We don't follow trends because we need to, we
follow trends because we want to . Discovering new colors, patterns, and silhouettes — from season to season, on runways or in our favorite brand-name stores — thrills us. But, ultimately, it's the transitional wardrobe anchor-pieces that win our full style attention. From the perfect white T-shirt to boots that were made for walking and classic blazers, these go-to staples are reliable, versatile, and timeless. Yet, they aren't always the easiest to shop for. Instead of buying six tees, three slouchy sweaters, and two pairs of "mom" jeans before finding the right fit, consult our already vetted best-basics guide first. We sorted by top-rated products, waded through extensive comment sections, analyzed enthusiastic customer reviews, and even grilled our R29 team to curate the anchor-pieces that truly make the style-staple cut ahead. Your search ends now. At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission. Why It's A Best Buy
: Somehow mom jeans went from
to need-to-have denim style. We're not sure how, we're just here for the comfortable high-rise ride — and this faded-cotton pair comes cut iån a high-waisted, ankle-cut style that's inspired by Levi's OG vintage.
: "Love, love, LOVE! Having grown up in the 80’s, I wore the infamous 501’s like everyone else. To me, these jeans are like an updated, feminine version of that and I really love the way they fit. The color is fantastic, as it’s the perfect shade of broken in jeans. Very pleased!!" — A pleased Nordstrom customer review
Wedgie Icon Fit High Waist Ankle Jeans, $, available at
Nordstrom More Universal Thread Camden Button-Down Shirt Why It’s A Best Buy:
A good white button-down is the great outfit equalizer, and this under-$20 staple from Target has perfectly relaxed-but-still tailored proportions. Jeans got you feeling too casual? Throw a crisp white button-down, and you’re immediately a few notches chic-er. Need to dress down your heels-and-skirt look for the office or a weeknight dinner? Button that baby up.
“I recently stopped pretending that I might buy something other than white button-downs, and I am now on the path to have a closet full of them. I always look for 100% cotton — no blends! — and I think Target’s quality is top-notch for the price. This one also has a relaxed fit for a legit borrowed-from-the-boys vibe.” — Emily Ruane, Refinery29 Fashion Market Writer
Long Sleeve Camden Button-Down Shirt, $, available at
Target More Urban Outfitters Kate Femme Essential Boot Why It's A Best Buy
: These high-shine ankle boots are crafted from polished faux leather in the coveted square-toe and block-heel retro style of the moment — all for a shockingly good under-$50 price.
: "HOLY WORTH IT. I was a little on the fence from the price, but I’m so glad I made the purchase. They are incredibly sleek and trendy, but are also very practical with a great tread for the winter months." - An ecstatic Urban Outfitters customer review
Kate Femme Essential Boot, $, available at
Urban Outfitters More Mango Flowy Lapel Trench Why It's A Best Buy
: A trench coat is functional fashion at its most stylish — and this Mango style with a lapel-collar and flowy frame is a classic transitional-outerwear staple.
: "From September through April I live in layers — and, after stumbling upon this burnt-caramel beauty for under-$200, I now live in trenches. This layer-able coat hits all the multi-purpose bases: I can wear it with slouchy sweaters, leggings, and sneakers; flowy dresses and knee-high boots; tees, jeans, and snakeskin booties. The seasonal-confused world is your trench coat." — Elizabeth Buxton, Refinery29 Associate Lifestyle Market Editor
Flowy lapel trench, $, available at
Mango More Why It's A Best Buy
: The resurgence of 90's style brought with it this majorly transitional power piece. Slip dresses can be worn throughout multiple seasons and during multiple occasions; bare shoulders paired with strappy sandals for summertime fancy OR overtop T-shirts paired with slip-on sneaks for fall casual.
: "The perfect slip dress. The material is slightly thicker as one reviewer stated but for those of us looking for a more forgiving fabric this is it! The raspberry color is beautiful. Straps are adjustable which is a plus. The neckline does have a slight curve with a light drape in the front which really makes the dress special. True to size and great length." - An Anthropologie customer review
Bias Slip Dress, $, available at
Anthropologie More Why It's A Best Buy
: Constructed from luscious, lightweight Supima cotton, this tee's value is well beyond its $18 price tag. It also boasts a 4.6 out of 5-stars rating and 2,112 (!) reviews on Everlane.
: "I first saw this on my friend and Refinery29 coworker,
, and it immediately caught my eye. The fit is loose but not so baggy that you get lost in it. There aren't too many bells and whistles, which is what makes it so great. The tee's fit and fabric speak entirely for themselves." —
, Refinery29 Associate Fashion Market Editor
The Cotton Crew - White, $, available at
Everlane More Why It's A Best Buy
Madewell's denim pants
tow a consistent fan following — and its denim jackets follow style suit. While there are quite a few options to choose from, we love the classic silhouette and blue distressed-cotton color of this particular version that also comes in plus sizes.
: "I love this jean jacket. it’s softer than a typical Jean jacket & looks great on! I feel like this is one of those jackets I will be wearing for years!" — A happy Nordstrom customer
Denim Jacket, $, available at
Nordstrom More Why It's A Best Buy
: This slouchy pullover is a viscose/polyester blend so you don't have to worry about the fabric getting warped or wrinkled in transit. It's breathable enough to sport on a summer night out and substantial enough to layer up with during chillier fall evenings.
: "Great every day sweater - great price! I highly recommend." — An H&M sweater-weather-er customer review
Sweater With Dolman Sleeves, $, available at
H&M More Why It's A Best Buy
: Our Fashion Market Writer,
Eliza Huber, surveyed the team
to find out which bra is their go-to for comfort — and several chose this ultra-soft, modal-cotton style from trendy basics brand, Richer Poorer.
: "I do not wear bras... like ever. In fact, the last one I wore, I took it off in the middle of the day, at my desk, because the underwire was poking me. So, in order for me to want to wear one and keep it on, it needs to feel like next to nothing. This bralette is reminiscent of a training bra — it's so comfortable that it's easy to forget that I'm wearing anything at all." — Channing Hargrove, Refinery20 Fashion Writer
The Classic Bralette, $, available at
Free People More Why It's A Best Buy
: Mango is leading the game in sharp, affordable
with a luxurious hand. There's a whole landing page dedicated to smart blazers and suit separates in both
: "My favorite blazer I own is actually from
but I bought it in a fluke last-garment-standing super sale and don't expect to come by its likes again at the price I got it at. Instead, I'm throwing in my second favorite blazer (which I have three of) from Mango. Each one is a tad different since they offer so many colors and styles but what they all have in common is that they're fully lined, the fabric feels great, the cut is cool, and they're tailored in a way that makes it look like I paid three times as much." — Marissa Rosenblum, Refinery29 Senior Shopping Director
Structured wool blazer, $, available at
Mango More Why It's A Best Buy
: These kicks are about as classic and transitional as they come — the OG skate-shoe turned high-style staple can be dressed up with everything from slip dresses to silk midi skirts or down with a pairs of distressed denim or workout shorts.
: "Classic. Love this shoe! True to size! It fits perfectly and goes with everything!!! I did not expect to wear this shoe as much as I do!! I don’t know what I would do without them, they are comfy and really durable! Because of this shoe I have bought multiple other pairs of vans." — A love-struck Urban Outfitters customer review
Old Skool Original Sneaker, $, available at
Urban Outfitters More Why It's A Best Buy
: A true trifecta-shoe of style, budget, and seasonality — this under-$100 clog is ready to take your feet from spring through summer and into fall in comfy-chic Scandinavian fashion.
: "I found this pair on my perpetual hunt for the
clogs at the
price. While I'm admittedly still searching for The One Clog To Rule Them All, this minimalist-chic, heeled sandal is a solid option — costing me
a fraction of the pricier options
without sacrificing a single lick of the style. That along with the facts that I won't break an ankle in them, can dress them up or down, and pair them with shimmery socks in between seasons." — Elizabeth Buxton, Refinery29 Associate Lifestyle Market Editor
Abba Sandal, $, available at
Nordstrom More Why It's A Best Buy
: This is an incredibly tough category to crown a winner in since there are so many
out there that come with cult-like status (
Lululemon's Wonder Under
to name a few).
made this roundup because it checks every single box. Sizing? XXS - 3X: check. Affordable? Currently offering new members two for $24: check. Moisture wicking? Check. Chafe-resistant? Check. See through? Heck no. Pockets? You betcha.
: "Fabletics ALLLLLLLLLLL the way. Two for $24 with your first purchase? Sign me up.. and then refer another email and sign me up again (plus $20 dollar store credit for referrals) and again and again. Plus they have a few signature different materials to choose from (Powerhold is my go-to) and new prints and designs coming out every month. Plus you can choose different lengths from long, regular, or short with their regular length bottoms, 7/8 length, or even capri. I have about 15 pairs now ? and wear them every single day from working out, lounging around, going out, and to work. PS: I'm not a Fabletics rep nor get any commission or anything for this review. I just love them THAT much and for the cost it's perfect for everyone." -
Refinery29 reader [edited] comment
on our Best Black Leggings story
Salar Solid PowerHold Legging, $, available at
Fabletics More Why It's A Best Buy:
R29 Shopping editors unanimously agree: Summersalt makes a quality one-piece. Sure, there's the cheap
viral Amazon Baywatch
suit, but for a supportive, classic one-piece that won't go out of style, we suggest checking out this brand. Plus, these suits are
chic you can transition them into fall as a bodysuit paired with high-waisted jeans and a jacket.
: "...When [Summersalt] asked me to be a part of
and gave me the chance to design my “perfect” suit, I was all in. For me, I wanted boob support with a sexy cut, and plenty of color, I’m obsessed. It’s available in sizes 2-22 and retails for $95. I love Summersalt because they want to change the conversation around swimwear. They are all about making women feel sexy on their own terms and making summer fun again by empowering women with the confidence we all deserve to have!" —
[edited] Instagram post on the launch of her swimsuit design with Summersalt.
The Atlas Suit, $, available at
Summersalt More Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here? This Is The Underwear You Should Be Wearing The 9 Best-Reviewed Black Tees On The Internet 14 Perfect Black Boots To Daydream About