Watch This Style: Style Darling Wishing You A Happy New Year (With Some Help from Sex & the City)!

While preparing for my very lovely & exciting New Year’s Eve date tonight, I started thinking about the year 2011, which is when Style Darling really became a vehicle for me to share such a big part of myself as not only a writer, but as a woman, friend, world-traveler, & shoe lover.  I’ve had some personal highs & many recent personal lows, but during these last few emotional months, this virtual forum is where I can not only share what I love about fashion & style, but for the loyal readers that I do have, I’d like to think that I’ve set up a little community here where all styles & walks of life are welcome.

Even though I didn’t expect to have plans tonight, especially by the side of the individual with whom I have said plans, I’m super excited that I was able to find such a great deal on a cute dress to share with everyone.  Which brings me to think about some of my favorite icons of style… I wanted to share this video I found on YouTube of what’s probably one of the best New Year’s Eve movie moments, of course from the Sex & the City movie, starting with Miranda’s late-night phone call to Carrie.

Ladies, we’ve all been there, feeling lonely & down, especially when there may not be a romantic partner in the picture to share the special event of the changing of the year, but I’ve learned that in spending so much time all year building friendships, laughing, & experiencing life, no one is ever alone.  If you have a close group of friends, let them be your soulmates & every other guy (or whoever it is that you prefer) just enters & leaves your life if / when it’s supposed to happen. Love yourself.  Love style.  Love life. Happy New Year! Auguri! Be safe & responsible! Happy Styling!


Inside A Style Blogger’s Closet: A Last-Minute New Year’s Eve Invite = A Last-Minute Dress Barn Deal!

Things are starting to look up for 2012 for this particular Style Darling.  Why, you ask? Last night, I was invited to attend a New Year’s Eve celebration, which prompted a fury of online dress scouring since I realized that all of my current dresses hanging in my closet were bought mostly for work, since I do like to look polished & trendy at my 40/hr a week job. I knew there were a few go-to stores to check out, but I was trapped in my cubicle, with only the guidance of the computer in fron of me.  I clicked through a flurry of websites, including New York & Company, JC Penney, White House Black Market, H&M, Forever 21, & Dress Barn.  Keeping in mind that I’m supposed to be on a budget since my departure for Italy is in less than two weeks, I had to find a great sale price for a lovely dress to ring in the new year.

I immediately fell in love with the foil printed laser cut sheath dress ($35.00) @Dress Barn, which was originally $69.99.  What’s even better is that I have a good rapport with the employees at the local Dress Barn, which I ran to during my lunch hour.  The ladies hooked me up with some black opaque tights since I didn’t want to venture out with bare legs on the chilly December evening.  Also, I was given a special rewards card to earn points for discounts on future purchases, as well as a great discount on the already reduced merchandise.

Since the festivities will include seeing a rock band perform, I’m thinking that I ought to dress down the sparkly number with a cute jacket or cardigan & some fierce gladiator-inspired shoes. Also, I’m thinking about adding a belt across the middle of the dress, just to help cinch in my waist.  Once I put my whole look together, I’ll try to post some pictures since I’m so exicted that I found such an amazing deal on such a flirty dress!

What are your plans for this Saturday night?  What are you going to wear? Have a happy & safe New Year’s!  Happy Styling!

Red Carpet Review: The Best (310) Celebrity Looks of 2011!

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I’ve been compiling a long list of my favorite looks during the 2011 calendar year & while there are still a few days left, I wanted to share the highs of the red carpet, press events, famous Style Darlings on the street, as well as the looks that have made the headlines.  This is the ultimate gallery of the ensembles to wear for formal occasions, out & about on the street, to a cocktail party, or a date night, including the best descriptions that I could find of who wore what!  For more looks that I’ve featured this year, check out Darling of the Day, Red Carpet Review, Magazine Must-Haves, Silver Screen StyleStyle ABC’s (x3), & Watch This Style– all categories that thrive on celebrity-inspiration for your style on a budget.  I hope all of you had a prosperous 2011 & continue to do good for those around you, as well as for your style!  Happy Styling!

Quickie Darling Deal & Steal: Get Sofia Vergara’s Collection @Kmart Before Store Closures!

It’s been all over the news today that KMart stores across the country are in trouble, so I took the style liberty to check out what’s going on in terms of style at the retailer, which sells Sofia Vergara’s collection, aptly called Sofia by Sofia Vergara.  The affordable prices, figure-flattering cuts, & modern pieces are must-haves for any wardrobe.

Here are some of my favorite pieces that I will be checking out if & when I make my way to the local Kmart store.  The flared ink wash jeans ($20.99) are an easy fix to putting together a polished, but dressed down look for casual Fridays at the office.  Then after work, when you’re heading out for cocktails, throw on the lace back dress ($14.39) in green, which has a little surprise when you turn around to tip the bartender.

If you’re daring enough to show off your gams, try the lace micro mini skirt ($8.99) with a silk blouse & opaque tights.  If you’re looking for some glitzy shoes to wear when ringing in the new year, the tipsy red carpet pump ($19.99) in gold is the perfect way to complete your look.  Also, there are just some days when animal print does just the trick, so take a look at the bustier dress ($21.59), which is available in both neutral & grey, emphasizing your best assets. For a little splash of shine, the oval links bracelet ($9.99) in silver makes for a trendy way to punch up an LBD.  Lastly, ’tis the season for jegging jeans ($17.99) with an ultra slim ankle, perfect for wearing under boots of all heights.

I have previously reported on the collection, as seen here, but be sure to check back with Style Darling, as well as on the Kmart site for newer styles & markdowns on these sexy looks! Happy Styling!

Super Style Wishlist: Pearls Are A Style Darling’s Best Friend!

I’m a pearl girl & I’ll argue with anyone who says that pearls are just for old ladies b/c that’s just not true.  Pearls are regal, unexpected, & always a classic way to show off your stylish look.  However, I am not a ring wearer.  I’ve just always found that they get in the way since I’m always writing or doing something with my hands, but if I had a ring wishlist for special occasions, pearls like these would certainly appear on it!

While clicking around on my favorite luxury website, Neiman Marcus, I found these four pearl rings, which are just to die for!  What’s even more jaw-dropping is that they range in price from $175.00 – $7200.00!

The Ippolita diamond & mother of pearl ring ($2700.00) is worthy of its price b/c of the ornate detail & arrangement of the beautiful stones.

The Majorica pearl cluster ring ($175.00) is obviously the more affordable of the quartet shown here & I love the different colors of pearls, which add a lot of interest to the piece.

Marco Bicego designed the diamond & pearl bypass ring ($1080.00) which would look perfect on a celebrity like Keira Knightley or Scarlett Johansson on the red carpet at next year’s Oscars.

Lastly, the Assael south sea butterfly ring ($7200.00) is the prize jewel here & definitely puts all other pearls to shame.

Do you wear pearls to dress up more casual pieces for day?  Check out more from the Super Style Wishlist, including 2012 Resort collections, Bottega Veneta shoes, & Jimmy Choo’s 15th anniversary collection! Happy Styling!

Quickie Darling Deal & Steal: I’m Pumped For These Nine West Flats!

I’m not a fan of brown, but I do like the neutral shades of tan, nude, & beige to help bring out the simple elegance in a daytime look of dark denim jeans & a ruffled blouse with a cardigan.  For when I want to give my feet a break, or am just looking for a new way to put an outfit together, I like to look to my textured flats & here’s a perfect example if you’re looking to revamp your shoe collection for 2012.

The Nine West ‘Cacey’ flat ($39.50) in sahara suede shows off both suede & patent leather with a classic ballerina bow at the toe.  The flats also come in other styles & colors, including black & white polka dot, python, leopard, & black suede, but these are sold at the best price.

Because the color is so neutral, these can be worn all year long, especially with tweed trousers for work, a printed shirt dress in the spring, & romper & cropped cardigan in the summer.

For more great sales & quickie deals on must-haves, check out other Quickie Darling Deal & Steal posts, including a lace dress from Topshop, rust satin heels from Lulu’s, & my new favorite boots from Payless! Happy Styling!

12/26/11 Darling of the Day: Camilla Belle Shows Off This Season’s Essentials: Boots, Scarf, & a Leather Jacket!

It’s been unseasonably mild so far this winter on Long Island, but it seems that stars all over the country, including Camilla Belle here in Hollywood with a Tolani scarf, are gearing up for the change in temperature.  Wearing layered pieces like a leather jacket with a tunic top, scarf, skinny jeans, & knee boots creates a look with dimension, personality, & shows that you’re an on-trend Style Darling!

I’ve found some complimentary pieces to help achieve this look, especially if you’re traveling somewhere that isn’t quite winter, but might require some back-up items like a hat or scarf.  Check out the leatherette jacket with ruffle collar ($34.80) & plus size leatherette aviator jacket ($29.80), both from Forever 21.  The keyhole-back printed shell ($29.99) from The Gap brings out some of the texture in the look, especially when paired with Old Navy‘s The Flirt skinny jeans ($11.97).

The extra pieces to help pull the look together include the Bamboo black zipper riding boots ($49.99) from Lulu’s, Minicci Friday shopper ($26.99) in dark green from Payless, black silk / wool scarf ($39.99) from Banana Republic, & a North Face beanie ($30.00) from Macy’s.

What do you think of Camilla’s street style?  Would you wear an outfit like this? Where do you find the best faux leather for your fall / winter looks?  Check out previously posts from Darling of the Day, including Katie Holmes, Blake Lively, & Pippa Middleton’s fabulous coats! Happy Styling!

Runway Rundown / Watch This Style: Rachel Zoe’s 60s-Inspired Pre-Fall Collection + A Video Interview by Neiman Marcus Fashion Director, Ken Downing!

It’s not a secret by now that one of my favorite style icons is the one & only Rachel Zoe!  I’ve posted so much about her collections (here & here), as well as honoring her as Style Darling’s very first (& so far only) .com Darling! Also, for my column “A Dash of Fashion” on Culture Mob, I recently wrote about Rachel’s fabulous jewelry collection on sale @QVC!

However, courtesy of In Style, we have some amazing images of Rachel’s latest pre-Fall collection, which includes a lot of 60s-inspiration with her signature 70s / boho chic elegance.  Rachel told the magazine, “I am so madly in love with this Pre-Fall collection! I really wanted to add a lot of mod elements to this season, the 60s is truly one of my favorite eras… We also expanded a ton on suiting, which will always be my signature, but we added an amazing new pencil skirt which should be a staple in everyone’s closet. There are definitely still some elements of the ‘70s too and the leathers and faux fur are to die for.”

There’s definitely evidence of inspiration here from icons like Coco Chanel, with the glamorous & tailored suits.  Not to mention that the more delicate pieces like mini dresses in soft fabrics & glittery cocktail dresses show off a youthful flair that Rachel is famous for bringing out in clients like Eva Mendes, Anne Hathaway, & Molly Sims.

Take a look at some of the best images from the multifaceted collection that will be available at upscale stores like Nordstrom & Neiman Marcus. Also, check out the exclusive interview with Rachel, courtesy of Neiman Marcus where she talks about her vision for her collection, as well as her style dos!  Happy Styling!

Luxury Look-Alikes for Less: Encrusted Belts By Lanvin @Bergdorf Goodman Vs. An Under $5.00 Find From Charlotte Russe!

Do you need something special & embellished in a belt for this holiday season?  Well, check out these two belts!  Of course, nothing can compare to the luxury & craftsmanship behind the Lanvin label, one that is celebrated by actresses like Emma Stone, Natalie Portman, & Charlize Theron.  However, the price tag for a piece from the legendary brand is way out of budget, along with most of the other fashionable items sold @Bergdorf Goodman.

So in place of the crystal-encrusted clover belt ($1266.00) by Lanvin, here’s a much more inexpensive option that can be found @Charlotte Russe.  The black-gem stretch belt ($4.49) is currently reduced in price from $9.50 & will transform any sheath dress with some jewelry-inspired glamour.

For more Luxury Look-Alikes for Less, check out previous posts featuring embellished clutches, nude booties, & chandelier earrings! Happy Styling!

Quickie Darling Deal & Steal: Replace The LBD With This All-Over Lace Dress from Topshop!

Need some ideas for putting together an elegant New Year’s Eve look?  Of course LBDs are classic go-to options, but how about something in lace?  This bonded lace pencil dress ($45.00) from Topshop is currently marked down from $80.00!

I added some accessories to help build the look in many different directions.  Try a pop of color in modest heels like the ‘Influence’ bow pump ($19.99) in red from Payless, or go a little daring micro fiber tassel side zip platform bootie ($22.95) in black from GOjane.

To help cinch in your waist, try a tonal belt like the geometric glitter stretch belt ($9.50) from Charlotte Russe, which will add a contrasting deco feel to the already elegant look.  Also, when it comes to jewelry, a busy dress like this one demands refined pieces like the MixIt jet black statement necklace ($21.99) from JC Penney, or @Kohl’s you can find the silver tone multi-strand bracelet ($19.60) by Jennifer Lopez.

What are your plans for New Year’s Eve?  What are you thinking about wearing? Happy Holidays & Happy Styling!