5 Items That Are "Plain" to Some But Very Chic to Fashion Editors

Every fashion editor on our team can agree that basics are the backbone of a wardrobe. Without these versatile pieces, our closets wouldn't really feel balanced. But here's the thing: To some, many basics can seem "boring" or "plain" because they're less statement-making or trendy than other pieces. That said, in our eyes, these items are actually chic. Trust us—a simple piece that has a forward and modern fit can feel very of the moment.

Below, we're giving you the five "plain" items that we think are incredibly fashionable. If you're feeling one of these staples and want to mix it into your wardrobe, you'll find pieces to shop as well.

Striped Tees


(Image credit: @thatgirlyusra)

"I know striped T-shirts are basic in design, but they're always my go-to when I want to look chic without trying. They're a little more done up than your average T-shirt but not as trendy as a graphic tee. Whether you wear yours with relaxed trousers, jeans, or a slip skirt, it always works!" — Yusra Siddiqui, assistant editor

White Tank Tops


(Image credit: @joiedejude)

"White tank tops are pretty much as basic as it gets, but they can also look incredibly chic especially when styled with cool, of-the-moment pieces. I've been loving white tanks with relaxed tailored trousers and statement necklaces this season." — Judith Jones, senior market editor

Simple Black Dresses


(Image credit: @gracejoshua13)

"When I'm reaching for a super-chic, plain item, my go-to is a fitted black midi dress. I throw this look on for literally everything under the sun, whether that's running errands, lunch with friends, a park date, or a casual happy hour. You can dress this look up with some heeled mules and gold jewelry, or for a more casual vibe, go with flat sandals or sneakers and sunglasses. Trust me—I can't sing the praises of this simple dress enough." — Grace O'Connell-Joshua, assistant shopping editor

Tailored Trousers


(Image credit: @kristenmarienichols)

"Tailored trousers were glaringly absent from my closet until recently, and I don't know what I did before I had them. They're perfect for everything from the office to events." — Kristen Nichols, senior editor

White Shirts


(Image credit: @bobbyschuessler)

"A white button-down shirt may seem "plain" to some, but it's a modern classic in my mind. To me, there's nothing chicer than a relaxed shirt with straight-leg jeans. So effortless." — Bobby Schuessler, market director

Next, check out the best tank tops to buy at Nordstrom.

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.