The Absolute Best Places to Shop for Wardrobe Basics
Don’t you love the idea of a capsule wardrobe, wherein you rotate between a small selection of pieces that always look chic? But if you’re going to pare down your closet, you’ll want the stuff you do have to be really great. That’s why we did a little research, polled our friends and tried some things ourselves to come up with this list of the best places to shop for wardrobe basics.
The Best White T-Shirts
Finding the perfect white tee is tricky, but once you land on one you love, you’ll never want to take it off. On the higher end of the price range is James Perse, whose super-soft knits are a perennial pick of ours because they last forever. Another (way less expensive) cult favorite is the simple Hanes V-neck, which looks way more at home under a leather jacket than you’d think a $4 shirt would.
The Best Denim Jackets
A jean jacket is an absolute staple in our wardrobe. Sometimes we go the Canadian tuxedo route and wear ours with skinny jeans, and other times we throw it on top of a breezy dress. Gap’s version is a total classic while Ayr’s has some subtly modern details like a slightly oversize fit and some cool color-blocking. Both will stand the test of time.
The Best Basic Sweaters
A basic crew- or V-neck sweater isn’t the flashiest item in your wardrobe, but you will get a ton of use out of it. It’s perfect for layering, easy to tote around in your bag and great for tossing on in a chilly spring night. Vince's deep-V pullover has a super-flattering cut, and Target's versions just might surprise you with its crazy-soft fabric.
The Best Trench Coats
You know what will never let you down? A trench coat. There’s a reason this baby appears on just about every list of the items you need in your wardrobe. It’s chic and simple and can read elegantly classic or stylishly modern, depending on how you style it. Burberry’s version is of course the best known, but Everlane has an awesome range of trenches, from the long, navy one above to a cool swingy one in tan or sage.
The Best LBDs
No capsule wardrobe would be complete without a little black dress (or seven), and these two brands are forever favorites of ours. DVF never disappoints on the LBD, which is often flouncy and never takes itself too seriously. Then Banana Republic is one you can count on for preppy silhouettes like a high neckline and A-line skirt (but obviously with a cool cutout around back).
The Best Jeans
We’re not going to lie: Jeans are a really personal item of clothing. Because everyone’s body is different, everyone has different preferences where denim brands are concerned. Our go-tos are Rag & Bone and Levi’s, both of which offer a variety of cuts and washes that we wear until they’re literally falling apart (which is kinda never).
The Best Leather Jackets
If you told us a few years ago that a leather moto jacket would soon become a closet staple, we might not have believed you. Fast-forward to 2017 and we barely take ours off. The Arrivals is super-cool direct-to-consumer brand that makes a perfectly tailored jacket, but then again, we were also shocked by the quality of Mango's version—especially considering its affordable-by-leather-standards price.
The Best Silk Blouses
If you’re not already on board with silk button-downs, now is the time. This sophisticated style can be paired with simple black trousers for a grown-up look or half-tucked into leather pants for an effortless night out. Equipment is a fashion-world fave, but we’re equally into Ann Taylor’s incredibly soft take on this flattering silhouette.
The Best Blazers
Trust us when we say a good blazer will never, ever let you down. Whether you wear it with dress pants to work or with jeans and sneakers on the weekend, this timeless style magically elevates any outfit to new heights. Theory's version is expertly cut (meaning it's fitted and flattering without being suffocating), and Aritzia's is super lightweight (meaning it's perfect for wearing in warmer weather—or layering).
The Best Work Pants
Speaking of office basics, a good pair of work pants is an absolute must, regardless of your company’s dress code. (News flash: You can pair them with sneakers.) And even if you don’t have a normal 9-to-5, we love the idea of wearing a suit in place of a dress for a night out. Per usual, J.Crew's suiting options are on point, as are Joe Fresh's, which have a sneakily elastic waist for a comfortable fit and clean, flattering line. Basically what we’re saying is that every woman, regardless of profession, should add a pair of these sleek pants to her wardrobe.