14 Basics You Need in Your Closet

From Kirkland white tees to New Era Yankees fitteds to Levi's 501s and staple sneakers like Nike Air Force 1s, these are the basics you need in your closet.

Nike Air Force 1

Image via Nike

Nike Air Force 1

An outfit can’t exist without the staples that pull any look together. A classic jean, a crisp white shirt, and a sturdy jacket are all essential to any ensemble, and absolute necessities for everyday life. But with the constant evolution of fashion and style, the basics can be overlooked, leaving even the best-planned fits looking incomplete. So we’ve scoured the internet to see what pieces our closets were missing or needed to have refreshed. Here are 14 basics any closet needs.

Levi’s 501 Jeans

Levi's 501 Jeans Original Fit

These iconic jeans are designed with a classic straight leg, button fly, and five pockets, and fit true to size. They’re loose without being too baggy, and they work with basically anything. There’s a reason 501s—in various forms—have lasted for more than 100 years.


Bodega Cargo Pant 2.0 

Bodega Cargo Pants 2.0

With their reinforced knees and seat, antique brass snap buttons, drawcords at the hem, and adjustable waist webbing, these cargos can survive almost anything. Don’t sleep—even if you don’t really need all that storage space.


Arc’teryx Squamish Jacket 

Arc'teryx Squamish Jacket

This packable, wind-protecting essential is made of Tyono 30 nylon that’s both lightweight and sturdy—great for changing climates. It also has an adjustable Stormhood, No Slip Zip, dual hem adjustments, and stows in its chest pocket so you can take it with you or clip it to a harness.


Champion Closed-Bottom Joggers

Champion Everyday Fitted Ankle Sweatpants

No closet should be without at least one pair of Champion sweats. Whether you wear them with Air Force 1s or Timbs, they’re a strong look. And you can’t go wrong with the matching hoodie.


The North Face Vault Backpack

The North Face Vault Backpack

This backpack has a water-repellent finish, secure-zip pockets, flexible shoulder straps, and a padded mesh back panel. It even has a ventilated support so you don’t feel the heat of lugging around your things all day. The front compartment has a tablet sleeve and a key fob holder, there are two water bottle pockets on the outside, and the main compartment has a padded laptop sleeve.

Birkenstock Boston Soft Clog 

Birkenstock Boston Soft Clog

These natural cork-and-latex footbed clogs are much more than a classic and comfortable shoe. They’re designed to help stimulate circulation and improve balance while you walk in them. And they’re an integral part of a handful of summer looks.


Nike Air Force 1 ’07

Nike Air Force 1 '07

You should know this by now: The white-on-white Air Force 1 is essential. Wear it with shorts, jeans, jerseys, shirts—whatever. It will never go out of style, and you should have a pair on deck at all times.

Uniqlo Sweat Pullover Long-Sleeve Hoodie

UNIQLO Pullover Long Sleeve Hoodie

This is a classic hoodie in every sense: drawstring hood, super-soft cotton, available in all the colors your wardrobe may demand. But this Uniqlo piece stands out in one way, and that’s that, instead of a pouch, it has discrete pockets, so you can carry things without some of the weight a traditional pouch might add.


Stance Gamut 3-Pack No-Show Liner Socks

Gamut 3-Pack No-Show Liner Socks

You’ll need no-show socks for summer. These ones were designed using a soft, stretchy combed-cotton blend that allows for them to comfortably mold around your feet and stay in place all day. 


Dickies Work Pants

Dickies Work Pants

There’s a reason these pants have transcended subcultures and stood the test of time. Their style is timeless, and skaters swear by them because they’re cheap, baggy, and durable. Whatever you plan to wear them for, you pretty much can’t go wrong.


Polo Ralph Lauren Polo Shirt

Ralph Lauren Classic Polo Shirt

It’s literally in the name: iconic. This shirt has been an American style standard for 50 years—since 1972, when Ralph Lauren first delivered his embroidered Polo player atop a collared cotton top. This relaxed version uses a soft and breathable cotton mesh to keep you comfortable. 


New Era New York Yankees 59Fifty Fitted Cap

New Era 59Fifty Yankees Cap

It’s a Yankees fitted. Curved brim, flat brim, slightly oversized—it will always look good. For proof, look at a picture of any rapper to come out of the city in the last 30-something years.

Kirkland Signature Men’s Crew Neck T-Shirts

Kirkland Signature Crew Neck T-Shirts

The best-white-tee debate may never end, but there’s a strong case to be made for Kirkland’s time-tested design, which isn’t too short, isn’t too long, isn’t too wide, and comes in packs of six. You should keep two stacks of these in your closet at all times—but especially when it’s hot outside.


Carhartt Payton Hip Bag 

Carhartt Payton Hip Bag

Carhartt makes the kind of products you’ll be wearing for a lifetime, and this fanny pack is no exception. Made of their state-of-the-art Cordura fabric, it’s water repellent, lined, and has roomy pockets to fit everything you’d need on the go.