I Like My Staples With A Hint of Extra—These 7 Do It For Me

Ask anyone about their top fall staples, and guaranteed the list will remain pretty much the same no matter where you go. Among the usual suspects: a classic crisp trench coat, black leather ankle boots, and a cable knit sweater, etc, (you get the gist). All of these have a permanent place in our closets for good reason—they’re versatile, timeless, and won’t ever feel out of place within the ever-changing tastes of the industry. While the classics will always receive plenty of sartorial play, lately, our immediate attention has shifted a bit elsewhere. A little more amped up than your typical seasonal pieces, yet not too trendy that you’ll fall fashion victim, there’s a new crop of staples rising out of the fashion landscape.  At first It-items of the moment, they’ve proven to have a longer shelf life that extends beyond the typical trend cycle. Plisse pleats and chunky boots are just two of the new school staples I find myself constantly reaching for these days, and might I say they’re better than the “classics”? Scroll on to see the full list of items I consider new classics, and to shop them along the way.

No, I’m not throwing away my wool blazers— I just happen to be buying leather versions more. Adding a leather blazer to a pair of jeans or pants is like an instant upgrade: It comes across as polished without resorting to heels or a dress, which can sometimes feel too formal. Whether you’re into a boxier fit or a silhouette that’s more fitted, the selection on the market runs the gamut.  Although I personally am on a leather blazer kick right now, it’s not a piece I foresee retiring anytime soon.

It’s truly amazing how something as simple as a big shirt can transform an outfit into a look that’s leagues better, but here we are. The popularity of this piece can be traced to The Row and Valentino—both brands incorporated the piece into its collections a few seasons ago—and from then caught on like wildfire. While the fanfare is more timely, its simplicity isn’t something that will feel out of date should you wear it years from now.

Suit vests seemingly came out of nowhere to dominate 2021, but it’s a piece that’s worth its weight in terms of style and versatility. When worn as a part of a suit it reads as sophisticated and confident, yet the scam is that it requires minimal styling expertise. My advice: stock up and wear them all season long with denim or underneath a blazer.

Exaggerated soles are on the menu when it comes to the latest boot trend fashion people around the globe can’t get enough of. One might call it a trend, but the silhouette has stuck around steadily over the past few years that I think there’s potential to upgrade it to classic status. It’s a little more rugged than your typical fall boot, which really adds oomph when worn with minimalist pieces.

Khaki pants are hardly anything new, but their newfound fame among fashion people has given this beloved staple a second wind. If your style errs on classic, you’ll want to invest in a few pairs sooner than later; style it with an oversized shirt or a sweater vest and you have a look straight out of The Row.

Thanks to Issey Miyake most of us are quite versed in the world of plisse pleats, but it’s only been recently that the trend has skyrocketed to new heights. It’s quite easy to see the appeal: the fabric never wrinkles, transitions easily between casual and formal outfits, and adds a hint of elegance with anything your wear it with. Every brand right now has their own take on plisse, so where you buy it is your call, but I highly recommend the plisse pieces from our latest Who What Wear Collection drop. 

Since turning to the quarter-zip sweater, my crew neck versions have been left untouched. It’s a simple detail, but a shiny zipper really adds an edge that feels both modern and cool. I’ve been wearing mine with everything from midi skirts to sweatpants and jeans. 

Up next: An Oldie But Goodie Wardrobe Staple Is Staging a Comeback—Here’s How to Wear It

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