Shop the 15 Best Clothing Brands for Simple Style

As you may know by now, I describe my personal style as “simple”—and I’m very proud of it. Just what do I mean by that? Well, while I love a statement piece every now and then, my overall vibe is more attuned to a cross between minimal and classic, and I live in jeans, tees, what I like to call best-of basics, and neutral colors. This can be seen in the way I dress, the types of outfits I look to for inspiration, and of course, the way I shop. Since I’ve covered both one and two on the above list—at great length, if you ask me—I thought today I would give you an inside look in the brands I’ve been buying (and wearing) for years.

From high-end designers that are definitely an investment to acquire but have proven worth it, to my go-to affordable brands for fast-fashion as well as essentials, I’m breaking down all 15 of my longtime favorites below. Just keep scrolling to read about and shop each.


As far as investment pieces go, I’ve had the most success with Saint Laurent over any other brand. I’ve been buying their (mostly black) coats, jackets, boots, and bags for over five years and still find myself wearing all of the pieces regularly. 


These Western ankle boots happen to be particularly on trend right now, but regardless, they have a classic construction that makes them timeless.


For years, Cotton Citizen has been my go-to for sweatshirts, joggers, and tees. More recently, its denim has become a staple in my wardrobe, too. 


Beige is gearing up to be the spring’s most popular neutral, and this hoodie is an easy way to incorporate it into any wardrobe.


Since moving to NYC, Aritzia’s outerwear has become crucial to my winter wardrobe. I love its teddies, wool coats, and puffers because they’re simple but cool. I also regularly buy Aritzia’s T-shirts, turtlenecks, and sweaters for layering.


I love the idea of layering a turtleneck under this henley.


I rarely take my jewelry off, even to shower or wash my hands, which is why I only wear pieces that won’t fade or tarnish. Ariel Gordon not only checks that box, but her jewelry is classic, worth the investment, and perfect for wearing every day.


A simple pair of huggies can look great both worn alone or layered with other earrings.


Somehow, Proenza Schouler has mastered the art of making really cool, statement items that don’t feel overly trendy and you can wear for years. I find myself wearing the brand’s dresses, skirts, and jackets over and over again every season. Plus, it’s one of the few brands that fits my 5’2″ frame perfectly without needing to be tailored. 


I can imagine wearing this with evening shoes to countless weddings and then getting even more use out of by pairing it with boots or flats on the weekend.


I love an affordable find as much as the next girl, but I hate having the same pieces as everyone else. I also don’t like to go overly trendy with my buys, which is why Pixie Market is one of my go-tos. It strikes the perfect balance of all of the above.


I not only love these pants, but I love the way this outfit is styled because it’s just how I would wear them myself.


I’ve been “collecting” Manolos since college, and I use that word intentionally because I like to think that’s really what I’m doing. The shoes literally never go out of style, so I plan to wear them for decades to come. I’m confident in this because I’ve stolen several pairs from my mom that were purchased anywhere from 10 to 20 years ago, and they’re still as cool as they were then. The proof is in the pudding.


While the mule is nothing revolutionary, no one gets the silhouette quite as right as this brand.


One could say I use the name Levi’s loosely because, with it, I’m also including both Re/Done Levi’s and vintage styles as well. After all, whether they’re brand-new, newly reworked, or from years ago, no one does easy and effortless denim like them.


I always get compliments on these jeans because they’re the perfect wash and pair easily with any shoe.


While Loewe’s ready-to-wear is noteworthy in its own right, what I really go to the Spanish heritage brand for is their bags. I’ve been carrying its Puzzle style for over three years, and it’s still one of my top three all-time favorites.


I have this in black (naturally), and not only is it an ûber-stylish beach bag, but in spring and summer, it makes for a very cool everyday tote.


You didn’t think I’d leave out Zara, did you?! While I do have an admittedly on-again, off-again relationship with the retailer—at times taking Zara “breaks” to keep myself from impulsively making fast-fashion purchases—I have to admit that aside from nailing the whole trend thing, its selection of basics and essentials is also spot-on. If you do it right, a Zara buy can last you years, not just a season. 


I’ve randomly been on the hunt cargo pants that “aren’t too intense,” and Lauren, our resident Zara expert recently pointed out that these might be the ones for me. 


There’s a reason I’m (and seemingly every celebrity) obsessed with this brand. It has managed to perfect every fashion essential but make it feel uniquely The Row. From bags to boots to outerwear (the latter of which I’ve yet to save up enough for but, believe me, I’m working on it), its pieces are timeless and truly investment-worthy.


It’s not easy to find a Chelsea boot that looks utilitarian and soft at the same time.


Isn’t every fashion girl a Ref girl? Reformation’s approachable approach to every trend makes it my go-to any time I want a cool piece that’s not too much. IMHO Reformation really thrives at making dresses and summery sets, but in recent years its outerwear has also begun to work its way into my heart.


Black-and-white checks make a statement but are still so easy to style.


While her brand aesthetic can hardly be described as simple, something about Alice McCall’s party dresses feels approachable and easy to wear such that when I am looking to spice things up and wear some, well, color, it’s often one of her pieces. 


The perfect wedding guest dress for summer or tropical destination receptions.


Because even fashion editors need Heattech! But really, Uniqlo is the best for affordable winter essentials. I even get my gloves from their kid’s section, and on any given winter day at least one of my layers is from the brand. 


I’m actually wearing these under my jeans as I write this since we’re in the midst of the polar vortex and it’s currently 4 degrees in NYC.


Another go-to jewelry brand of mine is Vrai & Oro. Similar to what I mentioned about Ariel Gordon, its solid-gold pieces never tarnish, and you feel like you’re investing in a future heirloom.