Quickie Darling Deal & Steal: The Black Peep Toes from Payless That’ve Lasted Me All Day!


I haven’t been loyal to any daily readers out there b/c I failed to post a blog for the day, but it’s still Wednesday & I’ve got a little time left & a little something to dish on.  See these shoes here?  I wore them all day today, from 8:30am until 10:00pm.  Of course my work day consisted of a lot of sitting time in my cubicle & then I drove back & forth to Southampton (1hr – 45min each way), so I’m cheating a little bit here. You dan’t deny that that’s a long day of the same pair of heels & I can’t complain one bit about how my feet feel!

I posted their red companion in a Quickie Darling Deal & Steal blog last month about suede shoes @Payless & I’m definitely kicking myself for not getting the red pair when I had the chance.  The sturdy heel & knot detail just scream a little bit Marilyn Monroe & they’re just so easy to add to just about any look.  Back in April, as seen in a Luxury Look-Alikes for Less posting, I was lucky enough to score the nude pair, which have lasted me all summer & into fall so far! They’re by far, my sexiest, most classic looking heels for when I want to be polished, but playful at the same time!

Right now these Fioni ‘Kutie’ knot platform pumps are on sale for $19.99, marked down from $27.99.  If you’ve got too many black shoes & are looking to spice things up with an unexpected pop of color, the navy ones are also on sale.  However, the black is only available in both regular & wide width sizes.

I wanted to share these b/c they were so stylish to go with my work outfit, consisting of a knee-length abstract print black & white pleated bubble skirt that I paired with a patent red Nine West belt & wore a tucked in black tissue tee to help show off my shape.  On top, I finished off my look with a white short-sleeved cardigan & went about my work day, earning a handful of compliments on my ensemble.  After, when I was headed to an Open House @SUNY Southampton for their MFA program (cross your fingers, I applied for the spring), I wanted to sit more comfortably in my car during the long, rainy commute.  So I changed into my dark denim bootcut jeans & a sparkly black long-sleeved cardigan over my untucked tee.  Somehow I had the time this morning to think of bringing my silver & gold braided belt to complete the very dark look.  I feared for the safety of my peep toes b/c it was raining pretty heavily, but now I’m home & they’ve withstood the elements successfully!

Do you have a pair of go-to comfortable heels?  Do you have any Payless stories?  Would you buy & wear these?  Happy Styling!

Color Me Style: I’m Crazy for Hailee Steinfeld’s Yellow Accessories!


Not too long ago (or so it seems now), I dedicated a very special Color Me Style blog to my friend, Estelle (& fellow blogger- see blog here), who was in search of elegant yellow heels to wear to her wedding, which was in March.  Now go with me on this… I’m reminded of the beautiful ceremony & good times that were had with this image of Oscar nominee, Hailee Steinfeld, b/c of her fabulous canary yellow Jimmy Choo pumps & clutch.  While Estelle was looking for something in satin, ladylike, & appropriate for a formal occasion, this image & Estelle’s hunt just go hand-in-hand b/c not many choose to gravitate towards yellow footwear.  Here’s proof that it’s worth a shot!

Style Darlings like Rihanna, Katy Perry, & Lady Gaga helped to bring 80s-style back, & here Hailee is keeping the trend going, especially with this black & white striped Versace dress. She’s definitely edgy, youthful, & playful with this well-styled pop of color. I was unable to find where one may buy these Jimmy Choo accessories & I’m sure they’d be mighty pricey, so here are a few alternates that I’ve found to suit your sunshiney days! If you are looking for Jimmy Choo shoes & clutches, head to Nordstrom, DSW, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, & Net-A-Porter.

As for shoes, we have suede platform stiletto pumps ($30.00) & crinkle almond toe pumps ($30.00), both from Charlotte Russe.  Also from Sears, you’ll find a round toe pump by Attention ($9.99)! If you’re looking to imitate the pointed toe look, try Pleaser’s ‘Milan’ pump ($49.95) from Endless, or the Second Glance pointy toe pumps also from Sears.

When it came time to search for clutches, yellow leather was a little difficult to find, given that yellow is not the go-to color this fall.  However, with the help of sifting through the endlessly addictive catalogues on Shop Style, I found this portfolio envelope clutch ($36.59) @ASOS, but it is currently out of stock.  Sad face.

And now happy face.  My friend Stacey, creator of Etsybrook, would be proud to see that I’m featuring a handmade yellow patent leather clutch ($40.00) from Etsy!

I am the proud owner of two pairs of yellow pumps, a mustard-hued round toe & bright yellow pointed toe, both from past seasons @Payless.  Some days I find it hard to keep the bright yellow on my feet, especially in an office environment, but I love wearing the surprise of color when going out.  Here on Long Island, it’s not quite fall yet, so let’s keep the brightness going, even though we’re losing daylight a little big everyday.

If you like Hailee’s style, check out her recent ad campaign for Miu Miu, as well as some of her top red carpet looks! Is this look age-appropriate for the fourteen-year-old star? Would you wear yellow like this?  Happy Styling!

Fashion Flashback / Magazine Must-Haves: Michelle Williams Channels Marilyn Monroe for Vogue!


I recently posted (here) about Michelle Williams‘ upcoming role as Marilyn Monroe in My Week with Marilyn, where she plays the troubled sex symbol during one week of filming The Prince & the Showgirl opposite Laurence Olivier in London in 1957.  I’ve been following as much as I can about the film, which is set to premiere on November 4th. (P.S. My editorial on the classic romantic comedy is coming soon on Movie Buzzers!)

The October issue of Vogue showcases the two-time Academy Award nominee, recreates Marilyn’s bombshell & all-American style in a photo shoot by none other than photographer Anne Leibovitz. Michelle is decked out in gorgeous gowns with plunging necklines, decadent diamonds, & the flip side: classic trousers & sweater sets!

While some critics are skeptical about Michelle’s ability to capture the underestimated comedienne, this film is making its world premiere as a centerpiece selection at the New York Film Festival (see my Movie Buzzers article here).

For more news on Marilyn’s inspiring style, check out a previous post in Fashion Flashback to see Dior’s new commercial, starring Charlize Theron, but thanks to technology, we get to see the ill-fated actress exclaim over the J’adore fragrance with fellow style icons, Marlene Dietrich & Grace Kelly.  Hmmm… so many blondes!  What’s a brunette to do?

What do you think of Michelle’s transformation?  Would you have picked someone different to fill in the infamous heels of the blonde legend?  Are you going to see this movie?  Who’s your favorite Old Hollywood style icon?  Happy Styling!

Luxury Look-Alikes for Less: Earrings by Alexis Bittar Vs. Jennifer Lopez for Kohl’s!


I just so happened to be clicking around on the Intermix site, which sells the jaw-droppingly stylish brands like Zac Posen, Diane von Furstenberg, & See by Chloe.  I knew that I hadn’t made a jewelry-based post in a while, so I took a click on over to the earrings & found so many gorgeous luxury pieces by designer, Alexis Bittar.  Personally, I’m not a big earrings Style Darling- I wear my glasses everyday, therefore I stick to studs so that my head doesn’t look too much like a Christmas tree.

Anyway, I found two pairs of chic drops which reminded me of Jennifer Lopez’s line @Kohl’s, for which I’ve written amply about here & on Culture Mob. In looking at the prices of Alexis Bittar’s very elegant earrings, I knew that they were out of reach since I’m on a super tight budget (I’m planning my next trip to Italy in January & I’m in super savings mode- especially after my last dress purchase!).

The concave teardrop earrings are $245.00 & the oval chain link pave crystal earrings in rose gold are $210.00.  While I highly recommend these styles to go with an LBD, blouse & skinny jeans look for a girl’s night, or a cocktail dress for a late-night party, they’re out of budget.  If you’re seeking just as dazzling earrings without the genuine gold price tag, take a look at the gold tone mesh drop earrings on sale for $21.00 (originally $28.00) & rose gold tone simulated crystal drop earrings for $15.00 (originally $20.00), both by Jennifer Lopez for Kohl’s. The latter pair is also available in gold tone & silver tone for the same price too!

Since I’m not quite at the point where I can drop a few hundred dollars on a whim for jewelry, it is nice to look around & see what’s out there.  I receive emails from the official Alexis Bittar website & frequent her fun & fashion forward blog as well.

Check out previous Luxury Look-Alikes for Less posts where you can shop for less expensive items similar to major brands like Dolce Vita, Salvatore Ferragamo, & Kate Spade!

Where do you find your favorite fashion jewelry pieces?  Would you wear rose gold drop earrings?  Do you like Jennifer Lopez’s line for Kohl’s?  Are you familiar with the Alexis Bittar brand?  Give me your feedback & comments! Happy Styling!

Quickie Darling Deal & Steal: My New Favorite (Semi-Formal) LBD!


During what was supposed to be a hunt for bargains at the Tanger Outlet in Riverhead, I had one of those shopping-with-my-bestie-Rosie moments @White House Black Market & decided (with her consent) to try on the same dress that she was trying on, not thinking for a moment that I’d end up getting it!  However, even though I was very tired- trying to fight away a bad sinus infection- I had enough energy to slip into this strapless satin sheath dress, which hugged my curves in all the right ways. It did not fit my shopping companion, so Rosie wished it well for me.  It was very funny when we both stepped out of our dressing rooms, we looked like bridesmaids.  She eventually found a dress for herself (similar to this one), but in this in-the-moment fitting, I fell in love with the flattering simplicity of the pleated dress & just had to bring it home to make friends with my other dresses!

The very enthusiastic fitting room attendant insisted that I try the confection of an LBD on with heels, which only made it worse- but better really.  Seeing how the whole look would come together with dress shoes very similar to my own, I had to have it.  Although the price tag of $89.99 was way more epic more than what I was looking to spend, making a smart investment in a dress that I can wear to any fancy occasion for any season was reason enough for me. After all, the dress was marked down significantly from $168.00!

In addition, I did manage to score a delightful hot pink bubble skirt for $19.99 & a fun lace-trimmed black & white cami for $9.99 (similar to this one) from their front & center sale racks, which made me feel even better about my time spent there.

When you shop at WHBM, if you give them your info at the time of purchase & spend over $300.00, you’re automatically going to receive another 5% off on future purchases.  Perhaps until you spend some other high bracket amount & maybe that percentage will go up? Not sure- I’m not there yet! Every now & again I’ll take the road trip out to the WHBM outlet just for the sales, which are soooo much better than the sale racks at th elocal store in the nearby mall.

I’m attending a wedding of another close friend in a week & even though I wasn’t necessarily looking for a new dress to wear, this little black number is perfect! Since it is starting to get chilly this September, I’ll pair the dress with a cute lace jacket that I bought a while ago from Charlotte Russe– one such jacket that I wore with another darling WHBM floral dress which was purchased last year & worn to 2 other wedding.  Depending on the weather, I’ll break out some pretty textured tights & probably opt for a bright satin heel.  One of these days I’ll get to posting my actual ensembles, but until then…

Are you a WHBM shopper?  Do you have any fun LBD stories?  What’s the most you’d spend on a cocktail dress?  Do you have any go-to dresses for weddings?  Happy Styling!

NYC Street Style: Fall-Ready Flats, Belts, Tights, Scarves, & Boots, Oh My!


I recently took a few trips into NYC, to see Catch Me If You Can on Broadway before it closed, & I attended a special advanced screening of The Lion King 3D before it opened this past weekend.  Good times were had with friends & plenty of wine was consumed, however, post-Labor Day street style has brought out some new fall pieces like flats, belts, textured tights, scarves, & boots.

I’ve been doing a lot of posting recently about what the stars are wearing & indulging in my favorite new category, Super Style Wishlist, but I have not forgotten the roots of Style Darling, style on a budget.  Seeing all the different combinations of belts over tunic tops or button downs with leggings & skinny jeans, paired with flats, there’s just so much to talk about!

I clicked through some of my favorite websites for affordable accessories & shoes & couldn’t decide what to pick, so I focused on items, on a store-to-store basis.  Where are you looking to get some new belts this season?  I recommend Forever 21, with prices ranging from $1.50 – $8.80 in the belts shown.  Sizes range from Small – Large, but if you click here for Forever 21+, you can find fashionable belts in the same price range that go from XL – 3X.

I’m loving the flats this season from Payless, especially the ones designed by Christian Siriano & Z London.  Post-summer styles start at $12.99 & newer designer styles go up to $49.99, but the prints are so versatile for your office look or weekend look.  Inspired by my weekend in New York City, you can bet a lot of the city going gals are pounding the pavement in these comfortable foot-friendly flats in croc, leopard, with jewel embellishments, or bows?!

My absolutely favorite part of this time of year is that I can now break out my textured tights.  The store that is selling the best designs is certainly Express.  I love florals, animal prints, polka dots, striped, & anything you can think of to go with my tweed, bubble, or pencil skirts!  The prices of these tights & many more on the website, range in price from $14.90 – $29.90, but if you are signed up to receive emails, you’ll get coupons & notifications of all the best sales.  Not to mention, if you’re a credit cardholder, you can receive a rewards card, like I did & got $15 off acute sequined top.  Now I wish I’d saved it & spent it on some tights, but I’m sure I’ll figure something out.  For my fuller-figured readers, check out Torrid for textured tights & flirty legwear, ranging in sizes 1X – 4X (styles not shown).

If we’re talking about fall fashion, you can’t leave out boots.  There weren’t many boots out & about during my two weekends in NYC, but a few did catch my eye.  I instantly went to DSW to see these sexy & polished styles, ranging in price from $19.94 – $39.94, from brands like Michael Antonio & Madden Girl by Steve Madden.  Everyone loves knee boots or over-the-knee boots, but at heart, I’m an ankle bootie girl, especially with the textured tights shown above!

Last, but not least, you can’t have anything to do with fall & not talk about scarves.  They’re that extra special touch of style that make your casual, dressy, or edgy look possible, especially with these finds from Old Navy! The store offers lightweight, infinity, & heavy knit scarves for whatever occasion may call for a covered neck, but stars like Sienna Miller, Nicole Richie, & Ashlee Simpson always rely on a scarf to avoid a chill.  The styles range in price from $8.94 – $14.94.  Those are prices you can’t beat, especially if you’re a cardmember b/c you’ll earn points for future purchases & get discounts like $15 off you next purchase of $50- which I received as a recent birthday gift from the store.

Be sure to check out my last NYC Street Style post for when I visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art to see Alexander McQueen’s Savage Beauty exhibit before it closed!  Which trends are you spotting around town?  Do you have a favorite scarf, pair of tights, or flats that you’re looking forward to wearing this fall?  What’s your favorite accessory for when the weather turns a bit chillier? Happy Styling!

 

Super Style Wishlist: Elizabeth & James Accessories & J.Brand Jeans from Madison Los Angeles!


I recently spent a couple of days home from work with a bad case of the sniffles (thank you, sinus infection!), but that didn’t stop me from curling up in bed with my laptop, in search of some great style inspiration!  I meandered over to Madison Los Angeles, a website known for selling luxury brands like Alexander Wang, Bottega Veneta, Vivienne Westwood, & Halston Heritage.

I put together this super chic look for a professional or night affair.  A jacket can do wonders, especially over such a bright & sparkly top- & here at Style Darling, we do not shy away from sparkle!  The Sass & Bide By The River Tee ($192.00) can be mixed with any number of bottoms, including a pencil skirt, tucked into something denim, or worn with leggings & knee boots.  For this look, I went with a dark wash J.Brand 10″ Tonal Jeans Dynamite pair ($192.00) because they’ll really allow for the top to pop!  The Parker Cropped Jacket  ($415.00) has enough flair to cover up the very loud top, but also created interesting proportions since it’s short than the top.

As far as accessories go, I love the look of the Matt Berson Grey Jardin Ankle Booties ($230.00).  They’ll tuck the jeans in just enough & help elongate the legline.  The Mulberry Alexa Bag ($1200.00) is the perfect hue to contrast all the neutrals going up against the glittery top, but also adds some more texture & it can hold all of your favorite daily necessities that you carry around!  While you’re out & about, running from meeting to meeting or fittings to happy hour, the Elizabeth & James Lafayette Sunglasses in Tortoise ($158.00) make for an old Hollywood way to protect your eyes from the sun.

Since there’s already so much going on with this look in terms of shine, I picked subtle pieces of jewelry, including Jacquie Aiche Oxidized Starburst Studs in 14K Gold ($650.00).  Whether your hair is up or down, these studs are just the right bit of polish to add some personality to the already posh duds.  Lastly, Lucky Star Jewels ‘Ivana’ Stretch Ring ($70.00) is a gorgeous cocktail ring to wear for an after work affair, meeting with the girlfriends to chat about your day over martinis.

The total for this look comes to over $3100.00 (insert jaw-drop here), but pieces like a sparkly tee, dark wash skinny jeans, gray ankle boots, & a cropped jacket can be found for much, much less at stores like Kohl’s, Topshop, H&M, Avenue, Payless, & Forever21.  Again, this category is just for the dreamers… We know this is out of our budget, but there’s nothing wrong with seeing what’s out there in the style world from which we can be inspired!

Be sure to check out all of the posts in Super Style Wishlist & if you love luxury finds, but can’t afford them, take a look at Luxury Look-Alikes for Less to see how you can wear identical styles without paying too much!  Happy Styling!

Red Carpet Review: Heidi Klum, Drew Barrymore, & Zooey Deschanel In Glitters, Sparkle, Pastel, Details, Pink, & Pretty at the 2011 Emmy’s (Part Three)!


When it came to glitz, & glamour, the stars were on hand at this year’s Emmy Awards.  There were no details left behind during the red carpet festivities & we learned that the ladies love some sparkle & pastel hues.  In a hodge-podge of images below, we see some of our favorites succeed with their luxury looks & some give it an honorable try.

Jennifer Carpenter wore this blush beaded Tony Ward Couture gown with Martin Katz jewelry.  Cat Deeley went for some super glamour in this gold beaded Monique Lhuillier gown with Bulgari diamonds & a metallic clutch to complete the look.  Taraji P. Henson could’ve used a little help in this embellished Blumarine column gown, although her Fred Leighton drop earrings & cocktail ring helped the look.  Maria Bello glowed in the one-shoulder Kaufmanfranco column gown with a satin clutch & Martin Katz cocktail ring.  Christina Hendricks never shies away from showing off her best assets & this Johanna Johnson gown hugs her curves in all the right ways.  I could’ve done without the slit in the front, but she still looks like a million bucks.  Drew Barrymore took the stage with the new cast of ABC’s Charlie’s Angels in a Givenchy couture gown with Jimmy Choo platforms & gems by Van Cleef & Arpels.

Mad Men star Elisabeth Moss was stunning in this encrusted illusion gown by MarchesaPadma Lakshmi looked golden in this Armani Prive gown with Jimmy Choo sandals & her own jewelry.  Jane Krakowski looked a little over-tanned in this white deep-v gown with a jewel embellishment, but for a lady who recently had a baby, her body looks fantastic.  Kudos to her for showing it off!  The Good Wife star Julianna Margulies puzzled critics in this Armani Prive lampshade-corset white gown with peculiar embellishments.  Heidi Klum supported Project Runway winner Christian Siriano in a custom-made greige (gray / beige) ruffled cocktail dress with colorful jewelry by Lorraine Schwartz & extra high Christian Louboutin heels.  Charlie’s Angels star (& former Grey’s Anatomy doctor) Rachael Taylor made her Emmy’s debut in a memorable way with this iridescent beaded Giorgio Armani column gown with diamonds by Neil Lane.

The stars were also pretty in pink, for example, Modern Family‘s Ariel Winter showed that she’s all grown up in this powdered pink botanical-themed halter dress with diamond flower studs & matching ring by Jamie WolfJayma Mays channeled her inner ballerina in this tiered Zuhair Murad gown with a Swarovski clutch, Brian Atwood shoes, & Neil Lane jewelry & brooch.  Rashida Jones looked ladylike in a pink Alberta Ferretti strapless number with bangles by Van Cleef & Arpels.  Footloose star & former Dancing with the Stars champ Julianne Hough took a risk in this multi-tonal Carolina Herrera gown with jewelry by ForevermarkZooey Deschanel disappointed in this bubble gum pink Monique Lhuillier gown with a red sash. Even though she’s so pretty & stylish, the whole look seemed like a costume.  Anyone agree?

I wanted to feature Raising Hope‘s Martha Plimton in my red-theme Emmy post, but was unable to find an adequate image at the time, so here is she is, looking beyond gorgeous in a curve-hugging sparkly Zac Posen dress.  Elizabeth McGovern wore a merlot-hued sweetheart dress, but I wish that the clutch didn’t blend in so much- something gold would’ve been especially gorgeous against the rich hue.  Hostess of the night, Jane Lynch, turned heads in a strapless David Meister gown with Lorraine Schwartz jewelry.  Sarah Hyland also collaborated with Christian Siriano with Grecian-inspired coral belted dress & Lorraince Schwartz jewelry.  Julia Stiles has never looked better on a red carpet wearing this lavender Georges Hobeika gown with a clutch by Kotur.

We’ve seen dozens of looks from the stars in red, black, blue, & now the paler, sparkly hues… Have you picked your favorite?  Do you think Taraji P. Henson & Zooey Deschanel could do better?  What would you have liked to see them wear on the red carpet?  Happy Styling!

Fashion Flashback: Marilyn Monroe, Marlene Dietrich, & Grace Kelly’s Cameo in Dior’s New Commerical Starring Charlize Theron!


I had to do a double take when I saw the new commercial for Dior’s J’adore campaign, starring the very beautiful Charlize Theron.  She’s been the spokesmodel for the fragrance for a while now, so it was no surprise to see her at the center of the commercial / short film’s action.  What got me wanting to post about this on Style Darling is the fact that screen legends Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly, & Marlene Dietrich appear in the commercial as well.

Marilyn & Grace (yes I’m on a first name basis with them lol) have previously appeared in some form in my Fashion Flashback category, however I can’t help but love that this 1:31 commercial fuses the sirens of the past so naturally with the glamour behind the Dior brand.  Surely, Charlize ranks up there as one of the most gorgeous & accomplished actresses of today.  Here, the house of Dior celebrates the history of fabulous icons of style.

Take a look at the commercial below to see what all the fuss is about.  If you’re interested in buying the fragrance, take a click on over to Ulta, where you can buy a 1.0 oz. bottle for $60.00, 1.7 oz. for $77.00, or 3.4 oz. for $90.00.  Remember, if you’re an Ulta shopper & have a rewards club card, you can earn points to qualify for free gifts like cosmetics, more fragrances, or a salon treatment! Making the investment in a timeless perfume will pay off in the future too!

Happy Styling!

The Stylish Five: Sale Finds @Topshop ($10 & Under)


It’s been a little while since my last post in The Stylish Five b/c of all the hype surrounding this week’s Emmy Awards, but here I am with five fun picks for $10 or under!

I was checking out the latest sale items @Topshop, when I realized that I needed to do some perfect price point product posting (try saying that 10x fast!).  So why not get ready for next summer with classic espadrille wedges in coral for $10.00?  They’re also available in pink stripe & red polka dot, to coordinate with an eyelet or jersey babydoll dress.  I’m crazy for belts this season (took me long enough, right?) & just love this lace & eyelet belt, which suffice to say, is no longer available, but still worth acknowledging b/c it was also $10.00, marked down from $50.00.  Sad face.

When we talk about investing in next year’s summer wardrobe, finding a delicate shirred jersey sundress in yellow like this for $10.00 is exactly what I’m talking about!  I know my friend, Stacey, will flip over the blue orchid headband for $6.00, a must for any Style Darling with an affinity for hair accessories. It’s all things whimsical & feminine to add to a paisley print tunic top or graphic tee / skinny jeans combo!  If you’re not a headband gal, then try these glass bead hoop earrings for $10.00.  They’re a combination of a classic hoop & drop earring, all in one!

If you’re a bargain hunter like me, be sure to check out my previous posts in The $100 Challenge to see how you can put together an entire look for $100! What’ your favorite Topshop purchase?  How much would you spend on end-of-the-season finds to prepare for next year? Would you wear any of these five picks?  Happy Styling!