An easy place to start for a chic and cheap wardrobe is identify 2 quality basics that you can revolve all your other pieces around.
For me, 2 pieces that I get the most bang for my buck are a pair of straight leg jeans and a white t-shirt. Earth shattering? No. But when paired with your more exciting "pop" items, you will see you can build an entire wardrobe around 2 easy basics.