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How to dress for less this spring

If you know where to look, you can find this season’s trends for less.

By Money Staff Mar 18, 2014 3:42PM

This post comes from Gail Blair at partner site U.S. News & World Report.

U.S. News & World Report on MSN MoneyWith spring just around the corner, it’s time to shed coats and bulky sweaters in favor of warm weather styles. However, there’s no need to take a hit to your bank account to update your wardrobe with new spring fashion pieces. Stay frugally fashionable with these five budget-friendly tips:

Young woman clothes shopping © Image Source/Getty ImagesStay focused

Get ready to see a myriad of new trends in colors, patterns and styles with the upcoming spring fashion season. It can all be overwhelming and you might feel the pressure to buy something to satisfy each trend. You don’t. Hone in on one that you love (or two if the budget allows) to compile your shopping list. This will help keep your spending focused and you won’t rack up extra expenses with impulsive purchases.

Can’t decide which trends you like best?  I use Pinterest to seek out inspiration and to organize my favorite fashion images in one place. When I’m done pinning, I can go back and easily see what I’m gravitating to the most.

Think small

So you’ve become mesmerized with the “it” color of the season. Take things slow and incorporate it into your wardrobe by opting for more affordable small accessories. They can help spruce up basic items already in your closet like jeans and T-shirts and keep you on-trend. A scarf, earrings or even nail polish will let you try things out with requiring a huge financial investment. And if you decide it doesn’t work for you, it’ll be easy to move on without the guilt of having spent too much money.

Be social

Follow the social media accounts of your favorite brands. Many are now using Facebook, Twitter and even Instagram to offer early access to sales or exclusive discounts to their fans. Be sure to sign up for their email as well to be alerted of upcoming sales and events. You may even be incentivized to sign up with a discount offer or free shipping on your next purchase.

 Shop local

Don’t forget to check out your local thrift stores, consignment shops and boutiques. Not only do you get to support a local business (or even a charity) in your community, but they can also be a great option for fashion savings. It never hurts to strike up a conversation with the owner or sales associate. Tell them what you’re looking for and don’t be shy to tell them your budget or ask for a discount. Like any other retailer, they’re looking to clear inventory and gain your loyalty. I’ve been told of upcoming sales, offered unadvertised discounts and even had items held aside to give me first dibs.

Look for online discounts

Online shopping has grown tremendously popular over the past few years, resulting in great opportunities to find fashion deals. Visiting flash sales sites can help you score major savings. These sites offer merchandise at deeply discounted prices. But as the name implies, sales last for a short period of time and items offered are limited in quantity, so you’ll need to act fast. This is where having a focused shopping list comes in handy! Coupon codes, entered in the promotional box upon checkout, can also provide extra savings for online purchases.

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