We're Fashion Editors, and These Are the 8 Handiest Basics in Our Closets

As fashion editors, it’s more or less our job to source the market for the latest trends and test out various items that could be of interest to others. In fact, we recently highlighted the casual fall dresses we have our eyes on at the moment. Next, we thought we’d focus on one of the hardest-working sections in our closets: our basics. These simple items—like neutral tees and classic knits—act as the foundational elements in our wardrobes in that they can easily be mixed and matched with some of our other trendier items to create those well-balanced, forward looks. On that note, there are actually a few basics that we’d consider to be the handiest items in each of our specific wardrobes.

The items in question are basics that we routinely wear on repeat and would essentially never give up thanks to their versatile nature. If you’re intrigued and looking to mix in a few fresh basics into your rotation, keep scrolling for an edit of the pieces we swear by and shop inspired finds as well.


"Pretty much any time other than in peak summer, I always have a simple sweater or cardigan with me. Whether it's over the shoulders in spring, as a top in the fall, or layered under a coat in winter, I've found that it's one of the most useful basics in my closet, which is why I've given myself license to collect so many of them."

Button-Down Shirt

"These days, getting dressed feels like a tiny tug of war between the desire to be comfortable for a day of working from home and the desire to feel human and look presentable. Where I land the most often is a button-down shirt and some sort of soft short. This pretty linen one from H&M is a fabulous choice, and this Madewell version from their secret sale is a strong option too. I just make sure to wear a playful accessory to balance out the preppy vibe of the striped top, and I'm set for another day of the endless time continuum known as quarantine."

White T-Shirt

"I tend to wear basic white tees a lot. Whether it's underneath a chic blazer or paired with sweats or jeans, it always seems to solve every fashion dilemma. The basic white tees from Hanes and Madewell are my favorites. Cool and affordable."

Tube Top

"When I ordered this throwback tube top, I had no idea how versatile it would be. It's become a favorite staple that I've been wearing in place of T-shirts this summer. I plan to layer it underneath blazers as we head into fall."

Black Trousers

"I wear jeans a lot in the fall and winter, but I need a break from them sometimes. These are my go-to pants when that's the case. It's certainly not the most exciting purchase I've ever made, but I find black pants to be one of those boring basics that you'll wear for years, so they're worth the investment."

Black Ankle Boots

"No matter how many new shoe trends I try, I always come back to this pair of basic (but timeless) black ankle boots. Yes, they're classic and have a cool sleek look to them, but most importantly, they're so comfortable. You can find me wearing these multiple times a week throughout the year with everything from skirts to jeans. I'd say they're one of the best closet investments I've made in a while."


A quality, comfy sweatshirt is more or less a daily staple for me while working from home. I also love teaming an oversize silhouette with a moto jacket for fall.


"There are only so many things that I'd be willing to spend my own money on after a brand has let me try something, and I promise you that these Mott & Bow tees fit into that category. They are now the softest, most comfortable T-shirts I own and I've been wearing them non-stop while WFH. Yes, that means seven days a week, including to bed—no shame. So. Soft."