The Budget Babe | Affordable Fashion & Style Blog

Would You Shop for Fashion at Wal-Mart?

This entire outfit from Wal-Mart's Metro7 line costs only $35.94.

According to Yahoo! Finance, Wal-Mart's clothing sales haven't been so hot lately, and experts speculate that the big-box store's flagging clothing sales are due primarily to poor branding.

Mind you, we've never lived close enough to a Wal-Mart to shop there regularly, let alone buy clothes there. And considering all the negative press they've received for questionable (even reprehensible) business operations, why even bother?

Besides, we're rather reluctant to buy anything fashion-related at a store with "mart" in the name, and we certainly don't want to buy our clothes under the same roof as hunting gear and guns. It's enough to make any fashionista, budget or otherwise, shudder.

To be honest, we're not sure there's anything Wal-Mart can do to change our minds short of enlisting Marc Jacobs to collaborate on a cheap-chic collection. The only thought we might entertain would be purchasing Wal-Mart's offerings online: We wouldn't have to go out of our way and we wouldn't have to endure the chemical-laden air and glaring fluorescent lighting of their aesthetically offensive brick and mortar stores...

On second thought, we'll stick to Target.

What do you think? Should we get with the program and give in to Wal-Mart? Or is this one budget-fashion frontier you're willing to forgo?

We Heart American Style: Oscar de la Renta

A look from the Oscar de la Renta Fall 07 Ready-to-Wear runway

If you think you're obligated to look overseas for your style cues, consider the following accomplishments made by American designers:

We invented jeans. Skinny, baggy, boot-cut, or flared, jeans are arguably the most enduring contribution to fashion in the 20th century.

We created modern sportswear. Marked by casualness and an understated sex-appeal, it's on everyone, everywhere.

We turned the t-shirt into a fashion icon. Remember when Sharon Stone added a Gap T-shirt to her Valentino skirt and Armani jacket at the 1995 Academy Awards?

Furthering our efforts to help rid Americans of their sartorial inferiority complex, we'd like to give a shout out to some of the greatest homegrown designers. We're not knockin' anyone else, simply giving props where props are due.

For starters, we had to recognize Oscar de la Renta when we chanced upon this ruffle pintuck wrap blouse from his masstige line, O Oscar, which launched for Spring 07 exclusively at Macy's.

In the biz for over 40 years, de la Renta has proven himself to be a man who knows, loves and sure-as-heck can dress American women. Considering every item in his O Oscar line hovers around $100 (the blouse above is $79), we think he knows how we prefer to spend our bennies, too.

Score one for the red, white and blue.

Read a short-n-sweet bio of the Dominican Republic native here.

Abaete for Payless Fall 2007 Collection

The Abaete for Payless Fall 2007 Collection arrived this week in Payless stores. Designer Laura Poretzky’s latest collection includes six architectural silhouettes for shoes along with coordinating bags and sunglasses. Must say, we're definitely intrigued.

Poretzky's fall pieces are much more wearable than her mod, vinyl Spring Collection. Our faves for fall...[1] the midnight-blue satin and buckle waist Andie Tote, $28; [2] Flavin Platform with inverted cone heel, satin and patent cross straps (these would look awesome with opaque tights), $25; [3] sophisticated Cybil Sunglasses (great shape & wearing shades in the fall is so chic), $14.

What do you think? Yes, no...maybe so? Let us know!

Top Beauty Pick: The Best Nail Polish for Summer

Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Xtreme Wear Nail Polish in Chocolate Nut, $2.59 at

by The Budget Babe's Beauty Expert
There's nothing like a great manicure and pedicure for the summer, but with mannies and peddies running quite a pretty penny at reputable salons, we prefer to polish at home.

But wait, you say, Isn’t the time and effort of redoing home manicures not worth it? Don’t your home pedicures chip off within hours?

Nope, not anymore. This summer, I’ve been sporting the many shades (over 30 in fact) of Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Xtreme Wear Nail Polish. My personal fave for summer is Chocolate Nut—delicious!

Get this, budget babes: I gave myself a pedicure with this stuff, did not apply a topcoat, and then went swimming every day for two weeks (pool + chlorine = bye-bye nail polish) and yet my toes still look just as fab as the day I did them! Unbelievable, but true.

Now here's the really exciting part: it's only $2.59 a bottle!

Keeping you lovely for less,

The Budget Beauty Babe

Attention Budget Babes: Have you ever wondered about a budget beauty product, remedy, or potion you've seen but didn't want to try it out yourself? Get the Budget Beauty Babe to go on assignment for you! Drop us a line at info(at) and have The Budget Beauty Babe test it out for you and feature it in an article! Got an idea? Let us know!

e.l.f. Cosmetics Now Available at Kmart

Eyes lips face (e.l.f.) cosmetics are now available at select Kmart stores.

e.l.f. is one of those companies we wish we had bought stock in because we knew the moment they launched that it was going to be a huge success. Every product they sell is just $1! You can't help but try it at least once—and then try it again because, heck, it's only a dollar. Plus, they have frequent sales and promotions, online coupons are easy to find, they donate to charity and don't test on animals.

Browsing their site, you feel like a kid in a candy store! We've been pleased with many of our purchases, including a cream blush, eyeshadow brushes and eyeliner. Didn't care for the mascara or the particular lip gloss we tried. Unfortunate, as those are our two makeup staples.

Overall, we enjoyed treating ourselves to a load of goodies for so little cash (and we like getting packages in the mail). They really do have some innovative, good-quality products that are well packaged and pretty, so you can have fun and experiment without blowing your budget. Just wish they had nail polish...

Oh, and this certainly seems like a good partnership for Kmart. They have a long way to go before they reach Target standards, but at least they're trying. (We've heard rumors that some Targets sell e.l.f. too but haven't been ably to verify this from their site.)

Do you think e.l.f stacks up to other pricier brands? Or do you find it hard to trust makeup that cheap? Will you check it out at Kmart?