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
2. COS Crossbody Bag
3. & Other Stories Favourite Cut Jeans
4. The Frankie Shop Quilted Jacket
5. & Other Stories Wool Blazer
6. Uniqlo Cashmere Jumper
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
11. Arket Relaxed Poplin Shirt
12. COS Turtleneck Top
13. Arket Jumper
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
17. Veja Campo Trainers
18. Totême Striped Knit
19. COS Trench Coat
20. Arket Puffer Coat
21. & Other Stories Mock Neck Sweater
22. H&M Tailored Trousers
23. Arket Long-Sleeved Top
24. New Balance Trainers
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.