I've Been Styling Women at Nordstrom for 25 Years—6 Basics That Are No-Fail


Uncovering new shopping tips from others in the fashion industry is always intriguing for inspiration. Given that Nordstrom is a top retailer for many of us, we thought there could be interest in learning how a Nordstrom employee shops and styles. Enter Danielle Gilbert. She's been a stylist at Nordstrom for 25 years, so she certainly has a solid grasp on the Nordstrom market and what customers gravitate toward.

In reference to basics specifically, Gilbert actually shared the key pieces she thinks absolutely can't fail because of their versatile nature. Gilbert suggests these simple and trend-forward basics to her clients on a regular basis when they're looking for those easy items that can act as the foundational elements in their wardrobes. 

Keep scrolling for more about Gilbert's favorite basics as well as styling references and shopping recommendations. 

Black Knit Dresses


(Image credit: @dg_stylist)

"I believe everyone should have a black knit dress, or the 'LBKD,' in their wardrobe. It can take you from a casual day with slides or sneakers to a night out with wedges and a fun handbag."

White Tanks & Tees

"When it starts getting warmer, I make sure all my clients have new crisp white tanks and T-shirts for the season. They are perfect to wear on their own or under a third piece."

Straight-Leg Jeans


(Image credit: @dg_stylist)

"Denim is the essential staple of our wardrobes. Investing in perfect-fitting denim and silhouettes of the season is a must. Think straight-leg, bootcut, and flare. You can't go wrong with these updated denim trends."

Button-Down Shirts

"The classic button-down has been revived. Think oversize and chic. From stripes to solids and even color, it's a must for the spring season. I love pairing it with my straight-leg jeans for a classic yet on-trend look."



(Image credit: @dg_stylist)

"The blazer is the It piece to add to your wardrobe. It puts the finishing touch on any look. I love adding a blazer in a color or even a neutral print like plaid, but you can't go wrong with a basic black either."

Denim Jackets

"The denim jacket is a must-have basic item everyone should own. There are so many styles and washes to choose from this season. I love throwing it over a dress or even with a casual look with joggers. It's in every dressing room for every client I see."

Next, check out the spring items a Nordstrom designer loves.

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 retailers 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.