I'm a big fan of lists.
My family might tell you this is a somewhat annoying passion, as I revel in dinners and car rides filled with demands to name Your Three Favorite Vacations, The Six DVDs You Would Take If Stranded On a Desert Island and so on. Regardless, I list on.
On that note, then, I've put together a list for you: My Top Five for Spring Under $50.
Without further ado, my latest list:A colorful scarf: They're everywhere, in a rainbow of colors and plethora of patterns. They can freshen up a load of looks already in your closet, from a white collared dress shirt and khaki pencil skirt to a simple T-shirt and jeans. Short North boutiques Tigertree and Rowe have some nice higher-end scarves for around (and less than) $50, and Substance has several colors in a textured style for $19. The Limited also has a nice selection for $25 and less.
Coral-colored cardigan or top: Coral-that lovely pink-orange-is sweet, spunky and looks good on nearly anyone. Much like the scarves, the cardigans can quickly and easily modernize neutrals you already own. The J. Crew at Easton has merino wool cardigans that were $88 marked down to $30. Gap also has great coral cardigans for $45 (and super cute flowing, ruffled silky coral tops marked down to $30).
Dark skinny jeans: As we well know, Spring in Ohio doesn't necessarily cater to warm-weather clothing, so I'm skipping the proverbial khaki skirt or capris and instead suggesting a pair of versatile skinny jeans. To Spring-ify them, cuff the bottoms-creating just one, thick cuff that hits just above the ankle-and pair them with flats. The Calvin Klein skinny jeans, which are typically $49 at Macy's but are often marked down, are my absolute favorites (probably because they're actually made for women older than 16 who don't have an interest in showing off our undergarments).
A fabulous belt: It can be super wide and statement-making or ultra-thin and minimal, but if you don't have a belt that you love, find one now. It's another simple way to make old things look new. Don't be afraid to play: Next time you put on a blouse with a skirt or pants-even jeans-slip a belt around the smallest part of your waist and just see what it looks like. Belts are especially cute with layers (say, a simple white tee and a coral cardigan, paired with skinny jeans). If you want to invest in a pricier belt, Banana Republic has a good selection. If you'd rather not spend much, Old Navy has a fantastic skinny gold braided leather belt for $12.50, and Forever 21 has an array of chunky belts for less than $15.
Floral hair accessories: We may not have flowers blooming outside, but they're certainly popping up in stores. Several headbands, ponytail holders and hair clips out this season feature sizeable flowers. J. Crew has the most sophisticated that I've seen, featuring satin headbands with roses for $40. Macy's has several hair clips that double as pins for $10 to $15. And for just $5, you can find loads of funkier styles at Forever 21 and Claire's. Kristy Eckert is editor of Capital Style.