Stylists and designers share 14 wardrobe staples they'll never get rid of

woman wearing black blazer and man wearing white panama hat
Simple blazers and timeless straw hats are just some of the things stylists and designers are keeping in their closets.Creative Lab/Shutterstock; SedmogJula10/Shutterstock
  • Insider asked fashion experts which clothes and accessories they'll never get rid of.

  • A cashmere sweater is a wardrobe staple because it's versatile and lasts forever. 

  • The experts also said that leather moto jackets and leather trousers will never go out of style.

The classic cashmere sweater can be dressed up or down.

person posing for a photo wearing a neutral colored cashmere sweater
Cashmere might be more expensive, but it will probably last longer.Anatoliy Karlyuk/Shutterstock

Everyone deserves a touch of luxury, and cashmere is a good place to start, according to Elizabeth Kosich, fashion designer and certified image stylist.

"The classic cashmere sweater is a wardrobe chameleon that can be dressed up with silk or sequins. Or it can be dressed down for travel, weekends, or hot chocolate by the fire," she said.

Quality cashmere lasts a long time, making it the ultimate wardrobe workhorse.

If you have a pair of leather trousers, keep them at the front of your wardrobe.

person walking down the street in milan during fashion week wearing a pink blouse and black leather trouser pants
Leather trousers cycle in and out of trends all the time.Creative Lab/Shutterstock

Leather trousers should last a lifetime and be handed down like some type of fashion heirloom, Clare Holden, fashion designer and founder of White Night, told Insider.

"Teamed with a white shirt, cozy jumper, or lace cami, the outfit ideas are endless for these beauties," she said.

A black blazer is a must-have item for its versatility alone.

person wearing a black wool blazer over a white shirt and carring a black bucket bag
Everyone could use a simple black blazer in their closet.Creative Lab/Shutterstock

There's so much you can do with a black blazer, according to Taylor Greeley, award-winning Boston-based wardrobe stylist.

"I like an oversized blazer with a belt and tights worn as a mini dress," Greeley told Insider. "So chic."

To ensure longevity, Holden suggested investing in a quality blazer constructed from wool or another natural fabric.

A leather moto jacket will never go out of style.

person wearing a black leather motto jacket over a purple hoodie and jeans
Anyone can wear an oversized moto jacket.Alones/Shutterstock

The leather moto jacket is an iconic staple that has endured as a gender-neutral, trend-proof classic.

"Its flattering cropped cut keeps body proportions in thirds, while its biker-vibe skews either tough or sweet, or from formal to casual," Kosich told Insider. "And the more you play with its versatility, the chicer it gets."

Pair it with biker boots or style it with a flowy maxi dress to soften it up, the designer recommended.

A little black dress is timeless.

person walking down the street in milan during fashion week wearing a little black dress mididress carrying a white bag
There's a reason the little black dress is so well known.andersphoto/Shutterstock

A reliable, timeless little black dress is ready for absolutely anything, according to Kosich.

Whether it's for a job interview, cocktail party, blind date, wedding, or funeral, you'll never want to be without one.

Splurge a little on a white shirt that will last for years.

button up shirt
It's so easy to get creative with a button-up shirt.Jeremy Moeller/Getty Images

"Everyone needs a good white shirt," Holden told Insider.

If you want your shirt to last, the designer recommended opting for one that's 100% cotton with French seams.

Black booties should be kept as long as possible.

person wearing black booties low heeled boots with black jeans with a raw hem
There are so many different styles of short black boots.andersphoto/Shutterstock

"Whenever I need a go-to shoe, a black bootie usually does the trick," Greeley told Insider.

Whether you prefer heeled, pointed-toe, chunky, patent-leather, or suede boots, most styles will stand the test of time, according to the stylist.

A statement cocktail ring can do a lot for an outfit.

blake lively wearing a black dress and an emerald cocktail ring at the sherlock holmes premiere in 2009
Statement jewelry is also something to consider investing in.Everett Collection/Shutterstock

A single cocktail ring packs a big punch. It's enough bling to deliver a statement without going overboard.

"It should be big, shiny, sparkly, and make you feel fancy," Kosich said. "Why would you ever get rid of that?"

A leather clutch is timeless and can be used on any occasion.

goyard clutch
You don't have to continuously follow trends once you have a good quality bag.Ernesto S. Ruscio/Getty Images

When it comes to accessories, you can never go wrong with a classic black leather clutch, according to Holden.

"I've never bought into 'it' bags. They quickly become overexposed, and can turn any look into fashion-victim territory," she told Insider.

Leather clutches go with everything, and can be used for elevated, casual, or formal looks.

The classic trench coat should never be tossed.

two people walking down the street wearing tan trench coats and sunglasses
A quality tench will be built to last.Creative Lab/Shutterstock

The classic trench coat is where form and function collide, according to Kosich. Although it's born of necessity, it's so chic you'd never know it.

"Have it within arm's reach for rainy days, date nights, or weekend errands, and let it do what it does best — provide shelter and add style at once," the designer said.

Wayfarer and aviator sunglasses are timeless shapes.

person wearing black baseball cap, wayfarer sunglasses and a white leather jacket leaning against a brick wall
Wayfarer sunglasses were made popular by Ray-Ban.Kateryna Prystupa/Shutterstock

Both aviators and square cuts (like Ray-Ban's popular Wayfarers) are timeless sunglasses styles, but for different face shapes, according to Kosich.

"If you have a round-shaped face, invest in a quality aviator frame that will last a lifetime," she told Insider. "For angular faces, the classic Wayfarer is your most flattering go-to style and forever look."


Black bodysuits work well in winter and spring.

person leaning against a wall wearing a black long sleeve turtleneck top and black leather shorts with knee high boots
You can get bodysuits in tank, short-sleeve, or long-sleeve cuts.Alones/Shutterstock

Never throw away a black bodysuit, according to Holden.

"In winter, it's great as a base layer, and in spring, it can be worn on its own for a chic minimalist everyday look," she told Insider.

Black bodysuits are reliable. Even if you add new pieces to your wardrobe, they'll most likely go perfectly with everything.

A panama hat is one of the most reliable wardrobe basics.

person wearing a white panama straw hat with a gray-blue button up and tan trousers
Panama hats refer to lightweight brimmed hats made of straw.SedmogJula10/Shutterstock

The timeless panama hat is both practical and stylish, plus it's gender-neutral and travel-ready, according to Kosich.

The style, also called an Ecuadorian hat, a jipijapa hat, or a toquilla straw hat, refers to a lightweight straw hat with a brim.

"Its minimalist black and white color palette and chic design pairs perfectly with solids, prints, suits or dresses, making it one of the most versatile and reliable wardrobe basics," Kosich told Insider.

Hold on to your bootcut jeans.

julia roberts wearing bootcut jeans and flowy floral blouse
Denim fads come and go, but bootcut jeans remain a staple.Everett Collection/Shutterstock

Every wardrobe needs an all-American, bootcut pair of jeans, according to Kosich.

"It's the most universally-flattering jean cut for all body shapes, making it a favorite staple that perpetually remains on-trend year after year, decade after decade," the designer told Insider.

You can dress them up with stilettos, dress them down with sneakers, cinch the waist for a "paper-bag" look, or cut them into jean shorts for a totally transformed piece.

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