RED Hearts: Chic Basics

RED Hearts are guests posts on I Heart Daily from the authors of RED: Teenage girls in America write on what fires up their lives today. Today’s RED Hearts post is from Cammi Henao, 18, in Chicago, who's stocking her closet with staple styles that last:

Throughout high school, I loved the inexpensive clothes that changed to match the trends and accordingly had a lifespan of about six months. Half my closet was from Forever21. It worked for me. I could always incorporate something new into my look with little investment.

But now that I'm going off to college (next year), I decided I’d like some clothes that will survive to come with me. My mom suggested I start buying basic, rather than trendy, pieces. Plus, the weather this winter’s been weird. Living in Chicago calls for the art of layering -- and the art of layering calls for the classics.

Walking through the mall, I discovered Madewell. I admit that right off the bat, the name caught my attention because, well... I was looking for clothes that were, you know. I stepped inside and instantly fell in love. Their style is a mix of classic and basic with a bit of an urban edge.

Some of my forever on-trend favorites?

 V-Neck Pocket Tee ($19.50, pictured). I'm ashamed to say I own about six different colors in this style. (And oh, what colors!) You can put it under a cardigan, or just wear it by itself with a pair of jeans. The oldest one I own is about six months old, and it looks exactly the same as the day I bought it. This speaks a lot for its quality, $19.50 well spent, considering I wear it at least once every week or two.

 Striped V-Neck Pocket Tee ($29.50). Surprise, surprise...I managed to find the same shirt in stripes! For $10 more than the solid, you get the same effortlessly cool top with a whole new look. I only own one of these, but it's definitely a staple. I love wearing it with jeggings and a long white cardigan.

 Transmission Tee ($38). The best I can figure about the name is that it’s transmitting this message: sleeves are useful! Some days I'll step out of the house and it'll feel like it's in the low 50s, and then by the end of the day we're below freezing. This just-slouchy-enough long-sleever is lightweight enough that it layers beautifully for both extremes: under a cardigan to keep warm, or over a tank on nicer days.

Turns out I'm a basics sort of girl, so I love this store. Definitely check out their sale section, too (I always find something). These clothes are keepers.

RED Hearts guest poster Cammi Henao is an author of RED: Teenage girls in America write on what fires up their lives today, which is out in paperback.