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!

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!

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


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

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

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

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

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

Luxury Look-Alikes for Less: Affordable Flats, Heels, & Booties for the Holidays!


When it comes to putting together the perfect holiday looks throughout the season, I’m always thinking about both style & comfort for wherever I’m headed. Additionally, as I’m shopping around for special extras as I plan which events I’m attending, my shoe choices sometimes inform how the rest of my look is going to come together. With that in mind, I’m budget-conscious, but also very inspired by the trendiest, luxury designs on the market since details like lace, glitz, texture, & color are so important in expressing my mood & personality. As I perused some of my favorite online resources, I saw several common themes for fall / winter shoes, which allowed me to seek out lower price points to fill my wardrobe & heart with more footwear joy!

As we approach the holidays, I’m pretty obsessed with a pointy toe flat because it resolves the issue I always had about wearing flats with a pencil skirt or sheath dress. I always felt like my legline was never justly enhanced by a sweet ballet flat, but when the pointy toe flat trend rolled around, I knew there was so much styling potential. ‘Tis the season for some sparkle! Therefore, finding the below sparkly flats immediately made me think about how they add and elegant pop of shine to an LBD, sweater dress with tights, or even dressing up a chunky sweater with leggings. 

SHOP: (left) Giuseppe Zannoti embellished flats @Farfetch & (right) pointed toe flats @H&M.

Perhaps the funnest recent trend to hit flats is the pom pom. It’s eye-catching & playful, which screams holiday-ready, especially in the always neutral black where you can style up a fit & flare dress, lace shorts & blouse, or tweed suit separates. Perhaps this trend might not work for your everyday shoe needs, but it’s a cheeky & fashion forward way to have a great time at a holiday party!

SHOP: (left) Gucci mink pom pom flats @BySymphony & (right) furry pomp pom flats @GOjane.

A pair of black pumps is must-have for any time of the year. When selecting how to transition your day look to night when leaving to office & hitting up a cocktails with friends, mixing up textures from classic leather to rich velvet will help do the trick. It’s not secret that the right pair of pumps will change your posture more confidently, but with these, you can strut your stuff in style with an unexpected & luxe detail of velvet. 

SHOP: (left) Jimmy Choo Romy pumps @My Theresa & (right) velvet stiletto pumps @Wet Seal.

Lastly, fall is all about the ankle bootie! When you’re looking for a combination of edgy & feminine, a touch of lace hugging across the foot adds interest. The delicate detail will only amplify your other accessories like a thick patent belt over a shirt dress or houndstooth in a scarf over a trench. You can walk tall knowing that your outfit is slaying with each step, but you’re not breaking the bank either!

SHOP: (left) Dolce & Gabbana lace booties @Saks Fifth Avenue & (right) Amber lace bootie @Dressbarn.

What trends are you looking to explore this holiday season? Where are you shopping for the best bargain deals? Which designers are inspiring your wardrobe? Happy Styling!

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

shoes

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

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

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

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

07/18/2016 Darling of the Day: Gwyneth Paltrow in Head-To-Toe Blush!


While summer (for me) is all about a good dress & sandals, I’ve been thinking a whole lot about summer outfits that go beyond the comfy Americana look of a tank & cut-off shorts (an ensemble that never really suited my shape to begin with). However, in an effort to fill my brain with as much fashion as possible (an excellent escape plan for when life is throwing a lot of heartache your way), I’m a little obsessed with Gwyneth Paltrow‘s head-to-toe blush outfit in a blouse & pants by Michael Kors with Chloe Gosselin sandals (shop similar here). The actress & goop entrepreneur made a recent appearance to promote her organic Juice Beauty collection while in Toronto, looking effortless & chic in the pastel hue with minimal jewelry.

Gwyneth Paltrow in a blush silk bow blouse & skinny pants by Michael Kors Collection with pink croc Chloe Gosselin sandals at a Juice Beauty by goop event in Toronto.Usually when I dress in a monochromatic outfit, it’s all-black, easy enough for any shape to pull off since pastels aren’t always figure friendly for the curvier shopper. However, I’m impressed to see so many blush options out there, while keeping a budget in mind, for misses, plus, or petites separates to inspire Gwyneth’s look for when you’re at the office, headed to brunch with family, or a day time party event. Wearing blush as a base color also works for a multitude of accessories options, such as metallics like rose gold, gold, & silver. Also, blush is a luxe foundation for other colors & prints to pop against.

Blush misses, plus, & petites looks.SHOP: MISSES blouse @Forever 21, pants @Boohoo, sandals @Lulu’s, & bangle @Charming Charlie. PLUS blouse @Eloquii, pants @Eloquii, shoes @Clarks, & LC Lauren Conrad bangle @Kohl’s. PETITES blouse @JCPenney, pants @Dorothy Perkins, Steven by Steve Madden Valor sandals @Bloomingdale’s, & bangle @The Limited.

What do you think of Gwyneth Paltrow’s all blush outfit? Do you like to wear monochromatic outfits? What color has been on your mind this summer? For more celebrity inspiration, check out previous posts including pencil skirt options as seen on Kerry Washington & Christina Hendricks, Angelina Jolie’s nude strappy flats, & Blake Lively’s princess street style. Happy Styling!