I, like many, have a few shopping rules I follow before making a purchase. One is that I try to wait 24 hours before buying in order to really weigh the usefulness of the item in my closet. The other is considering the cost per wear of said piece. As a reminder, this is calculated by taking the price of something and dividing it by the number of times you’ll wear it to ensure you’re getting the most out of your money.
While we recently covered some of the general spring trends with strong cost per wear value, I thought I'd dive deeper into a few specific closet staples that could be worth the investment thanks to their versatility. Here, we’ll be talking about those timeless items that can easily be mixed and matched with a smattering of other everyday items to create a range of chic and easy outfits.
I rounded up a bit of visual inspiration to showcase how these staples are quite versatile. And fun fact, I’m also highlighting how you can nab the pieces for under $75 if you are shopping at the moment.
A blazer is essentially a no-fail way to bring instant polish to any ensemble. As a result, investing in that foolproof, modern silhouette could be worth it. When you think about it, the potential outfits really run the gamut: top it over a printed dress, use it to amp up a jeans-and-tee look, pair it with trousers for a tailored vibe, and so on.
2. White Blouses
When it comes to those true wardrobe essentials, a white blouse definitely tops the list. It also happens to be a trendy piece at the moment. While there are a variety of styles out there, many can be bought at an affordable price. Invest in one and wear it a multitude of ways—tucked into jeans as shown, tied at the bottom to reveal a cami underneath, or layered under a blazer with a skirt.
3. White Tees
Sure, there are many designer white T-shirts on the market, but some of the best and most comfortable ring in under $25. It may seem like a no-brainer, but if you don’t have that perfect tee yet, this may be the time to get one. It's the ideal style for the classic base layer in many of your daily looks.
4. Straight-Leg Jeans
In the denim realm, straight-leg jeans are worth the investment given the silhouette’s current-yet-timeless nature. And believe it or not, some of those fashion person–approved cuts can be bought for an affordable price if you’re not looking to go for one of the high-end brands.
Sure, cardigans could definitely be considered a trendy basic at the moment, but the knit will hold strong for a while as a comfy way to bring a chic twist to your vibe. While the fashion crowd is all about wearing those lightweight iterations as tops tucked into trousers, you can also add one to your jogger-and-tee look or wear one open with a tank and printed skirt.
Leggings are obviously a staple in many activewear wardrobes, but ones with forward styles (featuring seaming details or slit hems) are ramping up to be staples in fashion-girl wardrobes as well. Wear them with sneakers and sweatshirts for a casual look or dress them up with heels or tops.
Bobby Schuessler is a fashion editor with over a decade of editorial experience covering shopping, style, and beauty. He's spent over seven years at Who What Wear, currently leading the market team to deliver highly covetable and convertible content. He creates data-driven shopping guides featuring top retialers like Nordstrom, Shopbop, and Net-a-Porter and is at the forefront of Who What Wear's shopping tentpole strategies, including Amazon Prime Day. He also works on branded content initiatives and appears on camera in video and shopping livestream franchises. He has also worked across a variety of other media brands and fashion retailers like Refinery29, PureWow, Men's Health, and Gilt covering commerce, trend reporting, women's and men's fashion, home, and lifestyle.
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