The Budget Babe | Affordable Fashion & Style Blog

Spring Fashion Trend: Beaded Collars

Anything that helps us get dressed quickly and look effortlessly put-together is a big winner in our book, which is why we're loving the idea of beaded collars. Forget the struggle of finding the right accessories: With an embellished neckline, there's no need for a necklace, earrings become optional, and at the very most, all you need to dress your wrists is a bangle or two. (Hey, that's less money spent on baubles, too, right?)

Tunics, tanks and dresses all benefit from beaded collars. Tribal-inspired wooden beads look casually chic for day; dainty pearl embellishments add the perfect touch for a night out. As far as we're concerned, it's full bead ahead with this very wearable trend. Click the pics for product details...

Savvy Travel: Santiago Atitlan

The Budget Babe's International Travel Advisor Fifi LaMode enjoys a few moments of solemn reflection in Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala. —TBB

by Fifi LaMode
Several villages dot the landscape around Lake Atitlan. Probably the most visited is Santiago Atitlan. The shops on the narrow streets sell paintings, handicrafts and richly embroidered fabrics. Each region of Guatemala has its distinctive embroideries. In Santiago Atitlan it's birds: Quetzales, macaws, you name it.

What is also unique to the area is the headdress the women wear. It's a thin red woolen band that wraps around and around the head, forming a sort of halo effect. Of course the women make it look easy but it's a thin strip of wool and I don't know how they wind it around without anything slipping. The tradition is very old as these headdresses can be found on monuments from at least 1200 years ago. This area is also known for ikat, a tie-dyed thread used in weaving.

In the square there is a church that's a reminder that it was not always so peaceful in Santiago Atitlan. Guatemala suffered immensely during a 30-year civil war which ended in 1996. Many civilians died or disappeared. Some of the deaths were caused by guerrillas, some by government militias. Sometimes one masqueraded as the other to shift blame.

Seeing Double: World Shopper Tote

You know something's hot when Forever 21 comes a knock knock knockin' on (or off?) your door. And apparently, reusable shopping totes are smoking: Forever 21 seems to have copied this World Shopper Bag (a bag that we featured back in July 2007) from Target. The price difference is negligible, so I'd say go with the original. But hey, as long as you're skipping the paper and plastic, I suppose any reusable bag is better than none.

>> Left: World Shoppers Bag at, $13.99
>> Right: World Shopper Tote at, $10.80

Poll: Are Jellies Hot or Not?

Seems like every designer is reworking the jelly sandal for Spring - Marc Jacobs, Givenchy, Fendi, and Michael Kors to name a few - and there are dozens of budget-friendly jellies to choose from as well. But we all know (especially us '80s babies) that plastic shoes often equal painful, sweaty feet. Nonetheless, something like this clear jelly thong sandal (above) with an adjustable ankle strap looks pretty cute and wearable for say, the beach or poolside - and for $7.80, we're willing to give juicy jellies one more try! But what about you…

Above: Pella Jelly Thong at (also available in charcoal), $7.80

Paint-Splash Prints on a Budget

Designers are referencing art movements such as abstract expressionism for Spring. What does it all mean? It's time to express your inner artist. Paint splatters never looked so chic.

[1] Go International Abstract Stripe Top at, $18.99
[2] Brushed Chiffon Tunic at, $19.80
[3] Ombre Print Dress at, £50.00
[4] Abstract Metallic Top at, $22.80
[5] Simply Vera Vera Wang Shirred-Neck Tee at Kohl's stores, now $24.99
[6] Contemporary chiffon tunic at, $27.80
[7] Simply Vera Vera Wang Embellished Top at Kohl's stores, now $34.99

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