Five Things to Buy for Spring 

What to Invest In, and What to Buy on the Cheap

Harem Pants
Style.com called it “Marrakech Express”: The spring 2009 runways were packed with these cropped, slouchy, silky pants. Now, considering the fact that these dreamy pieces appeared across several runways, it’s safe to say that if you wore a great pair to a friend’s birthday party, you’d probably be considered cool over ridiculous. However, if you spend over $150 on these, I’ll personally slap you. There are enough surprisingly flattering options out there (I found a great pair at Express, of all places, and H&M has predictably chic options, too) that there’s no reason to go the designer route.

Silky Jumpsuits
Ok, I know I’ve been on the jumpsuits wagon for a while, and yet... I don’t even own one. And the truth is, these are a bitch to shop for if you have any kind of figure. Thankfully, the style right now is feminine over girly —  the ones that really caught editors’ eyes had movement that was more summer-cocktails-in-Cannes than Saturday-afternoon-in-West-Hollywood. And finally, some flattering shapes: higher, cinched waists, accompanied by blousy tops and wide-leg pants. Here, unfortunately, the higher-priced labels are making more figure-flattering cuts, so it’ll take a little work to find these on the cheap  —  but find them, we shall.

Rocker Details
Now, as much as I hate the term “rocker,” there really doesn’t seem to be a better word to encapsulate this season’s slew of studs and zippers and overall gleaming accents on everything from studded gold bangles, belts and gladiator sandals to zippered skirts and lightweight leather jackets. Fortunately, anyone can buy studs on the cheap, and so everyone from Steve Madden to Urban Outfitters has been producing pieces that dovetail with this idea nicely.

Brights & Colorful Prints
Of course, spring’s always about color, but right now the colors are ultra-saturated. Now, while you can probably find vibrant prints in any shop from Forever21 to Saks Fifth Avenue, I’d spend more rather than less here because, while you can probably find something quick-and-dirty to fit the theme, you’ll find far more interesting palettes and patterns if you take just one step up in your price range. We’re not talking about some $800 hot pink blazer (though we certainly wouldn’t turn it down if it miraculously showed up in the mail). Invest in one eye-popping piece that really works for you — be it a splashy watercolor dress or a neon pink silk tank — and you’ll be surprised how often you wear it.

Oversize Bangles
While chunky bangles have been on-trend for a few seasons now, it was probably the up-the-forearm-style stacking of Louis Vuitton’s substantial bracelets that really brought this to the foreground. (Ok, ok: specifically, it was the styling of that Madonna-in-a-smoky-Parisian-café campaign for Louis Vuitton.) Now, if you can afford the hefty price tag for L.V. bangles, by all means, do it (or the lucite options at Alexis Bittar, for that matter), but realistically, the kes here are size, heft, and color: you can find affordable options all over the city, just be creative with your pairings.

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