Guilt-Free Spring Fashion Buys

Having great style does not always have to come with a hefty price tag. From Beyoncé to Mariah Carey stylish stars are bargain shopping. Find out how to dress for less.
ESSENCE.COM Mar, 20, 2009

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Having great style does not always have to come with a hefty price tag. From Beyoncé to Mariah Carey, stylish stars are bargain shopping. Find out how to dress for less with our guilt-free fashion guide.

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Beyoncé wowed the crowd at last year’s World Music Awards, bringing a high energy and a distinctive style to the stage. It’s evident that the global star knows how to strut her stuff, and what better way than in a pair of cheap and chic heels. Bring out your Sasha Fierce-like alter ego with these affordable bronze-colored shoes, $49.99, found at Match these fanciful shoes with a pair of your favorite leggings and flowing blouse for a hot night out on the town.

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Fierce fashionistas like Joy Bryant have caught the budget fever too! High-end designers such as Thakoon have been lending there creative talents to mass retail fave Target for the past few seasons and we couldn’t be more excited about it. You can get in on the excitement as well with a trench-inspired belted print dress of your own. The unassuming pockets offer a playful appeal. Add a pop of color with a bright bag and trade the tights and boots for a sexy pair of spring-ready sling backs.

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She’s a fighter and a fashionista! Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson certainly knows how to show off her curves by cinching her waist to highlight her envious hourglass figure. This metallic-detailed American Apparel number won’t break the bank at just $36 and is versatile enough to dress up or down. Get your own at in one of spring’s essential colors like purple. This frock can also be layered over leggings now to block the chilly breezes of March and worn later with bare legs and sandals in July.

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If J.Crew is good enough for our First Lady, then it is certainly good enough for us. Mrs. Obama has sported garments from this mall favorite since her days on our President’s campaign trial. The Chicago native looks sophisticated yet comfortable in her Vogue magazine spread wearing this cheery peach J.Crew cardigan paired with a pencil skirt. We found a similar cardigan, also from J.Crew, for less than $60. This closet staple can be layered now over a long-sleeve tees or under trench coats and then popped over flirty sundresses later during summer night strolls.

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Who says jeans have to break the bank? Certainly not Oscar winner Halley Berry. The new mom and veteran actress chose to wear her gray Black Orchid skinny jeans with a feminine white blouse and basic black ballet flats. Her oversized shades and hobo bag keep the look Hollywood-ready. Consider adding a pop of color to your Black Orchid (on sale now for $49, available at specialty stores nationwide) jeans with a brightly-hued top or shoes to inject a blast of sunshine to your rainy spring days.

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No one “balls ‘till she falls” quite like Ms. Kimora. But this former model is also a savvy businesswoman who knows how to expand her Baby Phat brand without sacrificing style. Fabulosity, a complete sportswear line designed by Kimora Lee Simmons, debuted exclusively at JCPenney last year. Stock up on young fashionable essentials from Fabulosity this spring, like funky shrunken vests and cool indigo denim to pair with your classy basics for a look that is anything but juvenile. Most items are under $50! Visit for more information.

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By no means does Mariah Carey shy away from the opportunity to wear a short dress and neither should you. Don’t be fooled by her superstar status, because the powerhouse singer worked the red carpet with a $36 dress from American Apparel. Pair your black dress with a vibrant jacket or intensify your mini with a bright-color heel to convey that spring is in the air.

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Nothing wakes up the fashion senses like a warm dose of color. Be inspired by Grammy winner Rihanna in this kelly green hooded minidress, a stylish steal from Armani Exchange for $59 ( Spice yours up by layering over a colorful tank with bare legs and a peep-toe pump.

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Another way to dress for less is to shop at budget-friendly stores like consignment shops or second-hand stores that offer used goods at a lower cost than new. Grammy-winning singer Estelle heads to SoHo, New York, when she is looking for a “like-new” deal.


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