You're no slave to fashion but you still want to look up-to-date. And you certainly don't need to be rich to be fashionable.
The simple trick to looking modern on a budget? One word: accessories. They're the key to making your closet basics — black pants, T-shirt, blouse, skirt, maxi — look current.
This summer, the must-have accessory is anything in a tribal or ethnic print. These are mostly geometric patterns in often unconventional color combos. Loft (http://loft.com) has a great selection at less than $40 and Forever21 (http://forever21.com) has tons more at even lower prices for us frugal shoppers.
In recent days I've stopped in my tracks a dozen times to admire a woman who looks terrific just because she added a noteworthy necklace, an armload of bangles, a unique scarf or bag with an ethnic flavor. The basic clothes she wears are just the backdrop (the canvas?) to show off the attention-getting Just One Thing.
And I haven't forgotten the guys. The swim trunks shown in the gallery above (I know they're not really an accessory) are eye-catching, contemporary and just plain cool.