30 Affordable Wardrobe Basics to Build Your Closet On A Budget

Wardrobe On A Budget – Basics By Price Point

I recently shared my full capsule wardrobe for spring in this post. It’s a popular post every season and very fun for me to put together. I select high-quality basics that will last for years, flatter most body shapes, and all work seamlessly together so that you can shop seasonally.

Many of you requested I share a few more budget-friendly basics to help you build your spring/summer wardrobe. So below, I’m breaking down 10 basics in 3 different price points…under $200, under $100, and under $50. That’s 30 pieces you can mix and match! But first, here are a few quick tips when shopping and building your wardrobe basics…

Quick Tips
  1. You don’t need to buy it all at once. Look at your wardrobe basics checklist (that you get when you subscribe to the newsletter) and decide what gaps need to be filled.
  2. Find basics with a twist! Sure, a plain white tee will do. But if you find a plain white tee with a pretty flutter sleeve, you’re adding an extra detail that makes you look even more stylish.
  3. Make sure you know your body shape. Knowing your body shape makes it easier to get dressed every day. You can find out how to determine your body shape here.

Now for the fun! Keep scrolling to find basics under $200, basics under $100, and basics under $50…

30 Affordable Basics

Wardrobe On A Budget under $200

Basics Under $200

You’ll notice that each price point features 10 items…two tops, two pairs of shoes, a pair of jeans, a pair of shorts, a blazer, a dress, and two chic accessories. All of these pieces are elevated and stylish, but basic enough to work seamlessly into your existing wardrobe. I kept a pretty neutral color palette, but you can make swaps in different colors too. Below I’ll share some information about each piece with sizing tips, styling suggestions, and more.

White Farm Rio Top

This white top has beautiful feminine details… the pretty puff sleeves, ruffled trim throughout the front, and a frilly hemline make this top the perfect basic-with-a-twist. It’s 100% cotton so it’s super lightweight and breathable, but the sleeves still keep your arms covered if that’s a concern. Oh, and the best part is that it’s only $150! Considering the quality of Farm Rio’s pieces, it’s a wonderful price point! It runs true to size.

White CeCe Midi Dress

This white dress is one of those pieces you can easily dress up or down for spring and summer. I love the smocked waist, clip dot fabric, and feminine flutter sleeves and hem. The A-line silhouette is super flattering. Since it has a looser fit with a smocked waist, you have some wiggle room if you’re between sizes but it does run true to size.

Agolde Straight-Leg Jeans

Straight-leg jeans are a must-have and this pair by Agolde is a really great, high-quality option. They are high rise (10.25”) so you feel secure in the tummy area, the wash is perfect for every season, and they have a cropped length, which means they’ll work with pretty much any shoes! They run true to size.

Rails White Button Down Shirt

If you’ve followed me for a while, you know how much I love this Rails button-down shirt. I have it in a small and a medium so I can wear it with jeans, shorts, and skirts AND as a coverup when I want a billowy oversized fit. The gauzy cotton fabric is perfect for spring/summer and the quality is so good you’ll wear it for years and years. Runs true to size.

Black Nordstrom Blazer

Every woman needs a chic black blazer in her wardrobe and this relaxed-fit blazer by Nordstrom is the perfect modern piece to add to your wardrobe. Style it for the office with pants or more casually with jeans and a tee. It runs true to size and is designed to have a more oversized fit. It also comes in tan and green.

If you don’t already have a blazer and are wondering how it should fit, what style is best for you, etc., make sure you check out this post next.

Pistola Denim Shorts

These distressed jeans shorts by Pistola have the perfect wash for spring/summer. They have about a 3” inseam, which is a great length for me at 5’4”. I love the light distressing at the hem and flattering high-rise. The legs are a little roomier so they’re really quite flattering. They run true to size and have a relaxed fit, but these have no stretch so that’s something to keep in mind. They’re 100% cotton and very soft and lightweight.

For more tips on finding the perfect shorts for women over 40, check out this post next.

DIFF Sunglasses

This is a great brand for affordable sunglasses and I love that these have a retro look and polarized lenses.

Staud Bean Bag

Staud makes beautiful handbags and this one is perfect for every season! I love the simple silhouette and chic ruching.

Schutz Heels

Schutz makes chic, high-quality, modern shoes at a great price point! These strappy heels are perfect for spring/summer and the neutral color will go with everything from jeans and pants to dresses and skirts. They typically run true to size.

Sam Edelman Sandals

I have these Sam Edelman sandals in brown and have been wearing them on repeat for years! They run true to size.

If you’re interested, you can find all of my recent favorite shoes here.

Wardrobe On A Budget under $100

Basics Under $100

White Club Monaco Cami

This cami is the perfect elevated basic. The v-neckline is very flattering and the silky fabric makes it feel dressier. You can wear it half tucked into a pair of jeans with a blazer and sneakers for an elevated casual look. Or style it with a skirt and heels for a dressier outfit. It also comes in black and runs true to size.

White Steve Madden Mini Dress

This white mini dress is a wonderful basic to have in your closet to throw on with sneakers or sandals during the summer or booties during the fall. You can dress it up or down, it comes in multiple colors, and it runs true to size.

Levi’s Straight-Leg Jeans

You can’t go wrong with a pair of Levi’s and this straight-leg silhouette won’t go out of style anytime soon. Plus, they’re only $98 for a pair of high-quality jeans you’ll wear for years. They run true to size.

White English Factory Top

I bought this chic top in black and love it! It’s a great basic-with-a-twist, I love the flutter sleeves, and that it can be dressed up or down. Wear it with denim and sneakers casually or with a skirt and heels to dress it up.

Black Lioness Blazer

This blazer is so luxe-looking and high-quality that the first time I put it on, I couldn’t believe it was only $95. If you need a new blazer, this is it! The gold buttons really elevate it and the fit is great. It runs large, order one size down.

J. Crew Linen Shorts

These J. Crew shorts come in a ton of colors and are perfect for spring and summer. They’re linen so they’re very lightweight and breathable, the elastic waistband means maximum comfort, and they have roomy legs for a flattering fit.

Nine West Espadrilles

I love wearing espadrilles during the spring and summer. These are a great pair to have in your summer wardrobe and I love the raffia texture on the straps. They come in a few other colors and run true to size.

Sam Edelman White Sneakers

White sneakers are another basic you should have in your closet for spring/summer. This is a super basic pair but there are SO many options out there for white sneakers. Sam Edelman is another one of my favorite affordable shoe brands that have very comfortable and stylish options.

Le Specs Cateye Sunglasses

I have these and love to throw them on for a little extra glam.

JW Pei Handbag

This small black bag can be carried on your shoulder or as a crossbody. The minimal hardware and sleek look make it very versatile.

Wardrobe Basics under $50

Basics Under $50

Halogen Black Tank

If you live in a hot climate (talking to you Texas and Florida ladies!), then you know how important it is to have a chic sleeveless top that’s a versatile go-to. This raw hem tank is the perfect option because it’s lightweight, easy to layer, and simple to style with pretty much everything else in your closet. It comes in a bunch of colors and runs true to size.

Caslon Black Dress

This casual black dress by Caslon has a super flattering twist-front detail, a chic slit on the leg that’s not too high, and it has sleeves! It’s 100% cotton so it’s very lightweight and breathable too. It’s super easy to style with sandals or sneakers for spring/summer but you could also dress it up with some strappy heels.

1822 Denim Flare Jeans

Flare jeans can be so flattering and this pair is only $59! I haven’t tried the brand yet so if you have, let us know in the comments below how you liked them.

BP White Button-Down Shirt

BP has some really great basics at amazing prices! This white button-down shirt is crisp, polished, chic, and only $50. It runs true to size.

Open Edit Black Shorts

These Open Edits shorts have inverted pleats that give them the look of trousers, making them a great elevated basic. They are high-waisted (10.5” rise) and have a 5” inseam. They have roomy legs and a flowy fit. I’d wear these with a tee and sneakers or a pretty white blouse and sandals. They run true to size.

Quine Cardigan

If something doesn’t feel like your style, you can always make some clothing swaps. For example, maybe a blazer feels like too polished of a 3rd layer for you. In that case, try a cardigan! This one is super versatile, a great length, and can be worn open or closed.

Square Sunglasses

Accessories are a great place to try to save money. These BP sunglasses are only $15!

Mango Black Tote

This black tote is the perfect basic and I love that it’s a little more structured for a polished look. It also comes in brown here.

Black Strappy Heels

I couldn’t believe these heels were under $50 when I saw them! They’re super cute, have an adjustable strap, and reviews say they are very comfortable. They run true to size.

Open Edit Quilted Sandals

These Open Edit sandals are also super affordable and I love the trendy woven look. They come in a few colors and run true to size.

Is there a wardrobe basic you’re searching for that you haven’t been able to find yet? Let us know in the comments below and we can help!

If you liked this post, please share it using the buttons below! Pin it, tweet it, share it, email it…however you want to share, we appreciate it! And don’t forget to subscribe to the newsletter for even more incredible style resources. Thank you so much for stopping by!

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Join the Conversation

14 thoughts on “30 Affordable Wardrobe Basics to Build Your Closet On A Budget

  1. Searching for the perfect white blazer that works with anything. Need single breasted and something not cut too slim. Full length sleeves, not linen and neutral buttons preferably. I’m 14-16 petite, rectangular and proportioned.
    Thank you for any and all ideas!

    1. Hi Kate! Finding the perfect blazer can definitely be a challenge… Here’s some ideas for you to check out! Hope this helps. ~Team Busbee
      Ann Taylor |
      WHBM |
      Favorite Daughter | (Not in petite, but this is one of Erin’s favorites! She has it in 2 colors, you can take a look at the beige set here:

  2. I have the 1822 jeans and absolutely love them. I noticed the fabric is a little thin, if you hold the up to the light, but the fit and drape are amazing! I took them on a 2 week trip to Europe because they are my favorite jeans…over pairs that cost 5x as much!

    1. So glad you love them, Becky! Thanks for sharing your personal review on these jeans! ~Erin xo

    1. We know how difficult it can be to find spring coats! What about something like this? It’s a great length and the color is super versatile for spring! If you want to share more about your budget or the climate you live in so we can find a more specific option, we’d be happy to help! Another option is to find a trench-style coat that has a removable belt. Hope that’s helpful, Noelle! ~Team Busbee

  3. I am looking for a belt to wear with a pair of jean. I love all your suggestions but most are in the 400.00 range. Can you give me a suggestion on belts comparable in style to your 400.00 suggested items? Thank you so much.

  4. This was very useful content. I love Erin’s style but I find myself intimidated by the price point of some of the items. I love how this post caters to every one. You can be stylish and luxe without breaking the bank. Thanks Busbee team. I find myself always coming to the blog for style inspiration

    1. So glad you liked the post, Lola! Our hope is that no matter what, you can get inspiration for the pieces Erin shares. Thanks so much for being here! ~Team Busbee

  5. Believe it or not, I’ve had tremendous inspiration to keep myself looking my best … even though I’m WELL past the 40+ (I’m 74!!!). Granted, I just can’t see myself in many of the suggestions; however, I’ve taken away plenty of ideas that I “can” incorporate into my lifestyle. For instance, knowing my body shape has inspired me to try a belt to offset my short, rectangular frame and give my “uniform” of knit pants and comfy shirts some definition. Also, there are many items in your “basics” that I can make work if I’m realistic; and knowing how to accurately measure myself is invaluable because 90% of the time I shop on line. These are things that everyone needs to know. In one of your videos you were talking about how necessary it is to take care of yourself. Those of us who are “farther along on the path” than most of your readers need to hear this message as well. I have NO desire to be 40, or 50, or even 60 again. 70s are just a new chapter of being alive and engaged with life, albeit at a different speed. My best at 74 is different than a 40 year old’s; but that doesn’t mean I can’t be the best me that I can. Thanks so much for putting your heart and soul into this newsletter, your blog, and your videos. I know I’m certainly not your “target” audience; but your offerings still bring me a lot of joy.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing, Cynthia! I’m so happy you’ve found inspiration from my content and that it’s resonating with you. No matter what your age, my mission is to help you feel empowered, confident, and excited about getting dressed every day. Knowing your body shape is SO important and I’m happy to hear you’re using that information to help with your online shopping. I also agree that no matter where you are in life, taking care of yourself is such an important thing to remember. So happy to hear you’re finding joy here…it’s why I do what I do! Thanks again for sharing and being here! ~Erin xo

  6. white jeans are on my list
    Got a pair of bone coloured booties . We avoided the snow that other parts of IRELAND got but it’s cold most days.

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