5 Summer Basics You Can Buy Cheap and Wear for Years

We tend to think that fashion investments are synonymous with items we’ve bought on the more expensive side, but I’ve come to learn in my many shopping experiences that that’s far from the case. I can’t even count how many of my favorite wardrobe basics were purchased for less than $100 (or even less than $50) and have stayed in my good graces for not just several seasons, but years.

To prove it, today, I’ve gone ahead and rounded up 20 such staples for summer that are not only affordable but are also good enough to bring back into your rotation year after year. With these accessible prices from our very own Who What Wear collection, you can grab all the pieces you'll need this summer. To get inspired, all you have to do is start scrolling.

1. Skirts


(Image credit: @alessandragl)

Whether you're partial to minis, midis, maxis, or all three, the skirt is crucial to beating the heat summer after summer. 

2. Tops


(Image credit: @maggie_mccormack)

The search for summery tops often feels like a never-ending one, which is why whenever I stumble across an affordable style (or four), I stock up. 

3. Sandals


(Image credit: @chrystelleeriksberger)

While every year does come with a fresh crop of trendy sandals to try, I often find that I end up falling back on favorites from seasons past. 

4. Dresses


(Image credit: @basicstouch)

I'm not much of a dress person, but even I have accepted that nothing makes looking cute while staying cool easier than a breezy frock, so I've started collecting them over the years.

5. Shorts


(Image credit: @anoukyve)

You bet I saved the best for last. While shorts are always a summer staple, this year, they're a strong favorite of the among the fashion set, and I don't foresee that changing for a while.

Next, 27 cute face masks you'll actually want to wear.


Since starting as an intern back in 2013, Nicole Akhtarzad Eshaghpour has held several roles here at Who What Wear, and she is currently Editor-at-Large. 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 2024, 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 Summer House.