The Complete Capsule: Our List of the Best Basics Money Can Buy


(Image credit: @nlmarilyn)

Behind every immaculate outfit or fabulous wardrobe is an arsenal of reliable basics. It's all well and good having the latest It bag or trend piece, but getting dressed will always be difficult if you don't have the foundations right too. Once you find the perfect black blazer, pair of jeans or pair of loafers, you never need to find another one again. So it's worth putting in the time to find the best versions of these staples—when you own the perfect tee or white shirt, there's no need for mediocre duplicates that won't ever make you feel as good. This only-go-for-the-very-best approach to shopping leads to not only a tighter wardrobe that is made to last but also a more polished look overall.


(Image credit: @_jessicaskye)

Together, our Who What Wear editors have over 30 years of experience in the fashion industry, and so we have learned first-hand the best places to find all of these basics. And it's not just a case of spending more money on things—our list includes investment pieces by Gucci, Joseph and Burberry, but many of the items we are championing are also under £100. This list will also help you to identify the gaps in your own wardrobe, as we believe that these 35 items make up the complete capsule.

1. Tops

Best T-Shirt: COS

Best Breton Top: Sézane

Best Tank Top: H&M

Best Cashmere Jumper: Marks & Spencer

Best White Shirt: With Nothing Underneath

Best Camisole: Zara

Best Linen Shirt: Arket

2. Accessories

Best Crossbody Bag: A.P.C.

Best Hoop Earrings: Mejuri

Best Tote Bag: Demellier

Best Chain Necklace: Missoma

Best Basket Bag: Loewe

Best Belt: Anderson's

Best Sunglasses: Ray-Ban

Best Watch: Cartier

Best Silk Scarf: Toteme

Best Wool Scarf: Acne Studios

3. Shoes

Best Loafers: Gucci

Best Heels: Manolo Blahnik

Best Trainers: Veja

Best Sandals: The Row

Best Ankle Boots: Aeyde

4. Bottoms

Best Designer Jeans: Agolde

Best High-Street Jeans: Arket

Best Satin Slip Skirt: Ghost

Best Trousers: Reformation

5. Underwear Drawer

Best Hidden Layers: Uniqlo

Best Bodysuit: Skims

Best Socks: Arket

Best Underwear: Marks & Spencer

Best Tights: Falke

6. Outerwear

Best Blazer: Arket

Best Trench: Burberry

Best Denim Jackets: Reformation

Best Leather Jacket: AllSaints

This piece was published at an earlier date and has since been updated.

Emma Spedding