It's somewhat of an urban legend nowadays that you need to spend a lot of money to be considered chic. In the past decade, the high-low trend has emerged, vintage shopping has reached peak popularity, and gushing to your friends about something affordable you just scored is no longer considered low-brow. In fact, it's said cheap thrills that can actually make your entire outfit feel more on-trend and expensive.
Whether it's the addition of a great blouse or cool sandals, sometimes low-cost basics are what end up standing out most in your outfit (and nobody would ever guess was actually affordable). There are a few affordable essentials that almost always fall into this category—from the jumper style that makes your jeans-and–a-T-shirt outfit sing to the coolest jewellery style to own this spring. Below are the five cheap spring staples that look anything but and will actually make your whole outfit chicer.
1. FLAT SLIP-ON SANDALS
Flat sandals are one of those items that don't require a large price tag to be good quality. You can usually find quality leather slip-on sandals for well under £100. I've found from my personal sleuthing that neutral-coloured flat sandals also tend to look more expensive as well—think camel, black, and beige.
& Other Stories Leather Square Toe Slip on Sandals (£65)
H&M Sandals (£18)
Mango Leather Straps Sandals (£36)
Asos Design Formal Leather Sandals (£20)
2. SHRUNKEN CARDIGANS
The cardigan trend has been huge for a few seasons now, and this spring is going to be all about shrunken styles. Whether they're tied around your shoulders or worn the traditional way, shrunken cardigans are one of those magical third pieces that you can throw on over basic jeans and a tee and all of a sudden your outfit looks thoughtful.
H&M Cropped Cardigan (£15)
Cos Cropped Cashmere Cardigan (£58)
Monki Ribbed Cardigan (£30)
Weekday Hillevi Cardigan (£45)
3. ASYMMETRICAL TOPS
By now, many of us have probably jumped on the statement top bandwagon, but this spring it's the asymmetrical style specifically fashion girls will be clamoring for. Luckily, you can find an affordable version at all of our favourite retailers right now, and the single shoulder detail just makes a plain tee or knit feel like a step up from your average.
Zara Asymmetric Knit Top (£20)
Astr the Label Asymmetric Bodysuit in Ecru (£68)
Arket Asymmetric Neck Top (£99)
& Other Stories Long Sleeve Cut-Out Bodysuit (£35)
4. SLIP SKIRTS
Behold the magical power of a slip skirt. Regardless of its price tag, a solid or printed midi slip skirt just feels expensive. Its sleek silhouette pairs well with virtually anything and has an air of effortlessness about it.
& Other Stories Satin A-Line Midi Skirt (£65)
Ghost Caro Slip Skirt (£79)
ASOS Design Satin Bias Slip Skirt in Black ($28)
Daisy Street Midi Skirt in Iridescent (£22)
5. CHAIN NECKLACES
If there's one jewelry style that's going to be everywhere for spring 2021, it's the chunky chain necklace. It seems retailers everywhere have gotten the same memo because affordable favorites like Mango and Pixie Market have beautiful versions that ring in right around £30 right now. Throw it on with even a plain T-shirt and suddenly your outfit feels elevated.
Mango Xl Link Necklace (£36)
Pixie Market Silver Chain Choker Necklace (£31)
Petit Moments Florence Necklace in Gold (£61)
H&M Chain Necklace (£7)
This story was published at an earlier date on Who What Wear US and has since been updated.
This article originally appeared on Who What Wear
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