I’m not saying The Row is entirely responsible for the minimal aesthetic that’s so popular right now, but it has certainly had a pretty big influence on it. From a wider perspective, the fashion world has been moving towards a less trend-focused and more classic-capsule approach for a while now, thankfully. It’s an important move in making all our wardrobes more sustainable and longer-lasting. But there’s no denying the Olsen twins’ luxury label made pieces like the simple white shirt runway-worthy again, spearheading the move to a simpler aesthetic in the designer arena. One quick glance at their offering on Net-a-Porter, and it’s clear to see their focus on versatile basics, from the perfect T-shirt to the dream pair of jeans.
Unfortunately, though, The Row’s price point is not what we’d call "affordable". Far from it. It might well be justified by the quality—not just of the impeccable fabrics but of the processes, too—and, of course, by the fact that these are anti-trend pieces that will live in a wardrobe forever. But you’ll be glad to hear it is possible to achieve the same "quiet luxury" look on a more humble budget.
Since I myself am a stylist with a classic, minimalist style, I’m always on the lookout for the most expensive-looking pieces that give off The Row vibes for less. So, today, I thought I’d share with you my findings from years of research. Below, you’ll find my answers to achieving a luxury-looking winter capsule wardrobe full of the best The Row-inspired elevated basics. From the ultimate high-street white shirt to the knits all your friends will ask you about.
A lot of these pieces you probably already own, but keep scrolling to see my edit, and shop any gaps in your own collections you might be looking to fill.
Style Notes: Shirts are a capsule wardrobe staple all year round—whether you prefer a crisp white, classic blue or perhaps a brushed cotton for winter, the high street has some amazing affordable options.
The Olsen's have shown us time and time again how chic a black shirt can be, especially when styled with other monochromatic shades.
2. Wide-Leg Trousers
Style Notes: Choosing a cropped tapered or skinny style denim instantly elevates your outfit whether the trousers are high-street or designer. Plus, they're surprisingly versatile, making them a great capsule piece. Pair with trainers and a knit for weekends, heels and a nice top for date night and shirts and loafers for the office.
If I didn't know, I would guess these were actually from The Row.
The high waist and pleated details on these feel really premium.
Every time I see an influencer in these (which happens a lot), I always think they must be designer.
3. Minimalist Boots
Style Notes: The simpler the boot, the more expensive they look in my experience. The Row's sellout styles don't have any shouty logos or bold features, which is what makes them so timeless and chic. So opt for similar minimalist options (in real leather where possible) on the affordable end of the scale, and you'll achieve the same look.
I love the understated details of these Mango leather boots, the seam through the pointed toe and kitten heel give The Row energy.
When I first saw these leather boots (for under £200) I couldn't believe they weren't designer. I'm sure they'll sell out, especially since they're a style that will never age.
The squared-off toe is what makes these simple ankle boots look way more expensive.
4. Simple Knits
Style Notes: A simple minimalist knit is at the core of any polished winter capsule wardrobe. They're versatile, easy to layer up and eternally flattering. Just remember, less is more.
This is a perfect throw-on jumper for dressing up or down - and it looks much more expensive than its under-£40 price tag.
A black knit is such a versatile option, you can wear it by itself or even style over the top of a poplin shirt for a chic layered finish.
Uniqlo is one of the best places on the high street for affordable designer-quality cashmere.
5. The Perfect Jeans
Style Notes: When searching for the perfect expensive-looking jeans for your affordable capsule wardrobe, my advice would be to look for darker denim, smart cuts or looser silhouettes.
I love the dark indigo denim of these. The straight-leg shape is a staple that your capsule will thank you for.
6. Oversized Blazers
Style Notes: Blazers are a valuable layering piece in a capsule wardrobe, especially since you can wear them almost all year round. Luckily, the high street is incredibly good at tailoring if you know where to look. Zara, Massimo Dutti and Marks & Spencers all place a level of attention on design and silhouette which makes their pieces look much more premium than their price tags.
Boasting peaked lapels, structured shoulder pads and a darted waist, this tailored blazer looks like it should have a high-end price tag.
This might be on the more expensive side, but trust me, it's a worthwhile investment. Double-breasted details make high-street blazers look more chic.
7. Elevated Handbags
Style Notes: A classic leather handbag is never a bad investment, especially if it's one of The Row's timeless numbers. But you can also look to brands on the high street like Arket, COS and Mango for simple designs that look expensive. It's naturally more pricey but try to opt for real leather versions so they will really last you.
Although slightly more expensive for the high street, you'd certainly get your wear out of this versatile luxury-looking bag.
This story was published at an earlier time and has since been updated.
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