Spring 2016 Trends Breakdown: Where and how to save & where to invest


Ah, trends.

I want to be able to write that I’m immune to the allure of trends.

I want to be able to say that as a wardrobe stylist, I know what works for my body and my lifestyle, that I’m confident in my aesthetic preferences, and that trends come and go but they don’t affect my purchasing whatsoever.

But this, my friend, would be a lie.

The truth is I still find myself spotting a trend and totally falling head-over-heels in love with it.

So, I’m still a romantic. But here’s what I have learnt: how to tell which trend love will be a passing spring fling, and which are worth investing in for a long-term relationship.

And here’s my guide, from me to you, breaking down 7 trends for spring: which ones to save on, and which ones to invest in.

Spring 2016 Trends Breakdown on a Budget

{Where to save + where to invest}

Neckerchief + image:     Aritzia

Neckerchief + image: Aritzia

Spring trend: the Neckerchief Save!

Have you noticed this trend being sported? (By, like, everyone from Sincerely Jules, to Danielle Bernstein of We Wore What, to Kate Moss.

It’s a bandana, or small square-ish silk scarf tied around your neck. A trend we haven’t seen this big for decades, but that the french never really stopped wearing.

First off, I’ll say that a trend that comes from the French rarely goes out of style. So normally I would say this is a safe bet that if it totally lights you up, you should feel free to invest in it.

But, you guys, there are so so many beautiful vintage bandanas and silk squares at EVERY secondhand shop... For like $3 a pop.

Don’t have a secondhand shop near you? Do you have a mom, or even a grandmother’s closet to borrow from? {wink}

So I’m calling this trend a STEAL.

Where to shop this trend: your local secondhand store! {And check out my guide to secondhand shopping here.}

Mules pictured:     Nine West 'Trey'

Mules pictured: Nine West 'Trey'

Spring trend: Flat mules Invest

They may look a little funny at first, but this backless flat is the best thing ever.

If you’re prone to ankle blisters, this trend is your saving grace. I bought my first pair last spring. Back then, the only pair I found were leopard print, which is not a go-to print for me. Yet I wore them ALL THE TIME.

Your ankles will fall in love with the freedom. If they're closed-toe, they’ll transition from spring to summer to fall.

My experience: if you live in a walking city, cheap flats don’t hold up past a season. And you’ll be sad to see these go.

For that reason, I’m saying invest in a real leather or suede pair. (Which isn’t necessarily a huge investment; I got this pair from Nine West for C$110.)

Where to shop this trend: Department stores and quality leather shoe stores.

TIP: If you’re wondering if the pair you’re trying on jas staying power, try to picture it as a flat and ask “Is this a timeless flat?” A simple almond toe mule will be just as timeless as a simple almond toe flat.

Flats + image:     ASOS

Flats + image: ASOS

Spring trend: Lace-up flats Save!

If there is one spring trend that has taken my Instagram feed by storm, it’s the lace-up flat.

Unlike the flat mule, these flats don't have the same staying power (or extreme blister-free comfort) on their side.

And depending on your body type, the lace-up flat may not be a flattering choice to begin with. (It’s not for me, #cankles.)

One of the trendiest form to wear this trend is a suede almond-toe flat. And the budget-stores are totally rocking the faux-suede version of this out of the park.

So I say, if you want to hop on this trend, think of it as a trendy purchase and spend only what you are comfortable spending for something you may not wear next year.

Where to shop this trend: Forever21 and similar budget shoe stores (we have Call It Spring here in Canada). The online store Missguided is currently stocked full of them at great prices.

Blouse + image:     Ann Taylor

Blouse + image: Ann Taylor

Spring trend: Crisp white shirt Invest

This may go without saying, but a crisp white shirt will always be in style.

Although they’re always kickin' around, they’ve been especially present for Spring 2016.

The white shirt is getting all sorts of modern takes, from adding ruffles, to a poplin or tunic style, and it’s even being totally deconstructed.

Even if you opt for a less classic take on the white shirt, it will still be wearable way beyond this spring. So for that reason I’m saying invest—whatever amount feels like the right investment to you.

Where to shop this trend: Any of the stores you already love and trust for their quality. I'm a fan of J. Crew and Ann Taylor myself.

Dress + image:     ASOS

Dress + image: ASOS

Spring trend: pleats Save!

Remember the pleated midi skirt from last year? Well, pleats are still going strong and in more than just midi skirts—they’re dresses, tops, and wide-leg pants too.

Pleats are so effortlessly romantic. And I don’t think they are going out of style anytime soon.

Yet, I’m still saying save and this is why:

Pleated pieces do not take luxurious fabrics and expert craftsmanship. (The pleats are actually quite forgiving if you're lacking on either.) Budget-friendly brands can create pieces that have all the pleated romance you need.

So ya, I'm saying SAVE.

Where to shop this trend: Whatever store you and your budget love! I’ve seen great pleated pieces from Forever21, to H&M and Zara, to online stores like ASOS.

Denim + image:     Zara

Denim + image: Zara

Spring trend: Frayed-edge Denim Save!

Mmm another favourite of mine.

How do you make denim even more laidback cool? Cut off the bottoms.

And that’s exactly how I’m telling you to save on this trend.

Go to a thrift shop, find a pair of jeans that fits you well, and cut off the bottoms.

It’s that simple.

If you’re type A like me, you’ll probably google a tutorial to follow, like this one from Refinery29. But know there is no magic secret that the $300 pairs are doing—it’s just cutting off the ankles.

The best part? The frayed edge is trendy in all kinds of styles: cropped flare, relaxed and boyfriend, skinny. So you can pick whatever style you love and feel great in.

Where to shop this trend: Your local thrift store.
But, if that doesn’t work for you, Zara carries lots of very affordable pre-frayed-hem styles.

Suede co-ord + image:     ASOS

Suede co-ord + image: ASOS

Spring trend: Suede Invest

Suede. It’s got staying power—I mean, it’s suede after all. And it’s especially timeless in it’s signature rich orangy brown shade.

In accessories (shoes especially), there is more leeway to buy faux-suede. But if you’re looking to go all out suede in a top, bottom, or dress—I recommend investing in the real thing. And not just because of that terrible smell that comes with cheap faux suede…

And hey, if you’re a vegan/don’t like wearing leather, this just isn’t going to be the trend that lights you up, even in it’s faux version. That’s great—we don’t want to follow every trend!

Or if a real suede skirt isn’t in your budget this spring, I say the same to you: that’s awesome. We don’t want to follow every trend, and it makes it easier the more we can eliminate without even wasting energy deliberating. (But, you may be surprised at the price points you can find it at—check out the where to shop section at the end!)

But here’s why I say invest in the real thing:

Faux suede is no easier to clean than the real thing (you still have to pay to dry clean it—which can quickly add up to more than you bought the piece for.) And smell aside, it often never looks quite as you want it too, and it begins to fall apart quicker.

I’ll be honest, real suede is a pain-in-the-butt to clean too. Sometimes the label says “do not wash, do not iron, do not dry clean” or in other words, there is no hope for it once it gets a single spill, wrinkle, or smell.

BUT, genuine suede is actually more resilient than the label sometimes has you think. There are all kind of hacks on the internet for spot-treating to save you the dry cleaner’s bill (this article covers them well.) Of course, you always want to test any of these methods in a discrete area of the specific garment first. But the point is: you do have options!

My suede tip: keep the fact that it’s a pain in the butt to clean in mind, and invest in pieces that are not prone to needing washing. So a skirt is a great option. A jacket is another good one. A t-shirt that you’re going to wear in the hot sweaty summer—not so good an option.

Where to shop this trend: Hey I still don’t want you to break the bank.

I’ve found 100% suede pieces at affordable prices from stores like Zara and H&M in the past. ASOS has affordable genuine suede.

Vintage stores usually have a collection of suede (check out brick and mortar as well as Etsy!)

And if you have a tight budget but love this trend: search some thrift stores! (I’ve had such good luck in the past with genuine suede pieces at thrift stores!)


Woo we made it!

Here's a handy dandy recap you can pin or download for later:


One more thing on trends (because you know me, I always have one more thing...)

I’ve learnt how to tell whether I truly like a trend, or whether it’s some sort of FOMO grass-is-always-greener situation where I just want it because everyone who's Instagram I admire has it.

And I encourage you to always be questioning trends too.

Would I feel silly wearing this if no one else was anymore? Can I think of how I would style this straight off the bat? (Good sign!) Or do I need to do some research for inspiration? (Not so good sign.)

And remember, you don’t need to buy a single trend piece to be stylish—not the ones I’ve listed, not the ones that come under a title of “6 Pieces you NEED for Spring”—not a single one.

You just need to know your own story + how you an share it.

And if you're having any trouble getting clarity over your story, and your closet—I created just the thing for you. And right now, it's FREE.

I want to hear from you! Will you be shopping any of these trends this spring? Or how about any of the ones I didn’t cover? How do you pick which trends to save on and which ones to spend on?

And hey, if you enjoyed this post I would love if you shared it!

Click here to tweet about it, or scroll back up and hover over the first image til the Pin It circle appears in the top left corner!

To knowing we don't need to follow a single trend to be our most stylish self,


You’ll be able to see which trends I’ll be wearing over on Instagram. Come party with me there (if you aren’t already) and let me know you came from this post!