Diva on a Dime: Get Big Style on A Small Budget

This spring go for a whole lot of style by spending less. Celebs shell out the big bucks on designer duds, but you can get the same look for less without breaking the bank with our splurge verse steal top finds. By Qianna Smith
ESSENCE.COM Mar, 06, 2009

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“2008 was the comeback year for statement jewelry, and this trend has carried over into 2009. Many designers showcased collections filled with bold prints and colors, paired with over-the-top accessories. There are no rules this time around,” says America’s favorite “Style Guy” Lloyd Boston on the top accessory trends this season.

First Lady Michelle Obama shined at the Governor’s Ball wearing a Tom Binns pearl statement necklace. Get Mrs. Obama’s first-class style on a coach budget with this multistrand Freshwater Pearls Necklace, $59,99, Target.com.

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The dow is down and jobs are scarce, but who says you still can’t look like a million bucks? This spring go for a whole lot of style by spending a whole lot less. Celebs shell out the big bucks on designer duds, but you can get the same look for less without breaking the bank with our hot splurge-versus-steal finds.

By Qianna Smith

Style icon Kerry Washington scores major fashion points with this wide-legged geometric-print jumpsuit from Missoni’s spring 2009 collection. Eye catching prints are a must-have for spring like this Gwendolyn Print Maxi Dress, $49.50, Delias.com.

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Model/actress Joy Bryant looks like this bangin’ bandage dress by Hervé Léger was made for her body. You can show off your curves in a dress that’s made with stretch material like this V-neck number, $24.50, Wetseal.com. “A classic example of a ‘less is more’ look is a perfect-fitting little black dress,” dishes Lloyd Boston, whose new show, “Closet Case,” airs this April on the Fine Living Network.

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Jump-start the new season with a sexy onesie. We love this hot strapless number on actress Sanaa Lathan. Try accentuating your own curves with a jazzy belt. We can’t get enough of this Serafin Trouser Jumpsuit, $27.80, Forever21.com.

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You can never go wrong with that little black dress. Gabrielle Union struts her stuff in a ruched, beaded combo. To get the same bang for your buck, check out this belted surplus dress, $58, Ardenb.com. Tip: Don’t be afraid of a plunging neckline. However, if your skirt’s too short, you won’t look so sweet.

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The dawn of spring brings bright new colors. “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” star Taraji P. Henson has us looking on the bright side in this chartreuse gown by Zac Posen. For an everyday look, try this Tara Jarmon Chartreuse Dress, $106.50, My-wardrobe.com. Tip: A neutral belt is perfect for taming a wild fabric.

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Hold on to your britches, ladies. This spring, we’re rippin’ it real good. Give your legs some new attitude this season when you toughen up your skinnies like curvaceous beauty Beyoncé. Get her casual look with these Chelsea Frayed Straight Jeans, $18.24, Forever21.com.

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Soft florals make a huge statement for spring. Actress Garcelle Beauvais proves this dress by Tracy Reese isn’t just for tea time. To maintain Beauvais’s classic look, go for subdued accessories that lead eyes straight to the dress. Get the same chic style with this Floral Print Sateen Belted Dress, $69, Spiegel.com.

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Lavish in luxury this spring by choosing clothing with embellished accents in stones, beads, sequins or crystals. Entrepreneur Keisha Whitaker, wife to actor Forest Whitaker, looks like a goddess in this draped Catherine Malandrino dress with shoulder strap detail. Mimic her moves with this sexy draped halter dress with wooden beaded neckline, $22.80, Forever21.com.

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Stand out in floral prints this spring. Enhance your look (and figure) by adding a belt to create the prefect hourglass shape. Belts are a cost-effective accessory that can easily update your look. Actress Aisha Tyler shows off her waistline wearing Max Azria during New York Fashion Week. Get her look for less with this chic Ali Ro day dress, $118.80, Bluefly.com.

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