2011 Spring trends - How to update your style on a limited budget

2011 Spring trends – How to update your style on a limited budget

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Translating runway trends without breaking the bank!

Left: Diane Von Furstenberg Runway, Spring 2011
Right: Dana Williams-Johnson’s front door, April 2011

Fall and spring are the two biggest seasons to refresh your wardrobe and update your closet. I love fashion, I love browsing the magazines, I love updating my wardrobe but after being unemployed for a few months and trying to live on a budget, I don’t have a ton of money to go shopping. So instead, I’m looking at what’s already in my wardrobe (and maybe pick up a bargain or two online) to help update my wardrobe now.

If you’re like me and trying to stay stylish and on-trend without spending a lot of money, don’t fret. There’s a number of Spring ’11 trends you can incorporate into your wardrobe without breaking out the credit card. And today, I’m sharing a few of my budget-friendly, fashion tips!

Color blocking/Bold Color

I don’t think about color blocking as a trend, for me it’s just my everyday way of dressing. This season, bold blocks of color are a trend seen all over the runways. I think that no matter what your everyday style; you are sure to have a few great bold pieces that you can highlight in your wardrobe right now.

Have a great red dress? Pair it with that cobalt blue cardigan you already own and love. Have a fab orange top? Pair it with your green pencil skirt and throw on a blue belt to really make the colors stand out on their own. The idea is to take a bold statement piece you normally pair with neutral staples (like jeans or a black top) and wear it with a second (even third) bold item.

Not ready to be so brave? Then add great bold accessories that you already have to one of your favorite outfits. Wearing navy? Pull out those orange and yellow bangles you bought to wear with another dress a couple of summers ago. Add a gorgeous silk scarf to a neutral outfit to brighten up your look.

A Nod to the Seventies

I think one of my favorite trends has been a nod to the seventies with some of the great dresses I’ve seen. Shirt dresses, fuller skirts that hang below the knee and gorgeous jewel tones that go with a multitude of skin tones.

Despite lusting after the Marc by Marc Jacobs spring 2011 collection, I’ve settled on adding an olive green shirt dress I found at Target to give me that 70’s inspired Safari look I was hoping for without breaking the bank. For this little seasonal splurge, I went with a great olive green neutral – Mossimo Woman’s Utility Dress ($24.99) – so that I could add more pops of color and great accessories using my neutral dress as a backdrop to a great outfit.

The longer hemlines cycling back into style have made me push my shorter skirts to the back of the closet and pull the longer hemlines to the front.

But longer hemlines, can leave you looking a bit frumpy and/or shapeless, especially for those who are vertically challenged! However, a few accessories, that I’m sure you already have in your closet, can help save the day and the outfit.

My favorite way to really accentuate and flatter a great skirt is by belting the waist and adding a pair of great shoes – Mary Jane heels or fun wedges. The colorful pair at left adds a bit of height and helps lengthen the look (and dark or matching tights always can help steamline as well). Check my Flickr page for a look at this entire outfit.


Prints were all over the runway, and one of my favorite things to have in my closet. Print mixing is probably easier than you think with (say it with me) what you already own in your closet. The things to keep in mind are color palette and size of the prints. Keep things within the same color family and pattern size to achieve a pulled together (not thrown together) look.

In my opinion, stripes are the best way to ease yourself into mixing prints. Have a favorite floral skirt with a blue and green color palette? Pair it with a blue and white striped shirt. Mix florals and stripes, circles and squares, wild with mild – just make sure your patterns are in the same size and same color palette and you’ll be mixing patterns with ease.

And if you aren’t big on pattern mixing, just find one great patterned piece – a jacket or bag or shoe to update your wardrobe. Baby steps…baby steps.

we heartsters, how do you stay fashionable while staying in budget?

DWJ is an accessories and beauty blogger for The Art of Accessories and is also sharing her love of cooking on Crumbs & Creativity.

14 thoughts on “2011 Spring trends – How to update your style on a limited budget”

  1. Pingback: How to Accessorize | Stripes & Brights

  2. Dana Williams-Johnson’s front door, April 2011.. You nailed it! You inspire me Dana. If only you would come to my place and straighten me out.. Sometimes I even shock myself with the outfits I put- or lack there of, together! You look fantastic!!! I love the bright colors that make my head turn.. I’m going to take your lead! Thanks!

  3. Love this post @dwj1 – I too am underemployed and in the process of reworking my wardrobe on a budget.

    I’ve been reusing (or at least thinking of reusing) lots of pieces I forgot I even owned (three walk in closets are a blessing but also a black hole) as I do some spring cleaning. I can’t wait to incorporate these tips into some of my recent finds from the depths of my closet – thanks.

    Also, how stinking cute are the DVF and DWJ photos in this post!? And the way you so easily translated that look into an everyday outfit – so inspiring – I (think) can do that too!

    1. Doesn’t underemployment make you reevaluate your shopping choices? LOL. I’m starting to pick up more things now that I have a new job BUT I decided I only buy things I love. Why waste the money on stuff that will get tossed?

  4. @dwj1, you are just so dang stylish! Can you come dress me???

    Right now I’m in the process of losing weight, so I’m heistant on buying anything that I won’t be able to wear 6 months from now. (Because I’m a Texan and will be wearing the same clothes in October that I wore in April! The joys of being in the southwest…) Anyway, because of that, I’m not terribly stylish lately. I’m in need of a makeover by @dwj1!!! :-)

    I’m definitely going to try some of these tips, however. I love the clock blocking, that’s genius. Great job, Dana!

    1. You can still buy a few good staples for now that fit and make you feel good. My weight has gone up and down but I realized I hated my clothes when nothing in my closet fit the body I had at that moment. And email me whenever when you want some tips ;)

  5. @dwj1 – as always, you’ve given us so many tips for updating our wardrobes in easy (and affordable) ways! And you’re adorable as well as fashion savvy. Thanks for the all inspiration!

  6. @dwj1 –Awesome post. You rocked that outfit at your front door. I am in DESPERATE need of more color in my wardrobe. (I feel have mostly have black and chocolate.) I am too heavy on the neutrals.

  7. This post couldn’t have come at a better time! I’ve just recently started a new job after a period of unemployment. I want to snazz up my style and dress to impress at this new position, but I don’t have the cash for a complete wardrobe re-do! Your post has given me the inspiration to reevaluate my closet and see how I can use pieces I already have for a fashion-forward look. Thanks @Dwj1 !

  8. I think you have the color blocking down to perfection, @dwj1! I usually like to mix high and low end. Like my basics are not always expensive but more like H&M, Uniqlo, Zara etc. I splurge more on outerwear, shoes and bags (drool)…I think that way my budget spruces up my daily clothes, but my quality pieces are the “show” pieces like a really fierce jacket!

  9. Pingback: How to Accessorize | Stripes & Brights | I Am DWJ

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