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Back To Basics

Put away all the glittering outfits you wore during the holidays, because the time has arrived to get back to work.

Lesley Jane Seymour, editor-in-chief of Marie Claire magazine, says the right classic pieces can be a great way to build the wardrobe and, as she tells viewers of The Early Show, it doesn't cost a fortune.

Co-anchors Rene Syler, Hannah Storm and Harry Smith were put to the test and only Syler was able to tell apart the steals from the splurges.


Seymour says pantsuits are versatile (great for work, and for cocktails), sophisticated and they keep you warm on chilly days. She says tan is a great transitional color.

Theory tan twill suit jacket, about $340
Matching tan boot-cut pants, about $230
Dolce & Gabbana black button down shirt that is a cotton/silk blend, $995
Cesare Paciotti black sling-back pump, $375
Ferragamo scarf, about $210

Total: $2,150

Mossimo by Target cotton canvas suit jacket, $24.99
Matching tan boot-cut pants, $24.99
Victoria's Secret black cotton button down shirt, $35
Rampage black sling-backs, $40
Coach scarf, $58

Total: $182.98

The biggest differences here are the labels; both suits are made of cotton blends. Seymour says it's not the material that would account for such a huge difference. You are paying for the name. In the shirts: the splurge shirt is made of a cotton/silk blend and the steal shirt is simply a stretch cotton shirt.

Floral Dress
An easy way to warm up a dress is by putting on a tweed coat. By layering, you can get a longer use of clothing as we transition from one season into another.

Marc Jacobs chiffon floral printed dress, $1,700
Blue tweed coat, $2,200
Stuart Weitzman, $200

Total: $4,100

Victoria's Secret chiffon floral printed dress, $98
Blue tweed coat, $148
BCBG pink pump, about $79

Total: $325

Trench Coat
Seymour says a trench coat adds warmth to your wardrobe. It can also take you into the spring season, plus they're perfect to wear during winter rain days.

Ralph Lauren Black Label blue double-breasted trench, $898
Manolo Blahnik black pump, $445

Total: $1,343

Perry Ellis blue double-breasted trench, $228
Stuart Weitzman, $200

Total: $428

Again, it's really about the labels. The black label is one of Ralph Lauren's high-end lines. She says the Ralph Lauren is certainly a true "investment" piece, but the Perry Ellis is nice. And at the price, you could get another one in a different color.

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