Bloom, Baby


Hey, ladies!

Before we get into today’s post, allow me to properly introduce myself. I’m Anna, the voice behind the blog and brand, Lifestyle by Anna Elizabeth. Lifestyle by Anna Elizabeth is an online platform that I launched a little over 5 years ago where thousands of women across the world now come to connect, create confidence through fashion, cultivate healthy relationships, and find beauty in recipes and styling.

Now, let’s get to the good stuff. Spring is officially here and I know you want to look fabulous without blowing your entire paycheck on one “must-have” outfit–an outfit that, most likely, you’re going to forget about in a month, and be sitting at the base of your closet repeating “I just have nothing to wear” until you’re late and in tears. (Trust me, I’ve totally been there.) So, to help fix that, today I am sharing my 5 tips for creating a chic wardrobe this season without breaking the bank.

Consider splurge items versus trendy pieces.
Year-round items like a classic pair of sunglasses, nude pumps, LBD (little black dress), and a neutral blouse are staples in my wardrobe. Thus, I can justify spending a little more money on these, knowing that they will be around for years to come. I have classics in my wardrobe from as far back as 10 years. Collecting a special piece here and there over time (and taking good care of them) is, in my opinion, the best way to create an incredible and timeless wardrobe.

On the other hand, trendy pieces like chokers, statement earrings, printed rompers, and animal print come and go depending on what is “in style” at the moment. These items I buy significantly less of, and when I do purchase a handful each season, I don’t spend much at all. A good example is the pink pair of tassel earrings I wore on the blog a few weeks ago that I snagged for less than $10 in the clearance section at DSW. They’re super cute and looked great with my spring weekend style, but I wouldn’t have spent any more than I did on them. This is because I know they’ll be forgotten in a couple months’ time when the trend has shifted once again.

Keep you in mind.
You know what suits you best and what you will get the most use out of. Start by evaluating your wardrobe, finding out what “classic” pieces you already have, and thinking about what you feel most confident wearing. Don’t go shopping to create a chic spring wardrobe with someone else in mind. Spring style represents different things to different people. For me, you know I gotta have my blush pink trench coat with nude pointed toe pumps, and my classic white denim jeans. For someone else, it could totally be vibrant colors, fringe details, and boho vibes.

Something that really helped me identify my personal style when I relaunched my blog was creating a secret mood board on Pinterest. I didn’t just add fashion photos, but I had paint colors, font styles, food, fabrics, patterns, architecture, beauty, travel destinations, and so much more. It was a collection for my eyes only, of how I imagined my happiest, ideal life. After I went a little crazy pinning to this secret board for a few weeks, I went back and refined the photos to see what made sense together, and what I felt most drawn to, and deleted the rest. Once I was finished, I had this beautifully curated board of inspiration for essentially what my blog and personal style has become today. It had shades of blush pink, soft and feminine touches of beauty, confidence, affection, and love. I can still remember the first time that I went shopping after I created that mood board. I remember thinking of how much easier it was to choose only the colors and fabrics that matched the feeling of that board, and to toss everything else aside. I knew that when I got home, I would actually be excited about wearing ALL of the pieces I had spent my hard-earned money on. (P.S. Find me on Pinterest here.)

Mix high and low fashion in each look.
I am constantly mixing high and low fashion in my looks for my blog, and in my everyday life. I love pairing a $100 blouse with a simple $20 clutch. In fact, I did it just last month and it ended up being one of my most loved looks on Instagram yet. Anytime you pair a splurge item with something trendy, it elevates your entire look. (No one would even think twice about those earrings from the clearance section at DSW.) Not only does this help you create a chic look without breaking the bank, but it shows off your unique style and personality when you pair pieces from two separate ends of the spectrum. Make it into a game when you’re getting dressed, balancing out your high and low fashion pieces. Have some fun with it–that’s what it’s all about!

Try consignment shopping, sample sales, and vintage.
This is specialty shopping at its finest. Now don’t get me wrong, I love a classic Nordstrom haul, but bargain and thrift shopping is my JAM. There’s nothing quite like finding a treasure for 80% off retail, or knowing that you’ve discovered a statement piece that no one else can get their hands on in stores. Consignment, vintage shopping, and sample sales definitely take a fair amount of planning and patience, but once you nail down the process, it is completely worth it. Earlier this Spring, I snagged a For Love & Lemons dress for a serious steal at Bear Fox Babe in downtown Ellicott City during their moving event. I was SO excited about this purchase, because this is a brand that I’ve loved for a long time but would never splurge on because I consider their collection very “trendy” (see point #1).

Being in the city is a huge advantage for specialty shopping, too. I’ve found wonderful things at B’more Betty, Hunting Ground and La Chic Boutique, and I know there are still so many for me to discover! If you do a little research and plan out a day to go thrifting with your girlfriends, it can totally transform your spring wardrobe and help your budget.

Use social media to your advantage.
Fashion bloggers like myself truly enjoy putting new looks together for each season and hunting down the absolute best deals and dupes for our audiences. Use us and social media to your advantage when shopping for a new season! Think of us as your personal stylist. We are tracking the latest trends right from the runway and twisting them in our own way to fit a place as special as Baltimore.

If you’re on Instagram, you can search hashtags like #LTKSaleAlert, #SpringStyleInspo, #OOTD, and so much more to find, at the tap of a button, the best trends and deals out there for each season. You might even find that something you have been searching for (like a blush drape coat) is on sale for less than $50 AND the blogger in the photo is showing you how you can style it 4 different ways. The fashion industry has evolved significantly over the past 10 years, and now everything you could ever need is right at your fingertips, making it easier than ever this spring to create a chic wardrobe without breaking the bank.

If you want to continue the conversation or see more style inspiration, hop over to my blog, Lifestyle by Anna Elizabeth, or connect with me on Instagram at @lifestylebyannaelizabeth.

xo, Anna


About me:
I am mostly known for my feminine taste in fashion, signature blonde hair on Instagram, and gushing about my soon-to-be husband. I have recently  been featured on Lauren Conrad’s blog, Refinery29, and Charm City Wed. When I’m not busy working on my blog, you can catch me roaming around in the city of Baltimore with Sam and our Chinese shar pei, Oliver, grabbing take-out from my favorite Indian restaurant, and bawling my eyes out during re-runs of ‘This is Us’.


Photography by Jade Nikkole Photography

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