50 Fashion Classics We'll <3 Forever

There are certain items in fashion history with just that right mix of excitement, versatility, quality, and accessibility, that they vault into our day-to-day product lore. The Eames chairs and Ikea Malms of our space, these items have reached "classic" status — a hard feat for an industry known to switch things up every six months.
So, your fashion-illiterate ex-boyfriend could pick a Birkin bag and a Louboutin pump out of a lineup, but for those with more discerning taste (and we're not talking about expensive taste, here — Converse is just as classic as Cartier), there's a group of gems that comprise our personal Criterion Collection of Style. Here, the 50 fashion classics that send shivers down our spines.
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1. Acne's Pistol Boot — While Acne's footwear can often push the boundaries of fantastical, the label's classic Pistol boot provides just the right dose of Scandinavian simplicity. Equal parts chic and durable, this is a grown-up bootie that'll last an entire adulthood.   

Acne Pistol Boots, $570, available at Barneys.
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2. Karen Walker's Sunglasses — Having invented 9/10 of our favorite sunglasses shapes, Karen Walker is basically a goddess when it comes to eyewear. Memorable without being bizarre, her sunnies have really added a huge injection of flavor to the aviator/Ray-Ban world.

Karen Walker Sunglasses, $280, available at Gargyle.
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3. Marni's Printed Shell Tank — With a slight trapeze flare and bold, graphic prints, a sleeveless Marni tank is as much a dream staple of our summer closets as a pair of sandals.

Marni Print Tank, $535, available at Nordstrom.
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4. Alexander Wang's T-Shirt — It's hard to remember what we did before Alex Wang fashioned the coolest T-shirts on the planet. They're perfect for all seasons, flattering, and — best of all — make us feel dressed up even when we're not. Yes...that's a classic.   

Alexander Wang Linen Silk Tee, $100, available at Alexander Wang.
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5. Converse's All Stars — We replace these every few years, not simply because we're nostalgic for our babysitting days, but because they just work. If you're one of the few women who think All Stars make you look like you have clown feet, it's time to get over it. Give these classics a whirl once, and you'll never look back. 

Chuck Taylor All Stars, $50, available at Piperlime.
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6. Alaia's Perforated Belt — Put simply, no collection is complete without a shapely hit of Alaia, and this perforated belt — to wear over dresses and blazers alike for the rest of your life! — magically merges an old-world approach to detail with modern lines.  

Alaia Perforated Belt, $928, available at Farfetch.
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7. MaxMara's Camel Coat — A heavy-duty, wool camel coat is a professional piece of clothing that really separates the bosses from the interns, and MaxMara makes one mean version.

MaxMara Camel Coat, available through MaxMara.
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8. Dolce & Gabbana's Chandelier Earrings — Again, our penchant for Grandma gaudiness prevails as we simply can't resist the idea of wearing these shoulder sweeping sparklers for decades to come. Saggy necks and jowls, whatevs! These earrings RULE.   

D&G Earrings, $595, available at Luisaviaroma.
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9. Manolo's BB Pumps — The beauty in a Manolo pump lies in its simplicity. There's nothing fussy about the arch, the heel, or the colors (soles included, mind you), which makes it the perfect foundation to build the rest of your outfit on (while giving you a little boost in the height department, too!).

Manolo Blahnik BB Pump, $, available at Saks Fifth Avenue.
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10. Levi's 501 Jeans — With a slightly slouch, the Levi's 501s fit like the perfect boyfriend jean. The best part about them, of course, is wearing them down so they get those worn-in fades and tears...and once they're tattered beyond rescue? Can anyone say cut-offs?

Levi's 501 Jeans, $78, available at Urban Outfitters.
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11. Cartier's Love Bracelet — We're not sure if it's cooler to buy this for yourself or hope someone you love deeply will buy it for you. Either way, it's a major keeper that never, ever goes out of style.  

Cartier Love Bracelet, $6.350, available at Cartier.
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12. Equipment's Silk Blouse — The late Carrie Donovan used to extol the virtues of what she called the "poopy-doop," which translated to all manners of synthetic blends that were easy to wear, but sadly disposable. Well, even if something feels like silk, it sure won't last like it, which is why a clean, lean, colorful button-down in natural silk is such a no brainer. Talk about mileage... 

Equipment Signature Shirt, $208, available at Equipment.
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13. Mulberry's Alexa Bag — Named after a certain other Alexa who's an icon in her own right, the Mulberry Alexa bag is a mix between a shoulder bag and a satchel — the perfect hybrid for a modern lady who's got a packed calendar to attend to.

Mulberry Alexa Bag, $2,000, available at Mulberry.
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14. Norma Kamali's Bathing Suit — With a twisted bustier and a '50s-chic silhouette, Norma Kamali's one-piece and bikini jersey swimsuit collection works hard to flatter nearly all body types (not to mention ages).

Norma Kamali Bathing Suit, $350, available at Net-A-Porter.
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15. Rachel Comey's Mars Bootie — In our opinion, the Rachel Comey Mars boot is the quintessential ankle boot. With an attractive low rise and a slightly sloped heel, the Mars is the first shoe we reach for 365 days out of the year.

Rachel Comey Mars Bootie, $435, avaialble at Gravity Pope.
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16. Comme des Garcon's Wallet — There's just something about peeking into your purse and seeing this dotted classic peering back at you that always elicits a smile, even if you've only got $1.65 in there. Rei Kawakubo wins again.

Comme des Garcon Medium Zip Around Wallet, $260, available at Opening Ceremony.
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17. Doc Martens' Boots — Even if you've long outgrown your sulky punk phase, a pair of Doc Martens can certainly evolve right along with you. MOD's get it and so should you.

Doc Martens Originals, $130, available at Doc Martens.
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18. Versace's Medusa Pendant — Versace has never really been able subtlety, and wearing a giant head on a gold chain surrounded by a gilded Greek border is like attaching a strobe light to your head. But, during moments when standing out in a major way is the agenda, this Medusa pendant is just the ticket.

Versace Medusa Pendant, $550, available at Luisaviaroma.
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19. Proenza Schouler's PS1 Satchel — Though the PS1 has only been around since 2008, it's quickly become one of the most recognizable, convenient, personality-packed bag around. A PS1 in one of its various colorways and effects is on the wishlist of most chicas we know — including ours!

Proenza Schouler PS1, $2,525, available at Proenza Schouler.
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20. Lover's Lace Dress — We can't tell you how many times we've heard our fashion-forward friends gush that they'd wear whatever Lover dress they were looking at to their wedding. They're that good. Totally sexy, totally elegant, and completely, utterly, devastatingly beautiful, a Lover lace dress won't just make you look like a woman, it'll turn you into a queen.

Lover Sara Lace Dress, $850, available at Net-A-Porter.
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21. Goyard's Travel Bag — The graphic, wallpaper printed Goyard bag has inspired hundreds of copycats...but there's nothing like the real thing. Brownie points: Getting your monogram colorfully plastered onto the side.

Goyard Weekender, $1,705, available at Porrero.
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22. Dries van Noten's Plaid Blouse — Truth be told, you all probably have a perfectly respectable plaid shirt already in your arsenal. But, it wouldn't be this breezy version with all the right proportions and layering possibilities, which is why we think this one is a classic, through and through. 

Dries van Noten Coriann Shirt, available through Camarouge.
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23. Cambridge Satchel's Bag — Who doesn't love a practical purse that also packs a punch in the style department? Thanks to the Cambridge Satchel Company, nerdy girls everywhere have been (finally!) getting their due. And, given the latest season's gorgeous new hues, this utilitarian wonder feels right at home in the ranks of fancy bags everywhere. 

Cambridge Satchel Company Satchel, $174.99, available at Modcloth.
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24. Jil Sander's Turtleneck — Every single cashmere sweater we've ever purchased has pilled...except for this Jil Sander one. They've somehow made a turtleneck sweater (a rather looked-over closet staple) feel unbelievably luxe, and for that we commend them.

Jil Sander Turtleneck, $973, available at MyTheresa.
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25. L.L. Bean's Duck Boots — Snow boots aren't exactly the most attractive of footwear genres, but L.L. Bean makes a mean, all-weather shoe that we actually don't mind leaving on once we've gone indoors. The heritage brand is responsible for lots of practical (but pretty!) pieces, but it's this pair that really get the gold star.

L.L. Bean Bean Boots, $119, available at L.L. Bean.
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26. Alexander McQueen's Clutch — Basically inventing the knuckle-duster-as-accessory, Alexander McQueen's skull-topped minaudiere has become part of red-carpet lore. With such intense hardware for such a dainty bag, it's a juxtaposition that illustrates one of the reasons we're so enchanted with Alexander McQueen.

Alexander McQueen Knucklebox Clutch, $1,995, available at Alexander McQueen.
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27. rag & bone's Wide-Brim Fedora — There's a fine line between a cool fedora and a lame fedora, and rag & bone has helped define that difference. With a solid brim, a subtle band, and go-with-everything colors, the fedora rarely leaves our side during the cooler months.

rag & bone Floppy Brimmed Fedora, $175, available at rag & bone.
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28. Chloé's Boots — Who knew a gold-studded Western style bootie would change everything when it came to your workday-to-weekend footwear? Somehow, this busy boot went with everything, and made our outfits supremely sexy in a way a stiletto never could. If you have these in your closet, no doubt you'll wear them until the soles fall off....as you should. 

Chloé Susan Boots, $1,345, available at Barneys.
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29. Madewell's Chambray Shirt — Ever since Madewell launched a couple years ago, they've had a great chambray shirt in its roster. Just slim enough, faded enough, and soft enough, they've perfected the art of a good chambray.

Madewell Chambray Shirt, $69.50, available at J.Crew.
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30. Coach's Legacy Bag — A total R29 travel favorite, you simply can't beat this slouchy shoulder bag for hauling everything around in the most stylish way possible. Thanks, Coach, for always making us "look" like we have our shit together. 

Coach Classic Leather Duffle, $398, available at Coach.
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31. YSL's Le Smoking Suit — It takes a strong sort of woman to wear a slim black suit to an event where everyone else is in a dress, and for her, going for the original Le Smoking is key. YSL turned black-tie dressing on its head, and the slim, androgynous suit is a must-have for any femme fatale-slash-fashion nerd out there.

Saint Laurent Classic Le Smoking Suit, $1,150-$2750, available at YSL.
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32. Bulgari's Ring — Here's another piece for the lifetime wishlist. If there were ever a statement ring to serve as the best possible family heirloom, you're looking at it.

Bulgari Tubogas Ring, price upon request, available at 1st Dibbs.
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33. Calvin Klein's Slip Dress — If you're like us, you probably have a mini (or maxi) collection of slips — vintage and new — from every season (and thrift shop!). Thankfully, no one does a stunning silk slip dress like Calvin Klein, nor should you underestimate the power of this seemingly no-nonsense piece. It's a quiet killer. 

Calvin Klein Slip Dress, $1,695, available at Net-A-Porter.
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34. Saint James' Bateau Top — Unlike a lot of the striped tops you find at mass retailers, the Saint James top feels substantial. Made with heavy-duty cotton, it's a shirt that's made for dockworkers, and will probably last you for much longer than just one fishing season.

Saint James Bateau Top, $130, available at Saint James.
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35. Balmain's Blazer — Even if it takes a few years to save up for this piece, it's well worth it. The tenets Monsieur Balmain set forth nearly 60 years ago (feminine, strong, daring...you get the picture) have continued to trace contemporary collections, and though the namesake designer is but a memory, a classically cut blazer like this will live on (in your closet), for years to come.   Balmain Blazer, $2,605, available at The Corner.
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36. Stubbs & Wootton's Smoking Slipper — The smoking slipper really became a breakout trend last year, but it's been a staple in our closets for years before (and decades after, too). In a rich color with a cheeky insignia, a Stubbs & Wootton slipper looks great with both a pair of jeans and a big ol' gown.

Stubbs & Wootton Smoking Slippers, $400, available at Stubbs & Wootton.
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37. Tibi's Faille Skirt — It's big, it's dramatic, and everyone in the Refinery29 offices fell in love hard with this skirt in a big way. With a tank and flats, it's a cheeky fashion week look that works for a girl's night out. Plus, with a fitted crop top and heels, it's a knock-out fancy outfit for summer weddings and beyond.

Tibi Faille Full Skirt, $525, available at Tibi.
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38. Rolex's Watch — Do we really have to explain this one? A Rolex usually comes after you've made partner, won the lottery, or just sold your own company to Amazon. However, getting to that point where that watch feels worthy on your wrist...now, that's worth aspiring to.

Rolex Watch, available through Rolex.
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39. Valentino's Rockstud Stiletto — The studded ankle-strap stiletto occupies that rare space of both girlish and hard, with serious studs lining a pointed, patent, sweet-looking heel. Even worn with simple jeans and a T-shirt, it's got the wham-pow power to turn you into a fashion plate.

Valentino Rockstud Pump, $945, available at Saks Fifth Avenue.
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40. Rick Owens' Leather Jacket — You can spot a Rick Owens leather jacket from a mile away. That distinctive draped collar, those extra-long sleeves, that slightly flared waist... it's the most flattering, beautiful leather jacket you could own, and one that'll last you forever, at that.

Rick Owens Jacket, $2,484, available at Forward.
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41. Burberry's Trench — Every few seasons, the Burberry trench's silhouette gets a little tweak, but all in all, this outerwear classic has stood the test of time elegantly (kind of like you, hmm?). While we worship at the feet of Christopher Bailey's tricked out shearling and studs, we're very happy indeed to sport a vintage trench from the '70s. You just can't beat a classic.   

Burberry Trench Coat, $1,495, available at Burberry.
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42. Carven's Sweater — There was some internal hemming and hawing over this kooky color-blocked sweater, but in the canon of classics, the kooky-loving among us won out. Sure, the bold color-contrasting is a big trend right now, but we have a feeling this sweater has a very long expiration date when it comes to helping us assemble the kinds of cool, expressive outfits we love to wear. 

Carven Pullover,
$480, available at MyTheresa.
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43. Prada's Saffiano Tote — This Prada top-handle tote is like the minimalist's answer to the Birken bag. Sleek, simple, and lacking any discernible hardware besides that classic Prada triangle, the bag fits all your work supplies — plus an extra lunch, a spare pair of flats, and that mini champagne bottle you've been hoarding for the (after) after-party.

Prada Saffiano Tote, $1,695, available at Neiman Marcus.
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44. J. Crew's Pencil Skirt — It's hard for us to pass a J. Crew without ogling the new shipment of pencil skirts. In more textures, materials, colors, and sheens than we could ever imagine, its pencil skirt has probably singlehandedly made office dress-codes fun again.

J.Crew Pencil Skirt, $229.99, available at J.Crew.
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45. Gucci's Horsebit Bracelet — You don't have to be a horse fanatic to appreciate Gucci's subtle, witty, iconic horsebit that shows up on its bags, shoes, prints, and — our favorite — on gold jewelry that looks like chains from afar, but something more special close-up.

Gucci Bracelet, available through Gucci.
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46. Ferragamo's Vara Pump — With a stacked block heel and a tidy bow, the Ferragamo pump is both girlish and practical. A flat that both tomboys and femmes can get behind, finding this shoe on the racks — both vintage and new! — is like striking gold.

Ferragamo Vara Pump, $425, available at Shopbop.
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47. Kenzo's Sweatshirt — Before Humberto and Carol of Opening Ceremony took over the brand, we were still searching the thrift store racks for that Kenzo label...and if you found that print in the form of a pullover? Jackpot! These days, Kenzo's new fashion-forward sweatshirts have basically become an icon of its own, an one of-the-moment item we can see ourselves wearing until we're ready to pass it onto our grandkids.

Kenzo Day Clouds Print Sweatshirt, $340, available at Opening Ceremony.
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48. Céline's Pouch — Is a basic, zippered two-toned leather pouch really worth all the hype? Yes. It sure is.  

Céline Pouch, available through Céline.
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49. Hermès' Scarf — Whether you wear it in your hair, drape it around your neck, or keep it safe in an art frame and hang it above your dresser (we're not judging), an Hermès scarf is as special now as it was a century ago.

Hermès Scarves, $410, available at Hermès.
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50. Chanel's Pearls — Okay, so these are bordering on gaudy, and possibly ostentatious. But, they are beautiful, classic Chanel and we love them so very much. There is no way we won't wear these well into our 90s (paired with those aforementioned Ferregamo flats, of course). 

Chanel Pearls, available through Chanel.

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