I Stumbled Upon the Jackpot of Luxe, Low-Cost Basics—Here Are My Favorite Pieces

As I get older, the idea of quality basics becomes even more appealing. While cheap price tags were a priority during my college years and early 20s, now, I’m all about how things feel and construction. I’m over pieces that disintegrate after one wash cycle, as they leave you spending more in the long run. Plus, I’m personally trying to reduce my buying frequency. On the other hand, I’m not quite ready to commit to expensive designer basics just yet. Building that out takes years of thoughtful curation, so I’m always keeping my eye out for brands that occupy a nice middle ground. One name that’s blipped on my radar repeatedly is Oak + Fort. Based in Los Angeles, the brand specializes in elevated basics in minimalist palettes with a bit of a trendy edge. Most things on the site are priced under $200, and it’s a spot where you can find almost every component of your wardrobe, from jewelry to shoes and coats. While a presence on IG, the brand hasn’t yet reached a point where it’s a household name like Madewell or Everlane, which leaves a bit of mystery. In my search to find affordable yet quality basics, I gave Oak + Fort a shot to see if it measured up. As you can probably tell from the headline, the brand left a glowing impression. Keep scrolling to see everything I tried on and to read my full thoughts. 

This coat first got my attention thanks to one of my most fashionable friends. She wore it everywhere during her trip to L.A., and once she told me where it was from, my fingers immediately started typing this into Google. I wore it to our company holiday party in December, and it was a compliment magnet. I love how effortlessly sophisticated it is, so you never look like you’re trying too hard to look cool. The brown version is already in my cart.

A simple gold chain will never go out of style, which is why I have several in my collection. This one stands out because it’s extra chunky, so it does its job as a stand-alone piece without the need for coordinating earrings with layered necklaces. I wish it felt a bit heavier, but for the price, I can’t complain.

This season has been all about the fuzzy sweater. I’ve talked about my love for Marni’s mohair cardigan before, but the triple-digit price point is not my budget right now, leaving me to abruptly order this vest. This wool-blend sweater marries my love of vests and all things fuzzy. I love to style it with baggy jeans or cargo pants for a look that feels on-trend. It’s more fitted, so I prefer to wear it alone vs layered over separates.

I could always use more button-downs, and this shirt came right on time. I’ve been wearing them even more than usual, so I eagerly welcomed this one into the mix. It has a boxier cut, so it’s very flattering when left a bit opened and with a pair of high-waisted jeans or a pencil skirt.

I’ve been mulling over whether to splurge on Prada’s classic nylon shoulder bag forever. It’s been at least two years since I’ve had this thought in my brain, and I always stop short of pushing the trigger. I guess I’ve had some doubts as to whether it would fit my personal style, so when I spotted this bag, I figured it would be the perfect trial run. 

To my surprise, this under-$30 purse is made out of sturdy nylon material and holds its shape through endless trips and errand runs. So far, it’s been my go-to purse as of late, so it’s likely that a Prada bag isn’t too far in the future.

I’m in awe of this coat.

I’ve been searching for tailored high-waisted camel pants for so long.

Next up: If You Want a Major Wardrobe Glow-Up in 2022, Phase Out These 6 Shoe Trends

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