10 Expensive-Looking Staples Every Wardrobe Would Benefit From

April 21, 2022 at 08:00AM

I admit it; I have expensive taste, and I’m also quite (read: very) picky. I always have been. When I was a teenager, knowledge of labels generally wasn’t as prevalent as now. (We have the internet social media to thank for that.) But even then, I found myself gravitating towards pieces of substance and brands of note over the quick and easy wardrobe updates that would tempt my friends. I dressed older than my years, which, at the time, sometimes meant I felt the opposite of “trendy.” Looking back, however, at photographs of my best friend’s 16th birthday party, to which I wore wide-leg tailored trousers and a silky camisole, I’m just grateful that such photographs don’t make me cringe today.

Now, a full-fledged adult, I’m still picky and have the same expensive taste. My budget, however? Well, it doesn’t always allow me to indulge in the latter. As such, I’ve become something of a dab hand at spotting expensive-looking pieces at any price point, as well as unearthing the pieces that are worth a more significant investment. Generally speaking, these are classic wardrobe staples—pieces that will forever be sartorially appropriate. Below, I’ve listed 10 such items, with shopping from Zara to Loewe to match. 

From the dress that will carry you through a host of occasions to the denim update that will make your outfits look more premium, scroll on to see the expensive-looking fashion staples your wardrobe will always benefit from. 

Style Notes: Of all the dress trends out there, none look quite so expensive as those featuring satin fabrications. Be it for weddings or just elevated weekend attire, there’s no summer occasion a satin dress can’t handle. 

I envisage pairing this with black chunky sandals. 

The perfect wedding guest dress. 

Style Notes: Lighter-coloured jeans always make a comeback in the warmer months. As is often the case, it’s the little things that can make your outfits more premium—instead of opting for pure white jeans, I suggest looking for off-white or ecru pairs, as they tend to look more expensive. 

Exaggerated turn-ups are key this season. 

These Monki jeans come in a vast size range. 

Style Notes: If your goal is to look rich and unbothered, a printed square scarf will certainly get you there. Worn in your hair or around your neck or tied to the strap of your bag, this is a common detail I see in the most expensive-looking outfits. 

Such a gorgeous hue. 

This scarf is high on my spring wish list. 

Style Notes: Leather biker jackets are classic, this we know, but if you’re in the market for something that looks a little more elevated, seek out the boxy styles that are currently dominating the fashion scene. With less of an emphasis on the metal hardware and more of a focus on the sleek silhouette, these look more spendy in my eyes. 

The leather jacket every WWW editor has their eye on. 

This feels delightfully retro. 

Style Notes: Perhaps the most in-demand item on our list, striped knitwear is proving incredibly popular with fashion people right now. There’s just something so inherently luxe about a Breton stripe. 

This has sold out more times than I can count. 

If you prefer a darker colourway, this option is ideal. 

Style Notes: As we head into the warmer months, you might wish to consider rotating your black tailoring with pieces in a softer but no-less-sleek navy hue. 

This blazer will give everything you wear with it extra polish but especially a pair of low-rise jeans or a slip dress. 


I own these trousers and really rate the fit. 

Style Notes: When I want to look like I’ve put considerable amounts of effort into my look but, in reality, have neither the time nor the patience to do so, I simply add pearl jewellery. Et voilà—your outfit looks expensive. 

The pearl necklace, reimagined. 

I don’t wear bracelets often—I don’t like the clacking noise they make against my keyboard as I type—but I’m willing to make an exception for this beauty. 

Style Notes: Though I do have a soft spot for basket bags, this summer, I’m looking to invest in a chic canvas tote, as I generally find they look more elevated than my beloved basket-weaves. 

If you’re on a budget, I can’t fault this Mango option. 

This, however, is my dream canvas tote. 

Style Notes: Though they were prevalent last summer, the oversized shirt is set to be one of the biggest trends for 2022, with so many influencers already wearing theirs. Effortless and endlessly versatile, it’s key pieces like this that make whatever you’re wearing look timeless and, thus, more expensive. 

An Oxford shirt always looks the polished part. 

The Frankie Shop’s shirts are a fashion- set favourite. 

Style Notes: Picking up from where they left off last year, fisherman or cage sandals—whatever you prefer to call them—are fast becoming the most important shoes of the season. Thanks to The Row and Gucci, who put them on the map, they’re considered to be a very premium footwear choice. 

If chunky sandals aren’t your thing, this Grenson pair will help you tap into the trend without having to resort to clunkiness. 

The shoes that started my fisherman-sandal obsession. 

Next Up: I’ve Worn This One Pair of Jeans on Repeat for the Last Year

Opening Image: @symphonyofsilk

Author Maxine Eggenberger | Whowhatwear
Selected by CWC

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