Style Resolutions: Shopping Your Own Closet!


Happy belated 2017, Style Darlings! Hope you’re having just as wonderful and smiley a year as I’m having! The proof is in my Instagram traffic, with a whopping 900 followers as of today! I couldn’t be happier about the progress I’m making in spreading the joy of living the stylish life, one positively coiffed day at a time!

I’ve had a great deal of time since the holidays to consider the goals I want to achieve this calendar year, especially when so many new adventures and responsibilities are headed my way. The countless windows of opportunity are open to me in all personal and professional aspects of life, which is why this year, more than any other, will be MY year. Of course, it’s possible that anyone with a keyboard and Wi-Fi connection is declaring just such ownership of 2017 (I mean, I can share)… or perhaps the public is more concerned with other crucial national / international issues regarding where our country is headed. Not to be an ostrich in the sand given the clamorous climate during this weekend’s emotional marches, but I know that the best way I can be true to myself as an American woman, the woman I want to be, and the woman I want my readers to know, is to just be me, to talk about the magic that is life, love, positivity, inspiration, fashion, and all things creative—all the things that give me hope.

You may begin to wonder (if you’re out there reading and wondering at all) where this Style Darling chick is going with this setup of resolutions? The title of this post basically points to “shopping your own closet” (and I’ll be getting to that more directly in just a moment, so please bear with me). Well, the arsenal of style that I have packed away on hangers, stuffed under my bed, and still stored at my parents’ house from over three years ago are the external representations of what I wish to express as my hopes for this year. On the inside, the strength that I’ve recovered from thirty three years of life experience has allowed me a much greater and more valuable inventory, if you will, of knowledge that I will claim as much as I possibly can. When I’m putting together an outfit. When I’m making my morning tea. When I’m listening to the La La Land soundtrack. When I’m tutoring students about syntax. When my hand is held while hustling through the streets of New York City. And for every lovely moment in between. That knowledge simply includes the promise that I will embrace the richness of every day. I will be present. I will speak up. I will appreciate the time I have to myself and with my loved ones. I will always be my best self; both the world and I deserve it.

In doing so, there are also some worries that make the drive to win the year a little more challenging. Among these, finances are always on my mind, which is why I’m committed to better shopping resolutions, only seeking unique and special must-haves unlike anything I currently own, as well as reinvesting and shopping my very full and fashionable closet with favorite wardrobe staples. In a conscious effort to mind my spending, I’m looking at how unexpected pieces can be played down and how basics can be styled up.

Since I have the liberty of taking my style into my hands at both of my jobs, as an educator and stylist, I’m free to explore what inspires me on social media, in magazines, from the people around me, and within my imagination. However, it has been quite the exercise in self-control since I will no longer, at the swift swipe of my credit card, buy any and every affordable sparkly thing I see online or in stores. No matter how sparkly it is. Really. I’m certainly not punishing myself for past indulgences, but in moving forward to wherever the future takes me, I hallucinate a little bit that I’ll end up being a real-life Miss Havisham of the 21st century, but of the clothing hoarder variety.

And now for the moment you’ve been waiting for… I’ve also recently been very careful about what I look at when it comes to seeking out style inspiration in stores and online, because it is oh-so tempting. However, I found the below affordable and chic graphic tees (gray, cream, black, & navy) from Old Navy for $15.00. I was immediately inspired to give these t-shirts the style blogger treatment they deserve, especially since I’m all about Prosecco and Paris. Upon discovering these tops, I went on a sort-of text rant about how they should have been presented on the Facebook post I initially saw them on, but also in how they are so plainly styled on the website.  

graphic-tees-earrings graphic-tees-necklaces

A simple pop of jewelry takes these tees to the next level, while staying true to any mix of ladylike and modern style where casual meets cool. In addition, to build a budget-friendly shopper-savvy collection, these tees are perfect for Style Darlings of any size, ranging from XS-XXL in each of the designs. As for the jewelry (filigree earrings, drop earrings, choker, & statement necklace) from Forever 21, there’s no better place to shop when selecting something special, while also saving some cash instead of splurging on luxury sparkles.

To take these tees even further, think beyond your favorite pair of skinny jeans and try a sequin pencil skirt with a denim jacket, or a midi skirt and blazer. Also, when it comes to footwear, t-shirts are always compatible with ankle booties, ballet flats, strappy sandals, and knee boots. If you need further proof, just click around on Pinterest and take a fashion risk!

That’s all from me. Have questions? Have inspiration you wanna chat about? Let’s hear it. Happy 2017 and Happy Styling!

Accessories Access: Affordable & Cute Cold Weather Must-Haves!


Baby, it’s cold outside, which means that you better bundle up in style! That includes hats, headwraps, scarves, & gloves when facing the brutal change in temperature. Not to mention that for Cyber Monday, there are plenty of great buys to help solve your holiday gift giving dilemma, & why not treat a loved one to something cozy & chic like a pom pomp beanie or luxe infinity scarf? Here in the Northeast, it’s been windy & chilly, which means that I’m not leaving the house without layers of elegant extras that won’t add too much frompy bulk. However, as an avid collector of scarves, I’ve found that when it comes to cold weather accessories, there’s such a variety in colors & textures to create an interesting & stylish outerwear look to play with how you style your go-to winter coat.

SHOP: faux fur pom pom beanie @Forever 21, embellished hat @dressbarn, knit headband @H&M, crochet beret @Icing, cable headwrap @Payless, & earflap pom pom beanie @Target.

SHOP: ribbed infinity scarf @Forever 21, knit tube scarf @H&M, shimmer tassle scarf @dressbarn, leopard oblong fringe scarf @Charlotte Russe, & plaid blanket scarf @Target.

SHOP: waffle knit fingerless gloves @Charlotte Russe, wool blend bow gloves @H&M, textured leather gloves @Forever 21, wool flower glove @Target, & quilted studded gloves @dressbarn.

Happy Styling!

#BlackFriday Sale Update: EVERYTHING $20 & Under @Charlotte Russe!


Charlotte Russe is such a fun store to find affordable must-haves for shoppers of any size, including sweaters to outerwear to shoes to jewelry. For their big Black Friday sale, The entire store is $20 & under, which is like shopping catnip! I’ve been patrolling the website on & off all day, especially their skirts & ballet flats, which are my usual bargain finds. When shopping for your gal pals or trying to upgrade your look, try out something unexpected like a statement necklace in a bright color or a playful tote for a weekend away!

SHOP: quilted puffer jacket, plus size utility jacket, Aztec cardigan, chevron fringed poncho, graphic tote, scuba skirt, pointed over the knee boots, buckled ankle booties, velvet dress sandals, taupe stone necklace, & emerald bib necklace @Charlotte Russe.

Happy Styling!

#BlackFriday Sale Update: 50% Off Everything @GAP!


Happy Thanksgiving & early Black Friday! I tried to stay disconnected from technology for most of the holiday, but I just can’t take it anymore. There are so many awesome sales going on right now that will not only help build up a killer winter wardrobe, but also check off some stylish names on your gift list. Once I filtered through the dozens & dozens of emails, I couldn’t start posting fast enough.

For classic styles to wear from season to season, GAP is the place to shop, especially for their big Black Friday sale of 50% off everything with the online code TGIF50.

SHOP: plaid dress, stripe sweater, pleated skirt, star scarf, ballet flat, knit hat, & stripe belt @GAP.

Happy Styling!

Accessories Access: Holiday Party Circuit Clutches!


‘Tis the season to be glitzy! When you’re getting for your the biggest holiday events, shopping for & coordinating your favorite party dresses & shoes, don’t forget about the all-important clutch, especially when hitting the cocktail party circuit where a bulky bag just won’t do. Investing in a classic, all-purpose clutch bag will serve your wardrobe over & over again, & this time of year, you won’t even have to break the bank for that final finishing piece. Take some inspiration from red carpet pros whose clutch game is on point for any occasion, including Reese Witherspoon, Anne Hathaway, Gigi Hadid, Emma Roberts, Jennifer Hudson, Anna Kendrick, & Kerry Washington

Because it is the holiday season, I scouted the web for party-specific bags that will pop with any look, whether it’s an LBD, sparkly frock, sleek jumpsuit, or fit & flare number. The following selections are $40 & under from some of my favorite retailers that I often turn to when getting my wardrobe state of mind into party mode.

SHOP: Tevolio merlot mesh clutch @Target, Luxe by Carmen Marc Valvo tassel clutch @dressbarn, sequin shoulder bag @H&M, & faux fur pouch @Nordstrom.

SHOP: metallic rhinestone clutch @Francesca’s, burgundy velvet minaudiere @Century 21, wine foldover clutch @Forever 21, & gold ring clutch box @Icing.

Happy Styling!

Inside A Style Blogger’s Closet: A Daytime LBD for Fall!


As a blogger, I’m always looking for inspiration on the web & from stores where I shop. It’s only recently that I’m directly using my own style & images of myself (as seen on my Instagram @MissAlissaL) in what I’m wearing to share with readers on a daily basis (which is ironic considering the name of this blog includes the word “daily”). It hasn’t been easy, what with a constant (self) scrutiny of how I look, what an image says about me, & how I feel about putting this side of myself out there to the blog-iverse. In a leap of fashion faith, I’m seizing this opportunity for a number of reasons: 1. The weather is bound to change here on Long Island, so my accessibility to flattering outdoor lighting for pictures is extra limited. (Sidenote: I live alone & don’t own a fancy camera, so heading to my parents’ house between jobs is my usual stop for a quickie photo sesh.) 2. I’m feeling confident in my voice as a writer / blogger, as well as in my style & about my shape. There’s so much about expression through style & body positivity that I want to share with readers & can’t get my fingertips on the keyboard fast enough. 3. I can’t build the Style Darling Daily empire without attaching my face to it. This seems to be working because friends & coworkers of mine regularly greet me with, “Hey Style Darling.” I live the moniker, so I need to blog it.

So here I am in a black floral lace dress that surprised me when I saw it & even more so then tried it on. It’s not a full-on a-line dress, like I’m used to wearing, but I saw the potential in dressing it up & down. Since I had to get to work on this Saturday afternoon, I wanted to try the dress out with fall favorites like patterned tights & a denim jacket, so that the dress wouldn’t look so party-ready. I played up the feminine vibe of this dress with fun & flirty heels, & accessorized with my new metallic bow clutch. I was really into the delicate feel of the dress, so I paired a flower pendant necklace with it, as well as two beaded bracelets.

Some of these pieces are old & no longer available, but there are so many accessorizing possibilities to this look. I’d consider a statement necklace or belt (both of which I tried while getting ready & saved in my mind for later), as well as a blanket scarf & knee boots for a weekend-in-the-country vibe. However, the key elements to recreate this outfit for yourself are just a click away!

SHOP: black floral lace dress, Westport 1962 denim jacket, pin dot tights, & shimmer bow wristlet @dressbarn

What’s your dress style for the fall? What colors & pattern combos are you attracted to? Where are you shopping for great deals on your favorite outfits? Happy Styling!

 

Accessories Access: Stylish & Sparkling Statement Necklaces ($25 & Under)!


It doesn’t have to be the holiday season for me to wear something sparkly, especially a statement necklace. I’m always curious & mindful about how I’m pairing my accessories together to portray a chic look that isn’t too busy either. I love exploring color & shape combinations over my tops & dresses to rediscover new ways to wear each piece from season to season. Check out (below) some of my favorite recent statement necklace looks (as posted on my Instagram @MissAlissaL).

For those of you who are hesitant about dipping yourself in dripping gems, now is the time to explore the different color & shape possibilities with statement necklaces, as well as bold bib necklaces & collar necklaces. I love surprising myself with how a sparkling piece of jewelry can really make an outfit special, dressed up, & appear a lot more expensive. However, when investing in fashion jewelry, it’s important to choose diverse pieces that you can get the most use from. Try some showstopping stones over a plaid shirt, pearls & beads with a graphic tee, or feminine floral motifs with a heavy knit.

SHOP: 1. braided necklace @Francesca’s, 2. bib necklace @New York & Company, 3. green rhinestone necklace @H&M, & 4. bead & stone statement necklace @Target.

SHOP: 5. flower necklace @Dressbarn, 6. drops statement necklace @Charming Charlie, 7. gem statement necklace @Forever 21, & 8. pearl & crystal statement necklace @Icing.

How often do you wear statement jewelry? Where do you like to shop for the best jewelry bargains? What trends are inspiring your holiday style? Happy Styling!

The Stylish Five: Trendy & Affordable Fall / Winter Must-Haves!


This time of year is ripe with fashionable possibilities, which is precisely what makes it fun to get dressed in the morning, finding new ways to express your style and personality. Of course, there are challenges when it comes to putting together a chic & effortless fall / winter wardrobe, mainly because of the changing weather, but also, if you’re stuck in a style rut, there are five fall / winter trends that will help elevate your look without having to invest too much cash into passing fashion fads that only work for certain body types. These include: layers, sparkle, prints, jewel tones, & lace. The savviest of Style Darlings can even take some of these trends to create a detailed & unique outfit.

SHOP: turtleneck poncho @Macy’s, plaid blanket scarf @Lord & Taylor, faux fur vest @Old Navy, hooded cape @Zulily, & oversized cardigan @The Limited.

SHOP: embellished sweater @Target, glitter skirt @Wet Seal, statement necklace @Icing, glittery platforms @Charlotte Russe, & sequined satin clutch @Forever 21.

SHOP: plaid shirt @H&M, houndstooth blouse @JCPenney, paisley dress @Forever 21, leopard scarf @Charming Charlie, & floral flats @DSW.

SHOP: velvet wrap dress @ASOS, cold shoulder top @Macy’s, zipper sweater @New York & Company, straight leg pants @The Limited, & midi skirt @Charlotte Russe.

SHOP: dress @H&M, tank @Gap, blouse @New York & Company, choker @Lulu’s, & pumps @Payless.

What fall / winter trend are you thinking about? Where are you shopping for the latest deals & style buys? Happy Styling!

Fab in 4 Ways: A Crochet Skirt for Day, Date, Work, & Weekend!


I recently had a conversation with a friend / coworker about the perks of our job, one being all the styling possibilities for certain items that can be worn for a variety of occasions. Thus the inspiration for this post, I couldn’t help thinking about how quickly the summer is going by, & that fall fashion is currently in stores. Blending the new with the past season while keeping a budget in mind is a very present factor when I’m considering how to build new looks from my wardrobe. Transitioning pieces from season to season is really how you can get the most from your fashionable investment, which can also surprise you when planning a day out with friends, a special date night, what to wear for an important work meeting, as well as when you’re headed away for the weekend. 

It didn’t take long before I came across this versatile crochet scalloped skirt from @Dress Barn (shop misses available in small – large & plus available in 1X – 2X here. I have the skirt from last spring (in more of a creamy ivory tone) & I was stuck on how to style it, especially since there’s so much detail in the crochet of the skirt. Gladly, this design was returning to stores in a neutral taupe, perfect for coordinating for any season. In the fall, try this skirt with knee boots & a chunky sweater, or for winter with a blouse, tights, & ankle booties. However, when thinking about all of the styling possibilities, I’m excited to share four fabulous ways to wear this skirt, including for day, date, work, & weekend. 

Crochet for day.SHOP: misses shirt @Charles Tyrwhitt, Aubrey Brooke wedge @DSW, turquoise bracelet @Charming Charlie, Gabrielle Rocha lobster tote @6PM, square stud earring @White House Black Market, plus shirt @Gap, Naturalizer wedge @DSW, turquoise bracelet @Charming Charlie, Gabriella Rocha nautical tote @6PM, & Jasper stud earring @White House Black Market.

Crochet for date.SHOP: misses cut-out top @Forever 21, strappy heels @GOjane, beaded hoop earrings @Francesca’s, champagne stretch bracelet @Icing, ALDO clutch @Zappos, plus fringe top @Forever 21, chunky platforms @GOjane, drop earrings @Francesca’s, iridescent stretch bracelet @Icing, & Jessica McClintock clutch @Zappos.

Crochet for work.SHOP misses Dana Buchman top @Kohl’s, neutral jacket @Dress Barn, neutral pump @Payless, long necklace @Forever 21, watch @Target, stud earrings @Express, plus Dana Buchman top @Kohl’s, neutral jacket @Dress Barn, pointy toe slingback @Payless, long necklace @Forever 21, watch @Target, & knot stud earrings @Express.

Crochet for weekend.SHOP: misses pocket tee @Charlotte Russe, collar necklace @BaubleBar, printed kimono @Wet Seal, fringe sandal @ModCloth, straw shopper @H&M, plus pocket tee @Charlotte Russe, statement necklace @BaubleBar, printed kimono @Wet Seal, colorblock sandal @ModCloth, & canvas shopper @H&M.

How would you style the crochet skirt? What items do you keep handy all year long? Which staples do you like to reinvent in new ways? Where do you shop for everyday essentials? Happy Styling!

Color Me Style: All-White Summer Inspiration from Olivia Palermo, Kerry Washington, Kristen Stewart, & More!


July is almost over, but that doesn’t mean summer is about to end. When it comes to summer fashion, wearing monochromatic white is an effortless, chic, & classic choice for any occasion. White is bright, sleek, light, & easy to pair with neutrals & prints for a luxe look. Get inspired by the celebrities below, including Project Runway judge Heidi Klum, royal fashionista Kate Middleton, model Kendall Jenner, Scandal star Kerry Washington, Café Society actress Kristen Stewart, & designer Nicole Richie.

Heidi Klum, Kate Middleton, Kendall Jenner, Kerry Washington, Kristen Stewart, & Nicole Richie in white.Olivia Culpo, Olivia Palermo, Selena Gomez, Sienna Miller, Solange Knowles, & Zendaya in white.More inspiration for the office, a day out with the girls, & date night comes from beauty queen Olivia Culpo, fashionable force Olivia Palermo, singer Selena Gomez, Burnt actress Sienna Miller, musician Solange Knowles, & pop star Zendaya

In an effort to reach Style Darlings of all shapes & sizes, I’m happy to share some white-on-white inspiration  with options of misses, plus, & petites looks because no one should be excluded from wearing what they want. White isn’t always an easy color (or lack of) to pull off (I know I never wear it all together), but I love a crisp white dress & flats, mixed with some sparkly metallic jewelry. Check out the below options to help build an elegant & on-trend all-white outfit to affordably play with for the rest of the summer.

dressesSHOP: misses jewel neck dress, plus floral lace dress, petite lace skirt dress @Dress Barn.

topsSHOP: misses lace blouse, plus twill shirt, petites tank @Old Navy.

bottomsSHOP: misses Free People shorts, misses Anne Klein eyelet pants, plus Amanda & Chelsea skirt, plus Amanda & Chelsea pants, petites Vince Camuto lace skirt, & petites NYDJ crop jeans @Nordstrom Rack

toppersSHOP: misses shawl collar blazer, plus Liz Claiborne open cardigan, & petites Worthington zip jacket @JCPenney.

shoes

SHOP: Jessica Simpson curtsy pump, Clarks Banoy Tulia sandal, GC lace flat, & G by Guess Daniel flat @DSW.

bagsSHOP: Madden Girl perforated tote, Gabrielle Rocha Chiara bucket purse, & Herschel Supply Co. clutch @6PM

jewelrySHOP: floral necklace, teardrop earrings, bracelet, & perforated watch @Charming Charlie

Do you like to wear all white in the summer? Which pieces are your favorites? What color do you most style monochromatically? Which celebrity’s all-white ensemble inspires you? Happy Styling!