The Budget Babe | Affordable Fashion & Style Blog

The Look for Less: Ann Taylor Neon Necklace

Like many of you, I'm obsessed with Ann Taylor's neon "sunburst" necklaces which come in yellow, pink or orange. You can cave and pay $78 or wait patiently for a sale. You could also use a coupon (the CouponSherpa mobile app currently has one for 40% off any one full price item), or sign up for Ann Taylor newsletters and get 20% off.

If you're looking for a slightly cheaper alternative, t + j Designs has some eye-catching neon necklaces that might be just what you've been craving. These beauties range from $38-$40, and they have other sparkle for even less.

Another option comes from fashion-blogger-favorite Spike the Punch. I was late to the Spike the Punch lovefest and now it seems most styles are out of stock, but I'm sure they will replenish their neon necklaces eventually. Most are $50.

Finally, I picked up a clear crystal necklace from Forever 21 a few months ago now and plan on painting it (eventually) with neon nail polish, so there's always the DIY route.

If you've found a great neon necklace on a budget, let us know in the comments!

What I'm Wearing: Stripes and Ikat

After battling a cold all of last week (during a heatwave, ugh), I took the opportunity to "dress up" this weekend at the first signs of feeling better. For me that meant swapping out my flat sandals for some heels and adding a white blazer to the t-shirt and shorts looks that I've been wearing just about every day. The finishing touch was my Lands' End Canvas fedora - something about wearing a hat just makes me feel fun and carefree, and isn't that what summer's all about? Quick note: If you have trouble finding a hat that fits, you'll love this hat - it comes in two sizes, SM and LXL - I got the LXL which fits my big head perfectly. And it's just $23.99 (down from $40). More pics and ramblings after the jump...

Get the look:

BB's Weekly Fashion Link Round Up: Mulberry Gets Wild, YSL Changing Its Name and More

Who What Wear is feeling inspired by Quality Magazine's retro fresh spread and Mulberry's fall campaign.

The Cut reports Yves Saint Laurent is changing its name (gasp!).

Racked rounds up 5 hot-weather hair tutorials.

Viva Fashion is loving these retro bathing suits for summer.

The Recessionista reviews the Trina Turk for Banana Republic collection.

ELLE has the scoop on Jennifer Hudson's upcoming QVC line.

Pinterest is the place to see the Oscar de la Renta Resort 2013 collection.

The Grindstone wonders, is Fifty Shades of Grey more about money than sex?

The Powder Room shares three ways to wear a high-waist, mid length skirt.

College Candy finds 8 minty fashions under $20.

Style It Online is all about ikat for summer.

Enter to win a $1,000 gift card from The Container Store AND $1,000 credit to spend on Details here.

Calling all DIYers! Show off your best tie-dye creation for a chance to win up to a year of free StyleMint swag. Upload your entry on the StyleMint Facebook page.

Second City Style takes a look at the just-launched MAC x Ruffian collection.

Win a summer tote full of goodies from BaubleBar in their Pinterest contest!

In case you missed it, win a signed copy of Already Pretty by Sally McGraw in this week's giveaway.

Win a Signed Copy of 'Already Pretty' by Sally McGraw

UPDATE: And the winner is… #12 Yolanda Mosoeu! Congrats to our winner and a sincere thanks to everyone who entered, I was so touched by your responses. xoBB

Win a Signed Copy of 'Already Pretty' by Sally McGraw

Please note: This giveaway has ended and is now closed to further entries.

Today's giveaway is near and dear to my heart. My friend and fellow blogger, Sally McGraw, just wrote her first book, Already Pretty: Learning to Love Your Body by Learning to Dress it Well - and she's giving away a signed copy to one lucky BB reader!

Sal's blog ( goes beyond fashion trends to cover the issues we all face as women regarding our body image and self-love. She shares thoughtful advice and engages her readers in meaningful conversations about true beauty - beauty that comes from within but can be nurtured and enhanced through the decisions we make about our physical selves and the ways we present ourselves to the world.

Sal's book, "Already Pretty" is a natural extension of her blog and while I'm waiting to get my copy, I have no doubt that it's filled with the same smart, down-to-earth, sophisticated advice that makes Sal's voice so unique and so desperately needed in the fashion blogging community.

So. On with the giveaway!

To enter:
  • Tell me about one of your own personal self-love revelations in the comments section below. What's helped you accept your body? Love your flaws? Made you smile when you looked in the mirror? Write whatever comes to you!

Entries must be posted by 12 noon EST on July 2, 2012 to be eligible to win. Open to readers worldwide.

Here's the back cover copy for the book:

Ask BB: Can You Suggest Some Budget-Friendly Dress Options for a Wedding Rehearsal?

Could you please suggest some budget friendly dresses to wear to a wedding rehearsal dinner as a bridesmaid? —Jennie

Weddings bring out my romantic side, so I tend to reach for dresses in soft colors and floaty fabrics with details like ruffles and lace for things like bridal showers, rehearsal dinners and weddings themselves. What can I say, I'm a total sap. Besides, I hardly ever wear girly things in my everyday life, so I seize these opportunities to show my softer side and would encourage you to do the same!

Here's a lovely hi-low hem dress from Charlotte Russe. I haven't seen it in person but it looks heavenly in this photo:

I love the flowy feel of this maxi dress from UK Style by French Connection for Sears. It looks way more expensive than it's $28.99 pricetag. Dress it up with bangles, dangly earrings and wedge sandals.

And how dreamy is this pale blue and pink colorblock dress? Swoon. Just $46.99 at

Finally, this ruffle-trim number is demure yet full of fun with a "Kate Spade" attitude. It's available in petite thru plus sizes at for $24.99, which leaves you plenty of money for shoes (nude pumps would look amazing) and jewelry.

Have a budget-friendly dress suggestion for Jennie? Tell her in the comments!