5 Affordable Outfits Made of Classic Pieces We Already Own

Readers of Who What Wear will be familiar with our We Try Before You Buy franchise, where the team tries on new items to help you decide what is really worth investing in. This involves trying samples and borrowing things from brands for the day, however this story is a little different this time. Instead of trying anything new or borrowed, we are all wearing pieces we actually own and many are items that we’ve loved for years and years.

The word ‘affordable’ is often overused by fashion editors, but is a tricky and complicated term as what is considered affordable can vary hugely. This is something we are all too aware of. Below our editors have shared the one outfit that has proved to be amazing value for them, whether that’s because it’s comprised of charity shop finds, it’s an item that has been worn hundreds or times or a high street buy that is really good quality.

The high street can be associated with with throwaway consumption, however it can be home to some amazing, quality pieces that last for years and years. We’ve shared some of the best of the high street, including M&S cashmere, Uniqlo T-shirts, Zara denim and Arket tailoring. Keep scrolling to see the affordable outfits we always wear.

‘Within the team, it’s a bit of a joke how indecisive I am when it comes to shopping and committing to actually buying something. What can I say I like to be certain that when I buy something I’m going to wear it a LOT. Regardless of the price, I still give all purchases the same consideration. This outfit is made up of some of my all time favourite high street pieces—an & Other Stories blazer I bought several years ago and is such good quality, a pair of faux leather Free People trousers that look so expensive and an M&S cashmere jumper that I have to fight the urge to wear every day.’

‘Two affordable items that I come back to time and again are this knitted A-line dress from Uniqlo (bought a few winters ago and worn to death) and a vintage checked Daks blazer (which I found in a secondhand store in Hastings),’ says Editor-in-Chief, Hannah Almassi. ‘They fit into my usual colour palette each winter—brown, khaki, beige—and aren’t tied to a particular trend, era or look, so they’re pretty timeless and flexible too.’

‘I hate to brag, but I think I worked out that the entirety of this outfit comes to less than £100,” says Joy Montgomery, Shopping Editor. “The blazer is a vintage one I nabbed at a charity shop for £5, and I’ve always loved its boxy silhouette and double-breasted fit, meanwhile the jeans were around £40 from an amazing vintage store called Little Sister in Peckham. My old Uniqlo Breton top gives the whole look a satisfying Parisian finish—it’s one of those simple pairings that will never age IMO.’

‘I tend to buy a lot of my basics at Zara, and am always so impressed by its denim selection,’ says Remi Afolabi, Who What Wear’s video creator. ‘One of my all-time favourite looks is these Zara flares worn with these chunky boots which are also from Zara. This oversized green trench looks so expensive, and is an M&S coat I know I’ll wear forever.’

‘I like to keep things classic when it comes to my personal style,’ says Zoe Anastasiou, social media and fashion editor. ‘I have developed a knack for finding expensive-looking basics on the high street, and this is perhaps my most affordable (and reliable) outfit. My jeans are ASOS petite and the blazer is from an Australian brand Witchery that I have had for over seven years. The breton jumper is a beautiful heavy knit, and is from Jessie Bush’s collaboration with Kitri.’

Next up, the fashion trends we love for autumn winter 2021.