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Chic & Cheap

Chic & Cheap is a fashion column that runs down the latest trends and shares ways to get designer style on a college student’s budget.

Trying to stay chic this winter doesn’t mean you have to resign to drab turtlenecks and too-hot-for-Florida parkas.

Designers this year have revamped the typical winter wear with inspirations from the ’60s and ’90s. The ’60s were full of geometric shapes and patterns, knee-length skirts and shift dresses. The grunge-laden decade of the ’90s produced plaid flannel, oversized sweaters, cropped tops and mini cross-body bags. This season, neon colors have replaced neutrals and the longer the skirt, the better, with maxi- and midi-lengths in style. Most students can’t afford designer threads, but being stylish on a college budget is not impossible.

As a fan of the ’60s, I was happy to see tailored suits and geometric minis return to the fashion scene. Yves Saint Laurent catapulted the geometric look into a style sensation in 1965, and Stella McCartney and DKNY are just a few who showcased the ’60s in their winter collections. While a McCartney design can put a $1,235-sized hole in your wallet, Forever 21 offers a more wallet-friendly creation at $19.80. This mod-inspired dress stays on point with the geometric trend and no one will ever know your savvy secret.

Men are all about the Don Draper look this season. The ’60s comeback prompted designers to resurrect the classic suit. Focusing on narrow ties and shades of blue and gray, detail and sophistication are important when pulling off this trend. Emporio Armani and DKNY are a few designers who showed off clean, streamlined suits in their collections. Macy’s offers a Kenneth Cole blazer for $51.99, a wardrobe staple that can be worn casually with dark denim and without a tie.

This past year also saw the return of polka dots. This fun print left a lasting impression on the fashion scene’s who’s who. Marc Jacobs had us seeing spots when he took to this design in his collection with a dramatic

all-over approach. Celebrities such as Olivia Palermo and Beyonce also went crazy for this pattern.

H&M offers a polka dot blouse at $17.95 in red or blue. This statement piece can be worn with a pencil skirt for a professional look or a little more casually with dark wash jeans.

Designers’ runways are also colored with bright hues to shake up the drab palette of winter. Neon-colored bottoms and, jeans are all the rage this season. Yigel Azrouel pumped his collection full of this vibrant trend and a slew of celebrities have been seen sporting their ’90s-inspired winter wear.

Jada Pinkett Smith was seen in bright yellow jeans, a white blazer and a floral blouse. Actress Emma Stone pairs her red jeans with a Rag & Bone scarf and black flats, while Anna Kendrick styled her look with a black blazer and heels.

The key to keeping your outfit from looking like a clown’s weekend-wear is to pair colorful jeans with neutral tones. A simple print can also give your look a chic vibe.

The fashion world definitely went big this winter with oversized, chunky sweaters. This casual, easy piece may appeal to those who want to look fabulous without spending too much time getting ready. Edun and Tracy Reese featured chunky sweaters in their collection, and style maven Mary Kate Olsen has been seen embracing this trend. These knits are best worn with skinny jeans, tights or leggings.  It can also be worn with a maxi skirt for an all-over casual feel. Urban Outfitters offers a knit sweater for $44 that comes in a variety of colors.

As you restock your closet, keep in mind you don’t have to spend a lot to look chic this season. Creating a fashionable and affordable ensemble is worth the effort.