Summer Style Secrets

Dig out your sunglasses, ready the sunscreen, and prepare for the first of countless poolside martinis as summer looms before us. What better place to begin the transformation from ski bunny to sun-lover than your closet? Alas, your wallet is still struggling to recover from winter spending, and a complete wardrobe overhaul is not in the (credit) cards. The solution? Limit your spending to the following five fashion fixes and you'll look at what you already have like you've never seen it before.

Infuse Color
Color is the best cure for those lingering winter blahs, and also for a wardrobe that's grown stale. While wearing all black can be tres Audrey Hepburn, it can also be tres boring. Pair your tired black tee with an exotic scarf, your charcoal sundress with a thick aubergine belt, or your loose chignon with a red silk flower. The line between a tasteful infusion of color and a glow-in-the-dark peacock is a fine one, so tread on the side of chic with one illuminating item per outfit.

Kick Up Your Heels
Whether strappy, stiletto-heeled, or pointy-toed--or a combination of all three--a new pair of sky-high shoes can liven up a look that's lost its footing. Settle on a style that works in your multiple fashion and life scenarios. Will the four-inch heels survive your daily walk through the park? Will the patent leather wedges jive with a work wardrobe comprised of skirts and dresses? (Bonus: a true pair of diva shoes will force you to stand taller and walk prouder.)

It's in the Bag
To work, to shop, to Starbucks: our bags are with us more than we realize. Experiment with rich textures that have always piqued your interest but that you've been too shy to integrate completely into your wardrobe (i.e., if you've nursed a hidden desire to wear something animal print, a leopard themed leather slouch purse will quell the craving without defining your entire look.)

Bring on the Bling
A Christmas tree is just another shrub until it's decked out with tinsel and lights; deck your branches with shiny rings and other sparkly accoutrements. Fork out the cash for quality pieces that complement multiple outfits. We love: right-hand cocktail rings; thick bangles from India and Thailand; vintage Victorian brooches; and long metal chains marrying a spectrum of colors and textures.

Covet Thy Coat
We've all done it: spent heaps of time and energy piecing together a flawless outfit, and then thrown a ratty old raincoat over it as we race out the door. Resolve to look fabulous in transit with the purchase of fashionable-but-functional outerwear. Though climate is often top-of-mind when shopping for coats and jackets, don't forget the weight and thickness of the clothes you'll be wearing underneath (you're more likely to successfully integrate your new jacket into your existing wardrobe if your tops fit comfortably while donning it).