The 10 (New!) Wardrobe Essentials Of 2024


Whenever I click on an article about closet staples – something like “16 Clothing Essentials That Belong In Every Closet!” or “The Clothing Items Every Woman Needs!”, I’m confronted by the same, boring list: white tee, black pants, white button-down, leggings, straight-leg jeans, layering tanks, blazer, blah, blah, blah, boop boop.

Even Vogue, you guys. Even when they use “2024” in the title.

It’s. The. Same. List.

Hi! Nothing new to see here!

Truly, these pieces don’t create a terrible capsule wardrobe, just an uninspired one. And if one actually followed this list, it often results in the blandest of classic outfits. Instead of feeling inspired, I typically come away feeling bored.

Striped tee + jeans? Yeah, I know that one.

Our Ultimate Wardrobe Edit: 10 Ways To Update Your Style In 2024

The truth is, styles – even classic styles – can shift over decades. Which means that these old lists of closet essentials or starter capsule wardrobes can definitely use a fresher bent, even if the ideas remain the same.

So I pulled the team together to do a little research (where are styles heading?), brainstorm a little (what are you actually wearing and – just as important – not wearing), and do a gut-check on which pieces will stand the test of time (a decade, perhaps?) with the most creative, fashionable people I know.

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We came up with a curated list of 10 pieces that are uncomplicated, fresh, and still timeless.

  1. The Go-To Denim: Pilcro Relaxed Flare Jeans (in standard, plus, petite and tall sizes)
  2. The New (Pretty) White Shirt: Free People Maisie Blouse
  3. The New Tee: Sézane La Chamade T-Shirt
  4. The Classic Coat: Favorite Daughter Trench Coat
  5. The Cool Sneaker: Adidas Sambas
  6. The Chic Flat: Reformation Ballet Flat
  7. The Wear-All-Day Lounge Set: Alo Chill Crewneck + Sweats
  8. The Not-Just-For-Work Trouser: Reformation Trousers
  9. The Only Warm-Weather Dress You Need: Reformation Linen Dress
  10. The Statement Pants: Lisa Says Gah Leopard Pants

Let’s get into it.

1. A Trench Coat

A Trench Coat

Arguably the most timeless piece of all, this one feels especially fresh for 2024. While a slightly oversized, longer fit is the most modern take (and, frankly, considering the job of the trench, also the most practical), any old trench coat – of at least a midi length – will do. Why? It fancies up everything. Sweats? Yes. Leggings? Of course. Tennis ‘fit (post tennis, sweaty and all?) also yes. And this coat also has the ability to make fancy dresses (notoriously hard to pair with coats) feel right at home in a trench.

A Trench Coat for spring

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While there have been some gorgeous new styles coming out along with the classics – cropped, denim, paint-splattered – for the most timeless option stick with a longer trench, sized to fit over a sweater (or hoodie – one of my fav combos).

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2. A Special White Top (In 100% Cotton or Linen)

A White Cotton Top for spring

Instead of a staid work button-up, the white tops of 2024 are ones with some sort of special detail: cut-outs, eyelet, pleats, an oversized fit, or even just a perfectly well-designed button placement. The vibe of these tops should be nonchalant, easy, and/or feminine. Some could be called pretty, some might be breezy, but both will add a light airiness that perfectly balances the visual weight of baggy jeans, darker trousers, and any print you can think of. These tops have become our new go-tos.

There’s no doubt that natural fibers – 100% cotton or linen – are always a better bet. Not only do they tend to be better for the environment (especially linen), but they’re the most breathable, comfortable to wear and long lasting.

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shop special white tops

3. Something Graphic

Something Graphic

We’ve long relied on graphic tees (or sweatshirts) to add personality to otherwise basic outfits. And while our graphic tee landscape has been ruled by dark & edgy graphic tees (bonus points for band tees), the new crop is a little more colorful and decidedly more playful. We’re also noting that tees & sweatshirts, in general, are starting to lean more oversized, contributing to the ease of wear.

Something Graphic for spring

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Also!! Don’t overlook the playful power of fun, graphic hats (I’m a sucker for a good baseball hat), as well as jackets – especially quilted jackets. They’re a solid replacement for a classic denim jacket, and feel very fresh for 2024.

shop graphic tees & sweatshirts

shop graphic hats & jackets

4. A Matching Lounge Set

A Matching Lounge Set for spring

Matching loungewear – a holdover from pandemic days – is still our favorite way to feel sophisticated & chic (or close enough, anyway) while wearing something akin to PJs. Not only for running errands, we especially love these matching sets for travel. A foolproof travel-day formula is to add cute sneaks (or ballet flats), and top with a trench coat. And each piece can do double-duty on the trip, too.

A Matching Lounge Set

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A few favs: While I’ll always love a linen set in summer, Vuori’s Villa line (above, left) is pretty freaking great in hot weather and travels well. For a cozier feel, Frank & Eileen has some of the most stunning sweatsuits we’ve seen & worn (on Linzi, above right), and I swear by mine for overseas flights, even in the summer. It’s sweatpant material, but the highest quality I’ve ever tried, and never looks rumpled, even after a long night of flying. The “Greece” set is my personal favorite.

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5. A Slip Dress

If you only own ONE dress, a slip dress – especially in 100% silk – is our top pick. While this was originally a source of much debate, in the end, it was a unanimous vote. Why? There isn’t another dress out there that can be casual or fancy, and wears equally well with heels, tall boots, sneakers, flip-flops, slides, flat sandals, and Birkenstocks.

Furthermore, a slip dress is an event-changing chameleon. With sneakers, it’s cute on the sideline of a baseball game (slip a hoodie over top), and with heels it’s my top pick for fancy events (even almost-black-tie bar mitvahs). Silk is cool in the summer, and warm in the winter. And slip dresses can be layered both over (cropped sweaters, long coats, even hoodies) and under (try tees, turtlenecks, or those mesh FP tops).

dresses sold out, check out Reformation’s 100% silk

shop silk slip dresses

6. Loose Jeans

Loose-Fitting Jeans for spring

By now, I’m sure you’ve heard us mention that loose, baggier jeans – especially wide-leg or barrel jeans – are going to be the next big trend in denim. Remember our article, What Jeans Are Even In Style in 2024? Not only are they one of the most comfortable jean styles ever, but they contrast so well with feminine silhouettes, make our daily basics feel fresh, and even add interest to other oversized pieces.

Loose-Fitting Jeans

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Our favorites from the past year + some new styles that we’ve been drooling over are in the widget below. We can’t get enough of these things – they have an effortlessly cool vibe that pairs well with even the most serious of tops & shoes. A wardrobe unicorn, if you will.

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7. Trousers (Not Just For Work)

Trousers for spring

Trousers, as a wardrobe basic in 2024, should be full-length, flowy, and not overly precious. Trousers today are almost being worn like – gasp! – sweatpants. If that feels like a bridge too far, than think of them as a denim replacement. All this means is that trousers can be worn with sneakers, flat sandals (heck, even flip-flops), Birkenstocks, UGGs – any sort of comfy, easy shoe. With a t-shirt! Or a tank top!

Conversely, don’t be afraid to dress them up with a sexy heel for a GNO, either. Bottom line? Trousers are NOT just for the office. (But they’re still, uh, perfect for the office, too. With office-y stuff like silk blouses and pumps, etc.)

Trousers for spring

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While black trousers are a must-have for me, don’t be afraid of beige, plaid, or even pink pinstripe (one of Abby’s faves). And a shout-out to Madewell’s Harlow trousers. They are some of the most-beloved by TME editors, too.

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8. Statement Pants

Statement Bottoms for spring

This may be our favorite category because A. statement pants are fun as hell and B. are so freaking easy to pull off. Basic tee? Boring sweater? Graphic crewneck? They all work. Also?? Those fancy tops and cute cardigans work too – it’s a wearable form a maximalism. ANYTHING goes with a pair of patterned pants.

Statement Bottoms for spring

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For me, it takes the guesswork out of looking cool. That effortless nonchalance just happens after you buy a pair of jeans with stars on ’em, I guess. 😉

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9. Ballet Flats

Ballet Flats for spring

Arguably, ballet flats are a classic that never goes out of style…and while I would always nod my head and agree, I’m now, uh, in FERVENT AGREEMENT. Ballet flats are currently making even my most basic outfits feel fresher, and create a really great contrast when worn with baggy, oversized pieces (see the combo, here).

Ballet Flats for spring

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My silver ballet flats were an unexpected win – I’ve been surprised by how well they go with…everything.

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10. Low-Profile Sneakers

Low-Profile Sneakers for spring

This one will come as no surprise; it’s the year of the Samba (or, really, any low-profile sneaker – ones that have a slim body & non-chunky features). The advantage to this low-profile sneaker is that they pair really, really well with long, drapey trousers or jeans. While a chunkier shoe interrupts the leg line, the lower profile sneaker almost functions more like a ballet flat, elongating the leg.

They also look cute with bare legs, cropped jeans, and straight-leg styles, too.

Low-Profile Sneakers for spring

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While there are other sneakers out there, Sambas are absurdly comfortable, go with pretty much any outfit, and are affordablethe OGs are $100. We’ve also been huge fans of adidas’ Gazelles because the color options (especially for the spring season) are so freaking good. If you’d like a little height (useful if you want to wear trousers or jeans with both sneaker and a low heel), I swear by adidas Gazelle Bolds for this exact reason. (They’re cushier inside, too.)

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  1. I love these type of articles and always scoop up almost everything! I’ve been combing the internet looking for ways to refresh my closet but this is the best one I have seen yet. I have finally curated all of my “staples” but my outfits are so boring. It took you saying this for me to be like, “aha! Words for how I was feeling.” I just wish there was a way for you to get a cut of the cost when I have to order something from another site because it is sold out at the site you post.

  2. Just fyi, the first Reformation dress, black with cream flowers, the Crimini dress, is not silk. Online it says, viscose. I ordered it before I realized this, I thought the price was too good. I bet I will still keep it, but I wish they’d make a version that is real silk.

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