This casual look was based around this lovely navy midi skirt from Forever 21. Not only is it a total bargain at a mere £14.75, but I think it's a really versatile piece which you could style with lots of different wardrobe basics. For this outfit, I decided to team it with this tee by J.W. Anderson for Topshop, as Breton is one of my casual staples, and this piece is a really affordable way to incorporate a little slice of designer style into your wardrobe. The blazer from Monki is another really purse-friendly piece, and I think it adds the perfect relaxed feel to this look- as well as being essential for the unpredictable British weather. I've kept the accessories quite co-ordinated here in the shape of the cream sunglasses from H&M and bag from Zara, both of which are amazing value staples. The pumps from Matalan are an absolute steal at only £8, and the necklace from Forever 21 looks so much more expensive than the £3.90 price tag, don't you think? The perfect finishing touch for this relaxed look.Look One- Casual
Look Two- Outdoors
Next, on to the great outdoors! This look was all about practicality with a trend-inspired edge, structured around this jacket by F&F for Clothing at Tesco. Not only is it the long lost cousin of the infinitely more expensive Barbour jacket, but it's also a perfect nod to the military styles which are proving such big news for AW12. I chose to inject a pop of colour into this look in the shape of this cable knit jumper from New Look, which is again really excellent value for money and a nice cheerful shade for the winter. Along with these jeans from Forever 21 (which retail at under £10!!!), the foundation of this outfit was the need to create something both easy-to-wear and functional, something which also impacted my choice of accessories. The hat and gloves from Monki are real winter essentials, and the scarf from Orla Kiely's latest collection for Uniqlo perfectly incorporated the bright pink accent colour, tying everything together really nicely with a rather appropriate floral twist. Co-ordinating colours also played a big part in my choice of footwear and bag here- the Chelsea boots from F&F at Tesco are another high-fashion inspired supermarket steal and compliment this functional satchel from H&M.
Look Three- Office Wear
When it comes to office wear, it's often really tricky to strike the right balance. I tend to find a lot of pieces which are specifically categorised as work wear to be quite dull and unflattering, so the challenge I faced when putting this look together was to create something which was smart, stylish and office-appropriate. As such, I based this outfit around this dress from Cos, a brand which I've steadily grown to love over recent weeks. With an emphasis on quality and impeccably cut pieces, they produce some really beautiful basics, which last from season to season. This black swing dress is something which I think is truly timeless, and although it's a little bit towards the top end of my budget, I think that it's an amazing investment piece which would quickly become a workplace essential as it's just so easy to wear. For this specific look, I opted to style it with opaque tights and some slipper style shoes (an absolute steal from New Look), subtly nodding towards one of this season's key footwear trends whilst retaining a really smart overall look. As far as accessories go, this oversized tote bag from Accessorize is amazing value and really practical, and the flower necklace from Forever 21 adds another level of depth to the outfit. Finally, the gold tone watch from River Island is something which I thought something of an essential piece when putting this look together, as it would guarantee you'd always be on time!
Look Four- First Date
First date. Potentially two of the most panic-inducing words in the English language. The biggest dilemma about a first date is what to wear in a situation where first impressions are everything. Now, I'm a hopeless romantic at heart, so this outfit is a real reflection of that, and is based around my dream first date scenario- going for afternoon tea (very high standards, you see!). Working with quite a neutral colour palette, the star of this look is the dress from Miss Selfridge, which is really feminine and stylish, and which provides a really pretty, vintage-inspired basis for the rest of the outfit. The coat from F&F at Tesco is another absolute bargain, and I think it looks so much more expensive than the £30 price tag betrays- it's also something which could be dressed up or down as the winter progresses. The court shoes from River Island are perfect for this look too- just high enough to be flattering without having to worry about the risk of tripping over! They're also the perfect neutral shade so would be really easy to style alongside a range of different pieces which you might already have in your wardrobe. This scallop-edge satchel from ASOS incorporates some real high-end inspiration for a fraction of the designer price, and I think the classic box shape works really well with the vintage theme of this look. Some feminine finishing touches come in the form of the headband from Accessorize and bracelet from H&M, both of which I think really help to add an expensive feel to this look, as does this adorable ring from Ever Ours, which also provides the perfect hint to my first date scenario of choice!
Look Five- Party
Now, it might surprise you to learn (or perhaps it won't) that I'm not a massive party animal, but it's true to say that I do love an excuse to get dressed up as much as the next girl. As far as party dressing goes, I'm never really more adventurous than wearing a dress with a bit of sparkle, so for this look I though I'd step out of my comfort zone and tackle something a little bit more trend-orientated. These rather glitzy jacquard cigarette trousers from Topshop are the perfect nod to the baroque styles which we saw across an array of designer presentations for AW12, and I think they're the ideal statement piece to wear to a party. Teamed with this embellished tee from River Island (which I think is brilliant value for £20), this look also incorporates some wardrobe basics in the shape of this beautifully cut jacket from Warehouse (again another really versatile piece), and the chain detail bag from New Look. The shoes from H&M feature a really high-end inspired detail in the form of the gold block heel, and at under £30 are a real bargain. This look is finished off with some suitably sparkly nail varnish from Topshop (which I think is far better quality than a lot of the more expensive alternatives in the shops), and this bold ring from H&M.
So, there you have it! My final five looks in all their thrifty, under-budget glory!
What do you think of the looks which I have put together? And which is your favourite?
(Image credit: Forever 21, Topshop, H&M, Matalan, Monki, Zara, Clothing at Tesco, New Look, Uniqlo, Cos, Accessorize, River Island, Miss Selfridge, ASOS, Ever Ours and Warehouse.)