumpers."
"I've had this M&S Velvet blazer for over 5 years, and although it doesn't get quite as much wear in summer as the winters, it's lasted so well and is still one of my absolute go-to's for dressing up in the evenings. I love the longline slouchy style which always makes jeans and a cami feel way more luxe and the dark navy shade compliments a red lip perfectly. I can't ever imagine throwing it away—it's such an unexpected classic!"
I bought these jeans about six years ago from a vintage store in New York called The Vintage Twin. An impossibly cool sales assistant, who manned the store's JEANius Bar looked me up and down and then hand-picked the pair from a sea of folded denim stacked floor to the ceiling near the change room. They were the first pair I tried and they fit like a glove. That JEANius certainly knew what she was doing. I've practically lived in the jeans ever since.
"Anyone who knows me knows how much I love a midi dress, and while I can be tempted to buy new, there are several old favourites I will always come back to. In particular, this Rixo midi dress that I bought when the brand first launched. I have worn it to weddings, parties, work and even to the beach. I love the style so much that I then went to buy two others in the same shape in different prints."