The 12 Fashion Basics You’ll Need For 2021 According To The Experts

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There's one style rule of thumb most people who love fashion follow: Make sure you have a good collection of basics before you invest in trend-driven pieces. Why? Basics provide the foundation for crafting your outfits — consider it the blank canvas for your artistic expression. If you're wondering well, what are these basics you speak of, Global Fashion Officer of MATCHESFASHION Natalie Kingham will loop you in. Kingham, who has worked as a womenswear buyer for over a decade, has determined the 12 key basic pieces categories, featuring them on MATCHESFASHION, thus solving any mystery or confusion around what exactly belongs in this category.

The key basics to own are as follows: a sweatshirt (a necessary item if you're WFH), a trench, a T-shirt, a pair of leggings, a blazer, a shirtdress, a pair of trusty jeans, an all-occasion slip dress, a knit, a pair of briefs, a suit, and, lastly, a good 'ol fashion shirt. Before you dash to your closet to see how many of these items you actually own, know that it's OK to not immediately have every single piece on the checklist. Building up a wardrobe takes time and even Kingham herself realized she didn't have all the essentials, which is why she created this list for reference.

"[I] wanted to ensure that there was an easily accessible place...where you could find a curation of the best denim or cashmere sweaters," Kingham says to TZR. "It made sense to present a curation of the beautiful and practical items that we offer in one edit as a reflection to the new way in which we are living and a shift towards a more relaxed, modern way of dressing."


In addition to providing an outline of the basics to have, Kingham also carefully curated the pieces to shop in this category, like a perfectly cut Bottega Veneta T-shirt or a pair of jeans from Totême, just in case you were missing any of the essentials in your own closet. These investment pieces are well worth it in value as they're season-less staples you can always call on in 2021, and beyond. For those who are shopping with a more conscious eye, you can direct your attention to brands like Lisa Yang, Alighieri, and Umit Benan B+ in the selection. All the basics come in neutral colors, too, making them even more suitable for everyday wear — and from which to build up your neutral capsule wardrobe.

Once you're armed with all the basics in the clothing category, there's one final styling tip to know that will help your outfit shine: invest in a piece of fine jewelry. "Fine jewelry can be worn every day and you can't underestimate how a beautiful chain necklace from Lauren Rubinski can lift a simple white T-shirt or a bold, statement earring from Eera elevates a cashmere sweater," says Kingham.

Ahead, peruse through the 12 wardrobe basics and add any key pieces you're missing to your checkout cart ASAP.

We only include products that have been independently selected by The Zoe Report's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.

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