It's Official—Fashion People Are Obsessed With These 25 Basic Fashion Items

Lauren wears some of the bestselling basic fashion items



A wardrobe is only ever as good as its basics—you can quote me on that. And since we all rely on them so much, whatever our style, we Who What Wear editors spend a lot of our time searching for the best-selling wardrobe staples to recommend to you. Not only do we scroll through pages and pages of them on our digital travels, but we also try on as many as we can IRL for research (and for personal reasons too, of course). There’s also a fairly constant stream of recommendations going on across our editors’ Slack conversations and in chats with fellow fashion experts like stylists and influencers. To back all this up, we keep a close eye on the basics that are actually racking up the most sales as well, as this is often the best indicator of a piece being genuinely worth your money. Clearly, we take our jobs very seriously. 

After all this, it's clear to us that some basics are just better than others. Take Arket's famous Hopsack blazer, for example—it's a style the brand has sold for years now. I have it in multiple colours (as do many of my fellow editors and influencer pals), and people always compliment me on it, asking if it's designer. Through Who What Wear articles alone, we've sold almost 1000 of them, and after trying endless styles (I’m a blazer girl, trust me), I stand by it being the best around. The same goes for Arket’s perfect white T-shirt. (I buy these in bulk for fear of the brand discontinuing it.) Other best-selling hero buys our research turned up include H&M’s budget-friendly wide-leg trousers (we sold over 2000 pairs of these last year alone), Totême’s iconic striped knit and & Other Stories’ Favourite Cut jeans. And there’s more where they came from. 

So if you’re starting 2023 with a closet refresh and looking to find ways to make the rest of your wardrobe work harder, below you’ll find our ultimate edit of the best-selling basic fashion items that have been endorsed by fashion people everywhere, from influencers to editors, celebrities to our very own readers. Keep scrolling to shop the most popular basics money can buy.

Shop the Best-Selling Basic Fashion Items

1. Arket Hopsack Blazer

This comes in four colours, but the most timeless are the black and camel versions. 

2. COS Crossbody Bag

COS's simple leather crossbody has become an unexpected staple in fashionable wardrobes. We've lost count of the times it has sold out, but you're in luck, as the classic black just landed back in stock. 

3. & Other Stories Favourite Cut Jeans

Even Kate Middleton is a fan of these perfect straight-leg jeans. Click through to find them in 11 shades. 

4. The Frankie Shop Quilted Jacket

This throw-on-and-go jacket has become the ultimate cosy piece. Its beauty lies in its ability to be worn for spring, autumn and layered up in winter. 

5. & Other Stories Wool Blazer

If you're after a slightly warmer blazer that can be worn as a jacket too, & Other Stories' wool style has been a best seller for years now. 

6. Uniqlo Cashmere Jumper

Ask any fashion insider, and they'll point you to Uniqlo for affordable cashmere. Of course, there are many colours, but I love a classic grey. Size up for a more modern, looser fit. 

7. Arket Crew-Neck T-Shirt

8. H&M Ribbed Vest Top

It may only be £6, but trust me when I say it's the best around. The cotton is thick, so there's no need to wear a bra (unless you prefer to), and it doesn't stretch out after washing either. Forgo designer versions, and just bulk-buy this whenever you're lucky enough to find it in stock.

9. Arket Ankle Boots

You might notice that a lot of the items on this list come from Arket—that's because it really does basics the best, matching lasting quality with basic designs that aren't boring, like these chunky ankle boots to go with everything. I've had my pair of Arket boots for three years now, and they're still my most-worn pair of shoes.

10. COS Wide-Leg Trousers

The fashion industry has agreed COS's wide-leg trousers really are the best around. Premium quality and elevated design have earned them this title. 

11. Arket Relaxed Poplin Shirt

If you're looking for the "perfect" version of a basic—like the ultimate white shirt—it's always a safe bet to head to Arket.

12. COS Turtleneck Top

Coming in no fewer than 15 colourways, this roll-neck is no doubt the ultimate layering piece. 

13. Arket Jumper

After a simple, cosy jumper that will never age? Fashion editors all wear this one. 

14. Arket Regular Jeans

15. Reformation Mason Pants

From Kaia Gerber to, well, me, Reformation's Mason pants have a loyal fan club that only continues to grow. The sustainable brand has absolutely nailed it with these slouchy, perfect-fitting wide-leg trousers. They come in lots of colours, and there's a petite version for those of us under 5'3".  

16. & Other Stories Wool Coat

The ultimate chic wool coat to last you forever. 

17. Veja Campo Trainers

If you're not into cult trainer trends and want something that will be "cool" forever, it's these.

18. Totême Striped Knit

The most expensive piece on this list, but I think time has proven that a striped knit could never be a bad investment. Everyone I know who has this wears its on repeat, and that's what a good basic should be.

19. COS Trench Coat 

So many of you loved this COS coat last year, and it's just rereleased it for another season—thankfully. 

20. Arket Puffer Coat

The best-selling coat on Who What Wear—which makes sense because it's timeless, stylish and incredibly practical and warm. Tick, tick, tick.

21. & Other Stories Mock Neck Sweater

I genuinely believe this jumper is so popular because the unique mock neck (not quite a chilly crew neck, not quite an overwhelming roll neck) is so flattering. Whichever colour you choose, this basic will last you many winters to come. 

22. H&M Tailored Trousers

H&M's wide-leg tailored trousers sell out impossibly fast, but they keep coming back in various forms, so you just have to be savvy to bag a pair. These just landed—go, go, go!

23. Arket Long-Sleeved Top

Another basic your winter wardrobe will be very grateful for. These work perfectly tucked into wide-leg trousers. 

24. New Balance Trainers

It wouldn't be a list of basics without some New Balance trainers, would it? From weekends with leggings to work with tailoring, throw these on for easy style points every time. 

25. COS Leather Belt

Whenever our team of editors put our heads together to consider what makes an elevated wardrobe, a classic black-and-gold belt always makes the list. Yes, you could opt for a logo-ed version from Gucci or YSL, but this COS version is more understated and timeless.