When was the last time you took inventory of your winter basics? These are the pieces that are the foundation for your wardrobe. And, if you’ve been around for a while, you know alllll too well how key these pieces are! We talk about it all the time but it bears repeating…because the basics are essential. Without these important wardrobe basics, it’s pretty near impossible to build an outfit. Basics are the supporting players in your closet that work with all of your stand-out pieces. They make it easier to create endless outfit combos without much time, effort, or thought. Today we’re focusing on budget-friendly winter basics under $100 (mostly). Each of these basics has some special details that make them a little bit extra!
If the idea of basics in your wardrobe is new*ish* to you, you’ll want to go back and read this post for some quick tips and highlights to get you started.
Winter Wardrobe Basics
The outfit Erin’s wearing here is a perfect example of how basics work beautifully together to create an elevated outfit. Erin is wearing her Balmain blazer with a chic chain-detailed silk cami by Generation Love, flattering L’Agence straight-leg jeans, and a pair of classic black booties by Stuart Weitzman. She could easily swap out the cami for a blouse, t-shirt, sweater, or bodysuit to switch up her look. The classic jeans will work with endless other pieces in her wardrobe, and the pointed-toe booties elongate her frame. So chic! So, we wanted to recreate this look using budget-friendly basics and share some other standout pieces that will also be workhorses in your winter wardrobe.
We should note that when it comes to investing in clothing, putting more of your budget towards your basics is a safe bet…because you’ll wear them more frequently! But our goal today is to find you high-quality basics at more affordable price points. Just click the bolded title links below to shop.
Winter Wardrobe Budget Basics
We’ve shared this blazer before as a great dupe for both the Balmain and Veronic Beard Miller Dickey Jacket. It does go in and out of stock frequently so if this speaks to you, just remember to keep checking back if you can’t find your size. A classic blazer like this can be worn to the office, casually with jeans and sneakers, and over dresses. The cut is modern and flattering and will stand the test of time. The sleek gold buttons add a little extra pop and a modern touch.
A turtleneck sweater is a warm winter essential. This sweater by 1.State is a basic…with a twist. It has a small cutout in the back just above where your bra strap would be. So, you can still wear a regular bra with it. It’s that perfect length for adding a front tuck, but you can also wear it untucked. It will look great with jeans and it comes in 7 colors!
A tote bag is a great handbag staple because it’s perfect to throw over your shoulder for the office, travel, and everyday errands. Finding a high-quality, all-leather tote for under $90 is amazing! This one is the perfect size and has an interior slip pocket too.
When we said these would be budget basics, we had every intention of sharing only quality pieces. Which is why this Blank NYC jacket was a no-brainer. This black fur faux coat can be styled with your most casual outfits (jeans and sneakers) to the most dressy (dresses and gowns). It’s on-trend, incredibly soft, and a fun way to wear a basic black jacket but with some edge!
There are as many styles of black booties as there are clouds in the sky. So, how do you know which ones to choose? We say go with the ones that offer the most versatility for your lifestyle. These black leather booties by Vince Camuto have a stacked heel for easier walking, and a side zip for quick on/off. The shaft is perfect for wearing with pants and jeans but also just the right height to style with your dresses and skirts. We also love the squared-off pointed toe. It’s ideal if you want the flattering advantages of an elongated pointy toe with just a bit more room in the toe box. At the time of writing this post, these booties are a steal at 60% off!
If you are wondering which types of boots and shoes you can wear with which style jeans, this post lays it all out for you so there is no more guessing!
A LBD is a must-have for all seasons. When it comes to basics, a shirtdress or wrap dress is typically the most flattering on most body types. Erin tried the short-sleeved version of this Steve Madden shirtdress during the NSale and loved the flattering fit. You can see those images and styling tips in this post. The long sleeve version is perfect in the winter with boots or booties and the silky fabric can read dressier for an office OR party/event look. When you can find a flattering LBD that can serve multiple purposes in your wardrobe, that’s a slam dunk!
Black and white stripes are a classic combo that will never go out of style. So, investing in higher-end pieces is a safe bet. But when you can find them for less…why not? This striped sweater has a mock neck, flattering and cool side slits at the hem and cuffs (we just love a special detail like that!), and it’s made from a mid-weight ribbed knit. Just add jeans and you’ll look stylish with minimal effort!
Speaking of jeans, we often get asked which jeans will offer the most versatility from season to season AND for casual and elevated outfits. The answer there is going to be a dark or medium wash straight-leg pair of jeans with minimal distressing. These Kut from The Kloth jeans fit the bill perfectly. They have a high rise so you’ll feel all tucked in and your legs will look a mile long. They do have a longer inseam at 33” so if you are petite, you might prefer this similar pair that has 27” inseam. These will help you achieve the same chic look Erin is wearing in the very first image at the top of this post.
Every woman needs a crisp white button-down in her wardrobe. In the winter, it’s a great piece to layer under your sweaters, vests, and even some dresses. But you can also wear it alone with black trousers or jeans. It will instantly add some polish to your outfit. Keep in mind it’s extra-elevated if that button-down has a few cool details. This quality, cotton poplin button-down by Mango has a more oversized fit and slightly belled cuffs. If you’re looking for more of a classic button-down, this one by Mango is a bit more streamlined and equally as chic.
Our last budget basic is these neutral New Balance 327 sneakers. We weren’t sure what all the fuss was about with these popular sneakers…until we tried them. They are insanely comfortable and there’s something about the shape and fit that makes your feet look slender and sleek. The lug sole makes these perfect for long walks but their cool enough that you can wear them with jeans and a sweater too. They are athletic shoes that look like street sneakers. The most difficult thing about them though is finding them in stock. They sell out so quickly. We’ll link them below at a few retailers in case you can’t find your size. These will not disappoint and are at a great price point…just under $100.
Do you have a basic in your closet that has stood the test of time? Maybe a special coat or sweater? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below!
Have you signed up for our weekly Busbee Style newsletter? If not, we’d love to have you join our community. You’ll receive a wardrobe basics checklist by season along with SO many other amazing resources. Just click here to join.