The Budget Babe | Affordable Fashion & Style Blog

Fugly Shoes for Fall 2007: Lace-Up Flats

Don't let Anna Sui fool you into wearing these jazz-inspired shoes just because they have cute cherries on top.
Be afraid, be very afraid. There's a disturbing trend this fall to bring jazz shoes and other lace-up flats back from whatever dark, fashion hole they were banished to the first time around.

Designers say it's because people like comfort and ballet flats have enjoyed growing popularity in recent months, so hey, why not an 80s Jazzercise revival, right?

Wrong. We love comfort but you gotta draw the line somewhere.

Everyone from Marc Jacobs, Anna Sui, Jill Sander and ::gasp:: even Christian Loboutin are rolling out these monstrosities. Luckily, we haven't seen the style trickle down to the masses—yet.

From left: Christian Louboutin's silver metallic lace-up flats; Jill Sander's lace-up flats.

Word to the wise: when these shoes become available in your price range (and it's only a matter of time before they do), drop everything and run, don't walk (or tap), in the opposite direction.

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.

Special Beauty Bulletin: Don't Go Pigment Happy!!!

Posh's new neighbors need a makeover, fast.

Posted by The Budget Babe's Beauty Expert

Please tell me I wasn't the only person to watch Victoria "Posh Spice" Beckham's Coming to America (amusing show btw, and she rocks some fierce shoes!).

Alrighty then.

Amid the British invasion insanity, Posh brought to light an important issue while visiting with her neighbors the Beverly Hills Socialites: frightening amounts of red lipstick. What are these women thinking? Just because you can afford to go through a tube of lipstick a day doesn’t mean you should.

Where those with money seem to fail, we the budget babes of the world must step up. Less is often times much more, so please note that unless carefully planned out (i.e., goes harmoniously with other minimal makeup) please avoid fire engine red lipstick.

Instead, opt for L’Occitane Tinted Balm in Wild Rose. Made with beautifully soft shea butter, this tinted balm has just a hint of pigment that works on both cheeks and lips for a natural looking color (natural being the operative word). It's perfect for summer and literally lasts forever. I’ve had my diminutive jar for almost two years and use it daily on my cheeks, which makes it a steal at $13.00. Also comes in lighter and darker shades to suit your every need.

Keeping you lovely for less,

The Budget Beauty Babe

Gisele Bundchen is World's Richest Model

Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen is the world's richest model according to, having earned $33 million in the last 12 months. That's more than triple the amount made by Kate Moss, who came in second place with $9 million. (And we thought the supermodel was a dying breed!)

Gisele has always been one of our favorite models. She's impossibly tall, glamorous and has always exuded a strong, confident and, come to think of it, healthy energy. A budget babe, she may not be, but she sure makes fashion look good!

Since we're on the subject, do you think models make too much? Not enough? Do you follow your fave models or prefer they remain nameless mannequins? What do you think about the dominant trend in fashion to use actresses as spokesmodels instead of supermodels?

While you're pondering those questions, see who else you can recognize from the list...

2-4: Kate, Heidi and Adriana
5-7: Alessandra, Carolyn, Natalia
8-10: Karolina, Daria, Gemma
11-13: Liya, Hilary, Shalom
14-15: Doutzen, Jessica

The World's 15 Top-Earning Models

  1. Gisele Bundchen, $33 million

  2. Kate Moss, $9 million

  3. Heidi Klum, $8 million

  4. Adriana Lima, $6 million

  5. Alessandra Ambrosio, $6 million

  6. Carolyn Murphy, $5 million

  7. Natalia Vodianova, $4.5 million

  8. Karolina Kurkova, $3.5 million

  9. Daria Werbowy, $3.5 million

  10. Gemma Ward, $3 million

  11. Liya Kebede, $2.5 million

  12. Hilary Rhoda, $2 million

  13. Shalom Harlow, $2 million

  14. Doutzen Kroes, $1.5 million

  15. Jessica Stam, $1.5 million

Read the full story at

Luxe vs. Less: It's-A-Wrap Cute Summer Dress

Luxe: We love this pinafore wrap dress by Paul & Joe. The sale price is justifiable for this gamine-chic frock, as it's made in France from 100% silk. Find it at on final sale for $174.90

Less: Get the look at a fraction of the price with this Merona seersucker halter dress, on sale for $22.99 at Just picture it with bold red heels heels for a night out or metallic flats for an afternoon in the park.

Both will have you looking tres jolie.