21 Cool-But-Cheap Summer Finds I Would Trade In My Basics For

It’s no secret that when it comes to shopping for clothing, I’m undeniably partial towards basics. In fact, I own more seemingly simple essentials than I’d like to admit, spanning every category from tees and tanks to jeans and sweaters—all, of course, in classic colors and nearly no prints.

That said, even I would be remiss to not acknowledge the allure of a simply cool statement piece, and especially an attractively priced one. If I’m finally starting to speak your language, then you’re in for a real treat because today, with a little help from our Who What Wear collection, I’ve rounded up 21 such pieces all under $50. From dresses at every hemline to statement tops and the matching bottoms to go with them, below you’ll find everything one could possibly want for a summer-into-fall wardrobe that stands out rather than blending in. To get started shopping (and take in some styling inspo along the way) just keep scrolling.


(Image credit: @dailykongfidence)

I'm pretty sure the matching set is the summer outfit to beat—not that it's possible.


(Image credit: @caileeraemusic)

Having dress envy? Don't worry, it can be yours for less than $40.


(Image credit: @katarinabrunette)

I love how this loose, tiered silhouette pairs with the thin, shoulder-tie straps.


(Image credit: @maggie_mccormack)

Another matching set to add to your wish list (or wardrobe).


(Image credit: @chasingdenisse)

Sadly-but-unsurprisingly, this exact style has sold out, but linked below is a similar frock I think you'll still love.


(Image credit: @paolaalberdi)

This look is making me wonder how I never owned a polka-dot mini-dress before...

Next, 7 random trends that are definitely a thing right now.

Nicole Akhtarzad Eshaghpour
Senior Market Editor

Since starting as an intern back in 2013, Nicole Akhtarzad Eshaghpour has held several roles here at Who What Wear, and she is currently senior market editor. It was a less expected route, seeing as she was graduating from business school at USC when this all began, but it has turned out to be the best one for her. Fast-forward to 2020, and she's moved to NYC from her hometown of Beverly Hills and spends her workdays a little differently from when she was an intern starting out. Currently, she focuses on a weekly mélange of shopping content. As far as her personal style goes, she's largely drawn to classic pieces and neutral basics but will always make an exception for something colorful, printed, or bejeweled as long as it's deemed worthy enough. After all, the only thing she loves more than a good party is dressing up for one. On weekdays, she can usually be found at home eating something delicious for dinner and trying to force her husband to watch 90 Day Fiancé.