8 Stylish People Told Me Their Best Affordable Purchase of Recent Memory

woman wearing black tie blouse with white poplin bubble maxi skirt

(Image credit: @kerrypieri)

Shopping for affordable fashion options that actually hold up (both literally and figuratively) can sometimes be a tremendous task. There is a lot to weed through in the depths of online shopping, and although an item might look great professionally shot on a model, often when it arrives at my door, that’s not the case. As a fashion editor, I am constantly asking my industry friends and colleagues “Where did you get that?” when they are sporting a cute look while out and about. The answers are usually shockingly attainable, prompting me to run home to click buy immediately. So I took this same approach and tapped eight stylish people I know to tell me their best affordable purchase of recent memory.

Unsurprisingly, these recommendations are cool and classic and can be worn over and over. Not only are they useful, transitional pieces that can be worn now and throughout the warm-weather months ahead, but they are also super stylish. And did I mention they’re all under $150? Find everything from cute maxi skirts to elevated sweats and ballet block heels—all straight from some very chic sources. Keep reading to discover their must-have picks, along with some inspiration-worthy styling tips.

White Denim Maxi Skirt

woman standing in apartment wearing white button-down, white denim midi skirt with slit, white socks and green Adidas sneakers, pearl necklace

(Image credit: @aemiliafay)

“This off-white denim skirt from Levi's has become a new favorite in my rotation,” says Aemilia Madden, writer, editor, and brand consultant. “It's not quite as casual as a blue denim style, but it's still fairly laid-back.” She suggests styling it with a white top and colorful sneakers, her signature go-to (as pictured) or trying it with a going-out top and strappy sandals as the warmer weather hits.

Shop More

Zip-Up Hoodie

woman kneeling on wood floor in gray zip-up hoodie sweatshirt with shorts and red socks and black sneakers taking selfie

(Image credit: @himichelleli)

“I have been wearing this zip hoodie with everything!” stylist Michelle Li says. “It’s cozy, but I think after seeing Sabato de Sarno’s first Gucci show, I’m convinced that these zip hoodies are so chic, and I love mixing it into a more dressed-up context as well.” Go the sporty route and style it with shorts, socks, and trainers, or try it with a glossy midi skirt à la Gucci for a sophisticated spin.

Shop More

Black Slip Dress

woman taking selfie in mirror wearing black body-con slip dress with red heart purse and red-and-black cap-toe ballet flats

(Image credit: @michellesalem)

“My best under-$150 purchase recently has been this black midi slip dress by Cou Cou Intimates,” PR and brand strategist Michelle Salem says. “The length makes it office-appropriate, but the flattering cut and fit adds a flirtiness that makes it perfect for heading straight to drinks afterward.” When it comes to styling, she recommends adding a pop of color with accessories. “The simplicity in design also means I can let my accessories shine and, more importantly, that I'll never get tired of it—which is honestly what I look for most in my purchases these days,” she says.

Shop More

Ballerina Block Heel

Women at Paris Fashion Week wearing red rights and red ballerina shoes, black leather jacket, white top-handle back, black blazer, black hobo bag

(Image credit: @katcollings)

“Everyone always thinks these ballet flats are more expensive than they are,” says Kat Collings, editor in chief of Who What Wear. “I've been asked if they're the Parisian brand Repetto many times. Plus, any scuffs on the patent come off super easily with a little nail polish remover.” Wear this bold red shoe with matching hosiery or socks for a fun, monochrome look like Collings did. We have a few neutral options below as well.

Shop More

Poplin Maxi Skirt

Woman standing in apartment wearing black top, white maxi skirt, brown suede tote bag, black fisherman sandals

(Image credit: @kerrypieri)

“I have always loved maxi skirts in all of their wondrous forms, and this Zara white poplin bubble skirt feels like a fresh spin on it,” says editor, artist, and content creator Kerry Pieri. “I’ve already worn this three different ways in the two weeks I’ve owned it, but I am especially into this old silk wrap top from Aje with fisherman sandals by Either Or and Little Liffner bag.” This truly is a piece you can transition straight into summer.

Shop More

Striped Crewneck Sweatshirt

Woman standing in apartment wearing striped crewneck sweatshirt, khaki cropped pants, brown belt, white and tan sneakers

(Image credit: @cocobassey)

“I own this sweatshirt in black, dark green and recently added the white-and-beige striped colorway to my wardrobe too!” content creator and creative consultant Coco Bassey tells us. “The fit is super flattering, so I can dress it up and look polished, while also being so soft and comfortable, so it feels as comfortable and breathable as my comfiest pair of pj's.” She also recommends it as a good basic for chillier weather and travel days. We are sold.

Shop More

'90s Straight-Leg Jeans

Woman standing outside wearing black sunglasses, black blazer, white T-shirt, blue straight-leg jeans, shoulder bag

(Image credit: @katiesturino)

“I love these Abercrombie jeans because they are the perfect everyday jeans with a twist,” says Katie Sturino, Megababe founder and body-acceptance advocate. “They are super comfortable with an updated, crossover silhouette, and I love the wash!” Keep things minimal, like Sturino did, and wear with a white T-shirt and blazer for a very '90s approach.

Shop More

Techy Track Pants

woman in bedroom wearing white pullover zip-top sweatshirt, white sport pants, black-and-white trainer sneakers, black-and-white houndstooth fanny pack, black sunglasses

(Image credit: @lauralajiness)

“After being in the newborn bubble for the second time, I’m ready to look a little more put-together after days spent mostly in pajamas,” says writer and editor Laura Lajiness Kaupke. “I’m still home most days with the baby and need to be comfy with nursing-friendly tops as an essential foundation to my looks. But these pants from Aritzia’s new athleisure line have felt like a cooler, crisper option over my slouchier sweats and leggings.” She loves their silky, soft feel; lightweight fabrication; and that they have pockets—for juggling anything from a phone to pacifiers for all the parents out there.

Shop More: