Stylists Say These 40 Basics Look So Good & Are So Cheap On Amazon

These classic styles only look expensive.

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I’ll happily pay more for products that truly perform better, but clothes don’t often fit into that category. Whether it’s $30 or $300, a purse still holds your phone, a sweater still keeps you warm, and earrings still make a statement. That’s why I’m a huge fan of cheap, stylish clothes on Amazon that look much more expensive than they are — and it turns out, I’m not the only one.

For this article, Bustle reached out to some experts on the matter: stylists, founders of style publications, and social media influencers. The consensus? You don’t have to spend a lot to look nice and feel comfortable. In fact, some of these experts recommend that you don’t splurge on the basics, because no matter how much they cost, you’re bound to need to replace that white T-shirt. Keep reading to check out some expert advice when it comes to finding trendy but inexpensive basics — plus a few brand recommendations straight from the stylists.


A Classic Crew Neck T-Shirt That Goes With Everything

According to Sandra Colton-Medici, founder and CEO of styling service College of Style, "Every shopper can save money on classic items,” and that includes this recommended top. It’s just a long-sleeve crewneck, but that’s the point: It goes with everything and it’s easy to dress up or down. Since it’s made from a cotton-blend fabric that reviewers call “super soft,” it’s “comfortable” and has the “overall quality” of a “much more expensive item.” It also comes in a bunch more colors beyond black.

  • Available sizes: Small — XX-Large


A Plain White T-Shirt That’s Affordable But Well-Made

A “plain white tee” is also a classic you shouldn’t splurge on, Colton-Medici says. This one costs less than $20, but it’s still made from a viscose-spandex blend that’s soft, breathable, stretchy, and comfortable. It has a longer silhouette making tucking it in easy. “It is surprisingly good quality, especially for the money,” wrote one reviewer who called it a “great all-around everyday tee.”

  • Available sizes: X-Small — XX-Large


These Best-Selling Ballet Flats In Dozens Of Colors

Since “ballet flats” are another classic item that don’t need to cost a ton, Colton-Medici recommends these best-selling Amazon Essentials Belice flats. The faux-leather upper (in your choice of 32 colors and patterns) looks elevated but feels flexible, while the cushioned heel and microfiber lining boost comfort from the inside. They also come in half and wide sizes so you can find the best fit.

  • Available sizes: 5 —15 (including Wide sizes)


Some Pearl Accessories For An Unexpectedly Versatile Look

Kim Appelt, a celebrity stylist, recommends pearls while accessorizing. They’re “trending” but “classic,” so they “can be paired with a plain white tank for an unexpected casual look." These PAVOI huggie earrings have a dangling pearl design, so they combine classic and modern elements. While they’re super affordable, they’re made from gold-plated sterling silver, so no one will ever know. Get them in yellow gold, rose gold, and white gold.


A Lightweight Denim Shirt That Works With All Kinds Of Outfits

Appelt loves throwing on a “jean shirt” with “a pair of shorts or white jeans in the summer. It can also be tied at the front with a dress. It offers a bit of coverage from the sun or wind but is also very light." This denim crop top is my go-to because it’s made from 100% cotton and it has both snap buttons and an adjustable tie. It’s also really lightweight and it comes in several different colors, with or without sleeves.

  • Available sizes: XX-Small — XX-Large


A Black Button-Down, Which Is A Classic For A Reason

“I recommend a crisp, classic white and/or black button-down shirt,” writes Melissa Rivers, celebrity style and red carpet fashion expert. “These literally can go with everything, from your best pencil skirt to your most lived-in jeans. It's a classic for a reason." Available in both black and white (as well as 20 other color options), this cotton button-down is a great affordable option. It has a loose silhouette with rollable sleeves, a chest pocket, and oversized buttons for a more modern look.

  • Available sizes: Small — XX-Large


Or A White Option For A Dressier Look

Diana Knox, culture and style Tiktok creator, agrees: “When it comes to classics, there are a few items where you can save a little money without sacrificing style or quality. One such item is a white button-down shirt. You can find affordable options that are well-constructed and made from durable fabrics." This Amazon Essentials button-down is also made from 100% cotton, but its poplin design, defined collar, and smaller buttons give it a more elevated appearance.

  • Available sizes: X-Small — XX-Large


Some Dark-Wash Jeans That Go With Everything

According to Knox, dark-wash jeans are a “versatile and timeless piece that can be dressed up or down. Levi's and Gap are great options for affordable jeans that still provide quality." This pair has a trendy bootcut silhouette and is made from 62% cotton with added stretch for comfortability. Despite its lower price tag, it has five functional pockets and a heavy-duty zipper fly — plus it comes in short, regular, and long inseams.

  • Available sizes: 24 Short — 35 Regular


Or These Sleek Jeans In A Timeless Silhouette

Holly Katz, personal stylist and host of the Fashion Crimes podcast, writes “If you can save on anything, I would definitely say denim.” These Levi's 724 jeans are a direct recommendation with a high waist, straight leg, and cropped length. According to reviewers, they’re comfortable, cute, and stretchy while holding their shape.

  • Available sizes: 24 Regular — 34 Short


This Recommended Pair Of Jeans For A Looser, Vintage-Inspired Look

“In the sea of jeans to choose from in this world, there isn't really a need to spend several hundred dollars on a pair of jeans when you can get some quality, long-lasting, durable denim that will keep their shape,” Katz writes. These Levi's 94 Baggy jeans are another recommended pair. They’re made entirely from cotton, but their looser silhouette still makes them “extremely comfortable,” according to one reviewer. It also gives them that vintage skatewear look that’s very in right now.

  • Available sizes: 24 Regular — 20 Plus


Or This Flared Style That’s A Direct Recommendation

Finally, Katz recommends these Lucky Brand Sweet Flare jeans. The pair still falls below $100 in most sizes, but the distressed light-wash denim is made from a cotton-polyester-Lycra blend for a soft stretch that still holds its shape. The silhouette is mid-rise with a flared leg and a straight fit for a classic but trendy style. You can get these jeans in two washes.

  • Available sizes: 25W x 32L — 35W x 32L


Some High-Top Sneakers With A Chunky Boot Style

To go with your jeans (or any other outfit), Katz also recommends the Superga Alpina Cotu shoe. It combines the comfort of a sneaker with the edgy style of a high-top boot. The chunky rubber sole is durable and grippy, while the cushioned insole and cotton lining support and wick away sweat from your feet.

  • Available sizes: 6 — 9.5


A Sheer Top To Dress Up Your Denim

While denim is a “great style staple that can serve as a building block,” Colton-Medici recommends adding little extras like “a sheer top” to dress it up a bit. This mesh long-sleeve shirt contrasts sheer sleeves with a turtleneck and a long, slim-fit silhouette. It’s available in 23 different color options (including a few shimmery ones) and according to reviewers, it’s a “great find” and the “perfect garment for layering.”

  • Available sizes: X-Small — 3X-Large


Some Bodysuits To Anchor Your Wardrobe

According to Colton-Medici, you can also add a “bodysuit to anchor your wardrobe” and especially recs them to go with jeans. These sleeveless bodysuits come in a set of three different colors. Thanks to their stretchy, ribbed fabric and square-neck style, they combine the casual look of a tank with the always-stays-tucked convenience of a bodysuit. Some reviewers have even said that they’re an affordable alternative to the Skims bodysuit.

  • Available sizes: Small — Large


Or A Bralette To Contrast Your Jeans

Last but not least, “a bralette” is another one of Colton-Medici’s recommended pairings for jeans. With removable pads, a lined elastic hem, and stretchy ribbed fabric, these halter tanks fall somewhere between a bralette and a crop top. They’re definitely stylish enough for everyday wear, but according to reviewers, the sweat-wicking fabric and light compression work just as well for low-impact workouts.

  • Available sizes: X-Small — X-Large


These Timeless White Sneakers That Are Comfy & Versatile

“Comfortable and versatile, white sneakers can be paired with various outfits,” writes Knox. “Brands like Adidas or Stan Smith offer affordable and stylish options." These Adidas Stan Smith trainers have an overall 4.5-star rating from thousands of reviewers. They’re available in several different options in terms of accent colors, but the timeless silhouette and white recycled polyester upper ensure that they go with virtually everything.

  • Available sizes: 4.5 — 15


Some Cheap Canvas Sneakers That Could Pass For Name Brand

Low-tops are another classic-looking white sneaker. These white canvas low-tops cost well under $30 a pair, but they still feature the iconic rounded toe, adjustable laces, and rubber sole. “I've worn the name brand for 20+ years and I would swear these are the same shoe,” one reviewer wrote.

  • Available sizes: 5 — 11


This Madewell Leather Jacket That’s Worth The Splurge

According to Rivers, “a black leather jacket” is a closet staple that everyone should own. “My favorite is from Madewell. It looks as good as the high-end designer jackets. It's all about the fit,” Rivers writes. This Madewell washed leather motorcycle jacket has a lambskin exterior for that classic wrinkled look. Its curved hem, front pockets, and exposed zipper all make it a stylish choice that’s worth the splurge.

  • Available sizes: XX-Small — XX-Large


Or This Faux Leather Alternative That’s Less Than $50

For a similar look without the price tag (or the animal products), there’s this faux leather jacket. The shell is made from polyester, but the shorter crop, exposed zipper, and motorcycle-style belt all make it a great alternative. Since reviewers write that it’s warm, water-repellent, and wind-proof, it’s as functional as it is stylish.

  • Available sizes: Small — XX-Large


A Little Black Dress That Can Be Dressed Up Or Down

According to Appelt, an LBD (or little black dress) is an essential — especially “one that can be dressed up to an event and also down with chunky loafers or sneakers.” This Amazon Essentials midi dress fits that description to a T. Its V-shaped neckline and sleeveless design are definitely more elevated than most, but the longer length and soft, stretchy rayon still lend themselves well to more casual outfits.

  • Available sizes: X-Small — XX-Large


Or This Flared Black Dress That’s Also Multipurpose

This Floerns flared cocktail dress is another solid option. As per its name, it’s great for dressier events thanks to its mockneck and puffed shoulders. That said, its polyester-spandex material is comfortable, breathable, and easy to layer if you need a foolproof foundation when building more casual outfits. “I basically just needed a good multi-purpose black dress that can be dressed up or dressed down to business casual,” one reviewer wrote, and “this dress fits the bill.”

  • Available sizes: X-Small — XX-Large


This Belt Brand That’s Both Functional & Stylish

“Belts are something that sometimes is necessary but not something you wear every day,” Katz writes, and B-Low The Belt is one of this expert’s recommended brands. This Baby Bell Bottom belt is made from cowhide leather with a round buckle, so it’s both a functional accessory and a statement-making accent. It comes in four sizes and two color options.

  • Available sizes: X-Small — Large


Or This Leather Belt That Does The Same Thing For Less

While “belts can be up to the thousand-dollar range if you are going for designer,” Katz writes, “you can get a belt that does the exact same thing for much, much less.” Take this Catelles belt, for example. It’s made from genuine leather and has an eye-catching brass buckle, but it’s significantly less expensive than designer options. It’s also “durable” and “superb quality,” according to reviewers, so you can use it to cinch dresses or secure your pants every day.

  • Available sizes: XS — XXL


A Scarf That You Can Wear In Countless Ways

Knox is a fan of “patterned scarves” because they “can be worn in countless ways” — “I love an over-the-shoulder scarf with a sundress or tank,” Knox writes. Because these scarves are made from bamboo viscose, they’re lightweight and soft, according to reviewers. They measure 6 by 3 feet, so you can wear them around the neck, as a shawl, over the hair, or even as a wrap skirt, and they come in over 25 different patterns to choose from.


Or This Striped Neckerchief For A Pop Of Pattern

Patterned scarves can also “add a pop of color or pattern to any outfit,” according to Knox. This scarf is made from semi-sheer polyester for comfortable wear as a neckerchief. “I have a drawer filled with dickies and scarfs and didn't realize that the beloved stripe was missing, which I think is an important staple for a well-appointed wardrobe!” one reviewer wrote — but it comes in eight other pattern options, as well.


A Floral Dress Because It’s A Classic For Warmer Weather

“Particularly as we move into the summer, you can’t go wrong with a floral dress,” writes Josh Herbert, stylist and founder of sneaker publication Captain Creps. Available in 19 color options, this midi dress combines trendy floral prints with the wrapped, V-neck design that’s back in style. While it’s not adjustable, it is made from a stretchy polyester fabric that breathes and moves with you.

  • Available sizes: Small — X-Large


Or This Slip-Style Floral Dress With A Unique Hem

Your floral dress “can be maxi or mini,” Herbert continues — or it can be somewhere in between. This flowy midi dress is longer in the back than it is in the front, and it has a thigh slit that adds even more visual interest. You can get it in tons of different floral patterns, from tiny classic buds to bold tropical prints, but all of them are made from breathable rayon and have adjustable straps for a more customized fit.

  • Available sizes: Small — X-Large


This One-Shoulder Maxi Dress That Looks Way More Expensive Than It Is

Most importantly, floral dresses “will keep you cool and looking your best when the sun is shining,” Herbert writes. Even though its tiered, one-shoulder design makes it look like a high-end piece (so much so that reviewers have worn it to weddings), this ruffle maxi dress is reasonably priced. It’s also cool and comfortable, granted it’s made from stretchy polyester with a flowy fit.

  • Available sizes: Small — XX-Large


A Chunky Ring That Goes With Everything

“A chunky ring in gold or silver” is one of Rivers’ favorite accessories. Why? “It looks just as cute with shorts and a T-shirt as it does with a black dress." Plated with 18K over a stainless steel interior, this croissant dome ring is both hypoallergenic and pretty convincing for the price. It also comes in multiple widths, colors, and sizes, and according to reviewers, it “does not fade or tarnish.”

  • Available sizes: 7 — 12


Or This Signet Ring That Comes In Gold, Silver & Rose Gold Finishes

While it also makes a statement with its chunky style, this PAVOIT signet ring is a little more personalized thanks to its north star engraving. It’s plated in 14K gold and doesn’t have any nickel, lead, or cadmium, so reviewers report that even though it’s super affordable, it won’t turn your skin green. Choose between white gold, rose gold, and yellow gold finishes.

  • Available sizes: 5 — 9


A Shawl That’s Both Versatile & Effortless

“I don’t think we appreciate the versatility and effortlessness of a shawl when we are curating our wardrobe,” writes Charles Fratto, style director of ILOE Studios. “There are so many different styles, colors, prints, and fabrics that you can have one for every outfit or simply just one that can go with everything.” This silky-soft shawl is more versatile than most, granted it’s reversible and can also be used as a scarf or wrap. Choose between dozens of color options to find the best fit for your wardrobe.


Or This $9 Flowy Scarf That Only Looks Expensive

“You can splurge on silks, save with cottons, keep warm with wools, or even create your own and make whatever you wish,” Fratto continues. Despite its silky fabric, this lightweight shawl isn’t a splurge — even though it looks like one. Since it’s flowy and square-shaped, it can be worn over the shoulders or tied around the neck, and reviewers say it’s an easy way to “add polish to an outfit” or to “keep the sun off [their skin].”


A Denim Jacket Never Goes Out Of Style

According to Herbert, a denim jacket is another versatile essential. “You can rock it with jeans or dresses, and it just never seems to go out of style." This Amazon Essentials jean jacket comes in four colors and tons of inclusive sizes. Since it’s made from 79% cotton with polyester and elastane, it’s durable, stretchy, and adaptive for multiple seasons. No wonder reviewers have called it the “best” they’ve “ever owned.”

  • Available sizes: X-Small — 6X


Or This Oversized Option For A Trendier Take

Loose clothing is in right now, which is why this oversized denim jacket makes for a trendier take on a timeless style. It’s made from a cotton-blend material, but its dropped shoulders and longer cut make it a roomy piece that’s great for layering. It also has buttoned cuffs and four functional pockets. “My new favorite jean jacket,” one reviewer wrote. “Bought both the light and dark blue colors.”

  • Available sizes: X-Small — XX-Large


Some Eye-Catching Earrings To Elevate Your Outfit

“Eye-catching earrings can elevate any outfit and add a touch of personality,” Knox writes, and these waterdrop earrings definitely fit the bill. They’re gold-plated for realism, but their hypoallergenic construction and extremely low price tag means you can wear them every day. Get them in three finishes (gold, silver, and black) and wear them with both dressy and casual outfits alike.


Or This Pack Of 6 Statement Earrings For Less Than $10

Look for a “wide range of affordable and unique options,” Knox writes. This earrings set comes with six pairs, all made from lightweight rattan and resin. As a result, they’re super affordable, but also earthy and stylish, so you can make a statement on a budget. “I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of these,” one reviewer wrote, while another said they “get so many compliments.”


& These Metal Dangle Earrings That Make A Statement

In Knox’s opinion, when it comes to statement earrings, “the bigger the better.” These drop chain earrings have layers upon layers of dangling chains in all different lengths. While they come in both silver and gold finishes, they’re actually made from zinc alloy, so they’re a great combination of lightweight, durable, and fade-resistant.


A Detachable Collar To Give The Appearance Of 2 Pieces

If you tend to overheat, this trick is a must-know: “A dickey is an insert that you can use with a jacket to give the look of wearing two pieces when you are only wearing one,” writes Katz, and this detachable collar is one of the most popular options on Amazon. It’s made from 100% cotton and has adjustable straps to keep it in place. You can also get it in black or denim, and it’s machine-washable so it stays fresh.


A Body Chain To Give Your Outfit A Focal Point

Especially when paired with bras or swimsuits, “Body chains can be fun accessories that become a focal point of an outfit,” writes Colton-Medici. This one costs less than $20, even though it’s plated with real 18K gold and has trendy satellite beads throughout its length (and you can get it in dozens of other designs, too). It measures almost 32 inches long and has a 6-inch extender chain with a lobster clasp.


An Affordable Blazer That Only Looks Like A Splurge

Finally, “you can save a little money on a blazer,” Appelt writes. “There are some amazing blazers at Zara, on Amazon, and other retailers that paired with a beautiful purse and shoes will look like you splurged!" With its open front, notch lapel, and two pockets, this casual blazer is a stylish option that won’t break the bank. It’s also surprisingly comfortable thanks to its loose silhouette and stretchy fabric.

  • Available sizes: Small — XX-Large