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 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 tuxedo details on this shirt elevate it to designer heights.
An oversized fit instantly makes a shirt look more expensive.
This colour feels very premium, especially when paired with shades of chocolate brown for winter.
Style Notes: Choosing floor-puddling wide-leg trousers over a cropped tapered or skinny style instantly elevates your outfit whether the trousers are high-street or designer. Plus, they’re surprisingly versatile, making them a great capsule piece. You can wear wide-legs 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 on these feels really elevated.
Every time I see an influencer in these (which happens a lot), I always think they must be designer.
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.
Understated details like these front zips add interest without feeling cheap.
The squared-off toe is what makes these simple ankle boots look way more expensive.
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.
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.
Uniqlo is one of the best places on the high street for affordable designer-quality cashmere.
If you’re on a tight budget, opt for knitwear in expensive-looking shades like camel, cream and burgundy.
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. They feel perfect for wearing in the evening as well as in the days, even for work.
These are & Other Stories’ best-selling jeans for a reason.
This wide-leg shape is a twist on a staple that your capsule will thank you for.
Style Notes: Blazers are a valuable layering piece in a capsule wardrobe, especially since you can wear them almost year-round. Luckily, the high street is incredibly good at tailoring if you know where to look. COS, Arket and Marks & Spencers all place a level of attention on design and fabric which makes their pieces look much more premium than their price tags.
This might be on the more expensive side, but it’s a favourite of so many editors and influencers. I personally have it in black and a camel colour, and it still looks brand new after 3 years of wear—trust me, it’s a worthwhile investment.
Double breasted details make high street blazers look more expensive.
This sturdy blazer looks great with dark denim.
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, M&S 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.
I can’t believe how affordable this luxury-looking bag is.
A premium high street price point, but the design could easily pass for designer.
Influencers are still obsessed with this.
This story was published at an earlier time and has since been updated.