3 Ways to Breathe Some Springtime Life Into Your Wardrobe Without Breaking the Bank

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With the coming of the new warmer season, it’s hard to deny that feeling of wanting to usher out the old and bring in the new. For those of us who love to shop, that can mean ushering in a host of new “must have” items and a hefty credit card bill.

However, injecting your wardrobe with some renewed springtime energy doesn’t necessarily have to break the bank. The following budget-friendly styling tricks are tried, tested and always on-trend. Best of all, they can be applied at any time of the year, not just in the spring.

The Pop Of Color

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The spring and summer fashion seasons are when we really start to see color appearing in stores; it’s as if color is coming out of hibernation after a long, dull winter of black, camel, navy, and grey. However, not everyone is comfortable in bright colours. Hey, I get it…I’ve done it myself. Every spring, I see a photograph in a magazine or a display in a shop that has an impossibly bright item that I gravitate towards. The reality however, is that I will probably wear this item less than I would an item in a more neutral color. Why? Because as adults, that is how we are conditioned. We shy away from color.

If this sounds familiar (and even if it doesn’t), there is an excellent way for you to still enjoy a pop of color in your spring wardrobe without investing in an expensive look that you may only end up wearing on holidays abroad; add a colourful bag.

Adding a brightly-colored bag to a neutral outfit injects your look with a sense of energy and fun. You would actually be surprised how much mileage you will get out of a well-appointed bag in say, a bright lemon yellow or fire engine red, so don’t be shy about choosing a color that really resonates with you, not matter how bright it may be.

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This is one of those styling tools that you use a lot with children, but somehow seems to get lost in the translation into adulthood. Putting a plain white tee underneath a sleeveless or strapless top or dress can be incredibly chic! Sure, I would agree that you’re channelling the 90s a little bit, but I see that as a good thing, and this season, apparently so do designers; the 90s were all over the spring runways.

If you want to try the look, choose a simple tee with a crew neckline – no v-necks, no pockets, no cutouts. Little design elements like this will often compete with whatever garment you have on over your tee, and you want your tee to act as a blank slate that highlights, rather than hinders the garment.  Look for a close-fitting tee of a good quality in a plain white weave for the best effect, and try layering it under your peplum tanks, strapless dresses and tops, and 90s-style spaghetti-strap column dresses.

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A crisp white shirt is something that will never go out of style, and is always a good investment. To make the look more modern and less “dressed” , opt for an oversized (or even a menswear) shirt with a slightly boxy shape, and roll the sleeves to provide a bit of proportional contrast. The fabric of the shirt should also be just the right feel; just soft enough to drape nicely, but with enough starchiness to still hold its shape.

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Like the classic white shirt, a scarf used as a belt is a classic, and you have unlimited potential to add a pop of color or pattern to a simple outfit like a pair of well-worn denims and your favourite white tee. The trick to nailing this look is down to proportion.

To get the best effect from the scarf-as-belt look, be sure to choose a scarf that is neither too long nor too shirt. You don’t want the scarf to be trailing halfway down your thighs, nor do you want it to barely be reaching around your waist. The perfect amount of excess scarf after it is tied around your waist should be about 3 or 4 inches. Additionally, you want to choose a scarf that is soft and has a nice drape to it to ensure that it is not bulky, as larger scarves can sometimes be. The above photo is what I would consider to be on the high end of the bulk scale (albeit the waif like model can pull it off with ease). Remember, the goal here is balance, so if you choose a scarf that is rich in color and pattern, make sure the other elements in your look are relatively low-key and simple. Conversely, a look that incorporates a lot of patterns and texture would be well-complemented by a solid scarf-as-belt.