Show toppers

HEATHER TOSKAN

, Last Updated: 9:52 AM ET

This summer, it's easy to get a fast and easy fashion update on a limited budget.

"Colourful tops and vests provide excellent, inexpensive wardrobe updates and can really change your look when you mix and match them with items that are already part of your wardrobe," says Christelle Basmaji, a Montreal-based spokesperson for Jacob.

Tops in multi-coloured prints and bright fuchsia, orange, violet, royal blue, lemon and green revamp work and casual basics.

Trendy details such as peasant styling, gathered blouson hemlines, flutter sleeves and cascading tiers of ruffles give basic bottoms a fresh style infusion.

Make a statement in buckled and one-shouldered tanks, draped and ruffled halter tops, or crochet knits or tops with cut-out details.

"The novelty top is a key fashion must-have this summer ... without breaking the bank," says Gadi Padan, a Montreal-based spokesperson for the Cartise line of women's wear.

Vests offer stylish alternatives to jackets and will carry forward as fall layering pieces.

Both knit and woven vests are popular, with most styles fashioned from solid wardrobe-building neutrals such as grey, black, tan, white and navy.

Wear vests over blouses for dressier styling and pop them over classic shirts to create more tailored looks.

Vests paired with co-ordinating Capri pants or knee-length shorts create less formal, work-worthy alternatives to traditional skirt and pant suits.

Short woven vests go everyday casual when paired with chinos, kahki pants and shirts of all kinds. Denim vests and summery navy and white cotton railroad striped styles also offer a dressed-down approach.

Longer tunic- length vests keep things casual when paired with skinny denims and can also act as sleeveless cardigans over skirts, tops and dresses.

"A vest is definitely a great investment piece, and will still be fashionable this fall," says Ariane De Warren, a spokesperson for the Dynamite retail chain.


Videos

Photos