The Best Wardrobe Essentials Brands, According to Vogue Editors

There’s no doubt that the basics of your wardrobe are important, whether it’s the jeans you wear every day, that blazer you can wear with anything, or the t-shirt you still buy. and even. Although similar to constructing a dress uniform, finding an absolutely perfect item takes work. Luckily, our list of editors is loaded with finding the best of the best wardrobe essentials, from knitwear to dresses to the perfect oversized shirt.

Through trial and error, wear testing, and extensive research, our editors have found these not-so-basic basics, upgraded versions of staple items, and must-have brands for everyone. And while not every item is decided yet – some of us are still on the hunt for the perfect blazer or trouser, for example – there are a handful of designers and brands ranging from contemporary to luxury that our editors reckon can make no mistake when it comes to their specific parts.

Whether shopping for dresses, shoes or basic t-shirts, these are the labels our editors rely on.

For the basics

“Totême is my go-to for high-end basics like a super sleeveless top or black leggings.” —Laura Jackson, Business Writer

Totême wool turtleneck sweater

Totême cork stretch-jersey leggings

“For tank tops, I love the square neckline of the 2(X)ist tank tops.” —Christian Allaire, Styling Editor

2(x)ist Essential Cotton Boxy Fit Tank Top for Men, 2 Pack

“I have The Frankie Shop Lui cotton shirt in multiple colors (with matching shorts); it’s the perfect proportioned, weighted men’s shirt. —Lisa Aiken, Executive Fashion Director,

The Frankie Shop Lui Organic Cotton Poplin Shirt

The Frankie Shop Lui Organic Cotton Poplin Shirt

“I exclusively wear Uniqlo cotton u-neck t-shirts; I’m saving my dollars for bigger fashion splurges. I like that it’s a slightly thicker cotton, the shoulder is slightly set in, and it has the perfect sleeve length. -THE

Uniqlo U short-sleeved crew neck t-shirt

“These square neck tank tops are the absolute best!!” — Madeline Fass, Market Writer

“Closed is great because they have a bit of everything: t-shirts, sweater-vests, jeans, blazers. It’s a one-stop-shop for cool, easy basics. —MF

For knitwear

“In my book, there’s only one Breton maker, and that’s Saint James. Based in Normandy, France, the brand has been making the perfect striped Breton tops since 1889.” —Lilah Ramzi, Business Writer

Top Saint James M-Minquidame

“My wardrobe relies heavily on a rotation of black sweaters that may all look the same to the naked eye, but all play an important, and slightly different, role in my wardrobe. My favorites come from Proenza. These are the perfect not-so-basic basics.—Willow Lindley, Director of Accessories and Collaborations

Oversized sweater in eco-cashmere Proenza Schouler

Proenza Schouler eco-cashmere sweater

For Pants

“I love COS for the perfect wide leg pants. I prefer to wear mine with a crop top to play with proportions. —LJ

Cos Wide Leg Pants

“I first fell in love with tailored pants after trying on a relaxed leg pleated pair from Vince at the LA store. My black pair is my most worn and most complimented pair, and I’ve been a fan ever since! ” —MF

Vince Slim Fit Wide Leg Pants

“My new go-to brand for high-end and most importantly comfortable wardrobe essentials is Anine Bing, especially when I need lightweight pants. What’s even better: some pants have matching tops that take the guesswork out of dressing. —Alexis Bennett, Business Writer

Anine Bing Owen Wide-leg checked crepe de chine pants

For dresses

“Proenza Schouler is my go-to brand for all my wardrobe essentials. Their midi dresses are perfect for the office” —Julie Tong, Commercial Director

Proenza Schouler White Label drawstring poplin midi dress

For blazers

“It’s my favorite blazer; I have it in black and white. You can throw it on everything from evening slips to jeans and a t-shirt. It’s square and oversized with a strong shoulder, which looks especially good with a rolled up sleeve. -THE

Square jacket Jacquemus La Veste d’Homme

Jacquemus ecru blazer La Veste d’Homme

“I love Joseph for his attention to detail from a minimalist lens. His pieces are modern, chic and timeless, but also expensive! That’s why I look for the brand when I’m on sale or on sites like The Outnet or The RealReal. They pass the used test, which proves all of the above!” —MF

Joan suit jacket in light wool Joseph

“Proenza Schouler does expert tailoring.” —JT

Proenza Schouler White Label Crepe Suit Blazer

For jeans

“I’ve been wearing Acne Studios denim for over a decade. They make the perfect straight leg jeans that aren’t too skinny. I prefer them in a dark black wash, they’re so polished I feel like I’m wearing pants. -G/R

Acne Studios Climb mid-rise skinny jeans

“Wrangler’s dress jeans are the perfect fit for dress pants, with a subtle flare leg.” -CALIFORNIA

Men’s Wrancher Wrangler Dress Jeans

“Vintage Levi’s are what I always come back to.” —Alexandra Gurvitch, Associate Director, Creative Development

Levi’s vintage 501 original shrink jeans

For handbags

“Proenza Schouler’s cult it bags are unparalleled. They are an eternal mark in my closet. —JT

Proenza Schouler pipe bag

“I love Wandler handbags for their range of neutral yet current leather shades and modern yet timeless silhouettes. Her offering includes everything from day bags to small underarm bags, all with that irresistible minimalist twist. I own several!” —MF

Wandler Penelope leather shoulder bag

For the shoes

“I don’t wear heels often, but when I do, I prefer that they come from Acne Studios. Most of their heels sit at a perfect kitten height which is great for someone like me who can barely walk in heels. Acne heels are also the only ones that don’t give me blisters, and the size is always consistent. I’ve stocked up on a few of their heels, and maybe one day I’ll start wearing them more regularly! —Irene Kim, Editorial Coordinator, Vogue Runway

Acne Studios black strappy heeled sandals

Acne Studios pointed pumps in black denim

“Gucci’s Horsebit loafers, with a chunky lug sole, are super modern, but I know they’ll never go out of style.” -CALIFORNIA

Horsebit loafers with notched sole in Gucci leather

“I invested in a few pairs of MNZ sandals as they are chic, versatile and comfortable. They tend to be easy enough on my feet to walk around town. —AG

Sandals Maryam Nassir Zadeh Una

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