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Summer wardrobes that do not break the bank

Summer means it is time to break out the shorts and tank tops, right? That may be true for the average teenager, but mature college women can pull off more fashionable outfits with the same effort and price of a simple tank and shorts. Whether it be scouring second hand stores or creating the next hot outfit, summer styles can be had for minimal cost.

Print tops shine out when paired with jeans or a pant with a muted color.
Photo provided by Motivi / Flickr
Print tops shine out when paired with jeans or a pant with a muted color.

Print Patterns

Floral prints are a huge hit for this season, but if women do not want to emulate the Kim Kardashion couch fiasco, they should only have touches of print in a wardrobe. Wearing a print top with jeans is usually a safe bet in looking stylish. If a woman is wearing head to toe print, she may seem monochromatic and boring or too busy depending on the print pattern.


It is encouraged that women should decrease the size of their bags or purses for summer. Summer should be light and carefree, so smaller bags are encouraged in order to emulate the easy going look. Women can even pare down their bags and just carry a classy clutch for summer.

Jewelry should match outfits in color. In addition, big necklaces that can be considered chunky should be worn with solid colored outfits. Outfits that have print patterns should resort to simpler jewelry. This can be just a simple necklace chain and studded earrings.

Cut offs with pockets showing can be an indication that they are too short.
Photo provided by Mike Monaghan / Flickr
Cut offs with pockets showing can be an indication that they are too short.


Shorts at department stores can run anywhere from $20 to $40. Women have a hard time buying a piece of clothing that will only be worn for a few months at prices so steep. To have a pair of shorts at little or no cost, women should take an old pair of jeans and make cut offs.

Cut offs are still in style as long as they are cut properly. Women should make their cut offs a length that is comfortable for the wearer. But cut offs become tacky when they are cut too high. Cut offs should never be so short that the inside of the pants pockets can be seen.

At the same time, the Bermuda length of shorts can do a disservice to women. Bermuda shorts give the appearance of short and stumpy legs because it cuts the leg off at the knee. Ideally, cut offs should be made at about mid-thigh or mid-calf to give a Capri look.

To style up cut offs, women can roll up the hem for a more polished look. Cut offs can be worn without the hem rolled up, but it is recommended that the wearer maintain their cut offs by not letting the white strings that appear get too long. The appearance of the long white strings gives the impression that the wearer is a castaway on a desert island.


Tank Tops

Tank tops are a wonderful invention for outdoor wear. Tank tops are fairly affordable at department stores and often come in a variety of colors. However, if a tight budget is on the mind, tank tops can be made out of old shirts. This usually involves cutting old T-shirts and tying them. Many cut out designs and instructions can be found on Pinterest. This look is perfect for going to the beach or hanging around the house.

An important tip to remember when buying or creating tank tops is how a bra will appear under the top. Bra straps should not show. This look is un-kempt and makes the wearer appear as if she does not take care of herself. Besides, no one wants to see underwear at the grocery store.

Sandals/Flip Flops

Sandals and flip flops are perfect for summer; however, each has its place in society. Sandals should be worn for classier summer events while flip flops should be reserved for more casual moments. Overall, sandals dress up an outfit, while flip flops can dress down an outfit. For a comfortable look and for everyday errands, women should wear flip flops.

Most sandals and flip flops are in style for summer; however, women can make errors if their feet are not kept in shape. Generally, toe nails should be clipped and painted, and feet should be clean. Calluses should be kept at a minimum.

Maxi dresses can be a great outfit for the beach.
Photo provided by Megan Tintari / Flickr
Maxi dresses can be a great outfit for the beach.


This year is seeing new trends in dresses and skirts. For instance, the maxi dress is on the rise. This long summer dress is elegant for beach parties. Budget friendly maxi dresses can be found at second hand stores, but thrifty women who know how to wield a sewing machine can create their own maxi dresses out of a simple print pattern or solid color.

Hi-low dresses and skirts are also very popular for this season. This skirt or dress is usually knee length at the front and ankle length in the back. The movement creates a romantic effect that is perfect for breezy summer nights. Hi-low dresses can be found for reasonable prices at department stores and can be made by hand with a sewing machine.

Dazzle the day with bright pants paired with a toned down top.
Photo provided by Eva Rinaldi / Flickr
Dazzle the day with bright pants paired with a toned down top.

Colored Pants

Pants and capris with wacky colors and patterns are in this year. The colors can be anything from the traditional blues that are usually seen with denim, but can also be bright yellow, purple, green—really any color imaginable. These colors are usually bright, eye catching and can make an outfit pop.

The key to wearing these kinds of pants is pairing it with a top that is relatively tame. A bright colored or printed pant should be worn with a solid colored top that is usually plain or a solid color. For instance, pair bright yellow pants with a solid black or white button down top.