We all have that one item in our closets that we turn to when we need to hit a guaranteed home run in the fashion department. Whether it’s a classic blazer that you can never go wrong in, a holy grail pair of jeans or that perfect white tee that looks amazing with everything, chances are one of your signature items came from American Apparel. Unfortunately, the fashion brand known best for its American-made basics announced that it filed for bankruptcy protection today. That doesn’t mean you’ll never shop there again though — as an email from the co explained: “A financial restructuring is taking place and follows a path of people and businesses including 50 Cent, American Airlines and Bloomingdale’s, that continue to thrive as successful brands. It is business as usual at American Apparel and we are as excited as ever to bring you great fashion basics.” Take a walk down memory lane with the B+C team as we look back on our all-time fave purchases (“great fashion basics,” indeed) from American Apparel over the years.

victoria haas, channel marketing


“At least three of us at Brit + Co have this sweater. I remember seeing Marisa wear it to work and I had to get it too. It’s reversible! Krystle also has it.”

American Apparel Reversible Easy Sweater ($56)

cortney clift, associate editor


“I went to an American Apparel warehouse sale once and scored a tan wrap dress that has been my go-to for everything from a day at the office to a low-key holiday party.”

American Apparel Julliard Wrap Dress (tan is no longer avail) ($62)

sean griffis, channel marketing associate


“I have bought a dog/pet zip-up for my dog, Miss Brie!”

American Apparel Dark Ash Neon Yellow Neon Pink Flex Fleece Color Block Dog Hoodie ($15)

madeline bachelder, creative coordinator


“I’m pretty sure EVERY girl in my high school graduating class owned one of these dresses and I still wear mine all the time. The especially bold girls would wear it backward with an American Apparel bandeau underneath; we were walking ads for the brand. RIP.”

American Apparel Cotton Spandex Jersey Double U-Neck Dress ($20)

lee schellenberger, kit designer


“Their black nylon high waist leggings made leggings cool (not frumpy).”

American Apparel Nylon Tricot High-Waist Leggings ($42)

kate puhala, senior style editor


“I feel like I’m the ultimate American Apparel fangirl, especially since it feels like I grew up *with* the brand — I went to my first parties in their SKINTIGHT bodycon dresses (those helped me embrace my curves early on), brought only AA basics with me to college in every. single. color. and have since fallen for its more grown-up spins on closet essentials like their crepe jumpsuits that are so desk-to-date-able. But the one piece I still get miles out of no matter what the occasion are these chunky striped tights. Perfect under cutoffs to give them even more of a dive bar edge, under a sheer skirt to keep it interesting or paired with a LBD to make things extra witch-y, these tights (ripped to shreds or not — I have 2 pairs ;) still bring the punch perfect for my style.”

American Apparel Sheer Luxe Solid Stripe Pantyhose ($22)

lauren valentine, marketing intern


“One of my favorite AA purchases is a pair of black ribbed thigh-high socks. They were only around $20 and the quality is SO much better than other thigh-high/over-the-knee socks I’ve bought at other retailers. For one, they actually stay up on their own without needing much readjustment throughout the day and they look super cute with shorts, skirts and dresses. They’re also tall enough that they work as a nice alternative to tights under pants in cold weather climates. 10/10, would purchase again.”

American Apparel Cotton Solid Thigh-High Socks ($18)

andrea kasprzak, assignment editor


“I’ve been buying these leotards in black and white for more than five years now. They look great with high-waisted pants, long skirts or under dresses.”

American Apparel Cotton Spandex Jersey Short Sleeve T-Shirt Leotard ($28)

rosee canfield, junior designer


“The summer before college I was shopping with some friends and stumbled upon this leotard out of place from wherever it was supposed to be. It was a ballerina pink color. I initially tried it on as a joke, thinking I could maybe wear it to some kind of themed party… but I ended up really loving it and decided to get it. This was also right around the time when high-waisted things were coming back in style. I loved how I could wear it with my high-waisted cut-offs and not have to worry about tucking a shirt in and things looking stuffy or lumpy. I also LOVED how low the back was and how it was sassy and fun without being aggressive or clevage- heavy. Whenever I was out with friends or at a party it would always prompt a “WOAH!” kind of reaction when people would see how low it was in the back… or when I would hug someone and they realized there was nothing back there, haha. I still have it and high-waisted things are still in style (PTL) and I have since bought it in different colors.”

American Apparel Cotton Spandex Jersey Short Sleeve T-Shirt Leotard ($28)

lisa raphael, editorial director


“As a city dweller and last-minute shopper for just about every occasion, American Apparel has always been a go-to for me — there is pretty much always one within a five block radius of either work and/or home. The best purchase I ever made at AA was their gold lamé one-piece bathing suit, which I have never worn as a bathing suit but have worn as the catalyst for many a costume. You really never know when a gold bathing suit will come in handy. I wore it to be ‘Super Spears: Britney Spears Comeback’ (a real thinker of a Halloween costume) and also as ‘the sun.'”

American Apparel Shiny Halter Bodysuit in Lamé Gold ($30)

jill grant, account executive


“My cream sweater shrug — long, super lightweight, it’s my day-to-night socially acceptable snuggy look.”

American Apparel Bouclé Shawl Cardigan ($82)

paige sager, brand partnership planner


“I bought this for my boyfriend for Christmas last year since forest green is his favorite color. He wears it ALL the time, and when he’s not wearing it, I wear it! It’s SO comfy.”

American Apparel Flex Fleece Zip Hoodie ($48)

alicia cox, assistant buyer and operations


“Maxi dress — striped!”

American Apparel The Stripe Long Spaghetti Tank Dress ($22)

What is your favorite item purchased from American Apparel and why? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.