The Budget Babe | Affordable Fashion & Style Blog

Win Cool Stuff: Twisted Silver Love Bracelet

UPDATE: And the winner of our Twisted Silver Love Bracelet contest is.......#129 Christina, who wrote: "I love the Glam Earrings!"

Congratulations to our winner and a great big thank you to all 181 people who participated.

PLEASE NOTE: This contest has ended.
Twisted Silver is your source for fabulous and funky jewelry - and now you have the chance to WIN one of their amazing Love Bracelets! (shown above, valued at $40)

To enter the contest, visit and then tell us which Twisted Silver piece you like best in our comment section below.

Be sure to use a valid email address and include info(at) in your address book so we can contact you if you're the winner. Comments must be posted by 12 noon ET on May 2 to be eligible to win. The winner will be announced on May 3. One lucky winner will be chosen at random. Open to U.S. residents only.

Good luck!

>> Why wait? Visit Twisted-Silver to shop now.

Do Luxury Designers Want to be Knocked-Off?

I think luxury fashion designers want to be copied. That's right. I think they're practically begging to be knocked-off. Why else would they dangle their luxury items in the faces of so many thousands of average Jills if not to elicit lust for their products - a yearning for designer labels that could only be fulfilled by going into debt OR through the acquisition of designer-inspired or imitated goods?

Think about it: The pages of every glossy magazine are chock-full of advertisements and articles touting expensive, high-end, designer wares. But who actually reads these magazines? Well, pretty much average gals like you and me, i.e., girls without the six-figure salaries that would be necessary to afford such luxury items.

High-end luxury designers also appeal to the masses by having celebrities rocking their wares. Now I understand that they can't control who wears what, but we've all heard it said that designers literally throw their stuff at stars, giving it away for free in hopes that they'll wear it, we'll see it, and it'll be the Next Big Thing.

So why do they do it? To create demand, I suppose. To profit from lower-end diffusion and bridge lines - so-called affordable luxury items - the bread and butter of most of these giant corporations. As I see it, in order for something to be the ultimate luxury, it must be desired by the many yet obtained by only the few. (a tricky Catch-22 - the most covetable items will by their very nature be copied...but then at some point you risk losing out to the copies.)

I could go on, but instead, I offer a simple solution (which probably has countless flaws that my dear readers will no doubt point out!): To stem the tide of luxury knock-offs, counterfeits and fakes, I suggest designers take the following countermeasures:

  • Don't advertise to the masses. Ok, so this may seem wholly unrealistic in today's digital era, but they aren't even trying to keep luxury goods elusive, exclusive, and rare. Target only your audience: the luxury consumer. How hard can this be? Instead of taking out ads in InStyle, just send mailings to your actual customers. No one will see the mailings besides them (and maybe their maid).

  • Stop giving celebrities freebies. Again, I'm pretty sure that people living in Beverly Hills know where to find you. Do you really need to shamelessly promote yourself with handouts? If your product is so good, let customers come to you by word of mouth.

  • Make online luxury retailers members-only websites. Luxury items will then be largely concealed behind a simple login screen. Yes, that would exclude people like myself and make me very sad - but I can't covet what I can't see, right?

Sporty-Chic Anoraks for Spring

The first thing I buy when I'm updating my wardrobe for a new season is my outerwear, and this Spring I was jonesing for, of all things, an updated anorak. I am eternally amused when designers take a boring, bastardly or otherwise maligned piece of clothing and resurrect it as something covetable and cool, which is precisely what Stella McCartney did months ago on the SSO8 runways with the anorak, and well, here we are today, seeing dozens of anorak offerings at every price point, in every store.

After this grand introduction, you'll probably find it amusing to see the jacket I actually purchased - it's the humble gray number on the right in the photo above. But God is in the details (trust me!) and this jacket, which I scored for $20 at H&M, has everything I could ever ask for and then some. Big pockets are perfect for stashing keys, doggie treats and plastic bags for my many daily walks with my Boxer pup. Or ya know, just for looking cool.

There's a hood, too, which is helpful considering I live in a part of the country that definitely sees plenty of Spring showers. To the untrained eye, it would appear my "revolutionary" new anorak is merely about function, but believe me when I say it has much more finesse. It's hard to explain. But I love this coat.

The closest thing I could find to it online is this Free People Nylon Hooded Jacket (above left) available at for $168.00. Yeah, kinda steep. Urban has a bunch of similar styles coats, though, so definitely check them out if you love this trend as much as I do.

But wait, there's more...

Here are a few more budget-friendly anorak finds for your viewing pleasure. Try a bright color if you wear mostly neutral shades, and vice versa. I won't lie and say you'll look automagically chic, because wearing the unstructured anorak will require its wearer to do more careful styling in order to look put together and up-to-date. If you're having doubts, stick with a classic trench. But if you're ready to try something new to transition you into Spring, give the beloved anorak a go.

[1] Beige anorak at (search for ref. 63015408) Orig. $99 Now $68.99
[2] Go International Twill Anorak at, $49.99
[3] Kenneth Cole Reaction City Anorak at, $98.00
[4] Bubble Sleeve Parka at, $121.06 NOW $61.63
[5] INC International Concepts Pullover Bubble-Sleeve Jacket at, Orig. $69.00 Now $44.99