Fashion

How to update your summer wardrobe on a budget

©iStockphoto.com/maridav Author: Canadian Living Credits: ©iStockphoto.com/maridav

Fashion

How to update your summer wardrobe on a budget

It's tough to stick to a budget when you're facing new trends and a season full of fresh fashion. But instead of overhauling your closet to make room for a new wardrobe, you can pick up just a few pieces that will update your look for summer.

To figure out which pieces to invest in, we spoke with Camille Vega, a Vancouver-based stylist who sheds some light on what pieces to buy this summer and how best to wear them.

1. Adopt a red or orange "it piece"
A quick way to update your look for the season is through coloured denim or a vibrant jacket. "This summer's go-to pieces are jeans and blazers in hues of orange or red," says Vega. "If you're dressing up, pair orange or red jeans with a pair of shiny black heels and throw on a white silk racer-back tank top."

If you're more comfortable keeping your bottoms neutral, use a bold blazer to keep your look current. "A bright blazer works well with black or white jeans and your favourite pair of Converse sneakers," the stylist suggests. Or if you want a more tailored ensemble, you can also don a pair of oxfords instead of sneakers.

2. Embrace pastels
Since a pop of colour can help update a wardrobe, Vega recommends embracing this season's penchant for pastels. "Pair mint jeans with a light blue chambray shirt and nude brogues for an outfit that's sure to catch an eye," she advises.

Since pastels can work as neutrals, it's safe to wear more than one colour simultaneously. But avoid the monochromatic look by breaking up similar pastel tones with grey, black or even beige, which will help make your pastels stand out.

3. Pair print dresses with jackets
Floral prints and structured jackets are essential trends this season, so Vega suggests combining them for an effortlessly chic summer look. But there's no need to buy anything new. Any floral-print dress -- even a sundress from a few summers ago -- will do.

"Pair a print dress with gladiator sandals or tan wedges and a jean jacket," she suggests. "Think of your jean jacket as an accessory. It will even work well when paired with a long, flowing skirt, flip-flops and a plain white T-shirt for the perfect lunch date outfit."

When it comes to summer layering, remember that light materials will help keep you feeling cool and comfortable, says Vega, so choose fabrics such as cottons, knits and silks in soft, light colours.

Page 1 of 2 -- Discover two more ways to update your summer wardrobe on a budget on page 2.
4. Wear one timeless or vintage-inspired piece
The 1920s played a huge role in fashion this spring, and the trend can easily carry into summer.

"By wearing simple vintage-looking pumps or Mary Janes and a string of pearls with a structured floral-print dress or skirt, you can easily achieve a look that's on trend," says Vega.

A beaded tank top paired with last year's cigarette pants is another way to update the trend, while a pleated skirt with a simple button-up shirt will echo the sharp, structured esthetic of The Great Gatsby era.

Vega also recommends having a few timeless, sophisticated basics on hand.

"Classic and preppy pieces will allow you to add a polished, updated look to your closet," she says. "For example: A classic knit cardigan." Summer nights can get chilly – especially out on the patio or at a backyard barbecue – so a few extra layers are essential.

5. Incorporate statement accessories
A get-noticed pair of shoes or a leather purse with a twist can help update any existing outfit.

"Having a great brown leather bag that looks beat up and well worn will make any outfit more summer-ready," says Vega. "And by adding very on-trend shoes, such as white-toed heels or brightly hued pumps, you can dress up a typical look."

Another option is to add some serious colour. "Purchasing a bold bag is also an easy way to punch up your wardrobe. Try tones like yellow, orange, red or blue," the stylist says.

Statement jewelry also easily adds interest to any summer outfit. For this season, think chandelier earrings, colourful beaded necklaces in beach-worthy hues (such as coral, turquoise and raspberry) and multiple bangles in jewel tones.

Rebuilding a wardrobe at the beginning of a new season can sometimes seem intimidating – and expensive. But rather than completely overhauling your closet, bring your style into summer by focusing on a few key pieces and some colourful accessories and by combining what you already have with a few trendy items.

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How to update your summer wardrobe on a budget

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