I Tried on 43 Trendy Fashion Basics—These are The 15 I Want to Keep

Shop Like an Editor is a Who What Wear column where our senior editor Kristen Nichols shares her latest fashion finds.

When it comes to my personal wardrobe, I buy investment pieces on occasion but really try to focus on editing a great foundation of basics to mix into my everyday outfits. Since they’re the pieces that get the most wear, I’m very picky about which ones I add to my closet. Over the years, I’ve collected an assortment of staples—from tees to jeans to blazers—that I wear again and again and have never regretted buying. But now that I have such a great foundation of basics, I have my eye on pieces that feel just as versatile but a little more trend-forward.

To narrow in on some new trendy basics to add to my closet, I tried some on to see which ones are worth the buy. I had my eye out for pieces with cool updates that take basics a step further. A tie-front blazer? Instantly on board. A sleek, tailored jumpsuit with cuffed sleeves? I can see this on the street style scene but would also wear it at home. A crop top with long sleeves? The perfect transitional piece as we head into fall. Though I tried on 43 pieces, I landed on 15 favorites that made the cut. Here, shop the trendy fashion basics that have earned my stamp of approval.

Short Suit

Suiting is the ever-evolving trend that gets a new update each season. With the rise of short suits, I've been eager to hop on board and love this take that pairs a linen tie-front blazer with matching shorts. Here, I wore the set with my favorite strappy flats and gold stackable rings that you'll see styled with all of the looks ahead.

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While I've been gravitating towards more oversize blazers, I love the waist-cinching effect of this one. 

Always a fan of a matching set, these shorts are the perfect piece to pair with the blazer. These are selling out fast.

Of all of the shoes in my closet, these strappy flats from Studio Amelia are the pair I've worn most this summer. The minimal sandals have proven to be the shoe that goes with practically anything in my closet.

Tie-Front Top + Linen Shorts

As you can probably tell, I'm a big fan of tie-front details at the moment. Here, I paired this top from Majorelle with the linen shorts from the suit set above. Trying on the shorts with a few different pieces, it's easy to see how versatile they are. Heading into fall, I'd style the top with a pair of high-waisted trousers, a roomy blazer, and sleek ankle boots.

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Perfect as a top on its own for summer and layered underneath a blazer for fall.

I'm living in all things linen right now and can already imagine so many ways to style these shorts.

Cropped Tee + Trousers

For LaQuan Smith's capsule collection with Revolve, the designer reimagined many of his popular runway pieces. I immediately gravitated to this crop top—a trendy basic that is perfect for a transition to fall. Here, I paired it with pants from Tove.

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Sure, crop tops are typically more popular in the summer, but the long sleeves make this an easy piece to keep wearing for the fall months ahead.

Word of advice: snap up these Tove pants while they're on sale.

Ribbed Top + Slouchy Pants

This affordable top is almost like a blend of a T-shirt and a cardigan in one. I can't resist the scoop neck silhouette and ribbed finish that take it up a notch from a regular tee. Here, I paired it with slouchy trousers—a trend that happens to be one of my favorites for fall.

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This ribbed button-up top is a great alternative to a more traditional T-shirt.

Relaxed tailoring is one of my favorite trends for the season ahead. And I can confirm that these pants are slouchy and comfortable but still very stylish.

Puff-Sleeve Top + Jeans

Even though the trend has been around for a while now, my affinity for puffy-sleeve tops seems to continue growing. This cropped version is such a cool take on a basic white top. Here, I'm wearing them with a pair of ribcage Levi's, which are an editor favorite for a reason.

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For crop tops like this one, I usually gravitate to high-rise bottoms.

When it comes to affordable jeans, the super high-rise ribcage silhouettes from Levi's are a standout favorite among editors and fashion girls.


Truth be told, I've been slow to embrace the jumpsuit trend but this one has changed my mind. With wide cuffed sleeves and a nipped-in waist, the shape feels elevated and cool.

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Jumpsuits are always a street style favorite but it isn't until I tried this one that I found one that actually worked for me. In the past, I've tried long-sleeve versions but I think the short sleeves balance the piece out so you don't feel like you're swimming in too much fabric.

Midi Dress

A white dress is an essential wardrobe staple but oftentimes they end up looking too bridal for me. This style is toughened up with utilitarian twill fabric and finished with puffy sleeves that you can wear over the shoulders or pushed to the sides.

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Yep, this might be the perfect white dress to wear year after year. I'll definitely be packing this on a future vacation.

Tie-Front Top + Denim Shorts

Rounding out my favorite picks with yet another tie-front top. One of the biggest recent trends that I can't get enough of. Here, I paired the breezy top with wide-cut denim shorts. These Levi's are the perfect silhouette for anyone looking for a more polished take on cutoffs.

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There are only a few sizes left of this top and it's easy to see why.

With a high-waisted silhouette, wide-cut legs, and finished seams, these affordable denim shorts are a great alternative to the super-short, frayed ones I used to wear.