9 Expensive-Looking Autumn Outfits You Can Buy on a Lean Budget

·5-min read

Damn right I'd like a Max Mara coat, some Paris Texas knee-high boots, a printed dress from Prada and that new Bottega Veneta clutch this season, but in reality, my autumn shopping budget doesn't look like it'll stretch that much. I'll always advocate saving up for a dream investment piece (and any of the above suggestions last year after year, no matter the trends), but the same kind of thinking can also be applied to high street or more affordable fashions when you want to upgrade and breathe new life into your existing wardrobe.

So if you're looking for a little autumn/winter 2021 vibe, rest assured you don't have to spend a fortune, but you should still spend wisely. Try to seek out pieces that feel like they'll work with what you already have nestled away in the depths of your closet. (If in doubt, go home and try items on with at least three other outfits to see if your purchase is versatile enough.) Don't buy something so niche and specific that it requires a full outfit build around it. Why? Because you'll end up putting down more cash than you'd intended to, and you could've just bought something special and luxe instead.

One of the best ways to make sensible purchases that go the distance is to keep things relatively pared-back. Or you could just follow my guidance on the kind of items that can look expensive even on a lean budget… I've pulled together some example ensembles you can craft without denting your credit card this autumn. Keep scrolling to see and shop them.


An oldie but a goodie, this season's take on the blazer-and-jeans formula involves a skintight top, gold jewellery and strappy heels.

Shop the look:

Arket Oversized Wool Hopsack Blazer (£135)

H&M Ribbed Vest (£4)

Thomas Sabo Necklace (£109)

& Other Stories Favourite Cut Cropped (£65)

NastyGal Strappy Square Toe Faux Leather Heels (£25)

Zara Leather Shoulder Bag With Chain (£70)


A slightly weighty—not too thin and not too clingy—knitted dress always looks effortless (so effortless that it goes nicely with trainers). Easy peasy.

Shop the look:

Forever New Lottie Knit Dress (£80)

Mango Fringed Shopper Bag (£80)

Fitflop Rally Leather Tennis Shoes (£90)


In general, if you pick a family of colours and wear them head to toe, you're going to look slick. This is especially true for shades of white, beige and cream. Oh, and a jolt of matte red lipstick will never do you wrong in this instance.

Shop the look:

H&M V-Neck Blouse (£13)

Weekday Lilah Trousers (£45)

Zara Faux Patent Leather Slingback Heels (£28)


A trouser suit never fails and will always look premium in a more neutral hue like grey, khaki or tan. This could look just as good styled with flats, sneaks or boots.

Shop the look:

River Island RI Studio Oversized Blazer (£80)

Marks and Spencer Cotton Crew Neck Fitted T-Shirt (£8)

River Island RI Studio Straight Leg Trousers (£50)

Zara Knotted Mesh High-Heel Sandals (£70)


When looking for an LBD you can wear all winter long, try to pick something that has a talking point, like the volume in the skirt and sleeves of this Zara one. You can then accessorise as wildly or as calmly as you want.

Shop the look:

Warehouse Embroidered Collar Puff Sleeve Midi Dress (£56)

Zara Pearl Bead Mini Bucket Bag (£30)

Charles & Keith Pink Leather Trapeze Heel Mules (£75)


It's the pairing of the season. Midi skirts and blazers will proliferate on the streets of fashion week, but it's highly likely you own enough pieces to pull this together already.

Shop the look:

H&M Oversized Blazer (£35)

Arket Crew-Neck T-Shirt (£15)

Banana Republic Stripe Canvas Tote (£45)

Mango Pleated Asymmetric Skirt (£50)

Marks and Spencer Leather Lace Up Block Heel Ankle Boots (£69)


Leather trousers are hot property this season, so why not team them with another 2021 trending buy: the long-sleeve mesh top, just like Noor? Only instead of her sandals, perhaps wear yours with chunky boots to make it more seasonably palatable.

Shop the look:

& Other Stories Fitted Mesh Top (£35)

Mango Lille Faux Leather Trousers (£36)

H&M Platform Chelsea Boots (£35)


One of the easiest ways to make your outfits look more expensive is to blend and match the colours of the clothing that make up your ensemble. Abi’s ombré green look is nothing short of beautiful.

Shop the look:

Hush Anoushka Faux Fur Coat (£179)

Monki Low Turtleneck Top (£15)

Mango Faux-Leather Pleated Skirt (£50)


There’s just something so appealing about the combination of a miniskirt, a chunky knit, and loafers, as demonstrated here by Aimee. Sure, it might be preppy, but this is a look that has stood the test of time since the ’50s, so who are we to argue?

Shop the look:

& Other Stories Cable Knit Sweater (£75)

Massimo Dutti Wool Mini Skirt With Pockets (£70)

Schuh Lilo Chunky Loafers in Black Leather (£60)

Next Up: These 10 Microtrends Are Going to Be the Next Big Thing

This post was originally published at an earlier time and has since been updated.

This article originally appeared on Who What Wear

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