I tend to invest in (or splurge on, depending on whether you’re talking to Mr. Magpie or I) shoes, handbags, and the handful of clothing staples (like denim and outerwear) that I know will take a beating through continuous, heavy use each season. But a lot of the remainder of my wardrobe is scored on sale or through the careful ferreting out of pieces that look high-end or fashion-forward, but cost far less than you’d expect. Below, my favorite affordable luxury finds for the season. (Most of these items are under $100.)
Affordable Luxury Pick No. 1: Everlane Cashmere Crewneck.
First up: my beloved Everlane cashmere crewneck, shown above next to a lovely jewelry case my mother gave me when I was a young thing in my late teens and didn’t appreciate such heirloom-quality gifts (it still bears my maiden initials!) and a string of pearls from my grandmother. I can’t look at those pearls without thinking of the time she stopped me at our Christmas dinner a year after she’d given them to me as a gift and said: “Oh my! Where did you get those enormous pearls?!” HA! I guess they looked a little larger around my thirteen year old neck than they had around hers. At any rate. Cashmere sweater. I have written about this sweater a number of times but cannot believe that it costs $100 when it feels and looks like it should be well into the $300-$400 range. Everlane generously sent me the soft blue sweater above (thank you x 1000!) after I wrote about it about 23 times. Heads up: the color is more heathered and a bit darker than it appears online, but I love it all the same. I’m currently wearing mine with white distressed denim and Golden Goose sneaks on the reg. (And I hand-wash it with this.)
Affordable Luxury Pick No. 2: The Puff-Sleeved Blouse.
Speaking of blue (are we sensing a theme?), I was smitten with this dramatically-sleeved blouse from hot line Khaite.
I found a similar look for less from Arielle Charnas’ latest collection for Nordstrom — it rings in at $85 and I actually prefer the square neck! Love. And if you’re not into the blue color, J. Crew has yet another similar style (minus the puff sleeve) on offer in black or white. I snagged that one in black.
Affordable Luxury Pick No. 3: The Plaid Coat.
I mean, how could you not want to wear the ultra-chic chunky plaid coat seen on Amber Valletta below? It’s from Escada and if you saw it walking down the street two city blocks ahead of you, you’d pause and think: “Dayuuum, that woman has style.” You can splurge on this flashy statement yourself to a tune of $2,795 here and waltz through the remaining decades of your life in timeless boucle style (this would work on a 20 year old or a 90 year old and every age in between), or you can get the look for less with this J. Crew style, currently 40% off. (Aside: I’m dying over this ice blue down coat from Escada, too. Love that it can be belted!)
And let’s not forget the minis here: you can score this ladylike boucle topper for your mini me, too.
Affordable Luxury Pick No. 4: The V-Neck Flat.
I first heard about the apparently iconic Celine “v-neck” flat (seen below) from my uber-stylish sister, Christina, who has worked in the fashion industry for her entire adult life. (She now runs her own amazing brand, Dagny London. You can read all about her here.) My first thought was — ehhhh, not sure the silhouette is for me. But, as commonly happens, she is always about two seasons ahead of the curve and I came around to envying them fiercely. Now you can get the look for less with these stark-white beauties from Mango, and for less than $80! I also love these J. Crew snakeskin stunners, which are a little less dramatic in the silhouette but achieve a similar look. These would look SO good with an otherwise staid work wardrobe, elevating anything from a simple black dress to a crisp button-down and dark wash denim.
Affordable Luxury Pick No. 5: The Fuzzy Fleece.
I know I’ve written about this a lot before, but every fall, I look forward to pulling out my Patagonia Retool Snap T fleece. It is the snuggliest thing I own and I love its vintage vibe (like something worn in 1970?) I own it in that oatmeal color, and it’s actually on sale for $77 right now.
BUT Old Navy also has a shockingly chic fleece hoodie that looks very much like a Patagonia and comes in excellent colors: an oatmeal similar to my own Patagonia and a deep pink-burgundy hue. I absolutely love those oversized laces at the neck, too. So chic! I want to wear this everywhere.
Affordable Luxury Pick No. 6: The Silk Shantung Blouse.
I absolutely love the silk shantung pieces in Mansur Gavriel’s collections over the last few seasons — especially this sleeveless blouse, on sale for $130 in select sizes here, and available in more colors and a range of sizes here. (Would love to coordinate that blouse with their trousers for a monochrome look.)
Fortunately for us, we can get the look for even less with this J. Crew blouse (note the bow in the back!!!!)
Affordable Luxury Pick No. 7: The Ice Blue Coat.
Sorry I’ve written about this Ganni coat so much but man do I love it. The plaid, the color, the length, the beltedness! You can get a similar ice blue look with this Something Navy teddy style, which turned my head. Love it paired with white and shades of blue.
Affordable Luxury Pick No. 8: The Chunky Marled Sweater.
You can get the marled sweater look for less with this style from J. Crew.
Affordable Luxury Pick No. 9: The Bow-Sleeved Dress.
I have been drooling over these dramatic-bow Roksanda dresses for awhile now. What a statement! Ladylike and whimsical all the same.
Affordable Luxury Pick No. 10: The Patagonia Kids Alternatives.
Who doesn’t love a classic Patagonia fleece for a little one? I’ve invested in a few already in my time as a mom but when the wee ones are little, it kills me how briefly they are able to wear a given size. Luckily, there are some solid lookalikes on the market. Instead of the darling furry friends fleece shown below, you can get the look for less with this $20 steal. (Though please note that if you sign up for emails at BackCountry, you get 15% off your first purchase!) I got mini this fleece for the fall in pink, but this vest nails the look at a fraction of the price. And then there’s the classic Retro-X Patagonia fleece. Get the look for less with this or even less with this (love the green)!
P.P.S. I’m heading home to D.C. for a few days this weekend, and have been thinking a lot about this.
P.P.P.S Do you ever break curfew?