Look good, feel great and have money left over!

RED BANK, NEW JERSEY, U.S.A. — Who says great style has to come with a cost high enough to shock anyone with a pulse?

The beauty of playing dress-up is far too fantastic for it to be outrageously expensive. Putting on a simple tee shirt, pairing it with jeans or a crazy skirt, and adding finishing touches such as a wide belt or layered gold chains, adds a romantic and eccentric touch to every girl’s spring wardrobe.

This idea has become incredibly easy thanks to stores such as Kohls, Target, H&M, Delias, Gap and Urban Outfitters. All of these stores offer shoppers an endless supply of adorable, inexpensive clothes and accessories that will make everyone want to make room in their closets for some new gear.

Target supplies its customers with new collections from Isaac Mizrahi and Luella Bartley (her line is only available until April).

Perhaps you can stop by H&M and check out Stella McCartney’s gorgeous line of feminine and romantic dresses, skirts, shirts and coats. Her line is the perfect “First Date” attire.

According to Vogue magazine, some of the new must-haves for 2006 are wide belts, chunky heeled shoes and oversized bags. But most of us have a budget that doesn’t exceed $100 or $200, which definitely makes us not eligible for a Vogue closet.

However, there are plenty of ways around that!

The key to looking great, and up to date, but always with your own little flare, is never to buy what you think you should buy. Always buy what you want, and what makes you feel absolutely outstanding!

That’s the beauty of shopping – and having a diverse selection of labels, styles, colors, etc. all at your fingertips!

A great tip to girls who want to have the latest style in their high school, without looking like everyone else, is to read about European fashion.

The style in Europe is months ahead of U.S. style. What is hot there, usually hasn’t caught on in the States.

It’s so much fun to read UK or French Vogue and Elle on a rainy day when there’s not much to do.

Personally, I feel at peace when I’m curling up in my bed, with some music on, reading fashion magazines, finding what I like and do not like. It’s really just an education of what’s going on beyond your local mall, and of course, beyond Abercrombie or American Eagle.

Express yourself! Find what you want, for the price that you want, without looking at classmates for inspiration.

Be yourself! As trite as that sounds, it’ll pay off.

So the next time you see a great bag hanging on the racks in Target or H&M, and you think it looks unique and authentic looking, grab it! Because when you receive that compliment in homeroom the next morning on your new beautiful bag, you can giggle inside your head knowing that it only cost a little, but looks like a million bucks.

Sarah Cunningham is a Reporter for Youth Journalism International.

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