The Budget Babe | Affordable Fashion & Style Blog

Fashion First-Aid: Removing Stains

Rather than rushing to the nearest dry cleaner each time you spill your Starbucks, consider correcting the problem at home. You can go easy on your wallet and get tough on stains if you know the right approach to treating a slew of bothersome stains.

Remove deodorant stains with a hand steamer and watch them evaporate away. If you don't have a steamer, rub a pair of a pantyhose against the stain—works like an eraser!

Get rid of coffee stains by placing garments in a warm water tub. Add three or four denture cleaning tablets and let sit for one hour, then launder as usual.

Remove salt stains from leather shoes by wiping with a mixture of half warm water and half vinegar. Let air dry, away from direct heat.

To remove red wine stains, make a paste of lemon juice and salt, spread on the stain and let sit for 30 minutes. Try a delicate wash cycle with a scoop of OxiClean to remove any remaining traces.

Eliminate oil stains by covering with flour and letting it sit for 12 hours or so. Much of the oil will be absorbed, but the dry cleaners can finish the job—and its certainly worth cleaning a beloved article of clothing rather than scrapping it.

Summer Lovin'

Spring weather can turn on a dime (especially if you live in Chicago). Be prepared for rising temperatures with these summer essentials.

Ridiculously cheap Loop Terry Tube Dress with Pockets from American Apparel is just the thing for lounging by the pool, or stooping on the front steps waiting for the ice cream truck to drive by. $12.00

Genuine leather straps and brass buckle details make these Equestrian Flip Flops from Wilson's Leather a stylish alterative to the usual plastic. $28

What's not to love about the line of handbags by award-winning New York designer Rafe Totengco for Target? Purses from his original line start at $300, which makes this Rafe® for Target® Linen Flap Shoulder Bag a steal at $39.99.

The Best Drugstore Beauty Buys from Real Simple Magazine

We budget beauties have long-known that looking beautiful doesn't have to come at a high price. So we were eager to check out the May 2007 issue of Real Simple magazine, where readers share their picks of 60 budget-friendly moisturizers, sunscreens, shampoos, and more.

We took a gander at the complete list and have to agree with most of the suggested products. All were practical, effective and affordable (which is precisely what you'd expect from Real Simple's loyal readers).

Here, The Budget Babe's handpicked faves from the list:
[1] Best Moisturizing Bar Soap: Tom’s of Maine Natural Care Moisturizing Body Bar, $3.50

[2] Best Shampoo for Fine Hair: Herbal Essences Body Envy Volumizing Shampoo, $3.99

[3] Best Body Wash with Lather: Burt’s Bees Citrus & Ginger Root Body Wash, $8

[4] Best Face Cleanser for Dry Skin: Vichy Oligo 25 Foaming Cleansing Face Wash, $12

Fashion Word of the Week: Seersucker

If you don't know your chiffon from your charmeuse, now's the time to get schooled on terms that anyone interested in fashion should know. Familiarity with fashion terms will not only impress your friends—it will help you know what you're getting when you're shopping online.

Today's word: Summery seersucker is a fabulous fabric for warm, humid on!

Seersucker: is a thin, all-cotton fabric, commonly striped, used to make clothing for spring and summer wear. Seersucker is woven in such a way that some threads bunch together, giving the fabric a wrinkled appearance in places. This feature causes the fabric to be mostly held away from the skin when worn, facilitating improved heat dissipation and air circulation. The wrinkled look also ensures that seersucker clothing will look good even when worn by people working in hot weather. It also means that ironing is not necessary. Seersucker was first used in the United States by the working class but was later adopted by the upper classes. The material became perceived as a staple of attire for the Southern gentleman who wore it in deference to the high heat and humidity of the American South.

Definition of "seersucker" from
Photo: Detail of a cotton seersucker pant by Nina Ricci,

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