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The Best Of The Basics: The Buys That Defy Seasons

We don’t follow trends because we have to — we follow trends because we like to. There’s always something exciting about seeing what new colors, patterns, and silhouettes start to pop up season to season, from the runway to our favorite brand-name stores.

But at the end of the day, it’s the basic pieces in our wardrobes that get the most attention — that perfect white T-shirt, comfortable black booties, and go-to blazer. These are the buys that don’t change so much with each season. They’re reliable, versatile, and timeless — and yet, they’re not always the easiest to shop for. You’ve probably bought six white T-shirts before you found the one you buy every few months.

One of the simplest ways to cut back on some of those, let’s be honest, less stellar buys is to get a recc from a friend. So we asked R29ers for the best basics that have never let them down, and won’t let you down either. The search ends now.

Denim Jacket: Gap

Why It’s A Best Buy: 2% spandex gives this cotton topper slight give, while the classic silhouette hits right at the waist for a flattering cut.

The R29 Review: “This is actually my first-ever denim jacket, and I’ll probably never buy another. It’s affordable, great for petites, versatile, durable, comfortable… I could go on forever!” —Julie Bogen

Gap Iconic Denim Jacket, $69.95 available at Gap.

Perfect Turtleneck: Tees By Tina

Why It’s A Best Buy: With a super of-the-moment mock-neck, this layering favorite has reached cult status among the fashion crowd for its form-hugging fit and nylon and spandex blend.

The R29 Review: “They’re literally perfect. Super-stretchy, doesn’t roll up, perfectly matte. It’s like tights for your body, and I wore mine all winter.” — Connie Wang

Tees by Tina Basic Mock Neck, $58, available at Tees by Tina.

Little Black Booties: Loeffler Randall

Why It’s A Best Buy: A stacked, leather 2’3/4″ heel provides a lift while still being comfortable enough for everyday wear.

The R29 Review: “These booties are so versatile and give a lot of extra height.” — Emily O’Brien

Loeffler Randall Greer Bootie, $395, available at Loeffler Randall.

Classic Denim: Levi’s

Why It’s A Best Buy: Non-stretch, 100% cotton denim gives these jeans a throwback feel, and the slightly cropped cut is an easy weekend staple.

The R29 Review: “Can you ever go wrong with Levi’s 501s? I love these because they’re a little more tapered than the traditional 501s. I like to slice off the hems and fray ’em up. The wash is perfect for day or night, and they’re the most comfortable things, eva.” — Maria Del Russo

Levi’s 501 Jeans For Women, $89.50, available at Levi’s.

Professional Blazer: Aritzia

Why It’s A Best Buy: Inspired by school uniforms, this two-button-close jacket has a touch of stretch for ease of wear.

The R29 Review: “It has just the right amount of structure. I also love that it works just as well with jeans or a dress.” — Justine Goodman

Babaton Fowler Jacket, $225, available at Aritzia.

Cozy Cashmere Sweater: Equipment

Why It’s A Best Buy: At 100% cashmere, this lightweight top is meant to be extra-comfy. The crewneck and relaxed shoulders make it easy for layering, too.

The R29 Review: “Perfect with leggings or skinny jeans for cozying up in.” — Ava Feuer

Equipment Crew Neck Cashmere Sweater, $160.80 $107.00, available at Equipment.

Fun Flat Shoe: Vince

Why It’s A Best Buy: The thick rubber soles add a bump of padding to these simple slip-ons, while the textured canvas gives the shoes an unexpected twist.

The R29 Review: “Well worth the price — very versatile and comfortable. Can be worn with jeans for a heavy day of walking, or can make a dress more casual.” — Cara Siskind

Vince Viktor Canvas Sneaker, $100, available at Vince, shop similar here.

Little Black Dress: Topshop

Why It’s A Best Buy: The v-cut and skinny straps make this dress a sexy little number if you dare to wear it alone, but also look extra-rad thrown over a T-shirt.

The R29 Review: “My go-to LBD. Lightweight; simple and classic cut that can pretty much be styled any way you want it. Perfect for work events.” — Ellie Stephens

Topshop O-Ring Poplin Slip Dress, $80 $30, available at Topshop.

Moto Jacket: Mango

Why It’s A Best Buy: A surefire steal, this topper has all the required elements of the perfect motorcycle jacket: zipper accents, slightly cropped sleeves, and a whole lot of attitude.

The R29 Review: “Bought this on a major sale whim right after the holidays last year, and will never turn back — super-classic but is also surprisingly warm and comfortable.” — Victoria Tomkinson

Mango Leather Biker Jacket, $249.99, available at Mango.

Button-Up Shirt: Madewell

Why It’s A Best Buy: In machine-washable, 100% cotton, this bright-white button-up looks like it was made for a dude, but is actually fitted for a woman’s frame.

The R29 Review: “This is the perfect oversized white button-up shirt. So good, I bought it twice. Skillfully toeing the line of relaxed and broken-in, but also tailored and chic. This is your next go-to piece for crafting that effortlessly cool look.” — Samantha Yu

Madewell Drapey Oversized Boyfriend Shirt, $72, available at Madewell.

Madewell Bell-Sleeve Button-Down Shirt, $75, available at Madewell.

Plain White Tee: Everlane

Why It’s A Best Buy: Your new favorite tee is constructed from luscious pre-washed Supima cotton in a relaxed v-neck silhouette.

The R29 Review: “So soft, lightweight, great fit, and the price is right!” — Isabel Cafaro

Everlane, $15, available at Everlane

Everlane The Square Tee, $18, available at Everlane.

Boss Black Jeans: Paige Denim

Why It’s A Best Buy: A five-pocket style looks even more timeless in inky-black. The trademarked denim technology means these skinnies will quickly recover their shape, which ensures years of perfect wear.

The R29 Review: “I’m pretty obsessed with Paige’s Transcend denim. Perfectly skinny, it looks almost like a legging without veering into lazy-girl territory. The dark wash means they are an easy way to feel put-together on the fly.” — Naomi Nevitt

Paige Denim, $179, available at Nordstrom

Paige Verdugo Crop Skinny Jeans, $199, available atShopbop.

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