These staples are worth the investment.
Seasons come and go, so when considering which pieces to invest in, accessories that transcend the trend cycle are always a safe bet. Unlike the constant ebb and flow of denim silhouettes and skirt hemlines, extras like jewelry, handbags, and scarves evolve at a much slower pace. A classic pair of sunglasses will look fabulous consistently, regardless of whether your jeans have a skinny or wide leg. Below, we’ve gathered our favorite staple accessories that will stand the test of time as your wardrobe and personal style evolve—every single one is editor-approved.
Maraya Fisher, Fashion Fellow
Whether it’s Joan Didion on the cover of Slouching Towards Bethlehem or Anna Wintour sitting in the front row at fashion week, there is nothing more powerful and glamorous than a woman in her signature pair of sunglasses. This Versace pair in black has served me extremely well—their unique shape and fun detailing set them apart, but they are understated enough to add an air of impenetrable cool to any ensemble.
A good wallet is always a worthy investment because—if you also have an addiction to your neighborhood coffee shop’s matcha lattes—you will literally use it every day. This black leather wallet by Jil Sander goes with everything I own, and the wrist strap has prevented me from leaving it in the backseat of innumerable Ubers.
The black leather belt is truly my wardrobe’s unsung hero—it is such an unassuming piece but has the power to instantly elevate any outfit. Together, slouchy slacks and a t-shirt are just two items of clothing, but if you add a belt, suddenly you could be a downtown gallerist or an art director on her way to a shoot.
Caroline Dunn, Associate Manager of Affiliate Partnerships & Content Strategy
This is the cutest bag I’ve seen in a long time, and the colors are exactly what my wardrobe needs as I dream of spring. I’m leaning toward Sky to pair with my winter whites, but Ballet Pink gives the off-duty ballerina vibe that we will all be coveting well throughout the rest of 2022. They’re made with smooth Italian leather—you know you’re getting Polo Ralph Lauren’s signature level of quality with these.
In an effort to start investing in more solid gold jewelry, I’ve turned to Mejuri and found exactly what I’m looking for. After one too many beloved pieces of costume jewelry have been tarnished and consequently relegated to the back of the jewelry box, I’m looking to accumulate more forever pieces, and you know what they say about diamonds…
I am constantly getting compliments on my Polène Paris bag. It manages to feel both classic and timeless as well as super of the moment, with two sets of straps for versatility and a vaguely equestrian feel.
Leya Kaufman, Head of Brand & Publisher
I tried this ring on almost six months ago, and I haven’t stopped thinking about it. It would not only stack perfectly with my favorite gold bands for an edgy take on a ring party but also shine on its own. I also couldn’t imagine anything more timeless than a classic symbol of good luck crafted by Van Cleef & Arpels.
A silk scarf is arguably the most versatile and timeless investment of all time—and this one would be incredibly easy to style. Its neutral tones and classic leopard print are perfect for New Yorkers like me, who tend to shy away from color during the winter months. I love it.
No jewelry box is complete without a diamond huggie—but this proves that classics don’t have to be boring. I love the subtle spikes on this piece and think it deserves a permanent place in the third hole of my right ear. After all, the timeless accessories that I love the most are the ones that still manage to stand out.
Camille Freestone, Style Editor
I scored this tiny tote while I was home for the holidays at Poole Shop in Charlotte and have been carrying it nonstop ever since. It’s a little bit French and a little bit preppy without leaning too heavily in that direction. Plus, it’s literally the perfect size—a classifiably small bag big enough to fit whatever book you’re currently reading.
I don’t think there’s any wardrobe that wouldn’t welcome the addition of a simple gray cashmere scarf. I wear this particular one almost every day right now with the above tote and my go-to navy wool coat.
I’ve recently stumbled upon a few images of women wearing thick elastic headbands (namely my queen: the late editor in chief of Italian Vogue Franca Sozzani) in an interesting retro way. Not the most glamorous addition to my collection, but I nabbed a few at my local drug store (no frills please) and have been adding them into WFH rotation with a large earring and chunky sweater.
Nick Papa, Senior Manager, Brand Partnerships
Nothing says classic and timeless like a black leather wallet. I made the switch over from a traditional billfold wallet years ago, and I’ve never looked back. With full-grain being the most durable leather, this cardholder will stand the test of time and the perfectly proportioned logo will never go out of style.
We have seen the signet ring gaining popularity in the fashion world over the last few years, but I have yet to find one that feels truly timeless. Mateo’s minimalist approach seems to be the answer to all my wants and needs—a perfectly proportioned, blank face accompanied by a slim band, which feels like it will never go out of style.
You really cannot go wrong with a classic black wool scarf. Living in the Northeast, I get more than enough use out of this lightweight scarf throughout the winter months, but it also comes in handy during the transitional months where, as soon as the sun goes down, the temperature follows.
Photo: Edward Berthelot/Getty
Want more stories like this?