The Budget Babe | Affordable Fashion & Style Blog

TBB's World Traveler Reports: Armani, Versace and Gnomes, Oh My!

The Budget Babe's International Shopping Advisor Fifi LaMode returns from a jaunt in Italy, only to turn all our conceptions about la moda upside down! —TBB

by Fifi LaMode
Let's shop in Italy. After all, Milan's the fashion capital of the world, right?

Let's see what the locals are wearing. Oops—white pants with red underwear? Is this a joke, a fashion statement, or just plain bad taste? Must be an exception, right? Nope, there goes another one. Here's a lady with a huge over-sized Prada bag. There's another one, same bag. And another. Are they real? We're talking $3,000 bags here. What are the odds of 3 people wearing the same exact REAL Prada in the same street at the same time? You do the math.

This shop looks like Urban Outfitters, but it's called Love Therapy. Weird, but there's a fast food restaurant in Manila called Chicken in a Bikini, so don't judge a shop by its name. But everything has gnomes on it—t-shirts, purses, accessories. Bizarre.

Store called Mercedes-Benz Spot. Nice salesman. Apologizes that his English is not better. I tell him his English is better than my Italian and he looks like George Clooney so he could be talking Swahili and it wouldn't matter. The staff is so sweet and nice that I buy a gift for my daughter, the only thing in the store under $100—a tiny stuffed teddy bear with a Merc logo for 15 euros. Ok, it's a 50-cent bear, made in China—maybe not such a good deal. Swept up in the moment.