The Classic High-Street Items That Deserve a Place in Your Forever Wardrobe

There's a misconception that you can't find classic wardrobe items on the high street—that the pieces are too trend-led and their appeal will fade when new sartorial movements come into play. However, we're here to prove otherwise.

All of our favourite high-street brands are known for getting specific things right, whether that's an entire product category, such as COS's trousers, or a particular item, for example, & Other Stories' wool-blend blazer. These are the items that are either available all year round or re-released every season, and it's no coincidence that they're also the brands' bestsellers. 

To save you time and help you identify these high street items that are genuinely worth investing in we've rounded up all the most expensive-looking pieces that tick the 'classic' box as well. And the list you'll find below also happens to be perfect for helping you build out year-round capsule wardrobes. You're welcome! 


Rachael wears a striped jumper from & Other Stories. 

(Image credit: @bubblyaquarius)

Style Notes: Many high street destinations do striped knits, but none compare with & Other Stories' elite selection in our opinion. 



Emily wears the Arket blazer.

(Image credit: @EMILYJDAWES)

Style Notes: There are only a few high street items with good enough quality and longevity for me to recommend buying them even if you had an unlimited budget—but I would choose ARKET's blazers over any other brand every time. 

Shop Arket Blazers:



Yatri wears COS wide-leg trousers.

(Image credit: @Y.A.T.R.I)

Style Notes: Fashion people everywhere have been wearing COS trousers on repeat for years. The quality and fit is impeccable. 

Shop COS Trousers:



Lorna wears a t-shirt from Arket. 

(Image credit: @symphonyofsilk)

Style Notes: Our editors have proclaimed this Arket T-shirt the perfect style. Need we say more? 

Shop Arket Crew Neck T-Shirt:



Mona wears a coat from Mango.

(Image credit: @monamali_)

Style Notes: Celebs, influencers and editors everywhere know the best place to turn to for expensive-looking wool coats on the high street is Mango. 

Shop Mango Wool Coats:



Monikh wears a jumper and trousers from Marks & Spencer. 

(Image credit: @monikh)

Style Notes: I've tried so many different brands for cashmere, from uber-luxury to the high street's offering, and M&S are the styles that have lasted in my wardrobe the longest. 

Shop M&S Cashmere:



Louisa wears jeans from Arket. 

(Image credit: @louisahatt)

Style Notes: Straight, flared, wide and more, Arket takes jeans seriously with a style to suit all preferences. What's more, the styles come in a range of colours and washes so you're sure to find a pair to treasure forever. 

Shop Arket Jeans:



Marisa wears the Whistles leather jacket.

(Image credit: @_MARISAMARTINS_)

Style Notes: Although their pieces are still an investment, if you're looking for real leather wardrobe items that will last forever thanks to their classic design and luxury quality, we'd always recommend making your way to Whistles. 

Shop Whistles Leather:



Brittany wears the COS leather crossbody bag. 

(Image credit: @brittanybathgate)

Style Notes: Some high-street brands are guilty of taking their accessories a step too far, be it with oversized zips or unnecessary branding. COS, however, opts for the pared-back approach, making its arm candy the most expensive-looking out there. 

Shop COS Bags:



Danielle wears shoes from Marks & Spencer. 

(Image credit: @daniellejinadu)

Style Notes: As fashion editors we take shoes very seriously. If you're looking for comfort, style, quality and excellent value—you can't beat M&S

Shop M&S Shoes:



Aida wear an Arket puffer.

(Image credit: @basicstouch)

Style Notes: While puffer jackets have proven popular across the high street, it goes without saying that Arket's puffer coat collection is the chicest of them all. 

Shop Arket Puffer Coats:



Lydia wears a knit dress from H&M. 

(Image credit: @femmeblk)

Style Notes:  There's so many classics sold at H&M, but it's their knitted dresses we come back to year after year as being the best, with the most inclusive sizing too. 

Shop H&M Knit Dresses:

This post was originally published at an earlier time and has since been updated. 

Maxine Eggenberger
Deputy Editor

Maxine Eggenberger is Who What Wear UK’s deputy editor and has over thirteen years of experience in fashion journalism. She been creating engaging and elevated style content specifically for Who What Wear UK since 2018, covering runway reports, emerging trends, long-form features, self-styled shopping stories and columns, including her edit of the best new-in buys. She ensures the highest editorial standards are met across the site, leads the editorial team in their SEO strategy and keyword planning, works closely with the beauty team on content initiatives, represents the brand at industry events, and regularly contributes to social media, including her own Who What Wear UK TikTok franchise, French Style Fridays. Previously, Maxine appeared on ITV's This Morning in her own fashion segment and has interviewed countless celebrities—everyone from Victoria Beckham to Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o.

Prior to Who What Wear UK, Maxine’s career began when, after completing her first-ever internship at Look magazine, she was offered a position on the brand's fashion desk. She accepted, leaving university a year early in the process. Her passion and natural talent for writing and styling meant she swiftly rose through the ranks to become the title's fashion news and commercial content editor, with a stint as’s fashion and beauty writer along the way. She later served as Look’s acting Editor in Chief, overseeing both print and digital, before embarking on a successful freelance career, working with Grazia, The Pool, and Marie Claire amongst others.

Maxine is based remotely from her countryside home near Edinburgh where she spends her downtime renovating her house, walking her dogs, hosting friends and trying to master the art of making Old Fashioned cocktails.