12 Timeless Pieces That Belong in Every Brit Wardrobe

Here in Britain, we're fortunate to have one of the most eclectic fashion scenes out there. From punk to polish, Dr. Martens to twinsets, so broad is the term "British style" it's difficult for even us to pinpoint. But that's what we love about it. After all, fashion is one of the most readily available forms of self-expression, and we don't think anyone should be limited to one aesthetic.

Still, some pieces feel undeniably British—aka staples that can be found in just about every Brit wardrobe, whatever the other items hanging alongside them may look like. Assemble them, and what do you get? Twelve absolutely British fashion essentials, all of which can be worn in a multitude of ways.

Scroll below to see how some of our favourite UK-based influencers style them and shop the pieces you need to complete your own Brit capsule wardrobe.



(Image credit: @_jessicaskye)

Style Notes: Come rain or shine, the timeless trench coat makes for the perfect Brit-weather cover-up. Worn over everything from ripped jeans to sequin dresses, there’s always a time and a place for a trench coat. 

Shop trench coats:



(Image credit: @symphonyofsilk)

Style Notes: Perhaps the most classic piece on our list, white shirting is on regular rotation in Brit closets. It has the power to elevate whatever you wear on your bottom half, which comes in especially handy for the days where leggings and trainers is all you can muster. 

Shop white shirts:



(Image credit: @emmarosestyle)

Style Notes: The MBD (that's, midi black dress) is often overshadowed by statement frocks, but Brit dressers know there's little that looks chicer. It’s the piece we can rely on for everything, from weddings to cocktails out, making it the ideal item to don on a whim. 

Shop black dresses:



(Image credit: @francescasaffari)

Style Notes: When it comes to denim, we like to keep things simple—a pair of blue-wash straight jeans is all Brits need. Sure, there are plenty of trends to try, which help break up the daily monotony, but we’ll always come back to straight-leg jeans. 

Shop straight-leg jeans:



(Image credit: @alexisforeman)

Style Notes: Layering is integral to British styling, and nothing is more versatile than the black roll-neck. Worn on their own, under lightweight tops, or paired with sleek blazers, nothing has the ability to help you look as chic and keep you as toasty as one. 

Shop black roll-necks:



(Image credit: @monikh)

Style Notes: Brits gravitate toward pieces that provide easy outfit options, which is why the two-piece suit remains so integral to our style. Thrown on with little thought needed other than shoes, it also keeps us warmer in the autumn months than perhaps a dress or skirt would. 

Shop suiting:



(Image credit: @lucywilliams02)

Style Notes: No outfit is complete without the personal touch of jewellery, and layering necklaces are the perfect solution. Sported more regularly by Brit girls than anyone else, we seem to have the art of necklace curation down. 

Shop layering necklaces:



(Image credit: @abimarvel)

Style Notes: We don’t know why, but we see more pleated skirts on home soil than we do anywhere else. The elegant style is regularly sported by the style set, who often wear them with strappy sandals and racer-back vests for night, or chunky knits and loafers during the day. 

Shop pleated skirts:



(Image credit: @astyleedit)

Style Notes: Tapping into our rock 'n' roll heritage, biker jackets have been a firm fixture in Brit wardrobes for decades. So integral are they to British style, that many brides opt to wear them on their wedding days—myself being one of them. 

Shop leather bikers:



(Image credit: @symphonyofsilk)

Style Notes: Classic cable-knit jumpers are essential for keeping the chill at bay, whatever the time of year, though British girls wear them repeatedly during the winter months. Right now, we’re seeing so many different iterations hitting the shops—go for a timeless sweater or look for details such as zip necklines to give them a modern update. 

Shop cable-knit jumpers:



(Image credit: @shotfromthestreet)

Style Notes: It may have originated in Norway, but Brit women have adopted the loafer, using it to add polish to jeans and dresses. Whether your budget is on the shy side, or you have some spare cash to spend, you’re sure to find a pair to suit you. 

Shop loafers:



(Image credit: @ada_oguntodu)

Style Notes: While it might not be solely British, no one embraces the simple white tee quite like we do, making it an integral part of our looks as opposed to a mere foundation piece. 

Shop white T-shirts:

Next Up, Autumn/Winter 2022 Fashion Trends: The 15 Looks You Need to Know About

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 InStyle.co.uk’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.