The Top 10 Spring Fashion Trends on a Budget

With a new quarter comes a wave of warm weather. Gone are the windbreakers, sweaters, and boots that dominated your winter wardrobe. For those of us looking to stay on par with the hottest trends of spring, our budget is often the limiting factor. This is college after all. I want to share my tips and tricks for how to freshen up your spring look without breaking the bank.

 

General Tips:

  • Don’t disregard stores like Forever 21 and H&M. It takes more effort to find decent clothes there, but it’s definitely possible and their prices can’t be beat.  
  • If you know your size well enough, I recommend ordering online (the deals are better) from the sale section. The best part about this is the clothes come to you straight from the factory, which means they are in much better condition than they would be in the store.
  • I know there are some who prefer higher end labels so this tip is for you—thredUP. They sell second hand clothing, often for 80% off the original price, and have a great feature which lets your sort through and find items that are practically new.
  • Avoid the temptation to shop when you are emotional because you are way more likely to make impulse purchases that your bank account will not thank you for. I’ve definitely done this and I’m sure we all have at one point, but when you’re trying to save money, it’s not the best route.
  • When it comes to new trends, expensive clothes are completely unnecessary. It’s a basic fact that things go in and out of style and you aren’t shopping for a nice pair of jeans that need to last for years. You can get pieces that will serve their purpose if you are conscientious and realize there is no need to drop $100 on a spring dress.

 

The Looks:

1. Tie-Dye

Nothing screams spring more than the colors found in this style. The best part is its versatility. It can be a casual tee you wear to the beach or a bodycon dress with your favorite leather jacket.

Left: Forever 21 dress $11.99 -  https://www.forever21.com/us/shop/catalog/product/f21/dress/2000103752 

Right: Forever 21 top $14.90 - https://www.forever21.com/us/shop/catalog/product/plus/plus_size-main/2000287312 

 

2. Tulle

It’s time to channel your inner Carrie Bradshaw. My personal favorite is a midi skirt in a fun color. In terms of a matching top, I recommend throwing on a graphic tee or a simple top because the star of this outfit is really the skirt.

Walmart $13.99

https://www.walmart.com/ip/7-Layer-Tulle-Skirt-Womens-Vintage-Dress-50s-Rockabilly-Tutu-Petticoat-Ball-Gown-Woman-Girls/221575624

 

3. Chunky Dad Shoes

This one’s for the dads who wore these with no shame back when they were definitely not in style. These shoes have seen a resurgence in popularity and are the perfect way to get a casual yet trendy look. To make sure you don’t actually look like your father, pair them with some ankle length trousers or a floral dress rather than the Bermuda shorts and ill-fitting polos your dad just can’t seem to give up.

Target $25.00

Left: https://www.target.com/p/women-s-maybelle-bulky-sneakers-wild-fable-153/-/A-53660126 

Right: https://www.target.com/p/women-s-freshee-sneakers-wild-fable-153/-/A-54153728 

 

4. Ruffles

Flowing clothing is a quintessential part of a fashion forward spring wardrobe. A maxi dress is a classic, but try switching things up a bit with some blouses and skirts. The key here is finding light fabric and minimizing the number of ruffles on the piece.

Left: ​Forever 21 top $10.00 - https://www.forever21.com/us/shop/catalog/product/f21/top_blouses-shirts/2000259440 

Right: Forever 21 skort $19.90 - https://www.forever21.com/us/shop/catalog/product/f21/bottoms/2000255355 

 

5. Open-Toed Mules

Warm weather means sandals are back. There is almost nothing better than a shoe you can just slip on, especially on those days when you’re running late. It’s great for when you want people to think you tried even though all you did was put on some shoes.

Left: Lulus $27.00 - https://www.lulus.com/products/carrick-nude-suede-peep-toe-mules/621432.html?VSSugg=True&rrec=true&rrec=true 

Right: Lulus $29.00 - https://www.lulus.com/products/sussudio-black-and-white-striped-peep-toe-mules/657452.html?VSSugg=True&rrec=true&rrec=true 

 

6. Statement Jewelry

Whether it is earrings, necklaces, bracelets, or rings, the new rule is: the more extra, the better. This is well suited for someone who prefers a minimalist look when it comes to clothing choices. The possibility for creativity is limitless here, so make sure to have fun with them.

Left: thredUP necklace $11.99 - https://www.thredup.com/product/women-ann-taylor-loft-silver-toned-necklace/50336116?sizing_id=774 

Middle: Francesca’s Earrings $9.98 - https://www.francescas.com/product/marceline-patina-chandelier-earrings.do?sortby=ourPicksAscend&refType=&from=fn&ecList=7&ecCategory=103243 

Right: Free People Barettes $12.00 - https://www.freepeople.com/shop/high-noon-slide-set/?category=SEARCHRESULTS&color=007

 

7. Gingham

No, it’s not just for tablecloths. Gingham has always been a classic pattern, but it’s great for a spring look because of its youthful simplicity. Add your own personal style by venturing out of the classic black and white design.

Left: Forever 21 pants $15.99 - https://www.forever21.com/us/shop/catalog/product/f21/bottoms/2000275829 

Right: Forever 21 dress $15.99 - https://www.forever21.com/us/shop/catalog/product/plus/plus_size-main/2000271167 

 

8. Bike Shorts

Some of the most iconic outfits have originated from a Kardashian and we have Kim to thank for this one. It’s the trend that no expected to still be around, but if you missed the boat last spring, now is the chance to make up for lost time. For the classic athleisure look, pair the shorts with a sports bra and a jacket. But, for those of us who want to step it up a notch, throw on cute crop top with an oversized blazer.

Cotton On $12.99 - https://cottonon.com/US/bindi-bike-short/2004559-01.html?dwvar_2004559-01_color=2004559-01&cgid=gym-shorts&originalPid=2004559-01#start=1

 

9. Embroidered Dresses

To get a boho-chic look, embroidery is the way to go. I think a simple white dress is the best because it really showcases the colors without going overboard. And, as a bonus, white is the perfect spring color.

Left: Forever 21 $34.90 - https://www.forever21.com/us/shop/catalog/product/plus/plus_size-main/2000342244 

Right: Shein $25.00 - https://us.shein.com/Embroidered-Lantern-Sleeve-Tassel-Tie-Smock-Dress-p-363907-cat-1727.html?url_from=adpladress170607201L&gclid=Cj0KCQjw7sDlBRC9ARIsAD-pDFq9o_Ee4_NISIVB_9VqSV-3L1Hc7W7yDZo6VMeue7dHS2Rajt_c58QaAi2iEALw_wcB 

 

10. Satin Scarves

Let’s face it, we all have bad hair days. Maybe we slept on it funny and we wake up with hair that refuses to decide if it wants to be curly or straight. These scarves are going to be your lifesaver. You can either use it as a head band or to tie back your ponytail and the world will never know about messy hair.

Forever 21 $4.90 - https://www.forever21.com/us/shop/catalog/product/f21/acc/1000338279