Fab in 4 Ways: The Prettiest Summer-To-Fall Transition Sweater!


Right now is a very interesting time for fashion & retail. Summer is here & thriving, the best seasonal styles are on sale, but also, the newest fall pieces are starting to hit stores. More than anything, I want to stay in a summer state of mind, especially since the weather has been beautiful, just sunny enough & not oppressively hot (at least here on Long Island). My eye keeps catching what’s next for fall, which brings me to this Roz & Ali lace bell sleeve sweater @dressbarn, available in both misses & plus sizes.

The lightweight top is both flattering & versatile when it comes to styling. The airy, feminine sleeves are my favorite part, inspiring me to think about other patterns & color schemes to experiment with. Since these summer evenings have been on the cooler side lately, this is the perfect top for now & next season too. Making the investment in future pieces that you can wear now is the best way to get the most use out of your wardrobe. However, I especially love the always classic look of black and white separates, which is perfect for Style Darlings of any age or size.

Styling the sweater with a pair of shorts offers a polished look for a weekend brunch with some sandals & drop earrings. A pencil skirt is party-ready with a statement necklace & strappy heels. For a relaxed feel, a maxi skirt is easy-breezy when paired with wedges & layering necklaces. Lastly, cozy palazzo pants are effortless & cool for a day of errands or casual Friday at the office with ballet flats & stud earrings.

SHOP: stripe linen drapey shorts @Gap (available in sizes XS-XXL), front slit pencil skirt @New York & Company (available in sizes 0-20), floral print maxi skirt @dressbarn (available in plus size here), & striped palazzo pants @Target (available in sizes S-XXL).

When I’m styling other women, I always encourage them to try pieces that can not only be worn multiple ways, but also for multiple seasons. This ensures that the garment’s value is really worth it. While I don’t want to wish summer away, I can’t get over all the possibilities for this sweater. Here are a few more suggestions of how you can play up your best fall style when coordinated with any black lacy sweater for work, day, date, or weekend.

SHOP: pencil skirt @H&M (similar in plus size here), utility pixie chinos @Old Navy (available in sizes 0-20), pinstripe ankle pants @Express (similar in plus size here), & 415 classic boot cut jeans @Levi’s (similar in plus size here).

What pieces do you have your eye on this season? What fall trends are you most looking for to next? What staple items do you get the most wear from? Happy Styling!

 

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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!

Fabulous in 4 Ways: A Chambray Shirt for Day, Work, Date, & Weekend (Dedicated to Meghan)!


There’s nothing more classic than a crisp button down shirt. An extension of this is the chambray shirt for summer. While the season is at its height (let’s ignore fall for just a moment, please), a menswear-inspired chambray shirt is the perfect piece to get optimal use of your wardrobe for a variety of occasions, like day, work, weekend, & date, which is why it’s featured in my latest addition of Fabulous in 4 Ways.

This post is inspired by an equally versatile friend, Meghan, who works boho princess / bombshell prep street style like nobody’s business. When challenged with how to wear a chambray shirt, I advised my very favorite & fashionable friend that any way that a button down shirt can be styled is also any way that a chambray shirt can be styled (depending on the cut, of course). Here are some examples of must-haves tops to build an affordable ensemble at any size:

Chambray shirts.

SHOP: 1. Dockers chambray shirt ($24.99, was $40.00) @6PM, 2. chambray shirt ($39.99, was $69.00) @J.Jill, 3. chambray shirt ($32.94) available in sizes XS – XXL @Old Navy, 4. New Directions plus size chambray shirt ($18.19, was 52.00) @Belk, & 5. plus size chambray shirt ($46.00) @Maurices.

When it comes to essential basics to fill your closet, it’s always valuable to turn to some top A-listers for a little style inspiration, in the form of the button down shirts for anytime. This includes the flawless likes of Taylor Swift who takes the girl next door approach in a skate skirt, red oxford shoes, & retro sunnies. Curvy Kim Kardashian West dresses down her turquoise pencil skirt & ankle strap pumps with a tucked in, low-cut button down for a fierce day look. Draper James creator Reese Witherspoon is all buttoned up while traveling with mixed textures of black denim, leather pointy flats, & a pink lip. Style icon Olivia Palermo makes an appearance at a Kohl’s event in a knotted shirt over a floral pencil skirt with suede pumps.

Taylor Swift, Kim Kardashian West, Reese Witherspoon, Olivia Palermo, Rihanna, Ashley Madekwe, Zoe Saldana, & Jennifer Garner.

Mixing chambray with similarly-hued denim isn’t a no-no, as seen on Rihanna who looked sporty & chic in a leather baseball cap & nude slingbacks. Salem actress Ashley Madekwe is all about layering with a mini skirt, ankle booties, brocade blazer, & red chain link crossbody bag. Guardians of the Galaxy star Zoe Saldana kept her cool in head-to-toe blue with cowboy boots & aviators when out & about. Lastly, busy mom on the go Jennifer Garner offers a laid back combo in a chambray pullover shirt tucked into a pencil skirt with ballet flats & a luxe navy snake embossed bowler bag.

Now comes the real-life outfit possibilities. Chambray is so lightweight to wear from week to week, especially if you like to reinvent your favorite pieces in new ways. I styled each look with the chambray shirt ($19.50, was $69.50) @J.Crew Factory because it was not only a bargain, but also the best foundation for a polished & flirty look. Try tucking the shirt in for day by rolling up the sleeves, but on the weekend, open it up & knot it when heading to brunch.

Cambray for Day. Chambray for Weekend.

SHOP the DAY look: 1. chambray shirt ($19.50, was $69.50) @J.Crew Factory, 2. pineapple earrings ($5.00, was $7.50) @Icing, 3. LC Lauren Conrad necklace ($8.00, was $20.00) @Kohl’s, 4. shorts ($13.98, was $19.99) in orange @Target, 5. Nine West crossbody bag ($19.99, was $45.00) in oat @Century 21, & 6. wedges ($31.49, was $89.99) in beige @Dillard’s.

SHOP the WEEKEND look: 7. earrings ($12.00) @Francesca’s, 8. tank ($16.95) in turquoise @Gap (available in sizes XS – XXL), 9. maxi skirt ($30.00) @Dress Barn (available in plus size here), 10. bangle set ($9.99, was $26.00) @JCPenney, 11. tote ($14.90) in cream / mustard @Forever 21, & 12. sandals ($15.00, was $22.99) in gold @Charlotte Russe.

Depending on your job’s dress code, chambray can make a casual Friday a little more elegant when tucked into a minimalist skirt with edgy extras, but then knot it over an LBD for date night to keep cozy with colorful accessories to pop.

Chambray for Work. Chambray for Date.

SHOP the WORK look: 1. chambray shirt ($19.50, was $69.50) @J.Crew Factory, 2. cardigan cape ($34.00, was $108.00) in black @Neiman Marcus Last Call, 3. earrings ($10.50) in gold @G by Guess, 4. Daniel Rainn pencil skirt ($24.97, was $68.00) in black @Nordstrom Rack (shop similar in plus size here), 5. necklace ($15.00) in rose gold @Topshop, 6. bowler bag ($49.00, was $99.00) @ASOS, 7. belt ($24.90) in snake @Express (shop similar in plus size here), & 8. booties ($38.50) in black @GOjane.

SHOP the DATE look: 9. dress ($12.95) in black @H&M (shop similar in plus size here), 10. necklace ($8.99) @Rainbow Shops, 11. ring ($16.00) @River Island, 12. clutch ($29.00, was $43.00) in yellow @Venus, & 13. sandals ($39.95, was $70.00) in red @DSW.

Do you wear button down or chambray shirts during the summer? How many ways do you like to style them? Which celebrity wears your favorite chambray look? For more stylish posts, check out Kate Mara’s sleek pixie cut & outfits while promoting Fantastic 4, affordable maxi skirts inspired by Jennifer Lopez & Miranda Kerr, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s Fall 2015 denim campaign for Paige Denim, how to restyle bridesmaid dresses from Weddington Way, Eva Mendes for Estee Lauder, & a figure-friendly summer outfit for under $100! Happy Styling!

Fabulous In 4 Ways: A Bold Statement Necklace For Under $12!


Although the holidays may be over, that doesn’t mean it’s time to put away your best & most sparkly accessories & that includes statement necklaces. I’m pretty new to the bauble club, but I’m having fun experimenting with different ways to wear the bold piece of jewelry, which is what inspired my latest post for Fabulous in 4 Ways. I’m excited to explore the variety of style choices one can make with a statement necklace, especially when headed out for a day off of lunch with the girls, to the office for a big meeting, a cocktail party on a date, or a weekend getaway trip.

Coco Rocha, Katy Perry, Emma Roberts, Olivia Palermo, Molly Sims, & Jamie King in statement necklaces.Statement necklaces have been a prominent go-to accessory for celebrities over the years, including supermodel Coco Rocha, pop star Katy Perry in Amrapali, actress Emma Roberts, style icon Olivia Palermo, Molly Sims in a floral necklace, & Hart of Dixie‘s Jamie King.

To start this project, I choose the statement necklace ($11.98) in black & gold from Target, which has just enough glitz & glam to dress up several combinations of basics with prints & rich textures.

Target - statement necklace $11.98.

For daytime, I love the ease of this look & how just one piece instantly adds some punch against the backdrop of casual separates. Also, the necklace is successful over a basic blouse & colorblock look for a fashionable office environment, playing up your personality, yet still remaining professional.

Fabulous in 4 Ways - Day & Work

SHOP day look: sweater ($24.80) @Forever 21, jeans ($19.99) @Zara, & ballet flats ($44.10) @Bon Ton. SHOP work look: top ($25.00) @Topshop, skirt ($34.11) @ASOS, & shoes ($32.99) @Charlotte Russe.

When headed to a cocktail party, a statement necklace is just the piece to elevate a classic LBD, sheath, or lace frock. Lastly, when taking a road trip for the weekend, a statement necklace is perfectly interchangeable when considering how to efficiently pack to get the most out of your wardrobe.  

Fabulous in 4 Ways - Cocktail & Weekend

SHOP cocktail look: dress ($49.99) @ModCloth, sandal ($19.94) @DSW, & clutch ($15.00) @Payless. SHOP weekend look: sweater ($19.97) @New York & Company, sweat pants ($41.30) @Last Call, booties ($44.99) @Nine West, & cardigan ($18.99) @Kohl’s.

For more statement necklace inspiration, I choose a few more styles that are both affordable & adjustable to any neckline for any outfit.

statement necklaces.

SHOP: gothic collar necklace ($16.00) @Boo Hoo, marquise necklace ($15.00) @Charming Charlie, tribal necklace ($12.90) @Forever 21, & pharaoh bib necklace ($20.00) @Bauble Bar.

Which way would you wear a statement necklace? What’s your favorite go-to piece of jewelry? Do you mix p your wardrobe staples to create new, stylish options? For more fashionable posts, check out Natalie Portman’s Dior look for less, full red carpet galleries from the Critics Choice Awards & this year’s Golden Globes, Runway Rundown lookbooks from Jenny Packham & Alice + Olivia, & affordable fashion inspired by HBO’s Girls. Happy Styling!

Fabulous In 4 Ways: Pretty Pastel Looks For Your Winter Wardrobe!


Pastels don’t only belong to spring time. They’re the perfect color palette for winter, paired with metallics when you’re looking to avoid an uber-holiday-inspired outfit. Also, pastels this time of year isn’t such a crazy fashion risk when you think about cuddly sweaters against the outdoor snowy landscape.

Some of our favorite celebrities have turned to pastels when hitting the red carpet or making a street style splash. Fashion it-girl Olivia Palermo mixed a white Dior jacket with a ruffled pastel skirt & blinged out belt. Young actress Elle Fanning played with pastel hues with a houndstooth dress, blue jacket, & floral heels by Miu Miu. Scandal actress Kerry Washington was a knockout in a lace & brocade Oscar de le Renta gown & matching pink minaudiere.

Olivia Palermo, Elle Fanning, & Kerry Washington.

Camilla Belle, Lupita Nyong'o, & Victoria Beckham.

Camilla Belle stole the spotlight in a pale green Gucci crop top & matching skirt with gold metallic sandals. Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o made a splash at Fashion Week in a pale purple Calvin Klein sweater dress with a gray clutch & matching strappy sandals. The always glamorous Victoria Beckham showed off a relaxed separates look in a white t-shirt & blue wide leg trousers by Malene Birger.

If that isn’t proof enough that pastels belong to the colder months, plenty of designers displayed Fall Collections featuring pale pink, periwinkle, lilac, mint, winter white, & yellow. This includes pastels featured on the runway by Reed Krakoff, Rebecca Taylor, Ralph Lauren, Chanel, Ermanno Scervino, & Gucci.

Reed Krakoff, Rebecca Taylor, & Ralph Lauren Fall 2014 Ready-To-Wear Collection.

Chanel Fall 2014 Haute Couture, Ermanno Scervino & Gucci Fall 2014 Ready-To-Wear Collections.

I put together some outfits, inspired by some of the prettiest pastel colors in stores this season. Of course, there are other hues to make any Style Darling swoon, but the working pale blue, winter white, blush pink, & mint green into your winter wardrobe will make everyday staples like rhinestones & sparkles, as well as cold weather accessories really pop.

blue outfit

Shop the affordable & casual separates look: LC Lauren Conrad sweater ($29.99) in snow blue @Kohl’s, pants ($34.00) in soft sky @Neiman Marcus, flats ($14.99) in silver @Payless, & studs ($3.90) in silver @Forever 21.

winter white outfit

Surprise at a cocktail party in winter white with: dress ($24.00) in ivory @Dress Barn, flats ($39.98) in bone @ALDO, pearl necklace ($13.00) @Charming Charlie, & nail polish ($11.20) in Casper @Julep.

pink outfit

Monochromatic blush pieces create a professional, yet feminine look: top ($32.94) in pink @Old Navy, pencil skirt ($19.80) in blush @Forever 21, bootie ($19.94) in blush @DSW, & necklace ($42.00) in peach @BaubleBar.

mint green outfit

Mint makes everything better- even a chic daytime look: tunic sweater ($49.90) in green @Express, jeans ($29.99) in white @JC Penney, ankle strap heels ($28.50) in mint @Charlotte Russe, & necklace ($16.50) in mint @Icing.

Lastly, to break up the monotony of this chillier season, add a splash of pastel to your wardrobe with a winter coat. While black & grays have their place in a classic must-have closet, mix it up with the paler shades in rich textures like wool & leather. 

coats

Button up for a sweet day of sweet colors, matched with metallic scarves & jewel details when wearing: swing coat ($36.00) in sea salt @Old Navy, flip collar coat ($119.00) in mint @TJ Maxx, wool coat ($69.99) in pink heather @Target, & leather coat ($54.00) in yellow @ChicNova.

What’s your favorite pastel color for winter? Do you wear more brights or saturated colors? Which outfit is your favorite? For more stylish posts, check out all-in-one cosmetic kits for the holidays, affordable cold weather accessories from Francesca’s & H&M, Anna Kendrick’s Marie Claire cover shoot for the December 2014 issue, & Gwyneth Paltrow’s new ad campaign for Max Factor! Happy Styling!

Fabulous In 4 Ways: An Old Navy Graphic Tee For Day, Weekend, Date, & Cocktail!


There’s so much going on in fashion right now & all of the latest spring styles have been hitting retailers, which means that it’s time to consider how you can revamp your wardrobe for the upcoming season. One trick that I recently experimented with was how to dress up a graphic tee for more than just a day look, which is the inspiration behind my latest Fabulous in 4 Ways post. I’m always drawn to pretty t-shirts with fashion-related designs, something Parisian, or a classic Hello Kitty print, however the watercolor-graphic v-neck tee ($14.94) in lodge khaki from Old Navy caught my eye for its modern look over a neutral hue. I’ve decided to share how to style this top for day, weekend, date, & cocktail, ranging in price from $83.52 – $133.48.

For the day look, I loved bringing out fun colors like the 1969 always skinny jeans ($21.99) in lemon meringue from Gap & pairing it with the Christian Siriano Camile bow flat ($26.99) in dark green from Payless. Of course there’s always dark denim as an option, but I loved the neutrality of the tabbed sleeve jacket ($22.50) in Olive from Wet Seal. For an extra splash of style, I picked the 1928 jet-tone filigree teardrop earrings ($5.00) from Kohl’s, which will dress up any casual look & even work with a sheath or LBD for a night out on the town.

When you’re headed away for the weekend, consider comfortable options like the Mossimo Supply Co. bootcut denim ($22.99) in dark wash from Target. To add some extra height to this already casual chic look, I love the basic longline cardigan ($12.80) in black from Forever 21, which gives that boyfriend-sweater menswear look, especially when paired with the Michael Antonio Mallory bootie ($24.99) in black from Piperlime. Lastly, the tribal style bangle set ($7.80) in gold / dark brown from Forever 21 highlight the colors in the graphic tee & bring some extra personality to the whole ensemble.

On the flipside, experiment with this graphic tee, or any printed top for a cocktail look with the feminine skirt ($29.95) in black from H&M & edgy Jacquez jacket ($24.98) in jet black from G by Guess. To contrast the softness of the watercolor butterflies, I choose Charlotte Russe‘s spiked zip-back sueded pumps ($38.50) in black, which complimented the two tone chevron statement necklace ($12.90) from Windsor Store.

A date night look is the perfect opportunity for dressing up a graphic tee, especially when there are options like The Limited‘s silver & rose gold sequin jacket ($49.99) with the faux leather moto leggings ($39.80) in black from Forever 21. Sexy accessories for this look include the sparkling geo drop earrings ($4.80) in black / gold, also from Forever 21, as well as the patent faux leather pumps ($23.95) in black from GOjane, which have been recently marked down.

For more posts on affordable fashion, check out how to find the best bargain-priced pink jeans, look-alike floral Stella McCartney pants as seen on Diane Kruger, clearance heels & flats from Target, winter white looks inspired by Nicole Richie & Taylor Swift, Lauren Conrad’s latest Kohl’s collection, & Christian Siriano’s newest designs for Payless. Happy Styling!

Fabulous In 4 Ways: A Spiked Sweater From GOjane For Day, Weekend, Date, & Cocktail!


I love it when I’m searching the web for a blog & then get totally side-tracked with inspiration for another blog.  That’s how I came to find the metallic spiked shoulder patch sweater ($47.20) in silver from GOjane. Now, this sweater is totally not my style & it’s a little high in price for one item (for me, anyway), but I couldn’t get it off my mind. Rather than building just one look with the unforgettable piece, I needed to play with it for another Fabulous In 4 Ways post!

Spike details have been trending for quite some time now, what with accents on jewelry, shoes, bags, & now clothing.  Of course, it takes a certain kind of Style Darling to pull this look off & here are some suggestions for day, weekend, date, & cocktail on how to wear this eye-catching sweater!  Let’s start off with weekend, which is a two-day break from the confines of your office apparel & evening pieces when you’re headed out on a date.  I wanted to create an easy & comfortable ensemble to wear when shopping with girlfriends or taking in the sites with your beau.  This includes the skinny pieced sequin pants ($19.50) in charcoal from Wet Seal, paired with the bow front canvas flat ($15.00) in black from Charlotte Russe.  Since there’s so much going on with the striking sweater, I wanted to keep my accessories sweet & functional, which is why I selected Forever 21‘s owl charms necklace ($1.50) in gold/black & the Kirna Zabete kiss print sequins schlepper tote ($17.48) from Target

When it comes to daywear, a similar vibe from the weekend look is seen, but I love the distressed look of H&M‘s slim regular jeans ($29.95) in black with the scalloped platform wedges ($32.80) in black from Forever 21. The top is flashy enough for day that I simply added Wet Seal‘s 3 on stackable rings ($7.50) in tri-tone to the look, which can be worn on different fingers or stacked on one, as seen above. When I go out during the day, I love the ease of sweaters & basic pants, but this look has a little extra splash, offering a street style smash worthy of Miranda Kerr or Olivia Palermo. 

For a cocktail look, it’s always recommended to go with a short dress & some towering heels, but I feel that this sweater is successful even when you’re having drinks with co-workers, or looking to break out those pajama-inspired silk pants.  Brocade & other such luxe fabrics are all the rage this season, which is why I turned to The Limited for the Drew mini tab-waist jacquard ankle pants ($29.99) in silver, which have just been marked down.  In keeping with the glitzy metallics, I added the metallic x-front peep toe pump ($25.00) in rose gold from Charlotte Russe, which helps dress up both the pants & sweater.  Lastly, a simple pendant will do, such as the Candie’s jet marquise pendant ($13.00) from Kohl’s

 If you’re looking to make an impression on a date night, show off your gams to offset the sweater’s volume with the side panel sweater mini skirt ($19.99) in black from Express, along with the Nina Pangea sandal ($19.94) in brown leopard from DSW.  You’ve got texture in the strong shoulder, but don’t be afraid to add a little something else like a classic bag to downplay the edginess.  @Sears, a great bargain can be found with the Scarleton faux snake flap clutch ($15.99) in black. For a final splash of sass, I recommend the cutout ring ($3.80) in gold from Forever 21 as the only piece of jewelry for your special night. 

These looks range in price from $100.68 – $117.45, which isn’t bad when you consider how many different ways you’ll be able to wear all the pieces, not just the spiky sweater.  Do you like spike details? What kind of hardware do you look for in clothing? Or, do you prefer them on accessories like shoes or bags?

For more stylish posts & outfit ideas, check out The $100 Challenge, featuring a black & blue look based off a Gap dress, how to work stripes & tweed, & perfect LBD look with sparkly tights & a cardigan! Also, in Basics for a Bargain, get your wardrobe’s worth with coats inspired by Jessica Chastain & Victoria Beckham, pointy toe heels like the ones seen on Maria Sharapova & Tina Fey, as well as how to get affordable separates looks like Kristen Stewart & Alexa Chung! Lastly, just b/c I love a bargain, check out Splurge of Save? to find out the best prices for polka dot tights, floral & stripe looks inspired by the pages of Marie Claire, & winter-friendly red suede ankle booties! Happy Styling!

Fabulous in 4 Ways: Floral Skinny Pants From H&M For Day, Date, Cocktail, & Weekend!


Just b/c the holidays are mostly over, it doesn’t mean that the glamour has to end. The latest trends in spring fashion are slowly, but surely emerging & this includes floral pants. They’re not just for springtime, especially when there are so many chic & cozy ways to dress up or dress down florals when the weather is still chilly outside.  I’d like to take a look at some celebrity inspiration to see how the A-listers are wearing this trend.

Kristin Cavallari shares her chic maternity style in Joe’s Jeans with a basic black top & blazer to offset the vibrant pattern.  90210 star Shenae Grimes adds some punk flavor to her Alice + Olivia cropped pants with strappy booties & a leather top.  Playing with the same idea is Minka Kelly, whose Dolce & Gabbana floral pants are enhanced by suede peep toe pumps & a bright rectangular clutch.  Singer Lana Del Rey plays up her demure style in Citizens of Humanity pants under her trench coat with embellished ballet flats.  Lastly, Twilight star Kristen Stewart sticks to her favorite designer, Balenciaga, for her micro floral printed pants, paired with a Rebecca Minkoff blazer & a Juicy Couture tank.

Kristin Cavallari, Shenae Grimes, Minka Kelly, Lana Del Rey, & Kristen Stewart.Even if we look to the runways for Spring 2013, you’ll find that there’s plenty of floral on the bottom. Floral isn’t meant just for dresses, skirts, or blouses anymore. It can be an unexpected pop of femininity or juxtapose more masculine pieces for day or evening.  For example, we’ve seen this in collections from Jason Wu, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Lela Rose, Paul & Joe, & Tanya Taylor. Here, complimenting colors in your floral prints can work to accentuate a factor of luxury in your look, especially when it comes to jackets, cardigans, scarves, & heels.

Jason Wu, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Lela Rose, Paul & Joe, & Tanya Taylor. The pants in question for today’s Fabulous in 4 Ways post are the floral pants ($24.95) from H&M. Not only are these an amazing bargain, but I’m convinced that these can be worn in a variety of ways to get the most out of your wardrobe basics for day, weekend, date, & cocktail hour.  These may be a little hard to pull off in the office, depending on what your work dress code is, but for the more casual environments, I recommend a cute blouse & pumps to make your look polished & professional.

First, for daytime when you’re running some errands or meeting with your girlfriends for a casual luncheon (á la Sex & the City), I recommend playing with the colors in the pants, including the ruched panel cardigan ($9.99) in gold from Dress Barn worn over the lurex lace bra cami ($14.99) in true white from Express. When floral pants such as these are the focal point of your look, you can play with textures to add interest, which is why I’ve selected the Kenneth Cole ‘Slip Me One’ flats ($29.97) in red @Piperlime & the easy metallic combo of Forever 21‘s beaded hoop earrings ($5.80).

Keep it cozy when it comes to a weekend look, if you’re headed out to a movie during the day with your beau & then sit by the fireplace eating Chinese food. Yes, that’s what I’d like my weekends to be, which is why I picked the striped sweater with oversized cowl neck ($34.96) in herbal mist from New York & Company to wear with the Brash Zoey riding boot ($39.99) in black from Payless. The mixture of stripes & florals has fascinated me for a while, so when you’re cooped up with your significant other in the house when the weather is on the frightful side, experiment with your looks a little to keep things fresh.  However, if you’re headed out, I love the mix of tassels with the patent textures in the daisy fuentes Gemini studded cross-body handbag ($29.50) in magenta from Kohl’s matched with a little more spring fever in the floral bangle set ($7.80) from Forever 21.

When it comes to date night looks, you always have to consider where you’re headed.  Floral pants may seem busy, but if accessorized correctly, they’re the perfect foundation for a sophisticated & smart look to impress your date.  I picked the teardrop cut-out blouse ($24.99) in black from The Limited, a piece that is sure to make the rounds with other wardrobe staples like a pencil skirt, boyfriend jeans, & leggings.  Of course in skinny pants like these, a pair of DSW‘s BCBG Paris Preena pumps ($29.94) in fuchsia will elongate the legline & won’t be as intimidating as some seriously pointy toe shoes.  For a special finishing touch, I love the colorblocked flap crossbody ($19.80) from Forever 21 & Mixit hematite stone tassel drop earrings ($4.00) from JC Penney.

For a cocktail event, pants aren’t necessarily the first thing to come to mind, especially when a dress is so easy to throw on with some snazzy earrings & killer heels. However, if you’re running around & don’t have time to get that go-to LBD dry-cleaned, you can rely on floral plants to build an evening-ready cocktail look, including the gem collar peplum top ($30.00) in aubergine from Topshop with a built-in jeweled neckline that helps accessorize your ladylike ensemble.  Also, I’ve added the Abrianna heels ($34.99) in bone from ALDO with the sparkling sequin hinge wallet ($9.99) in champagne from Charlotte Russe. Lastly, b/c there’s so much going on in the look already, I didn’t want to bog it down with extra bling, but here’s your opportunity to break out a really fabulous cocktail ring like the affordable stretch oval ring ($12.99) in orange from Target.

Do you own floral pants? Would you consider adding them to your wardrobe? How would you style them? For more styling posts, check out my affordable LBD look, statement rings for under $10, & how to wear a metallic faux leather skirt in 4 ways! Happy Styling!

Fabulous In 4 Ways: A Metallic Faux Leather Pencil Skirt For The Ages From New York & Company!


I was so excited in August to share one of my newest categories, Fabulous in 4 Ways, especially since the debut post was dedicated to my good friend Laurie, as inspired by her fabulous lace-up knee boots from Victoria’s Secret!  Now, I’m talking about faux leather & pencil skirts, but before we dive into the outfits, I turned to some of my favorite celebrities to get some inspiration in how I would style such a classy & modern take on the figure flattering piece.

Kate Bosworth rocks a Proenza Schouler leather-trimmed pencil skirt at the brand’s New York boutique opening with a relaxed white blouse & strappy sandals.  The First Lady, Michelle Obama, wore a high-waist pencil skirt in navy with a cropped cardigan & purple top, while visiting a Wisconsin school.  Mad Men bombshell Christina Hendricks mixes her old school glamour with a Dolce & Gabbana blouse, red clutch, & classic black pencil skirt.

Total Recall star Kate Beckinsale plays with colorblocking with a chic H&M tank, Diane von Furstenberg turquoise skirt, & spiked neutral pumps.  Rashida Jones is polished & professional with a touch of menswear while making an appearance on Good Morning America, wearing a printed button down shirt & white pencil skirt.  Aussie starlet Cate Blanchett showed her support for Givenchy in a head-to-toe look with Roger Vivier heels.

Also, at Fashion Week for the upcoming Spring-Summer 2013 runway collections, the pencil silhouette was everywhere, as seen in Runway Rundown posts, including Dolce & Gabbana, Burberry Prorsum, Christopher Kane, & Oscar de la Renta.  Also, these pieces were shared by more fabulous designers like Nina Ricci, Tadashi Shoji, & Salvatore Ferragamo!

To recreate a pencil skirt look, I’ve selected the faux leather bronze pencil skirt ($59.95) in metallic bronze from New York & Company, which challenged me to find a way to wear this for work, day, date, & cocktail occasions.  If you want to get the most out of your wardrobe for the office, check out the zippered contrast sweater ($24.80) in black from Forever 21 with the short tab sleeves top ($24.80) in teal available @Windsor Store.  The colorblocking & relaxed details tone down the metallic texture of the skirt, especially when paired with Express‘ diamond texture body shaping full tights ($22.90) & suede cap toe chunky heels ($21.50) in black from GOjane.

The look to the right (above) is fun for a day with the girls or feeling like mixing it up because of the contrasting details in Lord & Taylor‘s CK JEANS cable-front cotton cardigan ($29.99) in black over the tab-sleeve plaid-chiffon shirts ($29.94) in black combo from Old Navy.  Of course affordable pieces like these can be reworked with skinny jeans or leggings & chunky accessories.  @Payless, I’ve found the Dexflex Maye strappy boot ($59.99) in black & Minicci micro fiber tights ($6.99) in burgundy to add some extra dimension while playing with trends this fall.

Depending on where you’re headed for a date, this kind of pencil skirt is perfect for an elegant & upscale look, without breaking the bank.  I’ve chosen pieces with luxe details to put this look together, including the Jennifer Lopez pleated mesh overlay tank ($19.80) in tuffet from Kohl’s & glitter lace almond tow pump ($38.50) in champagne from Charlotte Russe.  To complete the ladylike feel, I’ve added the round stone drop earrings ($13.60) @Cache & The Limited‘s zip around wallet ($29.90).

Don’t forget that pencil skirts are perfect for building a sexy cocktail look. Of course, a dress will save you lots of time, but to get the most out of your wardrobe, why not play with separates in unexpected ways with the snake-print tiered bustier ($88.00) in amethyst from White House Black Market, paired with the Emma WP platform pump ($39.99) from Bakers Shoes.  Also, I love Forever 21‘s looped drop earrings ($7.80), which look red carpet ready, especially with the Mossimo basket weave print clutch ($16.99) in black & white @Target.

How would you wear this pencil skirt? Are you following the metallics trend? What are your favorite work, day, date, & cocktail looks? Happy Styling!

Fabulous in 4 Ways: Over-The-Knee Boots From Victoria’s Secret (Dedicated To Laurie)!


Attention Style Darling Readers: We have a new category alert! Fabulous In 4 Ways is my latest in offering the best style advice that I can, while keeping a budget in mind. Of course, I’ve had this idea (taking one item & showing how it’s worn in 4 fabulous ways) for a while now, just sitting away & linkless on my categories page, but just recently, a good friend has come to me w/ a deal on a killer pair of over-the-knee boots, asking for help on how to wear them once the temperatures cool down & heavy knits emerge from the depths of our closets.  Said friend, Laurie (who I’ve dedicated a total of 4 blogs to now- Jordana Brewster’s style, how to wear turtlenecks, & the best day-to-night blazers) has challenged me in a very good & very stylish way. Let’s take a look…

As I usually do in my Basics for a Bargain posts, let’s start off with some celebrity inspiration to see how some of the most photographed & stylish stars interpret their over-the-knee boot looks. The City star / socialite Olivia Palermo looks Upper East Side chic with her navy suede boots & fur-lined jacket, mixing neutrals with a sweater tunic. Mom-on-the-go Kourtney Kardashian wears her boots with a flowy blouse under a menswear-inspired blazer & floppy hat, keeping accessories like her bag matching in texture with her footwear. Supermodel legend Claudia Schiffer goes casual in jeggings & a cobalt cable knit sweater with a coordinating bag for her tan suede over-the-knee boots. Former Spice Girl / designer Victoria Beckham keeps her polished posh persona in check with ultra tight leggings, a black top, & satin-trimmed blazer while traveling through Heathrow airport. Lastly, Project Runway host Heidi Klum offers an edgy approach to her leather Jimmy Choo over-the-knee boots by completing her look with a graphic tee & abstract print blazer.

The boots inspiring this post are the Colin Stuart over-the-knee boots ($94.00) from Victoria’s Secret, which are on sale for less than their original $118.00 price tag (pictured below, to the left).  These are fierce confections of footwear meant only for the confident Style Darling (for example: Laurie!).  Even though these may seem much pricier than your average pump &/or ankle bootie, I can’t emphasize enough that this is an investment piece, especially one that you can dare to wear from the beginning of fall, all the way to the end of the winter.  Since we’re talking boots, VS is currently having a 20% off sale on all Colin Stuart boots, which you can shop here.

However, let’s get down to business in putting together these outfits wth some of the celebrity inspiration seen above.  Typically when I see boots, I think of sweaters & leggings b/c they’re both just so comfy & very on-trend for effortless fall looks.  My first ensemble includes the asymmetric hem sweater ($59.90) from Express, which is available in orchid, black, grey, & blue.  The loose fit is perfect for recalling that 80s off-the-shoulder bulky sweater look, as well as hugging your curves to show off your legs.  Just so you know, Express is currently having a mix & match BOGO 50% off sale this Labor Day weekend, so if you really love the look pictured, then check out the short metal stick necklace ($44.90) to go with the sweater. I’ve selected Forever 21‘s pebbled pointe knit leggings ($17.80), which will add some texture & shine against the rich suede of the boots.  Of course, any solid legging will do, but if you’re going for something with a print, keep it subtle since you’re dealing with a sexy lace-up detail in the back of the boots.

My second outfit is perfect for an office environment where jeans are allowed.  The Faded Glory jeggings ($12.88) from Walmart are a steal & can work with so many other wardrobe staples all year long.  The colored denim trend is obviously not going away & pairing it with White House Black Market‘s tweed trophy jacket ($188.00) is a professional & elegant way to dress up denim.  When shopping @WHBM, of course the regular prices are on the high side, but if you sign up for their seasonal catalogues, you can get discount codes, as well as earn points for reductions on future purchases. I find that comes in handy around the holidays when in a pinch for a cute cocktail dress.  For an extra feminine splash, I’ve selected the graphic checkered strips tiered cotton tank ($39.99) from LOFT to add some dimension- which also just so happens to marked down another 30% at checkout.

Look #3 required a little more attention since I wanted to find pieces that would work for more than just the over-the-knee boots challenge.  I started with this streaky knit t-shirt dress ($39.99) from The Limited, which has been marked down 50% on the store’s website. With a solid sheath-like dress as this, I immediately thought of a belt & found this duo of ivory cheetah & glossy black skinny belts ($10.79) from Bluefly. To keep warm during the cooler fall days, I picked out the basic, yet affordable Style & Co. three-quarter ruched sleeve cardigan ($14.99) in black from Macy’s. If you’re headed out to happy hour with the girls or going from the office to an evening function, this look is perfect with the boots, especially when the Minicci scroll weave tights ($7.99) from Payless are hiding underneath your layers.

Lastly, the forth look is my favorite, but perhaps not too far of a departure from the previous blazer look above.  When I saw the Merona tailored blazer ($34.99) @Target, I immediately loved the idea of mixing the plaid with the laces, as well as navy & black, along with integrating the fall’s best new neutral deep red hue with New York & Company‘s satiny roll-tab shirt ($39.95). Of course you can complete the look with skinny pants, but Style & Co. skinny stretch jeggings ($36.75) from Macy’s looked too good to be true in a classic dark wash!

What do you think of these looks? Would you wear over-the-knee boots? If so, how would you style your look with them? What boots are you shopping for this fall? Happy Styling!