Zendaya at London Fashion Week ’18. Instagram @MrStreetPeeper

Because we need to spend the majority of our income on annoying things like “food” and “rent” and “savings” a lot of us never really get to play in the high-fashion playground. Well, at least we think we think we can’t.

We know all about investment shopping. The idyllic notion that purchasing well-made, high-end pieces means they will last forever and form part of a perfect capsule wardrobe. The idea that shopping exclusively in fast fashion, of which you wear for only one season, is unsustainable. A great thought, the only trouble is the price tag. Yes, the cost per wear over your lifetime would make that exxy designer jacket about $0.06, but the thousands of dollars outlay at the time of purchase usually makes it a ‘no-chance’ situation. Or at least a ‘when I’m a CEO’ situation. So, because we need to spend the majority of our income on annoying things like “food” and “rent” and “savings” a lot of us never really get to play in the high-fashion playground. Well, at least we think we can’t.

If you’re someone who discerningly watches the seasonal shows and lusts over the off-duty models’, stylists’ and celebrities’ label-heavy swagger, the fact you’re fiscally limited doesn’t mean you can’t still invest in a piece or two. Of course, we’re not talking about twenty dollar bargain-bin threads here. These are pieces that still need a decent slice of your hard-earned but are substantially lesser in cost than a normal high-end purchase. With the help of some clever shopping, and a few diffusion labels, your wardrobe can get a designer investment injection…savings intact.

The Diffusion Line

Big business in the early 2000s, diffusion lines from some leading designers like Marc by Marc Jacobs, DKNY and DG by Dolce & Gabbana were both a curse and blessing to their main houses. Turning too mainstream and mass-produced many have since closed their doors. The incarnation with existing longevity is now, however, an off-shoot line, one often branded as a youthful version or a basics collection. This way, cred is safely in-tact and the pieces remain as unique as the core line. Some of the best include Isabel Marant Ètoile, Grey Jason Wu, See By Chloè and T By Alexander Wang.

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Isabel Marant Etoile ‘Laney’ checked linen blazer, $497 from Net-a-porter SHOP NOW

See By Chloè crochet-paneled blouse, $291 from net-a-porter SHOP NOW

Jason Wu Grey crew neck ribbed dress, $595 from Shopbop SHOP NOW

T By Alexander Wang striped slub classic tee, $250 from Mode Sportif SHOP NOW


The Team Tee

The branded logo continues to be the print of the season and we all saw the excitement the Gucci tee drew last year. A tee or sweater with the logo of a designer printed on to it, worn with everything from jeans to a statement skirt to a trophy a blazer for a chic night outfit makes it also one of the year’s most versatile affordable-investment purchases. Our favourite tees to brand-preach right now? The Ellery crew, the Off-White sweater and the Acne Studios ‘Yana’ sweatshirt.

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Off-White basic crew sweat, $475 from End Clothing shop now

Ellery ‘Lazarus’ press tee, $295 SHOP NOW

Acne Studios ‘Yana’ sweatshirt, $420 from Incu SHOP NOW

T By Alexander Wang waffle cap sleeve top, $310 from Incu SHOP NOW

Balmain button-embellished t-shirt, $290 from Net-a-porter SHOP NOW


The Resort and Athleisure Lines

Many high fashion labels love to produce extra lines within their core ranges. Lines that bend the rules of their usual genre to include styles like athleisure, menswear or resort-wear. Made for their regular customer as well as occasional ones these collections tend to be a little cheaper while retaining their high standard of quality and design. Stella McCartney’s Adidas activewear range has become a cult brand all of its own while Zimmermann’s resort collection includes swimwear that can fit the budget (and the holiday shopping list).

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Zimmermann ‘Lumino’ bikini, $275 from Net-A-Porter SHOP NOW

Adidas by Stella McCartney training crop, $90 from Stylerunner SHOP NOW

C&M Camilla And Marc classic logo tank, $89 from Stylerunner SHOP NOW

Moschino printed swimsuit, $309 from Net-A-Porter SHOP NOW


The Accessories Entry

This season, accessories are front and centre when it comes to creating a look. A plain white tee and trousers worn with a sensational pair of earrings and heels is perfectly on trend. So why not invest in accessories that are well-made and diligently crafted that you’ll keep forever? Designer shoes, earrings and sunglasses that you previously thought to be out of the realms of purchase, can be a surprisingly affordable investment piece.

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Gucci ‘Princetown’ leather belt, $645 SHOP NOW

Cèline V-neck python pump, $565 from parlour x SHOP NOW

Oscar De La Renta gold-plated clip earrings, $278 from net-a-porter SHOP NOW

Alexander McQueen print scarf, $330 from Net-A-Porter SHOP NOW

Cèline Eyewear ‘Petra’ sunglasses, $465 from Far Fetch SHOP NOW


The Discount Spots

Nabbing a piece of designer treasure at half its original price has got to be one of life’s greatest satisfactions. Knowing that your new shoe/jacket/handbag didn’t cost you your house deposit but you still get to relish in it is genuinely thrilling. Many of us tend to wait for seasonal sale periods when the well-publicised price-slashes happen. But no need. Most online boutiques offer year-round sale tabs which have discounts on a range of pieces from previous seasons. This is a great way to invest in labels you might otherwise have only dreamed of.

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Loewe bow-embellished satin sandals, NOW $738 from Matches Shop now

Marni printed bomber jacket, now $369 from The Outnet SHOP NOW

Valentino pointed toe boots, now $648 from Far Fetch SHOP NOW

Dion Lee ‘Density’ bustier dress, now $345 from My Chameleon SHOP NOW

Helmut Lang asymmetric skirt, now $390 from Shopbop SHOP NOW