The Exact Closet Staples I Always Buy at H&M, Nordstrom, and Madewell


(Image credit: @oliviafaeh)

I have a few go-to stores I hit up for specific items that I know just work for me after style trial and error over the years. And given that my wardrobe mainly comprises basics, I have a smattering of staple shops I turn to on the regular for those simple, elevated items. Yep, three at the top of the list just so happen to be H&M, Nordstrom, and Madewell.

While there is some crossover in what I buy at all three, I typically go for a few exact silhouettes at each because I think the designs of said pieces are quite strong. Intrigued? Keep scrolling to uncover the items I love at these three popular stores. And if you’re shopping at the moment, I also rounded up inspired items I think you may enjoy as well.



I first got into Madewell jeans a few seasons ago when the brand launched a menswear line. I typically wear black skinny jeans (with a little stretch), and the silhouette here just takes the cake in terms of comfort and style. They also don’t fade fast when I wash them, which I like.


Sure, every brand out there makes an iteration of a basic tee, but I particularly like the variety at Madewell because they often have a vintage feel and hold up. Also bonus points for being super soft.


Shoes: Sneakers and Slides

Like many, Nordstrom is my shoe mecca. It’s no secret that the mega-retailer basically stocks every type of silhouette you could ever want. I typically pick up my sneakers and slides here, but I know others (my mother included) cruise over to the store for the variety of heels, mules, and booties as well.


If it’s a sophisticated piece I’m in the market for (like a slouchier blazer for an elevated look for those Zoom calls), Nordstrom’s tailoring offering is what’s up. While there’s a massive array of chic designer finds, the options are quite plentiful on the affordable end as well. I’ve scooped up everything from under-$100 trousers to sleek, quality button-downs.



While H&M has a range of top-notch classic sweat styles (including joggers and hoodies), the range of those more elevated and trendy sweats is where it’s at. I’m talking about slouchier or cropped sweatshirts, those with interesting ribbed details, and the like. I’m basically living in H&M sweatshirts right now.

Playful Accessories

Okay, just a quick break from basics. On the trend side, if I do want to experiment with a fun accessory trend, I typically look at H&M first to check out the range of cool sunglasses, scarves, and jewelry picks that don’t cost a fortune.

Next, check out the closet basics that will never go out of style.

Bobby Schuessler
Market Director

Bobby Schuessler is a fashion editor with over a decade of editorial experience covering shopping, style, and beauty. He's spent over seven years at Who What Wear, currently leading the market team to deliver highly covetable and convertible content. He creates data-driven shopping guides featuring top retialers like Nordstrom, Shopbop, and Net-a-Porter and is at the forefront of Who What Wear's shopping tentpole strategies, including Amazon Prime Day. He also works on branded content initiatives and appears on camera in video and shopping livestream franchises. He has also worked across a variety of other media brands and fashion retailers like Refinery29, PureWow, Men's Health, and Gilt covering commerce, trend reporting, women's and men's fashion, home, and lifestyle.