Basics women: Women’s Basic Dresses & Skirts | T-Shirt Dresses

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Blouses, Jeans, Blazers & More

It may take several years (and dozens of closet cleanouts), but eventually, everyone arrives at the same conclusion: the life cycle of your clothing matters. Buying pieces that will ultimately land in the “donate” pile a year later can get exhausting—not to mention the environmental cost. The question is: How do you build a wardrobe with endurance? One that survives and thrives without chasing down trends and overhauling your closet every season? The answer: basics. A smart, staples-centric wardrobe will play the long game, continuing to bring value to your every appearance—not just now, but ten years from now. That’s why Editorialist’s team of expert stylists is constantly helping their clients build a strong foundation of wardrobe basics. After years of searching high (The Row) and low (Madewell), they’ve nailed down the absolute best garments in every category (T-shirts, trousers, handbags, you name it)—and they’re disclosing it for the first time.

Though styles on their checklist range from Theory T-shirts to Manolo Blahnik pumps, one thing is shared across the board: Each garment is built to perfection, with timelessness at top of mind. (Minimalists, are your ears ringing?) Still, integrating basics isn’t necessarily about overhauling your personal style in favor of a more subtle, neutral palette. According to Katelyn Bernard, Styling & Content Specialist at Editorialist YX, the wearer can more easily accent their wardrobes with new-and-now pieces once they have the basics down. In other words: yes, that colorful Dries van Noten coat that’s marked down on Net-A-Porter is fair game. 

“It’s a fun time to reinvent your style right now, as we come back—fingers crossed—to this normal-ish new world. And honestly, there’s no better way to do that than with staples,” says Bernard. “At the end of the day, those are the kinds of items that speak to your wardrobe. You can always buy other fun pieces to highlight it, but it’s the everyday staples that make up your uniform.

Classic Wardrobe Essentials For Women From 9 Brands Worth Knowing

Whether you’ve simplified your look on account of quarantine or inherently choose uncomplicated pieces for their ease, classic wardrobe essentials are fashion requisites, no matter your aesthetic. Depending on your taste, the term “essential” will apply to a variety of items. Button-downs, crewneck knits, trench coats, and sharp blazers are staples for those who tend classic or polished. Minimalist mainstays include slip dresses, bodysuits, and sleek trousers, while connoisseurs of casual know the power of stylish jeans, T-shirts, and leggings. If you tend trendy or experimental, items like bike shorts, voluminous tops, chic sweatshirts, and utilitarian pants are no doubt among your current favorites.

Whatever your go-to basics are, the common denominator is that they’re versatile and easy to throw on at a moment’s notice. But with repeat styling, closet staples eventually show signs of wear, thus making it essential to update your assortment for elevated style (and to avoid that held-by-a-thread look). Niche brands that specialize in simplified, yet nuanced pieces are among the best for a fresh and fashion-forward collection of basics from everyday heroes like tees and jeans to sophisticated staples like blazers and trousers and modern athleisure essentials.

Keep scrolling to discover and shop nine labels that make so-chic wardrobe staples from brands worth knowing and supporting that you may not have on your radar yet. Plus, the ethos of each brand summed up in the designer’s and founder’s own words. Whether you’re keen to stockpile elevated layering pieces, loungewear, and work staples or fine-tune your edit of dresses, tops, and bottoms, you’re sure to discover a few new favorites ahead.

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.

Wardrobe Essentials Brand: RE ONA

Designed in Toronto, Canada, and ethically made in Bangladesh, RE ONA offers clean, functional, and transitional designs with soft fabrics and minimal silhouettes at the crux of every collection. “RE ONA is for the modern-day woman who loves a minimal, no-fuss but put-together look, whether it be casual or dressed up. She values quality and appreciates being able to wear staple pieces that easily transition from day-to-night,” co-founder Christina Abayomi tells TZR. “Now more than ever, it’s important to change the narrative in fashion and create modern essentials that are stylish but can also transcend between seasons and slow down fast fashion due to the negative impacts it can have.”

Co-founder Philiscia Abayomi tells TZR, “Our pieces are made in neutral tones and provide a minimal and effortless look. We live in a heavy social media and trend-based time, so it’s very easy to forget the value of an essential piece that truly adds value to your wardrobe. As a busy person, when looking at my wardrobe, I like to see staple pieces that I can easily wear in multiple ways. I find that neutral tones work best, so having an array of bodysuits and tops makes it easy to pull any look together. I love being able to pair them with my trousers, blazer, heels, or sandals, depending on how I’m feeling that day.”

Wardrobe Essentials Brand: Ven Store

With a luxury traveler in mind, the London-based label Ven focuses on a curated selection of considered essentials from cashmere sweaters, hoodies, and trousers to socks and blankets (that can be worn as outerwear), and even timeless beachwear. All of which makes for chic stay-at-home pieces when you’re not traveling. “Considered simplicity is the backbone of Ven. Each piece is designed to be hard-working, easy to wear, and easy to pack,” says founder Charlotte Lewis. “Ven is designed with travel in mind because if your staples are going to make you feel good on a long-haul flight, then they will definitely do the job anywhere else,” says Lewis.

Wardrobe Essentials Brand: Julie Josephine

Julie Josephine Blystad set out to create the fine wardrobe essentials she yearned to wear with her namesake Norwegian fashion brand, but ethically and from high-quality materials. “Julie Josephine is all about simplicity, quality, and attention to the perfect silhouette. We believe that long-lasting and timeless wardrobe essentials make the foundation of a solid, versatile wardrobe,” Blystad tells TZR. “Our pieces work as hard as you, bridging the different needs and aspects of modern life while giving a contemporary spin to the classics.” From comfy tees to timeless stripes and versatile pants, these wardrobe basics appeal to every aesthetic.

Wardrobe Essentials Brand: Kotn

Kotn specializes in ethically made basics while prioritizing fair wages and working conditions to ensure honest pricing. “At Kotn, we’re passionate about leveling up your basics because they are what you spend your life wearing,” says co-founder and chief brand officer Mackenzie Yeates. “We focus on quality natural materials like Egyptian cotton that can make the difference between a good and a bad T-shirt. We also believe in putting a lot of energy into the process, making sure that the people involved in making our products are treated fairly and respectfully. ” To wit, Kotn has partnered with pro-literacy organizations in Egypt to help stop the cycle of child labor, fund education, and improve future generations’ quality of life.

Wardrobe Essentials Brand: Studio Nicholson

For directional basics with an architectural feel, look to Studio Nicholson for nuanced coats, structured dresses, tailored blazers, and more. “At Studio Nicholson, we create considered pieces that are carefully engineered to provide structure and elegance, forming the basis for the ultimate modular wardrobe,” founder Nick Wakeman tells TZR. “Functionality, modernity, and playfulness are the inherent elements that we believe in as a brand, and they form the foundations of each collection.”

Wakeman has long prioritized quality and versatility with her designs — two highly relevant features for any modern shopper. “Now more than ever before this is of high importance with everyone having a slightly slower pace of life, working from home more, and the desire to wear pieces that are comfortable yet stylish, easy to wear, and most importantly, timeless.

Wakeman has a knack for luxe-looking outfits rooted in basics, which she says relies heavily upon the perfect white T-shirt. “We love teaming laid-back high-end tailoring with a basic T-shirt for a modern look. White T-shirts are useful, practical, and straightforward; they should be seen as the backbone for any outfit. Special attention should always be paid to the fit … get it right, and you’ve got a layer for life, so it pays to spend a little more than you’d anticipated on the highest quality cotton.”

Wardrobe Essentials Brand: The Range

For The Range co-founders and sisters Brittney Sage Rothweiler and Mia Laine Rothweiler, the best basics are those that feel effortless while redefining the concept of cool. “The Range is based on elevated staple pieces that you can build your own style around,” Brittany tells TZR. “Each collection is designed to be easy, timeless, and transitional while still being unique and stand out.”

From tank tops to utility pants and knit dresses, nuanced details set The Range’s offerings apart. “There’s a design element built into each garment that is either more apparent or more subtle, making our basics not so basic,” Mia says. “We love the ability to either dress up or dress down a piece, which makes every item the perfect investment to update your wardrobe and stay with you for years to come.”

Wardrobe Essentials Brand: Cold Laundry

Minimal tailoring combined with clean sportswear is the epitome of modern and precisely what the London-based brand Cold Laundry achieves in its assortment of suits, sweat sets, and oversized basics. The unisex line, founded by Cerise and Ola Alabi, caters to those craving modern, functional, considered design, all in a palette of soft tones and pastel shades for a whimsical touch.

According to label photographer Oghalé Alex’s website, the brand’s founding ethos is about “escaping the noise” — a premise based on shaking the roughness, grit, and monotonous routine of everyday life through peaceful and aesthetically pleasing designs. “Our clothes are meant to inspire, calm, and bring about happiness and pleasant thoughts,” Alex’s website states. “This philosophy is reflected through the tones, designs, and the locations we capture our imagery.”

Wardrobe Essentials Brand: La Ligne

Former Vogue editors Valerie Macaulay and Meredith Melling teamed up with rag & bone’s former head of business development, Molly Howard, to create a modern collection of wardrobe staples centered around the stripe, going far beyond Breton knits and maritime tees. “La Ligne is a clothing brand aimed at providing an elevated uniform for the modern woman through the power of the stripe,” co-founder, Macaulay tells TZR. “We dress a woman who lives a full and busy life. She needs a wardrobe that will take her from one event to the next, from day to night, so comfort and quality are essential.”

Uniquely striped sweaters and tees are at the forefront of this collection, but the assortment of chic dresses, stand-out trousers, and impeccable outerwear anchor it for a result that’s fresh and forward. “Our clothes are meant to be worn as a uniform, easily mixed and matched, and will stand the test of time,” Macaulay says. “This is the beauty of the stripe. Adding a small line detail, whether it is contrast stitching or a tuxedo stripe, is what modernizes and elevates closet staples.”

Wardrobe Essentials Brand: Frances de Lourdes

For luxurious T-shirts, tanks, and knits, Frances de Lourdes is best in class. “Our tees are classic, easy pieces with a sensual feel. Elevating a simple piece like a T-shirt with luxury fabrics and attention to detail is, in itself, modern,” says founder and creative director Alejandra Echeverria. More than decadent to the touch, this luxurious assortment boats incredible fits, too. “We pay a lot of attention to the cut and proportions of our tees, so they look and feel fresh.”

Echeverria says to think beyond casual moments when reaching for a comfortable piece of clothing — it’s why she designs well-made basics to work for various occasions. “Most women don’t have so much time to spend thinking about what to wear every morning, so versatility is very important. Being able to wear these pieces in many ways has become essential in a woman’s wardrobe. By elevating classic pieces that women already feel comfortable in, our updated wardrobe staples become the first thing you reach for when getting dressed.”

15 summer basics women over 40 never forget to buy

Women in their 40s are just a little bit older but a whole lot wiser! Though some women dread 40, I found turning 40 freeing, enlightening and empowering. We are women who are old enough to perfectly understand what we want, and we’re young enough to get it. Part of the wonder of being women in our 40s is that we likely have our personal styles down to a science; we understand exactly what works for our frames and figures. We finally grasp how to purchase only what we truly need or want, when and how to try a trend and we generally have the wherewithal to purchase quality pieces.

We have compiled a list of 15 summer basics women over 40 never forget to buy, because we really know how to look our best and live our best!

1. Fresh Tees

While a quality T-shirt can last for years, if you want a perfectly crisp white tee or a fresh-looking black tee for nicer outfits, springing for a new one each summer is a great idea. T-shirts are perfectly acceptable under a blazer for work or with a casual skirt for social occasions, as long as it’s in great shape. A couple of new tees each summer keep you looking polished!

2. Capris

Capri pants can be quite dressy if they are styled properly, and they keep you cool and comfortable at the same time! We know to select a new pair of capris to wear with a favorite cotton twinset and kitten heels. It’s effortless chic.

3. A Dress for Wedding Season

It’s that time of year again! In your 40’s, nieces and nephews, friends’ children and even—gasp!—your own children may be getting married, to say nothing of the friends who may be making a second trip down the aisle. Consider whether you need a new dress to wear as you attend these happy occasions! Nuptials are a terrific reason to get a pretty dress, and it enhances your own fun to show off a new ensemble.

4. Hand Fan

It’s hot. It’s getting hotter. You want to attend concerts and charity events and barbecues… get a hand fan. Look for one about 10″ long, with sturdy ribs and a fabric leaf to really get a breeze going on your face. It really will help keep you comfortable, and about one season of knocking around in your purse will make a hand fan look a little tatty. A fresh one each summer will keep you chic and cool at outdoor occasions!

5. New Casual Dress

Whether you prefer a T-shirt dress, a sleeveless maxi dress or a slip of a sundress, choose well-made casual dresses to add to your wardrobe. Focus on wardrobe-building with this piece and try to select something that you can wear for many seasons to come.

6. Swimwear

Swimwear can be investment-level shopping, so at the beginning of each summer, evaluate your swimwear wardrobe and decide what, if anything, you need to add to maximize the comfort and versatility of your swimwear. Ready to try a rash guard? Ready to step up the tummy control or bosom support of your everyday bathing suit? Take these things into consideration as you decide if your current swimwear wardrobe is working for you.

7. Cover Up

Especially if you decide you don’t need any new swimwear, choose a swimsuit cover up that makes you feel like a proverbial million bucks! This is a less expensive part of your swimwear wardrobe, so it’s a great place to lean into trends or try something new. A glamorous or sexy swim cover will also help you feel your best, and if you struggle with bathing suit anxiety, a really fabulous cover up can make a big difference!

8. Sunscreen

We were born before sunscreen was ubiquitous: we remember older sisters “laying out” covered in baby oil, we distinctly remember the pain of a sunburn, and we don’t mess around. Choose an SPF of 15 to 30 for everyday wear, and remember that outdoor activities are different. I like to crank it up to SPF 100 when I go to the beach, but many dermatologists are now suggesting the best course of action is an SPF 40 reapplied every 90 minutes to two hours when you are at the beach or pool.

9. An Off-Season Splurge

This is one of the things we’ve learned. Need new riding boots? Buy them when it’s hot outside. Always wanted a cashmere dress coat? Comb clearance sections in June. If there is a specific cold-weather wardrobe item you want or need, try shopping for it off-season. Even if you are prepared to spend to get the look and quality you want, your clothing dollar will generally go farther off-season. No guarantees, but it’s a good rule of thumb.

10. “It” Bag

If you enjoy following the trends in handbags, you may have noticed that summer bags are more likely to be constructed of cloth, straw or wicker. It may be more cost-effective to splurge on the trendiest bag of the summer rather than the trendiest bag of the fall. Further, these materials lend themselves to fast-fashion far better than leather, so you may be able to embrace a trend for a song.

11. Sun Hat

I drive a convertible, and my sun hats take a real beating. If you spend long days at the pool or out in the garden, you probably face a similar situation. Select a fresh sun hat as soon as yours looks faded, tattered or stained. For many of us, that means each summer.

12. Trending Sandals

Sandal styles come and go nearly every season. This is a fabulous place to try a trend! Of-the-moment sandals add a fresh element and youthful vibe to your summer basics, and if you choose wisely you can wear them with many different looks. Espadrilles are still trending right now, and we think they are absolutely darling with everything from jeans to sundresses.

13. Slip-On Sneakers

Each summer, get a new pair of extremely comfortable, very supportive slip on sneakers that you can throw on with almost any casual outfit. You need a new pair each season because shoes can look good on the outside long after the interior support has broken down, and summer is the time when taking your child to the park can turn into a long walk with another mom. Stopping by the local flea market can turn into an all-day-on-your-feet adventure. Walking the dog can become an hour visit with the neighbors. Be prepared with supportive, comfortable but still streamlined shoes you can pair with any casual clothing.

14. Rose Water Toner

Keep it in the fridge if you want to! A light mist anytime keeps you fresh and your skin dewy-soft. If you have skipped makeup for the day, heavily mist and pat dry at bedtime for lightning-fast skincare when you’re tired.

15. A Good Book

Maybe you’ll find the time this summer?

These are the summer basics women over 40 never forget to buy. We’ve lived, and we know how to get the most out of every season, whether it’s by leaning into a trend, sticking to the classics or committing ourselves to the maintenance of our style. Take advantage of our experience and think about getting these summer basics for yourself.

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What to Wear to Work – Business Casual Basics for Women in 2021

Wondering what to wear back to the office? Here are the basics of a stylish business casual wardrobe for working women, recent graduates, and aspiring boss ladies.

Like many of you, I’ve been working from home for the better part of 2020, which means my wardrobe transitioned to more casual than business. At least from the waist up. Taking meetings virtually means a blouse on top and sweatpants on the bottom. But as of this week, I’m back in the office part-time and I must say, I have missed getting dressed. How I look is closely linked to how I feel and while I have certainly been taking care of business in comfy clothes over the last several months, there’s just something empowering about putting on a blazer, ya know? For those of you going back to the office in 2021, here are the business casual basics that always help me look and feel put together in a corporate setting.

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