I Like My Staples With a Hint of Extra—These 7 Do It for Me


(Image credit: @amaka.hamelijnck)

Ask anyone about their top fall staples, and I guarantee the list will remain pretty much the same no matter where you go. Among the usual suspects are a crisp trench coat, black leather ankle boots, and a cable-knit sweater. (You get the gist.) All of these have a permanent place in my closet for good reason. They're versatile and timeless and won't ever feel out of place within the ever-changing tastes of the industry. While the classics will always receive plenty of sartorial play, lately, my immediate attention has shifted a bit elsewhere.

A little more amped-up than your typical seasonal pieces yet not so trendy that you'll fall victim to the hype, there's a new crop of staples rising out of the fashion landscape. Initially It items of the moment, they've proven to have a longer shelf life that extends beyond the typical trend cycle. Plissé pleats and chunky boots are just two of the new-school staples I find myself constantly reaching for these days, and might I say they're better than the "classics"? Scroll on to see the full list of items I consider new classics and to shop them along the way.

The Leather Blazer


No, I'm not throwing away my wool blazers. I just happen to be buying leather versions more. Adding a leather blazer to a pair of jeans or pants is like an instant upgrade. It comes across as polished without resorting to heels or a dress, which can sometimes feel too formal. Whether you're into a boxier fit or a silhouette that's more fitted, the selection on the market runs the gamut. Although I personally am on a leather-blazer kick right now, it's not a piece I foresee retiring anytime soon.

Shop Leather Blazers

The Oversize Shirt


It's truly amazing how something as simple as a big shirt can transform an outfit into a look that's leagues better, but here we are. The popularity of this piece can be traced to The Row and Valentino (both brands incorporated the piece into their collections a few seasons ago), and from there, it caught on quickly. While the fanfare is more timely, its simplicity isn't something that will feel out-of-date should you wear it years from now.

Shop Oversize Shirts

The Suit Vest


(Image credit: @hannamw@stephaniebroek)

The suit vest seemingly came out of nowhere to dominate 2021, but it's a piece that's worth its weight in terms of style and versatility. When worn as a part of a suit, it reads as sophisticated and confident, yet the scam is that it requires minimal styling expertise. My advice: stock up and wear them all season long with denim or underneath a blazer.

Shop Tailored Vests

Chunky Boots


(Image credit: @amaka.hamelijnck)

Exaggerated soles are on the menu when it comes to the latest boot trend fashion people around the globe can't get enough of. One might call it a trend, but the silhouette has stuck around steadily over the past few years, so I think there's potential to upgrade it to classic status. It's a little more rugged than your typical fall boots, which really adds oomph when worn with minimalist pieces.

Shop Chunky Boots

Khaki Menswear Pants


(Image credit: @soleneoj@pernilleteisbaek)

Khaki pants are hardly anything new, but their newfound fame among fashion people has given this beloved staple a second wind. If your style errs on classic, you'll want to invest in a few pairs sooner than later. Style them with an oversize shirt or a sweater-vest and you'll have a look straight from The Row.

Shop Tailored Neutral Pants

Plissé Pleats


Thanks to Issey Miyake, most of us are quite versed in the world of plissé pleats, but only recently has the trend skyrocketed to new heights. It's quite easy to see the appeal: The fabric never wrinkles, transitions easily between casual and formal outfits, and adds a hint of elegance to anything your wear it with. Every brand right now has its own take on plissé, so where you buy it is your call, but I highly recommend the plissé pieces from our latest Who What Wear Collection drop. 

Shop Pleated Pieces

The Quarter-Zip Sweater


(Image credit: @tamaramory@_jeanettemadsen_)

Since I turned to the quarter-zip sweater, my crew-neck versions have been left untouched. It's a simple detail, but a shiny zipper really adds an edge that feels both modern and cool. I've been wearing mine with everything from midi skirts to sweatpants and jeans. 

Shop Zip Sweaters

Up next: An Oldie But Goodie Wardrobe Staple Is Staging a Comeback—Here's How to Wear It

Fashion Market Editor

Indya Brown is a fashion editor, stylist, and writer living in Los Angeles. While going to school at Columbia University in New York City, she got her feet wet in the fashion industry interning at Elle magazine, Harper's Bazaar, and New York magazine's The Cut. After graduating in 2016, she joined The Cut as a fashion assistant, eventually working her way up to fashion editor. There, she worked on a multitude of projects, including styling inbook feature stories for New York magazine's print issue, writing and pitching market stories for The Cut, and serving as fashion lead for The Cut's branded content. While New York has been her home for over 10 years, she moved to Los Angeles in the midst of the pandemic in 2020 for a new chapter. Now she is a fashion market editor for Who What Wear, focusing on emerging designers, rising trends on and off the internet, interior design, and BIPOC creatives and brands. Aside from her duties as a fashion market editor, Brown is also a freelance stylist and writer, working on national print and video commercial campaigns for Sephora, The Independent, and Cadillac. Her bylines also include Harper's Bazaar, Vox, and The New York Times. But once the computer goes down and the emails turn off, she's likely eating her way through Koreatown, hunting down vintage furniture, scoping out new outrageous nail designs to try, or taking a hot cycling class.