Closet 101 Style

Favorite Super Basics

Today I thought I’d share some of my favorites of what I call my “super basics” – aka, the really casual items in my wardrobe, that I get incredible “cost per wear’ out of it – as in, pennies, because I wear them every day. The simple items that are the backbone of our closets, and may actually be what we wear the most part of our day – aka while we’re sleeping, lounging, or under our clothing – but which may get neglected in favor of more glamorous items. Here are some of mine, and I’d love to hear yours!

Ralph Lauren sleepshirt: I own quite a few iterations of these, but my absolute favorite version is the jersey, 3/4 sleeve configuration, which is perfect. The sleeves aren’t too long, the material is really soft and comfortable, and still quite flattering for sleepwear, in my opinion. I live in loungewear at home and this is what I’m wearing most mornings as I have my tea (while juggling baby!). The button up front is great for nursing mamas too, by the way.

Birkenstock Gizehs: I wear both my white and black Gizeh pairs quite a lot, but especially the black. I wore these so much all throughout my pregnancy and now postpartum, that I have a very clear Gizeh shaped tan line on my foot. It’s actually a bit embarrassing so thank goodness fall is coming soon. In the meantime, I’m contemplating buying a back up pair of blacks that I can slowly start to break in, as it will surely be a very sad day when my existing pair gives out. If you’re interested, you can find more information about my Gizehs and other Birkenstocks, via my Birkenstocks review.

Aerie bralettes: I love these bras! I wore them before, all throughout my pregnancy (in a different size) and now post partum, still vastly prefer them to nursing bras. They are incredibly comfortable, soft, stretchy, and I never have the end of the day discomfort that I experience with underwire bras. I can actually hang out and lounge in these at home, which I never could with other bras. Plus, they’re quite affordable. I would size up as Aerie runs small, in my opinion.


Gap Broken in Straight Khakis: These are my favorite “casual” pants that aren’t jeans/leggings. I have three pairs in various colors. These are the only pants which I can that I’ve worn on safari in South Africa, tromping around the city in Tokyo, and to work – that’s how versatile and comfortable they are! You can style them depending on the occasion with trainers or with heels. In any iteration, they have this really cool, slightly slouchy look and I always cuff the bottoms. Even my husband likes them. If it’s your first time trying these, I would order several sizes and/or try them on in store, as you may need a few tries to find your perfect fit. They do fit a tad bit large, even by Gap standards (a perennial vanity sizing offender).

What are some of your favorite “super duper” basics?

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  • Katherine
    October 5, 2015 at 9:01 am

    Aerie bralettes are great. Everything about them is awesome, the colors, styles and price point. They are definitely not just for the 15 -25 crowd. Glad to know they will carry me through motherhood.

    • Katherine
      October 5, 2015 at 9:44 pm

      I’d definitely recommend sticking with them (maybe in a larger size) before buying nursing bras!

  • Sarah
    October 5, 2015 at 9:44 am

    Ooh- what exactly is a bralette (as opposed to a bra?)

    • Katherine
      October 5, 2015 at 9:45 pm

      Hi Sarah, to me a bralette is bra that you pullover your head (no clasps), and no underwire.

      • Sarah
        October 10, 2015 at 1:01 am

        Thank you, I like comfortable things and gave up on underwear bras a long time ago.

        • Sarah
          October 11, 2015 at 11:54 am

          I mean underwire 😃

  • Jennipher
    October 5, 2015 at 11:14 am

    I love this post! It’s so easy to get excited about the super special clothing items/accessories we purchase (that in my case I rarely wear!) rather than the things we use all the time.

    My favorite basic item is a plain ol’ black zip-up jacket in lightweight fleece I bought at the RC in Half Moon Bay, which I wear almost every day. It’s special since I bought it while there on my babymoon, so it reminds me of that time, and I wear it so much because it fits perfectly and is the ideal layer (not too thick or thin) for all but the hottest/coldest days.

    • Katherine
      October 5, 2015 at 9:45 pm

      Awww that is so sweet! I love that you got it on your babymoon.

  • Belen
    October 5, 2015 at 11:42 am

    I love the broken in khakis. I currently only own one pair (in oak) but I’m looking to buy a couple more. I agree, they are so versatile, and comfortable! They are a nice alternative to sweatpants when I work from home, and I get to feel more put together as opposed to a slob (says while wearing sweatpants!).

    You’ve piqued my interest with the Aerie bralettes. I’m always looking for more comfortable bras.

    • Katherine
      October 5, 2015 at 9:45 pm

      Yay to see another fan of these pants. I’d definitely try out an Aerie bralette if you are looking for comfort.

    • Belen
      October 8, 2015 at 8:25 am

      I forgot to mention my current favorite basic: the Old Navy twill shorts (5″ inseam – they seem to be all gone online except for pink). They are the most comfortable shorts I’ve ever owned. They feel like you’re wearing nothing, yet they hold their shape and look put together. I made the mistake of buying similar shorts from another brand this summer, never again as long as Old Navy keeps making these!

      • Katherine
        October 8, 2015 at 3:40 pm

        Thanks for the recommendation! I love Old Navy dresses, haven’t tried their shorts before.

  • Sammie
    October 5, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    Love love this post Katherine! I am going to try out the Aerie bralettes, too! <3

    • Katherine
      October 5, 2015 at 9:46 pm

      Enjoy and I hope you like them!

  • Becky
    October 5, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    I, too, love the Ralph Lauren sleep shirts. My everyday staple is a black or white tshirt & I have found the best ones to be St. Johns Bay short sleeve from JCP of all places. I love the cut of them & the quality of the cotton. As long as I wash them in cold water on delicate cycle & dry on delicate, they last for years! It’s the only thing I buy at JCP but I love them so much, I always buy a few more each year in case they stop carrying them. Some of my tshirts are going on their 5th year of constant use.

    • Katherine
      October 5, 2015 at 9:47 pm

      Thank you for the tee recommendation – awesome that they have done so well for you. I’d love if they made a deeper v, I’d definitely try them out. They seem to have great reviews too (I googled them after your comment!)

  • Lesley
    October 5, 2015 at 2:35 pm

    Ooh thanks for the bralette recommendation! I also hate wearing nursing bras and have been wearing the lululemon free to be (regular version) bras at home instead. I keep trying to find alternatives to actual nursing items. (:

    • Katherine
      October 5, 2015 at 9:47 pm

      Try them out! They have versions in store too.

  • shortiek
    October 5, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    Lands End Canvas lounge/sweatpants. They’re a terry material, cropped (although on me this is full length) and I often scrunch up the bottom to above my calf when I run errands. I have all three colors, a heather, blue green and grey/back, and basically live in them from now until Feb!

    aerie bralettes are awesome! I have…way too many. There was a style a year or two ago that I wish they’d bring back. Busty means I need styles with more coverage and the “boho” plunging/triangle cuts don’t hold them in as well!

    uniqlo undershirts are my winter heavy hitters. Somewhat jealous of your warmer weather!

    • Katherine
      October 5, 2015 at 9:48 pm

      Aerie discontinued one of my favorite bralette styles too…I’ve learned to stock up when there’s a style I like (which ends up in me having some weirder colors).

  • Iris
    October 5, 2015 at 5:41 pm

    Thank you for doing this post! I’m a big fan of your cost per wear series. My staples are blue stripe tshirts, long and short sleeved. Another work staple is Jcrew pixie pants, so comfy so stretchy. white-tshirts are another staple. hmm and maybe flannel pj’s.

    Love the items you recommended!

    • Katherine
      October 5, 2015 at 9:48 pm

      Thank you! I tried the pixie pants but they didn’t work on me…bummer as so many people love them.

  • pret a porter p
    October 5, 2015 at 6:28 pm

    Black tees from target, girl shorts from gap body

    • Katherine
      October 5, 2015 at 9:49 pm

      Thanks for the recs – I’m going to check out the girl shorts (I already have some Mossimo Ts)

  • Whitney Farris
    October 5, 2015 at 8:35 pm

    I have a closet full of those gap pants in many colors. They are so comfortable and look great dressed up or down! Great choice to put up!

    • Katherine
      October 5, 2015 at 9:49 pm

      Yes they are! I keep hoping they bring more colors out.

      • Whitney Farris
        October 6, 2015 at 7:25 am

        Over the years they have had wine and Kermit the frog green. I have both of those. Old Navy has their version of these pants too. I have some of theirs and they are equally comfortable and wardrobe staples

  • Falnangel
    October 5, 2015 at 9:06 pm

    I immediately ordered a couple of the bralettes after reading your post! I lived in sports bras ever since my son. He’s two now and I still rarely wear a regular bra. The bralettes are perfect! More feminine and a lot prettier than my sports bras!

    • Katherine
      October 5, 2015 at 9:49 pm

      I hope you like them! The one issue is the lacier styles do sometimes show under a smooth tshirt, just something to keep in mind 🙂

  • Vivian
    October 5, 2015 at 10:01 pm

    I’m still looking for a pair of comfortable trousers/pants I can wear to Morocco, thanks for recommending Gap Khakis, will definitely try them in store.

  • Kaitlin
    October 7, 2015 at 1:41 am

    I love those khakis, great finds!

  • S
    October 8, 2015 at 8:11 am

    Hello! My most reliable basics are: Uniqlo bra tank tops (bra cups inside), Theory stretchy knit pants (presentable and polished for work/travel), J Crew painter tees and Saturday pants, FitFlops (so comfy), and a black Kelly bag with a canvas strap.

    • Katherine
      October 8, 2015 at 3:39 pm

      A black Kelly with a canvas strap is so useable, I agree – which FitFlops do you like? I’ve tried a few styles, haven’t found the perfect one yet.

      • S
        October 8, 2015 at 6:32 pm

        Hi again!

        I like the “Pietra” style – simply black thong with “jewels” on the front. The thing between the toes can be hard to break in, but with a little Band Aid Blister Block it should be easier. I can walk all day in these shoes though they aren’t the prettiest). Plus, they are pretty good in rainy weather. Hope you and the little one are doing well!

        • Katherine
          October 11, 2015 at 2:20 pm

          Thank you!

  • Amy C.
    October 13, 2015 at 10:12 am

    My favorite basics: Target adjustable tanks with the built-in bra (wear these under a lot of my shirts), Zara jeans (bought Hudson forever, but love the stretch in some of Zara’s), and Free People bralettes. I just ordered two of the Aerie bralettes last night at your recommendation. The ones I’ve tried from Free People are either a) itchy, or b) incredibly comfortable but so unsupportive that I am limited to wearing them around the house. Crossing my fingers for the AE! Also have 3 pairs of the Gap khakis you mentioned. Love them. Thanks for the ideas Katherine! 🙂

    • Katherine
      October 14, 2015 at 8:57 pm

      I hope you like the bralettes!

  • Julide
    October 22, 2015 at 9:04 am

    Hi! I love staple pieces! My most worn staple is is my Carine Gilson camisoles. I wear them year round, I have a mousseline type for the summer and regular silk for cooler times of the year. I must say that there are many things that I use that I regularly think about. I also like use the fake sensitive cotton socks almost everyday. I guess you never think about how many things you use everyday and do not think about. I am interested in the other posters most used items. I will be looking into them too! Thank you!