1. The Fashion Basic
Well let’s get one thing out of the way with the Fashion Basic — because she is context-less without it — Fashion Basic is also, at the very least, Upper Middle Class Basic. (Though often she comes from considerable wealth.) But the point is that it doesn’t matter that she has almost limitless disposable income, because she is not interested in using to get custom this or vintage that (or even a slightly lesser-known label). She is all about the holy trinity of upscale basic: Tory Burch flats, that one Louis Vuitton bag, and a Michael Kors watch. They are the human embodiment of a french manicure, class and chic that is purchased while fighting through a crowded mall. It’s the fashionista who isn’t going to invest in something unless there is a bold enough label on it that even someone looking at them through a window, from across the street, can tell that it is indeed Marc by Marc Jacobs.
2. The Holy Matrimony Basic
Let’s give this girl the benefit of the doubt that she is not FUNDAMENTALLY like this, it’s just the whole Marriage Industrial Complex that has brought the Basic out in her. (And anyone who has known someone pre-engagement and watched her transform into something much more sinister knows that this is often the case.) But Pinterest as a website — and yes, let’s put a lot of this blame on Pinterest entirely — has turned marriage from something that was already kind of a circus into this Roman orgy of Facebook likes, paper lanterns, mason jars, ring pictures, cakes that are 60 percent fondant, and status updates with 75 hashtags. Marriage Basic goes from a relatively normal girl with a variety of interests, to a monster with tunnel vision who sees before her only a barn with strings of white Christmas lights and groomsmen wearing suspenders. It’s probably best to just mute her on social media while it all plays out.
3. The Athletic Basic.
If the exercise does not allow you to wear an adorable workout outfit, Instagram a couple of pictures, and drink coconut water throughout the whole process, she’s not into it. She is only into SoulCycle and yoga for the most part — and before you think this is a premature judgment, I have been to a SoulCycle class, and it was full of Broadcast Journalism majors whose “I’m going to sweat through this” tank top is cuter and more delicate than any regular item of clothing I own. But the point of this girl is that if a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it (or if she went all the way to pilates at 6 AM and social media didn’t get a humblebrag about it) it didn’t count. A frequent abuser of hashtags, no picture of a bowl of fruit resting lightly on her thigh gap is complete without #fitspo, #clean, #cleaneating, #health, #fitness, #eatcleantrainmean, #bikiniseason, and the ever-present #yum. She gets the most out of her aesthetically pleasing health choices, because what’s the point of eating kale unless you’re getting the kudos for not housing an entire bag of Milano cookies?
4. The Foodie Basic.
Put simply, this is the girl who goes out to a Michelin-starred restaurant, and then takes out her phone AT THE TABLE IN FRONT OF ALL THE OTHER PEOPLE WHO PAID GOOD MONEY TO ESCAPE INTO THIS SMALL, INTIMATE MOMENT OF DINING PLEASURE WHERE DISHES ARE MADE JUST FOR US BY A LOVING, TALENTED STAFF, and takes a picture of it. (And uploads it to the internet, so that everyone can see that she went to Per Se.) It’s sort of the opposite of the Athletic Basic, in the sense that the bragging is coming from the incredible food they have paid for, and not their ability to abstain from it. She is a close cousin of the girl who posts tons of unhealthy, photogenic foods to Instagram that she clearly does not eat, but we’re gonna file that under “a little too problematic to just be considered garden-variety basic.”
5. The Lifestyle Basic.
This is the “Lifestyle Blogger,” or at least the aspiring one, who has roped someone in her personal life into following her around with a DSLR to better capture her every moment and of course, her outfits of the day. (If you’re not following any of these gems on Instagram, you’re missing out, it’s some of the most consistent masochistic joy you can bring yourself). It’s hard to discern what this girl actually does, aside from take a picture of a box of macarons from La Durée next to a perfectly-angled bracelet and cup of tea and then put 60 hashtags on it, down to words like #Love, which is just like… ok. Every Instagram-famous Lifestyle Basic’s aesthetic is exactly the same, and yet it never ceases to be compelling. And don’t get me wrong — if I had the means and the bone structure to be this girl and live this life, I absolutely would. I mean, LOOK AT THIS GIRL. It’s honestly the highest achievement any of us can aspire to in the modern world: Getting to live a life of luxury, travel, and free shit in exchange for taking pictures and putting cringeworthy hashtags on them. Bless.
6. The Seasonal Basic.
I would say “Autumn Basic” here, but do I even need to name the season specifically? The point here is that, despite being a mostly normal girl year-round, come the first of September she can only speak through the padding of a thick wool scarf and radiates the smell of pumpkins everywhere she goes. And let’s be honest, we’re all kind of that girl.