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Spring fashion on a budget

By Shannyn Allan · Bankrate.com
Thursday, March 21, 2013
Posted: 5 pm ET

Getting ready for spring is an exciting time for anyone in parts of the country in need of defrosting from the deep chill of winter. If you want to freshen up your spring wardrobe, you don't have to break the bank. Use these styling tricks to keep yourself under budget.

Make use of transitional on-trend pieces

Temperatures fluctuate in the early weeks of spring, so simply swap out some of your winter scarves, gloves and leggings in lighter weights and brighter colors to get longer use out of your winter wardrobe.

Accessories that pop in on-trend colors and patterns can lighten up your look. Invest in a few trendy pieces that will help you get longer wear out of the chunky knits, deep colors and heavy layers of fall and winter.

Clear out your closet

As the winter season ends, don't just shove all of your cold-weather gear into storage bins and to the back of the closet. Instead, comb through your items with a keen eye. Get rid of worn-out pieces, styles you didn't wear all season and items that now bore you.

Many times, we lose or forget about some of our favorite off-season pieces because they get lost amid bulky winter items. Purge what you can and bring all spring items to the front for easy inventory.

Swap, don't shop

As you clear out winter gear with a fine-toothed comb, critically assess your spring and summer gear. Take any items that could be useful to a friend and see what can be swapped or donated.

As any frugal person knows, you can also take in items for consignment or thrift credit, and cycle in some new items for a fraction of the cost.

Use Etsy and eBay for designer or handmade pieces

If you want a designer handbag in a bright new color, eBay is a great place to find slightly used or new bags, shoes and designer accessories for a fraction of the price. Make sure you are getting the real deal with a reputable seller.

Etsy is a great spot for handmade items by artisan sellers. You can find some great bargains -- especially jewelry -- before the trendy styles go mainstream.

Shannyn Allan blogs at FrugalBeautiful.com to help others save money on fashion, fitness and living a fabulous life for any budget! Find her on Twitter and on Facebook.

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