Next week, Charleston will welcome the coming of spring with the fashion event of the year: Charleston Fashion Week. Whether you plan to attend any of the fashion shows or not, it's always fun to kick off a new season like you just walked off the runway yourself.

Here's some trends I'm into this season, and where I'll be looking to find them on the cheap.

Ashley Jenkins, owner of Monkee's of Daniel Island, says she always aims for trendy clothes at affordable prices. “You don't have to spend a fortune to be in style,” she says.

Pieces she's excited about this season include maxi skirts, dresses with bold patterns and cut-off shorts. She recommended the Naomi Cocktail Dress ($70) for those who may need something to wear to this weekend's fashion events. “I love this dress because it kind of has a mix of all the trends. It's cobalt blue, a big color this spring; and it features sheer paneling,” she said. “It's one of those pieces you can dress up or down.”

Black-and-white stripes are supposed to be big this season, but you'll want to avoid the jailbird look. Be subtle with elegant pieces like a vertical-striped sleeveless blouse. I found one, the Silence & Noise Optic Stripe Button Down, on sale for $20 at I'm also crazy about the Mossimo Striped Scrunch Ballet Flats from Target, found online at They're $20 and almost identical to J.Crew's $118 version. Plus, when you buy one pair, you can get a second pair of similar flats for half off.

Wide-leg-patterned pants are another one of my favorite trends right now. They're comfortable, and I think they'll be perfect for Charleston's breezy weather during the spring. The Scarf Print Wide-Leg Pants ($22.80) from Forever 21's adult line, Love21, are vibrant and lightweight — exactly why I love this trend so much. See

If you want to experiment with all the different spring trends but don't want to invest too much money on them, you may want to check out, a website where you can rent everything from jewelry to cocktail dresses with a monthly subscription. It's like Netflix for fashion.

Finally, I urge you to download my favorite shopping app, Wanelo. It works a lot like Pinterest except it's fashion-oriented.

You can find it on Apple's app store or the Google Play store, but if you don't have a smart phone, the website works just as well. Follow me on Wanelo @apdarlin to see what else I'm craving this season.

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