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10 high-quality basics you need to invest in for a versatile wardrobe

For some people, the idea of what they will wear tomorrow is a paralyzing thought. How are they supposed to choose from all the different articles they have, let alone combine multiple into a cohesive whole? For others, it’s effortless.

Regardless of whether you fall into the former category, the latter or somewhere in between, your wardrobe can only be improved by ensuring you have your basics covered.

In this article: Hanes White T-Shirts, Levi’s Women’s Plus Size 721 High-Rise Skinny Jeans and Vans Women’s Old Skool Core Classics.

Top 10 basics

The top 10 basics everyone needs for the most versatile wardrobe, from top to bottom on the body, are:

  • Jacket: How thick or thin your jacket should be depends on your climate, but a second layer is an easy way to spice up your outfit.
  • Button-down shirt/simple dress: Whatever your reason is for needing or wanting to look nice, all it often takes is a classy button-down or simple dress.
  • Polo shirt: This is the champion of the “business casual” look, whether you wear it for business or not.
  • White T-shirt: This casual basic looks good with almost anything.
  • Black pants: Black pants don’t automatically mean dressy or business casual, but that is what they’re most often used for.
  • Blue jeansThese are a casual staple that can pull any less-formal look together.
  • Shorts: When the weather is hot, pants don’t cut it. Your shorts can be dressy or more gym-focused, but both wouldn’t hurt.
  • Comfortable underwear: Even though no one will see it, having a good, comfortable pair of underwear can make any outfit easier to tolerate.
  • Tennis shoes/sneakers: When you need to put in your steps, make sure you have comfortable athletic shoes.
  • Dress shoes: You’d be surprised how often good — and bad — shoes can stand out when you’re trying to impress. It’s better to make yours the former.

Best jackets

Amazon Essentials Jacket

The puffer jacket is perfect to have for cool to cold weather, and its design helps it stand out just enough that you don’t become a wallflower. It comes in 12 sizes and 30 colors.

Sold by Amazon

Columbia Men’s Ascender Softshell Jacket

A soft-shell jacket works anywhere that requires business casual and down, from a day at the office to a night at your favorite bar. It comes in five sizes and eight colors.

Sold by Amazon and Dick’s Sporting Goods 

Best button-down shirt and simple dress

Van Heusen Button-Down Shirt

Sometimes all it takes to upgrade a basic is just one small detail, such as how this collar is buttoned down at the tips. It comes in 12 sizes and six designs, including the all-time classics plain white and light blue.

Sold by Amazon

Relipop Dress

This dress stands out from the usual “simple dress” look by having a little bow at the side and some ruffling along the bottom. It comes in five sizes and 33 designs.

Sold by Amazon

Best polo shirts

Magcomsen Polo Shirt

Step up to the tee box next Sunday morning feeling comfortable and looking good. It comes in five sizes and 59 colors, some of which come in short sleeves, long sleeves or both.

Sold by Amazon

Port Authority Polo Shirt

This polo breaks away from the norm by eschewing buttons and having a V-neck, though it’s still nothing if not professional. It comes in eight sizes and 11 colors.

Sold by Amazon

Best white T-shirts

Gildan White T-Shirts

This shirt has tear-away labels for those who hate the feeling of them tickling their neck. Two are included and they come in six sizes and many additional colors.

Sold by Amazon

Hanes White T-Shirts

This shirt is just as well suited for wearing as is as it is for being worn as an undershirt. The pack includes four shirts, which come in seven sizes and many additional colors.

Sold by Amazon

Best black pants

Dickies Men’s Original 874 Work Pant Pants

These pants can be worn to work, to a nice restaurant for a first date or just when paired with your white T-shirt as a break from the usual blue jeans. They come in 88 sizes and 17 additional colors.

Sold by Amazon and Dick’s Sporting Goods 

Lee Women’s Flex Motion Regular Fit Trouser Pants

These pants are exactly what springs to mind when you think “girl boss.” It doesn’t hurt that the pockets are actually usable. They come in 30 sizes and 14 additional colors.

Sold by Amazon 

Best blue jeans

Levi’s Women’s Plus Size 721 High Rise Skinny Jeans

These skinny jeans are great for showing off your legs and the high waist is flattering to the right body type. They come in 40 sizes and 33 designs, some of which are distressed.

Sold by Amazon 

Wrangler Authentics Blue Jeans

These jeans are on the loose side so you can maintain your comfort during a long day, though you’ll also need the right belt. They come in 64 sizes and nine shades.

Sold by Amazon

Best shorts

Balennz Shorts

These shorts are perfect for hitting the basketball court or lounging at home in the heat of summer. They come in five sizes and can be bought alone or as a set of two, three, five or seven.

Sold by Amazon

Champion 5-Inch Jersey Shorts

These shorts have odor control so you can wear them to the gym before running some errands without the gym coming with you. They come in six sizes and nine colors.

Sold by Amazon

Best comfortable underwear

Calvin Klein Women’s Carousel Logo Cotton Stretch Bikini Panties, Three-Pack

The most comfortable underwear is often the simplest, and these exemplify that idea. They have a bikini silhouette and full rear coverage. They come in five sizes and 41 sets of three.

Sold by Amazon

Ralph Lauren Men’s Classic Fit Cotton Boxer Briefs, Three-Pack

This boxer-style underwear has a no-ride-up system and no tag for the most comfortable long-term experience possible. They come in five sizes and four sets of three.

Sold by Amazon

Best tennis shoes/sneakers

Adidas Men’s Advantage Sneakers

Adidas has long been among the best athleisure brands, and these straightforward shoes carry that torch. Wear them all day and tread in peace. They come in 21 sizes and 15 designs.

Sold by Amazon and Dick’s Sporting Goods 

Vans Women’s Old Skool Core Classics

Vans are almost single-handedly responsible for the rise of “skater shoes” on the market, and they remain the best of them all. They come in 41 sizes and 33 designs.

Sold by Amazon

Best dress shoes

Bruno Marc Men’s Casual Dress Shoes

Most basic dress shoes for men can look awkwardly shiny, but these have some texture to them to help them rise above that common flaw. They come in 12 sizes and eight designs.

Sold by Amazon

LifeStride Parigi Women’s High-Heel Pumps

If you can only have one dressy pair of women’s shoes, pumps are easily the most versatile of the versatile. These come in 56 sizes and 21 designs.

Sold by Amazon

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Jordan C. Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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