The Budget Babe | Affordable Fashion & Style Blog

5 Sites Like J.Crew But Cheaper (For Clothes!)

5 sites like J.Crew for clothes (but cheaper!)

Every time I get a new issue of the J.Crew catalog in the mail, I immediately start ripping out pages, tacking them to my (extremely disorganized and messy) inspiration board in my office and then hit the web in search of budget-friendly items that will help me recreate those coveted looks on a real girl's budget. I'm all for shopping at J.Crew for sale items and special pieces but building an entire wardrobe from this pricey retailer isn't for everyone. So here are the top 5 spots I like to shop for J.Crew-esque clothes on the cheap!

The Look for Less: Free People Cold Shoulder Sweater

Here's a reader request from Twitter user @meghancmusic who was looking for a cheaper version of this Free People sweater ($108):

Free People Cold Shoulder Top

Here are some look for less options we found:

Cold Shoulder Top
Tobi Cold Shoulder Top (also in taupe, black or burgundy), $62

Mango Top
Mango Cut Out Shoulder Sweater, $42 (also in black)

Songbird Open Shoulder Sweater, $59 (also in black or blue)

Beauty Splurge vs. Steal of the Week: Blurring Cream

Splurge vs. Steal: Blurring Creams

In this weekly column, I’m bringing you my favorite budget-friendly beauty products that are available online and in-store. Also make sure to check out my blog, for even more beauty product reviews, tricks and tips.

BB creams, CC creams and now blurring creams? Yes! And let me tell you why…they’re awesome. So what exactly IS a blurring cream? Similar to a BB cream, it will give you a little coverage but what I love about the Peter Thomas Roth version, in particular, is that it actually has diamond dust and peptides to help “blur” out any imperfections and blemishes. It’s like Photoshopping your face in real life…but yeah, it’s $48.

Ask BB: Stylish Diaper Bags on a Budget

Diaper bag

QuestionI'm [5] months pregnant and on the hunt for a stylish (and budget friendly) diaper bag. Any recommendations? —Katherine M.

QuestionFirst off, congratulations! You're about to embark on the most magical journey of your life. This journey can also get really expensive, really fast, so you're right to want a diaper bag that's affordable.

Now there seem to be two schools of thought among moms when it comes to diaper bags: Those who say a diaper bag is essential and those who say any ol' bag can double as a diaper bag. I started out with a traditional diaper bag, then moved on to a regular handbag for carrying all my little one's supplies and gear. I liked the idea of having a "real" diaper bag for those early months - it's sort of a rite of passage, and it functioned really well. Plus, once I knew what I needed in a bag, I could easily pick out a regular bag that would do the job equally well.

Splurge vs. Steal: Valentino Rockstud Rain Boots

Splurge vs. Steal: Valentino Rockstud Rain Boots

While I was getting my hair done last week at the salon, I glanced down at the feet of the girl sitting next to me and spied a glossy black pair of authentic Valentino Rockstud rain boots. It was a gray rainy day (of course it would rain the one day I'm getting a blow-out) and those boots really stood out! I started hunting for a look for less, and found a near identical dupe at Nasty Gal. Rain boots aren't just for springtime, and they don't have to be an afterthought in your closet or something that ruins an otherwise chic outfit. If you want rain boots with a stylish edge, check out these two finds:

Splurge: Valentino Rockstud Rain Boots, $425 at JILDORSHOES.COM
Steal: "Reagan" Stud Rain Boots, $65 at NASTYGAL.COM