It's Official—Fashion People Are Obsessed With These 25 Basic Fashion Items


(Image credit: @astyleedit)

A wardrobe is only ever as good as its basics—you can quote me on that. And since we all rely on them so much, whatever our style, we Who What Wear editors spend a lot of our time searching for the best-selling wardrobe staples to recommend to you. Not only do we scroll through pages and pages of them on our digital travels, but we also try on as many as we can IRL for research (and for personal reasons too, of course). There’s also a fairly constant stream of recommendations going on across our editors’ Slack conversations and in chats with fellow fashion experts like stylists and influencers. To back all this up, we keep a close eye on the basics that are actually racking up the most sales as well, as this is often the best indicator of a piece being genuinely worth your money. Clearly, we take our jobs very seriously. 

After all this, it's clear to us that some basics are just better than others. Take Arket's famous Hopsack blazer, for example—it's a style the brand has sold for years now. I have it in multiple colours (as do many of my fellow editors and influencer pals), and people always compliment me on it, asking if it's designer. Through Who What Wear articles alone, we've sold almost 1000 of them, and after trying endless styles (I’m a blazer girl, trust me), I stand by it being the best around. The same goes for Arket’s perfect white T-shirt. (I buy these in bulk for fear of the brand discontinuing it.) Other best-selling hero buys our research turned up include H&M’s budget-friendly wide-leg trousers (we sold over 2000 pairs of these last year alone), Totême’s iconic striped knit and & Other Stories’ Favourite Cut jeans. And there’s more where they came from. 

So if you’re starting 2023 with a closet refresh and looking to find ways to make the rest of your wardrobe work harder, below you’ll find our ultimate edit of the best-selling basic fashion items that have been endorsed by fashion people everywhere, from influencers to editors, celebrities to our very own readers. Keep scrolling to shop the most popular basics money can buy.

Shop the Best-Selling Basic Fashion Items

1. Arket Hopsack Blazer

2. COS Crossbody Bag

4. The Frankie Shop Quilted Jacket

6. Uniqlo Cashmere Jumper

7. Arket Crew-Neck T-Shirt

8. H&M Ribbed Vest Top

9. Arket Ankle Boots

10. COS Wide-Leg Trousers

11. Arket Relaxed Poplin Shirt

12. COS Turtleneck Top

13. Arket Jumper

14. Arket Regular Jeans

15. Reformation Mason Pants

17. Veja Campo Trainers

18. Totême Striped Knit

19. COS Trench Coat 

20. Arket Puffer Coat

22. H&M Tailored Trousers

23. Arket Long-Sleeved Top

24. New Balance Trainers

25. COS Leather Belt

Up Next: Spring/Summer 2023 Fashion Trends: 21 Expert-Approved Looks You Need to See

Emily Dawes
Affiliate Editor

Emily Dawes is the very definition of a fashion multi hyphenate. An editor, stylist and writer with over eleven years’ worth of experience in the industry, Emily is known for her impeccable taste, elegant outfit choices and being able to spot the next big thing in fashion from a mile off. Our readers loyally trust her advice and shopping suggestions; so much so she began her own column documenting the most expensive-looking pieces on the high street, which has become a top-performing piece of content for the Who What Wear brand.

Emily has worked for Who What Wear UK since 2020 in a myriad as roles, spanning from contributing editor and branded content editor. Now, she holds the position of affiliate editor and is responsible for the brand’s overall affiliate strategy, ideation and content execution. Working closely with Who What Wear UK’s affiliate manager, Emily has been instrumental in securing and nourishing brand partnerships, surpassing her goals as standard. Leading the team in tentpole shopping moments including Black Friday and Peak Trading, with Emily’s guidance and leadership, team Who What Wear is in a stronger affiliate position than ever before.

Prior to joining the Who What Wear team, Emily served as YOU Magazine’s acting fashion editor where she managed the fashion team and oversaw all fashion content output for the fast-paced weekly title. Emily is a stylist in her own right, having worked with a slew of VIP clients including writer and television personality, Elizabeth Day, as well as styling and art directing several celebrity cover shoots for glossy print publication, Grazia. Her adept fashion knowledge means brands regularly sought out to work with her as a consultant: previously she has developed marketing and content plans for brands for Cocoon and Edge of Ember. Before entering the industry, Emily obtained a Bachelor of Arts in English and American Studies with International Study from Nottingham University. Fun fact: Emily spent a year studying in America which saw her join a sorority during her time there.

When she’s not working or tracking down the chicest, new-in items to share with our audience, you’ll find Emily bestowing her East London home with her stylish flair, reading everything from the classics to cowboy romance novels and escaping to the country with husband, baby boy and dog, Roo, whenever she can.

Emily is currently on maternity leave.