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black tights

Skinny jeans, leggings and blazers have replaced denim jackets, polo necks and thick black tights as wardrobe staples over the last 25 years, a study has revealed.

From leather leggings to denim hot pants, trends come and go as fashion evolves every season.

But it seems that some trends are here to stay.

Nude tights, ballet pumps, a maxi dress and a black or nude clutch bag are also among the modern must-haves every women should own.

But while they might have been staple items in the 1980s, straight-leg jeans and simply knee length skirts are no longer considered as classic clothes.

It wasn’t all change though, as black trousers, cardigans, a simple white blouse or shirt and the little black dress have remained constant must-haves through the decades.

Skinny jeans have replaced thick black tights as wardrobe staples over the last 25 years

Skinny jeans have replaced thick black tights as wardrobe staples over the last 25 years

Black or brown boots, black court shoes, a pencil skirt and a smart black coat have also stood the test of time and are still considered staple items.

A spokesman for F&F at Tesco in UK, which commissioned the research said: “Everyone has a section of their wardrobe which is reserved for staple items.

“And while many have remained the same, there are some that have changed as the trends and fashion has evolved over the past twenty years or so.

“Good-quality staple items can really help to save costs when it comes to a new season or trend.

“If you’ve got a few trusty items of clothing that you can rely on, all you need is one or two pieces from a new trend and you have an up-to-date and fashionable outfit for a fraction of the cost.

“So it’s worth making sure the staple items you do buy are good quality so you can be sure they will stand the test of time for years to come.”

The study found that 81% make sure their wardrobe is always full of staple or classic items, with another 83% believing there are items that every woman should own.

And the average woman estimates that almost half of their closet is taken up with classic clothes which they can wear year after year – compared to just a quarter which is reserved for trend items each season.

Almost three quarters of the women polled also said they are happy to splash more money than usual on staple items knowing they will get plenty of wear from it.

A third of women even own items of clothing that has been such a wardrobe staple, it has been passed on to them from older friends and relatives.

More than one in ten even have some timeless clothes which they have been wearing for 20 years or more now.

Researchers also found that 57% of people say the majority of the staple items in their wardrobe is black, followed by beige, brown, white and grey.

According to the study, in an average month, women spend £22.01 ($34.55) adding to their staple items, with quality and the look or appearance the most important factors when shopping for wardrobe essentials.

But the study found that it’s not all about staple items with 46% of women saying they like to go shopping and stock up on some fashion items to complement their basics.

Seventy-seven per cent even admitted they have kept certain items of clothing in the hope they will someday become trendy and fashionable again.

A spokesman for F&F at Tesco, added: “The secret to a good wardrobe is mixing your staple items with a few key fashion pieces each season.

“Buying good quality staple items alongside some more trendy, one-off clothes means you get to keep up with the latest fashion, without breaking the bank.”



Leggings and skinny jeans

Nude tights


A maxi dress

Ballet pumps



Straight leg jeans

Black, woollen tights

Denim jacket

Simple knee length skirt

Black polo neck top



Black cardigan

Black trousers

Black or brown boots

White blouse

Flip-flops/flat sandals

White vest top

White/black short sleeved t-shirt/top

Black court shoes

Bootcut jeans

White/black long sleeved top

Little black dress

Pencil skirt

Smart black coat