When shopping, it’s tempting to stock up on those alluring trendy items you’ll love for a month and then give to the Salvos.
While charitable donations are to be encouraged, it’s better to save your hard-earned for something you’ll love past Christmas.
According to Nina Garcia, a judge on Project Runway and the creative director of Marie Claire in the US, these are the items that make up the skeleton of your clothing collection.
“The bones of your wardrobe are those essential staples that go with almost everything,” Garcia writes in her book The Little Black Book of Style.
“They are meant to be a blank canvas that you can layer on to. They are dependable and perhaps unremarkable.”
Karen Brewster, General Manager of Apparel for Myer, concurs.
“I have a list of go-to, failsafe pieces that every man and women should have in their wardrobe,” she says.
“These pieces are highly wearable, stand the test of style time and lend a desirability to everyday dressing.”
Ms Brewster’s picks include “slim-fit t-shirts in a range of colours, a leather jacket, a trench coat, a chunky knit, tailored trousers, leather ankle boots and some smart trainers”.
Every person is different when it comes to getting dressed, but we’ve narrowed it down to these 10 items that are guaranteed to be on constant rotation, no matter your gender, age or taste.
“A great blazer should be the cornerstone of your wardrobe,” Ms Brewster says.
Whether worn with jeans and a shirt for a smart casual look, or paired with tailored pants to suit a corporate environment, it’s certainly one of the most versatile items of clothing you can own.
A slim-cut blazer with a single button at the waist is probably the most flattering look, but it’s worth buying one and having it personally tailored to your body shape.
For women, Ms Brewster suggests looking at brands like Ellery, Yeojin Bae, McQ Alexander McQueen, and Cue. Menswear brands with great cuts include MJ Bale, AG Arthur Galan, Hugo Boss and Ralph Lauren.
2. White shirt
Whatever your interpretation of the classic white shirt is, it’s pretty hard to go wrong.
Fitted options in a crisp cotton are your safest bet as they look great on everyone. Hugo Boss and Witchery both do great staple shirts, while Asos offers cheaper versions.
Just don’t pull a Seinfeld and purchase a puffy version.
3. Flattering jeans
“Everyone needs a few good pairs of well-fitting jeans in several shapes and colours,” Ms Brewster advises.
Start with one and go from there. For your first pair, spend some time figuring which cut you like (Skinny? Bootleg? Boyfriend? High-waisted?) and which wash works with your wardrobe.
To play it safe, stick with a skinny or tapered leg in a darker denim.
For women, Ms Brewster recommends brands like AG, Hudson and Blkdnm, while guys should head to Levi’s, CK, G-Star, Nudie and Diesel.
4. Grey t-shirt
Everyone looks great in grey. No exceptions.
The cut of the t-shirt is up to you – some prefer v-neck to round neck – but selecting a classic grey marle will complement your skin tone regardless of what it is.
Light grey works best, but go for charcoal or dove grey if you’re worried about dirt.
5. A knit jumper
Cashmere, wool or cotton, cable knit or fine knit – no matter the form it takes, having a cosy winter jumper will be a lifesaver.
Steer clear of synthetics to avoid pilling and be prepared to pay a bit more for something in a quality fabric.
6. Comfortable sneakers
If you pick the right pair, sneakers don’t have to be too casual.
A polished pair in a neutral colour can be paired with jeans or exercise gear.
Some eternally reliable brands include Converse, New Balance, Nike and Adidas.
The New Balance 420 and the Adidas Gazelle are particularly elegant yet functional.
7. Black flats
Your staple “dressy” shoe may take the form of a polished loafer, a ballet flat, an ankle boot or a lace-up brogue.
Whatever it is, the priorities are comfort and durability. Pick a sturdy leather (patent is especially long-lasting) for extra longevity.
For ladies, French Sole, Sambag and Wittner offer great options, while men should check out Church’s, RM Williams or Florsheim.
8. A great winter coat
There’s really no item more important in winter than a good quality coat.
Wool styles will provide the most warmth and longer cuts will keep your legs from being exposed to the biting cold.
Pea coats and trench coats are both varieties that suit women and men.
For a more in-depth guide to picking the right coat, click here.
9. Tailored pants
A sleek pair of tailored pants in a black, grey, beige, or navy can take you from the office straight to your plans for the evening.
Shape is everything, so pick something appropriate for your height (don’t have them flapping around your ankles) that doesn’t require a belt or too much rearranging to feel comfortable.
10. Classic sunglasses
For those days when last night was too long, the sun is too bright or your face is just not fit for public consumption, sunnies are a Godsend.
It’s all down to your face shape, but a brand like Ray-Ban constantly delivers the goods. A Wayfarer, Aviator or Clubmaster will do the trick for almost everyone, male or female.
For ladies, a Chanel or Prada cat-eye shape is also timeless investment.