The Budget Babe | Affordable Fashion & Style Blog

Luxe vs. Less: Gold Ballet Flat

On the left, you may recognize the coveted Tory Burch Reva Ballerina Flat in Gold. Retail price: $195.00. On the right, we have the Payless ShoeSource Crest Ballet Flat in Gold. Retail price: $16.99. Now we know what you're thinking—How can you expect us to believe that a shoe from Payless could come even close to Tory Burch? To that we say, you'd be surprised. Sure, it's not buttery leather, but it won't empty out your wallet either. And besides, there are better things to spend your hard-earned cash on (rent, for example). So give it a try, you'll thank us later.

UPDATE 9/22/07: Tory Burch's Ballerina Flat Named "Knockoff of the Year" by

Abaeté for Payless Summer 2007: Love It or Hate It?

We're torn over the Abaeté for Payless Summer 2007 collection by designer Laura Poretzky. The 60s throwback ultra-mod styles are bold indeed, but are they wearable? And while vinyl has made a strong comeback this season, it can be very uncomfortable...think sweaty, slippery feet and unforgiving plastic straps...OUCH. So what's the verdict? Love it or hate it?

Clockwise from left: Gansevoort Tote, $24; Waverly Slide, $24; Tomkins Wedge in yellow, $25.

Shop the entire collection here >>

Dressing the Wrist: Bangin' Bangles

Bangles are back in a big way this summer and with good reason: you simply slip one on your wrist, and your outfit looks put together and polished in an instant. With so many great bangles available at wallet-friendly stores like Forever21 and Target, you can afford to have fun and experiment by mixing and matching bangles of different widths, textures and colors. There are really no hard and fast rules—wear one, wear a dozen, create symmetry with two matching bangles on either wrist, or create asymmetry with one bangle on your right wrist and three on your left. You'll love how they dance on your arm as you move and even give you confidence as you converse. Yes, a bracelet can do all that!
Here are a few bangles for every budget babe…

Something Silver

A spring 2007 look from Celine shows how seamlessly silver can be woven into an outfit.

Silver is the metal of the moment for accessories. This season it's being used as a modern neutral that can be worn during the day and should be blended into an ensemble, not flaunted as the center of attention. We love it because it pairs well with any skin tone and can be adapted to just about anyone's personal style.

May we offer the following affordable suggestions...

LAYNNE L,, $44.99

Quilted Metallic Bag,, $19.99

GABBY,, $29.99

Petite Metallic Clutch,, $8.80

Save the Pop Star, Save the World

Forget about freeing Tibet or saving the whales. Now you can be stylish and socially conscious at the same time with this "Save Britney" t-shirt . Sorry, did we say stylish? We meant tasteless. And socially conscious? We meant culturally vapid.

Then again, maybe we shouldn't be so cynical. Maybe they should make a Save Paris and Save Lindsay shirt, too. That way young women could sport these tees rather than imitate the reprehensible behavior of the aforementioned "role models."

What do you think of the message? Sorta clever or totally lame?