Classic Fashion Wardrobe Essentials

by Kathleen Loxton
Classic Fashion Wardrobe Essentials Header Feature Image: girl wearing classic fashion silk white shirt and leather jacket

In every wardrobe there are some clothing essentials that you just can’t do without, and, like true love, style never fades. It’s worth investing in these closet staples because no matter what the seasons bring, and in spite of fashion trends, you’ll keep going back for their eternal style and quality. So, to help pick those keepers and create a wardrobe of your dreams, we’ve selected the top ten wardrobe essentials for any woman.

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Ten Timeless Essentials

1. A Classic Trench Coat

Gwyneth Paltrow street style trench coat with blue jeans and white shirt - shop the lookLiv Tyler street style trench coat with black jeans and a striped top - shop the look
Photo Credit: Pinterest
Emma Stone wearing a trench coat with a blue scarf - shop the look

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A trench coat is always found in any top 50 wardrobe essentials list, and considering this classic wardrobe piece hasn’t changed since its WW1 origins, it’s not surprising. When it comes to classical style clothes, the trench coat is one of those timeless fashion items that belongs in any classy wardrobe; one of those women’s wardrobe essentials that will work for a lot of occasions.

Our Top 3: Trench Coats

Whether you throw your trench over a t-shirt or use it to finish off a smart outfit, start building a classic wardrobe with these staple pieces.

The top 3 trench coats - Net-a-Porter Burberry The Kensington Mid cotton-gabardine trench coat
Net-a-Porter Burberry The Kensington Mid cotton-gabardine trench coat - $1,795
Top 3 trench coats - Maje TRENCH COAT WITH EMBROIDERY
Maje TRENCH COAT WITH EMBROIDERY - $270
Top 3 trench coats -Net-a-Porter J.Crew canvas trench coat
Net-a-Porter J.Crew Cotton-canvas trench coat - $300

2. A Blazer

Gal Gadot premiere look black blazer and black pants with red lipstick - shop the lookAnne Hathaway street style blue shirt, dark trousers and navy blue blazer with stripes - shop the look
Photo Credit: Pinterest
olivia palermo wearing classic black blazer

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The humble blazer is among the wardrobe necessities for any grown-up collection, and is a basic wardrobe must-have which can be casual or sexy. Sticking to simple wardrobe essentials like a well-cut blazer means you’ll easily be able to access killer outfits at a moment’s notice.

Our Top Three: Blazers

Complete your closet essentials with these exquisite clothing basics. You won’t regret investing in these staple wardrobe pieces.

Top three blazers - Mango Prince of Wales blazer in grey
Mango Prince of Wales blazer - $119.99
Mango Pinstripe oversize blazer in dark blue
Mango Pinstripe oversize blazer - $99.99
&OtherStories Waisted Blazer in black
&OtherStories Waisted Blazer - $145

3. A Great Leather Jacket

Amanda Seyfried style check skirt with heels and leather jacket - shop the lookRosie Huntington-Whiteley street style red burgundy leather jacket with grey scarf and sunglasses - shop the look
Photo Credit: Pinterest

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Another classic style wardrobe item is the leather jacket, the ultimate of fashion pieces. It’s mentioned in our wardrobe necessities as it’s one of those classic pieces that never loses its cool factor – earning its spot on all 50 wardrobe essentials lists. Keep it chic with a skirt or dress, or edgy with jeans.

Our Top 3: Leather Jackets

Out of all the essential wardrobe pieces, the leather jacket is one you don’t want to miss. Invest in a quality item and it will last you a lifetime.

Mango Leather biker jacket - notched lapels
Mango Leather biker jacket - $199.99
TopShop Oversized Leather Biker Jacket - with red lining
TopShop Oversized Leather Biker Jacket - $360
ASOS AllSaints Lewin Leather Biker Jacket - Funnel collar with pin-buckle fastening
ASOS AllSaints Lewin Leather Biker Jacket - $533

4. A Little Black Dress

Emma Watson fashion style little black dress - shop the lookEva Longoria fashion style little black dress and heels - shop the look
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Miranda Kerr street style little black dress and black bag with sunglasses - shop the look

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Nothing tops the little black dress in a countdown of elegant wardrobe essentials. Whether you dress it down for street style chic, or up for red carpet glam, the LBD is one of those ever-faithful fashion staples.

Our Top 3: Little Black Dresses

There’s nothing these essential wardrobe items aren’t ready for! Let this piece open a classical wardrobe wonderland.

Mango Wrap neckline dress - little black dress
Mango Wrap neckline dress - $17.99
Net-a-Porter James Perse Twist-front ruched stretch cotton-jersey mini dress
Net-a-Porter James Perse Twist-front ruched stretch cotton-jersey mini dress - $225
Net-a-Porter ALICE + OLIVIA Harmony satin mini dress
Net-a-Porter ALICE + OLIVIA Harmony satin mini dress - $295

5. A Beautiful Silk Shirt

Alexa Chung style silk pink blouse with shorts - shop the lookHilary Duff street style blue silk shirt and ripped white jeans - shop the look
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Mandy Moore fashion style pink/ champagne silk shirt and black leather pants - shop the look

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One of the most luxurious women’s wardrobe essentials, when it comes to wardrobe staples, the silk shirt demands to be recognised. With such classic clothing pieces you’ll be able to create enviable dressy and casual ensembles easily – choose a flattering jewel shade or go classic in white or champagne hues.

Our Top 3: Silk Shirts

Build a classic wardrobe that’ll last throughout the years with quality silk shirts as the foundation.

Net-a-Porter Theory Tenia silk crepe de chine shirt - white silk shirt
Net-a-Porter Theory Tenia silk crepe de chine shirt - $245
Net-a-Porter rag & bone Dylan cutout draped silk crepe de chine blouse - light pink silk blouse
Net-a-Porter rag & bone Dylan cutout draped silk crepe de chine blouse - $395
Net-a-Porter Dolce & Gabbana Pussy-bow silk-blend satin blouse - red silk blouse
Net-a-Porter Dolce & Gabbana Pussy-bow silk-blend satin blouse - $995

6. The Perfect Pair of Jeans

Emma Stone classic style black top with blue jeans - shop the lookEmilia Clarke street style grey jumper and blue jeans - shop the look
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Bella Hadid street style blue jeans, blue denim jacket and blue crop top with trainers - shop the look

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A basic wardrobe starts with the perfect pair of jeans. One of the weekend wardrobe essentials, they can be transitioned between day and night in an instant – making them staple pieces of clothing for every woman.

Our Top 3: Jeans

Continue your capsule wardrobe essentials with these classic wardrobe must haves.

Net-a-Porter FRAME Le Boy cropped mid-rise straight-leg jeans - shop jeans
Net-a-Porter FRAME Le Boy cropped mid-rise straight-leg jeans - $250
Net-a-Porter FRAME Le High Straight cropped jeans - shop jeans
Net-a-Porter FRAME Le High Straight cropped jeans - $235
Mango Relaxed crop Cigar jeans - shop jeans
Mango Relaxed crop Cigar jeans - $59.99

7. Chelsea Boots

Alexa Chung festival style white sundress and chelsea boots - shop the lookVictoria Beckham street style black coat, jeans and chelsea boots - shop the look
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Gwyneth Paltrow street style check shirt, back skirt and chelsea boots - shop the look

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Search ‘classic wardrobe staples’ and you’ll find chelsea boots on every list – little wonder when you can style these wardrobe essentials with dresses, skirts or a coat, whatever the season.

Our Top 3: Chelsea Boots

Basic wardrobe essentials with bells on. Chelsea boots will never go out of style.

Net-a-Porter rag & bone Walker leather chelsea boots - black chelsea boots
Net-a-Porter rag & bone Walker leather chelsea boots - $475
Nordstrom Kork-Ease Mindo Chelsea Bootie - black chelsea boots
Nordstrom Kork-Ease Mindo Chelsea Bootie - $199.95
&OtherStories Leather Chelsea Boots - black chelsea boots
&OtherStories Leather Chelsea Boots - $195

8. The All-Rounder Everyday Bag

Meghan Markle airport style white shirt and jeans with a black bagJennifer Morrisonn street style, red handbag with black skirt, boots and polar neck
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Reese Witherspoon street style polka dot blouse with red shoes and brown and black bag

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An everyday bag is one of those classic fashion must haves. Consider what style of bag matches your basic wardrobe essentials and invest wisely – think classic colours or versatile two tones in quality material.

Our Top 3: Everyday Bags

Choose a trusty bag to join your classic wardrobe essentials and you’ll start a love affair for life.

&OtherStories Wide Strap Crossover - red small bag
&OtherStories Wide Strap Crossover - $145
Net-a-Porter Karl Lagerfeld K/Slouchy leather tote - black handbag
Net-a-Porter Karl Lagerfeld K/Slouchy leather tote - $445
&OtherStories Grain Leather Hobo - black handbag
&OtherStories Grain Leather Hobo - $245

9. A Lovely Silk Scarf

Kate Middleton fashion style, blue blazer with colourful silk scarf and pink pants - shop the lookRihanna fashion style colorful silk scarf and black maxi dress - shop the look
Photo Credit: Pinterest
Georgia May Jagger street style spotty silk scarf with black dress and leather jacket - shop the look

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Whatever your style, for all women of a certain age (ahem, thirty plus), a silk scarf is one of those essential clothing items that will see you through life’s trials and tribulations.  

Our Top 3: Silk Scarves

Such classic wardrobe pieces shouldn’t be left on the shelf. Start your collection today.

Net-a-Porter Burberry Printed silk-twill scarf
Net-a-Porter Burberry Printed silk-twill scarf - $175
Net-a-Porter Dolce & Gabbana Printed silk-twill scarf
Net-a-Porter Dolce & Gabbana Printed silk-twill scarf - $195
Net-a-Porter Marc Jacobs Polka-dot silk-satin twill scarf
Net-a-Porter Marc Jacobs Polka-dot silk-satin twill scarf - $95

10. Quality Jewellery  Pieces

Amanda Seyfried awards fashion style, silver satin dress with silver jewelry - shop the look
Photo Credit: Pinterest
Rachel McAdams awards fashion style, black dress, red lipstick and earrings

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Owning classic jewellery pieces is just as important as any classic clothing pieces. When you build a wardrobe, you should aim for timeless trinkets that’ll only get more stylish, and quality items in silver or gold (depending on your preference) are just the ticket. 

Our Top 3: Quality Jewellery Pieces

From everyday elegant to special occasion, invest in these jewels and you’ll never be without sparkling style.

Nordstrom David Yurman 'Belmont' Curb Link Necklace with 18K Gold
Nordstrom David Yurman 'Belmont' Curb Link Necklace with 18K Gold - $495
Nordstrom Lagos 'Luna' 7.5mm Pearl Bracelet
Nordstrom Lagos 'Luna' 7.5mm Pearl Bracelet - $295
Nordstrom Bony Levy Diamond Stud Earrings
Nordstrom Bony Levy Diamond Stud Earrings - $575–$13,330

Final Notes: Classic Fashion Wardrobe Essentials

  • Why invest in these staples? Because these items will help you build a basic wardrobe that’ll outlast trends and withstand years of use, with everlasting style.
  • Build your wardrobe backwards by starting with your outer layers. A trench coat, leather jacket and blazer will see you through any dress code, smart, cool or casual.
  • The LBD is a true chameleon. Dressing it up or down is a breeze and it’s suitable for all occasions.
  • Silk shirts are one of those grown up wardrobe basics that go with everything, from shorts to stylish pants. Choose one in a jewel, champagne or white hue.
  • The ultimate all-rounder garment that can be styled to suit almost any occasion, find your perfect pair of jeans and you’ll rely on them for years.
  • From boots to bag, leather is a must in any classic wardrobe.
  • Finish off any outfit with the perfect accessories: silk scarves and quality jewellery will never go out of fashion.

Read more great articles on women’s fashion here at alexie.co.