The Budget Babe | Affordable Fashion & Style Blog

(Mostly) Budget Fashion Link Round-Up

College Candy discovers guilt-free shopping at

Betsey Johnson may be doing a diffusion line for either Target or H&M. [via The Cut]

Project Runway winner Christian Siriano will design a line for Payless [via The Cut]. Hmm, maybe they could tap Betsey Johnson, too? ranks the worst celebrity hairstyles of 2008.

Find the perfect last-minute gift and get exactly what you want at

Kate Moss signs on for another three years with TopShop [via StyleCrunch]

New York & Company is offering 50% off the entire site until Christmas - shop now! [Featured above: City Style Sleeveless Ruffled Blouse, Reg. $34.95 Sale $17.47]

7 Great Gifts for the Budget Snob

If you think you can't be cheap and a snob at the same time, you'd be wrong. Think affordable luxuries or Juicy Couture. High and low, luxe and less go hand in hand in today's world, and many of us penny-pinching fashionistas have champagne taste on a beer budget. Even in tough times, we can indulge those fantasies in oh-so-many ways. So here are seven handsome gifts under $50 for the budget snob on your list (she might be you!):

[Above: Dior Vernis Nail Polish in Black Sequins, $19 at]

How to Avoid Online Scams

Recently, someone left a comment on one of my archived posts warning readers about a sketchy company that claims to sell authentic Ugg boots. The reader says she placed her order and waited for weeks, but never saw the boots. Multiple attempts to reach customer service or get her money back have failed, so she's trying to warn other shoppers about this totally bogus and phony Ugg retailer.

Reading something like this is really upsetting, especially since the reader says she was trying to get the Uggs as Christmas gifts for her nieces. But it also reminded me of the importance of really knowing who you're buying from before you make a purchase—especially around the holidays when criminals prey on unsuspecting shoppers who are literally desperate to get that latest "must-have" item under the tree by December 25.

So here are some tips to help you avoid online scams, because scoring a "great bargain" is not worth the very real risk of losing your hard earned cash (or your personal information, for that matter):

  • Buy from online stores that also have brick-and-mortar stores. If you shop at the Bath & Body Works at your local mall, you can pretty much guarantee that is a legimate website too. Double-check the url to ensure you're in the right place.

  • Research the website. Do a quick Google search for the name of the store and "review." That's what I did for the Ugg retailer in question, and right away, I found dozens of serious complaints from customers on various forums. Red flag, people! Steer cleer.

  • Assess the quality of the website itself. Does it have a neat, professional layout? Are there misspelled words? Does it at least claim to have secure checkout, contact information and a clear return policy? I understand many fledgling companies don't have the resources to produce fancy e-stores, but if a website looks really sketchy and sloppy to you, don't risk it. Wait and see if the store is still around in a couple months, then consider making a purchase.

  • If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. This old adage certainly rings true in the digital age. If some store claims to sell dirt cheap "authentic" Uggs in styles and sizes that are sold out everywhere else, you know something's up.

How do you shop safe online?

New York & Company Widget

New York & Company recently launched a widget, "NY Style Notebook," with fashion advice from Carson Kressley, videos, style tips, and updated offers. I added it to my iGoogle hompage and it's pretty cute, has a nifty Christmas countdown clock, holiday gift ideas and a daily deal from NY & Co. Check it out (above) or download it for yourself here: