9 Basics Already in Your Closet and All the Cool Ways to Wear Them This Fall

Where would we be without our trusty basics? They’re the backbone of our wardrobes and will always solve every fashion dilemma. Our staples look chic when worn together and are ideal for layering with other statement pieces. From basic tees to tank tops and leggings to cardigans, you probably already have a decent collection of basics in your closet that you wear on daily rotation. With fall just around the corner, today we want to share some super-cool autumn outfit ideas that you can easily assemble with the basics you already own. Scroll below for plenty of sartorial inspiration along with some excellent shopping picks should you need to update your current staples.

Basic: White Tee

Style With: Ivory Wide-Leg Pants, Trench Coat, Boots


(Image credit: @_jessicaskye)

Take your basic white tee into the fall season by pairing it with similar neutral hues to add instant polish to the staple. White and ivory work surprisingly well together so try styling your tee with off-white wide-leg pants or jeans and finish the look with a tan trench, beige boots, and gold jewelry.`

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Basic: Button-Down Shirt

Style With: Turtleneck Sweater, Blazer, Black Jeans


(Image credit: @basictouch)

A white button-down is a year-round staple which we've been styling with everything from shorts to sweats and over our bikinis throughout summer. For fall, try layering the staple over a black turtleneck and under an oversize wool blazer. Keep the look chic by tucking it into slim black jeans. 

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Basic: Black Leggings

Style With: Equestrian Boots, Leather Blazer


(Image credit: @camillecharriere)

Elevate your leggings game this fall and style the staple with trend-forward pieces such as a leather blazer and equestrian-style knee-high boots.

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Basic: Neutral Sweater

Style With: Vintage-Inspired Blouse, Miniskirt


(Image credit: @bubblyaquarius)

A basic sweater can be taken to new sartorial heights when layered over a trending Victorian-inspired blouse and a flowy miniskirt or dress—ideal for when it's not too cold out yet.

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Basic: Blazer

Style With: Midi Skirt, Boots, Knit Top


(Image credit: @styleidealist)

No matter what color blazer you own, you can guarantee it will look chic when paired with a midi skirt and boots. Add a cozy texture to the look with a knit top underneath.

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Basic: Cropped Cardigan

Style With: Plaid Coat, Jeans


(Image credit: @sabinasocol)

Our basic cardigans are handy year-round as a light layer of warmth. For fall, style it under a plaid coat for a sumptuous autumnal look.

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Basic: Jeans

Style With: Sandals, Long Coat, Neck Scarf


(Image credit: The Style Stalker)

There's that perfect time in fall when you can wear summer sandals and a warm coat at the same time in perfect harmony (and it looks seriously chic!). Pair the combo with your staple straight-leg jeans and finish with a silky neck scarf for an Insta-worthy outfit.

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Basic: Tank Top

Wear With: Black Pants, Belt, Rain Coat, Sandals


(Image credit: @smythsisters)

I'll hazard a guess you've been wearing your tank top on heavy rotation throughout the summer. To transition the basic easily into fall simply swap out your shorts for cool high-waisted pants cinched at the waist with a belt. Finish the look with a lightweight raincoat—perfect for those days when it's not too hot and not too cold.

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Basic: Sweatpants

Style With: Socks, Sneakers, Long T-Shirt, Trench Coat


(Image credit: @tylynnnguyen)

You can throw a classic trench coat over anything and it will look ten times chicer in our book. Try it with your basic sweatpants, and then finish your look with retro sneakers and tube socks.

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Up next, six fall basics I'm buying regardless of this year's trends.

Judith Jones
Senior Fashion Market Editor

Judith Jones is the senior fashion market editor at Who What Wear who specializes in shopping content and trend stories with high-affiliate impact. She shares the coolest, most desirable fashion market finds and brands for every budget. Previous to working in fashion, Judith worked as a TV host on the PBS travel show Globe Trekker (airing on Netflix and Amazon Prime) sharing her passion for travel and culture.