Summertime is coming up, which means it’s time to stock up on the hottest trends and accessories for the months ahead of you. However, it isn’t as easy as throwing on a sweater or coat on a cold day. It takes more planning, which can also take more money from your pocket. Here are some must-have budget-friendly attire ideas for summer.

White Dress: You can never go wrong with a simple white dress. White, for one, will reflect sunlight away from you, keeping you a lot cooler than those darker colors. A simple white dress also looks amazing with the nice tan you plan on getting this summer. You can wear a white dress with flats during the day and comfortable wedges during the evenings. Also, a white dress gives you more of an opportunity to accessorize, whether it’s with your choice of jewelry, a bright purse or a pair of shoes. You can find some of these dresses at stores such as Abercrombie & Fitch and Forever 21 – both offer white summer dresses at an affordable price.

Floral Print: One of the best ways to add some color into your wardrobe is by buying floral prints. You can buy a variety of floral print clothing: shorts, jackets, tops and even dresses. For example, a floral print jacket would look great with the white dress mentioned above or even with a camisole and black shorts. These types of less expensive floral options can be found at stores like Forever 21 and H&M.

Maxi Dresses: The go-to dress this summer is the long maxi dress. It’s something you’re going to wear on your lazy summer days when you don’t want to put much thought into your outfit. You can wear this maxi dress with flip-flops or strap-on sandals, and pair it with a round straw beach hat to complete your casual summer look. If you’re not the type of girl who wears color, you can stick to your darker-toned maxi dresses. In fact, black is the most common color of maxi dresses, and it leaves room to add a bit of color with accessories. Affordable maxi dresses can be found in stores such as ANGL or Foreign Exchange.

Colorful Shorts and Tops: Now this is a given! You can find colorful tops anywhere from Forever 21 to the Nordstrom Juniors section. For tops, I recommend you stay away from basic T-shirts, and spice it up a bit by adding a few crop tops and some high-low or asymmetrical tops to your wardrobe. For shorts, jeans are always a favorite pick, but this summer try to invest in lace shorts. Last summer, white lace shorts were in style, and this year I predict seeing a lot of this and colored shorts. The best places to find these tops and shorts are local boutiques and online stores. In the Los Angeles area, Kaitlyn Clothing carries these items at affordable prices.

White Denim and Linen Pants: This summer, you won’t just be getting rid of your heavy jeans – you’ll be replacing them. The best pair of pants to wear during the summer is white denim. White denim adds light to the leg area, which most of the time is neglected under dark work pants and blue denim. White denim also gives you the opportunity to wear colored asymmetrical tops (as mentioned before) while still being comfortable. These white pants and other colors can be found in stores such as PacSun.

Linen pants are also perfect for the summertime; they’re light and loose.  Many people hesitate to buy these pants because of their loose feel and tendency to make you legs look wider. However, if paired with a tight-fitted top, they actually make you look classy and laidback. You should try on various ones until you find a cut that fits your body shape. Stores such as Old Navy and Macy’s will have a greater selection with cheaper prices, and Gap and Guess by Marciano will have greater quality linen pants but at a higher price.

Flower Headbands: The romantic, summery and feminine flower headband Lana Del Rey sported in her “Born to Die” music video has made such a lasting impression, which makes it alluring to copy her style. Coincidentally, the romantic boho/hippie trend is still going strong this summer. So, there really is no reason not to jump on the bandwagon. These colorful and creative crowns can be worn to parties, graduation ceremonies and summer concerts. Crowns with simpler designs (like the one in the pictures) work well with all everyday outfits and create a girly vibe. Various styles can be found at Urban Outfitters. Or, you make one yourself! You’ll need: fake flowers, an elastic headband, scissors and a hot glue gun.

1. Heat the glue gun.
2. Cut the flowers off the stem. Make sure to cut off any extra stems that pop up.
3. Glue the flower on the headband with the glue gun.

*Note: If you find it difficult to glue the flowers on the headband directly, glue pieces of fabrics on the back of the flowers before gluing them on the headband.

Jewelry: Summer is not the season to hold back, so your jewelry should make a statement. Opt for big, bold, colorful, “bling-bling” pieces.

Pair a casual outfit with a bright and colorful beaded bracelet along with a hard material gold bracelet.

For a darker or more sophisticated look, wear a giant over-sized ring. It will give your outfit a funky, yet classy, vibe. Complete the outfit with some crystal or jewelry beads bracelets made out of softer material. These more feminine stunners will add a dash of elegance to your look.

Last but not least, sport a custom word necklace. It is a subtle and sexy way to express your personality, individuality, and it allows you to convey your beliefs. Gladiator Sandals: These Rome-inspired, ankle-length sandals have held on for yet another season, and that’s great news for us. Why? Because they’re perfect for everyone, and they go well with almost any outfit! Plus, since the lace of these sandals stop at the ankle, they won’t shorten petite girls like the higher-top, classic gladiators do. Pick a pair with a funky pattern, such as leopard, to create a more edgy vibe. 

White Shoes with Studded Detail: The combination of studded detail and white is the epitome of feminine and cool. While the light color makes the shoes really romantic and soft, the studs edge them up. Worried about the white making your legs look stubby? Don’t fret - this peep-toe style lengthens your legs, creating the illusion that you’re taller.

Platform Flip-Flops: This trend has been around for a long time. We all know platform flip-flops are great because they can add a few inches to our height without sacrificing comfort. To refurbish this trend, avoid buying the common tacky “foamy”-looking ones, and opt for those made with better quality and sturdier material. Also, wearing them with a toe ring or an ankle bracelet will automatically up the chic factor!

Bathing Suit: In Los Angeles, the poolside and the beach are intended for more than just soaking up Vitamin D, getting a tan or enjoying juicy summer reads. They’re also platforms for fashionistas to express themselves by showcasing their stylish and creative swimsuits, as well as showing off their hard-earned beach bods. Let’s face it: we all want to be that girl rocking the most striking bathing suit that turns the most heads. Take notes on the following, and that may actually be you!

1. Retro Patterns: Forget about floral prints for now, this year’s bathing suit is dominated by polka dots and graphic stripes. These classic retro patterns are fun, playful and eye-catching. Whether you’re donning a one-piece, bikini or tankini, they will guarantee you that moment of shine while walking down the sandy runway.
2. Vintage Chic: This big trend is all about the high-waisted swimsuit bottoms. ‘50s-inspired pinup looks have been spotted on a lot of celebrities, including Ke$ha, Taylor Swift, AnnaLynne McCord and more. Also, these bottoms are very versatile and look great with all bathing suit tops, whether it’s string, halter or strapless.

Don’t let money be the reason you don’t look great and feel comfortable this summer. There are many places that sell magazine-style clothing for much cheaper; you have to know where to look and what you’re looking for. Take these ideas and tips into consideration and avoid burning a hole in your pocket!