Budget Buys: Fab looks for €250!
Ditch the fancy-dan designer clobber -- good old-fashioned jeans are back! That's the message from the high-street trendsetters as Levi's announced this week two new washes of its classic 1955 501 jeans for its spring collection.
Originally designed for blue-collar workers in the United States, jeans took on a sartorial life of their own as dress codes became more informal in the 1960s, before achieving global fame in the decades since. Who can forget those TV ads in the 1980s with male model Nick Kamen slipping out of his 501s in the launderette?
The return of such a vintage staple makes perfect sense in these straitened times. Clever and considered purchases are the only way forward in 2012. So how can you look bang on-trend on a budget?
Rule number one? Get informed. Your first port of call should be our weekly Fashion Friday pages in this newspaper as well as Bairbre Power's authoritative fashion column in the Weekend magazine every Saturday.
Also, browse the web for sites and blogs that will keep you up to date. Check out the likes of style.com and graziadaily.co.uk or blogs like The Sartorialist for inspiring style tips.
Whatever your taste, from McQueen to MaxMara, if you know what's hot, you'll have the edge. Being able to spot the gems in the treasure chest that is the high street will give you the upper hand.
Rule number two: steer clear of reckless purchases that get strewn to the back of the wardrobe after one wear. Less is more, so go for a few well thought-out pieces that will work together and really perform. View it as a challenge rather than a chore.
Finally, re-invent and rework what you already have. Do a wardrobe-edit and pull out your staple pieces; basics that you can build on. Three examples of lynchpin pieces that no spring/summer wardrobe should be without are a plain white shirt, skinny jeans and the LBD's angelic friend, the LWD (Little White Dress).
Here is a capsule collection of 10 pieces that will work with these core basics. And the bonus? Buy all of them, lock stock and barrel for €250.
1. The dress
The LBD is fine for winter but nothing says new season better than a cool, white dress. With every colour from pretty pastels to blinding brights bombarding us this season, it’s the perfect blank canvas.
All too often assigned to the holiday suitcase, a white dress can easily hold its own when coupled with the right accessories. Maxi or mini, silk or jersey, it is utterly versatile. Think less boho, more colour sharp and be brave.
The wedge is the ultimate multi-tasking shoe; all the ego-boosting elevation of a stiletto but none of the pain. These tangerine, mint and ice white platform sandals from H&M subtly pick up on the sports luxe as well as pastel brights trends and promise to be your go-to shoe for many’s a summer ahead. This lime-green satchel from New Look is deliciously similar to the fluoro satchel from the Cambridge Satchel Company, which is gracing all the best wishlists this season. But at a fifth of the cost, you can put the piggy bank back on the shelf and ditch the delayed gratification. Neon loves nothing more than a wink of metallic so finish with this metallic cuff from Miss Selfridge. Fab looks for €250!
2. The Jeans
Whether your jeans are Victoria Beckhams or Topshop’s finest, 1950s vintage Americana is the way to go to give them an SS12 spin.
Penneys are on the money where this trend is concerned with Pradastyle car prints setting the pace. This chiffon shirt with its three-tier point collar is perfect.
Think ice-cream shades of mint, zesty lemon, and sweet strawberry to give you that retro vibe. Layer with this floral-print blazer with rolled-up cuffs for added interest. (Matching shorts also available for €13 to bump it up to a fresh summer suit.)
Accessorise with this graphic stripe clutch from Dorothy Perkins; its grey panel works well to mute the sugary hues. Top off with clear Perspex shades with a gentle nod to the ohso- cool, cat-eye shape. These will also work beautifully with the other capsule looks.
3. The Shirt
Whether crisp and tailored or soft and slouchy, a white shirt is a perennial multi-tasker. Equally at home with a billowing ball-skirt as with a pair of capris, the white shirt is a true and timeless classic.
This A-line skirt with its abstract, painterly print has Marni written all over it. The Italian label is launching its range for H&M on March 8, so for those of you who won’t be able to queue at dawn to nab the much sought-after limited collection, this skirt will fit the bill nicely. Also from H&M, its mix of colour make it a great transitional piece. For a vintage look ideal for work, add this neat, cropped jacket from Penneys. Nipped at the waist, it will accentuate the 50s shape of the skirt.
Pair with nude heels for a workfriendly look, sand coloured, ‘Pistol’ style ankle boots for off-duty or, if you are proudly keeping the capsule budget, our mint and orange wedges will fit the bill nicely.
Add a stack of bangles and your look is complete.