These days, basic has become something of an insult, but we’ve never used it that way. To us, basics are a good thing — wardrobe building blocks, like the flattering white T-shirts, the leg-lengthening jeans, or the white sneakers that kick up everything. Below, the very best of your closet fundamentals.
Best white T-shirt
After Elizabeth Rose, a server at Café Gitane, recommended the Everlane Cotton V-Neck as one of the best white T-shirts for women, it became a quick favorite among Strategist readers. Rose said that this lightweight shirt works well with her everyday style: “I wear a lot of necklaces, so the depth of this V shows them.” However, if you’re looking for a classic cut crewneck or a more heavyweight white tee, we’ve got 16 other options here.
Best black T-shirt
When we went on a hunt to find the best black T-shirts, this cotton box-cut tee from Everlane came up twice. First, from black tee expert and fabricator Chelsea Scott, who named the Cotton Box-Cut Tee among her two favorite black tees. Scott said the boxy fit lives up to its name, and the fabric is in line with Everlane’s promise of high quality materials: “The Everlane is more of a square fit and feels like it’ll last forever.” Strategist writers also vouch for its perfect fit and reasonable price. Writer Liza Corsillo said she loves the “slightly cropped but still modest cut.”
Best white button-down
Among the various linen, Oxford, and moisture-wicking shirts that stylish women named as the best white button downs for women, one shirt reigns supreme (or at least, comes highly recommended across the Strategist): this silk button-down from Equipment. Celebrity stylist Jasmine Caccamo — who has “scoured every inch of the internet, department stores, and boutiques looking for the perfect white button-down” — says that the cut of this chic, silky shirt “perfectly flatters the bodice.” In fact, writer Jen Doll loves the slim-cut version of this shirt so much that she owns it in four colors.
According to Of a Kind founder Erica Cerulo, the Re/Done High-Rise Ankle Crop Jeans deserve the title of best women’s jeans. “The fit and rise are just right for me (no waistband-gapping or super-tight calves), and the frayed edge is appropriately chill—but not skin-exposing,” said Cerulo. Re/Done is all about well fitting denim; in addition to their original label, the brand alters handpicked, vintage jeans for one-of-a-kind fits, which New York fashion-editor-at-large Amy Larocca told the Strategist are “as close to perfect as I’d ever allow myself to imagine.” If you prefer wide-leg or ripped jeans, we have recommendations for those styles too.
Best petite jeans
Five-foot-tall fashion blogger Kileen Valunzuela writes that these Madewell jeans boast a “petite-friendly” 26 ½ inseam, and super stretchy-soft material, making them one of the best petite jeans for women. “The woven Tencel lyocell fabric not only stretches to accommodate that food baby but also sucks you in to make those legs look super slim,” she wri