There are some items of clothing that have become design classics and as such they should have a place in everyone’s wardrobe.  The thing about design classics is that great traditional designs are robust enough to handle a contemporary twist without losing their integrity. So, here are some suggestions for breathing new life into old favourites.

Trench Coat

Made famous by Burberry, this sleek, refined design classic was constructed to give British Army officers protection from the wind and rain in the trenches of the First World War.  Traditionally, the Burberry trench coat was made from khaki coloured gabardine with its distinctive check lining, but these days there’s a whole range of vibrant alternatives to the iconic original, like this lively check number from Asos.

Cockpit Sunglasses

Aviator sunglasses are one of the most recognisable sunglasses styles in the world.  Designed for 2nd World War pilots, the style found a whole new audience after Tom Cruise wore them in Top Gun.  Cockpits are a new take on this old classic with a less dominating tear drop shaped lens which complements most face shapes and slim, lightweight metal frames, which mean that they are super comfortable to wear.  

A Breton Top

Originally designed for the French navy in the 19th Century, the style potential of the design was first spotted by Coco Chanel who incorporated it into her collection.  Since then it’s been worn by everyone from Pablo Picasso to Kate Moss.  Perfect for slipping on after a swim or sauntering through a market, the Breton top is timelessly stylish.  Traditionally only available in blue or red you can now find this staple of summer in multi-coloured stripes.


The original black and white baseball boot, unchanged in design since the twenties, is one of the most recognisable soft shoe styles on the planet.  It’s been a while since they were used seriously for baseball, but converse have long been the perfect complement to casual clothing.  If you love your converse, and of course you do, you can now transition from black and white into glorious colour with Converse’s new Pride Collection.  So, give your feet a change of style and enjoy all the colours of the rainbow.


Bavarian immigrant Levi Strauss first started making his hard-wearing trousers for American miners during the gold rush of 1850, though it wasn’t until the 1930s that women’s Levi’s and the distinctive red tag came into existence. To this day they remain the most famous jeans in the world.  If you’ve always gone for the traditional straight leg then maybe it’s time to get adventurous and try a variation on this design classic, like the skinny fit high rise.