The Budget Babe | Affordable Fashion & Style Blog

Look for Less: Prada's Optic Squares

Miuccia has cast her sartorial spell once again, and we are powerless to escape it: Interspersed among Prada's fantastic floral fantasies on the Spring 2008 runway were some rather dashing, eye-catching optic square prints (left). Not quite plaid, not quite checks, these geometric grid-like patterns gave skirts and dresses a mesmerizing, almost dizzying quality.

The price of Prada's wares, however, has a similar albeit headache-inducing effect, but fortunately we found an off-the-runway skirt from Ann Taylor (right) that boasts the optic-squares we crave. Toned down with a solid white blouse and green patent purse, we think it's the perfect ensemble for work. Add baubles, a clutch and fierce heels, and you'll have a figure-flattering on-trend look for night.

>> Square Jacquard Skirt at $98 $49.99

Prada image source:

Polyester No Longer a Four-Letter Word in Fashion

Once the dirtiest word in fashion, polyester is gaining a hip, new lease on life. At least, according to a March 2008 article in W magazine titled, "Synthetically Speaking:"

"Although it has been one of the most maligned materials in recent fashion history—derided as tacky, scratchy and even smelly—polyester has quietly undergone a sly rehabilitation, aided primarily by Japanese design mavericks Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garcons and Issey Miyake. And now it's on the verge of becoming downright fashionable, thanks to Lanvin's Alber Lebaz and Louis Vuitton's Marc Jacobs, among others, who made polyester an important ingredient in their hit spring collections."

This cultural cleansing of polyester's negative connotations bodes well for budget fashion, because as we all know, polyester is plentiful when it comes to cheap clothing. And while we won't necessarily change our stance on natural fabrics (they are still preferable for breathability, warmth, softness and the eco-friendly factor), we may all benefit by thinking twice before putting our noses up to the versatile, ever-evolving man-made wonder known as polyester.

Featured above: Polyester lends itself to the crisp pleats and vibrant hue of this chic chiffon dress ($27.80 at Forever 21). Plus, you can pack it and travel without worrying about wrinkles!