The Best Brands to Shop for Quality Basics

Michelle Scanga
·3-min read

Though simple basics are the foundation of a versatile, stylish wardrobe, oftentimes we purchase them as mere afterthoughts. To ensure you’ll always have the perfect white T-shirt or plain black sweater on hand, we put together a list of our favorite brands creating easy, wearable basics. These editor-approved labels are pros at elevating everyday essentials and adding a luxurious touch to core pieces, so we suggest bookmarking them now.

From the best white tees to simple sweaters that will soon become your go-to layering essentials, here's where to score the wardrobe items you wear on a regular basis. Rotate the below quality clothing brands (if they aren't already) into your everyday style below.


Is it any wonder that the French would master understated basics? A.P.C. has over 30 years of experience under its belt, so you know the brand has perfected its craft.

A.P.C. Myla Small Bag ($430)

A.P.C. Veste Prune Blazer ($520)


This Japanese retailer is known for items that are both incredibly affordable and well-made, so you pretty much can't go wrong. For colder months ahead, be sure to try the brand's signature Heattech pieces.

Uniqlo U Trench Coat (€160)

Uniqlo Women Ultra Stretch Dry Sweatpants (€30)


SF-based Everlane is a cult favorite for everything from button-down shirts to size-inclusive jeans. It's definitely a site to bookmark so you can keep abreast of new arrivals.

Everlane The Cotton Quilted Jacket ($98)

Everlane The Silky Cotton Relaxed Shirt ($56)

x Karla

Who What Wear editors are major fans of Hanes x Karla's basic T-shirts because they aren't see-through. Word to the wise: Size up because the cotton shirts can shrink in the wash.

X Karla Raw Hem Long Sleeve Tee ($54)

X Karla The Baby Tee ($48)


AYR stands for all year round, which is exactly how often you should wear the brand's impeccably designed, timeless staples.

Ayr The Sizzle Pants ($225)

Ayr The Robe Coat ($585)


We can always count on Mango to provide us with accessible prices and a mix of both on-trend and basic clothes.

Mango V-Neck Knitted Vest ($50)

Mango Combined Leather-Effect Trench Coat ($200)

Mango Heel Zipped Boots ($60)


When it comes to basics, Madewell has got you covered. They've got chic selections in everything from denim and sweaters to outerwear and handbags.

Madewell Chore Sweater Jacket ($138)

Madewell The Medium Transport Tote ($158)


You can trust Vince to outfit your 9-to-5 wardrobe, but its effortless pieces will also look chic on the weekends.

Vince Glyn Sandals ($275)

Vince Cropped Wide Leg Pants ($195)


Reformation does a great job of mixing trends with elevated styles that you'll be sure to keep for a long time.

Reformation Stilton Top ($148)

Reformation Bardot Top Es ($48)

Reformation Amy Dress ($118)


Theory has all the professional basics you could ever want—and they'll last you a lifetime.

Theory Belted Silk-Crepe Mini Dress ($415)

Theory Stretch-Scuba Leggings ($300)


This SF-based brand creates the sleekest leather bags that won't cost you a fortune. We love the tote below, in particular, to carry heavier items like a laptop.

Cuyana Small Structured Leather Tote ($155)

Cuyana Classic Leather Tote ($175)

Next: I Frequent the Basics Section at Nordstrom—Here Are the Best Items to Buy

This article originally appeared on Who What Wear

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