Styling Basics w/ Ricki's

Tell me honestly. How often have you reached into your elaborate (and messy) closet for a BASIC shirt and emerge with absolutely nothing in your hand? 

If you’re anything like me, then the answer is “TOO MANY TIMES!” The struggle gets especially real when you’re running late for work in the morning. You cannot decide whether or not to make some breakfast or starve for the day, and while you’re dabbing concealer on, you realize that you have absolutely nothing to wear... as usual. You and I both know that most of the time, the exasperation we feel when trying to get ready is because we have got a few items of clothing in our hands but are missing the key piece to tie the look together. 

Since I’m always focused on buying statement pieces like blazers, pants, tops and dresses with embroidery or special detailing, I always overlook the power of a great basic shirt. It is so important for women who sport any and every style to have a couple of versatile pieces that they can throw on under anything for any occasion. Not only does it leave room for more in your closet, it also helps you save money in the long run and who doesn’t love a good deal?! 

That is exactly why I love this Short Sleeve Pleat Tee from Ricki’s. If you’ve walked through any Canadian shopping mall recently then I’m sure that you’ve seen this beautiful store. With a stunning line of clothing that features work wear ready looks that you can easily turn into a night out/day to day outfit, Ricki’s is a go-to store for so many. I'm very excited to collaborate with them to bring you a simple 'HOW-TO GUIDE ON STYLING A BASIC SHIRT', specifically this blue top that they sent me (thanks you guys!). You can follow similar steps with pieces from your own closet or the items linked in this post. So let's get started! 

Features of a Basic Top 

A basic shirt is usually a top that doesn't have a lot going on with it as far as cut, style, and detailing goes. However, this blue top that Ricki's sent me has subtle yet intentional details that create interest. This particular top is one solid color, cap sleeved, and scoop necked. It is super stretchy and has a great length that makes it perfect to wear underneath items. The cinched detailing on the neck adds the right amount of character the top needs to keep it basic and yet appropriate to be worn on its own. Ricki's carries many similar basic tops that you can find in store or online as well so be sure to check it out! 


For this effortlessly classy look that is appropriate to take to work, a business meeting, interview, or even a dinner date with a colleague, here are some steps you can follow: 

  • Pair the basic top with a classic over piece. You can do a cardigan, a jacket, or like this look, a black blazer. This specific blazer has a waterfall front and three quarter length sleeves that are ruched. These details are simple and yet makes you look like you're READY TO WORK IT at work! You can buy this blazer from Ricki's right here.  
  • Add print. You can easily elevate an outfit for work by playing with prints and colors. Work wear clothing generally carry a bad rep for being 'boring black and white, suit and tie' outfits but it doesn't have to be that way. Add a printed bottom like these pants from Ricki's or a power skirt that features pops of color to add that extra oomph to your look. 
  • Statement Accessories. A bold necklace, cute heels, and a cool-shaped bag is all you need to complete your look. Put these items together and you’re set to conquer your day no matter what you are up to! 
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If you’re doing your Sunday errands at the grocery store or heading out to casually chill with the girls, here are a few steps to look cute and stay comfy: 

  • Pair the basic top with a classic over piece (again). Layers keep you warm and makes your outfit a bit more interesting. Pair your top with a jean jacket, parka, or a leather moto jacket like mine to look chic while staying warm. Find similar jackets from Ricki’s right here. 
  • Add casual bottoms. I chose to go with grey jeans for my casual look but if you are more keen on wearing pieces like a good maxi skirt or capris, go for it! Jeans truly dress an outfit down so take every chance to pair a basic shirt with your favourite denim. 
  • Statement Accessories. A good scarf, cute flats (or sneakers), glasses, and a clutch/cross-body bag is all you need to tie your look together. Snag the cutest accessories from Ricki’s right here

Comfy Casual


Basic tops are so comfortable to wear around the house, especially after a long week of endless engagements and to-do lists! All you will need are the following ingredients to make you feel like you're in your Sunday best: 

  • A cardigan 
  • Leggings
  • A good book 

How do you style your basic shirts? Leave me a comment below! If you haven't already, be sure to follow me on Instagram (@nishajohny_) and did you hear we just started a YouTube Channel? We look forward to seeing you over there too!