Three spring fashion trends for women on a budget

Trend No. 2: the maxi dress


Great with gladiator flats, this free-flowing, Earth-child dress really elongates the figure and is an easy pack for weekenders. Though I think it's a bit evening gown-ish, if you can work it without looking like your going to Prom, be my guest. Wearing very little makeup and plain accessories, like gold hoop earrings, makes the look more casual.

Ombre maxi dress by Bisou Bisou, JC Penney, $59.99

[image-2]Trend No. 3: The salmon-colored sleeveless top

Great with dark denim jeans and gold accessories; bright citrus hues shoo the winter drabs away and look great on everyone. As a rule of thumb, your skin tone is relative to how light or dark you should go when choosing this piece. Fair-skinned women look great in lighter cantaloupe shades, while deeper skin tones rock in electric orange.

Coral top by Forever21, forever21, $10.80.

Fashion/beauty contributor Kim Colvin hips you to some hot new looks:

Spring 2009 women's fashions have been to the rainbow and back in bold primary hues of Skittles. It's all about vibrancy and loose-fitting silhouettes. But who's really thinking about revamping their wardrobe during the worst economic slump in decades?

Uh, you are, of course. Or you should be.

Taking cues from designers to create affordable looks has never been easier.

I've always fancied clothing labels with the decimal points in their prices slid a bit more to the right than deemed necessary. Sometimes I could delve for some pathetic reason to buy the three-digit top, but then I'd suffer incredible buyers' remorse and resent my decision. Most of the time I would find something so disgustingly similar at a discount retailer that I'd just sigh with defeat and vow never to get the chiffon pulled over my eyes again.

I've kept this promise to myself for the most part. The three looks I'll discuss below all have affordable options.

Trend No. 1: Jumpsuits

They're like wearable smallpox, appearing every 20 years just to throw off your shopping chi, then disappearing until an emerging designer get infected and spurs a revival. I always pick one out while shopping, feel like a mechanic or flash dancer, then proceed to shamefully put it back.

I have to admit, though: I've seen this trend tweaked on the New York Fashion Week runways in surprisingly modern ways. A chic alternative to the full-length pant is a shorter Capri-length jumpsuit with pockets, a belted waist, peep-toe pumps.

Blue jumpsuit From Express, $79.50.

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