The 10 Classic Fashion Items
With their cinched waists, pronounced shoulders and gold button details, no one does power blazers quite like Balmain. Just dramatic enough to have real impact but still classic enough to last forever, they’re the statement pieces serious fashion women rely on – if it’s a favourite of Vogue Australia’s Christine Centenera, then it’s a favourite of ours. A rare case in tailoring where you don’t want to go oversized, we love the look layered over leather skinnies for a timeless night-out look.
Double-Breasted Grain De Poudre Wool Blazer, £1,650 | Balmain
Chloé Susanna Boots
Chunky, cool and comfortable, Chloé’s Susanna boots are an influencer favourite for a good reason. They may have risen to prominence during the Sienna-inspired boho wave of the early noughties, but they’ve stuck around thanks to their just-the-right-amount-of toughness. Perfect with denim and softer separates alike, they’re the essential so many subsequent designs have been inspired by.
Thomas Burberry invented garbadine, the hard-wearing fabric used to craft his trenches, in 1879. Did you need any further proof that these pieces stand the test of time? The first coat as we know it now hit the market in 1912, and has hardly wained in popularity since; as long as you go for the longer length and oversize ever so slightly, you can’t go wrong. The perfect piece for traveling and layering with for spring, it’s the essential we come back to again and again.
The Long Westminster Heritage Trench Coat, £1,550 | Burberry
When Karl Lagerfeld passed away last month, former Vogue Editor Alexandra Shulman declared accessories would be his legacy. And whilst die-hard fashion fans may associate Chanel with so much more than just the classic quilted handbag, it’s been the brand’s key identifier for decades, and consistently tops lists as the most aspirational, timeless fashion item to invest in. Black with gold hardware is, naturally, the top choice, but so classic is the butter-soft leather, quilted finish and subtle detailing, you could easily branch out into something more colourful and still have a handbag for life.
Cartier Love Bracelet
It’s a rare piece that appeals to classicists and Instagram stars alike, and the Cartier Love bracelet straddles both worlds with aplomb. First created by the house in the 1960s, its return in 2006 was met with adoration from both grown-ups after a smart new accessory from the luxury jeweller and wealthy millennials channeling the stacked bangle look. Designed to be opened only with a special screwdriver, it’s the meaningful piece steeped in history that looks perfect worn alone or styled with chunky watches and mismatched bracelets.
If the handbag is Karl’s legacy, the tweed suit is Coco’s. Created by the design house’s founder in 1916, Chanel jackets have stood the test of time thanks, in part, to constant reinvention, but also due to their sheer elegance – a boxy, tweed design can elevate everything from jeans and a T-shirt to an LBD. They’re certainly not cheap, but vintage styles are well worth seeking out; Vestiaire Collective in particular has a steady stream of pre-loved offerings for significantly less than retail.
Gucci fell out of fashion favour for a while, until current Creative Director Alessandro Michele gave it a second wind, bringing back old classics like the iconic print, the green and red motif and, of course, the Horsebit Loafer. First designed in 1953, it’s the ultimate everyday shoe: smart enough for the office and cool enough for the weekend, it works with jeans, suiting and everything in between. A bit like the Chanel handbag, you can’t really go wrong – classic colours are naturally the most versatile, but bold prints and fun shades are an easy way to add interest to your wardrobe.
Hermès Collier De Chien
Tough, cool and still classic Hermès, there’s something undeniably chic about the Collier De Chien. A long-time signifier of the brand, it will toughen up any look – layer with watches for the chunky jewellery trend or wear alone with evening wear for a simpler approach. A bag from the label may be the ultimate investment piece, but this is the slightly less expensive way to buy into Hermès.
Celine was a tired French fashion house before its minimalist renaissance under former creative director Phoebe Philo. Her head design director for leather goods, Johnny Coca (2010-2014) was responsible for the first of many iconic bags that came under their stewardship. The Trio, a slick leather cross body with three pockets is smart, stylish and subtle – all key characteristics of their aesthetic, and exactly what you want from an investment handbag. Plus, with the added cache of having Old Celine status, it’s the piece whose stock is only going up and up.
Manolo Blahnik Hangisi Pumps
It’s rare that a TV show can so popularise a fashion item, but we all know we have Carrie Bradshaw to thank for the rise of this particular Manolo Blahnik. The satin, embellished Hangisi pumps substituted an engagement ring for the Sex And The City character in the first film, and it took just that (and Olivia Palermo to wear them on her wedding day, of course) for the style to be embedded into the fashion psyche forever. Midnight blue will always be the original, but other jewel shades come a close second.
Green Hangisi 105 Pumps With Jewel Buckle, £745 | Manolo Blahnik
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