I'm a Bicoastal Stylist—These Are the Classic Pieces That I Swear By

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(Image credit: @alexisbadiyi)

Building a truly well-rounded wardrobe isn't quite as simple as buying a good pair of jeans and some white T-shirts. (Though, both are important.) The process takes time and lots of trial and error. But once you've put in the work and gathered a balanced array of classics and statement pieces, you're pretty much set for life—with room for a few strategically selected additions as the years go on, of course. 

No one knows the power of a finely manicured wardrobe quite like Los Angeles– and NYC-based stylist and fashion editor Alexis Badiyi, whose been developing her own vintage- and menswear-inspired clothing collection for years. "I collect my wardrobe over time and invest in pieces that have longevity and quality," says Badiyi, noting that she uses a "loose 80/20 rule" when it comes to her closet. "Eighty percent are classic pieces that I know fit well ... and can be worn season to season." The remaining 20% is made up of trendier alternatives that complement the current moment in time. 

According to her (and her expertly crafted Instagram mirror selfies), you don't need a ton of items to create good outfit after good outfit. Right now at least, she's really only counting on nine, all of which she lays out ahead.

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(Image credit: @alexisbadiyi)

"The high-waisted beige trouser is a pant to treasure. I love a monochromatic cream look. These trousers definitely stand on their own. However, I can't resist wearing them with their matching vest and blazer for a chic, pulled-together ensemble that feels as though I am channeling my inner Lauren Hutton."

Shop Badiyi's pick:

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(Image credit: @alexisbadiyi)

"I love a collared polo. I feel as though I am channeling my best '90s Selma Blair à la Cruel Intentions. What makes this one special is that it is a bodysuit, which makes it perfect for tucking into your trousers or—if you're feeling cheeky—worn under a miniskirt."

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(Image credit: @alexisbadiyi)

"Finding the perfect leather trouser is something to celebrate. I love that these have a relaxed fit, giving them a vintage silhouette. Leather trousers are another favorite wardrobe item of mine. I like to wear them to spice up an outfit with a splash of leather."

Shop Badiyi's pick:

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(Image credit: @alexisbadiyi)

"There is nothing more flattering than a well-fitted corset top. I love the sweet butter color juxtaposed with the sexy silhouette. I like to pair mine with tailored trousers and a good heel."

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(Image credit: @alexisbadiyi)

"I am deep in my vest era. A suit vest is a favorite of mine to wear as a top on its own or layered into a three-piece suit. This one has a great shape and neckline, making it a new staple."

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(Image credit: @alexisbadiyi)

"A well-fitting pair of black, drapey trousers is a closet staple. This is the perfect pant to elevate any look, yet it feels like you are in comfortable sweatpants. I find myself in a pair multiple times a week."

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(Image credit: @alexisbadiyi)

"Finding the perfect sweater-vest can be time-consuming. It needs to be the right length and fit, or it misses the mark. This one is a great shrunken take on the classic and is perfect to wear on its own with jeans or over a white button-down blouse, short skirt, and tall boots."

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(Image credit: @alexisbadiyi)

"This color is a perfect, rich brown. I love the drape of this piece and giving in to the option of the sexy evening top with a touch of a few undone buttons, revealing collarbones, and gold chains. I've been having a chocolate monochromatic moment and would pair this with brown trousers and brown boots."

Shop Badiyi's pick:

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(Image credit: @alexisbadiyi)

"Come summer, I am rarely seen fully clothed. I love a bra top paired with an oversize trouser. This knit bra top is perfect. I would also layer this over a white button-down blouse, leaving only one button and opening the rest."

Shop Badiyi's pick:

More classic pieces to shop:

Next up: I Lead a Fashion Department—These Are the Items Basically All the Staff Owns

Editor

Eliza Huber is a Chicago-born, New York City–based fashion editor who specializes in trend reporting, plus-size fashion, brand discovery, and celebrity style. For the last year, she’s been covering all of the above for Who What Wear, where she first got her start as an intern and later a freelance writer in 2017.


Upon graduating with a marketing degree from the University of Iowa in 2018, Eliza moved to New York City full time and started at Refinery29 as a fashion market writer, focusing on SEO-optimized market roundups. Later, she transitioned out of just market and began covering the site's fashion news beat as well as writing features pertaining to plus-size fashion, sustainability, adaptive fashion, need-to-know brands, and the latest runway and social media–driven trends. In 2021, after almost four years at Refinery29, she moved on to Who What Wear, where she continues to be a trusted source for fashion news, trends, and more. In her first year at Who What Wear, Eliza has profiled Dakota Fanning and Diane Kruger, two of the site's 2022 cover stars, and launched her own monthly column titled Let's Get a Room, where she heads to dressing rooms around New York City to show the site's readers what new items are just as good IRL as they appear online. Eliza also curates market for Who What Wear's email newsletters.


Eliza currently lives in SoHo, in far too close proximity to Lower Manhattan's bevy of shopping destinations. When she’s not popping into stores for inspiration (or more), she's probably running on the West Side Highway, watching a Formula 1 race, sprinting at Barry's, or sitting outside at one of SoHo's many cafés.