Splashes of neon. Sorbet palettes. Tribal flourishes. A peplum flair. Recent fashion trends are all about vivid color and vibrant style, but that doesn't mean you need to spend a fortune to get the look.
To learn how to be au courant on a budget, I turned to three top fashion bloggers: Claire Sulmers of FashionBombDaily.com, Kristin Booker of FashionStyleBeauty.com, and Sydne Summer of SydneStyle.com. "I love all the new trends for summer," says Sulmers. "Pastels, mints, peplums, neons, and tangerine. I'm going to try them all!" But Sulmers and the other bloggers won't be paying top dollar, because these women know how to shop.
Neon and Pastels
One way not to go overboard with the brightly colored flavors of the moment is to stick to accessories or single pieces. Sulmers raves about Shopstyle.com, describing it as a kind of "Google for all the clothing you could ever want." Sign up for sale alerts, daily digests or their iPhone app to find out which of your favorite brands may go on sale. Another great option is Fab.com, a private sale site that features curated design items --sometimes up to 70 percent off. We found funky pastel turquoise and mint wedges that were going for just $54.
Color blocking is a huge trend for spring and summer -- and very easy to do on a budget. "Chances are, you already have a colorful top in your closet," says Sydne Summer. She suggests you pair the top with a pair of slim or skinny jeans. "And if you can only buy one color this season make it orange. Tangerine Tango is the hottest color of the year and an orange top, shoes or even manicure will instantly put you on trend."
Finding a unique, elegant and inexpensive tribal print can be tricky, but Sulmers says ASOS website is the place to hunt. "They have all the trends of the moment, with a lot of items ringing in under $100," she says. Indeed, a little research turned up a tribal print maxi dress for $69 and a tribal print scarf for only $27. "They also have a slew of high end items, if you want to mix high and low," she said. Another great place to look for unique items and trends is Opensky.com, which connects you with style makers or "curators" who match your taste criteria at great discounts. On one sale page, we happened upon a pair of beautiful gold hammered Marrakech hoops that have an ethnic/tribal feel for $92, down from $152.
Defined by its flair or ruffle at the waistline, the peplum is a dramatic, on-trend silhouette. "A lot of people are showing sleeveless peplum tops with cropped pants," notes Summer. You can experiment with the look without a huge investment by looking for peplum shirts and jackets for under $100 at places like Zara, H&M or Forever 21. "One of the best ways to shop the trends without spending a fortune is to purchase those items at a mass retailer," says blogger Kirstin Booker. "Those stores have made high art out of translating runway moments to the public at affordable prices. Buy those on-trend accent pieces -- like a peplum jacket or top -- at a store like that. Save big ticket spending for investment pieces, like a classic trench or a great pair of black pumps."
The Flapper Look
The 1920s came roaring back this year, and sometimes it pays to shop for real old school versions of the "latest" thing at your local vintage shops. "Go to thrift stores and consignment shops," says Booker. "Just be sure to check the seams and to look for stains before you buy. Your local Salvation Army or thrift store should be filled with options." You can also try online with sites such as www.american-vintage.net or www.clositherapi.com.
About Women & Co.:
Women & Co.®, a service of Citibank, is the go-to personal finance source for women. Women & Co. delivers financial content with sharp, insightful commentary and a female point of view. Sign up for free at womenandco.com.