The sun is shining. Sidewalks are crowded, and storefront displays are bursting with bright colors, statement jewelry and bold patterns. This summer, avoid spending big money on trendy pieces, and instead focus on inexpensive, basic items that can be styled with the season’s hottest accessories. These summer looks are seriously cute and come complete with major mix-and-match potential—and the best part? All eight outfits round out at a budget-friendly $50 or less.
It seems more often lately that I’m running into those days where I need to pull myself together, but all I really want to do is to wear my sweatpants to work. Hello, maxi skirt! Basic pieces like a grey tee and striped skirt can mix and match with a lot of items already in your closet, so you will definitely get your money’s worth. Dress up this casual look with a classic black and white collar necklace.
Get the Look: Charcoal Tee ($5.80, Forever 21) Striped Maxi Skirt ($17.99, Target) Scalloped Beaded Necklace ($24.00, Francesca’s)
Take Me to Naples
Wearing bright colors with tropical accessories is a budget-friendly way to enjoy a piece of paradise without actually jet-setting to a sunny beach locale. A simple tank and skirt are timeless staple pieces that can be easily styled for different occasions with bold accessories.
Get the Look: Pink Tank ($15.95, American Eagle) White Skirt ($14.95, H&M) Cellphone Wallet ($18.00, Francesca’s)
The little black dress is a classic must-have. A leather belt completes this look, lending it a little laid-back style. And nothing says “summer” quite like daisy espadrilles. This versatile outfit would look right at home in a coffee shop, park or for a summer night out.
Get the Look: Black Dress ($12.80, Forever 21) Leather Belt ($6.50, Threadsence) Espadrilles ($28.58, Asos)
Who says dressing up has to break the bank? Dare to dress on the wild side with this bold (but inexpensive) tribal combo. Not only is this look budget-friendly, but it is comfortable and the mixed prints offer up quintessential summer style.
Get the Look: Earrings ($2.80, Forever 21) Tank ($19.99, ModCloth) Pants ($24.99, Jolie Styles)
Whether or not you’re headed to Bonnaroo or Lollapalooza, the festival trend is easy to pull off and a great go-to for any weekend. I find it tempting to buy hippie-inspired clothing in bulk, but many times these items are overpriced. Remember—incorporating just a few bohemian items into your wardrobe can go a long way.
Get the Look: Tee ($16.00, Macy’s) Denim Shorts ($19.99, Target) Sandals ($12.98, Body Central)
Moonlit Dinner Date
Every girl needs a pop of color in her wardrobe. This romantic purple will translate all the way from spring to fall (think brown leather jacket). Plus, it’s easy to turn a casual maxi dress into a formal look in one easy step with statement jewelry.
Get the Look: Earrings ($14.99, Ruche) Ring ($6.00, Charlotte Russe) Maxi Dress ($19.90, Alloy)
Summer in the Hamptons
If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably imagined yourself spending a summer in the Hamptons a la Gossip Girl. A sophisticated style and seaside color palette inspire this outfit. The jersey romper could take center-stage in a number of outfits depending on the accessories, and the cross-body purse is great neutral option that suits just about any summer outfit.
Get the Look: Necklace ($11.00, LuLu’s) Cross Body Purse ($24.90, Delia’s) Romper ($9.95, H&M)
I’m always thankful for that one item of clothing I can throw on for an outfit that is both cute and complete. A bright, floral romper is a fashionable piece that suits multiple occasions—and if you’re looking for that perfect, inexpensive floppy hat to complete your poolside look, this straw hat is my favorite!
Get the Look: Romper ($28.99, Charlotte Russe) Hat ($20.40, Kohl’s)
Looking for more budget-friendly style inspiration? Check out our Q&A with budget style blogger Patrice Williams of Looking Fly on a Dime.