Cheap (or Free!) Ways to Embrace Trends

Be they fashion, decor, technology, or anything else, “trends” can be kind of negative. And, to some extent, I agree. When a few years fly by, we find ourselves laughing or rolling our eyes at what we once thought was “cool.” However, I’ve realized that it’s up to us to decide which trends are worth our time (and money) or not. As with all things in life, we have to be true to ourselves and always go with our own individual interests and tastes in the end. I wholly believe that.

But, it doesn’t mean that we have to completely ignore the world outside our own minds. Some trends help to light a spark inside you that can help freshen up your life, fill you with inspiration, or put a spring in your step. I’ve discovered some of my favorite colors and prints after seeing them used in a really fun, creative way on a blog or store display. As long as it’s not ethically immoral (say, fur or a demeaning message), I’ll always give something new a little consideration. Sometimes I immediately know it’s not for me. Other times, I fall in love.

Says the girl who once adamantly brushed aside the latest fads for Punky Brewster mismatched clothes, a Peter Tork haircut and tie-dyed tees, and a short-lived ’50s James Dean (like, guy clothes) wardrobe. Take what I say with a grain of salt. I’m clearly not a fashionista. (Even that term is outdated.)    

Anyway, even as a girl who considers herself to be pretty eco-friendly and minimalist, I feel greatly that while we purge, we still need to surround ourselves with joy…simply.

So, today I’m sharing a few simple ways to embrace trends without totally breaking the bank and completely overhauling your own uniqueness. (After all, that’s what’s most important in the end.) Some of these ideas are to spruce up your surroundings and others are wardrobe-related. All are just a little inspiration to try to mix up the old with some new-ish styles.

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Cheap Accessories Help Layer in the Fun – This chevron print infinity scarf is a great example of one of my favorite things about trends: they clearly failed history class because they keep repeating it. For only $15 (or on sale if you’re lucky), you can brighten up your bland wardrobe. This is honestly the only chevron print I’ve seen that isn’t overdone (it almost looks like diagonal stripes), so my attention is less on the print and more on the vintage-inspired colors. Oh, and a great pair of sunglasses (I grab mine at TJ Maxx for the cheapest options) helps bring it all together.

Put Some Spring in Your Step with a New Shoe – It may seem subtle, but switching out your usual flip flops for a cute sandal with fringe detail can bring you happily into the warmer seasons. The rest of your outfit may be a slouchy old t-shirt and capris or skinny jeans (yes, I’ve jumped on that bandwagon, too; don’t tell my 15-year-old self), but an inexpensive (this one’s about $20) shoe can help wake it up.

Try a New Style of Pant with Subtle Details – Trying a new style can be downright frightening. (Almost as scary as bathing suit shopping. Eep.) So, if you’re a little shy, try to keep to a solid color. If you’re a touch more daring, try for a very subtle pattern, like this gorgeous colored (they say it’s red but it sways towards my favorite “new” color, coral) with dots. The fact that these pixie ankle pants remind me of Laura on the Dick Van Dyke Show makes me want to run, not walk, to my closest Old Navy. No, seriously. Oh, and I tend not to pay $35 for pants, so I’d suggest waiting for a sale (they’re currently on sale for $30…still iffy, but better).       

Pillows, Pillows, Pillows – One of my favorite ways to include some new trends around the house is with the use of throw pillows. I usually buy mine at TJ Maxx (yes, again), but Target and World Market are great alternatives for inexpensive pillows. I usually pay between $10 – $15, but even upwards of $20 is worth it for a pillow if you fall in love with it. This World Market pillow uses the southwestern/tribal motif while the Target pillows follows more of a geometric, ’80s color vibe. (Okay, who am I kidding? The ’80s are back. Cue clapping and cheering from my husband.)

Do It Yourself – This is one of my favorite ways to get a trend you love without breaking the bank. While I haven’t done any projects lately, I always keep an eye out for super inexpensive (but good quality) pieces to transform. I actually have a couple of super old, super inexpensive (like $20 for both) wooden chairs that need to be stripped, and I’m giving serious consideration into doing the paint-dipped look like Remodelista shows here. 

#1 – Buy Vintage – What’s old is new again! Hit up your local thrift shops and antique stores to see what once-scary item might serve a new purpose.

#2 – Free Printables – Depending in your style, there are free printables available from a ton of blogs and sites. Just Google your taste or check by your favorite blog and see what comes up. I’m loving this calendar from Vintage Revivals that uses the geometric trend wonderfully but in a fun, easy (and free!) way:

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So, what are your favorite trends lately? Do you skew “classic”, “trendy”, or somewhere else? (I’m definitely all over the place, myself!)

(There are actually no affiliate links in today’s post, despite the links. Just wanted to share some thoughts and inspiration. No kick-backs. :-))