The 8 Basic Clothing Items Experts Say You Can’t Live Without

Women’s basics, such as t-shirts, jeans, and trousers, might not be your most exciting items, but they are still the foundation of any OOTD. These eight pieces will help you create looks that you can wear throughout the year, whether you are a maximalist sartorialist or prefer to have a capsule wardrobe. It’s important to know what makes a piece of apparel or accessory a basic essential. Audree K. Lopez, stylist, defines an essential as “a piece that goes with at least 50%, if you don’t say 75% of your wardrobe in a given season.”

Lopez and three other experts reveal the eight essential basics that every woman must own. They also give tips on how to add these pieces to her wardrobe. We’ve got the inside scoop on the best fabrics and the most versatile colors, plus tips for how to style and shop the essentials that will boost your fashion game this spring and summer.

Comfortable Jeans

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Leah Wise of CrashGal Couture says that everyone needs to have a pair of comfortable jeans. She suggests keeping two or three pairs on hand. Wise suggests that you rotate between a pair of light-washed jeans and a pair of medium-washed jeans. Denim is a basic that experts agree is worth investing in. Wise adds, “I spend a lot on jeans. You don’t have to buy many of them but the fit and quality are important.” Lopez agrees, saying, “You sit, stand, and walk in your jeans, which are exposed to the weather.” You should choose high-quality basics if you intend to wear them more than twice a week.

Layering-Friendly T-Shirts

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Holly Shapiro is the Creative Director at Splendid and she believes that t-shirts are a necessity. Fitted and relaxed tees, as well as a layering top are essential. Every woman should have at least one piece that works for all three of these styles. Shapiro suggests cotton or cotton blends for this essential. All the basics that I like have a small amount of stretch – about 2% to 5%. The shirts are not very stretchy but they wear better. You can purchase T-shirts in bulk and still get quality cotton. Shapiro is a frequent wearer of t-shirts, but she prefers to invest. “I spend more on my t-shirts because I want them last longer and wear them every day. Tank tops are less likely to be purchased because they’re used as base layers.

A Mixed Metal Necklace

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Camille Thompson is a celebrity makeup artist whose client list includes Iman and Storm Reid. She also has Jasmine Tookes on her roster. Camille Thompson knows that feeling confident starts the process of looking good. She tells InStyle that her 14k gold paper link and half-diamond tennis chocker “makes me feel fearless.” Thompson purchased her favorite necklace for herself as a present, partly to “break down the stigma that fine jewelry is only given as a token of appreciation from a loved one or significant other.” The versatile mixed metals necklace from Thompson adds polish and style to any outfit in your rotation, regardless of the occasion.

A Versatile Blazer

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All of our experts agree that a basic blazer can be worn for many occasions and not just in business casual. Wise says that a good blazer is versatile and can be worn with many outfits. It’s great for giving your little black dress or jeans a new look. You should choose the silhouette of the blazer that is most comfortable to you. This could be oversized, boxy, or tailored. However, a neutral shade will allow you the greatest styling flexibility. Lopez recommends a black jacket with one exception. If you tend to wear lighter colors, she suggests choosing cream, tan, or camel.

A Little Black Dress

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Wise says, “A little black gown is one of the first fashion staples for a woman’s wardrobe.” We couldn’t agree with him more. We prefer to use the L in LBD for the overall design of the dress, not the hemline. Choose a black dress that is knee-length or midi-length rather than a short mini. This will allow you to wear it almost anywhere. Lopez says that instead of chasing trends, you should choose something classic and timeless, which will allow you to wear it at events, cocktail parties or interviews for many years.

A Collared shirt

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A collared shirt can be a fashion chameleon. It will take on the aesthetic and vibe of any look, whether it is vampy or casual. Or streamlined and elevated. Lopez loves the versatility of cotton, which can be dressed up and down. Kim Appelt is a celebrity stylist and the author of Style for EveryBODY. She recommends that shoppers look for natural fibers. However, she has a favourite fabric for this basic. She says that linen shirts can be worn anywhere, from the beach to an airplane.

Black Trousers

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Appelt Lopez and Wise agree that black slacks are a necessity. Choose a fabric that is breathable and appropriate for the season, such as linen, cotton or wool. Denim is a material that you should avoid when choosing this type of women’s basics. This basic is more versatile than black jeans. Wearing black trousers is a great option for formal events. Black jeans? Black jeans?

Neutral Sneakers

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Sneakers are a great footwear option that can be dressed up or down. They look good with dresses for brunch, or with power suits to work. This is another essential worth investing in because of its versatility. Lopez says that he spends more money on high-quality leather sneakers, rather than cheaply made fast-fashion shoes that are likely to break down after a few months. Wise agrees, saying, “I would recommend leather shoes because they are high-quality and won’t fall apart or smell.” Leather shoes are more expensive, but they’re worth it because they last forever.

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