It’s summer – finally, and that means long nights sipping blackberry mojitos in outdoor restaurants. It also means showing off that figure that you worked out all spring to get into shape. (You did work out all spring, right? Right? Yeah – me either…) Summer also means rocking the latest shoulder-baring, thigh-skimming fashions.
Unfortunately – for me at least – it does not mean loads of extra cash for purchasing an expensive new summer wardrobe. But fear not, my friends. I have the ultimate summer budget shopping guide for those of you who worked out your bank account (the one area I wish I had more fat) more than your booty. I’ve rounded up a few of the hottest trends to get you covered from head to toe, even on a skinny budget.
Bold, sky-high wedges are in high-demand this summer, and at only $29.99 the Cynthia Vincent for Target Gladiator Wedge Sandals in cognac are a dream come true. At 4.5”, they’re not for the faint of heart, but they’re just one of the prettiest things to hit the fashion scene this summer, in my humble opinion. Finally, they’re faux leather, which really appeals to me as a vegetarian.
For the wobblier among us, flats are always in style, and the Payless Tomohawk Beaded Ankle Sandal, with its cute little ankle wrap and beading hits the high points of several summer trends for a measly $24.99 (Regular price -Now on sale for $20.99!
Finally, and certainly not least, Havaiana Brazil flips flop are my go-to shoe of summer, and they’re well worth the $22.00 price tag.
Much to the chagrin of many, rompers and jumpsuits are back in a big way. I’ll even admit to a $7 clearance acquisition from Old Navy.
One reason for their upswing in popularity? They’re quick, easy and comfortable, and they can be dressed up or down and given a high-fashion edge with a pair of fabulous heels (perhaps those Cynthia Vincent wedges?).
This season, Forever 21’s got an amazing and stylistically diverse array of ropers at equally amazing prices. My pick is the Darling Silk Romper, (at left) a lovely and forgiving blue shaded frock which would make the perfect introduction to this tricky trend, and where else can you get 100% silk for only $29.80?
If you want to incorporate a subtle floral print, another summer must-have, try the $16.00 – omg, make that $7.99 – Printed Knit Romper Dress from Charlotte Russe. Even the romper averse may be able to slink into this steal of a little black dress, updated with a pink, green and yellow flower print. (How timely, we were all just musing over learning to love florals in a recent Etsy post ~ wht)
Oh, and in case you weren’t sure of the difference: a romper is short in length (like a dress and shorts above) while a jumpsuit is long, like pants!
Here’s another one creeping back from the past – a hippie staple, no less! The key to rocking tie dye is to wear it as more of an all-over pattern. This gives it more of a grown-up look than just donning a swirling dyed mess on a tee shirt. Walmart’s Norma Kamali Tie Dye Leggings are only 10 bucks and are a smart, budget friendly way to ease this trend back into your wardrobe.
Other tie dyed options include the still in fashion maxi dress, like Forever 21’s Tie Dye Maxi for $29.80. In my opinion, this is the way to go, because this dress is a statement piece in and of itself.
Finally, a light khaki short with a white tie dye is feminine and screams summer. I suggest New York & Company’s Tie Dye Chinos for only $20.96; the white print is larger then the tie dye norm and more modern, plus the shorts are not too short nor too long – just perfect.
TRIBAL & HEAVILY PATTERNED PRINTS
This is one trend that I absolutely adore, hands-down. I think a lively print and color palette is a great way to punch up a tired wardrobe, and for this one, a couple accessories that can be paired with many outfits would be the best way to go. You’ll spend less on a trend with unknown staying power and most likely get more use from one nice accessory then a single article of clothing.
For instance, Wet Seal has a super-feminine Floral Fringe Scarf, already a steal at $8.50, just reduced to just $3.00, and it would be perfect with skinnies, ballet flats, and a white tee for summer!
You could also get the ballet flats themselves with a pattern, like Target’s $12.50 Mossimo Odell Floral Ballet Flats which will work with jeans, shorts, dresses and skirts – most any basic in your closet.
My personal favorite, however, is full-on, over the top, boldness, like the New York & Company Caftan Knit Dress. The bright yellow shade manages to be vivid and pretty all at once, and there’s something almost sexy about that palm print. Not to mention the figure flattering and flowing shape that gets some definition with an empire waist and slightly risky v neck.
If you’re ready to blow off my accessory advice and plunk down your credit card or hard earned cash for this dress, I totally understand. I am seriously on a very tight budget at the moment, and it’s still all I can do not to buy this right this second. It’s only $32.97, how can I resist? (Get out that card Lindsay, this beauty has just been drastically reduced – it’s now online for only $19.95 ~ wht)
I’ve touched on a few of summer’s biggest trends, but if you’d like to incorporate a few more of this seasons look, here’s some advice:
•• Beaded accessories are huge right now, so you could try a pretty beaded headband or a halter with a beaded collar.
•• Anything sheer and gauzy is a major ‘do’, plus a nice sheer top will keep you a little cooler come July.
•• Finally, if you’re a denim junkie, go for either super-skinny or a relaxed boyfriend jean. Anything deconstructed (thinks rips and tears here) is in, but I see no point in paying extra for the holes, personally!
Now that you all know what I’m lusting after. What are your big summer must-haves?