The Budget Babe | Affordable Fashion & Style Blog

LOFT Summer 2012 Collection Preview

Yesterday LOFT held their summer press preview in New York City amidst tropical flowers and fruity drinks, the perfect compliment to the collection's beach-resort vibe. Brights like turquoise, hot pink, yellow and lime green dominated the vibrant palette, balanced by plenty of crisp clean whites and soothing neutrals. Everything was about ease and warm breezes, from flowy maxi dresses to ikat-print shorts and lightweight tops. Accessories like striped beach totes, raffia clutches, espadrille sandals and stackable thread-wrapped bangles proved to be the perfect finishing touches for this cabana-inspired collection. Take a mini-vacation and browse all the photos taken by KC, my lovely correspondent. I'm obsessed with the belts, striped blazer and embracing the color green. Which pieces are your favorite?

Banana Republic Trina Turk Collection

Banana Republic and Trina Turk are teaming up to create a limited-edition capsule featuring chic summer essentials inspired by the southern California lifestyle. Available in June 2012, the nearly 60-piece collection of women's apparel and accessories will feature an array of summer must-haves, from flirty dresses to printed swimsuits and plush beach towels. Inspired by the Palm Springs "cocktails by the pool" lifestyle, the collection promises lots of color and Trina Turk's signature prints. Love me some Trina Turk, can't wait to stalk this collab and scoop up some pieces when it goes on sale (just being honest!).

Photo courtesy of Banana Republic

Allure and Launch Sample Society

Watch out Birchbox, there's a new beauty sample group on the block. It's called Sample Society, and it was created by Beauty Bar and Allure magazine. For $15 a month, Sample Society members will receive 5 deluxe-size samples from premium brands, monthly beauty news from Allure editors and a $15 gift code that can be used toward the purchase of any product from the featured brands received that month. As a final bonus, members receive a one-year subscription to Allure.

If I was a beauty blogger, I'd be all over this. But as it is, I can barely get through a tube of mascara let alone five beauty samples each month. I just don't use that much product (blasphemy, I know). But that's just me. In comparison, Birchbox is $10 a month for 4-5 samples and I have heard only good things from my Twitter buddies. I do love the idea of getting a lovely package each month in the mail with exciting new samples that are big enough for you to actually test, so I'll admit it's tempting.

Are you a fan of beauty sampling programs that let you try before you buy? Or do you find you end up spending more overall?

Sam Edelman for American Eagle Outfitters

Sam Edelman shoes has teamed up with American Eagle Outfitters for a (mostly) exclusive line of sandals and flats just in time for spring. Priced between $40 and $60, the collection included t-strap thongs, metallic gladiators, pretty ballet flats and ankle-strap wedges that look like Swedish Hasbeens. On the plus side, it's good to see a stylish selection of affordable shoes at AEO, but on the negative side, I can't really see anything that distinguishes these shoes as "Sam Edelman," which I've always felt was a brand known for having wearable shoes with a twist, something unique or quirky that made them stand out. You might just be better off buying American Eagle's no-name shoes which are priced, on average, about $10 less than those in the Sam Edelman collab.

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