I've got seriously expensive taste, but my budget doesn't always seem to get the memo. Like most of the Who What Wear team, every so often I'll save and invest in a luxury piece—maybe a leather handbag, a versatile dress or a perfect trench coat—that I know I'll wear forever. But when it comes to my everyday wardrobe, especially any slightly trend-led pieces, I've made it my job (literally) to track down the best and most expensive-looking pieces on the high street.
Shopping smartly at the more affordable end of the scale means you can absolutely get an elevated capsule wardrobe that luxury brands like The Row have perfected without having to remortgage your house. By "smartly" I mean paying attention to the best quality fabrications and great fits to ensure you don't miss out on that longevity you can sometimes sacrifice for price. It should come as no surprise, then, that I'm a fan of a (sensitively done) high street dupe, especially when it's backed up with quality from a brand that I trust.
So, when I was doing my regular browse through Marks and Spencer's new-in section this week, you can bet I gasped (literally) when I saw these seriously expensive-looking real leather sandals, in a style very similar to a pair from The Row that I've been considering investing in for the past three summers.
The "fisherman" style caged sandal is a design that's actually been around for a very long time, withstanding the whims of the fashion world. No one brand "invented' them, but when The Row first released their version a few years ago they started to garner a lot more attention from the fashion world. Now, they're a stylish staple that can add comfort and a bit of edge to your summer footwear collection. They toughen up and balance out pretty dresses perfectly, and they also look great with transitional pieces, like jeans, cargo trousers and tailoring (as Sarah proves in these outfits) which extends their lifespan past high summer months into spring and autumn.
The Row's quality is, of course, impeccable and cannot be matched, but it does come at a price. And since I've owned M&S leather shoes in the past for many many years, I'm extremely tempted by this more affordable pair. The tan version of Marks and Spencer's fisherman sandals has been so popular they've already flown out of stock, but luckily the classic black pair has just had a fresh restock. According to M&S's site, they've been viewed over 100 times since I last looked at them yesterday, though, so I wouldn't hang around if you're thinking of investing. Keep scrolling to shop the M&S and The Row fisherman sandals, as well as more capsule wardrobe pieces from both brands.
Shop the M&S Fisherman Sandals:
Shop The Row Fisherman Sandals:
Shop More The Row Alternatives from M&S: