Top 40 most iconic fashion items


The Levi 501 jeans has been voted the most iconic fashion item of all time.

The denim perennial has been in production since 1873 and has been a favourite of Hollywood stars as well as manual workers.

Second place went to the 60s-defining Mary Quant-style miniskirt, while Levi’s denim jackets, UGG boots and Fred Perry polo shirts completed the top five.

The poll of 2,000 UK fashionistas saw Barbour wax jackets, Ray-Ban Wayfarers and Hunter wellies also feature on the list.

Thomas Berry, director of sustainable business for Farfetch, which commissioned the study as part of its drive to raise awareness of sustainable fashion, said: “Now more than ever, customers are interested in making considered purchases that will stand the test of time.

“From pre-owned denim to iconic designer pieces, customers are willing to seek out and to invest in pieces that are conscious, durable and also timeless, regardless of trends.”

The study also saw nearly a fifth of those polled naming Christian Louboutin’s famous red-bottomed shoes as an iconic statement piece.

Although in terms of memorability, the classy designer shoe only came one place above the gardener’s favourite – Crocs.

It also emerged that at some point in their lives, 13 per cent of adults have owned a classic Ralph Lauren polo shirt, and one in six have worn some iconic Nike Air Max trainers.

Researchers also revealed half of those polled would still wear any of these memorable fashion trends from years gone by, and three in 10 have hunted in a charity shop or vintage store to find one specific piece of clothing.

Many of the items in the list have been handed down to Brits, who didn’t quite realise what they had, as three in 10 got rid of items given to them by older relatives, only to regret it later.

But just under six in 10 (57 per cent) adults now say they’d rather have fewer quality pieces in their wardrobe, than lots of cheap items which wouldn’t last as long.

On average, the average adult spends about three hours, and £30, a month in charity or vintage clothing stores, with a third actively enjoying ‘the hunt’ of finding the perfect garment.

More than one in 10 have even spent a DECADE or longer searching high and low for that one mythical item which will complete their wardrobe.

And 78 per cent agree that fashion is cyclical, and what was once trendy will become trendy again in the future.

Despite the desire for more long-lasting clothing, only eight per cent of Brits say they ‘always’ shop sustainably, although 36 per cent ‘sometimes’ manage to.

The research, conducted also found 45 per cent have cut down on clothes shopping in general to reduce their carbon footprint, while 21 per cent buy from stores which have good green credentials.

While a further four in 10 will be sure to clear space from their wardrobe by giving away old clothes, before buying anything new.

Following the findings, Farfetch have created a ‘fashion footprint’ tool which gives people the chance to consider the environmental impact of their shopping.

Thomas Berry added: “The tool allows consumers, when choosing to make a purchase, to consider which materials can reduce the environmental impact of their purchases, and to see the environmental savings of incorporating pre-owned products into their wardrobes.”

To remind people of the iconic items and test their knowledge, Farfetch have created the ultimate quiz for fashionistas to try out.


  1. Levi’s 501s
    2. Mary Quant mini dress
    3. Levi’s denim jacket
    4. Ugg boots
    5. Fred Perry polo shirts
    6. Barbour wax jackets
    7. Louis Vuitton luggage/bags
    8. Polo Ralph Lauren shirts
    9. Nike Air Max
    10. Ray-Ban Wayfarers
    11. Burberry trenchcoat
    12. Burberry tartan scarf
    13. Hunter wellies
    14. Louboutin shoes
    15. Crocs
    16. Vans trainers
    17. Converse Chuck Taylors
    18. New York Yankees baseball cap
    19. Gucci belt
    20. North Face fleece
    21. Tiffany and Co chunky heart tag necklace
    22. Chanel tweed jacket
    23. Harrington jacket
    24. Gucci loafers
    25. Birkenstocks
    26. Adidas ‘popper’ joggers
    27. Chanel ‘2.55’ handbag
    28. Havaiana flip flops
    29. Gucci slides
    30. Abercrombie & Fitch/Hollister t-shirts
    31. Omega Seamaster
    32. Rolex GMT-Master ‘Pepsi’ watch
    33. Casio G-Shock
    34. The Mulberry ‘Alexa’ bag
    35. Kickers Moccasin shoes
    36. Stone Island jacket
    37. Guess jeans
    38. Paul’s Boutique handbags
    39. Fendi ‘Baguette’ bag
    40. Three-quarter-length camouflage shorts

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