Kat’s Money Corner

Spring into summer without scorching your clothing budget

Updated: 2013-04-09T13:58:07Z

By KAT

Wasn’t there snow on the ground just two weeks ago? Knowing how fast the weather changes around here, it wouldn’t surprise me if more than a few air conditioners are kicked on within a week or two. Talk about clothing conundrums.

If you’re, money savvy, you’ve budgeted a certain amount of money each month for clothes. Growing kids need new raincoats, lighter-weight jackets, soccer cleats … it never ends. But what about you? How do you transition to summer with whatever’s left of your budget?

Rather than splurge on spring fashions you may only wear for a few weeks, I’ve found some great ways to add a little spring to your winter wardrobe, without wearing out your wallet. http://budgetstyle.about.com/od/styleessentials/ht/How-To-Update-Your-Wardrobe-On-A-Tight-Budget.htm

If you take nothing else away from this week’s Kat’s Money Corner ladies, remember this strategy: Buy bright-colored short-sleeve or even sleeveless shirts. For me, a few casual and business casual cotton tops can go a long way. http://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/division.do?cid=49709

You can buy these anywhere, often for under $10 apiece, and mix them with suits, jackets or sweaters during spring. Come summertime, they’re great on their own.

Scarves are another secret weapon. On a cold morning, break out a lighter, warm-weather blouse in a solid color, add a floral-pattern scarf over it and you’re good to go.

Another multi-season must-have is a short-sleeve or sleeveless black dress. Add a colorful cardigan or slip on some bright tights underneath until summer arrives. Here’s another instance where a floral or bright-colored scarf can add the perfect touch of spring.

That long, thin sweater you’ve been wearing all winter doesn’t have to go away just yet. Breathe new life into it by trading your dark-colored slacks for a pair of floral leggings or tights.

Do just the opposite for a “maxi” or similar long skirt. Go with a light cotton top and accessorize with bold jewelry to add some spring color.

Speaking of color, have you noticed that navy blue is now a three-season color (winter, spring, summer)? And it used to be you couldn’t wear white until after Easter. Not anymore. Any navy blouse, tee or jacket with white pants or tights creates an instant spring look. http://www.harpersbazaar.com/fashion/fashion-articles/how-to-wear-bright-color#slide-1

Really, the whole key is going lighter and brighter. Even if you can’t afford a few cotton tops and tights, just switching up your beauty products – i.e. lighter-colored lipstick and nail polish – can completely change your look for spring.

Let’s face it. Kids come first, especially when it comes to clothing. But even if there’s not much left – or not much in your budget to begin with – you can still shed the winter wardrobe blues. Think spring. Think cotton, bright colors and accessories. And best of all, think how much money you’ll save.

Kat's Money Corner is posted on Dollars & Sense every Tuesday. Kat Hnatyshyn, when not blogging or caring for her little one, is a manager with CommunityAmerica Credit Union. For more financial chatter, click http://twitter.com/savinmavens.

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