Imagine that a $50 gift card to Amazon fell into your lap just like that. What would you buy? This is the question I posed to my fellow editors, and with our imaginary money, we all found different yet equally thrilling (and useful) gems. While senior market editor Bobby selected some quality wardrobe basics to refresh his stash, editor in chief Kat has her eye on an easy fall top that will look chic with jeans, and senior news editor Erin is cluing us into the haircare products that will breathe life into your tresses. As for myself, I blew my entire budget on one standout piece: a warm chestnut brown pair of wide-leg trousers which I'd style with the matching utility-inspired top (sadly the top is outside of today's budget but is saved for another time). Relaxed trousers are the only wardrobe basic I really care about for fall, and I already have so many outfit ideas stored in my brain with this pair. Scroll on to see and shop all of our picks, knowing you can shop any editor's wish list without spending over half a Benjamin.
"I love the basic tees from Amazon Essentials. My offering could definitely use a refresh for the season."
"I basically live in joggers five days per week, so I have my eye on another pair to mix it up."
"I pretty much buy all my basics on Amazon—socks included."
"The balloon sleeves on this easy top have my heart. Also, the mushroom color. It's very neutral, but feels fresher than black, white, or gray. The long sleeves will be perfect come fall."
"This hair towel puts me a little over my $50 budget, but I would re-buy it 10,000 times over. It has transformed my morning routine. I've been air drying my hair more than ever this year, and was just dealing with having a post-shower sopping wet mass of hair that would slowly dry for multiple hours. Brushing it or wrapping it in a regular towel took me straight to frizz town. Now, I twist my hair up in this microfiber towel, and it cuts the drying time by hours and it doesn't mess up my natural wave pattern."
"It's not my goal to have perfectly straight hair but I use a straightener to smooth everything out. I must say that this affordable Revlon one rivals the over-$100 ones out there. It's sleek and has 10 different heat settings and automatic shutoff, so what more do you need?"
"I've been wearing these shorts constantly since I got them, so I'm obviously contemplating getting another pair. They're as comfortable as typical sweat shorts but a little more polished."
"How to make a white tee feel ready for fall? Just add a mock neck."
"A one-shoulder tank is the perfect non-basic basic that helps me feel like I'm spicing things up without going too far out of my comfort zone of simplicity."
"Call them nightgown dresses, nap dresses, or house dresses I'm loving the romantic, vintage-inspired frocks that are having a major moment on Instagram right now. This pretty white cotton is ideal for not only puttering around the house (and sleeping in, of course) but is also easy enough to wear out to the farmers market (just add a basket bag!) or a countryside getaway."
"A ribbed knit cropped tank top is super versatile and looks chic with a pair of high-waisted jeans. It's also an ideal summer-to-fall transitional piece."
"This Bioderma Atoderm is my favorite shower gel, hands down. It's designed for sensitive skin and leaves you feeling squeaky clean but still hydrated. Plus, it has the most intoxicating (but subtle) scent."
"I'm currently living in silk scrunchies at home. Not only do I love them as a fashion trend, but I've noticed considerably less breakage when I use them in place of regular hair ties."
"These sunglasses feel very Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy and a throwback to cool '90s style. And at just $14, I wouldn't have to worry about losing them."
"As someone that doesn't own enough sneakers—I've been eyeing these classic ones from Puma. They'd be perfect for dressing up or down and can be worn just about everywhere."
"With $50 at Amazon, one of the products I would buy is Sachajuan's Leave-In Conditioner. I desperately could benefit from this because I have been neglecting my hair during quarantine and it feels particularly dry and lifeless right now. This promises to help restore shine and moisture, and I'm all about that."
"I'm intrigued by Tea Tree's Hair and Scalp Treatment because it has hundreds of positive reviews on Amazon. Its vitamin E, shea butter, and willow bark help soothe itchy scalps, but unlike other harsh scalp treatments, it also helps moisturize your hair."
Why, yes, I am prepared to blow my imaginary $50 budget on these gorgeous wide-leg trousers, thank you for asking. I'm sure I could come up with more useful (albeit less exciting) items to fill my cart with but the truth is that these trousers have been on my mind for a minute now. I think they'll work well with everything from cardigans to T-shirts to bodysuits and help me dress a bit better while I continue to WFH this fall.