Is it just me, or are wardrobe basics getting a complete overhaul? While they have always maintained an important status in our closets and contributed to many chic outfits, I don't remember them ever being this good. In fact, I really only go out of my way to restock these basics when my closet is in desperate need of fresh versions, and only begrudgingly at that. For me, buying these run-of-the-mill clothing items, as useful as they are, is like flossing—I know it's in my best interest, but it rarely excites me to do it.
Suddenly, though, several new trendy basics have emerged, and they're so good that they're actually making me eager to do some shopping. I've spotted items such as oversize Oxford shirts, padded shoulder tanks, and knee-grazing denim shorts begin to win over fashion girls from Copenhagen to Los Angeles, and inevitably, they've all but taken over my feed (and my shopping cart) while threatening to replace their now-outdated counterparts. I'm smitten with beautiful basics and know you will be too, which is why I'm highlighting eight of them here and breaking down the outfit formulas to try them with.
Button-down shirts are one of those "boring" items that I always have one or two of but never think much about. Well, this year, they're getting a stylish upgrade in oversize shapes and gauzy linen-like fabrics that are suddenly all I want to wear while it's hot out. Not only are they classic, but they're pretty versatile, too.
How to wear it: Short-sleeve shirt + white wide-leg jeans
How to wear it: White button-down + high-waisted trousers + leather bag
Let's talk T-shirt trends. Crew-necks can step aside because these padded-shoulder muscle tees have arrived and are completely dominating in the fashion world. Popularized by The Frankie Shop's perpetually sold-out version, the strong-shoulder look gives off a nod to the '80s and, as you can see from the below outfits, is an unreasonably chic option.
How to wear it: Muscle tank + utility pants + strappy sandals
How to wear it: Muscle tank + hot pants + heels
Nineties-style cropped-in shoulder bags, aka baguette bags, have pretty much rendered all other bag shapes obsolete. Designer versions like Prada's Sidonie and Fendi's Zucca have led the way, with more under-the-radar and emerging labels putting their spin on the shape as well to the point where now you can find one at nearly every budget (a surefire sign of its dominance).
How to wear it: Trench coat + bike shorts + chunky sneakers + baguette bag
How to wear it: Cropped cardigan + miniskirt + baguette bag
Long denim shorts. Jorts. Whatever you call them, they're here, and they're happening. And they couldn't be any cooler. Whether you opt for a knee-grazing pair or more of a mid-length, there's no doubt that this summer closet staple feels so fresh.
Now, before you jump to any conclusions, don't worry. I'm not insinuating the demise of standard blazers. Instead, I'm simply adding cropped hems to the list of suiting trends that deserve the same staple status boxy blazers have earned.
How to wear it: Cropped blazer + basic tank + coordinating trousers + layered necklaces
How to wear it: Coordinating shorts suit + chunky hoops
Shop the matching Clara Pants ($330).
In case you were wondering, racer tanks are probably the one item on this list that can be found in the closets of 99% of fashion people right now. The racer neckline lends a more updated feel to the basic ribbed tanks we all know and love.
How to wear it: Racer tank + high-waisted trousers + oversize clutch
How to wear it: Racer tank + tailored shorts + heeled flip-flops
Boxers & Briefs
In lieu of jeans, boxers and boxer-like shorts are jumping to the top of my pile right now. They're softer than rigid jeans but look fresher than sweatshorts, making them the ideal loungewear look for summer.
Long, languid trousers that purposefully look as though you skipped the tailor are the goal. In fact, the slouchier the better when it comes to this chic closet staple.
How to wear it: Camp shirt + loose trousers + heeled sandals
How to wear it: Cropped tank + big blazer + heels