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I mentioned a couple of posts again that basics can make or break your wardrobe. The thing about basics is that it can help you in getting dressed without you even knowing it. Basics are the unsung hero of your closet. I also feel like they are the most misunderstood — what makes a basic? A lot of times people just think it means a white tee. And while I do believe that every good closet has a plain white tee, basics are there to help you build your closet or use your closet even more. Basics should be the hardest working styles in your closet and the most worn, so let’s put them to work, shall we?
I’ve pulled 10 of my favorite wardrobe helpers just for fall.

You’ll probably notice that most of them also live in my closet and you’ve seen something similar on me before. They are my cliff notes when it comes to getting dressed. And now you know all of my secret weapons.

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01: Military Jacket / I’d be lost without this staple. I can dress it up or dress it down and it’s the perfect layering piece. In fact, I could layer it up with any of the pieces in this post and have multiple outfits. 
02: Black Mini / This is one staple I’m on the hunt for right now (well, actually I want this J.Crew one but I haven’t taken the plunge yet.) It’s an essential that can make a difficult piece in your closet make sense. Plus, the shape of this skirt is everything. 
03: Black Heels / If you are sensing a theme of black in this post you are correct. Black is the perfect base for any outfit, the ultimate neutral. Don’t be afraid to mix black heels with any other neutral hues as well — white, navy, olive or brown. Remember: black will be always be the new black.
04: Striped Tee / This list would be amiss without a striped tee. I like the loose feel of this one — it can be tucked into the black mini or worn under the military jacket and dark skinnies. Or even layered under the chambray shirt, worn as a jacket. I could go on and on…
05: Everyday Tote / I feel like I shouldn’t even have to explain this one, but I will. In the perfect shade of tan this tote can literally be worn with any outfit — it goes from weekday to weekend effortlessly. 
06: Everyday Dress / I got this dress last fall from Madewell and have worn in countless times in all seasons actually. This simple grey dress is so easy to throw on and layer with other pieces in your closet (or on this list) or can be dressed up with a scarf or statement necklace. Also, it’s just one piece — literally the ultimate basic.
07: Ankle Booties / Not to be dramatic but I can’t even think of getting dressed without ankle booties this fall. Shoes can make or break an outfit so it’s nice to have a neutral pair that you can wear with jeans to skirts to dresses. 
08: Essential Tee / I’ve worn the hound out of my grey tee this past summer and don’t really feel like stopping for fall. I’m actually amazed at how much I’ve worn just a simple tee but it seems to find it’s way into at least one outfit a week. Sometimes it’s just nice to have a layering piece that you can count on and I like the tone of grey instead of solely relying on classic white. Grey is the new bold.
09: Chambray / Since the inception of KE, I feel like a chambray shirt has been around. I’m half way convinced that chambray shirts were made for bloggers. They are the ultimate helper — I can’t think of an outfit that doesn’t work with a chambray shirt. (My favorite go-to as of late has been denim on denim, especially with a dark skinny. Be still my heart.)
10: Dark Skinnies / I have about 4 or 5 pairs of dark skinny jeans that I’ve collected over the last few years. Not because I’m a lush (I’m a lush) but because they are the easiest and quickest way to feel put together and comfortable. I find myself wearing them a lot at the shop — they go with my bold pieces at bloom that I wear while keeping the outfit grounded. 
What are your fall essentials? Feel free to add your favorites below. There is always room for more basics.
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121 Responses

  1. I’ve gotta say, we’re on the same page for essential fall fashions! I’ve definitely already bought striped/slubbed tees, ankle boots, a chambray shirt and a new black mini for fall. Good call on the “everyday” dress too – I should get a new one!

    -Lauren

  2. Tall brown boots, colorful plaid long sleeve top, a fall-inspired scarf/necklace/bracelet/earrings, tweed pants for work, a fall colored blazer for work (thinking burgundy or velvety green this year). The chambray shirt is definitely on my list this year!

  3. These are the PERFECT basics Kendi! I’m doing a basics-only/neutral 30×30 challenge in October and I’m quickly learning that these pieces are so so so important. Thanks for your fabulous recommendations!

    xoxo,
    Chelsea & The City

  4. Hey Kendi – love these pieces! Was wondering if you could give some advice on these types of staples and how to keep them in good shape and looking new the longer you wear them. I have the same dress from Madewell, and though I’ve been able to wear it quite a bit, it’s already starting to show some pilling and look less new. Any tips on how to care for these items?

  5. Military Jackets to me are everything! I’ve already invested in enough Chambray tops to be able to share with friends =^D

    I love this list!

    xo
    Eesh
    The Other Side of Paradise

  6. This list is helpful and all, but $68 for a striped tee?? Nooooo. I wish you would’ve found at least a couple of these items at more moderate price points. I understand that it can be smart to invest in basic pieces and you never claimed to be a budget blogger, but surely we can do better than $68 for a tee shirt! Yikes!

  7. Yes to all of these! Definitely agree to have some great basics that can be layered for fall. I need an “everyday dress”. The one you featured is perfect.

    xo Brooke | honestly, b.

  8. What a great post! People underestimate basics. I like your style pretty much because you do utilize a lot of basics, instead of a lot of crazy stuff. I really want that gray tee, it looks like the perfect amount of slouchiness!

  9. Love your basics list !! I agree with all of them !!! I am on the hunt for a classic leopard loafer…that will be my essential for Fall…saw some at Old Navy today for obvi a great price…not sure if I want to save or splurge on this trend!!

    http://stylishadventures-al.com

  10. Thank you for posting a legit list of basics! I see so many posts like this all across the blogosphere but this is the best one so far. Is it just me or are most the so-called “basics” lists either WAY too basic or way too trendy? This one nails it. Nicely done.

  11. I love this list, wish i could own literally all of these, haha. I really want that black skirt and gray dress, those seem cute while also easy to mix and match. Great post πŸ™‚

    iwantyourkittens.blogspot.com

  12. I've gotta say, we're on the same page for essential fall fashions! I've definitely already bought striped/slubbed tees, ankle boots, a chambray shirt and a new black mini for fall. Good call on the "everyday" dress too – I should get a new one!

    -Lauren

  13. Tall brown boots, colorful plaid long sleeve top, a fall-inspired scarf/necklace/bracelet/earrings, tweed pants for work, a fall colored blazer for work (thinking burgundy or velvety green this year). The chambray shirt is definitely on my list this year!

  14. These are the PERFECT basics Kendi! I'm doing a basics-only/neutral 30×30 challenge in October and I'm quickly learning that these pieces are so so so important. Thanks for your fabulous recommendations!

    xoxo,
    Chelsea & The City

  15. Hey Kendi – love these pieces! Was wondering if you could give some advice on these types of staples and how to keep them in good shape and looking new the longer you wear them. I have the same dress from Madewell, and though I've been able to wear it quite a bit, it's already starting to show some pilling and look less new. Any tips on how to care for these items?

  16. I agree with all of this! But definitely some brown boots and a blazer need to be added πŸ˜‰ Luckily, I have every single piece except the military jacket. But I have 4 leather jackets so I’d say I was good.

    xo Ashley

    thetiniestfirecracker.com

  17. This list is helpful and all, but $68 for a striped tee?? Nooooo. I wish you would've found at least a couple of these items at more moderate price points. I understand that it can be smart to invest in basic pieces and you never claimed to be a budget blogger, but surely we can do better than $68 for a tee shirt! Yikes!

  18. What a great post! People underestimate basics. I like your style pretty much because you do utilize a lot of basics, instead of a lot of crazy stuff. I really want that gray tee, it looks like the perfect amount of slouchiness!

  19. good list of basics and true to your words i have seen you wearing these items in various combos on your outfit posts. πŸ™‚

    fact is, i see too many time you using your madewell leather tote that i just had to get one for myself.

    btw, booties-wise i think the best choice is Sam Edelman Petty. The material and design are super flattering, versatile, and comfortable.
    I have compared them to so many other booties but none is as good a buy as SE Petty. My cocoa color ones pair beautifully with the madewell tote. love indeed!

  20. Great list. I would probably add a blazer and a good pair of flats or oxfords.

  21. Add black leggings and some smoking slippers or loafers and i LOVE this list πŸ™‚

  22. Love your basics list !! I agree with all of them !!! I am on the hunt for a classic leopard loafer…that will be my essential for Fall…saw some at Old Navy today for obvi a great price…not sure if I want to save or splurge on this trend!!

    http://stylishadventures-al.com

  23. Thank you for posting a legit list of basics! I see so many posts like this all across the blogosphere but this is the best one so far. Is it just me or are most the so-called "basics" lists either WAY too basic or way too trendy? This one nails it. Nicely done.

  24. I love this list, wish i could own literally all of these, haha. I really want that black skirt and gray dress, those seem cute while also easy to mix and match. Great post πŸ™‚

    iwantyourkittens.blogspot.com

  25. So I think you raided my closet for this post! Lol – I always feel like a boring dresser b/c this is mostly what I wear, but I agree that they are such a great basis for using the rest of your wardrobe! Only thing I’m missing is the black skirt – need to put that on my to-make list πŸ™‚

  26. I love to look at your post every day & love your list but I have to agree with Elizabeth the prices are way above what most can spend!

  27. I agree with all of this! But definitely some brown boots and a blazer need to be added πŸ˜‰ Luckily, I have every single piece except the military jacket. But I have 4 leather jackets so I'd say I was good.

    xo Ashley

    thetiniestfirecracker.com

  28. Love these. I think I need to go shopping for some new basics. Perfect excuse to shop? Um, yes.

  29. good list of basics and true to your words i have seen you wearing these items in various combos on your outfit posts. πŸ™‚

    fact is, i see too many time you using your madewell leather tote that i just had to get one for myself.

    btw, booties-wise i think the best choice is Sam Edelman Petty. The material and design are super flattering, versatile, and comfortable.
    I have compared them to so many other booties but none is as good a buy as SE Petty. My cocoa color ones pair beautifully with the madewell tote. love indeed!

  30. Great list. I would probably add a blazer and a good pair of flats or oxfords.

  31. Love this list! I need an every day dress and another great pair of dark skinnies.

  32. So I think you raided my closet for this post! Lol – I always feel like a boring dresser b/c this is mostly what I wear, but I agree that they are such a great basis for using the rest of your wardrobe! Only thing I'm missing is the black skirt – need to put that on my to-make list πŸ™‚

  33. I would love to see some posts on how you style these fall basics and how you can pair them together.

  34. I love to look at your post every day & love your list but I have to agree with Elizabeth the prices are way above what most can spend!

  35. Love these. I think I need to go shopping for some new basics. Perfect excuse to shop? Um, yes.

  36. I would love to see some posts on how you style these fall basics and how you can pair them together.

  37. Love all your Fall essentials and I totally agree about the black mini. I’ve been eyeing that one for a while now. Headed downtown this weekend and I will definitely be trying it on.

    Agi:)

    vodkainfusedlemonade.com

  38. I absolutely love it all! What a great list of basic items that you can really build your wardrobe around. I love your style and wish I was closer so I could shop at your store!

  39. Love all your Fall essentials and I totally agree about the black mini. I've been eyeing that one for a while now. Headed downtown this weekend and I will definitely be trying it on.

    Agi:)

    vodkainfusedlemonade.com

  40. I absolutely love it all! What a great list of basic items that you can really build your wardrobe around. I love your style and wish I was closer so I could shop at your store!

  41. I ordered the Madewell sweatshirt dress today! It’s sold out in xs, small on line but they did a store search for me and shipped it for free! Can’t wait to get it.

  42. I ordered the Madewell sweatshirt dress today! It's sold out in xs, small on line but they did a store search for me and shipped it for free! Can't wait to get it.

  43. This is my favorite post since the working closet series! do you have any more posts about “must haves” or “classics”? I love them. Also, is there a way to search your blog? thank you πŸ™‚

  44. My favorite post since the working closet series! Are there any more posts about must haves or classics that you have done? Also, is there a way to search your blog? Thank you πŸ™‚

  45. This is my favorite post since the working closet series! do you have any more posts about "must haves" or "classics"? I love them. Also, is there a way to search your blog? thank you πŸ™‚

  46. My favorite post since the working closet series! Are there any more posts about must haves or classics that you have done? Also, is there a way to search your blog? Thank you πŸ™‚

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