If you read Who What Wear on the reg, you know just how obsessed we are with our wardrobe basics. Whether we're sourcing the best closet staples from our go-to retailers or sharing the items our French friends rely on, you can be sure we've covered the topic from nearly every angle. In my mind, the true indicator of a great closet staple is when you find yourself reaching for it over and over (and over) again.
Today, I'm highlighting the best quality basics in my own closet because, after owning them for months or for years in some cases, I would recommend them to anyone and everyone. While I certainly have my own investment items, the below list focuses on items that are wallet friendly. In other words, these items are worth every penny (if you ask me). From high-rise jeans to the seamless underwear worth stocking up on, continue on to see why I think these are the best basics out there and to get inspired by how I style them.
1. Levi's Ribcage Jeans
In case you somehow haven't heard me wax poetic about Levi's Ribcage Jeans before, let me debrief you. They feature the brand's highest-ever rise that grazes your bottom rib (hence the name) and nips you in at the waist for the best fit. I'll let you in on a little secret, too: The high rise also makes your backside look 10/10. Currently, I have them in wide-leg and straight-leg fits, but I plan on adding the newer bootcut shape to my closet, too.
2. H&M Sweaters
H&M's sweaters are of a different breed. I've had several of them in my closet for years now, which I think is a testament to how well they hold up. I usually go for the brand's chunkier knits that are slightly oversize and avoid anything overly trendy.
Everyone needs a really good, versatile pair of white sneakers in their closet, and these are mine. The '80s style is having a moment right now, but I think they're ultimately timeless. As far as quality goes, I've walked all around Manhattan in them for over a year now. Enough said.
4. Parade Underwear
When I added Parade's cheerful and sustainable underwear to my top drawer, I knew it was game over for the other brands I had on rotation. It's hard to describe how smooth they feel or how stretchy they are, so I think you just have to try them yourself to know, and at around $8 a pop, there's no reason not to.
5. Express Bodysuits
When you like something so much that you have to have it in multiple colors, that's when you know you've found a good thing. The bodysuits from Express are so soft and easy to layer. Plus, they come in a nice range of neutral shades, so they're basically asking to be bought in bulk.
6. Richer Poorer Sweats
We all have that one clothing item that single-handedly carried us through the most intense period of lockdown life, and well, these are mine. Did I wear them more than I should have? Yes. Do I regret it? Absolutely not. They're lightweight and breathable and so soft.
7. True & Co. Bralettes
Once I spent a day in this True & Co. bralette, I immediately texted the women in my family group chat to tell them that they needed one, too. It's just that good. It's a seamless, lighter-than-air, and all-around comfortable (but supportive) bra. When I'm not wearing a real bra, I'm 100% wearing one of these.
I have these in my cart, and I think I'll wear them a ton: