Spring is a great time to restock your closet with “the basics.” After all, they’re the foundation of every outfit we wear. 

Shopping for basics may not sound as exciting as hunting for a party dress or new suit, but designers have stepped up their game, adding creative twists to the T-shirts, jackets and booties that are our wardrobe staples. 

And these selections won’t need to go into storage the moment summer arrives. Their versatility and thoughtful designs mean you can start wearing them now and they’ll continue to serve you well through shoulder season and into the summer months. 

Here are some of our favorite basics for spring and beyond. 


T-shirts constantly need refreshing, and one of our favorites this season is the Madewell Whisper Cotton V-Neck Pocket Tee ($19.50 at madewell.com). The lightweight tee is a good value and, because it’s available in a wide variety of colors, you can find one to match any outfit.

For something a bit fancier, we love the versatile Splendid Silk Tank ($138 at nordstrom.com). It looks great under a cardigan or blazer, and when summer arrives it’s a classy, understated piece that can be paired with just about anything. 

Designed in Seattle, the Ably Apparel Ronaldo Color Block T-Shirt ($52 at ablyapparel.com) is Filium-activated to repel stains and odors. Lightweight and breathable, it has a slim fit to go with its sporty good looks. 

The unisex Jungmaven Spruce Green 3/4 Sleeve Raglan ($62 at Prism, Ballard, and prismseattle.com), in a blend of hemp and organic cotton, is perfect for the shoulder season and chilly summer nights.  


Jackets and sweaters

Layering is a must during shoulder season, and the Mia Melon Houston Jacket in Blush ($149 at Show Pony Boutique, Fremont, and showponyboutique.com) is a beautiful, practical and relatively affordable way to stay warm in style. Both waterproof and windproof, with an attached hood, it will quickly become a go-to piece on drizzly spring days. The asymmetrical zipper is a unique touch and looks great zipped and open. 

For something more casual, the Agolde Charli Oversized Denim Jacket ($198 at Pipe & Row, Fremont, and pipeandrow.com) is a classic with ’90s flair. The washed black color and oversized fit sets it apart from traditional denim jackets and allows it to be dressed up or down. 

Made in Seattle, the Freeman Snap Hoodie ($118 at Freeman, Capitol Hill, and freemanseattle.com) strikes the perfect balance between vintage and trendy. It will be a new staple in his closet, and makes a fine upgrade to that worn college pullover. 

The Zara Textured Weave Sweater ($70 at zara.com) adds a pop of color to his wardrobe and is the perfect cover-up to have on hand when the temperature drops. The 100% cotton piece adds a notched neck and a collar for a refined finish. Also available in black.



Made in Seattle, the Prairie Underground Busking Pant in Marine ($172 at prairieunderground.com) is a fun, comfy alternative to jeans. They pair well with just about any top and are perfect for spring days and summer nights. 

With spring and summer travel season upon us, the Zella Getaway Cargo Pants ($75 at nordstrom.com) are ideal for plane rides and any adventurous activities you have planned on your trip. Not going anywhere? They’re also cute and comfy enough to wear around the house or out running errands. 

The Tommy Bahama Boracay Flat-Front Chino Pants ($129 at tommybahama.com) are available in every color of the rainbow — and then some! Add a new khaki pair to your wardrobe, or mix things up with a pair in blue, yellow, gray, purple or red. 

For a more casual option, we love the Wax London Black Alston Trouser ($125 at Prism, Ballard, and prismseattle.com). The relaxed fit and drawcord waist make them comfy without sacrificing a dapper aesthetic. 

Boots and booties

Store your winter boots for the season, but keep your footwear cool and practical with some lighter boots and booties that match spring’s variable weather. 

The Uxibal Trenza Cut-Out Boots ($225 at Moorea Seal, downtown, and mooreaseal.com) are handcrafted by local artisans in Guatemala. This spring, pair them with jeans or a midiskirt — and when summer arrives, they’ll look just as good with shorts and sundresses. 

Men can wear the versatile John Varvatos Star USA Seagher Suede Chukka Boots ($268 at bloomingdales.com) throughout the spring months and then break them out again for summertime evening events. 

The B. x Clarks Originals Men’s Woven Suede Desert Boot ($395 at bergdorfgoodman.com) may be a splurge, but you’ll get plenty of bang for your buck. The versatile boots can be dressed down for casual, everyday wear and are also a sharp addition to more formal outfits. Plus, the unique textural detailing is eye-catching without being over the top.