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Q. I’m a student and on a really tight budget. I want to buy a few items for spring to update my wardrobe. Can you recommend a few trendy but affordable items?

A. Absolutely! Sometimes all it takes are a few high impact pieces to freshen up your look for a new season. (Start by checking out our Spring 2013 Trend Report for an overview of what’s hot now.) We put together a 5-item shopping list to give you an instant update:


Start with a piece of statement jewelry. A colorful stone necklace like the one shown above or statement earrings will do the trick. Stripes are huge for spring and this Gap academy blazer looks great with just about anything and doubles as a light jacket.

Jeans are a mainstay for any college student; make yours printed and cropped this season for a cool update. We particularly like this soft floral pair for under $50. If you haven’t heard, leather is making a surprise appearance for spring. This vegan leather flared mini is an affordable take on the trend and perfect for date night or when you want to dress up a bit.

Sixties-inspired chunky low heels are making news this season and this pair features a gleaming silver metallic heel. Add to that a touch of chic snakeskin and you have one must-have pair of shoes.

NMV18HC_mx.jpgQ. I was flipping through some old magazines, when I came across a picture of Emma Stone carrying the Michael Kors Silverton Traveler Tote (right). I am obsessed, but of course it is no longer available ANYWHERE! Can you help me find it or a super ridiculously closely similar bag? I love the rectangular structured-but-not-too-structured shape and the perfect-for-over-the-shoulder-or-carrying-by-hand length handles. The simplicity of the bag, with little embellishment, is kind of completely my style.

A. Ooh, we love a challenge! Here are 9 bags in a variety of colors and price points that will hopefully fit the bill for you. Good luck!

Q. I bought some printed jeans, but I’m not sure how to style them. What sort of top should I wear with them and what shoes (I need something flat that will hold my foot in place)? Thank you for your help.

A. Printed jeans are far more wearable than you think. I particularly love the Gap pair that you’ve chosen (below) — it comes in several pretty prints, and the chic ankle length makes it perfect for pairing with everything from wedges and pumps to flats. The easiest top to wear with printed jeans is a monochromatic top such as a button down shirt, t-shirt, blazer or denim jacket. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can try mixing prints like the striped top shown below (read our tips for mixing prints here).

As for flats, a pointed flat would look great, and is perfectly on trend for spring. A ballet flat or even a smoking slipper or loafer would work well, too. Here are some suggestions to start your search:


Q. I’ve been invited to a wedding that will take place in early May and will be held on a golf course at 7 PM. My first thought was a really nice black cocktail dress that I already own but haven’t worn yet but that feels so boring. What can you suggest for an evening wedding at this type of venue?

A. The attire for a golf course wedding is similar to a country club wedding which, unless specifically stated otherwise on the invitation, typically means cocktail attire or semi-formal wear with a preppy twist. Opt for pretty and flirty rather than sultry and sexy. Think pretty pastels (a current trend), lace or eyelet details, and shoes that won’t poke holes in the gorgeous golf course (think wedges or chunky heels). Of course, your black cocktail dress will work too, but consider softening it up with a light colored wrap or bow belt.

Here are some suggestions to wear to your golf course wedding:


Q. I have an old Prada bag that is covered in pyramid studs and I haven’t used it in years. I’m wondering if studs are considered in style so I can wear it again?

A. It’s true that studs seem to come in and out of favor, but rest assured, studs are back! The proof is in the abundance of studded items available in stores and online right now. Here are some of our favorites:


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