My sister recently gave me the idea for this blog post. She said, "I buy all of these cardigans and sweaters and vests and then I get it home and I’m like...what pants? What shirt underneath? I am always drawn to the shirt and forget about making the rest of the outfit. I feel like if I knew the basics to have, I could build the rest."

Unfortunately, I've found myself in that camp before too. Sometimes a top is so pretty, but it's really just a top that should be worn alone. So, if you have all of these pretty, "wear alone" tops, what do you wear with your vests, cozy cardies, and statement jackets? Here are my top 5 basic tops to have in your closet that are perfect for layering. 

1. Graphic Tee
2. Striped tee/sweater/tunic
3. Classic Cami
4. Plaid Button Up
5. Chambray Button Up

You can obviously wear each of these items alone, but they are definitely what I use to layer under other items.
Keep scrolling to read more. 

1. Graphic Tee

A fun graphic tee can go so many ways! Pairing a graphic tee under a cardigan is an easy way to dress up the tee a little bit so you don't feel like an 8th grade boy wearing one of these tees that says something like "Always Grumpy" (eye roll emoji). Side Note: Your graphic tee doesn't have to have just words on it. It could be a cool band tee or even just a t-shirt with a fun design on it.
Whatever you like!

2. Striped Tee/Sweater/Tunic

You CANNOT go wrong with stripes! I have like 6 different black and white striped tops and they are all perfect for layering. Greg, naturally, thinks they're all the same shirt. You could pair a striped tee or tunic under an oversized sweater so it sticks out of the bottom and adds some flair. Choose a striped top in neutral colors like black and white, gray and white, navy and white, and then pair it with a brightly colored vest or cardigan. With stripes as your base, you can have lots of fun layering. And don't let the stripes deter you from adding another patterned accessory. Play around with pattern mixing, and don't be afraid to wear say...a striped top, red cardigan, and plaid scarf...or a striped top, vest, and leopard shoes. Just have fun, and let your style shine through!

3. Classic Cami

I went through a phase where, if had to wear some sort of alternative bra with an article of clothing, I WOULD NOT buy it. I've I'm one of those girls that has to wear a bra, and it is rather annoying to wear strapless, convertible, sticky, never really as good as they say bras. All that being said, I hardly ever bought camisoles. To me, cami's were the little cotton tanks you wore under shirts that were see through. BUT, this past summer, I bought a pretty, white (polyester) cami from the Loft Outlet, and I SAW THE LIGHT. I did bite the bullet and wear it a few times in the summer with a sticky bra. But my favorite way to wear it is layered! It's clean and classic and looks lovely under a cardigan. I can pair it with a leather jacket or blazer to add some femininity to a structured look. Invest in a cami like this! You can wear it all year long and use it as your base layer for so many outfits. P.S. You can layer a pretty cami like this in any color...not just white!

4.  Plaid Button Up

Plaid is so in right now, and I ain't gettin' off this train until it crashes. It's a perfect layering print in the fall and winter. I love to wear plaid button ups under crew neck or v-neck sweaters. You can also pair plaid tops with vests (but choose your accessories wisely so you don't look like a lumberjack...😂). Using a plaid top as your base layer instantly adds a little holiday spark to any outfit, even if you are just pairing it with a cardigan or chunky scarf. Pick your favorite patterns and colors and layer your heart out!

5. Chambray Button Up

You can basically apply everything I said about the plaid button up to the chambray button up...except maybe the holiday part. Chambray is obviously less extreme than plaid, but it creates very classy looks when used as a base layer under cardigans, vests, and sweaters. I tend to go for a lighter wash, but you don't want to go too light in the fall/winter (or maybe you do you, boo!).

So, there's my 5 tops to have in your closet that make perfect base layers! As far as pants go, I find it very important to have a pair of blue jeans, black jeans, and white jeans in your closet at all times. From there, you can branch out...distressed/destructed jeans, moto jeggings, faux leather pants, high waisted, wide leg... You could even try layering your sweaters/cardigans/vests/jackets over dresses and skirts!

If you have any questions or want more ideas, let me know in the comments section below! I always appreciate your feedback!


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