The Ultimate 2023 Wardrobe: 23 Staples You Should Prioritize This Year

Whether you're for resolutions or not, there's no denying that the New Year brings in quite a bit of overthinking in all departments of life. But since this is a fashion site, let's focus on the woe we can help you with—your wardrobe. As editors, we collectively start the year by taking a deeper look at our closets. Do I have enough basics? How have I been approaching style? Have my past purchases been worth it? These are just some thoughts that buzz through our heads when figuring out our sartorial goals for the year. 

To combat these thoughts, we put together the ultimate list of foundational items that can help to kick-start 2023 dressing. Some items are ones we can rely on no matter the season, and some are trend-forward pieces we predict will have staying power. Despite these pieces being more simplistic in design, nothing about them is boring. While our main goal of the year is to make fashion feel fun again, there's no doing that without ensuring you have the staples to build the outfit upon. After all, what's a statement top without a pair of sleek denim? Or a bejeweled clutch without a classic LBD? 

Ahead, find the WWW-approved edit of wardrobe must-haves to invest in for the year ahead. Whether you're in the mood to save or splurge, we've sourced a piece at every price. Keep scrolling to shop the selection and get ahead. 

1. Versatile Knitwear

For staying cozy in the winter or throwing over your shoulders in the spring, a versatile piece of knitwear is a viable staple to have at all times.

2. Relaxed Jeans

Say goodbye to the generational divides of denim—relaxed jeans are for everyone. Agolde is an avid editor favorite. However, brands like H&M and Abercrombie get the job done. Dark and light washes are chic in their own way, but a medium wash will most likely get the best cost per wear.

3. Oversize Poplin Shirt

Whether you work in an office or not, a crisp poplin shirt will always come in handy. For a professional setting, pair it with tailored trousers and leather slingbacks. And lean into the casual side with easy jeans and retro-inspired sneakers.

4. Tailored Trousers

If you're in no mood to wear jeans every day, trousers are the item that'll go with almost anything you wear. That dazzling top you wore on New Year's Eve? Check. Your favorite T-shirt? Check. 

5. Versatile Going-Out Top

Most of us editors are all for prioritizing staying in these days, but it's always best to stay prepared for the Friday night we do decide to head out the door. 

6. Work Carryall

Just because you're lugging around your laptop doesn't mean the bag can't be practical and stylish. As many of us head back into commuting again, a spacious leather tote should be a prioritized purchase.

7. Staple Belt

If you're looking for an extremely easy way to elevate any outfit, a belt is your answer. Buy now, wear for years. It's that simple.

8. Sleek Knee-High Boots

Before you take a look at those metallic heels or punchy-colored sneakers, make sure you have a pair of black leather boots in your closet. 

9. Everyday Crossbody

We love a good carryall, but there's no need for an oversize bag for every occasion. Sometimes, you need a simple bag that'll hold just the essentials.

10. Ballet Flats

Ballet flats are seen as both a trend and a staple to many, but we're going to have to side with the latter. But regardless of your opinion, there's no denying that the shoe style seamlessly pairs will any outfit. Plus, the comfort is an added bonus.

11. Tailored Coat

While you may already own a puffer jacket, we promise that the right tailored coat will keep you just as warm with some added flair. Totême and Mango coats have been the preferred brands of choice for our editors.

12. Long Denim Skirt

Maxi hemlines have been top of mind for many of us at Who What Wear, and denim maxis are taking the lead for 2023. In its latest report, Net-a-Porter named the piece as a key item to own, so it's clear that the once-trendy item has now transcended into a wardrobe necessity.

13. Slouchy Blazer

If we had to pick a number one in this mix of staples, it would be the slouchy blazer. It's the epitome of modern-day cool and sophisticated dressing.

14. Suit Vest

Suit vests are now seeing the same uptick slouchy blazers saw when womenswear first saw a "borrowed from the boys" surge. Trend yesterday, staple today. It's a tale as old as time.

15. Classic Loafers

Whether you opt for a chunkier heel or a pared-back flat style, loafers should be a part of your shoe rotation. 

16. Striped Sweater

Some may think of striped sweaters as "boring," but we'll have to disagree. 

17. '90s Slip Dress

Nineties style is well loved for a reason—the focus on pared-back and simple pieces made for an aesthetic that will never go out of style. Dressed up or down, a slip dress is a no-frills option that works for any occasion on your calendar.

18. Sleek Slingbacks

Now that you've got loafers, boots, and flats out of the way, a pair of heels is the item you're missing. Even if you prefer to be closer to the ground, slingback heels are an elevated option that provides just the right amount of added height with comfort in mind.

19. Versatile Party Dress

From weddings to holiday parties, a sleek black dress will never let you down. 

20. Long-Lasting Leather Jacket

Leather jackets have always been a key buy, and we suggest wearing the tougher staple with soft and delicate pieces for a look of contrast.


21. Everyday Trench Coat

Not only is a trench coat great for those rainy and gloomy days, but it's also trendless and a fit for any ensemble.

22. Fashion-Forward Leggings

Leggings don't have to be boring or only reserved fo your workouts. It's 2023, and we can wear leggings as pants if we want to. Just take a look at the styling below and you'll be convinced.

23. Elevated Jewelry

Kendall Jenner put Bottega's drop earrings on the map, and now, we're all for jewelry that makes a statement and can be easily mixed and matched with the rest of our wardrobe.