It’s a dilemma fashion editors face season after season: What to wear to the shows without breaking the bank — or feeling too much like a schlump next to the street style swans? After all, nothing is worse than a last-minute scramble to find (and fund) outfits that can stand up to eight days of wardrobe scrutiny. With so many trends to choose from (baroque! pattern! leather! layers!), it’s daunting, even for the pros.
Your best bet? Go understated and leave the “It” shoes and major fashion statements to Anna Dello Russo and Michelle Harper. A beautifully cut trouser from Reiss (easy to wear a few times without anyone noticing) and silk blouse from Equipment will exude the right I’m-not-trying-too-hard vibe. A black-and-white Calvin Klein sheath works equally well for the shows and the after-parties. A beautiful flat shoe, like Jenni Kayne’s D’Orsay flat, lets you run from Lincoln Center to Milk Studios, while simple gold jewelry, a classic leather-strap watch, and neutral manicure will keep your look put together. None of these cost an arm and a leg — though should you want to go for the ultimate in understated attire, splurge for something from The Row. Click ahead to see 27 staples to get you through Fashion Week and the season ahead.