The 17 Basic Clothing Items Every Closet Should Have

Fashion is always a microcosm of culture—economically, politically, and otherwise. At any moment in time, what’s in fashion speaks to overarching societal trends.

For many, the pandemic heightened the public’s sense of appreciation for basic clothing and wardrobe essentials that put utility and comfort above all. For many, sporting hyper fashion-forward accessories or shopping the latest It bag seemed somewhat out of sync with the state of the world.

Now, while the world is in different states of reopening depending on where you reside, prioritizing utilitarian wardrobe-essentials remains a throughline. We’ve understood the value in fashion staples and why forget what we’ve learned?

Fundamental pieces that previously hid at the bottom of closets, like white button-downs and blazers, are no longer afterthoughts dug up occasionally to anchor a bold outfit. As we refocus our wardrobes to meet the current times, basic pieces that both maximize comfort and keep us looking (and feeling!) polished for the day reign supreme.

Here, basic clothing items that will quickly become go-to essentials.

The Striped Sweater

Alex Mill button-back crewneck sweater in stripe

The Button-Up

Thakoon classic Oxford shirt

The Camel Trench Coat

Burberry the long Waterloo Heritage trench coat

The Sleek Loafers

Loewe Flamenco knot lambskin loafers

The Classic Jeans

Levi’s 501 high-waist straight-leg jeans

The Little Black Dress

Khaite Dylan stretch-knit minidress

The Everyday Sunglasses

Karen Walker Alexandria sunglasses

The Wrap Skirt

Cuyana charmeuse midi-skirt

The Tailored Blazer

The Row Obine crepe blazer

The White Sneakers

Thousand Fell women’s lace-up sneakers

The Work Pants

The Timeless Timepiece

Cartier Tank Américaine 34.8mm small 18-karat rose gold and alligator watch

The White T-Shirt

Arket heavyweight T-shirt

The Ballet Flats

Zara leather ballet flats

The Little White Dress

Hill House Home Athena nap dress

The Gold Hoops

The Carryall Tote

Mansur Gavriel soft zip multitude tote