Trends

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.

1. THE TRENCH COAT

British Fashion Essentials: @_jessicaskye wears a trench coat

Photo:

@_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:
Ivy & Oak Cali Coat
Ivy & Oak
Cali Coat
£349
Shop Now

Mango Oversized Cotton Trench
Mango
Oversized Cotton Trench
$90
Shop Now

2. THE WHITE SHIRT

British Fashion Essentials: @natashandlovu wears a white shirt

Photo:

@natashandlovu

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:
French Connection Crepe Light Classic Shirt
French Connection
Crepe Light Classic Shirt
£55
Shop Now

Raey White Organic-Cotton Longline Shirt
Raey
White Organic-Cotton Longline Shirt
£250
Shop Now

3. THE MBD

British Fashion Essentials: @emmarosestyle wears a black dress

Photo:

@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:
Cecilie Bahnsen Juniper Puff-Sleeve Cotton Dress
Cecilie Bahnsen
Juniper Puff-Sleeve Cotton Dress
£850
Shop Now

H&M H&M+ Tie-Belt Dress
H&M
H&M+ Tie-Belt Dress
£25
Shop Now

4. STRAIGHT-LEG JEANS

British Fashion Essentials: @francescasaffari wears a pair of blue straight-leg jeans

Photo:

@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:
Mango Straight-Leg Jeans
Mango
Straight-Leg Jeans
£36
Shop Now

Keeper Cut Jeans
& Other Stories
Keeper Cut Jeans
£65
Shop Now

5. THE BLACK ROLL-NECK

British Fashion Essentials: @alexisforeman wears a black roll neck top

Photo:

@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:
Wolford Roll-Neck Jersey Top
Wolford
Roll-Neck Jersey Top
£210
Shop Now

Zara Basic Knit Sweater With a High Neck
Zara
Basic Knit Sweater With a High Neck
£23
Shop Now

6. THE SUIT

British Fashion Essentials: @monikh wears a rust suit

Photo:

@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:
Oroton Belted Blazer
Oroton
Belted Blazer
£549
£214
Shop Now

Oroton Full Length Pant
Oroton
Full Length Pant
£399
£125
Shop Now

7. THE LAYERING NECKLACE

British Fashion Essentials: @lucywilliams02 wears layered necklaces

Photo:

@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:
Missoma Harris Reed Crescent Moon Necklace
Missoma
Harris Reed Crescent Moon Necklace
£225
Shop Now

Thomas Sabo Infinity Gold Necklace
Thomas Sabo
Infinity Gold Necklace
£179
Shop Now

8. THE PLEATED SKIRT

British Fashion Essentials: @abimarvel wears a pleated midi skirt

Photo:

@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:
H&M Pleated Skirt
H&M
Pleated Skirt
£30
Shop Now

Christopher Esber Yellow Space-Dye Pleated Knitted Midi Skirt
Christopher Esber
Yellow Space-Dye Pleated Knitted Midi Skirt
£420
Shop Now

9. THE LEATHER BIKER

British Fashion Essentials: @astyleedit wears a leather biker jacket

Photo:

@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:
Allsaints Balfern Leather Biker Jacket
Allsaints
Balfern Leather Biker Jacket
£319
Shop Now

Marks and Spencer Faux Leather Biker Jacket
Marks and Spencer
Faux Leather Biker Jacket
£45
Shop Now

10. THE CABLE-KNIT

British Fashion Essentials: @symphonyofsilk wears a cable-knit top

Photo:

@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:
Free People Dream Cable Crewneck Sweater
Free People
Dream Cable Crewneck Sweater
£88
Shop Now

& Other Stories Boxy Cable Knit Sweater
& Other Stories
Boxy Cable Knit Sweater
$75
Shop Now

11. THE LOAFER

British Fashion Essentials: @shotfromthestreet wears a pair of loafers

Photo:

@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:
Arket Chunky Leather Moccasins
Arket
Chunky Leather Moccasins
£150
Shop Now

G.H Bass Weejuns 90s Penny Black & White Leather
G.H Bass
Weejuns 90s Penny Black & White Leather
£130
Shop Now

12. THE WHITE T-SHIRT

British Fashion Essentials: @ada_oguntodu wears a plain white t-shirt

Photo:

@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:
Arket Crew-Neck T-Shirt
Arket
Crew-Neck T-Shirt
£15
Shop Now

Marks and Spencer Pure Cotton Straight Fit T-Shirt
Marks and Spencer
Pure Cotton Straight Fit T-Shirt
£8
Shop Now

Next: Small But Mighty: 31 Pieces From the Coolest British Brands

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

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