When shopping for inexpensive goods, be careful of color, McDonald says. "Things that are cheap or look overly summery tend to be neon, not rich and saturated colors, so look for deeper rather than brighter tones." After declaring a $49.99 black and red striped Gordon Ramsay Every Day 16-piece dish set to be "cute in a 1970s way," McDonald found this $35.99 deep red set by Sango to be "very Barney's New York looking. They'd be great for an Asian fusion dinner."

( Al Seib / Los Angeles Times )

When shopping for inexpensive goods, be careful of color, McDonald says. "Things that are cheap or look overly summery tend to be neon, not rich and saturated colors, so look for deeper rather than brighter tones." After declaring a $49.99 black and red striped Gordon Ramsay Every Day 16-piece dish set to be "cute in a 1970s way," McDonald found this $35.99 deep red set by Sango to be "very Barney's New York looking. They'd be great for an Asian fusion dinner."

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