10 Affordable Wardrobe Staples that Look Expensive

With style trends such as quiet luxury, old money, and 90’s minimalism continually on the top, it seems like one thing is clear – timeless dressing is back. To be honest, this realization is nothing short of refreshing. In a world where trends come-and-go, it’s nice to build a wardrobe with a sense of purpose. Many trendsetters are looking to fill their own collection with basics that last far beyond one season. And to be frank, those who gravitate towards a classic sense of style often appear polished and expensive to outsiders. But I’ll let you in on a little secret… Looking expensive does’t have to actually be expensive! If you shop wisely and choose your pieces carefully, you can build a designer-looking wardrobe without having to break the bank. Whether it is summer, spring, fall or winter, I am laying 10 affordable wardrobe staples that everyone should have in their arsenal to look and feel more luxurious.

fashion and beauty blogger kaye bassey wearing a tank top, trousers, and Armani handbag - affordable wardrobe staples

10 Affordable Wardrobe Staples that Look Expensive

affordable wardrobe staples

Button Up, Tank Top Set, Striped Sweater, Blazer, Dress, Trousers, Handbag, Belt, Slingbacks

1) Button Up Shirt

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, everyone needs a crisp white button up shirt within their arsenal. This seemingly simple top is actually incredibly versatile. While it makes for obvious workwear, it can also be worn casually. Whether you button it up to the top or keep it open and relaxed, this single shirt will carry you throughout the year. Look for tops made with cotton for comfy, durable quality that will last you for years.

2) Tank Top

Thanks to the rise of 90’s minimalism, the basic ribbed tank top is getting a huge revival. Once considered boring, we’re now seeing this being worn in a multitude of ways. Keep it simple and style with jeans or dress it up with a blazer and a slip skirt. You seriously cannot go wrong with having a few of these on-hand at all times.

3) Striped Sweater

There’s hardly a more classic print than a stripe. Although knitwear can be on the pricy side, I found that there are plenty of affordable options on the market. But to make the most out of your striped sweater, shop for an oversized fit. This will allow you to layer more effortlessly, thus allowing you to maximize the use of your knit.

4) Blazer

More often than not, you’ll find me in a blazer. Nothing beats this timeless outerwear piece. If you are looking to cultivate a true capsule wardrobe, I would say that a tailored black blazer should be number one on your go-get list. However, if you’re open to keeping multiple variations on hand, grey, brown and white are just as effortless to style.

5) Easy Dress

When shopping for affordable wardrobe staples such as dresses, it’s important to keep these things in mind: comfort, ease of styling, and versatility. While I adore a trendy one-piece more than the next person, there’s something irresistible about a dress that is uncomplicated. Nap dresses, smock dresses, and more simply acquire you to throw it on and head out the door.

6) Silk Skirt

One way to look and feel more expensive is by wearing something silk. In particular, a silk skirt is equal parts feminine and chic. This fabrication has such a beautiful shine to it, which automatically makes it appear luxurious. That being said, silk can be on the pricy side, so feel free to search for satin alternatives that are just as effective.

7) Tailored Trousers

Tailored pieces are a one-way to ticket to looking expensive. If you haven’t secured a pair of perfectly fitted trousers, stop everything you’re doing! These bespoke bottoms are foolproof in dressing up any outfit. Plus, they are no longer just for the office either. I proudly sport my trousers to run errands, grab brunch, and more!

8) Elegant Handbag

The key to a polished look is an elegant handbag. While I am partial to investing in designer, this is not necessary! In fact, there are a plethora of minimal bags that you can secure for $200 and under. In fact, I linked a few of my favorite bags that fit the bill below.

9) Classic Belt

This is often overlooked but I firmly believe the belt plays a huge part in creating an expensive looking wardrobe. This single accessory elevates any bottom you pair it with. From denim to the aforementioned trousers, a sleek leather belt is a small, yet mighty accent detail that will take your looks to the next level.

10) Slingbacks

Although there are many shoes that give off old money vibes, I feel that nothing is more chic than a pair of slingbacks. This doesn’t have to be in the form of a heel either. Even flat slingback shoes exude a luxurious aesthetic that I cannot get enough of.


I hope these affordable wardrobe staples help to boost your own wardrobe! 


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