Proof you don't need to spend a lot to look like a million bucks.

By Samantha Sutton
Updated May 07, 2020 @ 6:00 pm
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
Advertisement
Credit: Courtesy

Sometimes, we fall in love with a celebrity's outfit only to find out their simple white shirt costs as much as our monthly rent. Sure, we enjoy splurging on investment items occasionally, but we're also fans of perusing Etsy for affordable options, or taking advantage of the latest blowout sale. We know that quality stuff under a certain price point exists (even Kate Middleton knows this to be true), but it never hurts to get some guidance on where to look, which is why we've tapped nine fashion editors for their recommendations.

After all, these are the people who are well-versed in the season's biggest trends, and often spend their days looking at clothes and putting together outfits. They know the difference between a decent deal and one we'd regret spending a single penny on, so when they say an under-$50 dress or bag is worth adding to cart, we know it really is.

Ahead, fashion editors from Cosmopolitan, Fashionista, and, of course, InStyle are sharing what they'd buy with a $50 bill. Unsurprisingly, it's all too good to pass up — and with a price tag like that, we may not need to.

Credit: Courtesy

"When my daily sweatsuit uniform feels boring, I'll throw on a pair of earrings or fun hair accessory — it boosts my mood and makes me look a little more dressed up for video meetings. Acrylic is a big trend right now, so I'm loving these custom BaubleBar clips ($32; baublebar.com). Bonus points: they make great gifts too!" —Macy Williams; Shopping Editor at Popsugar

Credit: Courtesy

"When Aurora James of Brother Vellies launched her Cloud Socks, I foolishly waited too long to snap up a pair before they sold out completely. Thankfully, Aurora is starting a subscription program called 'Something Special' where, for $35 a month, you'll receive an item handmade by her community of artisans. It's a win-win all around: I can support an independent, woman-led, sustainably oriented business that I love during a challenging time, and I get something to look forward to in the mail every month. Oh, and I'll be waiting for the Cloud Socks to come back in stock, too. They look too fluffy to resist." —Tyler McCall; Editor-in-Chief, Fashionista

Credit: Courtesy

"These leggings ($30; zara.com) have been on my wishlist for months and I think it's time to finally pull the trigger. I've been kind of over skinny pants lately, but the ankle slit (and the wild print) makes these feel more modern than your average toothpick jean. Once I have a reason to get dressed again, I'm envisioning these babies matched up with oversized blazers, hoodies, and strappy sandals." —Kelsey Stiegman; Senior Style Editor, Seventeen.com

Credit: Courtesy

"As I start to think about what my summer loungewear wardrobe will look like, I have shorts on my mind. And, aside from sweat shorts and bike shorts which I already own, I'm intrigued by the latest boxer shorts trend ($32; nordstrom.com) I've been seeing a lot of lately, and think that I'm ready to give it a try." —Nicole Akhtarzad Eshaghpour; Senior Market Editor, Who What Wear

Credit: Courtesy

“Before quarantine happened, I was in a bit of an outfit rut, constantly wearing the same things over and over and over again. Since putting together outfits is how I express myself daily, this also put me in a pretty bad mood. So, I’ve been using my free time lately to reacquaint myself with my closet. I don’t like to wear the same thing the same exact way twice, so I’ve been playing with layering and styling a lot. In order to do that, I need to stock up on good pieces like this one-shoulder tie tank ($39; urbanoutfitters.com), which I can immediately envision wearing one thousand different ways — under a sheer patterned turtleneck top, by itself with a denim miniskirt, over a silk vintage slip. I’m so excited about the options, I’m honestly considering buying two different colors.” —Tara Gonzalez; Ecommerce Style Writer; InStyle.com

Credit: Courtesy

"When it's safe to go back outside again, I want to have this lil bb ($38; topshop.com) on my arm." —Alexis Bennett; Shopping Editor, Cosmopolitan

Credit: Courtesy

"Ask anyone who knows me and they'll tell you that my two favorite things in life are Zara and really good denim. These extra long (my favorite denim silhouette) jeans ($50; zara.com) are the perfect combination of the two. I know wearing jeans in quarantine is frowned upon, but when they're this good — not to mention baggy enough not to feel constricting — I'm willing to make an exception." —Eliza Huber; Fashion Market Writer, Refinery29

Credit: Courtesy

“My feet get cold easily, so I’m always wearing cozy socks at home. Since we’ve been in quarantine, the dressiest I get — and honestly, the most joy I get in 'putting on actual clothes' — is picking out my socks. I have been wearing these Koio ones that say WFH ($18; koio.co) with my workout leggings or sweats. Since I don’t go anywhere, I wear the socks at least twice before they go in the wash. They feel playful and appropriate given the times.” —Marina Liao, Fashion Editor at MarieClaire.com

ASOS Design Square Neck Puff Sleeve Smock Dress in Rust

Credit: Courtesy

"Blame it on the nightgown trend, but I recently decided that, while working from home, I was going to wear a variety of comfy, loose dresses instead of my go-to sweats. I was pleasantly surprised to find that ASOS has so many, but ultimately landed on a puff-sleeve option in a bold color ($29; asos.com). It makes me feel dressed for the day without feeling constricted, and I know it'll still be one of my favorites months from now. I'll even plan to wear it with tights and boots in fall." —Samantha Sutton; Fashion Editor, InStyle.com