Whether You're 23 or 53, These Wardrobe Basics Are Non-Negotiable

Basics have always been part of my wardrobe, but only in the past couple of years have I truly come to appreciate them in their own right. Formerly a second thought to more statement pieces, they are now the centrepieces of my outfits. And you know what? I feel like I dress better for it. Another thing I enjoy about basics is just how versatile they are; many can be mixed and matched with one another to create effortless and chic outfits. Then, there's the fact that they're ageless.

While age certainly has nothing to do with what you should or shouldn't wear, I get there are some items that you might be initially tentative to wear. This comes down to years of being conditioned to think you should dress a certain way when you reach a certain age. But I'm here to tell you those rules are a work of fiction, and when it comes to basics, they really are ageless.

To prove my point, I've scoured the social media feeds of my favourite follows to see which basics span their respective wardrobes. From Grece Ghanem to Sasha Mei, each showcases just how integral basics are to style. So much so, I was inspired to create a best-ageless-basics capsule from them. And trust, the pieces coming your way are incredibly versatile and easy to wear, whether you're 23 or 53. Scroll on to see them.

1. White Dresses

Best Ageless Basics: @kimair wears a white dress

Photo:

@kimair

Style Notes: White dresses might have been prevalent on the spring/summer 2022 runways, but make no mistake; they’re a bona fide basic that’ll never go out of style—one that looks good on all who wear it. 

Broderie textures always look so beautiful. 

Sleeper dresses continue to be a firm favourite in fashion circles. 

2. Tailored Trousers

Best Ageless Basics: @greceghanem wears a pair of tailored trousers

Photo:

@greceghanem

Style Notes: 2022 is undoubtedly the year of the trouser, and honestly, I’m stumped as to why it’s taken so long for everyone to appreciate it so. Tailored styles always look elevated and can be styled in an endless number of ways. I particularly like Grece’s combination of trousers, a crop top, trainers and a leather biker. 

From the cut to the colour, to me, these tailored trousers are perfect. 

3. Linen Blazers

Style Notes: While I’d welcome any blazer into my collection of basics, at the moment, I’m partial to the linen iterations going around. Not only is the fabrication breezy, making it ideal for balmy summer days, but it hangs beautifully too. I’m also into the neutral palette seen on many; another signifier of a solid basic. 

H&M constantly delivers when it comes to affordable tailoring. 

I do, however, have a soft spot for Totême.

4. Vest Tops

Style Notes: Vest tops are certainly having a moment right now, with Loewe’s long-embroidered tank being one of the most in-demand designer items of the year. Of course, you don’t need to invest in a Loewe one, but when you see how good it looks on Renia, it sure is tempting. 

Again, H&M wins with its affordable basics. 

5. Denim Shorts

Style Notes: I hate to admit this, but for the longest time, I didn’t wear shorts. I just didn’t feel confident enough to do so. But then, one hot day, I visited my grandma to find she was wearing a pair of denim shorts—and she gave me the encouragement to do the same. It feels funny to say wearing denim cutoffs is a freeing experience, but when you’ve denied yourself something for so long, that’s indeed how it feels when I wear mine now. 

6. Breton Knits

Best Ageless Basics: @deborabrosa wears a Breton knit

Photo:

@deborabrosa

Style Notes: If you have been on the internet even just once in the last six months, then you’ll have heard of the coastal-grandmother aesthetic sweeping the fashion world. Essentially, it involves styling looks that seem as if they’re costumes plucked from a Nancy Meyers movie set in Nantucket. The linchpins of this movement are wardrobe basics, with the Breton-stripe knit playing a starring role. 

I own this very knit and get so much wear out of it. Right now, I love pairing it with a black cotton midi skirt. 

If you want a heavier weave, & Other Stories has got you covered. 

7. Baseball Caps

Style Notes: Though it was previously considered too casual to be high-end, the humble baseball cap has undergone something of a fashion metamorphosis of late and is now one of the most stylish things you can wear. I was recently chatting to a 70-something woman I met in a coffee shop (who used to work on the picture desk at Vogue, no less), and she told me her favourite accessory is the baseball cap. 

Styles with writing tap into the athleisure aesthetic. 

8. Ecru Jeans

Best Ageless Basics: @trayslounge wears a pair of ecru jeans

Photo:

@trayslounge

Style Notes: White denim might seem daunting, but it really is an everlasting staple that your outfit, especially your summer ensembles, will benefit from. I love how Tracey has paired hers with a printed blouse and a basket bag for a French-style feel, but rest assured they’d work just as well with any top option you see in this edit, too. 

Everyone raves about these Monki jeans—perhaps I better see what all the fuss is about for myself. 

9. Knee Boots

Best Ageless Basics: @sasha.mei wears a pair of knee boots

Photo:

@sasha.mei

Style Notes: Okay, okay, so I know it’s summer, and we should probably be talking about sandals right now, but I think heeled knee-high boots are all too often overlooked in their versatility and ageless appeal. Worn with dresses both above and below the knee, Bermuda shorts or even denim skirts, they’re a surefire way to add polish to any look. 

Tan suede will pair more seamlessly with lighter summer dresses. 

Patent mock croc is my go-to when I want my accessories to feel fancy. 

Related Stories