The Budget Babe | Affordable Fashion & Style Blog

Yea or Nay: Betsey Johnson

Step inside any major department store (or even any off-price retailer) these days, and you can't help but notice the plethora of bejeweled, brightly colored and otherwise blinged out Betsey Johnson or Betseyville brand products. From handbags sewn from boldly patterned fabrics, or animal prints, splashed with hot pink details and adorned with shiny metallic trinkets, to heavy metal and rhinestone necklaces, bracelets, and earrings dripping with gems and charms, the Betsey Johnson label seems to have exploded in recent months—and it's edgy, cute, rock 'n' roll vibe is attracting throngs of followers.

Or is it? Well, I happen to know at least one Betsey addict who seeks out her duds on sale at places like Lord and Taylor or Bloomingdales. If you're patient, shop often, and get coupons to department stores, she says, you can score a $100 Betsey Johnson necklace for as little as $20. Sometimes even less. If you're willing to sift through racks at TJ Maxx, you can get a leather Betsey Johnson purse, perhaps something with studs and gold cherries hanging from the hardware, marked down from $249 to $49 on clearance. So while this isn't a budget brand, there's so much of it right now that you can wait and get it at a discounted price.

I can't deny the lure of the Betsey brand. I love the designer herself and her wild-child attitude. The costume jewelry is a little to over-the-top for my personal style, but I can certainly see it's appeal. A lot of it is very creative, inventive, and it seems like no two pieces are alike. If you have a young fashionable woman on your holiday gift list, chances are she's pining for some Betsey Johnson. My only fear is that BJ will oversaturate the market and go the way of Juicy, which is becoming less and less "cool" these days. So it's a definite "yea" for design and other girls who can rock this look—but a prudent "nay" when it comes to incorporating this look into my personal wardrobe.

Betsey Johnson: Yea or Nay?

[Above: A small smattering of Betsey Johnson and Betseyville products]

[1] Betsey Johnson Ice Princess Faux-Pearl Gold Plated Charm Bracelet Was $95, Now $76
[2] Betsey Johnson Buttoned-Up Layered Charm Necklace, $125
[3] Betsey Johnson Eau de Parfum, $75
[4] Betseyville by Betsey Johnson Flower Power Tote, Was $49 Now$36.75

I have a few Betsey dresses I scored on clearance for less than $20 each. It's worth it if you wait for a sale around prom season because the major stores (Macy's, Lord and Taylor) are trying to get them off the floor.
#1 Joann on 2008-11-23 10:38 (Reply)
Where on earth do you live that you were able to do that?!
#1.1 Peaches on 2008-11-23 12:11 (Reply)
Massachusetts. lol. I've scored amazing deals on designer gowns during prom season.
#1.1.1 Joann on 2008-11-23 22:36 (Reply)
I love Betsey Johnson stuff! There's one watch of hers selling on Urban Outfitters, but it's beyond my budget. I would have bought it if it were cheaper!
#2 Shuqi on 2008-11-23 11:12 (Reply)
Betsey is the Best. Period.
#3 Peaches on 2008-11-23 12:11 (Reply)
I suppose I'll have to be the one to start the nay-saying. Haha. Although I'll occasionally see a Betsey Johnson cocktail dress or lingerie set that catches my eye, it has never been enough for me to make a purchase. Like you, BB, most of her product just isn't "me". My 14-year-old younger sister, however, I'm sure would absolutely adore one of the pieces you've featured above. And, to be honest, that is pretty much what comes to mind when I look at those items - A very young, albeit fun!, girl. :-)
#4 Katie on 2008-11-23 13:27 (Reply)
I agree. I used to be in love with some of her earrings (which were fun, yet still very classic. Not like how most of her jewelry is now). I feel like if I wear certain pieces of hers it seems like I'm being too "Juicy Couture". But some her dresses are very funky and fun. I don't think that's necessarily my style though.
#5 Celeste (Homepage) on 2008-11-23 16:58 (Reply)
I quite like the whole girly rock/rebel chick flair of BJ and JC, however I do agree that often JC goes over the line and is just cheap looking - hello velour tracksuit anyone?? I think looks like this for those who aren't into going the whole hog with this style will appreciate the jewellry more than anything. I love the charm bracelets as they have that whole jingle factor and you can go crazy with unique looking charms without looking like weirdo.
#6 MizzJ (Homepage) on 2008-11-23 19:59 (Reply)
I personally love her stuff...some jewelry i like..some i don't..its a toss up every time I see it

but I do have to hand it to her..its creative..spunky...eclectic..and pretty

and yes you can definitely find some awesome bargains at marshalls or tjx with her brand

i bought 2 pairs of betsey johnson high socks for 5 bucks...cute AND bargain!
#7 Neira on 2008-11-23 20:29 (Reply)
I scored a leopard bag for way less i think it was on either Marshall's or TJ Maxx and i bought a bracelet on sale at Nordstrom's once i like most of her stuff sooo its a YEA from me
#8 milly on 2008-11-24 11:13 (Reply)
fashion is no fun if it is so out there it just hangs out in your closet. and, yes, i do live in the fashion-challenged midwest. thank you. :-)
#9 romi on 2008-12-08 22:13 (Reply)
Betsey really IS the best. Much of her stuff is so overpriced though; especially $30-$50 for costume jewelry & getting her shoes on sale for $100-$200. D:
#10 Becky on 2009-11-19 08:34 (Reply)
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