How To Make Your Basics Shine

When it comes to basics, it's about ease and convenience: You turn to your trusty white tee, favorite jeans, and classic LBD when putting more-complicated pieces together feels like too much effort. Because there are several tried-and-true basic combinations that always work, no matter what, it's easy to fall into a style rut: the white tee with jeans, black dress with kitten heels, or black boots with tucked-in skinnies. These outfits are great for no-brainer days, but with a few simple tweaks, your beloved basics can be so much more than just your average staples — which doubles their wear even further.

To make these go-to items really shine, you've got to think beyond the expected and try new silhouettes, have fun with accessories, and rely on cool outerwear, too. The four looks ahead don't require any more effort than your go-to pairings, but they feel — and look — that much more fresh and interesting. Click ahead and see just how easy it is to ramp up your holy-grail basics.
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The White Tee
It's so easy to slip mindlessly into a tee-and-jeans combo every single day, but it's just as easy to change it up. Instead of denim, opt for a visually interesting skirt with a graphic print and asymmetric hem. Then, add some interest up top, too, with a longline jacket in your hue of choice. Add in a cool pair of sneakers so things don't feel stuffy, and complete the look with some on-trend studs, and your white tee won't feel so plain after all.
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We'll be the last ones to ever bash an LBD, but we are well aware that the piece can feel a little conservative. So funk it up with a statement clutch that's (quite literally) on the wild side. A menswear-inspired loafer with an eye-catching metallic texture is an unexpected way to make things interesting, especially when paired with a sheer graphic sock. Finally, layer a fall-appropriate corduroy jacket overtop and scrunch up the sleeves. (You can pop the collar for a little extra edge.)
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The Black Bootie
Instead of defaulting to tucking your skinny jeans into a black bootie for the entirety of fall and winter once again, consider changing it up with a different pant silhouette — like these wide-leg khaki culottes with a contrasting hem detail. The added volume in the leg and the cropped length are perfect with an ankle-height heeled boot, and you can keep the top simple by half-tucking a loose-fitting cozy sweater. Add some color with a red mini-backpack and finish it off with a minimal choker.
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The Go-To Denim
When we said to make your basics shine, we also meant literally. The easiest way to give your basic pair of high-waisted jeans a cool-girl tweak is by adding metallic outerwear. Layer a short-sleeved sweater underneath, which is perfect for transitional weather, and then balance out the edgier pullover with professional-looking accessories, like a brown top-handle bag and leather loafer.

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