I suppose it isn't all that groundbreaking to say that I wear basics every day because we all do. Every T-shirt, pair of jeans, pair of socks, blazer, etc. that we wear can be considered a basic. You're probably wearing a few items that constitute basics right now. (I certainly am.) This explains why people have such an acute interest in shopping for basics. While some types of clothing are optional—e.g. the fun plastic rings I'm currently wearing—others are actually essential.
Since I've been a fashion editor for seven years and a basics-wearing human for almost 37 years, I've gained quite a lot of wisdom about basics brands and have come to have certain go-tos in every category of basics. Accordingly, I've compiled a list of favorites in case you're in need of a little wardrobe replenishment. Keep scrolling to shop my picks for the brands I turn to for every category of basics. You're welcome.
I'll admit that I have spent over $100 on a plain T-shirt before, but the quality of Everlane T-shirts makes me slightly retreat from that, as you can get great ones for less than $20. Bonus: The color options are always excellent.
Ask any Who What Wear editor what some of their favorite denim brands are, and Agolde is likely to be one of the first they list. Its classic styles are golden, but it also excels at the trends, and the fit is consistently great.
I live in the hot and sticky South, so shorts are very important to me in the summer. Each year, I buy at least two pairs from Madewell, and I never return them. They're always comfortable and flattering, and you'll find every type, from denim to pleated to knit.
It wouldn't be a list of basics brands without a Zara mention.��The brand clearly excels at trends, but I urge you not to overlook the extensive selection of basics. I'm always amazed by the vast blazer offerings, in particular. And if they're unconventional, even better.
If I could only buy activewear from one brand for the rest of my life, I'd be perfectly fine with that brand being Alo. It releases new styles and colors on a weekly basis, but people never tire of its classics—myself included.
Easy Dresses: & Other Stories
If you haven't yet checked out the dresses at & Other Stories, you're missing out. It makes so many beautiful, casual options. When I'm in the mood for a new dress that I can wear over and over (and that won't break the bank), I head straight there.
Tank Tops: Reformation
The first thing that comes to mind when anyone hears the word Reformation is pretty dresses, but its basics selection is equally epic. I highly recommend stocking up on its tank tops for the sweltering months ahead.
Button-Down Shirts: Nordstrom-Made Brands
The designers of Nordstrom's in-house brands seem to have a collective love of button-down shirts, as you can find everything you're looking for in one place—from classic to trendy.
While anything from Totême is a splurge, it's a worthy one at that. I'm particularly smitten with the brand's outerwear, which I can see myself wearing years down the road.
There's a reason practically every stylish celebrity owns at least one Wolford bodysuit: They're unbeatable. The fabric is beautifully buttery, the styles are flattering and elegant, and you'll wear them over and over.
Allyson is a senior editor for Who What Wear. She joined the company in 2014 as co-founder Katherine Power's executive assistant and over the years has written hundreds of stories for Who What Wear. Prior to her career in fashion, Allyson worked in the entertainment industry at companies such as Sony Pictures Television. Allyson is now based in Raleigh, North Carolina, and is originally from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She holds a BFA in theater. Her path to fashion may not have been linear, but based on the number of fashion magazines she collected as a child and young adult, it was meant to be.
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