The Stylish Five: Spring-Ready Striped Dresses ($35 & Under)!

It’s Easter Sunday & I wanted to share with readers some affordable spring-ready dresses that are perfect for more than just today’s holiday & any body type! I’m recently starting a new position at my job, as well as an entering into an exciting opportunity for a second job this week, so of course I’m thinking about what I’ll be wearing. Fortunately both environments require a blend of professionalism & creativity, so I’m gearing up to dust off favorites from last spring & invest in some show-stopping looks to last me through the spring & summer.

All of these looks are under $35 & I’m really drawn to stripes since there’s so much opportunity to mix with accessories like floral tights on a chillier day, textured pumps, or an embellished cardigan. First, I wanted to share the boat-neck 3/4 sleeve shift dress ($22.97) in black stripe from Old Navy, which will pair well with bold pieces like red heels, a yellow lacquered belt, turquoise tights, or a green leather jacket. Also, I’ve been keeping an eye on the latest styles @JCP, including the a.n.a. short-sleeved cowlneck dress ($22.00), which can be dressed up with a boyfriend blazer & pointy toe pumps, or worn casually with a denim jacket & ballet flats.

For a thicker stripe, I love the rich tones in the striped chiffon sleeveless dress ($32.47) in summer berry punch from New York & Company, which is also available in a blue / green combination. This is an office-friendly dress that can translate well to happy hour, especially when mixing up the look with stacked bangles, a cropped jacket, or knee boots. Also, as a big fan of Target, I knew I had to feature the Mossimo half back zipper fit & flare dress ($27.99) in teal stripe. This youthful dress is perfect for accentuating any figure & is available in sizes XS – XXL. Lastly, another look for my curvy Style Darlings is the colorblocked chiffon dress ($27.80) from Forever 21, which gives off a vintage feel with the playful collar & delicate bow.

Do you like to wear stripes? What kinds of dresses are you looking at for spring? What’s your spring shopping budget? For more spring fashion posts, check out blue moto jackets at every price point, Kim Kardashian’s silver Jimmy Choo pumps, the best mint shoes for the season, & the hottest floral looks as seen on Elizabeth Olsen & Selena Gomez! Happy Styling!

Splurge Or Save… On A Blue Leather / Faux Leather Moto Jacket!

I started off 2013 on the hunt for a moto jacket, something that I wouldn’t normally be attracted to for my wardrobe, but I like the idea of adding an edgy piece to my usually ladylike outfits. However, I’ve yet to find the perfect jacket for me, but the hunt is on. In the mean time, I’m inspired by the latest trend in blue leather moto jackets which I’ve been seeing at every price point, perfect for a new Splurge or Save? post! I would recommend adding a moto jacket over a sheath dress with peep toe pumps, to dress up a maxi dress & gladiator flats, or for a graphic tee & skinny jeans with knee boots.

I’m starting this post off with the Jil Sander leather jacket ($3,050.00) from Nordstrom, which is of course made from the highest quality craftsmanship. Its sleek minimalist design calls on a mix of menswear-inspiration & utilitarianism chic. Next, the moto leather jacket ($450.00) from True Religion is a 100% lamb leather design with cool zipper details & a contemproary cut.

At a much more reasonable price, @Macy’s, you can find the INC International Concepts faux-leather classic motorcycle jacket ($89.50). Forth, I’ve selected the (minus the) leather crop biker jacket ($76.80) from Express, which is currently 40% off its original $128.00 price tag. Lastly, @Forever 21, the stitched faux leather jacket ($42.80) is a comparable & budget-friendly topper.

I think it’s really important to mention that I don’t like to bring up the whole animal-free clothing issue, but I do always believe in trying to find clothing that doesn’t hurt the environment or its living creatures. There are so many earth-friendly varieties out there in fashion these days, like Stella McCartney, & I’m always excited to learn more about them. How do you feel about the leather vs. faux leather? Would you wear a cobalt moto jacket?

For more shopping-related posts, check out look-alike pumps to Kim Kardashian’s Jimmy Choos, a variety of mint-colored spring shoes, floral pieces inspired by Miranda Kerr & Jessica Chastain, how to copy Drew Barrymore’s style with pieces from Target & Forever 21, & Ashley Madekwe’s black & white look for less! Happy Styling!

Luxury Look-Alikes For Less: Kim Kardashian’s Silver Jimmy Choo Pumps!

Fashion critics & bloggers have been on the look out for Kim Kardashian‘s pregnancy style, which has included lots of pencil skirts, body conscious dresses, & empire-waisted looks to show off her growing shape & glow. Kim is never one to turn away from a high heel, & during a recent appearance in New York City, she donned the Anouck metallic leather pumps ($650.00) by Jimmy Choo from Saks Fifth Avenue. Not every expectant mom-to-be would be so bold as to keep up their pre-baby bump style with such confidence & sophistication.

Of course, that’s a heft price to pay for silver pumps, but the neutral metallic trend is coming back for spring, especially when paired with bright neons, soft pastels, & edgy embellished pieces. I recently shared a pic on Instagram featuring a shoe find in the latest issue of Harper’s Bazaar of a killer pair of silver pointy toe heels, but I also found several options at lower price points for any budget.

This includes the Stuart Weitzman Daisy pumps ($335.00) from Zappos, Joe’s Jeans Delores pumps ($109.99) from 6PM, the pointed toe pump ($47.94) from Express, & the most affordable are the pointed hologram pumps ($24.80) from Forever 21. All of these are sexy additions to upgrade a jeans & blouse look for day, modernize a lace LBD, or satin shorts & a blazer for a night out with the girls.

For more celebrity-related posts, check out the latest in florals inspired by Selena Gomez & Dianna Agron, Drew Barrymore’s recent look on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, the red carpet from the 2013 Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards, Marion Cotillard’s latest Lady Dior ad campaign, & Beyoncé’s debut as spokesmodel for H&M! Happy Styling!

Show Me The Shoes / Color Me Style: Mint Is Back For Spring!

During this spring break, I’ve had plenty of time studying the latest spring trends & aside from bold bright, you can find plenty of pastels, including mint shoes that will make any outfit look fresh & spring-ready. After a recent conversation with an engaged friend about the difference between turquoise & teal for her upcoming nuptials, I was inspired to share the color mint. Of course this hue can be seen on dresses, blouses, pants, & accessories, but more importantly, I’m loving the idea of mint shoes, especially since there are so many affordable shoes.

mint shoesAdd mint to your flats collection with the Merona Macha wedge ballet flat ($19.50) from Target, which have a classic faux snake texture with any effortless tee & skinny jeans. Also, the canvas Bella skimmer ($19.50) from Delia’s offers a lighter material to contrast with a neutral leather mini & sleeveless button-down. If you’re headed to a tropical location on vacation before summer, the Steve Madden Swinger sandals ($49.95) is perfect for a maxi dress & stacked bangles, a cotton spring dress with a beaded necklace, or with walking shorts & a silky blouse.

This wouldn’t a proper shoe post if I didn’t talk about some major budget-friendly heels, like the patent cap toe platform pump ($32.50) from Charlotte Russe, which transitions the cap toe trend perfectly between seasons. The GOjane peep toe platform wedges ($24.95) are edgy for a look with leggings & a tunic top, & they’re on sale right now! Next, bring mint to the office with the Fioni Jordyn t-strap pumps ($26.99) from Payless coordinated with a floral sheath dress & a cardigan, or for happy hour with a polka dot blouse & pencil skirt.

The peep toe platform wedge ($32.80) from Forever 21 is chic for a weekend getaway in a chambray dress or with neutral separates like a beige cami with silky pajama-inspired pants. Lastly, DSW‘s Fergalicious Eileen pump ($39.95) is definitely a must-have for a date night in a shift dress or can dress up any outfit like a mini leather skirt & graphic tee if you’re headed to a concert.

Which style is your favorite? Do you like the mint shoe trend? What colors are your mist attracted to this fall? For more posts from Show Me The Shoes, check out floral-inspired shoes from Forever 21 & Gap, luxury look-alike studded Jimmy Choo loafers, how to find affordable platforms like Nikki Reed’s at her recent red carpet appearance, & a behind-the-scenes look with J. Crew’s Jenna Lyons on their latest shoe collection! Happy Styling!

Basics For A Bargain: It’s Finally Spring & Finally Time For Florals!

There’s still a chill in the air here in New York, but it’s finally starting to look like spring. There’s change in the air & I know I’m really excited about it- & not just for my change in wardrobe. However, speaking of spring fashions, the go-to print of the season is florals & I couldn’t turn my back the trend, especially when I’ve been seeing it everywhere! For example, A-list celebs have been wearing florals even during the winter, ushering in the warmer season. Miranda Kerr is all smiles in a floral skirt with a leather Prada tote while taking in the day in Sydney. Elizabeth Olsen mixed her floral top with a mustard coat & skinny jeans. Actress Diane Kruger attended a press event for Farewell, My Queen in a 10 Crosby Derek Lam ensemble.

Miranda Kerr, Elizabeth Olsen, Diane Kruger, Selena Gomez, Jessica Chastain, & Dianna Agron.

Superstar Selena Gomez hit the SXSW Festival in a matching bustier & skirt by Dolce & Gabbana. Two-time Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain wears an Erdem sheath dress with nude Christian Louboutins. Lastly, former Glee star Dianna Agron attended a luncheon with The Hollywood Reporter in an Oday Shakar floral dress with suede Jimmy Choo heels.

Not to mention that there have been plenty of florals hitting the runways this year, including luxe vintage from Valentino, 80s-inspired rocker chic designs from Betsey Johnson, youthful & bright patterns from Tracy Reese, Lanvin‘s elegant & sophistication, & Erdem‘s playful & refreshing angle on flowers.

Valentino, Betsey Johnson, Tracy Reese, Lanvin, & Erdem.

Whether it’s on clothing, accessories, or mixed & match (which I only recommend doing with caution), I made a few selections from some of my favorite stores to share how you can wear the latest floral pieces on a budget! The best piece to start building the perfect spring wardrobe is a dress, like the Merona sleeveless tulip wrap dress ($19.00) from Target, which has recently been marked down from its original $24.99 price. The flattering wrap shape is perfect for accentuating your shape & the navy background adds a regal touch is paired with basketweave espadrilles or bright ballet flats. Next is the LC Lauren Conrad floral ruffle tank ($25.20) from Kohl’s, which is a feminine topper piece to wear with dark denim jeans, white skinny pants, or a denim skirt.

Don’t be afraid of florals on your bottom half, especially with the 4 1/2″ belted printed flat front shorts ($32.94) from Express, which add some tropical flair to your look & will dress down a lace blouse. I love the idea of sequins with florals & this skirt ($34.95) from H&M is a stylish marriage of both. This will pair nicely with a chambray button down shirt for a fashionable day out & about or with a solid pullover & pointy toe pumps for a date. Lastly, floral pants are also one of the biggest trends this season, especially in a looser cut to provide plenty of flow & movement, which is why I choose the Full Tilt skinny harem pants ($24.99) from Tilly’s. The chic black, gray, & white color combination is understated & can be coordinated with pastel pieces like coral or mint.

As for accessories, these bright colors will make your outfit pop, especially since they’re so effortless to match with wardrobe essentials. For example, the sequin tulip print pumps ($27.80) from Forever 21 are flirty & will add extra dimension to cuffed jeans & a ruffled top. Also, for a more subtle floral shoe, the novelty ballet flats ($39.95) from Gap. The soft pink & red tones in the shoe can offset any striped tee & jeans look in a ladylike way.

Part of what I love about spring is that I can still wear scarves, which can bring a lot to a look, like the ground floral scarf ($14.99) from Payless for a denim jacket & LBD with ankle strap platforms or a maxi dress & cargo vest with gladiator flats. Lastly, I’m not really a hat kind of girl, but in some cases, you need to protect your face from the harsh rays of the sun, especially this early in the season, which is why I picked the pop floral baseball cap ($8.99) from Charlotte Russe.

What do you think about the latest floral trend? Which pieces would you wear? What’s your spring wardrobe budget? For more affordable fashion posts, check out how to get Drew Barrymore’s latest look without breaking the bank, suede studded loafers, the best green pieces for spring, a budget-friendly spring look with pieces from Old Navy & American Eagle Outfitters. Happy Styling!

3/26/2013 Darling Of The Day: Copy Drew Barrymore’s Spring-Ready Look By Alice + Olivia & Rag & Bone!

During an appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Hollywood’s glamorous flower child, Drew Barrymore, hit the stage all smiles in a rag & bone Hillary blouse ($395.00) & Alice + Olivia by Stacey Bendet 5-pocket skinny jean ($198.00). The actress & wine entrepreneur looks youthful, on trend, & ready for spring in this outfit, which features some really famous & acclaimed luxury brand names in fashion today. Spending that kind of dough on separates can work if your main focus is quality, but for the rest of us, we can admire Drew’s polished & flirty look with similar separates that cost less & can mix well with other wardrobe staples any time of the year!

First, I picked the Merona pintucked long sleeve blouse ($16.08) in black Target, which is availble sizes XS – XXL. Not only will wearing this lightweight blouse look great with a patterned pant, but consider this for dressing up a denim skirt, headed to the office in a leather pencil skirt, or want to keep a monochromatic rocker look with liquid leggings & pointy toe heels. Also, I’ve been raving about floral pants for quite some time now (& really patterned pants all together), as seen in previous posts including Ashley Madekwe in Mulberry, pieces from Rihanna’s debut collection for River Island, must-haves for your spring break vacation, & Diane Kruger’s Stella McCartney look. Here, I’ve selected two pairs of floral pants from Forever 21, including the Aloha floral ankle pants ($22.80) & plus size rose print skinny pants ($24.80), which share a cimilar color scheme to Drew’s. Not to mention that these feminine flower-power bottoms will look darling mixed with a striped top & cork wedges or a polka dot peplum top & peep toe pumps, if you’re daring to try something new!

For more celebrity-inspired posts, check out Marion Cotillard’s return as the face of Lady Dior, Nikki Reed’s embellished blouse look for less, Beyoncé’s debut ad for H&M, & behind-the-scenes with Katie Holmes for her Allure cover shoot! Happy Styling!

Red Carpet Review: 2013 Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards Featuring Katy Perry, Jessica Alba, Fergie, & More!

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Last night, young Hollywood celebrate the biggest hits & most popular kids in show business for the 2013 Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards! Normally, this isn’t an event that I’d cover for Style Darling, but there were some pretty fantastic style moments on the red carpet, celebrating the brightest colors, busiest patterns, & most flattering silhouettes for spring. This includes favorites Jessica Alba in a printed Mary Katrantzou dress with pointed toe bowed heels, as well as a midriff-baring Katy Perry in a printed Herve Leger by Max Azria two-piece outfit with black pointy toe pumps. Also, in tow was a very pregnant Fergie also wearing a colorful Mary Katrantzou dress with neon ankle strap sandals & Victoria Justice in a printed Pia Pauro dress with coral ankle strap sandals by Aldo. The big winner of the night was Kristen Stewart who surprised in a checkered top & shorts outfits by Osman with black patent Christian Louboutins.

Which looks are your favorite from the red carpet? Are you on board the bright & colorful pattern trend? For more from Red Carpet Review, check out posts including Nikki Reed’s appearance at Justin Timberlake’s album release party, black & white looks on Amanda Seyfried & Jessica Chastain, the ladies of Oz the Great and Powerful at the film’s premieres, complete coverage of last month’s Oscars, & the red carpet from the Grammy’s. Happy Styling!

Luxury Look-Alikes For Less: Studded Loafers By Jimmy Choo Vs. Forever 21!

During my recent ventures out & about, discovering the trends for spring, I was surprised to see that menswear-inspired loafers had made a comeback, but with Style Darlings like Alexa Chung, Sienna Miller, & Kirsten Dunst spotted in them, I knew this trend wasn’t going away. I’ve yet to add some loafers to my shoe collection, but details like studding over a suede surface seem to be the most popular. I was pleasantly surprised to find these shoes at so many different price point & knew that I just had to include it in my latest Luxury Look-Alikes For Less post!

I’m certainly not endorsing the disappearance of ballet flats, but I love the idea of mixing such a masculine shape to feminine pieces, like a silk blouse & lace shorts or to dress down an LBD with a blazer & colorful tights. Today’s selection includes the Jimmy Choo wheel studded suede loafers ($475.00) in black from Neiman Marcus, which is of course a hefty price to pay for shoes, but if you’re looking for the quality of a luxury brand, by all means, break out the big bucks. However, for those like me who are always shopping on a budget, I recommend the studded canvas slip-on loafers ($24.50) in black from Charlotte Russe, which are also available in white, yellow, pale blue, & pink to fulfill all of your loafer needs. Not to mention that if you’re shopping in a Charlotte Russe store & have a student ID (high school or college), you can earn an extra 10% off your purchase (some exclusions may apply).

Loafers seem to be the best way to transition your wardrobe from winter to spring & I’m sure when we’re headed from summer to fall, the same will apply. Also, the studding embellishments add an extra metallic accent & will contrast nicely with lace, leather, or printed separates in your look. Are you on board with the loafer trend? Would you consider adding this style to your current shoe collection for spring? For more shoe-related posts, check out affordable shoes in emerald, Kate Moss for Stuart Weitzman, behind-the-scenes with J. Crew’s Jenna Lyons, & my favorite new stilettos from Forever 21! Happy Styling!

3/24/2013 Darling Of The Day: Revenge Actress Ashley Madekwe’s Mulberry Look On A Budget!

I’ve been getting really inspired lately by all of the fabulous ensemble looks that celebrities are donning on the red carpet & for special events. Case in point: Revenge actress & style blogger, Ashley Madekwe, at a dinner in Los Angeles for the English brand Mulberry.

Spring is (sort of) in the air & I can’t wait to let go of heavy knits & layers, so that I can start to embrace lighter & softer fabrics to pair with sandals! There’s so much about this outfit that I love, including the mod black & white color scheme. The clean & classic color combination is always sensational for any age & shape if you’re on your way to a special occasion. The peplum look isn’t going away & it’s especially perfect for spring if you’d like to add feminine, figure-hugging details to your wardrobe. Not to mention that printed pants & jeans are so hot right now & can work for a variety of looks while at the office, going on a date, or headed out with friends.

To start, I found the Green Envelope 3/4 sleeve peplum top ($34.99) from Loehmann’s, which I realize isn’t short-sleeved like what Ashley is wearing, but the price is pretty amazing for such a fashionable staple that will look great with a pencil skirt, dark denim jeans, & leather leggings. Also, the Copper Key animal-print ankle pant ($17.40) from Dillard’s is practically identical to the luxury brand. The accessories that I choose include DSW‘s Mia Bennet reptile pump ($54.95) in black, the Apt. 9 Emma Satchel ($39.99) in white from Kohl’s, & the lacquered diamond shaped earrings ($3.80) from Forever 21.

Would you wear leopard print pants? Do you like Ashley’s outfit? What are your must-haves this season? For more posts featuring celebrity style, check out Nikki Reed’s menswear look for less, Amanda Seyfried & Jessica Alba’s recent red carpet appearances, the neon trend as seen on Freida Pinto & Kristen Stewart, & the stylish ladies of Oz the Great and Powerful. Happy Styling!

Haute Headlines: Beyoncé’s Cover For Shape Magazine, Jennifer Lawrence’s New ‘Do, Affordable Spring Accessories Finds, & More!

Haute Headlines

It’s another fun-filled busy week in fashion, entertainment, & pop culture. This edition of Haute Headlines features some of the usual suspects when it comes to who’s talking about whom, not to mention plenty of pin-worthy stories to keep you talking all weekend long. What stories are you tweeting about? Where do you look for the biggest stories in fashion? Happy Styling!

*Mila Kunis talks to Vogue UK about her endorsement deal with Gemfields*

*Beyoncé makes her cover debut for Shape Magazine*

*Kelly Osbourne & Drew Barrymore are among the celebrities to speak at an L.A. beauty conference*

*Women’s Health shares their tops accessories picks for spring under $50*

*Watch the new spring collection from Daisy Fuentes for Kohl’s*

*Daniel Craig is attached to James Bond until 2016*

*Spring Breakers costume designer talks about the skimpy beach-bum wardrobe*

*Jennifer Lawrence is spotted with a retro 70’s ‘do for her latest film*

*Glamour talks about how watching Grey’s Anatomy helps you workout*

*Kourtney, Khloe, & Kim Kardashian channel pin-up 50’s look for their new spring ad campaign*

*Christina Aguilera‘s new shape & fresh-faced look at the premiere of The Voice*