Wednesday, February 21, 2024
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36 Trendy, Affordable Pieces to Wear Now • budget FASHIONISTA

Soon enough, we’ll be able to lose the scarves and puffy coats in favor of lighter pieces. That’s right, spring is fast upon us — and we’ll want some fresh duds to celebrate the warmer, longer days.

As usual, the spring/summer 2024 runways were loaded with weird stuff. Marc Jacobs’ paper dolls theme was the stuff of nightmares. And some of the Louis Vuitton ready-to-wear collection felt like a surreal mashup of Ricky Bobby and a princess Halloween costume.  

Spring fashion report summarizes key points of the post.
Source: Canva.

Still, despite the craziness, the runways always manage to inspire the more wearable spring trends that end up in stores. And that’s our focus today. Here’s a look at eight winning styles of the season, and how you can get them on a budget.

Trend 1: Flow

Flowing fabric is the name of the game this season. Think in terms of gathers, pleats, ruching, and draping. For everyday wear of this spring trend, lean into lightweight fabrics that hang elegantly. You might team a belted, wide-leg pant, silky camisole and a spring trench coat with a waterfall collar.

Some on-trend pieces to check out under $75 include:

  1. H&M’s gathered sleeve jacket
  2. Asos pleated wide-legged pants
  3. Lulu’s cowl neck bodysuit
  4. Nina Leonard dolman sleeve dress

Trend 2: Structure

In the same season that flow and draping are hot, so are structure and form. Some labels, like Sacai, managed to incorporate both elements into the same collection. My high-minded self might ask if that’s a commentary on the human condition. Or just two very different expressions of creativity.

You can work structure into your wardrobe this spring with stiff, A-line skirts and denim pants that hold their shape. Well-defined blazers are another option.

I like these structured pieces for under $75:

  1. WAYF faux leather five-pocket midi skirt
  2. Gap’s belted denim shirt jacket
  3. Old Navy’s high-waisted wide-leg jeans
  4. New York and Company’s tweed shift dress

Trend 3: Voluminous arms  

Big shoulders and arms made several appearances in spring collections. The range included angular, wide shoulders and extreme drop shoulders paired with blouson sleeves. Of those two ends of the spectrum, I like the latter option. It’s more feminine and wearable.

These garments nod to the trend without being over-the-top or aggressively expensive:

  1. Blank NYC drop shoulder quilted jacket from Zappos
  2. Asos mini shirt dress with blouson sleeves
  3. BTFBM blouson sleeve work top from Amazon
  4. Venus off-the-shoulder sweater

Trend 4: Romance

2024 is your year if you love all things fairy tale. Tiers, lace, tulle flowers, and mesh will be everywhere this spring. You’ll see these details on flowy dresses of all lengths that you can easily pair ballet flats and delicate jewelry.

Cater to your inner princess with these romantic pieces priced under $100:

  1. Lulu’s tiered lace maxi dress
  2. Top Shop lace applique maxi dress
  3. Elliatt Victorian maxi dress sold by Shop Premium Outlets
  4. White House Black Market long sleeve ruffle blouse

Trend 5: Layers

The layer trend is a practical one for spring, when the temps can be cold and hot on the same day. This trend also ties closely to the popularity of flowing fabrics noted above — meaning you may not have to buy anything new to wear two of the season’s trends. Instead, get creative about layering pieces you already own.

If you do feel the need for something new, look for cardigans or blazers with waterfall collars. Those will give you the layered look straight away. Here are some easy, wearable picks in that category:

  1. Zesica open front cardigan from Amazon
  2. Lulu’s oversized jacket
  3. Venus faux suede waterfall jacket
  4. Sheer mesh duster from Amazon

You may also want to see my style guide on how to layer.

Trend 6: Suited

Whether you work in an office or at home, stylish women’s suiting is another welcome trend. You can power up your look for meetings at the school or in the boardroom — without feeling like you’re a campaigning politician.

Look for fun collars, jackets with modern shapes, vests, and lightweight trousers that drape like skirts. Here are some inspirational picks to work into your power wardrobe this season:

  1. Women’s open front blazer from Amazon
  2. Rachel Roy tipped collar button-up shirt
  3. Paige denim tailored vest from New York and Company
  4. H&M wide-legged pants

Trend 7: Flower power  

Spring collections always feature a good dose of florals. But this year’s interpretations leaned heavily into retro-inspired, funky florals. Think orange combined with pink and simple shapes vs. pastels and intricate designs.

The trend presents the perfect opportunity to add some fun to your own spring collection. Feel free to go bold here but keep your spend low. You might feel dated wearing these striking floral pieces next year:

  1. Old Navy fit and flare floral midi dress
  2. Donna Morgan long sleeve jersey dress from Nordstrom Rack
  3. Asos shift dress in retro floral
  4. Venus satin long-sleeve blouse

Trend 8: Crop the top

Model wears mint green crop top with black pants and holds handbag.
Source: H&M.

With all the folds, layers, and volume of spring fashion, we need some balance. That balance comes in the form of the crop top. We’re not talking ’90s crops that barely cover the bra, either. This year’s crop is a longer piece that’s the perfect partner to a wide-legged pant or voluminous maxi skirt.

Even if you’ve never worn crops before, this might be the year to try it out. You can show a little skin or not, as you wish. See these pieces to get your creative juices flowing:

  1. Lulu’s cropped vest top
  2. H&M mock turtleneck crop top 
  3. Zara textured crop top
  4. Revolve elastic crop top

Stylish in spring 2024

Have fun shopping this spring. The new arrivals of the season should be rife with flowy, romantic styles, funky florals, and suiting separates to give you every look you need for work and play.

Want to compare these styles to last spring’s trends? See my rundown of 2023 spring fashion trends.



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