The Budget Babe | Affordable Fashion & Style Blog

Ask BB: Messenger Bags on a Budget

I'm looking for a cute, functional and fun messenger that will fit my lifestyle. Any suggestions? —CW

Here's a great little messenger bag I found at for $25 that boasts a clean design and convenient adjustable strap. According to the product description, a portion of the proceeds from this 100% natural cotton bag supports efforts for a greener planet. Take your pick of three brilliant colors - lime green, tangerine or ivory.

Eastsport Cotton Drawstring Messenger Bag, $25 at (click image for details)

Forever 21 to Launch New Contemporary Line, Love 21

Forever 21 reported on Twitter that a few weeks after the launch of Faith 21, their new plus size line (online and in select stores on Friday!!), the fast-fashion chain will be launching a new contemporary line called Love 21. "Love 21 will have the trends you find at F21 but with more focus on fabrication and trims, and a more sophisticated feel," read the tweets. What next, Hope 21? But seriously, you know I'm excited!

Off the Rack: Spring/Summer Shoes at DSW

Clockwise from top-left: Strappy studded heels from Zigi Soho ($59.95); Cut-out details on real-leather Steve Madden Luxe Collection heels ($42 on clearance); Metallic/Python gladiator flats by Modern Vintage ($129.95 - ouch!); Gucci-inspired platform heels (also similar to the YSL Tribute heel) by Diba ($49.95).

A few days ago I checked out my nearest DSW to see what was in store for spring, and I must say I was very impressed. While the most current styles weren't priced that much lower than what you'd pay at a department store, they had a fantastic selection and you can always wait for a sale (or sign up for the DSW rewards club online or in-store to get coupons via email and snail mail.) I tried on just about every shoe in the clearance section and ended up buying a pair of Calvin Klein black leather platform pumps from $40, marked down 80 percent (you do the math, hehe). Incidentally, those are the only shoes I did not photograph yet, that pic will have to come. Do you have love for DSW? What's your strategy for scoring great deals at this popular shoe warehouse?


Steve Madden Luxe Collection Flats, $69.94 plus additional mark-down (I forget what the blue tag represents)

Huarache-inspired high heel sandals by Lauren Ralph Lauren.

BCBG Paris cage heels (remind me of the YSL cage platforms)

The Look for Less: Pour La Victoire "Pascale" Heels

Pour La Victoire at ShopStyle

Here's a shoe that takes the gladiator trend that's been popular since forever, and blends it with the huarache sandal trend that's hot for spring/summer 2009. It's the eye-catching "Pascale" High Heel Huarache Sandals by Pour La Victoire, and it'll cost you $318 at

To get the look for less (although still not cheap), check out the Chinese Laundry "Bounty." Get it in black, camel or brown at for $128.95.