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Women’s Clothing Basics You Should Own If You Don’t Already

Three women in different styled outfits
Reebok/BTFBM/The Drop

In the ever-evolving world of fashion, some wardrobe essentials remain timeless. These are the foundation pieces that every woman should have in her closet—versatile, adaptable, and always in style. Whether you’re dressing up for a special occasion or going for a casual look, these pieces will always have your back.

White Button-Up Shirt

A woman wears a white button down shirt

A classic white button-up shirt is the cornerstone of any wardrobe. Its timeless elegance has no limit, and it works great for casual to formal outfits and anything in between.

You can wear this shirt to the office with a tailored blazer and slacks or dress it down with jeans for a casual brunch. It’s a chameleon in your closet, easily transitioning from day to night, making it a must-have for women. While a fitted shirt will always look great, you can also size up once or twice for an oversized look.

Jonivey Button Down Wrinkle Blouse

A classic shirt that goes with any outfit.

Little Black Dress

A woman wears a sleeveless little black dress

The little black dress, or LBD, is a savior for those “I have nothing to wear” moments when going out. This versatile piece can be styled for almost any semi-formal occasion, from nights out with the girls to a fancy dinner with a loved one.

Pair it with heels and statement jewelry for a fancy night out, or throw on a denim jacket and sneakers for a chic daytime look. It’s a classic that never goes out of style.

IHOT Dress

Everyone needs a dress that makes them feel confident.

Straight Leg Jeans

Two women posing to show straight leg jeans

Jeans trends change all the time, but straight-leg jeans will always be in style. These are cut looser than skinny jeans but aren’t baggy or frumpy.

Straight-leg jeans provide a sleek and flattering silhouette that can be dressed up with a blouse and heels or dressed down with a graphic tee and sneakers. These basic wardrobe essentials are perfect for tucking into boots during colder months or pairing with sandals in the summer. Versatile and comfortable, they’re a vital part of every woman’s wardrobe.

Levi's Women's Ribcage Straight Ankle Jeans

These jeans look good on everyone.

Ballet Flats

Images of two people wearing different styles of ballet flats

Ballet flats are the epitome of comfort and style, perfect for the days when heels just won’t do. These versatile shoes can be worn with almost any outfit, from jeans and a tee to a sundress. They are great for dressing up or dressing down your outfit—for example, you can wear them to dress up jeans and a tee or dress down an office look.

Whether running errands or going out for brunch, ballet flats offer the perfect blend of comfort and sophistication. Start with one black pair and get more colors if you find yourself wearing them often.

Uoidru Women's Mesh Ballet Flats

How to look professional without wearing heels.

Tailored Blazer

Two women wearing blazers, one black blazer and one white blazer
The Drop

A well-fitted blazer instantly elevates any outfit. Whether you’re going for a polished office look or a stylish night out, a tailored blazer is your go-to outerwear piece. Throw it over a casual dress for an effortlessly chic ensemble, or pair it with trousers and a camisole for a professional appearance. It’s a versatile and timeless addition to your wardrobe.

The Drop Women's Blake Long Blazer

A trendy way to wear this staple piece.

Pencil Skirt

Two women wear pencil skirts, one beige and one black
Calvin Klein

The pencil skirt is a beautiful blend of sophistication and femininity. Its classic silhouette flatters every body shape, making it one of the best women’s clothing basics.

Wear a pencil skirt with a tucked-in blouse and pumps for a business-ready outfit, or style it with a graphic tee and sneakers for a trendy twist. This versatile piece seamlessly transitions from the office to dinner dates, making it a wardrobe essential.

Calvin Klein Women's Straight Fit Skirt

The pencil skirt to end all pencil skirts.

Trench Coat

A woman wears a beige trench coat and a navy trench coat

A trench coat is the epitome of timeless outerwear. Its clean lines and neutral color make it a versatile piece that can be thrown over almost anything.

Pair it with jeans and ankle boots for a chic autumn look, or drape it over a cocktail dress for a touch of elegance on a rainy evening. It’s also not too heavy and easy to layer, meaning you can wear it most of the year in a variety of weather conditions.

Makkrom Women's Double Breasted Trench Coat

This coat can be worn in the fall, winter, and spring.

White Sneakers

A woman wears a pair of white Reebok sneakers

White sneakers have become a fashion staple in recent years. These basic wardrobe essentials are incredibly versatile and add a casual yet chic touch to any outfit. They’re also super comfortable, which we are all about when it comes to footwear.

Pair them with jeans, shorts, skirts, or dresses for a fresh and youthful look. Whether strolling through the city or heading to a casual gathering, white sneakers are the go-to footwear for comfort and style.

Reebok Women's Club C Sneaker

For a more casual look while still keeping it classy.

Crew Neck Sweater

A woman wears a tan sweater and a black sweater

A crew neck sweater is a cozy and timeless piece that’s perfect for layering. Wear it over a button-up shirt for a preppy look, or pair it with a statement necklace and skinny jeans for a more casual style.

This type of sweater is a versatile choice that can be dressed up or down, making it a women’s clothing basics staple, especially during the colder months. It also works great in the spring or fall as a layering piece to keep warm during chilly mornings and evenings.

BTFBM Women's Pullover Sweater

Wear it on its own or layer it with other pieces.

Ankle Boots

Two women pose wearing white ankle boots and black ankle boots

Ankle boots are a versatile footwear option that can take you from day to night with ease. Whether you choose a sleek and sophisticated style or a more rugged look, they pair well with dresses, skirts, jeans, and trousers. These boots add a touch of edge to your outfits while keeping your feet warm and comfortable during the colder seasons.

DREAM PAIRS Women's Ankle Booties

Stylish and easy to walk in.

Building a timeless and versatile wardrobe starts with the essentials. These 10 women’s clothing basics provide the foundation for a wide range of stylish and adaptable looks.

Anne Taylor Anne Taylor
Anne Taylor is a writer with a BA in Journalism and a passion for storytelling. Her work has been published on a variety of websites including Mental Floss and Well + Good, and she recently published her first novel, What it Takes to Lose. When she's not writing, Anne loves to travel (19 countries and counting), spend time outside, and play with her dog, Pepper. Read Full Bio »
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