Fashion on a budget: Great ideas on what to buy

Want to freshen up your style without spending big bucks? Style expert Ingrie Williams shares where to get some of the latest fashion trends on a budget.

H & M, metallic knit sweater, Gap, pencil skirt

H & M metallic knit sweater and Gap pencil skirt

Mango, python print dress

Mango python print dress

Reitmans, cap sleeve top, Old Navy, wide leg trouser jeans

Reitmans cap sleeve top and Old Navy wide leg trouser jeans

Kim Kardashian, Sears collection

Kim Kardashian in a look from her Sears collection

Chic for cheap
I love browsing red carpet shots, seeing stars dressed to the nines and dripping with gems is total fashion fantasy. When price is no object, the style stakes ought to be sky high. But what’s even more thrilling is spying celebs sporting brands that we mere mortals can afford too — looking amazing while doing so. To see someone like Kim Kardashian (who could snap up the Elizabeth Taylor diamond without batting her famous lashes) step out in something I can pick up at my favourite cheap ‘n’ cheerful shop is inspiring. For more proof that you don’t need a wad of cash to look like a million bucks, check out these three looks that boast double-digit price tags.

Pair a pretty top with jeans

Making jeans and a t-shirt look ultra chic isn’t impossible, but it can be tricky. So much depends on finding a better-than-average t-shirt that fits just right and has some sort of detail. But by swapping in a pretty top you instantly take the guesswork out of the equation while adding polish to your denim. A pretty top is defined by: a floaty fabric and fabulous colour, interesting detail or eye-catching print. An A-line shape top is most versatile and will work tucked into boot cut or wide leg trouser jeans (highlight your waist with a belt), or worn untucked and loose over skinny jeans.
Try: Cap sleeve top, Reitmans, $32.
Try: Wide leg trouser jeans, Old Navy, $45.

Try a dazzling dress

You may think dresses are for special occasions only, but there are loads of daytime-appropriate styles out there and they’re a one-stop solution when you’re in need of an insta-outfit. Slip one on and you’re only a few accessories away from heading out the door. A figure-flattering cut is essential — don’t just settle for shapeless shift. And choosing a dress that features the season’s ‘it’ colour or print goes a long way towards a frock that rocks.
Try: Python print dress, Mango, $75.

Pair a classic skirt and trendy knit

The most stylish outfits are a study in contrasting elements: classic and trendy, fitted and voluminous, dressy and casual. This option has it all. The figure-hugging skirt ticks off the classic, fitted and dressy boxes, while the slightly slouchy metallic knit (a spring must-have) takes care of the rest. And, depending on your mood or outing, add your own sartorial twist by layering your favourite crisp white button front shirt, colourful tee or basic black tank top underneath.
Try: Metallic knit sweater, H&M, $40.
Try: Pencil skirt, Gap, $55.