IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

DailyCandy's spring trends on a svelte budget

With disposable income shrinking faster than a snowman in April, updating your look for spring on a budget can seem like a daunting task. From fashion to food, DailyCandy highlights fresh new looks and tastes for lots less.</p><p><br /></p>
/ Source: TODAY

At last, spring is on its way, and not a minute too soon!  With it come visions of dining outside, leisurely strolls in the sun, and finally not having to wear clunky boots and snowman gear day in and day out. It’s enough to make you feel like a new person… a new person whose style also craves a spring awakening.

But with disposable income shrinking faster than a snowman in April, updating your look for spring on a budget can seem like a daunting task.  Never fear: with some inspiration and creativity, and not a lot of cash, you can sprinkle some fun and fresh trends into your life.  DailyCandy has searched high and low to find the latest and most stylish steals and deals in fashion, food and beauty, to help you spring forward on the cheap.

Bright, nearly neon hues, snazzy patterns and previously owned pieces all figure heavily in this spring’s clothing choices.  At this time of year a shot of color can change not just your outfit, but your outlook as well.

Target has become known for its spot-on but low-cost designer collections, and the latest collaboration might very well be the most exciting yet.  British wild man, Alexander McQueen, typically known for his ultra-luxurious, punky confections, brings us McQ Alexander McQueen for Target. The pieces range in price from $19.99 to $79.99 and are whimsically edgy and perfectly flattering.  Standouts include a tiger-print shift dress in shocking pink, an electric blue sweater with zipper detailing and a smart cropped black blazer.

The old saw, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” has never been as true as it is today.  Breathing new life into old clothing is the best recipe for style without spending.  You might not even have considered the rich history behind clothes that used to belong to someone else, but the notion of a tee shirt’s historical thread being passed from owner to owner drives Austrian-based Re-shirt.  Folks around the world donate their old tees to the project, which spiffs up the shirts and posts them for sale alongside their story.  All shirts cost about $32, but can you put a price on owning a piece of history?

The bold colors of the season won’t skip your feet, and neither should comfort.  Some brand new foot fashions are so good-looking you’ll be shocked by how super they feel.  It’s a “buy once, wear every single day” kind of spring.

Keep is a socially conscious, cruelty free, uber-cool design company in Los Angeles, and their mod skimmers are amazing not just because they’re $30 to $35 a pair, but because they work equally well with shorts and a tank as with a Sunday dress.  They come in decadently hued stripes, herringbone patterns and African graphics.

For sportier pursuits, your dogs are barking for the bright and bouncy New Balance for Nine West collection.  These sneaks are futuristic, fun, and functional and lighten any bad mood or drab outfit.  They’re $89 and feel like walking on sunshine.

When money’s tight, jewelry is often the first extravagance to go.  But right now, the trend isn’t big rocks, but rather, baubles at rock-bottom prices that can transform your whole look.

When was the last time a piece of jewelry did anything for you but sparkle?  A new Brazilian craze costs just $5 and purports to grant its wearer wishes!  You tie this colorful ribbon bracelet, called a Brazilet to the wrist with three knots as you make your wish, and wear until it falls off.  That’s when your wish is granted.  Much prettier than a lottery ticket, and the company behind them donates part of the proceeds to a rainforest conservation effort.

Trying economic times mean looking in unusual places to discover sweet new styles.  Pier 1 is known for its value-conscious home décor, but jewelry?  Indeed!  Layering their decoupage bracelets is a nifty and not pricey way ($8) to add some of-the-moment ethnic, bohemian flair, and their resin rings, $5, boast patterns you’ll see all over, for much higher prices, this spring. 

Beauty Gone are the days when a pretty box and promised miracles opened your wallet for the latest beauty invention, but that doesn’t mean pretty is passé.  Focusing on one part of the face, like your peepers, is a smart way to follow beauty trends for a bargain.  Another is making your very own treatments!

There are plenty of good teeth-whitening systems out there, but the simplest one of all works just as well and you can make it yourself for pennies.  For brighter pearly whites, make a paste of baking soda and water and brush it onto your chompers.  Leave it on for a minute and rinse thoroughly.  Now, smile!

It’s been scientifically proven that the scent most attractive and sensual to men is…you’re not going to believe this…vanilla!  Flare up his pheromones for nearly free by using run-of-the-mill, pure vanilla extract from the grocery store as your perfume.  Daub on your wrists and other pulse points and await the man-frenzy.

One beauty trend from the runways that is easy and inexpensive to follow is bold, purple eye shadow.  The shades sold by e.l.f. cost just $1 to $3 and are just the right tints.  Keep the rest of your face neutral so the eyes really pop.Eats
Most of us are dining out less, which provides a good opportunity to try new recipes and entertain at home more often.  Avoid getting stuck in a rut, but still keep expenses low, by tasting a big trend in food right now: halfsies.  Portions were reaching outlandish sizes, so you won’t be missing anything but calories and cost.  Tastemakers are also making desserts more miniature.

New Yorker Julie Lê is a creative powerhouse but produces wee little sweets. She spends her days as a librarian at the Met’s Costume Institute, and her nights and weekends creating a truly tasty, tiny treat she invented, Crunchy Jules.  She crumbles red velvet cake in cream cheese, rolls in chocolate and dusts with coconut to produce these little bites of heaven.

Exploring the world of wine just got less expensive. Half Wit Wines sells only half-bottles of vino, starting at $7. You can try many more varieties if you’re only paying for half, and nothing goes to waste.

For the insider's guide to what's hot, new and undiscovered — from fashion and style to gadgets and travel — visit