Contrary to popular belief, even we fashion editors don't walk around in plain white $300 T-shirts—at least not every day. When it comes to the plain-ish staple pieces that serve as the backdrop for our more OTT garments (hello, beaded bags and vinyl trench coats), we're typically looking for pieces we won't feel too bad about spilling a little spaghetti cacciatore or merlot on… pieces that'll also stand up to frequent wear, won't pill the first time we pop them into the dryer, and won't stretch or lose their shape after that initial wear. To that end, we went ahead and rounded up some of the go-to low-cost basics (we're talking $50 or under) we Who What Wear editors actually wear on the regular.
Yeah, there's a reason we write about this particular plain white tee all the time…
Our JoyLab line at Target features tons of quality basics at affordable price points.
The scalloped edges make this fitted tee stand out from the pack, and I can tell you on good authority that it holds up well.
Your favorite '90s sweater style has returned with a vengeance.
Three sets of plain gold hoops = just what your winter wardrobe needs.
The patent finish adds a little something special to an otherwise basic tote.
The kind of shirt you'll wear over and over again.
If you like your jeans high rise and a little oversize like I do, you can't go wrong with this on-sale pair.
Easily the most comfortable shirt in my closet.
White socks feel less boring when they're rendered in this kind of luxe texture. (Also available in plenty of bright colorways.)
The kind of piece you'll wear daily (layered with other pieces that come and go).
Need a new basic blazer? This double-breasted pinstripe version will be easy on your wallet.
You name an outfit, I can promise I've worn a denim jacket with it.
I've never met a pair of plissé pants I haven't loved (and worn into the ground).
I've been wearing all-black Converse for over two decades now, and I don't see that changing any time soon.
Tortoiseshell buttons elevate this plain white tank, as does the interesting texture.
All about a plain black ballet-inspired wrap bodysuit.
The ultimate piece you can dress up or down.
Big enough for all the essentials, ridiculously versatile, and in an on-trend green, too.
Still looking for affordable fall shopping picks? Next up, see the under-$100 picks in my shopping cart right now.