And Now, 26 High-Low Takes on My Favorite Fashion Trends and Basics

There are three things I am truly gifted at doing on any budget: planning very fun vacations (remember vacations?), ordering extremely drinkable bottles of red wine, and finding very, very good things to wear. So, in the spirit of a holiday season sans travel or dining out, my gift to you is all I have left: This hefty curation of my current favorite fashion, as seen on some particularly stylish people.

I had a lovely time searching high and low (pun alert) for both a designer and a more affordable take on each of these, everywhere from Amazon and Zara to Net-a-Porter and Acne. We’re talking trend pieces that don’t feel too “trendy,” some modern basics that are just kind of cool without really trying, and maybe even a few things that would make good gifts? LMK.

Apparently fringe has gone from a runway trend I thought I’d dabble in a few seasons back to a staple detail in my winter wardrobe. Think less urban cowboy, more minimal and elevated.

We’ll get to shackets in a minute, but for now, enjoy the first of what will be many crossover trend pieces.

Even better in vegan leather.

The top half of many a skirt suit is having a moment of its own. My faves are double-breasted and a little boxy.

Never sleep on on-sale Nanushka.

Pinstripes always feel buttoned-up (even when your blazer isn’t).

Polish plus attitude.

I feel like the new Gossip Girl series is going to involve someone wearing these shoes with their school uniform.

Sam Edelman’s diffusion footwear line never fails to deliver trends on a budget.

Mock croc makes it particularly hard to distinguish whether a piece was a splurge or a steal. It’s not going anywhere, so continue to get involved: jackets, boots, belts. But let’s start with bags, shall we?

Staud’s gone from up-and-coming label to established editor-favorite, and its structured croc bags are particularly beloved.

This comes in black, but I’m really here for a pop of white with a winter look.

Let’s be honest: Shopping for baggy denim is a serious roll of the dice, but I’m glad I didn’t get discouraged on my journey to find the perfect pair. As far as I’m concerned, no other jeans currently exist.

The waist detail makes this relaxed vibe feel a little more intentional.

Shopping advice from me to you: Look for a higher waist (so you can do a tidy little half-tuck with your sweaters) and a length that works with your go-to flat footwear.

I grew up in the ’90s with an older sister whose Nirvana cassettes and selection of plaid shirts were the epitome of cool. These are kind of like that, but with a color palette that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

I’ve shared this before, and I’ll share it again. I love the colors and the luxe texture.

ICYMI, Amazon literally has plaid shirts in every colorway imaginable (and at prices that can’t be beat). 

If you ignore tie-dye loungewear, vegan-leather blazers are probably the stand-out item of 2020. Safe to invest.

Just some more mock croc looking for attention.

She is effortless.

The perfect boot for a year when I couldn’t quite imagine wearing heels but sometimes wanted to feel tall.

Get in quick, these are Ganni boots are selling out, but there are still a few pairs left to be found via Amazon.

These would be a steal at twice the price. Also, they’re way lighter than you’d expect for such a chunker. (I have them in crackled black.)

Like, really oversize. Seriously. Huge. The bigger, the better.

We will be circling back to my love of cable-knit shortly.

This much more affordable option is super soft and comes in three other colors, including a very good neutral.

I think we can blame Balenciaga for this year’s obsession with statement gold-chain details in every form imaginable.

I know handbags have been getting all the attention, but IMO it’s footwear adorned with gold links that’s the real winner.

Option B: Just dip your toe in with statement chunky chain jewelry that you’ll start wearing on the daily.

Granny cardies! But like, your cool, fun grandma who maybe puts a little bourbon in her tea.

This Cali brand knows how to do a knit.

Glitzy buttons help make this cardigan as dressy as you want it to be. Very holiday-ready.

In the year of the house dress, I have learned to love a rib-knit style as temps have cooled, but right now, I’m all about the cutouts. 

This slightly sporty feel is just as good with sneakers as it is dressed up with sandals or slides when the weather warms.

But this A-line silhouette is really good with chunky winter boots.

Sweater vests. Not like Chandler. Like this. 

Just the Chloé vest that started it all.

Being from the Commonwealth, I truly appreciate this cricket-uniform vibe, and it’s exactly how I’ll continue to wear my white knit vest as we head into spring.

The key to really wearing tartan pants is to chill out and treat them as a neutral. Don’t overthink it. Throw them on like jeans. Nothing will go wrong. Just let it happen.

For the fun grown-ups.

For the rest of us.

Important: A structured leather skirt paired with a good knit and an oversize blazer is a great shortcut to looking cool but a wee bit fancy.

Add a stompy boot and you’ve got yourself a look.

This is currently my favorite skirt silhouette. (And yes, more croc. I am proving a point.)

Guys, I got into bucket hats over summer, and there’s no going back.

I so badly want to be the person who wears this hat.

This shearling-vibe is more my deal.

When you already own two basic black puffer jackets, this is what comes next.

Nanushka’s vegan-leather puffers are notorious among the fashion set.

This diagonal detail.

I stand firm that shackets have been the missing piece in our wardrobes all these years. They’re like blazers but even more chill.

I really need a lighter wool version so I can attempt this buttoned-up vibe.

It’s the big pockets for me.

Every winter, I fall in love with a different oversize menswear-inspired coat, and this year, it comes in herringbone form.

I’d like to spend winter in this entire outfit, please and thank you.

This is definitely the most expensive item in terms of my “lower-priced” picks. With coats, the cheaper ones don’t always have the weight that’s needed to make the oversize silhouette hang nicely. So here we are.

A little retro. A little après ski. Very on-trend, but not in a way that you’ll get over it.

An extra-wide lapel is a vibe.

Sleeker fits are good layered and tucked.

Chunky, but not dad sneakers. Slightly old-school, but not retro. A little fashion, but definitely with a lowercase f.

No muss, no fuss.

These perfect kicks have thousands of five-star ratings on Amazon.

How to look rich in five minutes or less.

If poss, you want just a little slouch.

Cashmere blends, because I’m scared of wearing expensive things in light colors.

This cozy touch shouldn’t be limited to your jacket lining.

In a world where I have an office to go to, this is my carry-all. 

Don’t miss that little bonus chain detail.

I own four, of varying shades, and am showing no signs of slowing down.

Balloon-sleeves make it fancier.

Your gym uniform, all grown up.

Don’t fight the urge to cuddle up in cable knit this winter.

This Rosie Assoulin situation is cable knit + cutouts, so you know I love it.

No words for how soft and cozy this is.

Fun knit hats are such a source of joy over winter. 

Still everyone’s favorite beanie.

Really good way to jazz up a head-to-toe neutral look.

Up next, read about the It-bag that will be everywhere next month.