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Dressing on a budget doesn’t have to be boring

If you're strapped for cash, dressing doesn't have to be boring, because your everyday essentials are the building blocks to a great outfit. TODAY Style editor Bobbie Thomas explains how to breathe new life into your style staples.
/ Source: TODAY contributor

Dressing on a budget doesn't have to be boring, because your everyday essentials are the building blocks to a great outfit. With a little creative pairing, these simple pieces can be transformed to look trendy and chic! Bobbie Thomas, TODAY Style editor and author of the Buzz column for In Touch Weekly, shows you how to breathe new life into your oldies but goodies.

White button-down and skinny belt
While the white button-down is a classic on its own, the addition of a skinny

belt can instantly make an hourglass silhouette out of this item. Let’s face it: The white button-down was originally introduced as a man’s dress shirt, and can look boxy and boyish. By pairing it with a delicate belt, you can create contrast and add a ladylike curve. It’s likely you’ve gotten into a routine of tucking this piece into a pair of pants for work, or leaving it loose for a casual weekend look. This time, try adding a skinny belt at your natural waistline to carve out a sexy hourglass silhouette. You can find a wide variety at from $5 to $8!

Black pants and lace top
Every woman has a go-to pair of black pants that always feel appropriate. In addition, these pants are also the best base to use when trying out a trend. This season, slip on a romantic lace top and you’ll be perfectly on point. Looks with monochromatic black lace ruled the fall runways, but you don’t need to spend designer dollars to get the look. We paired a pair of black pants with a lace mock neck top from H&M ($34.90), and accented with pretty pearls. Both French Connection ($38) and Express ($29.50) offer fabulous faux strands in shades of oyster gray that are the perfect compliment to this edgy outfit.

Denim and feminine blouse

It’s easy to pull on a pair of jeans and automatically reach for a cozy sweater or T-shirt. However, consider switching it up this season by trying a dressier look with your denim. A soft blouse may be just the thing to help you escape the shopping blues! The juxtaposition of sheer or floaty fabric against your rugged denim creates a contrast that is fashion-forward and feminine all at once.

Finding a blouse that fits your personality is simple. An assortment of options, from ruffles and floral prints to bold colors and bohemian chic, is available at great prices on ($29-$49). Whether you pair this look with pumps or pretty flats, a blouse will elevate the appeal of your denim-styled outfit.

Dress and leather jacket
How many times can you wear your favorite dress before you wonder, “Can I really wear it

again?” I’m here to tell you that no matter how many times you’ve worn it, the answer is yes, you certainly can wear it again! With the help of a chic leather jacket, you can transform your favorite dress this fall. A sophisticated spin on the biker-chic look is the perfect topper to any dress, and makes the trend totally wearable.

The focus will shift from your dress to the whole ensemble, thus creating a new look without feeling as formal as wearing a coat or wrap. While this piece looks expensive, it doesn’t have to cost a lot. From cropped-tuxedo to motorcycle style, Urban Outfitters sells sleek versions from Silence and Noise ($108-$128), while JCPenney’s Worthington brand offers a range of colors from $40-$50!