Published On: Sat, Aug 22nd, 2020

Brits name Levi 501 jeans the most iconic fashion item of all time

The denim perennial has been in production since 1873 and is a favourite of Hollywood stars and manual workers alike. 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 adults 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.”

Nearly a fifth of those polled named 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 percent of adults have owned a classic Ralph Lauren polo shirt, and one in six have worn some iconic Nike Air Max trainers.

Half of those polled would still wear any of these memorable 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 percent) adults now say they’d rather have fewer quality pieces in their wardrobe, than lots of cheap items which wouldn’t last as long.

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 percent 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 percent of Brits say they ‘always’ shop sustainably, although 36 percent ‘sometimes’ manage to.

The research, conducted via OnePoll, also found 45 percent have cut down on clothes shopping in general to reduce their carbon footprint, while 21 percent 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 & 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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