5 Updated Basics to Add to Your Wardrobe

You get it -- you've got a white tee and black blazer. These fresh staples are the new musts.
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You get it -- you've got a white tee and black blazer. These fresh staples are the new musts.
streetstyle with white blouses

Photo credit: ELLE.

You don't need to read another magazine article telling you how much you need a great pair of jeans or black pumps. You probably didn't even need to read one in the first place -- those pieces are obvious MVPs in your wardrobe lineup.  

At this stage in your life, you've probably found your fave basics that work best for you.  But lately, I've been realizing how much use I get out of my basics-with-a-twist: classic pieces with a chic update. A cool neckline or hemline on an otherwise blank canvas item can make an outfit.

That's why I've chosen five pieces that are updated versions of classic basics, that I consider to be the musts for 2016.  Read on for my picks.

1. White tie blouse

white tie blouse

Top: Nasty Gal.

Your white button-down is amazing for layering and for wearing to every job interview you've ever had. A bow blouse version is an amazing step up, and you can wear it in all the same ways. Plus, you can experiment with tying the neck in different size loops, or wear the ties undone for a more relaxed vibe.

A bow looks so chic poking out from under coats, jackets, and pullover sweaters alike. This top is a statement-maker on its own with black pants and pumps, and it adds polish to a floral skirt. You could even throw a sleeveless dress on over it. Basically (no pun intended), the possibilities are endless.

2. Undone hem jeans

frayed hem jeans

Jeans: Express.  

Cropped, raw-hem jeans are a big trend this fall (and one which you can even DIY). They look so cool when paired with a high heel or any sort of statement shoe. The relaxed, unfinished vibe creates eye-catching contrast with all of your more polished pieces.  

Wear these babies anywhere you would wear your current favorite jeans! They're cropped, so it's better to rock them before it gets too cold (but they do also look great with warm socks and ankle booties). Tuck in a white top like the one above, add killer footwear, and you have yourself an incredible street style look.

3. Black ankle-strap heels

black ankle strap heels

Heels: Lulu's.

I have sung the praises of ankle-strap heels on CF before. A classic black pair is a more high-fashion version of a basic black pump.  

Ankle strap heels look great with almost any length skirt or dress, and especially awesome with cropped pants. And for cold weather, don't be afraid to pair them with chunky socks for quirky, high-fashion look.

4. Menswear pattern blazer

plaid blazer

Blazer: Target.

Your black blazer is an outfit finisher, but a perfect-fitting menswear-esque blazer (in houndstooth, plaid, gingham, or tweed) is an outfit maker. I always feel so chic and polished in a great blazer, even if it's just paired with jeans.

A jacket like this can be the star of a look on its own, but is also amazing when mixed with other patterns like leopard, brocade, or floral. Talk about luxe.

5. Chain necklace

gold chain necklace

Necklace: Forever 21.

A chain necklace, be it layered like the one above or a single, thick chain, is a go-with-everything piece of jewelry that makes a look instantly more dynamic and modern. Don't get me wrong, I still love dainty, personal jewelry. But I also think a chain statement necklace is usually the answer when I feel like a look needs a little something extra.  

You could build a whole edgy outfit around your strands, or add a thick chain to an otherwise girly or classic look for something unexpected. Chain necklaces look just as great with a crew neck tee as they do a plunging-neckline gown.

What do you think?

What pieces in your closet do you consider updated basics? Do you love these five styles?  How do you make a classic outfit look a little more trendy? Let me know in the comments!

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