The Best Basics for Building a Wardrobe

You guys know how much I love my basics. They’re a staple in my wardrobe, and I’m always getting questions about my favorite basics, or where to start when it comes to building a wardrobe. The answer is BASICS.

I’m sure you know the Nordstrom Sale is going on, and although it can be a little overwhelming and in your face, it’s actually a really good time to grab a few basics. I tried a bunch of the best basics at the best prices, and I wanted to share fit and sizing details with you so you could grab some while they’re really great deals.

A staple in my wardrobe is a really great pair of jeans.

They go with everything and they’re a Momiform-must.

Merrick's Art Blank NYC Jeans

Item: BlankNYC Ripped Skinny Jeans
Sizing: Fits TTS and wearing size 26. They’re a nice high quality denim, but with added stretch so they’re super comfy and suck everything into place. They also have a mid rise waist, which is super flattering, and a little distressing but not too much so they’re easy to dress up or down.
Price: $58.90 marked down from $88.00

Other good jeans options:

Basics should always include a good t-shirt.

Good t-shirts are my staple during the summer! I found a few on sale that are amazing!

Merrick's Art Lush V-Neck Slit Hem TeeItem: Lush Raw Edge Slit Tee
Sizing: It runs oversized and I’m wearing a size small. It also comes in black, red, navy, and white, and when it’s only $16 you might as well grab a few. The material is good quality, not sheer and it’s so softand the v-neck is so sharp and flattering and not too low that I have to wear a cami. I’m wearing these jeans with it.
Price: $15.90 but marked down from $24.00 striped BP. tee

Item: BP Pocket Tee
Sizing: It has a relaxed fit, and runs large. I’m wearing an x-small! It comes in a bunch of colors, but the striped is always a favorite. The color on the website looks more tan and black stripe, but in real life it’s a much lighter cream color and so cute. This tee always has a short sleeve version with a ton of color options!
Price: $18.90 marked down from $29.00 tulle mixed media tee

Item: Chelsea28 Mixed Media Sweatshirt
Sizing: I’m wearing a small and it was slightly too long on me. But this is a fun tee if you want to add a little personality to your basics. The tulle is really soft so it won’t scratch your arm, and the tee is made of a thicker sweatshirt material so it’s not sheer, and also a little cozier. Wearing it with these jeans and these sneakers.
Price: $45.90 marked down from $69.00

During cooler months, a sweater serves the same purpose as a t-shirt.

T-shirts are the best basic during the summer, and sweaters are the best basic during the winter. Now is a good time to stock up on sweaters while they’re amazing prices! Here are a few favorites I tried on.

Item: Lattice Back Sweater
Sizing: it’s very oversized! I’m in a size 2 and it’s still very loose on me, but I love the effortless vibe it gives off, and the slight bell sleeve on the arms. The back detailing makes this sweater!
Price: $42.90 marked down from $65.00

Item: BP. V-Neck Pullover Sweater
Sizing: Very oversized fit, I’m in an XS. I tried on a small and it was very roomy! It’s made of medium weight knit, and it’s great for tucking in or not, adding layers underneath or overtop, or not. How cute would it be with leather leggings and an oversized scarf? This is absolutely a fall and winter staple!
Price: $24.90 marked down to $39.00

Item: Halogen Scallop Edge Sweater
Sizing: fits TTS, but it’s long I’m wearing a small Petite, and it’s just the right length for my build (I’m 5’6″). The neck on this one is higher so it’s a little trickier to layer, but overall this is such a flattering and pretty top that would be gorgeous under a skirt, or super cute with jeans. Also it comes in a TON of other colors.
Price: $39.90 marked down from $59.00

Item: Sincerely Jules Lace Side Sweatshirt
Sizing: it fits TTS. I’m wearing a size XS and it’s not oversized, but it is slightly cropped (although not above my waistband; I actually love the length here!). This sweatshirt is thick and sturdy, and super comfortable for lounging.
Price: $79.90 marked down from $119.00

Layers are basic’s best friends!

Layers create a finished look, and make basics look…well, less basic. Try cardigans, jackets, coats, scarves, vests – anything!

Item: BP. Lightweight Rib Stitch Cardigan
Sizing: I’m wearing an XXS, so it runs pretty oversized. If you want your normal size, I’d size down one or two sizes. This cardigan is the perfect flattering length, and at $31, it’s hard to beat that price. It’s cozy and soft, and comes in six colors.
Price: $31.90 marked down from $49.00 Topshop Cardigan

Item: Topshop Stripe Colorblock Cardigan
Sizing: I’m wearing a size US 4, and it runs pretty big. It’s a sturdy cardigan, and I love the color details on it. It would be the perfect layering addition to any basic tee!
Price: $56.90 marked down from $85.00

Item: BlankNYC Suede Moto Jacket 
Sizing: This jacket sold out SO fast last year during the sale because it’s incredible. It’s made of a really beautiful, thick suede, it’s warm and really comfortable, and it honestly goes with everything. If you’ve been eyeing this one, act fast because it’ll be gone soon. It comes in 2 other colors here!
Price: $125.90 marked down from $188.00 Madewell Olive Jacket
Sizing: Wearing a size XS. It runs just slightly oversized! Every girl needs an olive jacket, and this one is so good. The material is medium weight, and the drawstring waist allows you to cinch in the waist for a more tailored silhouette. I’m wearing it with this $16 tee, these jeans, and these sneakers (which are more of a dusty rose color — they look brown here!)
Sizing: Runs slightly big, size down. I’m wearing a size small and definitely needed one size down. It’s obviously faux leather, but the material is soft and comfy just like real leather. I also love the gold detailing on the hardware. leather jacket
Item: Halogen Leather Jacket
Sizing: I’m wearing an XXS Petite, because I liked the slightly shorter crop on the jacket, which elongates your legs. I could probably have moved up to a XS because the sleeves are a little tight in this smaller size.
Price: $199 marked down from $299
I know many of you wait for this sale to purchase a leather jacket! It’s the best time to do it. These are a few of the best ones:

Don’t rely on JUST basics!

We all need basics in our closets, but you need something beyond tees to take you to events, date nights, meetings, work, whatever your situation might bring. These are the kinds of tops that have some personality, and will instantly add some “special” to your closet. floral bell sleeve top

Item: LUSH Ruffle Bell Sleeve Blouse
Sizing: I’m wearing a size small and it fits perfectly. This top is so comfortable and easy to toss on and look amazing. The floral print is amazing, but the ruffles on the sleeve add a little drama and interest.
Price: $31.90 marked down from $49. blush lace

Item: WAYF Greyson Lace Top
Sizing: I’m wearing an XS, so it’s TTS! I tried both the pink and white version of this lace top in the dressing room, expecting to like the white way better. But once I tried them on, this blush lace was definitely the better of the two! It’s a great piece to tuck into a skirt, tuck into jeans, or wear untucked with jeans for a more casual look.
Price: $49.90 marked down from $75.00 ruffle sleeve topItem: Chelsea28 Bell Sleeve Poplin Blouse
Sizing: I’m wearing an XS so it’s true to size. The ruffles felt a little dramatic at first, but after a minute I loved how they looked. Perfect for a night out with girlfriends or with your husband! I’m wearing it with these jeans and these flats.
Price: $58.90 marked down from $85.00 ruffle sleeve top white

Item: Pleionie Double Ruffle Sleeve Blouse
Sizing: I’m wearing a small and it was pretty perfect. The sleeves on this top are really large, but I think with a steam or iron the sleeves will look amazing. You could tuck it into a skirt, wear it with jeans, wear it with lounge pants…so many possibilities!
Price: $39.90 marked down from $58.00

Whew, that’s it! Did you make it? I hope this is helpful in getting your wardrobe stocked with great basics, and helpful to put together some looks!

Find lots more sale picks from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale here, and if you’d like you can subscribe to my newsletter. I have a special Birthday newsletter and giveaway in honor of my birthday next week, so sign up before Saturday morning to be on the list! Just click subscribe on the top right corner of my blog. Happy weekend!



  1. Kate says:

    Thanks for sharing! What size did you end up doing in the blanknyc suede jacket? That’s #1 on my wishlist but can’t decide on size. Thanks!

    • merrickwhite says:

      I’m in a small in the image above, but the one I bought last year was an XS and it’s great. The material is a little stiff at the beginning, but it softens after a few wears and it’s easier to layer underneath if the sleeves are pretty fitted (which mine are).

  2. Natali says:

    Wow! LOVE all of the leather jackets!

  3. Kelly says:

    I always like the look of Nordstrom’s t-shirts but never purchase because of the washing directions. That $16 tshirt is super cute but it says to dry clean which is crazy to me for something I throw on to wear to the playground. Most of their t-shirts are handwash which I will never do either. Do you actually dry clean or hand wash t-shirts from Nordstrom? Thanks!

    • merrickwhite says:

      Hi Kelly! I totally agree with you — no way I’m dry cleaning or hand washing everything. I just wash them in the machine and lay them flat to dry. Give them a little press with the iron if needed, and they last really well.

  4. Alyssa J says:

    Love this, super helpful! Now you should do the same thing with shoes and accessories.

  5. DeLaney Joy says:

    Love this post! So helpful!! I would love more of these types of posts and such cute picks from the sale!

  6. Love this post! Soooo many amazing pieces 😀

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