Fashion insiders will know what to wear for which occasion, and how to pair hyped up seasonal trends, but we like to tell you where to scour the best finds, no matter how expensive or trendy. What is universally known in the fashion world to be de rigueur, isn’t necessarily a PVC-wrapped shoe or neon yellow belted trench coat, sometimes it’s the small things that make a difference – hence a good basic is one worth investing in, stocked up on, and shared with fellow peeps!
As much as I love to indulge in a good old shopping spree that involves delicate blouses, silk tops and cashmere knits, sometimes all I’m in the market for is a foolproof basic – and an affordable one at that. It’s easy to make couture or expensive-looking items look put together, cue brilliant street style courtesy of the ongoing fashion weeks – but when it comes to making basics look elevated and chic, it’s crucial to tick a few boxes to make it work.
To start, although some might beg to differ, price has no relevance and meaning – a basic tank, t-shirt (long or short-sleeved), or bodysuit should not be priced higher than in the double digits range. The fit and quality however are not ones to sacrifice on, they’ve got to be form-fitting, made from materials like viscose or cotton and wearable year-round. A good basic top should last for at least a year, and should be replaced especially in the white case, as soon as that unattractive light yellow underarm border starts to show. If you’ve got these covered, you’re safe to go ahead with your purchase.
Now, you might perceive this as a pretty understated and obvious read, but if you, like us happen to come across a bevy of purchase-worthy pieces from one of the most accessible retailers on the Internet, you’ll want to brag about just as much as we do. It all started when I manifested with notable frequency that it’s hard to come by high quality basics without being intrigued, inspired and distracted to click ‘add to cart’ on an essentially overpriced item, made from the same material and designed in an almost identical cut, shape and style. “But the styling was so distinct, and the model looked so effortless”, I murmur to myself – though how could I possibly justify spending over £100 on a basic white ribbed top from a luxury brand? Could I not find a similar, if not identical one for a fraction of the price?
Turns out, after scouring the usual suspects for a few minutes and entering the right keyword and filters, bam! a whole assortment of ribbed tops start unraveling on my browser: cropped, long, short, 3/4 sleeved, v-neck, boat neck, you want it? you got it! Upon finding what I was looking for, which was essentially a long-sleeved ribbed bodysuit in white and a one-shoulder sleeveless bodysuit in black, I selected my size and hit purchase. As I anxiously waited for my Next Day delivery to arrive, I couldn’t help but wonder what my order will look like, feel like? At just £8.99 per pop, could it potentially have the same feel as one for well over £100? Is there a chance they’ll simply look *cheap* and I’ll have to go through the arduous process of returning them?
Lo and behold, as I impatiently ripped through the packaging and tried on one after the other, I couldn’t believe how soft, form-fitting and basic they looked – all I wanted! What’s more, they’re not the kind of clothing I’ll look for when shopping in-store as they’re pretty much never displayed on storefronts, rather they’re stacked on piles towards the end of a store, ready to be rummaged through in search of the right size, and preferrably stain-free (why are lingerie stores the only ones to offer silk scarves in their changing rooms to avoid the inevitable foundation streak?). Piles aside, I believe to have tapped into the ultimate treasure trove for wardrobe basics at unbeatable prices – go see for yourself by entering Pretty Little Thing into your browser tab and be ready to stock up on all your needs.
Ultimately earning a spot on the top of the brands I will hop over to when I’m in need of a new basic top, in a neutral tone and with the right fit, ahead I’m sharing the exact basics from trust-worthy brands, and more options for all taste and style palettes!
Shop our selection of basic tops from our go-to retailers
Featured images via Jenni Kayne
PS: If you buy something through our links, TWC may earn an affiliate commission.