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What are 3 must-have fashion pieces that will fit my budget this spring?

New shoes

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The question

I have a limited budget for new clothes this spring. Can you suggest three musthaves that won't drain my bank account?

The answer

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Regardless of your age, physique or occupation, there are certain pieces that convey spring 2013 and are available in enough variations that you are bound to find one that works for you.

My first suggestion: a printed jean. Designer denim brands are moving beyond solid colours into prints, whether floral motifs or more graphic geometric patterns. I have seen fun versions at Gap for less than $100.

Second, consider buying a black-and-white striped top – ideally a blazer – at one of the high-street chains. This is a smart work-wardrobe addition.

Third, since no seasonal shopping is complete without a shoe, I propose a colourful kitten-style heel, which is what we're seeing at Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs, Dolce & Gabbana and Ferragamo. The nice part about a low-height pump (or slingback) is that it is realistically fashionable.

These pieces will update your look and you can probably pick up all three of them for less than $350. And if that leaves you a little left over, I like dark chocolate.

Amy Verner is The Globe and Mail's Paris-based style reporter. Have a fashion question? E-mail or follow her on Twitter @amyverner.

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