Monday, 11 April 2011

Look Great Without Spending a Fortune (Spring/Summer 2011)

I don't profess to be the trendiest person in the world, but I do love beautiful clothes and try to look as put-together as I can.  For the last three and a half years I have either been pregnant or had baby weight on me that made it difficult to feel attractive and wear clothes that made me feel good.

I'm SO happy to be back (even minus a few pounds) to my pre-pregnancies weight (sorry, I have to plug my brother's personal training site because I wouldn't be in this shape without him!).  I finally feel like I can rejoin the world of women who wear nice clothes, but having two kids also means I have to be smart about how I spend money on myself. 

To start this journey I thought it was important to figure out some key trends for this year.  After a little bit of searching, I found this fantastic website - that summarized 2011 trends and gave great examples of how to wear them including pictures. (To save you some time, I pulled the most helpful info and pics from and included them below.) 

Next, I started to check out blogs like The Budget Babe.  I found this site especially helpful because she finds less expensive versions of clothes so you can see a high-low perspective.  What I also find really fun is how she takes pictures of celeb outfits and sources more affordable pieces to recreate the look.

Here are the key looks from for Spring/Summer 2011:

Sophisticated 70's

By day it's all about clean yet voluminous silhouettes, and earthy '70s colour palettes. Look for:
  • High waisted wide-leg pants or flares, smartly belted in.
  • Neat bow-blouses, especially ones with billowing or bishop sleeves. Particularly great are fabrics like silk and satin.
  • Roll neck sweaters tucked into pants or skirts. Add to the '70s effect by layering over beaded necklaces or a vest.
  • For those more daring, a pair of hot pants are the ultimate '70s item.
  • A smart printed jumpsuit is another great alternative.

By night the '70s sophisticate turns into the ultimate socialite, with look-at-me shimmering fabrics and cuts that either tightly hug or sensually drape over the body.
  • Choose high sheen fabrics with a '70s disco-inspired edge, like lurex or silk; anything with a metallic thread.
  • Add a ruffled neckline under a brocade blazer or tuxedo jacket, paired with a sharp pair of pants.
  • Long, slinky gowns with draping, low necklines or dress slits are the ultimate in '70s night time glamour.

Biker Chic
  • Motorcycle-inspired jackets

  • Chunky zippers & hardward
  • You can stick to classic black but I've been seeing other fun colours as well (like silver).

  • Motorcycle boots

50's/60's Ladylike 
  • Ladylike (think Jackie O) shapes with cinched waists and prim and proper styling

  • Handbags tend to be clutches or very structured
  • Bright, fresh colours and pastels, and prints like florals or stripes
  • Full skirts, feminine sheaths, kitten heels

Punk Fashion
  • Mix punk elements (like metal studs, heavy boots, safety pins) with something ultra-feminine to give it some edge 
Notice the sleek and feminine pointy-toe boots
Armed with this new information, I have been keeping my eye out for pieces that fall in line with what I have seen.  As for where I tend to buy things, it isn't where you might expect.  I have a hard time justifying paying full retail for clothes.  I shop sale racks, Winners and thrift stores.  That's the truth, and if you knew me you'd never guess it because it's all about making smart choices.

For example, in the last couple months I've picked up a couple pairs of beautiful leather boots a black pair and brown pair both with stud detailing, a great black leather motorcycle-inspired jacket and a 70's earth-toned print empire-waist shirt.  All of those combined cost me less than $75.00.  Love it.

Happy shopping :)

- Jacs

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