10 Under-$40 Pieces We Just Added to Our Closets (And How We’re Wearing Each)

Ready for a little shopping inspiration? In my mind, the only thing better than a good fashion roundup is one that includes outfit ideas along with it. Fashion editor–approved picks and the styling ideas to match. It’s a win-win, really, and my fellow editors and I are back at it again with our try-on series just in time to address the late-winter outfit slump we’re all feeling right now. If you’re familiar with these posts, then just keep scrolling to get your download of the latest affordable shopping picks and how to style them. But if you happen to be new here, then let me fill you in. 

We drop new pieces for our Who What Wear line several times a season, and today’s roundup highlights the chic knits, cool basics, and spring-ready frocks from the latest collection. Even though nothing rings up for more than $40 in this edit, the cool looks our editors put together are making these affordable buys look far pricier. Ahead, see how we each wear our picks, and then shop our favorites if you’re so inspired.

“Even in the spring there are chilly days here on the East Coast, so I love to take dresses to the next level and pair them with a sweater vest or light jacket. This dress is lightweight enough for layering and has the perfect silhouette for it!”

“This dress has pretty great reviews, and I concur! This dress 5 stars. It’s the kind of dress you can wear casually or dress up, and I love how it looks with a vintage chain belt. There’s a cute little bra-friendly cut-out in the back too!”

“The matching set lives on—and it doesn’t have to be in the form of a sweatsuit. I love the color of this set and think the pants are so versatile and perfect for spring. It’ll be great for venturing outdoors when it’s around 70 degrees, which I really hope is soon.”

“When I found out that our Target collection would come out with face masks, I lost my cool. It maybe a little cliché, but I’ve been loving getting matchy-matchy when it comes to my mask, and I loved that this one came with an adjustable nose. But what makes it even better is that it matches this incredible gingham top. It really does not get more spring-forward than this light, cotton, puff sleeve top. I can really see myself living in this top for the months to come, both inside for zoom-calls, and when I run errands in the world.”

“There’s nothing like a pretty gingham print to get you in the mood for spring! And this to me is the perfect picnic dress. The stretchy collar means you can wear it above or off your shoulders and the belt adds a flattering silhouette. The best part? It comes with a matching face mask. So cute.”

Seeing as Gen Z has officially pronounced skinny jeans (and all skinny pants) dead to the world, it’s time to get into a wide-leg situation and these trousers are just the thing. With a relaxed fit and cargo-style shape that’s very of-the-moment, I can assure you that throwing them on is one of the easiest things you can do and will have you saying skinny jeans, who?

“I have spring on the mind so styled this perfect puff-sleeve polo with a pair of micro hemline shorts—a favorite trend for the upcoming season. Plus, my go-to vintage Prada heels that I wear with just about everything.”

“I’m getting major ’60s vibes from this dress and I don’t hate it. I love that the dress is super flowy and roomy, but it doesn’t feel like you’re wearing a shapeless bag. I think it helps that the sleeves have a little bit of structure. I decided to pair it with booties to go with the mod ’60s vibe, but I can definitely see myself wearing this in the warmer months with sandals or mules.”

“There’s just something about these twill pants that spark immense joy in me. Maybe it’s the pretty green color; maybe it’s the relaxed fit; maybe it’s the fact that I’ve never met a trouser more perfectly suited for my favorite Doc Martens. WWC consistently gets it right with its pants (from crotch depth to waist size, everything is always right on target) and these are no different.”

“This top puts me into a summer mood in a snap. I love that there is elastic throughout the bodice as well as at the top and bottom of the sleeves, so it’s ultra-comfy. The square neckline is very on-trend—hello, Bridgerton—and is great for showing off a delicate necklace. Last but not least, the picnic-table print is such a classic for warm weather.”

Up next: The Spring Priority List: 7 Items for Your Most Supreme Wardrobe Yet