Inside a Style Blogger’s Closet: Professor Style Then & Now!


The picture from 2017 was taken in front of my parents’ house in Lake Grove for my first day of teaching (as Professor LeClair) a college class & I had no idea the path I was about to fashionably forge or how my life would change over the next 5 years! When I recently uncovered the tropical dress from deep storage (that I was unable to unpack or even mentally tackle for a good 2 years), I remembered that I hadn’t worn the dress since that very first, nerve-wracking day of a career I never wanted; however, with the launch of my sixth academic year as an English professor (as Professor Gambino), I thought it was “fitting” to break it out again.

Of course, I accessorized it differently, opting for white accents & skipped the belt, but it’s good to know that 40 or do classes later, I still got it! The top picture on the right was taken this morning, a beautiful summer morning as the buzz of academia awaited me & called so many back to their jobs after a long break. I’d like to look back on both of these moments as bursting with possibility & new starts, reminding myself that they do come back around, even when it seems like fate has stuck you in a never-ending cycle.

Ultimately, recycling old favorites to make them feel new again & doing my very best to live the stylish life (one day at a time) are goals that I hope to uphold now that I’ve reclaimed a part of myself (& my style) in finally having my wardrobe where I want it to be. Stay tuned for more detailed updates on the unveiling of my cloffice (a.k.a. Style Darling Daily headquarters).

As for the outfit: The dress is an oldie from my stylist days @Dressbarn, as is the black bolero. The recent picture includes a @New York & Company cardigan & @Ardene flats, as well as oldie @Dressbarn drop earrings.

Happy Styling!

Show Me the Shoes: Fabulous Floral Flats for Fall!


When it comes to fall fashion, bold florals don’t usually come to mind first, but I like mixing it up when the seasons change with unexpected pops of colors so as not to look like everyone else in plaid & still challenge myself. Anyway, expressing one’s style isn’t about following trends!

Florals are not for everyone & I typically veer my style attention away from a traditional grandmother/curtain-looking floral; however, one pair of floral flats that I’ve had since last year always seems to stay in rotation. I love the Dream Paris casual pointed toe ballet comfort soft slip on flat shoes in floral @Amazon (on sale: $21.99 & available in sizes 5-12) for the color versatility with magenta, purple, white, neon green, navy, & black.

I’ve worn these to the office with virtually every solid maxi dress that I own, paired with a crochet bolero or cardigan, as well as with different pant & blouse outfits. After getting another closet look at them online & wearing them on & off cue the last few months, I suspect that the floral pattern placement on each pair may vary, as seen with my shoes below.

For fall, I even love mixing these flats with a navy & magenta outfit, as well as a black & purple color-blocked look. Not to mention that the shoes are perfect beyond the office with a shift or fit & flare dress for a special occasion. They’re super comfortable & I get so many compliments on them every time I wear them.

Additionally, they’re reduced in priced from $35.99 & have a 4/5 rating from over 7,000 reviews! However, one downside is that they’re not available for shoppers needing a wide width size.

Where are you shopping for all-year must-have items? Do you wear florals on your feet? What’s on your fall fashion wishlist? For more stylish posts, check out: kimono-inspired tops from Amazon in multiple colors, stylish patterned tights from Target, & Time & Tru’s latest dresses & cardigans! Happy Styling!

Accessories Access: Clearance Earrings by Time & Tru for Up to $3.50!


During a quick browse around the accessories & jewelry departments of my local Walmart, I sought to catch some clearance deals by Time & Tru. Even though my jewelry collection is very full & not lacking in any way, I decided to treat myself anyway to earrings that are different from what I already have & that I knew I’d wear—& for a bargain! to boot!

The following earrings selected are not available online to be linked, but that means you should head to your local store to get that deal for any look, along with other can’t-miss end of the season mark downs!

A mixed metal earring is perfect for a floral printed ensemble, like a sheath dress, maxi, or matching shorts & cropped top in order to accentuate the different tones of gold, silver, & rose gold.

Love the mixed metals here! For $2, I had to get these!

When looking for a classic, but unique stud, these pink studs will soften up any harder look in leather with jeans, a blouse, & boots.

I bought these months ago & was glad to see them still around for other shoppers to grab!

Colorful jewelry works for any time of year, especially with a colorblock dress paired with stilettos & a cuffed blazer.

I’m not a big fan of hoops, but I love the flare these have with the mixed colorful threading.

When trying a dramatic & romantic look with subtle sparkle, these earrings will get the job done for a jewel tone or cable knit sweater & faux leather pencil skirt.

Love these studs to pair with other silver or beaded pieces!

Which pair is your favorite? Do you buy clearance jewelry whenever you see it? What would you style these earrings with? For more stylish posts, check out: Dua Lipa’s stylish music videos for her 27th birthday, a fashion flashback with Kacey Musgraves, & comfy tunic tops for fall! Happy Styling!

SHOP NOW!: Comfy Tunic Tops for Fall!


Getting ready for fall means that it’s time to start planning days of apple & pumpkin picking or heading out to a winery before the frost gets here—at least on Long Island anyway! Outfits with boots & any outdoor friendly pieces are essential, but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style. One fall-friendly piece is a tunic that works with a variety of separates & occasions, no matter if you’re headed out or planning a cozy weekend inside with a good book or to binge on the next best Netflix original.

Time & Tru’s ribbed tunic top @Walmart ($15.98) is available in 4 colors (black soot, papyrus beige heather, green chili, & sheet salmon) & sizes XS-XXXL. I’ve ordered the black & green tops, looking forward to work from home days. I’d be ready for any Zoom meetings in this by throwing on a statement necklace or drop earrings. Another way you can also coordinate these tops is with faux leather leggings & a flannel, skinny jeans with riding boots & a long necklace, or an athleisure look with paneled leggings & tennis shoes.

Which color do you like the best? What Time & Tru item do you keep in rotation for your wardrobe? What’s your next must-have fall item? For more stylish posts, check out: black patterned tights from Target, pretty summer-to-fall dresses & cardigans, & Adele’s September cover for ELLE magazine! Happy Styling!

Accessories Access: Stylish Patterned Tights for Fall for Under $10!


I’m still all about summer right now, but the new fall fashions are everywhere. As I’ve been sorting & organizing my wardrobe to prepare for the upcoming fall semester, I find myself in need of a hosiery refresh, which is just in time to catch the last days of Target’s 30% off Clothing, Accessories, & Shoes discount through the Target app, which expires on Sat 8/20. I’ve hit add-to-cart on a bunch of black patterned tights by A New Day to keep my legs protected when the temperature drops, but my style high with a variety of prints to go with any outfit.

Try florals against solid separates or when colorblocking. Perhaps, going with menswear inspiration or something geometric would contrast a polka dot or brocade look for fall. Also, there’s animal print to consider which would highlight the dichotomy of edgy & soft when playing up an unexpected neon look for fall!

SHOP: A New Day tights available in sizes S-2XL in rose garden (on sale: $8.50), tile (on sale: $8.50), leopard ($10.00), viney floral ($10.00), polka dot (10.00), floral back ($10.00), airy floral ($10.00), & basket weave ($10.00).

As much as I love a black opaque tight for an extra busy look, I do recommend other solid colors & depths of opacity, depending on your style. With the extra 30% off, this is a deal on hosiery must-haves that you can’t pass up! Which pattern of tight is your favorite to wear? Where are you shopping for fall refresher items? For more stylish posts, check out: top houndstooth picks styles from New York & Company, pretty summer-to-fall dresses by Time & Tru, & Adele on the September cover of ELLE magazine. Happy Styling!

SHOP NOW!: The Best Summer-To-Fall Pants for Work & Play from Target!


During a recent black hole viewing of Instagram stories (I’m not the only one, am I?), I came across a blogger sharing their interpretation for summer-to-fall teacher outfits, including A New Day’s high-rise slim straight pull-on pants @Target ($25.00, available in sizes XS-4X). There are 2 qualities about these pants that I loved right away: 1. They’re pull-on. Ever since I’ve had my daughter, pants with zippers are the enemy & pull-on pants are my loyal subjects! 2. They’re available in 8 neutral, professional colors / patterns.

The variety includes navy (windowpane), black pinstriped, gray (plaid), gray (& black/purple houndstooth), cream, green, brown, & black. So far, I’ve ordered all, except the black because they weren’t available in my size, & I’ve received the navy & gray houndstooth. They’re very comfortable & run true to size. I love the length (being that I’m 5’3″).

For a professional day, they will pair nicely with a blouse-cardigan-ballet flat combination or a short sleeve sweater & statement necklace with mule heels. I’d love to style these pants for more than just work though. When headed somewhere more casual, I can see pairing the solid options with a dolman top & sandals or a printed tee & wedges. As always, the possibilities are endless! Check out some options by A New Day sold @Target below:

SHOP: short sleeve scoop neck t-shirt in dark pink ($5.00, available in sizes XS-XXL & 6 colors, shop plus here), raglan long sleeve tie-front top in black ($20.00, available in sizes XS-XXL & 9 colors / patterns, shop plus here), polo sweater in cream ($25.00, available in sizes XS-XXL & 4 colors), puff short sleeve v-neck top in brown ($18.00, available in sizes XS-XXL & 5 colors, shop plus here), dolman short sleeve plisse top in green ($18.00, available in sizes XS-XXL & 4 colors, shop plus here), & flutter sleeve tank top in green (on sale: $17.00, available in sizes XS-XXL & 7 colors, shop plus here).

Lastly, an outfit isn’t complete without some stylish (& affordable shoes). Target really knows what they’re doing when it comes to products in the line for A New Day as so many neutral pieces can be coordinated, especially with the pants:

SHOP: Millie twin gore slip-on sneakers in green ($14.99, available in sizes 5-12, wide width options, 6 colors), Thea mules in black ($19.99, available in sizes 5-12), Sue heels in blush ($29.99, available in sizes 5-12 & 2 colors), Corinna ballet flats in mahogany ($14.99, available in sizes 5-12, wide width options, 6 colors), Danica platform loafers in off-white ($32.99, available in sizes 5-12, wide width options, 2 colors), & Kiki mules in cognac ($29.99, available in sizes 5-12 & 3 colors).

Do you shop Target’s A New Day collection? What kind of pants do you wear to work? Do you prefer a pull-on pant or pants with a zipper? How would you style any of these separates? For more stylish posts, check out: the perfect organizer for your stylish wristwear needs from Amazon, blue & resin jewelry from LOFT, Time & Tru’s colorful totes from Walmart, & how to get Anne Hathaway’s breezy gauzy look for less! Happy Styling!

Living in Style: The Perfect Organizer for Watches, Bracelets, Bangles, & Cuffs from Amazon!


This past weekend was especially productive as I beat the heat & stayed indoors with my daughter who helped me organize my expansive jewelry collection, including my extra abundant & sparkly watch & bracelet collection, thanks to years of working in retail & a lot of shopping indulgence during my bachelorette days.

About 3 weeks ago, I posted about organizing my statement necklaces, using a gray display stand from Target. Without even attempting to coordinate my growing inventory of storage & organization items, I found a companion pair of velvet bracelet & watch holders. My goal is to have as much as I can visible, so that I can assess what to donate during this process, but also, what to keep! On a day-to-day basis, I need to actually see what I have so I can to choose it & wear it, beyond it just taking up space in my cloffice & remaining ignored from my wardrobe & accessory rotation.

However, with the 2-pack of Diommell velvet bracelet holder with 3-tier rack jewelry display stand watch bangle bar necklace storage organizer in gray @Amazon ($32.99), I was able to sort out the watches by metal / band color (rose gold, gold, silver, & white), although some of them are in desperate need of repair & cleaning after being boxed up for so long.

Also, I appreciate that the pair of stands are made in 7 soft separate pieces that are easy to assemble & disassemble for when picking out what to wear on a tired night before work or hurried morning getting ready.

The below pictured stand with my watches & cuffs doesn’t have a proper shelf in my cloffice, yet so these will be sitting pretty on my desk until shelving is in place. Also, I was able to fit 24 watches of varying size on it & I have 2 more that will be added to the stand once the bands are repaired. For the picture, though, the stand is sitting on my couch!

Yes, all the watches read different times because all of the batteries are dead, having been in storage for over 2 years. Have no fear, they will stylishly tick again!

For the $32.99 price, I was pleased that there were 2 stands, so that I could devote another one entirely to my stretch bracelets as well. This makes my styling time much more efficient & I am reminded of what I have on a regular basis so as not to buy repeats, no matter the deal or how pretty they may be!

Having worked from home for 15 months & keeping my accessorizing at a bare minimum, I’m so happy to be reunited with these stylish pieces & inspired to explore how to incorporate them into my everyday looks. Although, I just have to decide if the day will be a “watch day” or a “bracelet day” as I prefer to keep my right wrist free since I write with my right hand. Oh, the drama! Also, I still have to revisit the bracelet stand to be much more meticulous about sorting the colorful bracelets by bead color.

How do you organize your accessories? What kind of jewelry do you indulge in the most? What organization or storage items do you have that you can’t live without? For more stylish posts, check out: a fashion flashback with the late Olivia Newton-John, Stranger Things‘ Sadie Sink on the September cover of FASHION magazine, & the trailer for Selena Gomez’s 4th season of Selena + Chef! Happy Styling!

Accessories Access: Earrings Sets for Vacation!


When considering accessories for vacation, I keep it super minimal, especially since it’s a hot summer week & I’m vacationing with a toddler to toddler-friendly places. That’s not to say I can’t do it in style, but I bring 2 bags, a few neutral sandals, 1 hat, 1 pair of sunglasses, & the most neutral earrings sets. The only other jewelry I wear is my wedding ring. We’re not planning on any fancy dining, so I just keep it mom-chic. Since we’re away for only 4 days & I have 5 piercings in each ear, I typically stack up on the earrings to avoid the discomfort of a necklace or bracelet on my skin.

Some favorite sets to rely on for chic, downplayed accessories style include these picks below from A New Day @Target:

SHOP: A New Day pavé hoop & charm hoop 8-piece earring set @Target ($14.99).

SHOP: A New Day crystal glass stud & small hoop 8-piece earring set @Target ($14.99).

SHOP: A New Day charm hoop, stud, & ear climber 8-piece earring set @Target ($14.99).

SHOP: A New Day stud earrings 8-piece set @Target ($14.99).

What kind of jewelry do you pack & wear on vacation ? Do you have multiple earrings on all the time? Where to you like to shop for affordable fashion jewelry? For more stylish posts, check out: the perfect linen-blend tops from Walmart, button-front blouses for any occasion from New York & Company, studded sandal flats for summer, & colorful Time & Tru totes! Happy Styling!

Basics for a Bargain: The Only Sleeveless Linen-Blend Top You’ll Ever Need!


A major heatwave hit Long Island recently, which is likely to happen again this summer, but that means that it’s imperative to stay cool! Wearing heavy materials that don’t breathe will make any outdoor time more oppressive. However, relying on linen & chambray materials will offer a fashionable & refreshing take on summer style. Specifically, Time & Tru’s core tank top @Walmart ($11.98) is a must-have for a casual Friday, to pair with shorts of any length, palazzo pants, or a maxi skirt. It’s available in 8 styles, including a stripe in black, rainbow, sandstone, & sunflower, along with solids blues in medium wash & vintage bleached, as well as tie-dye indigo & sea turtle, with varying availability in sizes XS-3XL.

I bought & am satisfied with the black & rainbow stripes, plus the medium wash tops. They’re easy breezy, though on the shapeless side, but that’s more than ideal for a fitted bottom. I was hoping to pack them for our family vacation this week, but they arrived wrinkly & I did not want to have to iron or steam while away. Overall, it would be a great top to travel in to start a vacation, when heading to a farmer’s market, or gathering for a weekend brunch.

How would you style this top? Which color / pattern is your favorite? How many linen or linen blend pieces do you rotate in your weekly wardrobe routine? For more stylish posts, check out: Bridesmaids actress Rose Byrne’s best red carpet moments, a look back at Jennifer Lopez’s performance style, & blinged-out rose gold sandals from David’s Bridal! Happy Styling!

Show Me the Shoes: Rose Gold & Bling? Yes, Please!


About 5 years ago, I posted about finding the prettiest & blingiest summer sandals from David’s Bridal, ones that I still wear to this day. I rotate them with about 3 other sandals, along with flip flops & ballet flats, depending on where I’m going. However, when buying a must-have item, it’s rare to see it still available to purchase, even a whole 5 years later! Since David’s Bridal carries year-round bridal accessories, along with newer, trendy pieces, it’s actually no surprise that the Gemma jeweled t-strap sandal (available in sizes 5-11, in rose gold & silver + wide width, $29.95) is still in stock & as fabulous as ever!

I love styling these with a tropical maxi dress for a party, a blouse & linen shorts for an outdoor dinner, or to dress up a tee & cropped pants.

How would you style these sandals? Have you been looking for rose gold footwear? Do you like bling on your sandals? For more stylish posts, check out: my personal statement necklace displays, Priyanka Chopra Jonas’ best gown looks, colorful & patterned sandals in varying heel heights on sale, & a versatile blouse for work & play! Happy Styling!

Accessories Access: A Bold Crossbody Bag for Summer!


We’re almost at the close of June & my head & heart are already in vacation mode… & so is my wardrobe. I’ve always been able to find stylish, colorful, & multipurpose crossbody bags from Target & their A New Day brand has not let me down, yet again.

I came across this basket weave woven crossbody bag ($30.00) in coral pink, lime green, black, & teal blue in a bold display in the accessories department of my local Target store. More frequently now on the weekends, I’m opting for a smaller corssbody bag when I’m on the go, as opposed to the monster tote that I carry around all the time. Something like this with a nearly 52-inch strap length & canvas accent, especially in the coral pink, gets me excited for my family’s upcoming roadtrip to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, carrying all of my essentials, like my cell phone, ID & money, lip balm, sunscreen, hand sanitizer, & sunglasses.

I’ve been using the same crossbody from last summer, which is also one by A New Day, but it’s become more of my casual, everyday bag & for my vacation, I like the feeling of something new. The bright shade will match perfectly with an array of outfits, including a maxi dress & flat sandals for dinner, a graphic tee & linen shorts while at a park, or a blouse & cropped pants for a trip to a museum.

Where are you shopping for summer’s boldest & most stylish accessories? What is your preferred bag type this season? How would you style wearing this bag? Which color do you like the best! For more stylish posts, check out my favorite midi dress from Amazon, final sale finds from New York & Company, celebrating Juneteenth with red carpet looks from Zendaya & Kerry Washington, & bargain-priced laser cut ballet flats! Happy Styling!

SHOP NOW: My Favorite Summer Midi Dress from Amazon!


When on the hunt to spruce up some summer staples, I fell into the Amazon abyss, naturally. However, I was happy to come up for air with the Women’s Bohemian Summer One Shoulder Smocked Midi Dress sold by Zesica on Amazon. There are other vendors that carry this type of dress, but my heart landed on Zesica also because of some other favorited items that I added to my cart from their Amazon store too.

Anyway, what I love about this dress is its lightweight fabric, smocked bust (perfectly stretchy), & the variety of 28 styles–in 4 solid colors & 24 patterns–for $39.99.

I bought the black (top left) to wear to a Jewel concert recently, along with the grassgreen (second on top left) when attending a graduating ceremony recently. I might just add 1 or 2 more to my cart since I love the fit & style so much, plus I’m constantly seeing discounts posted with the purchase, like currently there’s a $2 off coupon with purchase. I’d recommend pairing this dress with a cropped cardigan for a daytime occasion or breaking out the jewel sandals for a dressier event.

I must say… The only downside is the dress runs from S-XL, which excludes the amazing plus-size shoppers & readers out there, but stores like Lane Bryant have got you covered with their gorgeous variety of summer midi dresses that are on sale now!

What is your favorite style of summer dress? Where are you shopping for your summer staples? how would you style this dress? For more stylish posts, check out: my recommended final sale finds from New York & Company, affordable floppy straw hats (to pair with the above dress!) from Target, cotton & linen shorts from Walmart, & Blake Lively’s little white dress inspiration! Happy Styling!

SHOP NOW! Must-Have Final Sale Pieces from New York & Company!


Even though it feels like summer is just getting started, now is a great time to shop the racks & clearance finds to prepare for next fall/winter as stores attempt to clear out their inventory for new summer arrivals & the holidays. Looking back at my own personal style choices for the previous cooler months, I was glued to the many email blasts that I would receive from New York & Company, missing the local store in my nearby mall dearly; however, during my absence from the blogosphere in that time, I did find some stylish, comfortable, & timeless pieces that I will definitely usher into rotation for the next seasons to come.

This includes the following 4 pieces from New York & Company, all of which are now $9.99 -$19.99 on final sale, and up to 71%-89% off their original price, though there is limited size availability. These pieces come highly recommended as I do own each of them & love pairing them up with separates in different ways.

SHOP: butterfly-print midi skirt ($9.99), currently available in sizes M-XXL. The material is scuba-like, which means it’s heavier than a ponte, but it offers a lot of movement to be paired with the following suggested items: opague tights, patent leather pumps, & a crisp white button down shirt.

SHOP: Whitney high-waisted pull-on slim leg pant ($19.99), which is available sizes XS-XXL, as well as in petite. I suggest pairing this for a special occasion, such as around the holidays or a date night out, with a ruffle blouse & metallic sandals or bold cardigan & suede ballet flats.

SHOP: cable-knit v-neck sweater ($9.99) in beige or black, available in size XXL for both. This is an oversized sweater in the right way to pair up with faux leather leggings & stud earrings for a cozy day or plaid pants & colorblock heels for work.

SHOP: stripe slouch tunic sweater ($9.99), available in size XXL only. I wore this a few times with skinny pants & layered necklaces while in the office, but also suggest black jeans & ankle boots for a casual day with friends.

Where are you shopping for your favorite must-have clearance finds? Do you shop a season ahead when items are marked down? For more stylish posts, check out: pastel laser cut ballet flats for summer, fruity fashion inspiration, great gingham pieces from Old Navy for summer, & Beyonce’s latest cover for British Vogue! Happy Styling!

SHOP NOW! New York & Company’s Goddess Dress!


Back in 2019, I posted my love for New York & Company‘s goddess maxi dress, which has only heightened as the years have gone by & deepened as comfort in the summer moved higher on the list of summer style priorities (as a busy mother who works full-time). However, I’m excited to share that the short version of this dress (the v-neck goddess dress) is available on the retailer’s website in a fabulous variety of 7 colors (black, coral, green opal, grand sapphire, paper white, purple mardi gras, and scuba blue) in sizes XS-XXL while supplies last.

Currently, these dresses on sale for $19.99, but I urge readers to keep an eye on all of the major sales that New York & Company frequently posts about, not only on social media, but via email subscription; prices change quickly! I already have the black & navy versions of this dress, but I have the green & purple dresses on my mind too. Although, any of these frocks can be styled in a plethora of ways, including with high heels & a metallic clutch for a girls’ night out, gladiator sandals & a floppy hat for daytime, as well as with a sporty blazer & sneakers for a mix of athleisure & glam.

Additional adaptations of this flattering goddess style can also be found with New York & Company’s tie-waist goddess romper (available in 4 colors in sizes XS-XXL) & cold-shoulder goddess top (available in 9 colors in sizes XS-XXL); examples are pictured below:

What’s your summer go-to top style? Do you gravitate towards a flowy goddess piece or prefer more structured options? Where are you shopping for the best deals on summer must-haves? For more stylish posts, check out: $10 floppy straw hats from Target, Charlize Theron’s Dior and denim look, casual cotton & linen shorts from Walmart, & Blake Lively’s little white dress inspiration! Happy Styling!

SHOP NOW: Time and Tru Linen & Cotton Shorts!


I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with summer, even though the fashion I’ve touted (summer dresses, tops, sandals, & more) for over a decade on Style Darling Daily has been some of the most colorful, joyful, & stylish of the entire year. It’s the heat that gets me–literally & figuratively frazzled! I vehemently dislike having to plan my wardrobe around oppressively hot weather when it comes to outdoor events, such as family gatherings, headed to festivals or farms with the family, etc. However, last summer on a vacation to upstate New York with my husband & daughter, I sweat through my cute cotton dress & desperately needed a change of wardrobe just for the drive back to Long Island. Our sudden stop to a Walmart changed my perspective on one long-avoided summer staple: shorts.

I’ve been a fan of Walmart‘s Time and Tru label for some time now, but always steered away from shorts in my adult years out of self-consciousness about my body & feeling much more comfortable & feminine in a dress or skirt outfit. Now, I accept that my legs are my legs & worrying over my self image takes time away from the fun things I could be doing out in the world. I’m usually the only person thinking about my legs, anyways! So… I’ve come to learn that I feel much better about myself when I’m wearing something that I feel best represents me, especially on sunny days, which is certainly the case for the cotton & linen shorts featured below:

SHOP: 1. Linen Blend shorts in Black Soot, 2. Linen Blend shorts in Black/White Stripe, 3. Linen Blend shorts in Navy Stripe, 4. Tencel Shorts in Navy Tropical, 5. Linen Blend shorts in Vivid White, 6. Linen Blend shorts in Watermelon Floral, 7. Linen Blend shorts in White/Black stripe, & 8. Tencel shorts in Sea Turtle.

These shorts can be paired with any variety of tee or tank (see some options below), along with flip-flops, sandals, or wedges for a perfectly fashionable & budget-friendly day or night out this summer. Additionally, I love that Time and Tru designs for a variety of sizes; the featured shorts above are available in XS – 3XL while supplies last, ranging in price from $12.98 – $16.98. Suggested coordinating tanks below range in price from $6.50 – $12.98 in sizes XS – 3XL, which means that you can easily wear an outfit for under $20 before tax!

SHOP: 1. Knot tank top in Galapagos Blue (available in 7 colors), 2. High Low tank top in Orange (available in 4 colors), 3. V-Neck tank top in Black Soot Tie Dye (available in 7 colors), & 4. Tie Strap tank top in Vivid White (available in 4 colors).

What are you summer wardrobe staples? Where do you like to shop to refresh your summer style in season? What are your favorite & most affordable summer steals right now? For more stylish posts, check out: bargain barrettes from Ardene, Blake Lively’s must-have summer little white dress look, & bold suit inspiration from Priyanka Chopra Jonas & Salma Hayek Pinault! Happy Styling!

The Anytime Party Flat (on Clearance)!


It’s no secret that when I find a style of something I looooove (like can’t-live-without-it love), I have to have it in every color / style. That goes for earrings, sweaters, skirts, & shoes–especially shoes! I’ve written about the Gigi flats by Christian Siriano for Payless previously (here), but now that I’m wearing these black & gold brocade shoes (for the first time, for a work holiday party), I’m shocked that they’re already on clearance for $12.00!

That’s an amazing must-have price for shoes that can really be worn for any special occasion. I will forever & always love me a high heel stiletto, but ballet flats have been tiptoeing into my heart for quite some time now & I feel no shame in wearing them. I’m not settling. I’m simply considering comfort along with style & with flats like these, I don’t have to sacrifice style one bit.

The only downsides (that I’ve noticed) is that not all Gigi styles are available in wide width, & also that the soft exterior probably won’t withstand wet weather. However, trying out a little pop of sparkle in the gold brocade will definitely add a splash of timeless sass for girls’ night out, an evening work function, or for just having a little fashionable fun.

What do you think of these brocade flats? How would you style them? For more shoe-inspired posts, click here, here, here, & here! Happy Styling!

Buttoned Up Bargain!


This Thanksgiving-Black Friday weekend was a whirlwind for me! There was plenty of time spent with family, showing off our dazzling daughter, but there was lots of shopping too! Of course, gift lists were made, but I couldn’t help & treat myself here & there when a great buy was discovered.

As a part of my daily uniform (for work mostly–my at-home mom style has become more of function than fashion), I love a cute blouse-skirt combo with a cardigan, or at least to wear a cardigan over a dress. I was never one for structured jackets (although I can appreciate their visual appeal), so cardigans are my go-to & I can be quite obsessed with them. I’m always on the hunt for a patterned cardigan that I don’t have, especially one that allows me to experiment with pattern mixing too.

When I least expected to find some major style, the Laura Scott houndstooth cardigan found me @Sears. Black & white is always a great way to go when it comes to patterns, that way I could really highlight bright colors to match up; however, I was very interested & attracted to the purple-black combination.

Laura Scott houndstooth cardigan @Sears

For the price I paid, I could’ve very easily bought both colors & been done with it, but keeping my budget in mind for the holidays for my whole family, I limited myself to the purple option. The fit was just what I look for in a cardigan, so I was definitely all set. My mind is already swirling with styling ideas for this cardigan for the rest of the fall and throughout the colder months.

How do you like to style cardigans? What’s your best Black Friday fashion find? For more stylish posts about affordable fashion, click here, here, here, & here. Happy Styling!

Introducing… Professor Mommy Style Darling


As 2018 winds down, I can’t help but reflect on how much my life has changed in the last year. As some of you may or may not have noticed, I took a yearish-long break from the blog grind. This was because my life and priorities changed drastically. While I have always adored all things about fashion and exploring my personal style (this will never truly go away), I was faced with little to no time to regularly document my outfits, nor was I able to take a breath to seek inspiration in new trends to compose daily posts. Developing my blog and establishing a relevant online presence in the world of fashion blogging had long been a goal of mine. I believed that I had an empire to build, one blog post at a time. I relished in the challenge and was hungry for it every moment of every day. But sometimes, a curveball changes everything.

I became a college English professor. Teaching was never a dream of mine, but once offered the position (with five days to spare on my birthday weekend to create an entire syllabus for a Developmental Writing course for struggling student writers), taking the next professional step just made sense. Life before academia had been great, albeit static. I felt I had all the time in the world to blog and post on social media about every fashionable thing I experienced. I was content in the steady craziness that was my weekly schedule because it was what I’d become accustomed to for so long.

Upon accepting to teach the class, I dove right into the responsibility to mold young minds (with the very spare basics of writing) and it became utterly overwhelming. My respect for education has always been held in the highest regard since I’d been a perpetual student until I earned my Masters degree in 2016. Because of this new job, I turned into a maniac with lesson planning and preparing assignments—ever the perfectionist Virgo that I am. Just like with exploring my wardrobe, I was obsessed with the details of a topic and strengthening my grammar muscle. I couldn’t sleep until everything I was about to hand out to students was proofread, articles had been vetted for reliability, and questions were answered by colleagues to help guide me. If I had even a spare minute on the computer, it was completely dedicated to research and class prepping. I feared not knowing what I was doing in the classroom.

It all started with one class (at the college where I’d been regularly tutoring for about five years), but then it turned into two more classes at another college (with barely a whole weekend to prepare). By the end of 2017, I’d been working four different jobs (teaching three classes at two colleges, tutoring part-time during the week, and styling part-time—mostly on weekends). Once 2017 wrapped up, I was offered a full-time professor position teaching English at one of the colleges. Style Darling Daily seemed to be fading in my rearview mirror.

Just when I was getting my feet wet with the new job, 2018 also threw me for a personal loop as well. I was engaged, moving, pregnant, and planning a summer wedding. Don’t get me wrong—these were all good things that took up my time and changed my life, but no matter how much preparation I put into my career, the off-the-clock hours flew by faster than I believed was possible.Chris and I were married in July and our daughter, Melanie, was born in September. Our wedding was beautiful and I couldn’t have been happier with those memories. Melanie is healthy and growing happier every single day. She keeps us busy and laughing all the time. However, after her birth, I spent the better part of two months in pajamas, sometimes forgetting to wash my face—I was so tired, uninspired, and getting dressed was the last thing on my mind. Though, I wanted more than anything to dip my toes back into my Style Darling routine to regain a sense of my identity that no longer seemed feasible while adjusting to life as a mother.Not to mention, my perception of my body changed. I lost all my baby weight rather quickly, mostly because I choose catching up on sleep over eating when presented a few hours of reprieve when the baby was sleeping or help had arrived. I accepted the fact that the shape of my body had changed, but it made making decisions about how to get dressed in the morning (when I did return to work eight weeks later) difficult. For so long, I relied on staples to mix and match for my pre-baby figure. Fit was never anything I had to consider since my arsenal of go-to pieces was constantly at the ready. I had a uniform in place and could automatically put together an outfit; excitement came with pattern mixing, glitzing it up, and reinventing old favorites.

Post-baby, I could still wear the same dresses I had previously, although my collection of tights was no longer viable because they were all too small for me. My maternity leave occurred in the transition from summer to fall and I had a whole closet flip to conduct before returning to work. Also, the pants I’d searched high and low for (pants were always the enemy—I’m a dress girl) were too snug around my healing middle. I was uncomfortable wearing anything tight to put pressure on my C-section incision. Lastly, time to get ready in the morning is even less available, so I have to plan a week’s worth of work outfits in a hurried and harried 20-minute span the weekend before, if I can.

Just to clarify, all of the above information is not shared with resentment or unhappiness. After years of dating the wrong guys and waiting around for the next big thing to happen to me, everything fell right into place when it was supposed to. I am lucky. I thank my lucky stars for Chris’ love and patience with me, my family’s unyielding support, and every one of Melanie’s cheeky smiles.

I’ve figured out (for now, at least) that I can take a minute to breathe and think usually in between classes, while driving home, or feeding the baby for the now one time she wakes up in the middle of the night. I’m excited to seek out inspiration again for Style Darling Daily—taking baby steps (pun intended), of course. I want my daughter to grow up seeing me take care of myself, especially in how I present myself to the world. I want her to play in my closet one day and ask me about the purple leopard print cardigan (that I wore on my second date with her father) or those seashell stud earrings (that I commandeered from my mother).

With that, I’m more conscious than ever about my shopping budget. I was gifted gift cards to my favorite stores, so I’ve been considering any purchases very wisely, investing in unique pieces and favorites that I can get a lot of mileage out of. Also, Melanie is getting spoiled with her own wardrobe and I have a lot of fun coordinating colors, patterns, and themes with her when the occasion arises.

All and all, I’m tiptoeing back into blogland and I can’t guarantee the “daily” anymore for Style Darling Daily, but my heart is still in it, so please stick with me on this stylish journey. I’m back to work full-time and appreciating the opportunity that I have to reacquaint myself with my style sense. I have all the possibilities in the world ahead of me. I’d like to introduce myself while wearing all my fashionable hats. I’m Professor Mommy Style Darling. I love to sparkle and slay, so stay tuned.

What styling challenges have you faced over time? Where does your style inspiration come from? What advice do you rely on when considering your daily wardrobe? Happy Styling!

Inside A Style Blogger’s Closet: Black & White Pattern Mixing!


When it comes to putting together an outfit, one of two things will happen for me. First, I’ll plan ahead of time for a special occasion what I’d like to wear to honor or celebrate whatever the event is—& I won’t budge away from that outfit idea. On the other hand, for day-to-day styling, I simply go by however I feel. I consider the weather, how long of a work day is ahead of me, where I’m headed socially, as well as how I’m feeling health-wise to measure how much I’m willing to fuss with a garment. While it might look like a lot goes into an outfit, sometimes spur of the moment ideas hit me & I’ve created something unique & detailed.

However, when I want to experiment with my wardrobe to try something new with staple items (usually a cardigan, belt, statement necklace, or dress), my instincts lead me to pattern mixing, which is just my kind of fashion risk & something that I’ve happily & successfully explored over the last year. I love discovering the result of pairing stripes with florals or animal prints with polka dots, as well as metallics with chevron, just to have some fun while reinventing old favorites in a new way. When taking a fashion leap just such as this, I make sure that accompanying items are subtle, such as a patent leather flat, black pant, or opaque tights.

Last week, I was inspired to play with some new fall finds from dressbarn, pieces that are also perfect for a cool summer afternoon too. As soon as I saw the black & white tiered floral blouse & diamond print ankle pants, I knew I loved them, but hadn’t immediately thought of putting the pieces together. A black & white color combination is possibly my favorite because of its timeless & clean vibe for any season. When I play around with mixing patterns, I always keep in mind that the best way to execute an ensemble is by keeping with the color scheme. I added an extra special touch to finish off the look with my older floral printed pointy toe flats (shop similar here), a classic denim jacket (shop here), & silver jewelry (shop similar here) since the busy patterns need neutral companion accessories.

Of course, either of these pieces can be styled in multiple ways. For example, the blouse would look cute with a  pretty pink cardigan & skinny jeans, but it can also be a flirty option for night with a blazer & leather leggings. The printed ankle pants are screaming for a pop of color with a bold yellow tank & cobalt heels, or with a red turtleneck for fall & embellished ballet flats.

SHOP: cardigan @New York & Company, skinny jeans @Old Navytop @Nordstrom Rack, & heels @DSW.

For a little more black & white mixed print inspiration, here are a few more pieces in classic patterns like polka dots, stripes, floral, & houndstooth to get you thinking about all the ways to wear these two very versatile & chic colors.

SHOP: sweater @H&M, pants @YOOX, blouse @Maurice’s, & skirt @New York & Company.

Lastly, when seeking some style inspiration, I usually turn to Pinterest, which is where I can find some amazing red carpet & street style shots of my favorite fashionista celebrities who are experimenting on the daily, just like me, when it comes to mixing prints. Some admirable & professional pattern pushers are style icons Olivia Palermo, Solange Knowles, & Jamie Chung.

Look how each of these fashion forward ladies uses neutrals to play up the busier pieces of their outfits, while also offering a sense of balance among the stylish chaos of their outfits. Olivia uses a black blazer as a topper, as well as gold ankle strap heels for some glamorous edge. Solange is all about yellow with her handbag & cropped pants. Finally, Jamie’s gray booties & black heels complete her effortless looks.

Do you like to mix patterns in your outfits? What questions do you have about this risk-taking outlook? Which celebrities do you turn to for style inspiration? How do you feel about the classic black & white trend? Happy Styling!

 

Lemonade & Style: A Story about Finding Fashion in the Unlikeliest of Circumstances


The word “lemonade” will never be the same. Thanks in part to Beyoncé’s epic album, the “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade” cliché is reaching a whole new generation, and it’s inspiring me to continue to stay positive no matter what lemons roll at my feet. Lately, life overall has been pretty lemon-free, in that I am happy. Life is good. It’s summer. I’m in a wonderfully fulfilling relationship. The most important people around me are well.

However, as a writer, there’s this complicated thing that always happens when I’m actually happy: I can’t write. That’s because I have this unconscious routine of writing best when I’m in desperate need of answers, struck with worries of the heart and soul. While I’m always in search of what’s next for Style Darling Daily, my writing, and my professional life, I’m not necessarily haunted by any lack of progress to the degree where I have to write it all out to come up with a plan to advance my career. When I’m happy personally, I’m much more carefree with other parts of my life. My hard-working nature isn’t any less apparent, but I let inspiration find me like a cinematic meet cute. Inspiration is like an old friend I run into at Starbucks. I know the words are there, but I can’t always find them.

Well, since I’m writing now, there must be something on my mind. Let’s take a little trip down memory lane. With all that’s been going on lately, I’m reminded of my mission as a blogger. I wish to portray what I really wear on the daily (hence my “one stylish day at a time” tag line) and where I invest in my style because after all, I’m a budget shopper who believes in always looking my best out of respect for myself and those around me. I don’t dress just for a picture or to represent myself lolling about in some luxurious life of high fashion and glamour. That’s certainly not the life I live. I mean, I live on Long Island! I support myself financially. These aren’t complaints either, just my reality. Also, I don’t have a fancy camera or nearby scenic locations for spur of the moment photo shoots, nor do I often have backup to set up where and when I can share my daily outfit images. There’s plenty of evidence (with pictures taken in my bathroom or at my parents’ house) of how I’ve styled my summer thus far on Instagram (@styledarlingdaily). In addition, there also aren’t many words that go along with those posts. I know, I know. Writers should be writing.

On the upside, when I don’t have the words to express what’s going on with my style, I let the images (and hashtags) do the talking for me. I share my style inspiration for my two jobs where I can thankfully wear clothing that actually suits my personal style, so there isn’t much distinction in my closet between work and non-work apparel. At most, I pack an extra pair of shoes to switch from power heels to ballet flats for the change in shifts when I have to work both in the same day. Because of these day-to-day experiences (which don’t allow for proper photo shoot scheduling), I’m always seeking great deals on unique pieces that lend a stylish hand in how I express myself amid the chaos that is being a working woman in 2017 (not to mention, a happy one at that)! I digress… we were talking lemonade earlier.

Without getting into the lemon details (because I would never use my blog, writing, or social media to bully or hurt anyone whom I love), I recently found myself in a situation where I was no longer in need of a formal gown. The money I’d spent on the garment could not be refunded, nor was I permitted a store credit to use in the future. The dress itself was lovely, but certainly not a color that flattered my skintone or shape, so keeping it was simply not an option. In order to lemonade the whole thing, I realized I needed to reinvest the dollar amount in something that I would get much more use from, therefore resolving my predicament in the best way possible.

To relieve some of the mystery, I’ll share that I was at a local David’s Bridal, where their staff was very helpful and supportive as I pursued stylish options. However, I was not very impressed by their in-store dress selection to make an exchange. Certainly, there were plenty of beautiful colors, flattering styles, and youthful designs to shop through, but nothing special was speaking to my style blogger soul. One of my jobs is working as a stylist at a dress store, which also contributed to the fact that I wasn’t necessarily in need of a fancy party dress anyway. In a last stitch (pun!) effort, when looking at the rows and rows of pastel, sparkly, and ruffled chiffon, I sorted through my mental wardrobe catalogue to assess my existing dress options, what with three weddings and a Sweet Sixteen all scheduled in the span of a very busy and exciting month this coming fall. Basically, I didn’t want a new dress because I was already well-equipped in that department.

Suddenly, it occurred to me that shoes and accessories were often easier to pique my interest when in a shopping rut just like this. When it’s summer, I will only wear shoes that are comfortable. There are so many factors concerning weather (sweating in a heavy garment or taming my curls in the humidity) that invade my style routine for this hotter season, so I’m more than likely to be seen in flats, sandals, or flip flops on a regular occasion, rather than opting for the super fashionable high heel. Low and behold, David’s Bridal has a pretty amazing selection of footwear that had me in giggles. Generally, my everyday outfit will have some sort of sparkle to it, and if it’s not a statement necklace or big earring, my shoes will shine with studs or sequins. Of course, the selection of shoes at David’s Bridal is so blingy and meant for a bride, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t make these “bridal” shoes a reality for what I like to wear. I was so pleased with the discovery of finding fashion that fit my style in this unlikely place, especially when I’m not in the bridal market.

For the price of one gown, I was able to take home six pairs of shoes with only spending an additional ten dollars to offset the difference I owed, on top of a Buy One, Get One 50% off sale and coupon discount for the most expensive item. I felt accomplished and that I was making lemonade to benefit my style, shopping savvy, as well as quelling my soul of the recent circumstances that brought me to David’s Bridal in the first place. Furthermore, I rediscovered my love for the sandal. Gladiator flats and those pom pom sandals are all the rage every summer, but neither trend felt quite like me. Typically, I embrace trends that best work for my body type and personal style. I never encourage anyone to do the reverse. What happens is that we start asking ourselves what’s wrong with our bodies just because we don’t fit into some industry mold of what’s current and fashionable. I’d rather be of the mindset that something doesn’t work for me, as opposed to me being unsuccessful with that external force.

I love to wear pieces that best represent the feminine and detailed way I approach fashion. These metallic sandals (here, here, and here) are neutral for any summer ensemble, including a maxi dress or blouse and skirt outfit. Also, the ballet flats (here and here) will be the perfect way to dress up a casual look, while the lacy white pair (here) will definitely serve regular rotation with my floral summer dresses that I can wear either to work or for date night with my boyfriend.  

Upon this shopping win, what came next was a swarm of reminders that bargain buys and surprise fashion finds are happening at so many unlikely stores that we as shoppers and busy women might forget about. A few months ago, my boyfriend and I were at BJ’s in pursuit of a discounted movie ticket package deal when I saw rows and rows of clothing. I’m not a regular BJ’s shopper, so I was shocked to learn that the warehouse store sold more than just fleece jackets or packaged underwear. I scanned the racks to see cute fit-and-flare scuba dresses, classic jersey frocks, and striped maxis, all perfectly priced if one was in need of a proper summer wardrobe update without breaking the bank. I’m always saying that shopping should be easy. While it comes more naturally to some than others (because some know their style and body type so well, while others are more hesitant or uninformed), to conveniently access fashion in an unexpected way is a delight and inspiration to write about.

Since my summer shoe game is all about comfort and function (of course, style never goes by the wayside either), I’m often acquiring my favorite selections at Juniors’ stores where shoes and jewelry are basically the only items available where size isn’t an issue. Juniors’ stores such as Mandee, Charlotte Russe, and Forever 21 all size to fit a younger and mostly slimmer-figured consumer. Although, it is worth mentioning that these retailers have expanded their brands to include stylish options for shoppers of all sizes. However, I’m a most frequent patron of accessories in these stores. Albeit, they don’t always cater to uncommonly smaller or larger shoe sizes, nor are wide sizes always available, but I’m more often than not able to find jewelry, shoes, and other accessories at reasonable prices to build a unique and special collection that works with my everyday style.

During the holidays last year, when I was in pursuit of gifts for coworkers, I sought festive bulk items like ornaments or tea and hot chocolate varieties. I have that “last one picked in gym class” complex (which I basically accept now since I usually never wanted to play in a sport anyway), so I wanted to make sure I extended the joyful spirit of the season to everybody at both of my jobs, an effort that annually proves to be quite the challenge to my budget. However, as I loaded up my cart at a local Big Lots, I found a display for sterling silver jewelry, decked out with chic drop earrings and charm bracelets (all in the vain of modern costume / fashion jewelry) that made my heart sing a song of style. It was such a lovely surprise and while these pieces were all under five dollars, I treated myself and some close friends to a little extra sparkle.

Speaking of a little extra sparkle… that’s all that any Style Darling really needs. It doesn’t have to be the holiday season or literal sparkle in the form of jewelry either. Sparkle and lemonade are basically the same metaphors to me: doing one’s best and making the best out of a negative. That’s all that really matters. If the solution results in six pairs of shoes, or a stylish bargain buy that represents who you are as a strong, kind, mindful, creative, beautiful individual, then any lemons along the way are worth their trouble.

Here’s a video of a live performance of “Silver Lining” by one of my favorite country singers, Kacey Musgraves. The silver lining, lemonade, or sparkle aren’t always obvious during an unfortunate circumstance, but I always have faith that I’ll find that positivity. Happy Styling!

Inside A Style Blogger’s Closet: My First Day of Spring Outfit!


For at least a good three weeks, I’ve been ready for spring. Here on Long Island, the weather has been so wishy-washy where there’d be an amazing sunny, spring-like day in the 60s, followed by a major yucky blizzard. This happened more than once recently too! My wardrobe has been feeling super bipolar as I’ve been wanting to wear lighter & softer pieces in pastels or florals, but there’s still a need for cozy layers to stay warm, especially since it’s been pretty chilly early in the morning… which brings me to today’s outfit. I don’t normally post a whole outfit that I’ve worn, partially because I don’t have access to a photographer (I live alone) on a daily basis. I’m lucky that my friends & coworkers at both of my jobs can spare a few minutes to indulge my style fancies & help me out with some spur-of-the-moment pics while on the clock, hence the sporadic sharing of whole outfit posts on my Instagram account (@MissAlissaL).

I absolutely love this floral fit-and-flare scuba skirt. It’s a style that I’ve been having a lot of fun with since last fall, one that’s perfect for tucking in with various tops, cinching in my waist & playing up a retro & ladylike vibe with modern flare. I’ve thought about styling this particular skirt in so may ways, pairing it with the different colors in the print, as well as with sparkly accessories. I’ve had the sheer dotted sweater in black (both pieces from @dressbarn) that I hadn’t worn yet. When I saw the two together, the sweater added just enough feminine detail at the neckline to counter the softness of the skirt without being too overpoweringly dark & black at the same time.

The accessories that I’m wearing in the picture above are no longer available (because I’ve had them each for quite some time now), but it’s easy to recreate a similar spring style with affordable look-alike coordinating statement jewelry, polished footwear, & a thin neutral belt. 

SHOP: floral statement necklace @Forever 21, Fola bib necklace @Charming Charlie, flower stud earrings @Francesca’s, & glitter stone drop earrings @Icing.

SHOP: gold trim platform peep toe pumps @Charlotte Russe, patent D’Orsay pumps @Old Navy, snake pointed toe flats @Express, & Hope chopout mid heel @Payless

SHOP: bow belt @Target, skinny mint belt @Lulu’s, gold snake belt @H&M, & black braided belt @JCPenney

What spring trends are you excited to wear this season? What pastel colors do you love? Which accessories do you build your outfit around? 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!

 

Basics for a Bargain: Pencil Skirt Party for All Sizes!


Earlier in the fall, I was asked what trend I was most interested in, & I was surprised to realize that I’d been all about skirts because my spring & summer wardrobe was so fit & flare dress heavy. However, my flirtation with skirts isn’t exclusive to one style since I’m pretty psyched about all styles & how to explore separates combinations & playing with different patterns. Though, not all skirts are flattering for all body types, but one of the most classic styles that best fits & enhances any shape is the pencil skirt, which is versatile enough to pair with a variety of tops to take you to work to date to weekend & everywhere in between.

Take some inspiration from some iconic television characters who’ve always looked their best on the small screen in pencil skirts, including Christina Hendricks as Joan Holloway on Mad Men, Mindy Kaling as Dr. Mindy Lahiri on The Mindy Project, Emma Roberts as Chanel Oberlin on Scream Queens, Kim Cattrall as Samantha Jones on Sex & the City, & Taraji P. Henson as Cookie Lyons on Empire.

You don’t have to break the bank either to find a pencil skirt for you, especially when they’re available in nearly every size, pattern, color, & material. Try a pencil skirt for your next office look with a denim button down shirt, a polka dot cardigan with a striped skirt, or a graphic tee tucked into a brocade skirt. The styling possibilities are endless & evident in the countless posts I’ve previously shared in the past, including inspiration from Lauren Conrad & Kerry Washington, Reese Witherspoon’s floral take on pencil skirts, & style steals straight from the red carpet on Cate Blanchett & Michelle Obama! Also, here are just a few ways I’ve been wearing pencil skirts lately!

So if you haven’t already, take the plunge with a sleek & elegant pencil skirt. Check out these ten affordable picks below to get your holiday, fall, & winter style in gear! Not to mention that most pencil skirts are perfect for year-round wear, which makes the challenge of styling them all the more thrilling!

SHOP: 1. plaid skirt @The Limited (available in sizes 0-18), 2. Thalia Sodi leopard skirt @Macy’s, 3. Worthington woven skirt @JCPenney (available in sizes 4-18 & petites), 4. denim skirt @Nordstrom Rack, & 5. sweater skirt @Old Navy (available in XS-XXL, tall, & petite).

SHOP: 6. lace skirt @dressbarn (shop plus size here), 7. pinstripe skirt @H&M, 8. faux leather skirt @New York & Company (available in sizes 0-20), 9, windowpane skirt @Target, & Melissa McCarthy leopard skirt @TJMaxx (available in 1X-3X).

How do you like to style pencil skirts? What colors or patterns are you most drawn to? Where do you like to shop for basic bargains? Happy Styling!

Inside A Style Blogger’s Closet: My Birthday Style in Navy, Black, & Lace!


birthday-dressAs fashion-obsessed as I am, I have to say that there are few articles of clothing or accessories that really make me stop in my tracks. Well, maybe that’s not entirely true since there are certain qualities in a dress, for example, that are right up my style alley. I’m talking about anything a-line, with lace detail, & overall feminine in nature. In my line of work (or one of my lines of work, that is), it’s not difficult to find dresses such as what I’ve described. When it came time to think about what I’d wear for my birthday during this past Labor Day holiday, I was ready to turn to an older favorite (that I’d only worn one other special occasion time), which had a beautiful floral print in a lightweight summer fabric, perfect for celebrating on a summer weekend at high tea, a party organized by a very special small group of gal pals. However, I came across the Luxe by Carmen Marc Valvo lace fit & flare dress @Dress Barn in navy & black (available in plus size here), & suddenly my birthday outfit dreams were becoming a reality. I couldn’t stop talking about how excited this dress made me & 33 was starting to look really good!

luxe-by-carmen-marc-valvo-lace-fit-flare-dress-at-dress-barnI love the classic look of this dress, which really can be worn any time of year because of the rich navy tone with black lace details. It’s a chic alternative to a go-to little black dress for shoppers of any size, especially when navy can sometimes look dowdy, but here, it’s a modern & elegant party dress that I’m confident will find special multiple wears. For the summer, I paired my look with navy peep toe pumps & a bolero sweater (in case I needed the arm coverage). When it comes to the fall, I’ll mix up the look with a denim jacket & ankle booties for an edgy, textured take. Even in the colder months, I’d love to see how to the dress looks with opaque tights & knee boots. What’s even better about this dress is that it’s available top shop @Dress Barn in sizes 4-24!

How would you style this lace frock & where would you wear it? Do you often transform party dresses for day looks? What trends are you most excited about this fall? For more amazing style, check out more styles from Luxe by Carmen Marc Valvo, as well as model & designer Ashley Graham‘s newest crop of dresses for Dress Barn! Happy Styling!

Inside A Style Blogger’s Closet: A Little BOGO 50% Off Sale Goes A Long Way!


There’s always room in my accessories arsenal for some earrings (as seen in my various Instagram posts), which is why I have to share the latest BOGO 50% off sale on jewelry @Express. I’m crazy about the elegant & sophisticated fashion jewelry, perfect for day & evening, especially when there’s a coupon in hand. During my latest mall venture, I discovered & fell in love with the earrings below, which I already have lined up for very special outfits.

Express - faceted stone dangle earrings $!9.90 & white stone stud earrings $19.90.SHOP: faceted stone dangle earrings ($19.90) in shiny gold (also available in pale pink) & stone stud earrings with pave halo ($19.90) in white (also available in turquoise) @Express.

While I love special, one-of-a-kind jewelry, I’m also a big fan of go-to piece when in a rush. What kind of jewelry do you like to wear over the summer? What sales are you shopping this season? Do you prefer gold or silver, or do you mix your metals? For more stylish posts, check out can’t-miss bargain wedges from Payless for $10, Chrissy Teigen’s menswear inspiration on the red carpet, the latest from The $100 Challenge, & Reese Witherspoon’s street style in her own Draper James separates. Happy Styling!