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  • Writer's picturePamela Tucker


Updated: Aug 19, 2023

Do you find yourself trying to perk up your outfits with fast-fashion or trendy items that in just a short time no longer seem fashionable or you no longer love?

Do you like wearing trendy clothes with those already in your closet? How do you balance wearing what is at your fingertips while trying out new fashion?

This is the first in a series pointing out how fashion pieces could be added to your wardrobe. The focus is for those interested in current fashion trends; yet don’t wear mini-skirts, cut-outs or sleeveless. Feeling fashionable is important; but, feeling comfortable and confident is the paramount consideration.

Wardrobe Basics to Build On

Basics / Staples The best way to try out new fashion is incorporating newer pieces with what you already purchased. Let’s start with the wardrobe basics, also called “staples.” Basics are generally one-color, typically in black, white or neutrals such as beige and is a plain fabric so other parts of your outfit are able to stand out. In other words, the basics provide the canvas to build your stylish outfit.

Basics don’t change much over the seasons, and they could be placed in categories such as:

  1. Investment pieces, such as high-quality cashmere. The British company N. Peal has a number of cashmere choices, such as this long sleeve cashmere top:

  2. Staples of good quality but due to frequent wearing or laundering these are not expected to be in your clothing line-up for more than a few years.

  3. Fast fashion and lower priced tops, from stores such as Zara and Gap.

The assumption is you are sufficiently stocked with staples. If you are looking for refreshing your staples, below are a number of garments to consider.

Bodysuits - A bodysuit is wonderful layering piece because it tucks in easily and fits nicely under sweaters and blazers. The big payoff is a great looking silhouette!

Commando’s black crew neck short sleeve bodysuit is soft and stretchy: If your preference is for white, Wolford has a nice short sleeve option: As fall is approaching, long sleeve body suits should be explored. Check out these: Good American’s crew neck hugs the body and with it is a nice feel: If a cozy turtleneck is desired, Spanx has an essential turtleneck bodysuit:

T-Shirts - For those not keen on bodysuits, there are loads of other quality staples. Cotton pieces are typically comfortable, with pima cotton considered the best cotton for T-shirts. Typically, pima cotton does not pill or fade. You might also think about wearing fabrications such as modal or viscose. T- shirts with such fabrications generally provide a nice drape and are also comfortable, even feeling like a second skin. Check these out: A lightweight T-shirt by BOSS: Majestic Filatures has a few attractive choices to consider:

Blouses with button fronts are perfect basics as well. Fabrics such as silk or other soft fabrics fit well under a jacket or a sweater. And don’t forget a basic white blouse is handy when you don’t want to put much time into thinking about an outfit! Theory has an ivory fitted silk georgette blouse. Some nice features of this blouse include a hidden button placket, adjustable cuffs and mother-of-pearl buttons: Veronica Beard offers a basic white cotton blouse, Libby Poplin button-down shirt:

Sustainability and new fabrics A growing number of companies are focusing on sustainability and others are also focusing on using unique fabrics providing distinct benefits. For example, M.M. LaFleur, operating for about 10 years has a nice selection, including a pretty blouse on its website named the Lagarde Shirt: It is made of 100% polyester, with 35% being recycled polyester and is wrinkle-resistant. It is explained this fabric “… has been treated with Polygiene, an anti-odor finish. The fabric won’t hold smells, so you can wear your piece multiple times before tossing it in the washing machine.” These features seem helpful for busy days!

Before buying heavily into a color trend, why not try the color first in the lineup of your basics? For example, if the summer of Barbiecore is to your liking, a basic layering piece you could embrace is Weekend Max Mara’s fuchsia basic jersey T-shirt: Going into fall, try the red trend. Lightweight sweaters are terrific staples. Akris Punto has a crimson merino wool knit short sleeve top: A less expensive red top is a Bloomingdale’s private

Label C by Bloomingdale’s scarlet cashmere top:

A few more points to consider as you mix fashion trends into your basics:

  1. Try mesh or lace tops. For those not wanting a complete mesh or lace top, look for these features either in the neckline or in the sleeves.

  2. Go further with experimenting with fashion colors. In addition to working red into your wardrobe for the fall, look for other colors such as yellows, blues and grays.

It feels good when mixing new clothes and colors into existing wardrobes. It is especially gratifying (for the pocketbook as well!) when the new trends are ones that are versatile. So when you make a purchase think how versatile the piece could be. Is it an item that could be dressed up or down? If so, you’ve probably selected a winner. And, if not, no worries, an occasional splurge is not bad either!

How do you shop for basics? What are some of your recent basics purchases?



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