9 Classic Pieces Every Stylish Girl Needs to Own

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When it comes to building your wardrobe, be sure to start with the basics, year-round. After all, a skyscraper doesn't exactly come to fruition with just the penthouse apartment. And yes, your wardrobe is just like the most magnificent of skyscrapers. So, before you go jumping on the latest of runway trends, make sure that you have a strong (and chic!) base to build upon. That means the perfect leather jacket, straight-leg jeans that feel like a second skin, and a little black dress you want to wear morning, noon, and night. And that's just the beginning.

Ahead, find our ultimate list of classic pieces every stylish girl needs to own — and learn a little about all those fashion icons who helped them along as they fought to secure their spots as true style essentials.

The Striped Tee

There are few wardrobe staples that can bridge the gap between preppy and alternative as much as a striped top. Styled with a blazer and loafers, you might feel like a French style icon from the 1970s. Use it to channel your inner rock musician with skinny jeans and a leather jacket, or mix it with florals for a more modern take on runway print-mixing trends. Anything goes when it comes to your Breton stripes.

The Straight-Leg Jeans

Denim silhouettes come and go, but none are quite as ever-present as straight-leg jeans. They celebrated shining moments in the onscreen westerns of the 1950s, on the hips of 1960s rock bands, were acid-washed in the 1980s, and more. Today, we still love the slim-but-not-skinny look just as much as ever before.

The Leather Jacket

Military in spirit, the leather jacket has been championed by everyone from Françoise Hardy to Beyoncé over the past 100 years. That said, this chic wardrobe staple will forever carry with it that edgy je ne sais quoi that makes it the perfect pairing for everything from denim to cocktail dresses when you want to stand out in a crowd.

The Little Black Dress

While the little black dress is said to have been originated by Coco Chanel, designers from Givenchy (for Audrey Hepburn), Christina Stambolian (for Princess Diana), and more have had their iconic moments throughout the years. Variations on the silhouette might pop up as seasons change, but one thing's for sure: the LBD is here to stay.

The Trench Coat

First introduced during World War I, the trench coat has come a long way from its initial conception as a coat for British and French soldiers on the front lines. Now, it serves a prime spot in every stylish girl's closet as a tailored and lightweight option for rainy Fall mornings and sunny Spring afternoons alike.

The Structured Bag

One thing all stylish women know is that a gorgeous structured bag will instantly transform any outfit. For Audrey Hepburn, it was the Louis Vuitton Speedy, Grace Kelly chose her namesake Hermès Kelly Bag, and Coco Chanel invented her own quilted favourite in the 2.55. No matter which you choose, a structured bag is truly timeless.

The Cashmere Crewneck Sweater

Go a little oversize with this one in a borrowed-from-the-boys style. Channel the edgy-meets-classic fashion icons like Charlotte Gainsbourg and Michelle Obama alike, who have created somewhat of an off-duty uniform with the soft style essential.

The White Cotton Boho Top

We look to the stylish girls of the '70s for this trend, which we still can't get enough of today. While Jane Birkin might have styled hers with straight-leg jeans and sandals, we're mixing ours with everything from vintage-inspired denim to party-ready midi skirts, all Summer long.

The Pointed-Toe Pumps

Even if you're a girl who spends 99 percent of her time in sneakers, you need a pair of heels on hand — just in case. For any occasion, a classic pointed-toe pump should be your ultimate go-to, as style icons like Jackie Kennedy, Victoria Beckham, and more have done for generations.