Spring is all about color! Pastels & bright hues are emerging from the darkness that is winter with lighter layers & softer palettes across the board. However, one of the edgiest ways to mix up your spring wardrobe is to pair a pattern or monochromatic outfit with a bold black & white heel. Since spring offers so many clean prints & floaty fabrics, a more modern shoe alternative in black & white will set you apart, changing the way you build a look. Combine stripes with floral or polka dots with animal prints to rediscover a new spring style.
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.
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.
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.
You know the old saying, “If you can’t stop thinking about it, buy it”? Well, that circulated in my head & heart all weekend… about a black pencil skirt. Mind you, I have a few black pencil skirts, all in different materials & cuts, but one particular caught my eye recently & I couldn’t stop thinking about the styling possibilities, especially for my next stylish photo shoot. It’s a staple for any Style Darling at any size, that’s for sure. This isn’t news in the fashion world. Magazines everywhere have been championing pencil skirts for every shape as a way to get the most out of a wardrobe without breaking the bank. Since I gave in to the “buy it” theory, I was simultaneously inspired to explore every which way a pencil skirt can enliven your style.
Pencil skirts aren’t just for the office either. Mix up your pencil skirt look with a graphic tee, peplum top, button down shirt, turtleneck, or body suit, for example. Wear one on a date night, going out with girl friends, or when running daily errands. The possibilities are endless for the basic bottom, especially if you’re looking to dress down something glitzy or elevate a casual top. Play with minimalism or menswear, perhaps even utilitarian or bombshell styles all when wearing a pencil skirt.
When it comes to the fitted skirt, look beyond a pump & to special details in your accessories. A black pencil skirt is a great foundation & neutral for any special extras, including playing with patterns, metallics, sparkle, cut-outs, & luxe textures. The suggestions below barely scrape the surface of what you can do with your ensemble, especially when you can wear a pencil skirt any season.
How would you style a pencil skirt? How often do you wear one? Where do you like to shop for staple wardrobe pieces? How much would you invest in season-to-season separates? Which celebrities inspire your everyday style? Happy Styling!
During a recent photocall for her new Broadway show Eclipsed, Oscar-winning actress & style icon Lupita Nyong’o made fashion headlines with a chic & modern combination of hard & soft in a floral button-down shirt, paired with a leather skirt & blue ballet flats. The sweet look is perfect for transitioning from day to night, going from the office to happy hour, as well as finding new ways to wear your favorite wardrobe staples while on a budget.
Even though Long Island is in the thick of winter, it’s not too early to start looking ahead to spring fashion. The one & only Victoria Beckham, pop star turned fashion mogul, is already doing so. She’s a success on & off the red carpet, who not only sets the trends, but resets them in a much more polished & elevated way. For example, during a day out in New York City, the designer stepped out recently in her own Victoria Beckham brand, wearing a marigold ribbed turtleneck with a printed pleated skirt. Her accessories of choice are naturally minimalist, letting her outfit make the statement, with a chain link shoulder bag, oversized sunnies, & leather boots.
Before we get into what’s going on in the world of celebrity style, I’d like to wish everyone a very happy & stylish 2016. I took a much-needed break from the blogosphere where I finished my thesis (a full-length memoir) & I’m on track to graduate with my MFA this May! Also, I tackled a busy holiday season of working 2 jobs (whilst finishing said thesis) & getting sidelined with 2 cases of laryngitis. However, in keeping with good news, I’m happily part of a new relationship, which is motivating me more to conquer 2016 with all things positive & stylish. I’ve learned that the key to any passion project (I’ve transitioned from thesis to blog) is to make sure your life is in order & in a good place before you can successfully dive into it.
In my absence, A LOT has happened when it comes to celebrity style & wow-worthy red carpet moments. With today’s major snowstorm (shutting down part of Long Island, at least), I finally have the opportunity to indulge in some fashion eye candy, catching up on the latest trends & getting inspired when it comes to a chic winter wardrobe. I scoured the web for this winter’s best red carpet & street style looks, planning on how I can add some sparkle & pastel to my regular rotation, as well as playing with monochromatic looks or menswear inspiration.
Pretty Little Liars star Lucy Hale showed her street style chops headed to the SiriusXM Studios in a black & powder blue flared look with a multicolored woven coat, an ear jacket, a color-block tote, & black pumps (shop similar here @Forever 21). Bond girl Naomie Harris went nautical in a sheer-sleeved white blouse with high-waist buttoned Burberry trousers (shop similar here @Dillard’s) at a party for Louis XIII ‘100 Years’. Style icon Olivia Palermo made the rounds at Couture Fashion Week in a black cowl-neck Iris von Arnim knit, nautical-inspired wide-leg pants, an olive fur stole (shop similar here @Bluefly), & matching mini top-handle purse. Spanish beauty Penelope Cruz sparkled in a custom gold chainmail Atelier Versace gown with a matching Versace clutch, sandals, & Chopard jewelry at the Zoolander 2 premiere. Oscar nominee Rachel McAdams wore a graphic Jonathan Simkhai little white dress with beige pleated Christian Louboutin shoes at the 31st Annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival.
Which celebrity is wearing your favorite look? Whose style inspires you the most? Which trends are you talking about this winter? Thanks so much to all of my readers for your continued support during my blog hiatus, especially on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, & Pinterest. Happy Styling!
Plaid is the perfect print for fall, calling to match up your menswear style with sleek separates & luxe textures. Celebrities have been on the plaid train for a long time now, & it couldn’t look any better on the following A-listers: Reese Witherspoon, Jessica Alba, Taylor Swift, Rita Ora, & Hilary Duff.
Easy ways to add some plaid to your wardrobe without breaking your budget is to invest in accessories to wear with a variety of looks. Plaid goes against classic staples like a button down shirt & skinny jeans, a sweater dress & knee boots, as well as a lace blouse with a pencil skirt. Anyone of any age can rock plaid, & here are some affordable accessories to get you inspired to build that street style-ready fall look.
When it comes to plaid, amp up your look with a little luxury, playing up your jewelry style based on the colors in your plaid. The richest colors include navy, green, burgundy, rust, burnt orange, gray, & purple, which are easy to find in stud earrings, decadent ear crawlers, statements necklaces, cuffs & bracelets, & cocktail rings.
Sienna Miller has had one stylish year, killing it at the Cannes Film Festival, & every red carpet she hits. The actress recently lent her support to the 2015 Social Good Summit where she mixed up fall’s best with a chic menswear look in a striped button-down shirt by Frame Denim (shop here) with black skinny jeans, a beaded black tweed Chanel jacket (shop similar here @Nordstrom), & black patent Mary Jane chunky heels (shop similar here @Saks Fifth Avenue). Get inspired by her menswear take with these affordable look-alike items, playing with texture, print, & layers for Style Darlings on a budget & any size.
Gwyneth Paltrow is always one to watch when it comes to celebrity style, never failing to impress since she made her red carpet mark back in the 90s. Lately, the actress has been turning heads with hints of skin, wearing bold head-to-toe monochromatic looks, & she continues to set trends for future Style Darlings. During her appearance at The Broad Museum Black Tie Dinner, she choose a modern take on an evening look with a boxy blouse & wide leg pants, both by designer Monique Lhuillier, & styled her ensemble with chandelier earrings by Norman Silverman & black pumps by Brian Atwood (which I would love to see, but I couldn’t find the pic!).
One of the biggest colors to hit stores in anticipation of fall is mustard, a rich gold hue that’s perfect for transitioning from summer to a cooler, crisper season. It’s not as tricky a shade to pull off as one might think, especially when there’s so much celebrity inspiration to consider when it comes to dresses, separates, outerwear, & accessories that will redefine how you look at mustard, making your outfit pop. This is evident with the always perfect Blake Lively in a leather dress during Milan Fashion Week, Scream star Bella Thorne‘s street style in corduroy overalls, The Twilight Saga actress Ashley Greene‘s casual look in a boyfriend cardigan, & The Honest Company entrepreneur Jessica Alba in a midi length skirt paired with feminine black extras.
If an all-day mustard look just isn’t your thing, then take some inspiration from bold outerwear pieces on American Idoljudge Jennifer Lopez & reality star Kim Kardashian West, as well as statement footwear on pop singer Taylor Swift whose pumps pop against her black & white outfit & socialite / designer darling Olivia Palermo for choosing to dress down her leather leggings with slipper flats.
Now comes the shopping possibilities with plenty of options for Style Darlings of all shapes & sizes, as well as smart shoppers on a budget, looking to get the most use & flare out of their wardrobe.
There’s nothing more classic than a crisp button down shirt. An extension of this is the chambray shirt for summer. While the season is at its height (let’s ignore fall for just a moment, please), a menswear-inspired chambray shirt is the perfect piece to get optimal use of your wardrobe for a variety of occasions, like day, work, weekend, & date, which is why it’s featured in my latest addition of Fabulous in 4 Ways.
This post is inspired by an equally versatile friend, Meghan, who works boho princess / bombshell prep street style like nobody’s business. When challenged with how to wear a chambray shirt, I advised my very favorite & fashionable friend that any way that a button down shirt can be styled is also any way that a chambray shirt can be styled (depending on the cut, of course). Here are some examples of must-haves tops to build an affordable ensemble at any size:
When it comes to essential basics to fill your closet, it’s always valuable to turn to some top A-listers for a little style inspiration, in the form of the button down shirts for anytime. This includes the flawless likes of Taylor Swiftwho takes the girl next door approach in a skate skirt, red oxford shoes, & retro sunnies. Curvy Kim Kardashian West dresses down her turquoise pencil skirt & ankle strap pumps with a tucked in, low-cut button down for a fierce day look. Draper James creator Reese Witherspoonis all buttoned up while traveling with mixed textures of black denim, leather pointy flats, & a pink lip. Style icon Olivia Palermo makes an appearance at a Kohl’s event in a knotted shirt over a floral pencil skirt with suede pumps.
Mixing chambray with similarly-hued denim isn’t a no-no, as seen on Rihanna who looked sporty & chic in a leather baseball cap & nude slingbacks. Salem actress Ashley Madekweis all about layering with a mini skirt, ankle booties, brocade blazer, & red chain link crossbody bag. Guardians of the Galaxy star Zoe Saldanakept her cool in head-to-toe blue with cowboy boots & aviators when out & about. Lastly, busy mom on the go Jennifer Garneroffers a laid back combo in a chambray pullover shirt tucked into a pencil skirt with ballet flats & a luxe navy snake embossed bowler bag.
Now comes the real-life outfit possibilities. Chambray is so lightweight to wear from week to week, especially if you like to reinvent your favorite pieces in new ways. I styled each look with thechambray shirt ($19.50, was $69.50) @J.Crew Factory because it was not only a bargain, but also the best foundation for a polished & flirty look. Try tucking the shirt in for day by rolling up the sleeves, but on the weekend, open it up & knot it when heading to brunch.
Depending on your job’s dress code, chambray can make a casual Friday a little more elegant when tucked into a minimalist skirt with edgy extras, but then knot it over an LBD for date night to keep cozy with colorful accessories to pop.
I’m a sucker for classic style, especially when it comes to staples like an LBD, pointy pumps, pearl studs, & the list goes on. One summer must-have is a shirtdress, especially in white, a look that Cinderella & Downton Abbey star Lily Jameshas mastered in a Ralph Lauren Collection design (shopsimilar here@Farfretch). She’s paired the crisp dress with gilded gold platforms sandals (shop similar here @Net-A-Porter), adding some sparkle to the chic Hamptons-ready ensemble.
Cara’s look here is easy to duplicate, especially for a shopper on a budget. Using the always amazing & helpful site ShopStyle, I was able to recreate the outfit with some Cara-inspired look-alikes for under $100!
While there’s snow outside during this first week of spring, I have my eye on transitioning between seasons with the color white. Celebrities have made winter white super white-hot, but as we move into the warmer season, a bright pop of white, when it comes to separates, a dress, a full on monochromatic look, & accessories, will certainly look fresh & stylish.
Also, white isn’t just for brides since it works to brighten any skin tone, as we can see during the latest red carpet appearances of some of our favorite A-listers, especially in gorgeous white dresses & gowns.
Shailene Woodley stunned in an ivory silk & organza gown with an open back by Ralph Lauren Collection (shop here) at the London premiere of Insurgent. Supermodel Karlie Klosswent minimal in a white & black accented Tom FordFall 2015 Collection cut-out column gown at the Brit Awards red carpet. Brit beauty Elizabeth Hurley hit the red carpet in a white curve-hugging lace-paneled pencil dress with Chopard diamonds, a metallic clutch, & gray pointy toe pumps at the NYC premiere of The Royals. Actress Olga Kurylenko was gorgeous in a sleeveless white midi length dress with a hot pink ombre clutch & metallic rose pumps at The Winter Music Brit Party 2015.
There’s nothing more classic than a white button down shirt, blouse, or t-shirt, but sometimes it’s adding that topper to your color blocked, playful, or formal looks that can transform your entire view on the staple must-have white top.
Wearing white on the bottom is sometimes a big risk, but try mixing up skirts, trousers, & jeans in a quality fabric to get the most out of your favorite blouses, sweaters, & crop tops.
Modern Family actress Sarah Hylandlooked playful in a lavender busier top with a white midi skirt, bejeweled clutch, & mint green Bionda Castana pumps (shop here) at the 32nd Annual Paleyfest. Style blogger / actress Jamie Chungtook her adorable pup for a walk in a striped tank by twenty with a white midi length skirt, leather moto jacket, cut-out booties by Sol Sana (here), & black leather shoulder bag. Fashion it-girl Olivia Palermoshowed her support for the Chalayan Fall Winter 2015 show during Paris Fashion Week in an oatmeal turtleneck knit with a white leather fringe midi-length pencil skirt, a white clutch, lavender pumps. Academy Award winner Julianne Moore was effortless in a navy sweater & blazer with white trousers & a long pendant necklace.
There are even those who have dares to wear head-to-toe white in a chic, sleek monochromatic look, playing with menswear inspiration, volume & cut-outs, & soft edges.
Designer Victoria Beckhamshowed off her own Victoria Beckham design in a high neck sleeveless dress with cut-outs, a full skirt, & white pointed toe platform pumps at the amfAR Hong Kong gala. Dancing with the Stars alum Julianne Houghmixed menswear in a semi-sheer A.L.C. blouse with flared trousers & Kurt Geiger snakeskin pumps (shop here) for an appearance on Extra. Cinderella star Lily James was ethereal in a Camilla & Marc white top (shop here) & skirt with a statement gold necklace, Jennifer Fisher rings, & metallic sandals at a Cinderella event. At the House of Cards season premiere in London, Robin Wright looked sleek in a white suit with a black cami & python pumps.
Aside from the red cart, white stunned on recent runways during Fashion Weeks across the world, especially in gorgeous dresses from the collections of Roland Mouret Spring 2015 Ready-To-Wear, Jean Paul Gaultier Spring 2015 Couture, & 3.1 Phillip Lim Fall Winter 2015.
Also, white separates glowed on the runway, especially in the catwalk shows from Jonathan Saunders Spring 2015 Ready-To-Wear, Honor Spring 2015 Ready-To-Wear, & Osman Spring 2015 Ready-To-Wear.
With all this celebrity & designer inspiration, it’s time to take the white idea to your wardrobe & on your must-have shopping list, starting with affordable dresses, perfect for a variety of shapes & sizes.
Wearing white jewelry is sure to pop against with any ensemble. Choose drop earrings for a party look, a statement necklace over a sheath dress, studs for a casual outfit, & bangles in mixed metallics.
This has been a season of leggings, especially for those us who have been feeling the sweet consequences of the holidays & blizzards in the north-east. However, that’s no reason to get lazy about your style, especially when leggings come in all prints & patterns. Floral leggings are a stylish play on stretchy bottoms & the possibilities of outfits are endless, thanks to my friend, Kristen, who came to me with this idea. In my latest Fabulous in 4 Ways post, instead of styling just one pair of floral leggings, I sought out four must-have & affordable pairs to wear for day, work, date night, & weekend looks.
When headed out on daily errands, coffee with the girls, or planning your next dinner party, floral leggings work, allowing for a mixture of textures to enrich your daytime look.
Depending on your office environment, floral leggings are also a possibility for your work look. When it comes to casual Friday or a business casual dress code, try leggings with a mini dress, boyfriend cardigan, or long blazer.
When it comes to date night, instead of a classic LBD, try floral leggings with some metallic detail, which instantly dresses up your look. Pairing them with a pop of color & luxe accessories is the perfect way to dress to impress.
I love weekend looks because they present a combination of casual & chic. If you’re going to a B&B, traveling to a vineyard for a four-day weekend, or reading a good book & drinking hot chocolate, layering cozy separates in lightweight fabrics can transform the way you enjoy your down time.
When it comes to seeking out some style inspiration, turning to my friends is always the best resource, which is how I came to find (from one Marlene) that there was a big trend that’s been building in the fashion world. Fringe is back. Have no fear, when it comes to fringe, it’s all about moderation. I’m not talking about a full-on Western look, or anything crazy from the 70s, but a nod to another time or fantasy world isn’t so bad to include in your day-to-day wardrobe.
To integrate fringe into your wardrobe, here are some affordable & easy-to-wear fringe toppers & fringe bottoms that are sure to dress up your casual separates & create new opportunities to get the most out of your closet.
Lastly, fringe accessories are also here to stay, including bags, scarves, & shoes. When it comes to adding detail to your look, fringe is a fresh way to go, also coordinated with metallic grommet, textured panels, & colorblocking.
When it comes to new style resolutions for 2015, an easy way to spruce up a boring wardrobe or upgrade to a more mature style is to step outside of your comfort zone & that starts with prints. An attention to detail immediately shows off your personality & gives off a very positive first impression. I’ve learned (from shows like What Not to Wear) that when you put a thoughtful effort into what you’re wearing, you’ll have more confidence & the people around you will notice. I’d like to dedicate this post to my favorite cousin, Lisa, who has turned to me with advice & questions on how to dress more appropriate to her age, while shopping on a budget & discovering who she is through her own personal style.
When it comes to prints, there are a lot of opportunities to discover your personal style, which is why I turned to recent Spring 2015 Ready-To-Wear runway collections for a little inspiration of what’s trending this coming spring.
Of course, not all of these outfits are meant to be taken literally as inspiration, but it’s apparent that the range of prints, from classic to crazy, will instantly amp up any look, including those from Altuzarra, Dries Van Noten, Louis Vuitton, & Valentino.
Also, A-listers know how to play with prints when it comes to bottoms, which is why I sought out chic printed shorts, skirts, & pants. Examples include The Americans star Keri Russell, Victoria’s Secret supermodel Alessandra Ambrosio, Oscar nominee Reese Witherspoon, TV personality Kelly Ripa, style icon Olivia Palermo, & actress / fashion blogger Jamie Chung.
And so… with a budget shopper in mind, I’ve searched high & low to find great deals on stylish printed separates. First, these printed tops are great building blocks to a more sophisticated look, when layered with staples like a military or moto jacket, flyaway cardigan or cropped bolero, or with leather leggings, tuxedo pants, dark denim jeans, or bootcut trousers.
Also, printed blouses are must-haves when you’d like to sport a clean, professional look. Not only do smaller patterns work on flowy toppers, but they’re great for when you really want to go all out with your prints & mix them with other bolder prints, like animal spots, polka dots, colorblocked stripes, & many more.
In these colder months, printed sweaters are a fun way to play with patterns, while also staying warm. Also, sweaters in different textures will surely show off a variety of colors to play with when it comes to accessories too!
When it comes to bottoms, we’re often so quick to pick out a pair of jeans or leggings, but wearing prints on your lower half is unexpected & certainly a way to get the most out of your solid tops, like a black turtleneck, three-quarter sleeve sweater, or pocket tee. However, printed skirts are fun since you can not only layer with neutrals, but also enhance your look with a pop of color.
Maxi skirts are everywhere & great when headed on vacation, to a day by the water, or lunch with the girls, which is why playing with printed maxi skirts has so many possibilities, especially with metallic gladiator sandals, riding boots with button details, & textured wedges.
For those who dare to wear shorts, think outside of the box with printed shorts in delicate fabrics. not only can these be perfect for day, but they’re easy to dress up with decadent pieces in lace, leather, & brocade.
Printed pants aren’t new, but not everyone gives them a chance, especially when concerned about emphasizing your assets in an unflattering way. However, loose-fitting pants in subtle prints are perfect for neutral tops & jackets when on the go. These are also great for pairing with ballet flats or pointy toe stilettos.
Lastly, I’m certainly not saying that anyone should abandon jeans in any way, but perhaps instead of wearing regular washes, try a printed jean, which will not only perk up a casual look, but will surprise those around you, especially when paired with a blouson top, graphic tee, or tunic sweater.
Must-have prints to have in your wardrobe, yet worn with caution, include polka dots, animal prints, graphics, modern florals, lace, stripes & chevron, tribal, plaid, & houndstooth. I even made a quick guide to learning prints, which will perhaps also serve as a chart on how to successfully mix prints too.
With all the attention on awards season buzz, we can’t forget to catch celebrities at their stylish best even when they’re not on the red carpet or promoting their latest film. One such example of that is Reese Witherspoon who plays up a stylish winter-in-LA look with a mint green button down shirt, flirty black skirt, Ray Ban wayfarers (shop here, $165.00), & Jimmy Choo booties (shop here, $1,150.00) . This is a perfectly professional & preppy ensemble that’s very possible for a Style Darling‘s budget.
It’s awards season, which means that it’s time for the stars to weigh their red carpet options & many, many press appearances promoting the best films of the year. One line that’s sure to grab the attention of A-listers is Badgley Mischka‘s Pre-Fall 2015 Collection, which is why I’m sharing it first. It includes luxe gowns that are perfect for the red carpet, as well as chic frocks & sheath dresses for those token interviews & events leading up to the big night. The collection tells a lovely story with lace details, delicate architecture, fine lines, & classic silhouettes. These pieces would shine on a Style Darling of any age, including this year’s nominees like Into the Woods star Emily Blunt, awards season favorite Julianne Moore, & Game of Thrones heroine Emilia Clarke.
Jennifer Anistonis all over the fashion radar, promoting her newest films, Horrible Bosses 2 & Cake, the latter of which is generating a lot of Oscar buzz. However, during these appearances, our favorite Friend has been looking nothing short of glamorous, staying true to her go-to LBD style, as well as experimenting with bold colors & modern structure.
Clearly, the actress has a favorite style of shoe, which is similar, if not the same as the Christian Louboutin Pigalle pump ($675.00) @Neiman Marcus. However, keeping a Style Darling shopping around for a go-to pump when making the rounds this holiday season, I’ve found a comparable & affordable alternative that won’t break the bank!
There were so many styles to choose from, but I especially found the Jessica Simpson Adeni pumps ($39.99) @6PM the best price & classic look for any street-ready, cocktail party, or office ensemble.
Aside from Fashion Week & the general change of seasons (which marks ankle bootie & rich textures like suede time of year), September means that our favorite television shows are returning to make us laugh, cry, sit at the edge of our seats, & of course, be in awe of the characters’ styles. In a first ever on Style Darling, I’ve undertaken a mighty 10 television shows returning this season & found their most stylish leading ladies (two, in some cases), & found pieces & looks to inspire your fall wardrobe. Naturally, we’re talking something budget-friendly, yet still true to the small scree goddesses that have bloggers everywhere in a fashion tizzy!
Scandal(airing Season 4 premiere on 9/25 @9PM on ABC) left Olivia Pope (played magnificently by the one & only Kerry Washington) washing her hands of the controversy & turmoil that she blames herself for in Washington D.C., especially because of her torrid love affair with the president. However, Olivia’s style was only elevated by such drama, sharing with viewers the importance of a luxurious coat collection, classic & statement handbags, as well as clean lines & neutral separates since Olivia is all about getting rid of the fuss in people’s lives.
New Girl(airing Season 4 premiere on 9/16 @9PM on FOX) will surely tackle that whole Jess-Nick romance, even though the adorkable couple ended things last season. Now that Zooey Deschanel‘s character has certainly settled into her man-dwelling apartment, she’s constantly battling life with one vintage look after another, & laughter is sure to ensue. Not to mention that Jess’s girlie girl style fits right in with her job as a teacher, always conservative yet cute for partying it up after hours.
The Mindy Project(airing 9/16 @9:30 on FOX) is one of my favorite must-see shows this fall, not just because the brilliant Mindy Kaling writes a hilarious ensemble comedy, but because the show is after the hearts of its viewers with the on-again-off-again love story with one Danny Castellano, played by Chris Messina. Yes, there’s laughter too, but I’m also super excited to see what Dr. Lahiri (Kaling’s character) will wear. She’s no stranger to bright colors, wild patterns, feminine florals, & layers of preppy chic style.
Revenge(airing 9/28 @10PM on ABC) is returning this fall & Emily Thorne (played by Emily Vancamp) is back & stronger than ever in her plot against the Graysons. I love that her style recalls the effortless ease of a modern day Grace Kelly, with a luxe twist on casual wear. She wears plenty of neutral colors & no-fuss separates so that she can easily slip into scheming mode with the movers & shakers of The Hamptons setting. I love watching out for the designer pieces on this show, especially on additional key characters like Victoria (Madeline Stowe), Charlotte (Chrsta B. Allen), & Ashley (Ashley Madekwe).
Nashville(airing 9/24 @10PM on ABC) is the kind of show that not only inspires music, but also fashion. Southern style is loud & clear with this show, especially when it comes to an edgy look & a splash of rock ‘n roll. The show’s leading ladies Rayna James (Connie Britton) & Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panettiere) are constantly at odds, but one thing is clear, they know how to dress. I was especially inspired by the flashy stage looks & modern casual separates that can be jazzed up for a night of music. The last season ended with both divas in trouble, both professionally & personally, but I can’t wait to see what’s gonna happen next.
2 Broke Girls(airing 10/07 @9PM on CBS) combines two of my favorite things: cupcakes & fashion! The comedy’s stars Beth Behrs as the preppy / fashion forward Caroline Chaning & Kat Dennings‘ loveable bad girl Max Black make for the perfect modern day odd couple, just trying to get back. Caroline is always neutral clad, doused in pearls & body conscious dresses, whereas Max’s fashion sense takes on a tougher city vibe in bright primary colors & boots, with a touch of menswear inspiration.
The Good Wife(airing 9/21 @9PM on CBS) keeps raking in the Emmy awards, especially with a constantly compelling performance for the show’s lead, Julianna Marguliesas the powerful Alicia Florrick. Her wardrobe includes power suits & strong jackets, much like Scandal‘s Olivia Pope. In Alicia’s world, there’s no room for floral or fussy pieces. She’s all about structure & strength, so edgy embellishments have no place among the clean details & clean lines.
Modern Family(airing 9/24 @9PM on ABC) is a comedy must-see, especially because of the show’s female leads. When it comes to style, of course there’s always a cute outfit on Sarah Hyland’s character Hailey, but the real sex-pot changing the look of a stay-at-home mom is Sofia Vergara‘s Gloria. Gloria often steals the spotlight from her family members, especially when it comes to showing off her curves in wrap dresses, V-neck tops, & skinny jeans.
Elementary(airing 10/30 @10PM on CBS) is a modern day New York City-based take on the classic Sherlock Holmes stories & what’s extra awesome about this version is that the science-minded Watson is played by kick-ass actress Lucy Liu. Instead of John, she’s a Joan who develops an intense partnership with Holmes (Johnny Lee Miller) while they’re soling crimes all over the city. Aside from her brilliant mind, I love her on-the-go style which often includes dark, layering pieces, always with a chic pair of booties.
Hart of Dixie(2015 on The CW) is the last show that I’m sharing & it doesn’t have a set premiere date since star Rachel Bilson, who plays the quirky city doctor Zoe Hart, is expecting her first child & filming seems to be halted. However, I love her character’s edgy side with dark, modern cuts in tops & leather shorts, as well as dark colors in mini & maxi dresses. She’s an accessories queen with chunky necklaces, embellished details, & the highest heels in sandals & booties imaginable. Also, it’s hard to ignore Lemon Breeland, played hysterically by the one & only Jamie King. Lemon’s style is true to the Alabama debutante ladylike way. She loves florals, sparkle, & vintage-inspired looks with a bold lip & finger curls.
Leather really had never looked better! Each summer I’m surprised to see many looks worn by celebrities with leather, as well as dresses that have recently hit the runway. Of course, most of these runway looks are for the upcoming fall / resort seasons, but playing the game of fashion always means that you’re looking ahead with your wardrobe. For example, here we have leather dresses that offer texture, femininity, elegance, & modernism from Barbara Bui Pre-Fall 2013, Alice + Olivia Fall 2013 Ready-To-Wear, Tibi Pre-Fall 2013, & 10 Crosby by Derek Lam Pre-Fall 2013.
This also makes me think of recent red carpet appearances by some of my favorite celebrities who’ve worn leather dresses, including Naomi Watts in a leather dress by Alexander McQueen with jewelry by Jennifer Meyer at the Los Angeles premiere of Ray Donovan. Also, my girl crush, Mandy Moore, attended a Helmut Newton event in a leather LBD with gold jewelry & sexy ankle-strap heels. Byzantium actress Gemma Arterton showed off her shape in a curve-hugging letaher dress with 3/4 sleeves, black pointy toe pumps, & a metallic clutch at the film’s screening in London. Scandal star Kerry Washington walks the red carpet at an ABC event in a red Marc by Marc Jacobs leather sheath dress with black & gold accessories, including House of Lavande studs.
Shopping for leather, or faux leather in this case, dresses is tricky sometimes b/c you always want to make sure that it fits you properly & doesn’t require an abundance of care or cleaning. I found these chic options that are both timeless & edgy to mix & match with accessories like pointy toe pumps, platform sandals, a metallic clutch, or drop earrings. First, I selected the BB Dakota Kira perforated dress ($68.00) from ShopBop, which definitely plays up the lasercut trend with playful peek-a-boo holes. Also, I found the Sanctuary Clothing faux leather shift dress ($55.65) from Dillard’s. It’s especailly flattering with strategic colorblocked panels.
My third pick is from Forever 21, the studded faux leather dress ($27.80) is the most affordable, & also offers plenty of styling possibilities with a boyfriend blazer, cropped bolero, metallic belt, or suede knee boots. For a change of color, the Anne Klein faux leather dress ($42.99) from 6PM brings a gritty edge to any office look, especially if paired with strappy sandals or printed pumps.
When it comes to leather, we’ve also seen a great deal of separates, especially in the form of skirts & leggings, which always cause a stir on the runway. The mixture of the tough material in sophisticated silhouettes makes for a memorable show, especially with skirts of varying lengths for a date night, the office, or an instant update to other basics. I found trendy leather separates in collections from SUNO Resort 2014, L.A.M.B. by Gwen Stefani Fall 2013 Ready-To-Wear, Altuzarra Fall 2013 Ready-To-Wear, & Michael Kors Pre-Fall 2013.
Celebrities continue to once again mirror the runways when on the street or red carpet with leather pieces to accent this look. Sandra Bullock heated up the premiere of The Heat in an affordable leather pencil skirt from ASOS with a button-down blouse & strappy leather sandals. Rashida Jones was all smiles in a striped top with a cobalt blue leather mini skirt, which she accessorized with a statement pendant, colorful clutch, & towering platform sandals. Project Runway judge / supermodel Heidi Klum looks every bit the style icon in a head-to-toe midnight blue look, including a zippered pencil skirt, blouse, pumps, & snakeskin bag. Lastly, the always effortless Zoe Saldana attends a Chime for Change event in a Gucci floral blouse with leather leggings, jewlery by Repossi, & strappy sandals.
As for wearing leather bottoms, you have a chic choice of skirts or leggings. Of course, there are shorts out there, as well as cropped trousers, but here I’m focusing on recreating skirts & leggings as seen by the celebrities above. This starts with the Rhyme Los Angeles perforated vegan leather skirt ($46.99) from Piperlime, which not only serves the environment, but also offers an upgrade to your professional office look. Also, for a pop of color, I love the Glamorous PU patent faux leather mini skirt ($42.43) in wine from ASOS, which adds a futuristic vibe to any button-down shirt, studded tank, or scoop neck pullover.
Fashion critics & bloggers have been on the look out for Kim Kardashian‘s pregnancy style, which has included lots of pencil skirts, body conscious dresses, & empire-waisted looks to show off her growing shape & glow. Kim is never one to turn away from a high heel, & during a recent appearance in New York City, she donned the Anouck metallic leather pumps ($650.00) by Jimmy Choo from Saks Fifth Avenue. Not every expectant mom-to-be would be so bold as to keep up their pre-baby bump style with such confidence & sophistication.
Of course, that’s a heft price to pay for silver pumps, but the neutral metallic trend is coming back for spring, especially when paired with bright neons, soft pastels, & edgy embellished pieces. I recently shared a pic on Instagram featuring a shoe find in the latest issue of Harper’s Bazaarof a killer pair of silver pointy toe heels, but I also found several options at lower price points for any budget.
Last month I blogged about neon blouses at different price points, sharing the big neon trend that will help Style Darling transition from winter to spring. I’ve seen so much in stores lately in neons, especially in the highlighter yellow variety in tops, dresses, pants, skirts, & accessories, which are perfect for mixing with essentials like dark denim jeans, crisp white pieces, & other bold separates.
At last summer’s Comi-Con, Twilightactress Kristen Stewartmixed a neon BCBG Max Azria skirt with a cropped tee & leather Barbara Bui high tops. Beyoncéknew about the neon trend a few years ago when she hit the streets of Manhattan with neon accessories, including a straw hat & ankle-strap platform sandals with an over-sized tank & grey shorts.
Next, the cropped high rise trousers ($19.80) from Forever 21 are ideal for elongating the legline if you dare to wear neon on your bottom half. Also, for a softer look with neon, I recommend the Worthington colorblocked pleated skirt ($25.00) from JC Penney for a white scoop neck tee or a lacy button-down blouse. You always see celebs wearing shorts & the H&Mshorts ($29.95) can work for both casual & dressy occasions, if paired with pointy toe heels, ballet flats, or a sleeveless top.