The Budget Babe | Affordable Fashion & Style Blog

Made in the USA Monday: Save the Garment District x Caravan Studios

In addition to "Eco-Friendly Fridays," I'm going to try to implement a new feature here on The Budget Babe called "Made in the USA Mondays." My goal is to become a more educated consumer and I hope you'll join me. I won't get preachy, I promise, and yes, I'm still going to feature fashions made overseas (in part because less than 5 percent of our clothing is made in the United States).

To start, here's a short video with a simple message to help save New York City's historic garment district. Caravan Stylist Studios enlisted the help of some 20 celebs to spread the word about SAVE THE GARMENT

I had never heard of Caravan before, but apparently it's a full service hair, makeup, and wardrobe studio in the heart of the fashion district and is complimentary to editors, bloggers, actresses, musicians and designers. It's also a place where guests can visit and learn about new designers, especially ones producing in the Fashion District and throughout the USA. Guess I'll be making a trip to Caravan soon - and if you're a blogger visiting the NYC area, you might want to check them out!

Ask BB: When's the Best Time to Shop for Wardrobe Staples?

I recently lost a lot of weight after being obese all my life. I don't have tons of money and I need to buy a lot of clothes. Can you write up a simple buying at the end of the season article? Like, what is possible to buy when, what I should grab ASAP and what are the best times of the year to grab up some sales when buying a lot? Also, can you suggest what somebody like me should buy first when dealing with a tight budget and practically empty closet? What are those must haves? I am 26 years old. —Veronika

First I just want to congratulate you on achieving your weight loss goals! I'm honored you'd ask me for advice, so here goes. Shopping used to be seasonal and big sales only came around a few times each year. But nowadays, fast fashion has completely changed the retail landscape. You can get good deals pretty much year round. It's still smart to shop for fall and winter apparel during after-Christmas sales and it's still smart to shop for spring/summer fashions during summer blowout sales but don't feel pressured to buy, buy, buy during these times. I'd recommend building your wardrobe slowly and steadily over the course of the year, buying pieces you love rather than buying what's on sale. You mentioned "must haves" and that's a great place to start.

Your wardrobe will depend on your job and lifestyle but some essential items include: A boyfriend blazer, a perfect pair of dark denim jeans (bootcut or skinny based on your preference), a neutral colored sheath dress; a trench coat; leather riding boots; black pencil skirt; perfect tees in white, gray and black; black leather ballet flats; nude pumps and a structured handbag. I kinda love this Lucky mag video that shows you how to get 90 outfits with $500 - they show how a few key staples can be mixed and matched in an almost endless way.

I'll conclude by saying focus on what brings you joy as you adjust to your new shape. Finding fashion that fits and makes us feel beautiful is a journey we are all on!

What advice would you share with Veronika? Let her know in the comments!

Off the Rack: Princess Vera Wang for Kohl's Debut Collection

Prince Vera Wang for Kohl's Fall Press Preview

Here are some photos I snapped a couple months ago at the Princess Vera Wang for Kohl's Fall 2012 press preview in NYC, which showcased designer Vera Wang's new juniors line of apparel, shoes and accessories in stores now. The collection was grouped into a couple categories for the modern day "princess," be she preppy, punk or boho. I spied all the latest "trends," from neon and polka dots to print pants, statement necklaces and loafer flats. Many of the items you'll see in my photos are now available online and in stores and they're already on sale. Oh, Kohl's.

Enjoy more photos after the jump...

See more photos from the preview on The Budget Babe Facebook page.