Category Archives: Women’s Fashion

Spring Fashion 2017 — The Pieces You Need Now

So, about our budget fashion and style advice: We sometimes use affiliate links, so we might earn a buck or two if you click and buy 🙂 !

spring fashion collage

Never mind what the groundhog says! We say now’s the time to start your spring wardrobe planning. In the Midwest, a few random warm days in February is as good a reason as any to get up to speed fast on the trends of spring fashion 2017.

Spring/summer runway shows predict that bold patterns and silhouettes will rule in the upcoming months. Stripes and polka dots and glitter and thick belts and bulky shoulders will work their way into wearable options for the everyday fashionista.

But the challenge for the budget fashionista is an age-old one — choosing garments that show on-trend sensibility, without being so trendy that you won’t be able to wear them next year. We’ve shopped the options for you and came up with our list of 5 fabulous spring outfit essentials for the budget fashionista.

Spring Fashion 2017 Essentials

These spring fashion pieces are perfect for dinner with the girls, to the workplace if you’re in a business casual situation or anytime you want to step up your casual look. If you need to stock up on the basics, see this advice from our friends at GreekU.com.

1. The Girly Top

Michael Kors, Chloe and others brought flirty flowers to their spring ’17 designs — along with baby doll tops, lace and ribbons. The takeaway is that feminine is in, and in a big way. Nod to this trend by adding a few florals to your collection for spring. And since the next item on your shopping list is leggings, we’d suggest you go for at least one floral tunic.

spring fashion 2017 - floral tunic top

Memory Tunic in Retro Floral, from $18, Modcloth

spring fashion 2017 - floral tea blouse

Satin Tea Blouse in Japanese Floral, $19.50, ASOS

2. Leggings with Style

Hot pink leggings with integrated shoes made their way into the Balenciaga collection, but we’re breaking that look down into a more wearable combo: bright leggings and sleek, open-toe booties. This season, you can break out of the black leggings mold and experiment with new colors and fabrics. Corduroy or velvet, anyone?

spring fashion 2017 must-haves - corduroy leggings

Lysse Corduroy Leggings, $35.20, Nordstrom

spring fashion 2017 must-haves - red velvet leggings

Velvet Leggings, $18.50, ASOS

3. Open-toe Booties

The open-toe bootie is a classic that can accompany nearly any trendy piece. They’ll look as great with your fancy new leggings as they will with the jeans you bought three years ago. For ultimate wearability, look for styles with minimal embellishments — no fringe, no big buckles — and a sturdy block heel.

spring fashion trends - open toe, black booties

Fergalicious Dazzle Peep Toe Bootie, $31.95, Shoebuy

spring fashion trends

Vince Camuto Edora Open Toe Bootie, $118.95, Shoebuy

Forget Cliche Gym Resolutions: Resolve to Find Clothes that Flatter

So, about our budget fashion and style advice: We sometimes use affiliate links, so we might earn a buck or two if you click and buy 🙂 !

woman pulling sweater over her head

The world has long been obsessed with numbers. Weight, sizes, age. Over the last couple of years, the script has been flipped. Recently, looking your best has centered less on specific digits, and more on personal health and happiness.

Strength, energy and well-being take precedent these days, which means stereotypical weight loss resolutions have (thankfully) gone to the wayside. Don’t get us wrong, we’re all for letting the endorphins flow or cutting back on sugar and chemicals to feel better, but looking better in clothes? That can start with the closet itself.

You can learn how to dress for your body shape and feel reinvented in the process. Click To Tweet

What everyone should really resolve to concern themselves with is fit.Click To Tweet

Figure flattering pieces can work wonders on appearance — and even your mood when you see yourself. It’s the old adage, “when you look good, you feel good.” And you deserve to feel good.

How to Dress for Your Body Shape: 3 Tips

1. Shop Small or Tall or Curvy


We’ve already praised the power of petite labels, but the same goes for tall lengths. And plus sizes. And hey, even wide footwear. Wear what’s comfortable. Even if that means sizing up, short, wide or tall — choose what feels great on and what looks amazing in the mirror. What might just “fit” in one size, could look killer in another size if you take the time to compare.

Know Your Lines

There’s a reason certain silhouettes are suggested for certain body types. It’s because these tips really help you show off your best self. It may seem cheesy, but when you’re in need of a confidence boost, following the “what to wear for your body type” advice can really surprise you.

And don’t worry about getting caught up in the same items all the time. It is called personal style, you know.

Buddy Up to a Local Tailor

When you’re buying pieces that have been produced for the masses, you’re bound to run into a few snafus. You know, those moments when you’re standing in the dressing room trying to figure out who, exactly, that piece is supposed to fit?

Don’t be discouraged if you find a piece you love that sits wrong. Instead, take action:

  • Check the store’s return policy.
  • If you can return the piece, buy it.
  • Drop in for a visit with your local tailor and ask for her expert opinion.
  • If she says it’s a lost cause, take the garment back to the store and move on with your day.
  • But maybe that piece really does have promise. Work with your tailor to create a better fit or even a new garment altogether (but that’s a post for another time).

The point is this: little fixes go a long way towards a flattering fit.

Now you’re armed with a new resolution of dressing right for your body. How does it feel?

What to Wear to Jury Duty

So, about our budget fashion and style advice: We sometimes use affiliate links, so we might earn a buck or two if you click and buy 🙂 !

So you’ve been summoned to jury duty. The usual reaction to that news is less than positive, but set aside those feelings for a moment. Because in that jury duty summons lies a challenge — to create a look that’s comfortable and semi-professional, from pieces you already have in your closet. And we’re going to share how to meet the ‘what to wear to jury duty‘ challenge with grace and style.

Note that this isn’t advice on how to dress to get out of jury duty. We’re assuming here that you want to participate in the legal process. 🙂

Dress for Comfort and Branding

You have two major goals when building your jury duty outfits:

  1. Comfort. You’ll be sitting around in uncomfortable chairs most of the day, possibly working on a laptop in your downtime.
  2. Personal branding. Personal branding is important when you step into any large crowd. Depending on where you are in life, you may benefit from networking with other jurors. Or you may meet some people who share your interests. But most of all, if you do get placed on a jury, you’ll want to present yourself as stable and put-together. This is a subtle strategy to help you communicate your opinions firmly when the time comes.

Be prepared to see many of your fellow prospective jurors in all ranges of dress, from shorts to power suits. Don’t worry about them, especially the super-casual ones. Unless you wear a formal gown, you’re not going to be overdressed.

What to Wear to Jury Duty: The Formula

Layering is the perfect strategy for jury duty fashion, because you don’t know if it’s hot or cold in the courthouse. And, you’ll want to layer so that the end result is on the dressy side of business casual. So, in general, your ideal jury duty outfit will consist of:

  1. Light outerwear: a knit blazer, light jacket or cardigan
  2. No-wrinkle top: light sweater, rayon or microfiber blouse
  3. Belt
  4. Trousers: narrow-fit styles are better than wide-legged trousers. Avoid skirts for comfort purposes.
  5. Closed-toed shoes: flats or small heels are best
  6. Big tote to carry your laptop, lunch and other essentials

A few words on accessories: some courthouses have metal detectors which may require you to remove jewelry temporarily. I always end up losing things that way, so it’s easier to keep the jewelry light. You can always accessorize with a scarf instead.

Jury Duty Outfit Inspiration

Your mission is to find pieces like the ones below in your own closet, or in a friend’s closet. You do not want to build a whole new wardrobe just for jury duty — particularly because you may only be there for one day.

Outerwear Options

what to wear to jury duty- red knit blazer

BCBG Generation Peplum Knit Blazer, $29.97, SouthMoonUnder

what to wear to jury duty - ribbed duster

Style & Co. Ribbed Duster, $34.75, Macys

Top Options

6 Ways to Help Your Guy Up His Style Game

So, about our budget fashion and style advice: We sometimes use affiliate links, so we might earn a buck or two if you click and buy 🙂 !

Every man could use a fashion update every now and then — particularly when your guy’s style hasn’t matured along with the passing of time. And who better to guide his style than you? Fortunately, nudging your SO to sophistication need not be expensive or overwhelming. When it comes to classic style, the devil is in the details. Here’s a guide on how to give your man an elevated style that remains both classic, current, and overall sexy.

Try a Modern Haircut

Ryan Gosling Cannes 2014
Gone are the years where every man had the same side part and greased back look. Now, men can express a variety of styles that remain uncomplicated and true to his personality:

  • Is your significant other looking for a simple look? Try the cool look of a close buzz a la Justin Timberlake to enhance his features.
  • Is his hair lush and curly? No need to lop it all off. Go for a neat crop that shapes the face — it can even be long enough to brush behind the ears.
  • Finally, of course, there is always the classic side-part. It’s a universally flattering look that balances out the face.

An important point to note on your man’s hair. Proper haircare is as important as the cut. If he’s out of college, it’s time he brushes his hair. We kid, we kid (sort of). Invest in long-lasting (think Costco-sized) shampoos and conditioners for him. And load him down with compliments when he uses them. Let him know that neat and oil-free is sexy!

Tidy the Facial Hair

close up of man's beard

What started as a trend has become a staple for casual and professional men alike. His line of work and employer may have specific standards for facial hair, but neatness is always a positive in the workplace.

  • If your man has a luscious beard, have him invest in beard oils from Texas Beard Company.
  • If he likes something closer cut, make sure he grooms it and keeps it even.

Facial hair can be high maintenance, so if he’s not up to the task, let him know there’s nothing wrong with the classic, clean-shaven face.

Wear a Suit that Fits

The contemporary look is often more casual today than in the days of our grandparents, but almost every man will have one or two suits on hand. Chances are, those suits don’t fit well. Just sayin’.

The best thing you can do for your man is buy him a suit that’s been fitted and tailored.Click To Tweet It could be the difference between him looking like a giant box or a dapper gentleman.

Head to a nearby Nordstrom and a suit salesperson will gladly take all his measurements down to create a customized fit for him. This doesn’t need to be expensive — shop the sales to find the best deal. And keep those measurements handy for future use!

Shine Those Shoes

Again, we do live in a casual world, but not every event calls for sneakers and flip-flops. Two good pairs of loafers in black and brown are no-nonsense go-tos that he should have on hand. Shop the seasonal sales at Macy’s, Nordstrom, or even a DSW.  Subscribe for e-deals through your favorite department stores. Loafers never go out of style, and he can wear them to weddings, job interviews or a nice dinner out with you.

Also, remember to keep those shoes shined! He paid good money to not have scuffed shoes. Invest in a shoe-shining kit and make sure those shoes stay clean. Ever heard of a spit-shine?  That will do in a pinch as well.

Best Online Clothing Stores for Budget Fashionistas

So, about our budget fashion and style advice: We sometimes use affiliate links, so we might earn a buck or two if you click and buy 🙂 !

online clothing stores

The amazing rise of online clothing stores selling fast fashion — you know, cheap, trendy garments made to be worn one season only — has made it tough to be a budget fashionista. I say that because a budget fashionista is not the gal who buys on price alone.

A true budget fashionista shops for value. You’re more interested in the $50 top you’ll wear 10 times, versus the $20 top you’ll wear once.

So all of those ultra-cheap retailers are cluttering the landscape, tempting us with their low-cost garments that may or may not be wearable in three months. On top of that trend, we’re also dealing with the slow disappearance of brick-and-mortar department stores.

What’s a fashionista to do? To help you navigate these turbulent times, we’ve created the big list of our fav online clothing stores for budget fashionistas.

Online Clothing Stores — Top Picks

The retailers in our ‘top picks’ section earned their spot for consistently strong selection plus reasonable prices.

ASOS

ASOS is a go-to for any budget fashionista. The retailer always has a giant selection of pieces that are priced right. And you don’t pay sales tax in the U.S., which is a nice perk.

We especially love ASOS for its specialty collections: ASOS Tall, ASOS Petite and ASOS Maternity.

Charming Charlie

Charming Charlie is an accessories store with loads of colorful bags and jewelry. We love that you can shop by color on the website! If you have a Charming Charlie retail store near you, pop in sometime. You’ll see that the bags are super-practical and high quality.

Right now, you can sign up for emails and get a coupon to save $10 on your first order of $50 or more. Charming Charlie also has a loyalty program called Charm Club, which saves you a few bucks if you shop there regularly.

Dorothy Perkins

Dorothy Perkins has been around for nearly 100 years and has a huge retail presence in the UK. The online store carries sizes 2 to 18, and you can also shop by fit: petite, plus, tall and maternity. Styles are classic, so you’ll find lots of versatile pieces in solid colors.

Mango

Mango.com has a high-fashion feel to it, without the high-fashion prices. New pieces are usually priced around $50-80, and you can find amazing deals on their sale page. Like Dorothy Perkins, Mango leans towards solid-colored pieces that use interesting cuts and fabric combinations to stand out.

Modcloth

Modcloth describes itself as a vintage fashion store, but you don’t need to own cat-eye sunnies to shop there. Styles are a tad funkier than you’ll find on Dorothy Perkins, but in a good way. If you have a streak of quirky, you’ll love Modcloth. And when you need inspiration, check out the Outfit Photo Gallery.

Missguided

Need some bodycon? A blazer with cut-out shoulders? Head to Missguided for high-impact garments that cater to the 20-something set. And if you’re a student, you qualify for 30% off non-sale items!

Nasty Gal

Nasty Gal is also for the younger (at heart or by the clock), edgier fashionista. This online store carries its own Nasty Gal line, plus designs from Bardot, Glamorous, Jaded London and Love, Courtney by Nasty Gal.

Rosegal

Rosegal’s collection is far more down-to-earth than Nasty Gal’s. You’ll find loads of cute daytime wear, like asymmetrical t-shirts, plaid shirts, hoodie dresses and floral shift dresses. While the site is probably most popular with college students, there are garments suitable for older fashionistas as well.

Tobi

Tobi is a good choice when you need basics that aren’t boring. A good-looking and affordable bomber or a solid-colored top with an interesting neckline, for example. Plus, sign up for Tobi emails and you’ll be in the know about the retailer’s many sales.