...I don't really have the answer. There's no formula, like only buy expensive shoes or bag, because often the High Street will surprise you, as these Mango flats and Charles and Keith (online at £39) bag prove.
All I can say is sometimes I get a few more mid priced items from brands I love and trust: Bella Freud, Jigsaw, Whistles and one of my all-time favourites: Margaret Howell. And more importantly, MHL, which is the slightly more affordable store in Marylebone (and online).
|Blazer: Next (old buy similar here).Vest: Next (old but Gap have some great stripe tees here). Chinos: £245, MHL Margaret Howell. Bag: £39, Charles & Keith. Sandals: Mango (sold out but buy similar from Topshop in the sale here). Sunglasses: £98 with prescription lenses, Bailey Nelson. Photographs: Christopher O'Donnell|
I have a MHL chambray short from years ago I still get asked about, and I love her clean, minimal aesthetic (it's a London Fashion Week highlight for me). And it was time to get some 'proper' chinos. Or painters trousers, as they're referred to on the site. Everyday basic, airplane attire, call them what you will, they look effortless with a breton and pair of flats. I was told in store that Sarah Harris from Vogue swears by this particular pair and I'm sad to say, it probably cinched the deal for me.
The thing about an expensive piece is that it can hold together your more affordable 'everything else'. The blazer and top, both from Next at the beginning of the season feel far more expensive suddenly. And I'm always a yes for black and gold accessories. the bag isn't leather but feels and looks as though it was. Plus it fits far more than my Sophie Hulme bag ever could (which I recently sold on Vestiaire Collective in lieu of something more substantial).
|Blazer: Next (old buy similar here).Vest: Next (old but Gap have some great stripe tees here). Chinos: £245, MHL Margaret Howell. Bag: £39, Charles & Keith. Sandals: Mango (sold out but buy similar from Topshop in the sale here). Sunglasses: £98 with prescription lenses, Bailey Nelson.|