14 Affordable Items That Will Help Elevate Your Favourite Basics

Joy Montgomery

Here at Who What Wear, we are firm believers that good style shouldn't cost an arm and a leg. If we're honest, some of the most fashion-savvy people we've encountered in our lives have been the most cost-conscious, as having to be more careful with your budget can often result in greater creativity and originality. 

Luckily, in the UK, we have a wide range of online high-street offerings available to us, and brands are getting smarter about designing pieces that aren't going to fall out of favour the following season. The likes of Arket and & Other Stories, in particular, have become known for their quality, expensive-looking designs that are indiscernible from their designer counterparts. Add to this the fact that the minimalist aesthetic has ruled over the past 12 months, meaning it's even easier to hunt down those affordable yet premium-looking gems.

As someone who has spent many years following high-street brands—both in my spare time and as part of my job—I have a good sense of what to look out for when it comes to finding the good stuff for less. To help you on your way, I've rounded up 12 chic basics items that no one will ever guess were from the Great British high street. From chunky sandals to tailored shorts, scroll down to shop my edit. 

Polo-Neck Tops

Jigsaw Cropped Merino Polo Top (£54)

Zara Polo Collar Sweater (£20)

& Other Stories Fitted Soft Cotton Top (£27)

Chunky Sandals

Birkenstock Arizona Eva Sandals (£35)

& Other Stories Criss Cross Leather Slip On Sandals (£59)

Who What Wear Axel Snakeskin-Print Faux-Leather Sandals (£90)

Smart Shorts

Mango Pocket Soft Shorts (£36)

COS Knitted Shorts (£55)

& Other Stories We'Re Workin' on It Relaxed Belted Shorts | Nasty Gal (£16.5)

Fine-Knit Cardigans

Jigsaw Cotton Crepe S/S Rib Cardigan (£90)

& Other Stories Cropped Ribbed Cardigan (£55)

H&M Ribbed Cardigan (£18)

Minimalist Pumps

Charles & Keith Canvas V-Cut Ballerina Pumps (£45)

ASOS Design Layer Leather Bow Ballet Flats in Tan (£25)

Marks and Spencer Collection Leather High Cut Ballerina Pumps (£35)

Statement-Collar Blouses

Glamorous Smock Shirt With Frill Collar and Peplum Hem in Cotton (£30)

Arket Embroidered Poplin Blouse (£59)

Pull&Bear Lace Collar Blouse in White (£20)

High-Waisted Trousers

Arket Wide Fluid Wool Trousers (£115)

Massimo Dutti Navy Darted Houndstooth Wool Trousers (£60)

Topshop Khaki Slouch Peg Trousers With Elastic Back (£27)

Knitted Tanks

COS Cashmere V-Neck Vest (£99)

Mango Textured Top (£20)

Nasty Gal Knit Just Got Good Knitted Tank Top (£14)

Fancy Tank Tops

Mango Shoulder Pad T-Shirt (£18)

& Other Stories Fitted Ribbed Tank Top (£35)

& Other Stories Square Buckle Strap Tank Top (£27)

Slouchy Tote Bags

Mango Checked Bucket Bag ($40)

Charles & Keith Velvet and Cord Square Tote Bag (£86)

COS Leather Bag With Large Strap (£180)

Split-Hem Trousers

Topshop Black Stretch Flare Trousers (£26)

Mango Get Your Slit Together High-Waisted Trousers | Nasty Gal (£14)

ASOS White Split Hem Suit Trouser (£42)

Square-Neck Tops

COS Layered Cotton Top (£55)

ASOS Design Curve Square Neck Cami With Tie Straps in Textured Grid in Khaki (£14)

& Other Stories Square Neck Puff Sleeve Twill Top (£55)

Up Next: Spring/Summer 2020 Fashion: What We'll Be Wearing in This New Decade

This article originally appeared on Who What Wear

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