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Spring Trends on a Budget

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I hit the mall the other day and witnessed a wonderfully beautiful sight: Spring clothing. The racks of shorts, tanks and skirts were like the (bright, patent leather) light at the end of a cold and dreary tunnel. I felt euphoric, giddy and a need to spend. I grabbed my friend’s hand and together we skipped from store to store taking it all in.

The colorful shoes.

The exotic prints.

The dresses.

The bags. Oh boy, those bags.

I would have loved to give my credit card a workout and my wardrobe a much needed pick-me-up – as I have found myself wearing only grays and blacks these past few weeks – but the price tags at Nordstrom, etc. were just way bigger than anything I could afford. I pitied myself and my dwindling bank account for a moment, but instead of throwing in the proverbial towel and heading home to sulk in a pile of black sweats, I went in search of equally fabulous, yet far more affordable, Spring pieces.

It was a cinch. Spring trends are all about bright colors, patent leather, and new shapes. Luckily for me and any other lady on a budget, these elements are all very easy to find at any price point. I scoped out my I Have to Have Them But In No Way Can I Afford Them pieces, admired and drooled over them, and then snapped back into reality and went in search of their less expensive brothers.

What I Lusted: Marc by Marc Jacobs “Posh Turnlock” Convertible Clutch

Price: $298 (Ouch.)

This bag adds much needed drama and excitement to the bar-standard black dress or shirt.

The leather is soft, the colors (I prefer yellow) are bright without being too much and the bag is perfect for going out – both in the fact that it will hold everything and can be worn as either a clutch or on your shoulder.

What I Got: Xhilaration (For Target) Envelope Clutch

Price: $17.99

This bag has so much in common with the one by Marc – the perfect size for going out, the perfect color to pop a typical ensemble, the ability to be worn both as a clutch or shoulder bag – for a fraction of the price. Just think about how much better you will feel about spilling beer on an $18 bag versus one for $300.

What I Lusted: Hudson Wide Leg Stretch Jeans

Price: $185

Skinny pants are by no means out, but denim is taking on a whole new shape this season with the wide leg coming back. This cut is extremely flattering on a variety of body types and can easily be worn casual or dressed up.

What I Got: Calvin Klein Flare Stretch Trouser Jeans

Price: $79.50

It is one thing to spend a lot of money on a standard pair of jeans, but definitely not worth it for an interesting cut that will probably be out of style by next season. And you really don’t need to. This pair is wide (without being too wide) and a great wash for going out at night.

What I Lusted: Nine West V-Neck Button Front Dress

Price: $134

I am so excited that dresses are still oh-so-in this Spring. Especially the button-front variety. These things are truly flattering on everyone. The deep V paired with the cap sleeve is cute and chic all at the same time. What I would give to rock this dress with a hot pair of black patent pumps. Well, if I had enough money for it all…

What I Got: Merona (for Target) Embroidered Dress

Price: $19.99

And this, my friends, is why I am obsessed with Target. Twenty bucks for a dress. A cute dress. A dress that would look awesome with my new yellow bag.

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  • COLLEGECANDY Writer
    When my mom moved me into my dorm freshman year she left me $65 to buy a humidifier. I took that money and bought a pair of heels because I can sleep without damp air blowing in my face, but I can't rock a humidifier with a hot black mini.