The 25 Basics Every Non-Basic Fashionista Should Own

There are a lot of wardrobe staples out there that you probably already own. You know the list: black blazer, white button-down, tailored pants, a plain jean jacket. These aren't those. These are items that will take your style to the next level, pairing with things already in your closet but making them feel cooler than you'd ever imagine.

Here to add spice and punctuation to your personal style, we've also included styling and purchasing tips to make these items work for you! From notes on color to recommendations about fit, we have your back so that you choose options that you'll love for years to come.

From a pair of silk pajamas to a colorful beret, these items are the things you will find yourself coming back to over and over to add excitement and fun to your regular wardrobe routine. Versatile, easy to wear and timeless, these 25 basics are for the girl whose style is anything but!

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25 A Bold Blazer


A piece that you should invest in now but will use forever. A great blazer can add polish and pizzaz to any ensemble, worn day or night, formal or casual. Plaid is a good buy because it can feature many colors, making it easier to match to the rest of your color palette, keeping your look put together.

However, a bold single color or even a fun print can get the job done.

Personally, we like plaid for its edgy mix of preppy and punk. Whether you're putting it over oxfords and a pleated metallic skirt or artfully ripped black skinnies and studded boots, the statement blazer will pull off and amp up any pairing.

24 A Polished Belt Bag

One way to add definition to your waist and pizzaz to your outfit is with a belt bag. Super on-trend right now, belt bags are similar to the also-popular fanny pack, but they do have some subtle differences. A belt bag usually has a more defined shape than a fanny pack. Although the bag and the belt are designed to be together, they're slightly less melded together than a fanny pack, where the bag and the belt are inseparable and the bag is shaped to go around the waist. In general, fanny packs are much more casual, whereas a good belt bag can add polish to even a work look. They wear well over a blazer or dress and can help to break up excess monochrome and add definition.

23 A Pair Of Dope Overalls

Instagram @weworewhat

A great way to take your denim collection up a notch, overalls aren't just for farmers and toddlers anymore! The added denim can elongate the leg, as long as you choose a form-fitting top like Danielle Bernstein of We Wore What does in this 'fit.

Also cool are the actual farmer overalls inspired baggier sets, as well as anything with a flare.

With any pair of overalls, the denim keeps things easy and casual, but a more tailored pair like these can be dressed up with a good blouse and the right shoes, elevating the look to almost business casual. So many possibilities!

22 A Sleeve With Something To Say

Instagram @chrisellelim

There are normal blouses, and then there are statement blouses. Both are equally easy to throw on with a pair of trousers or jeans, but one is going to seriously up your game. A statement sleeve leaves you with room to tuck in your hem and keep things professional but is far from boring. This balloon-sleeve number on Chriselle Lim is giving us major Minnie Mouse vibes but is definitely not child's play. Choosing either a solid color or a large graphic or floral print is a good way to keep things from looking too busy, and Chriselle's black-and-white scheme keeps this look easy to pull off. If the puff look isn't for you, flared sleeves are also totally in right now!

21 Fancy Socks


A quick and relatively cheap way to make any outfit feel way more fun, party socks are the gift that keeps on giving. Whether they're embroidered, bedazzled, or metallic, funky socks can be just what you need to zhoosh your outfits up.

Although they look extra amazing with out-there shoes, party socks can also subtly add more fun to a serious look, peeking out over your work shoes.

Party socks at once say "I love fashion, I thought about my outfit down to even my socks," but also, "I am super fun. Just look at my socks!" And really, what could be a better thing for your outfit to say than that?

20 A Colored Faux Fur

Instagram @thekaplantwins

One absolutely certain way to spice up any outfit is to add a colored fur coat. Fur coats are the chipotle seasoning of the sartorial world. They go with everything, whether expected or not, and keep you nice and toasty while looking hot, hot, hot. While fur used to be an exclusively fancy (read: super expensive) outfit addition, there are a ton of soft, chic fauxs available for the price of any other coat investment. Whether you're bundling up on a cold December day in an ankle-grazing eggplant purple or dancing the crisp summer night away in a green cropped number, you really can't go wrong. Our one suggestion? Go faux! Your furry friends will thank you!

19 Slimming Striped Culottes


High-waisted pinstripe culottes will change your life. Or, at the very least, your wardrobe. These bad boys show just a touch of skin, making them workplace appropro, while pairing the slimming and elongating power of vertical stripes and a high-waisted cut.

The versatility of these pants is nearly unparalleled, matched only by classic jeans.

Basically, they go with anything: blazers and heels, sweaters and sneakers, t-shirts and slides. Plus, usually made in a slight stretch fabric, they're way more comfortable than jeans without sacrificing style. That's a look we can get behind!

18 A Graphic Jumpsuit

Instagram @cosichic

Want to be able to get dressed without even thinking about it but still have some serious wow factor? Get a jumpsuit with a punch. Although it can be hard to find your perfect fit, once you do, it will be your new go-to. We suggest something fabricated with some nylon, to give yourself some breathing room and also to hug your body in all of the right ways. We love this graphic all-over striped number, but our other suggestions are all-over denim, a bold color, or a flattering large floral print. Bonus points if you get a matching hat like this!

17 A Printed Silk Scarf

Instagram @Margaret_Zhang

Something small and indulgent that we love re-purposing is a quality printed silk scarf. The oldest and best makers of this attainable slice of luxury are Hermès and Louis Vuitton, but there are a ton of gorgeous options from both designer and non-designer brands.

They're also super fun to vintage hunt for!

Tye it on your bag, wrap it around your wrist, do a tight knot at the neck, or let it dangle from your ponytail à la Margaret Zhang. A silk scarf can be your shot of color, or it can tie your ensemble together (both literally and figuratively). Plus, since they fold up small or stack easily, you can collect as many as your heart desires. Yay!

16 A Wear-Anywhere Silk Pajama Set


Make like Gigi and get yourself a pair of wear-anywhere silk PJ's. Cool tucked in, loose, or in a half tuck like Ms. Hadid, a matching pajama set is the key to out-on-the-town luxe comfort. While Gigi's striped set is definitely cool, a paisley print would be equally statement-making and refined, or you can play it safe by sticking to a solid color with a contrasting trim. There are a ton of gorgeous sets available that are absolutely sleek enough to pair with heels and look like you're ready to hit the town, not hit the sack. However, make sure you don't wear them wrinkled, and prints to stay away from include care bears and cookie monster. Leave those in the bedroom.

15 A Classic Tracksuit

Urban Outfitters

Picture this: you're watching Netflix at home on your sofa. You're obviously wearing something comfortable.

You want Thai food from down the street, but you don't want to pay the delivery fee, and you could easily go grab some takeout, if only you could just wear your comfy clothes out without looking like a bum... oh, wait!

You're wearing a matching two-piece tracksuit in a head-turning color?

Congratulations, you can go get your Thai with your head held high, because guess what? You look amazing. Bonus points if it has those iconic Addidas stripes going down the side!

14 A Pair Of Sincerely Statement-Making Earrings


When you're keeping your outfit simple, sometimes you let your accessories do all of the talking. Make sure they have something to say with a pair of statement earrings! Oversized pom poms like these bring in a serious dose of jouissance, injecting color and playfulness to your look. Other great summer options include oversized hoops and anything that involves hanging fruit. Bonus points if you match them to your nails, but really, a statement earring is sometimes all you need. Etsy has a number of really creative options made by individual artisans, or sourced vintage. Finding your go-to pair is an easy way to pump up all of your future outfits!

13 A Next-Level Denim Jacket

So you probably have a plain denim jacket already, but this is an awesome upgrade. Whether you DIY it or buy a unique masterpiece, a crafty and customized denim jacket is the easiest way to up your look without switching your style. Really, the possibilities are endless!

Whether you start a pin collection, paint some sweet embellishments, or do an embroidery across the back, you'll have a one-of-a-kind work of art to wear when you're done.

Plus, it's a super fun way to get crafty, and once you've finished one you're going to want to wear it all the time!

12 A Sick Sunnie Arsenal


One thing that every influencer, model and fashion blogger has supporting them is an enormous collection of sunglasses, guaranteed. Small frames are in style now thanks to Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner, and there are a ton of different styles out there. A pointy cat eye pair is classic and not likely to go out of style any time soon, while the oval clout glasses are very fun and of-the-moment. Whether you're buying them on the cheap or investing in designer names, sunglasses are an attainable way to switch up your style regularly and to keep people guessing!

11 A Full Linen Look


Nothing says summertime luxe like head to toe linen. Highly breathable and lightweight, even on the hottest of days you won't regret wearing breezy linen pants, keeping your skin shaded and your legs from sticking together.

Classically linen is white or blue, but it's available in pretty much any colorway now, like this tan grid-printed ensemble worn by Aimee Song.

Add a straw bag and a pair of sunnies, and kick back on any beach day feeling like you're on the Amalfi coast. Bonus points if your linen is Italian or French woven, they're the pros. Also, don't forget to wear sunscreen!

10 A Bright Beret


If you want to live with flair and French cool-girl abandon, you'd better own a beret already. Although classic black is the safest and easiest option, you should certainly consider adding a color to your collection. This petit chapeau is the perfect topper to nearly any ensemble, whether it's your favorite jean jacket with leggings or something a bit more complicated, like the color-blocked combo above. Take things up a notch with a coordinated cat-eye pair of sunnies, and either wear hair loose and wavy or in a low, undone chignon. C'est parfait, non?

9 Wide-Leg Denim

Skinny jeans or cigarette jeans might still be your go-to, but if yours are feeling tired (or if you're tired of squeezing in), then you're not alone. While mom and pop jeans have been having a moment over the past couple of years, what we're looking to next is a denim pant with some serious volume.

A wide-leg jean feels fresh now and paired with an oversized button-down and oversized gold hoops, you have a look that can go anywhere.

Bella's pair is even polished enough to wear to work, with their freshly pressed middle crease, and the high-waist will be slimming and elongating. This is seriously a staple we could get behind!

8 A Power Suit

Pinterest @songofstyle

If you want to be a boss, you've got to dress the part. And a monochromatic power suit is exactly what you need. Whether you go for a powder pink or an electric yellow, these suits come in every color of the rainbow and look super chic. Although for a classic businesswoman look they'd be paired with heels and a briefcase, they look just as cool accessorized more casually with a pair of white sneakers, layered necklaces, and a cross body bag a la Aimee Song. With an oversized jacket and a tapered ankle, her suit has a modern and fresh silhouette. The biggest problem is deciding which color to invest in!

7 An Unbeatably Easy Babydoll Dress

A babydoll dress might be something you haven't worn since high school. The largely shapeless style can feel a bit like a tent or a t-shirt that has too much fabric but trust us: this comfy style is not one to leave in the past.

This breezy dress style is super easy to slip on in the morning and will be comfortable all day.

One styling tip for this dress is to not keep the rest of the outfit too casual; a babydoll dress with a pair of flip-flops and a topknot is definitely not going to read as polished. Get a striking number like this bright printed cyan dress worn by blogger Quigley, and add boots or statement sandals. A big hat is always a good idea, too!

6 A Pair Of Slick Slides

Instagram @margaret_zhang

Previously reserved for the locker room shower, slide sandals for women are having a moment. While Birkenstock style slides have been popular for a couple of years now, athletic rubber slides are just breaking into the fashion world. The bright contrasting stripes of this pair nearly match the bold wide stripes of Margaret Zhang's wide-leg pants, but the geometric goodness is broken up by a floral blouse in the same hues. Although worn well in the backyard to soak up rays like Margaret, these sandals can go just about anywhere, from the beach to a lunch date, as long as the rest of the outfit is kept from being overly casual.

5 A Straight-Up Chic Straw Hat

A summertime essential, large straw hats seem to be absolutely everywhere these days. Whether you choose an extreme oversize like Bella Hadid's Jaquemus beach hat, a classic floppy brim embroidered with something cheeky, or a cool frayed-edge creation like this one of Margaret Zhang's, you'll look and feel ready for the summer sun.

While this look is classically worn to the beach, sun hats work pretty much anywhere and can add drama and summer bliss to any look.

Couple a flat-top with a straight brim with a linen suit for a casual business look that packs a punch, or wear a round floppy style with a sundress to keep your face in the shade and your look in the spotlight.

4 An Anytime, Anywhere Boot


Cowboy boots are a classic piece that may be super trendy right now but have always been a cool wardrobe mainstay. Shin length boots like these go really well with sundresses or rompers, while a lower-cut ankle boot looks slick under summer pants. This American classic can sometimes get a little too farmer-girl, so stay away from boot cut jeans or anything with a bedazzled butt while wearing these bad boys. The all-white leather look is really popular, but other good options are leather and denim combos, all-red, or black with a colorful embroidery. If you don't happen to live in Montana near an affordable boot store you can buy them online!

3 A Fave Tee

Instagram @danisong

A favorite tee can be hard to find, but once you have it, it's impossible to replace. A fun thing to find vintage, tee shirts often look better the longer they've been worn for.

A higher ply cotton will usually be softer and drape better, but the shirt that speaks to you doesn't necessarily have to be high-quality and high-priced.

Rock tees like Dani Song's Iron Maiden shirt are popular with people who don't necessarily like rock music, and Thrasher skate magazine's shirts are selling better than ever to mostly non-skaters. You can totally wear any shirt with graphics that speak to you, but it's also fun to rep your own favorite bands and artists! Find the Tee that makes you happy!

2 A Cult Favorite Sneaker


The go-anywhere, do-anything footwear of choice for most people is the sneaker. And although they've been extremely popular in the fashion industry for a few years now, it can still be hard to be certain whether your dad sneaks look cool or off. An easy way to wear the trend is to stick to cult classic sneakers that only get better with age. The top two most popular are easily the Addidas Superstar and the Converse All Star. Both styles have stood the test of time as casual, everyday footwear that keeps you comfortable without sacrificing any style.

1 An Available Stack Of Jewels


From arm-candy to stacking rings to layering necklaces, it seems like people can't get enough of collectible jewelry these days. Whether you're investing serious dough into designer pieces, like the Cartier love bracelet, or looking for good style without breaking the bank, there are a ton of options out there.

Some great fine-jewelry brands that don't involve a traditional retail markup are Hello Noemi and Catbird Jewelers, but if you're looking for style with minimal investment, BaubleBar and Etsy have amazing options on the cheap. 

You could stick to one color or build your collection to include yellow, white, black and rose gold, but when you're piling it on, the more jewelry the merrier!

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