Basics for a Bargain: A Ponte Double-Breasted Blazer, Inspired by Jennifer Lopez, Olivia Munn, & More!


I have to say, I’m not much of a blazer gal. I have a few & sometimes break them out for pictures, but cardigans are usually more my style. I tend to find that the structure & ungiving material of most jackets creates an uncomfortable & heavy feel all day long. However, I’m starting to see a big trend with blazers for this fall, which has got me rethinking my blazer game. A double-breasted ponte blazer is clearly the way to go for all looks professional & street wear, as seen recently on stylish celebrities like singer Jennifer Lopez, actress Olivia Munn, model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, blogger Olivia Palermo, & America’s sweetheart herself, Jennifer Aniston.

Now you don’t have to spend the kind of money that these celebs do (on brands like Balmain) for a chic, all-purpose & neutral menswear-inspired piece. The double-breasted ponte blazer @dressbarn is not only a new fall arrival, but it is available for shoppers in misses, plus, & petites sizes, from S-3X.

The big gold button trend isn’t going anywhere either to help accentuate your fall style. I’m seeing it everywhere, on sailor trousers & skirts, to blouses & dresses too! This particular stretchy jacket is great to mix with your favorite denim bottoms, a sleek pencil skirt, or leggings to create a chic athleisure look.

What’s your blazer philosophy? Do you like ponte pieces for the fall? How would you style a double-breasted blazer? Which celebrities do you think have the best street style? Happy Styling!

Splurge or Save… on Lace Up Ballet Flats?


This time of the summer is when retailers are rearing to go with the newest fall items for shoppers to clamor over. This includes trend items that might not stand the test of time, but there are definitely some worth seeking. For inspiration on the best of the newest arrivals for the next season, it’s easy to turn to luxury designers & brands. Those styles trickle down the price point pole & then look-alike items finally become affordable for a Style Darling on a budget.

One example is the lace-up ballet flat, a stylish option to help transition your wardrobe from summer to fall. The below styles range in prices from $685 (wowie!) to $24.99. These are examples of the next level of the ballet flat craze that’s obviously not going anywhere. What will designers think of next? A black ballet flat doesn’t have to be basic anymore, especially when styled with a little black dress or blouse & silk shorts ensemble.SHOP: 1. Gianvito Rossi flats @Neiman Marcus, 2. Sam Edelman flats @Bloomingdale’s, 3. MICHAEL Michael Kors flats @Macy’s, 4. lace-up flats @LOFT, & 5. SO flats @Kohl’s.

Which designers do you follow & invest in? What trends do you buy for less? Where are your favorite places to shop for shoes? What are you most looking forward to wearing for fall? Happy Styling!

08/05/2017 Darling of the Day: Rachel Bilson is Neutral Chic in Denim!


Contrary to popular style belief, sometimes the most fashionable looks aren’t necessarily the fanciest. I’m of the mindset that style should exist on the daily & even on my most casual of days off, I take care of myself in the best way I know how—comfortably! Still, on those days, I have things to do like see my family or prepare a dinner date night with my boyfriend, so even if I give my face a break & go makeup-free, I like to put together an easy breezy outfit (comfy top & jeans perhaps) with unexpected twists (usually in the form of accessories).

Actress Rachel Bilson is showing her casual style with a combination of no-fuss neutrals with denim, heather gray, tan, black & silver during a sunny afternoon in Beverly Hills. Typically, one might not think these colors work together, but the Nashville / former Hart of Dixie / The O.C. it-girl knows how to style even the simplest seeming looks, especially with Old Navy’s $40 Rockstar skinny jeans! Earlier in the week, I featured Blake Lively mixing her high-low look with the same jeans in a darker wash!

SHOP: tee @JCPenney (shop plus here), jeans @Old Navy, sunglasses @Target, hoop earrings @Charming Charlie, satchel @Charming Charlie, & Trope sandals by Steve Madden @DSW.

Where do you like to shop for you favorite go-to jeans? Are you a fan of Old Navy’s Rockstar skinny denim? Which celebrity style appeals most to you? For more fashionable celebrity posts, check out how to recreate looks from Blake Lively & Jennifer Lawrence, as well as mixed prints on Jamie Chung & Olivia Palermo. Happy Styling!

08/02/2017 Darling of the Day: Blake Lively Embraces Hi-Low Style with Old Navy, Stuart Weitzman, Fendi & More!



This summer is a trendy season, where tops feature all sorts of the surprises like cold shoulders, off the shoulders, cut-outs, ruffles, pleats, & keyholes. The same goes for jeans with distressed details & that ripped effect. Trends come & go, however, a classic button down & a pair of skinny jeans will stand the test of time. Former Gossip Girl actress Blake Lively is proof of just that in her latest look while taking a stroll on Long Island with family this week. What’s especially inspiring about this outfit is that Blake combines the best of hi-low fashion in a pair of Old Navy‘s Rockstar skinny jeans with designer pieces from Stuart Weitzman, Fendi, Frame, & Jennifer Meyer.

SHOP: shawl collar button down shirt @Frame, Rockstar skinny jeans @Old Navy (available in sizes 0-18), Jennifer Meyer cross bar necklace @Ylang 23, Fendi minibackpack @Farfetch, & Stuart Weitzman pearl sandal @Nordstrom.

The jeans are easy to find in order to recreate this look for a Style Darling on a budget. However, I found pieces that recall the essence of Blake’s effortless style with embellished details & sophisticated accessories, all of which are perfect for a summer day off.

SHOP: shirt @Express, LC Lauren Conrad necklace @Kohl’s, plus shirt @Talbots, floral mini backpack @Forever 21, & pearl chunky sandals @GOjane.

What’s your summer go-to look? Which classic pieces are always in your wardrobe rotation? What designer brands do you love? Who is your favorite celebrity style icon? For more celebrity inspired posts, check out Jennifer Lawrence’s NYC street style, Selena Gomez’s Vogue cover shoot, party clutches inspired by Anne Hathaway & Jennifer Hudson, white-hot summer looks on Zendaya & Olivia Culpo, & stunning red carpet appearances by Diane Kruger & Margot Robbie! Happy Styling!

08/01/2017 Darling of the Day: Jennifer Lawrence Elevates Casual Chic in New York City!


So, it’s definitely been a minute since my last Darling of the Day post (hello 07/18/2016 with Gwyneth Paltrow!). Trends are always changing—I’m not so crazy about all this 90s-inspiration returning. Also, life is just busy & there’s so much to talk about. However, I just recently came across this image of Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence (whose new movie Mother! looks terrifying) who was out & about in New York City this summer wearing the most elegant & casual of outfits that anyone can pull off. I knew I had to share the styling details, especially since so many of these pieces probably already reside in our wardrobes. What makes this look so special is Jennifer’s uber chic Elsa Peretti knotted necklace that completely elevates the whole ensemble from casual to genius. I’m always saying that accessories have the power to transform a look & here’s the proof with one simple gold necklace.

The ingredients for Jennifer’s look are easy to put together: white tank, black skinny jeans, & a gold knotted, tassel necklace. Here are three sources to recreate this outfit for the budget-minded shopper of any size because you shouldn’t have to sacrifice your entire income for your style.

SHOP: tank (shop plus here), skinny jeans (shop plus here), knot necklace @dressbarn.

SHOP: tank (available in sizes XS-XXL), skinny jeans (available in sizes 0-20), & multistrand necklace @Old Navy.

SHOP: tank & skinny jeans @H&M, & lariat necklace @Charming Charlie.

In addition, Jennifer’s outfit gets some help from classic tortoise sunglasses, a minimalist black crossbody bag, & platform wedges so she can live her most stylish & best A-list life.

SHOP: crossbody bag @Forever 21, cateye sunglasses @Target, & Kelly & Katie wedges @DSW

Do you like Jennifer’s street style look? What’s your go-to glam necklace? Where do you shop for basics like tanks & jeans? Which celebrity’s style do you follow most? What’s your summer must-have trend item? For more celebrity style inspiration, check out previous posts including mixed patterns on Olivia Palermo & Solange Knowles, Reese Witherspoon & Lily James in gingham, sneakers with dresses on Gigi Hadid & Rihanna, & ankle strap shoe goodness on Emma Stone & Taylor Schilling! Happy Styling!

Splurge or Save… On Summer Gingham Tops!


When it comes to summer, there are so many prints that make for a fashionable look, but among them, gingham gets top billing! The typical gingham button down is classic for a variety of outfits, but this summer is all about the trendy, off-the-shoulder, ruffle, or halter gingham top available for shoppers of all sizes! Celebrities even love gingham, as seen on Baby Driver star Lily James, style blogger Olivia Palermo, singer / actress Vanessa Hudgens, A-lister & fashion mogul Reese Witherspoon, & Shameless actress Emmy Rossum.

For a trendy, one-season item like a gingham top, you don’t have to break the bank. There’s so much fashion out in the world & online for shoppers of all budgets, but I do love checking out high-end designer duds for a little inspiration when it comes to finding something to write about, as well as putting together my next outfit. Here are a few examples that range in price from $88 – $265, but still worth keeping an eye on for an end of the season sale item.

SHOP: Carmen blouse @White House Black Market, McGuire Florentine top @Saks Fifth Avenue, Rag & Bone off-the-shoulder Drew top @Neiman Marcus, Draper James Cloister top @Nordstrom, & Mindy Cindy one-shoulder top @Nordstrom.

The six gingham tops below are much more affordable & perfect for styling with white skinny jeans, red chino shorts, a denim skirt, or with bottoms in a bold pop of color like yellow, green, or orange.

SHOP: checked top @H&M, gingham tie top @Saks Off 5th, Design Lab blouse @Lord & Taylor, flounced gingham top @Talbots, plus off-the-shoulder lace-up top @Charlotte Russe, & plus one shoulder ruffle top @Lane Bryant.

Which summer trends are on your wardrobe wish list? Do you prefer the black, navy, or red gingham color scheme? Where are you shopping for summer favorites? Happy Styling!

Accessories Access: Pom Pom Bags for Spring!


The world is our runway. This phrase couldn’t be truer. When a lot is happening in life, I sometimes feel stuck in my wardrobe, seeking something refreshing & exciting to recreate old favorites & discover new trends to move my style forward. However, inspiration is always just around the corner with every click & keystroke on different social media forums.

This spring is probably my favorite spring ever, possibly because so much in life seems to be aligned personally, & I’m also feeling more confident in my style. This knowledge has also informed my newfound respect & developing radar for how accessories can transform your look. While I’m experimenting most right now with separates (mixing prints & color combinations), I’ve noticed how the playful pom pom movement isn’t going away. This includes all sorts of accessories: bags, shoes, earrings, & necklaces. When so much of spring is about light layers & pastels, pom pom accents make a bold statement without being too over the top.

One easy way to embrace the pom pom is with a straw bag, which is perfect for the everyday Style Darling looking to try something different, as well as for a variety of occasions like a weekend away or luncheon with the girls. Sure, there are plenty of expensive designer options making waves in the fashion world, including selections by (above) Kate Spade New York, Rebecca Minkoff, Loeffler Randall, Alice + Olivia, & Nannacay. When seeking out this look, you certainly don’t have to break the bank since the following styles (below) range in price from $29.99 – $43.00.

SHOP: 1. bag @ASOS, 2. tote @Fayrouzy, 3. tote @Zulily, 4. bag @ASOS, & 5. tote @Stein Mart.

What spring trends are you most interesting in trying? Where do you shop for new seasonal accessories? How much do you invest in trend items? Happy Styling!

Splurge of Save… On Light Blue Suede Ankle Strap Sandals for Spring!


My goal, as of late, when it comes to my everyday outfits and sharing style tips on Style Darling Daily, is try something new. This includes combinations of separates that I hadn’t thought of previously, as well as only investing in special new additions that not only stand apart from other items I already own, but will also serve multiple purposes. I’ve realized that in the past, I’ve sought out dresses, shoes, & more that thrill me in the moment to add to my wardrobe, without considering their need in the long run. In order to better maintain my closet & finances, I’m being much more careful about how I approach styling.

With that, spring is underway & I’m trying to break away from my usual all-black or only black & white routine. Spring is all about soft, light colors, embracing pastels & brighter hues like nobody’s business. When I was recently perusing through my daily barrage of emails from my favorite stores, I saw a shoe trend that I just couldn’t stop thinking about. Normally, I’m not a trend chaser, sticking to what’s classic & works for my specific body type & daily needs. Ankle strap sandals have always been a little tricky. I haven’t been able to find a comfortable pair in recent years, though I’ve written much about the sleek & delicate style (here), but when I saw that so many different designers & retailers were pitching light blue suede ankle strap sandals for spring, my mind was racing with all the styling possibilities—with dresses, pencil skirts, cropped jeans, & so many more!

It doesn’t hurt to have a little celebirty inspiration when it comes to this particular shoe style, showing all the different colors & ways to wear them. This includes German starlet Diane Kruger, supermodel Kendall Jenner, Oscar-winner Emma Stone, blogger / actress Ashley MadekweOrange Is The New Black star Taylor Schilling, & pop star Rihanna

SHOP: 1. Stuart Weitzman nearly nude sandal @Stuart Weitzman, 2. Pelle Moda Bonnie sandal @Zappos, & 3. Steve Madden Carrson sandal @Steve Madden.

SHOP: 4. Jessica Simpson Monrae sandals @DSW, 5. Brash Houston sandal @Payless, & 6. ‘It’s Simple Really’ sandal @GOjane.

We all have different styling expectations & budgets, which is why I wanted to share the six above pairs of shoes, ranging in price from $21 – $400, including some very well-known, quality brands, as well as more affordable options to try this spring for a weekend brunch, Easter with the family, or a fashionable date night look.

For more ankle strap sandals, check out these options in other colors & textures to expand your shoe collection & brave a new shoe adventure!

SHOP: Call It Spring wine velvet sandal @Macy’s, Fiolla pink suede sandal @ALDO, Mossimo Pamela sandal in black @Target, Michael Antonio Lovina sandal in pink @JC Penney, & ‘All Star Cast’ white patent leather sandal @Lulu’s.

How much do you typically spend on trendy items? Do you like to try new colors from season to season? What’s your spring go-to shoe style? Happy Styling!

Style Resolutions: Shopping Your Own Closet!


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

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

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

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

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

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

graphic-tees-earrings graphic-tees-necklaces

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

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

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

Accessories Access: Holiday Party Circuit Clutches!


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

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

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

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

Happy Styling!