We May Have Expensive Taste, But These Affordable Buys Are Winning Us Over


(Image credit: @katcollings; STYLING: Who What Wear Puff Sleeve Short Dress ($38))

If there's one thing my fellow editors and I are good at, it's the art of spotting an affordable fashion buy that could pass as a luxury one. Since we spend many hours a week putting together trend reports and shopping edits, we can spot those details that make a piece look elevated. On this particular occasion, we're not only calling attention to a few expensive-looking finds we think you need to see, but we're also putting them to the test and trying them on IRL. Yep, we're back this month with our try-on series, and nothing you're about to see tops $40.

Okay, here's the tea. Excuse us for a little shameless self-promo, but the items in question are from our very own Who What Wear x Target line. That said, we'd still call these out for their elevated vibe even if we weren't editors for the brand. Now, let's get into the good stuff: The latest drop comprises flowy dresses and pretty puff-sleeve moments that align with the biggest summer trends of the moment. So once our editors got their hands on these new pieces, it was game over for the rest of our summer 'fits because we realized these pieces will be working overtime. Ahead, see how we're styling our picks and shop them, too, if you're so inclined.


Jasmine Fox-Suliaman, audience engagement editor
(Image credit: @fashionwithjazz; STYLING: Who What Wear Sleeveless Dress ($40); Dior earrings; Raie Zodiac Sunglasses ($129); Bottega Veneta bag; Who What Wear Collection sandals)

"In the summer, I always rely upon a few no-fuss dresses that I can throw on and dress up or down depending upon the occasion, and this WWWC dress has earned its place in the rotation. I love that the fabric is not only breathable (it kept me cool during a historically hot and humid NYC week), but the fit is also everything. Unlike some maxi dresses that give off the potato-sack vibe, it's fitted in the bodice and tapers out, so it strikes a balance perfectly between fashionable and functional. No matter if you choose to dress it up with fun metallic accessories like I did or throw on your favorite thong flats, you can't go wrong with this dress for the summer. "


Kat Collings, editor in chief
(Image credit: @katcollings; STYLING: Who What Wear Puff Sleeve Short Dress ($38))

"I've been collecting billowy dresses this season, and this gingham one is a great addition. It's a super-wearable print in colors that are also… super wearable. What can I say, this dress is the definition of throw on and go!"


Yusra Siddiqui, assistant market editor
(Image credit: @thatgirlyusra)

"I love dresses, and I love layering, but the two often don't mix in the summertime—except for strappy numbers like this one. It's light enough to layer over a top, but for those who want to wear it as is, it'll look just as perfect."


Anna LaPlaca, editor
(Image credit: @anna__laplaca)

Normally, the distinction between my daytime wardrobe and my going-out wardrobe is crystal clear. The concept of day-to-night dressing has always been lost on me—until now. This little strapless number effortlessly toes the line between casual and more elevated. The lightweight shape is perfect for hot weather with slides and a bucket hat as I wore here, but at the same time, it has some nice waist-defining smocking that could quickly feel nighttime ready.


Sarah Yang, managing editor, THE/THIRTY
(Image credit: @sarahayang)

"Unfortunately, I don't have any tropical vacations planned this summer, but hey, at least I have this dress! It gives me those tropical, beachy vibes that I'm currently dreaming of. The print is so fun and summery, and I love the details like the statement sleeves and the sweetheart-esque neckline with a bow. I'm definitely going to wear this for a summery dinner with friends."


Allyson Payer, senior editor
(Image credit: @allypayer)

"This is the ideal black dress for summer. It's so crisp and lightweight, and the apron-style front with the ruffled sleeves makes it the perfect amount of trendy. I'd pair it with New Balance sneakers to mimic all the cool Scandi girls."

More of our affordable favorites:


(Image credit: @thelanguageofyolande)


(Image credit: @bridjensen)


(Image credit: @JOIEDEJUDE)

Up next: Big Summer Energy: 6 It Items the Fashion Crowd Is Very Into Right Now

Senior Editor

Anna is an editor on the fashion team at Who What Wear and has been at the company for over five years, having begun her career in the Los Angeles office before relocating to New York, where she's currently based. Having always been passionate about pursuing a career in fashion, she built up her experience interning at the likes of Michael Kors, A.L.C., and College Fashionista before joining the team as a post-graduate assistant editor. Anna has penned a number of interviews with Who What Wear's cover stars over the years, including A-listers Megan Fox, Issa Rae, and Emma Chamberlain. She's earned a reputation for scouting new and emerging brands from across the globe and championing them to our audience of millions. While fashion is her main wheelhouse, Anna led the launch of WWW Travels last year, a new lifestyle vertical that highlights all things travel through a fashion-person lens. She is passionate about shopping vintage, whether it be at a favorite local outpost or an on-the-road discovery, and has amassed a wardrobe full of unique finds. When she's not writing, you can find her shooting street imagery on her film camera, attempting to learn a fourth or fifth language, or planning her next trip across the globe.