From the perennial camel coat to the quintessential classic white shirt, there are some clothes that stand the test of time and demand prime place in your wardrobe. Here is our pick of our five favourite must haves worth investing in whatever the season, whatever the trends...
When it comes to a chic and timeless cover up, a camel coat is the definitive choice. It offers that all-year-round sophisticated finish to pretty much the entirety of your wardrobe. Thanks to the simplicity of its design and light muted hue it crosses effortlessly from winter to summer, worn as easily over cosy cashmere as it is thrown over a light summer dress. Mannish or belted, the camel coat is utterly versatile. It was in fact Max Mara who started style's love affair with the camel coat back in 1981 with their iconic '101801' coat, Céline has since continued to popularise the style staple and many other designers have followed in their wake, putting their own spin on the classic coat.
From left: Max Mara, Gucci, Derek Lam, Michael Kors
We love: Michael Kors' utterly chic pale belted camel coat for a louche luxe, Gucci's crisp and more formal buttoned up coat and Derek Lam's tailored take on the classic camel trench.
The perfect match for jeans, wide legged pants, cigarette pants, shorts and even mini, midi and maxi skirts, the Breton striped top is a wardrobe prerequisite. As well as its nautical nuances, this super chic top oozes Parisian chic, and it was in fact Madame Coco Chanel who brought this stripy number to fashion fame back in 1917 after holidaying on the French coast. Style icons Brigitte Bardot and Audrey Hepburn kept its allure alive and today's style stars, including Alexa Chung and the Duchess of Cambridge continue its legacy, confirming it as a contemporary and all-time wardrobe must.
From left: Michael Kors, Frame Denim, Victoria Beckham Jeans, J.Crew
We love: Victoria Beckham's short sleeved casual tee and J.Crew and Frame Denim's variation on the classic stripe.
What could be more timeless than a white shirt? This really is a style masterpiece as it works so effortlessly any season, any age and any style. A well-tailored white shirt adds instant chicability. Wear with casual jeans and ballet flats, with a sleek suit to the office or with a feminine midi skirt off duty. There really are no limitations, and any cut, fabric or design works. For a new season take on the white shirt, go for Victoriana details such as ruffles and pleating.
Left: Michael Kors, Isabel Marant right: Jil Sander
We love: Dolce and Gabbana's lace trimmed shirt, Jil Sander's classic white cotton shirt and Isabel Marant's smart yet laidback shirt.
As the warmer weather breezes in, a pair of ballet flats should be the go-to shoe on the rack of any woman on the go. Slip them on with tailored work wear, run about in them while off duty and give ladylike weekend dresses and skirts a chic finish. With ballet flats, you can be assured of both comfort and style. They offer the upmost in wearability and needn't be plain in just classic black. Add some panache to your ensemble with animal print, colour and embellishment.
Model: Dolce & Gabbana, from top: Lanvin, Valentino, Fendi, Jimmy Choo
We love: Lanvin's studded elaphe pair, Valentino's neon lace and ankle strap flats and Jimmy Choo's perforated leather ballet flats.
Trouser trends come and go, but you won't step a foot wrong in a pair of impeccably tailored trousers season after season. Go for straight legged, front pleated and cropped for a slick timeless design and wear with a slogan tee and Stan Smiths for a modern finish by day, or with a silky blouse, blazer and mega heels by night. Black is the ultimate shade for wearability but light hues such as cream or off white offer a fresh alternative, and wide legged and high waisted will add a contemporary edge.
From left: Celine, Balenciaga, Stella McCartney, Miu Miu
We love: Miu Miu's beautifully tailored classic pants, Balenciaga's high waisted version and Stella McCartney's cream tailored pants.