This year, I made two resolutions, and they’re both directly related to my closet. First, I promised to not spend any money on clothes for the entirety of January—a huge feat for someone who often drops $1,000 on two Zara runs and a Pixie Market order. The second resolution was to make sure I bought only quality products—a restriction I’d tried to abide by after two separate under-$10 workout pants from a store that shall not be named literally ripped at the seams within one week of each other, leaving me in a pre-rowing bind.
But after sitting with it for a while, I realized I didn’t want to say goodbye to that joyous feeling that comes when someone genuinely compliments your leather jacket or bucket bag or knit sweater, thinking it set you back hundreds—possibly even thousands—and you tell them it was less than a hundo. It’s like you gamed the system. You won.
And it turns out, there is a way to buy things that look expensive without blowing your entire paycheck—and after the workout pant incident of December 2016, I know where to look for them: The seams of a pant, the zipper of a jacket, the lining of a shoe, and the quality of the leather—even if it’s faux—are all dead-giveaways of how long it’ll last. Ahead, 25 under-$100 pieces that only look expensive.