The Budget Babe | Affordable Fashion & Style Blog

Off the Rack: Spring Fashions at J. Crew

Since I live in a college town, there's a J. Crew store just minutes from my home. Although it's not the cheapest place to shop, the quality is there and the sales are great. I routinely stop by just to see what's new and gather inspiration. For spring, J. Crew is showing lots of casual basics that will integrate easily into your existing wardrobe: Striped tops, chambray shirts, madras plaid and soft colors like sky blue, honeysuckle pink, coral and lemon yellow. If nothing else, new-for-spring nail polish shades from Essie are worth a trip: Milkyway, Peep Show, Au Naturale, Flawless and Cute as a Button will all have you swooning. Also, be sure to check the sales racks: I tried on a vibrant coral cardigan, cool cargo jacket, striped tank, floral shorts and more, all marked down under $50.

Click through for more photos. Anything catching your eye?

Lunch Hour Shopping: Final Sale Women's Fashion at Gilt Groupe Up to 80% Off

DEAL: Final Sale! Save up to 80% off top designers like Tory Burch, Tucker for Target ($29 skirt!), Cole Haan, Alice + Olivia, Alexander Wang, Badgley Mischka (the gown above is just $129) and many many more.
WHERE: Gilt Groupe
DATES: Sale starts today at 12 noon ET. These sales only come around once in a blue moon so act fast as popular items are likely to sell out within 10 to 15 minutes of the sale's start.

What I'm Wearing: Wanted Shoes 'Montana' Boots

On the very same day that the zipper broke on my "Kayden" utility boots from Target (purchased April 2009), I received an email from the folks at Wanted Shoes offering me a complimentary pair of shoes for review. I took it as a sign, and immediately settled upon a near-identical style to replace my beloved Kaydens called the "Montana" boot in tan textile. The red zipper detail on the back gives them a hint of distinction. After one long walk they were broken in; now I wear them every day, the perfect shoe to transition from winter to spring. My only complaint would be the sizing: My last pair of Wanted Shoes - the "Ballard" riding boots - were a size 9 (they don't offer half sizes) whereas I had to get a size 10 in the Montana. And yet, lined up sole to sole, the Montana 10 is the exact same length as the Ballard 9. Improved consistency in sizing would benefit this great brand.

The "Montana" boot is available in black, brown or tan for $49.99 (down from $69.99) at

Outfit details: Forever 21 trench, Joe's Jeans straight leg jeans via Hautelook, Fossil sunglasses (borrowed), Fossil messenger bag via T.J. Maxx, Fraas scarf (gifted), China Glaze "Life Preserver" nail polish (gifted)

Win $3000 to Shop with Whitney Port

Shop It To Me has teamed with American Express Premium Return Protection to offer one lucky fashion-lover a $3000 shopping spree with Whitney Port! That's not all -- each day through April 2, Shop It To Me will be giving away a PRP subscription and $100 to shop Whitney's No Regrets Spring Picks.

Enter to win by completing the following steps:

  1. Follow @ShopItToMe and @AmericanExpress on twitter

  2. Tweet the following phrase:

    Want to win a $3000 shopping spree w/ @whitneyeveport? Follow @shopittome @americanexpress & RT to win: #NoRegrets

See official rules for all the details.