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


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

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

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

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!

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!

Basics for a Bargain: Black Pencil Skirts for Every Body Type & Budget!


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.

Check out the A-listers below to get inspired by all kinds of black pencil skirts & style choices, including blogger / actress Jamie Chung, designer / author Lauren ConradMad Men star Christina Hendricks, Aussie actress Rebel Wilson, the flawless Kerry Washington, & the one & only, Jennifer Lopez.

Jamie Chung, Lauren Conrad, Christina Hendricks, Rebel Wilson, Kerry Washington, & Jennifer Lopez.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.

Misses, Plus, & Petites pencil skirt looks.SHOP: Misses cold shoulder top @Charlotte Russe, graphic tee @Nordstrom Rack, floral blouse @ModCloth, Plus plaid shirt @Forever 21, embellished top @Dress Barn, printed peplum top @Old Navy, & Petites ruffle tank @JCPenney, denim t-shirt @ASOS, & lace trim tank @Gap. Misses skirt @TJMaxx & skirt @H&M, Plus skirt @Eloquii & skirt @Kohl’s, & Petites skirt @Lord & Taylor & skirt @The Limited.

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. 

Pencil skirt accessoriesSHOP: ankle strap pumps @DSW, metallic heels @GOjane, ankle booties @Lane Bryant, embellished flats @Topshop, belt @Lulu’s, rose gold tote @Payless, leopard clutch @6PM, & tortoise sunglasses @Target.

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!

06/24/2016 Darling of the Day: Angelina Jolie’s Easy Breezy Summer LBD & Strappy Flats!


I can talk (or write, in this case) for hours about shoes. That’s always been the case for me. Yeah, I’m that girl, a shoe girl! I have to say (or write, in this case) that my relationship with shoes has evolved over the years in the most strangely sensible way too. Once I transitioned from working a job in an office (where sitting meant I could really wear any & every shoe I could stick my feet in) to a commuting job in the city & most currently as a sales associate in the retail world, my shoe needs have drastically & painstakingly changed. Don’t get me wrong, I still gasp in admiration & find high heels sexy as hell. However, my everyday shoes are usually flats that I can actually walk in (go figure!). I save the heels for special occasions of going out with my boyfriend, days in the classroom during the semesters (not much walking to do there), & specific photo opportunities (when I’m really digging an outfit combination). 

During one recent & busy night at work, I had a conversation with a lovely but frustrated customer for whom I was helping put an outfit together. Once a top & skirt found, our conversation turned to shoes. Of course, any kind of black pump (slingback, stiletto, or wedge) would make for a party-ready look, but then I suggested a nude shoe, which time and time again, has proved successful, especially when it comes to a summer ensemble. By now, you’re probably wondering what this anecdote has to do with the title of this post about. While I rely on a nude shoe as my go-to for many stylish summer outfits, my fashion world was rocked once more scrolling through social media, discovering that during a New York City day with her son, Knox, Angelina Jolie simplified a classic LBD-wayfarer shades look with nude ankle tie flats by Gianvito Rossi (shop here). 

Darling of the Day - Angelina Jolie's Easy Breezy Summer LBD & Strappy FlatsI was instantly inspired by this delightful & obvious (really!) style choice that I had to share its versatility with my readers. Speaking of evolutions, the ballet flat has come a very long way & as a result of that journey, shoppers don’t have to break their budget (even when there’s a time crunch) to achieve this level of style perfection. Really, this sort of shoe would amplify a belted cotton frock with a cardigan, a cargo vest & skimmers, or a sheath mini & blazer.

SHOP: Misses tee dress @Old Navy (available in sizes XS – XXL), black sunglasses @Icing, lace-up pointed flats @Charlotte Russe, Plus dress @Forever 21, Betsey Johnson sunglasses @Nordstrom Rack, Wild Diva ankle strap flats @Aeropostale (also available in black), Petites Worthington dress @JCPenney, ELLE sunglasses @Kohl’s, & ankle strap d’orsay flats @GOjane.

Do you like to wear ankle strap or lace-up flats? Where do you shop for your summer shoe must-haves? Do you like Angelina Jolie’s street style? How do you like to style a day-ready little black dress? How does summer inspire your style? Happy Styling!

Accessories Access: Summer Must-Haves For $15 & Under!


While there’s still a week before the calendar kicks off summer, the sunny season is here on Long Island & there’s no turning back. For me, summer is about taking it easy when it comes to life & style. I want to read, get together with friends, & spend nights cuddling up with my special someone. When I’m not working or on the go, I want to wear comfortable, breezy, effortless pieces from my wardrobe & accessories, all of which exude the playful lightness that makes summer a fashionable time of year. When I’m stumped on what to wear, especially when transitioning between seasons, I turn to Pinterest to look up some fierce street style looks, as well as those of my favorite celebrities.

This includes Eva Longoria in a graphic jumpsuit with a bold white tote & aviators, Miranda Kerr‘s maxi dress look in sandal flats & a hat, Olivia Palermo in a cotton off-the-shoulder top with sneakers & a blue clutch, Kendall Jenner‘s flowy shorts & strappy sandals street look, Ashley Madekwe in a graphic tee & denim shorts, & Zoe Saldana in a floral print maxi, hoop earrings, & neutral tote bag.

Summer inspiration from Eva Longoria, Miranda Kerr, Olivia Palermo, Kendall Jenner, Ashley Madekwe, & Zoe Saldana.I’m always up for different colors & textures, keeping things bright with classic primaries & flowy in cotton or linen to inspire a fun, relaxing day in the sun & night under the stars. When hitting up the beach or going away for the weekend, I’d like to recommend a few essential accessories that are not only affordable, but can also play up your personality when mixing & matching with your favorite summer staples like denim cut-offs, a shirt-dress or maxi dress, gladiator sandals, & a shorts romper. 

SHOP: hat @Dress Barn, espadrille sandals @Old Navy, sunglasses @Forever 21, tote @Charming Charlie, & cover-up @Walmart (shop plus size here).

What are your favorite summer-ready pieces to wear? Where do you shop for the best bargain accessories? Which celebrities do you turn to for style inspiration? What’s your go-to summer look? Happy Styling!

Quickie Darling Deal & Steal: 10 Affordable, Must-Have Spring Picks To Inspire Your Style!


When it comes from transitioning from season to season, I love the idea of reinventing current wardrobe staples, but I’m also crazy about seeing what’s new & fresh in stores to find new favorites. However, I always have a budget in mind, which is why I wanted to share some perfect picks for spring, which are sure to add new life to your look. Spring is all about light layers, flowers, flirty prints, & soft colors, perfect for mixing with bolder pieces that channel menswear, modern, & minimalistic aesthetics.

Quickie Darling Deal & Steal- 10 Affordable, Must-Have Spring Picks To Inspire Your Style!SHOP: dress ($48.00) @Dress Barn, crossbody ($24.00) in ivory @Francesca’s, earrings ($14.99) @ModCloth, LC Lauren Conrad skirt ($45.00, was $60.00) in moonstruck @Kohl’s, blouse ($31.46, was $44.95) in pink @New York & Company, Brash pumps ($29.99, was $34.99) in nude @Payless, kimono jacket ($39.99) @H&M, watch ($16.90) in nude @Wet Seal, Tilda flats ($19.99) in white @Target, & necklace ($5.00, was $19.50) @Icing

What trends are you looking to explore for spring? Where do you like to shop for the latets buys? How would you style the ideal spring outfit? Which colors are you most excited about wearing this spring? For more stylish posts, check out Olivia Palermo’s cover shoot for Fashion magazine, fringed suede sandals for under $40, Lupita Nyong’o’s floral & leather red carpet look, & Victoria Beckham’s spring-winter street style combo. Happy Styling!

02/15/2016 Darling of the Day: Lupita Nyong’o Mixes Hard & Soft Like A Pro!


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. 

Darling of the Day - Lupita Nyong'o

SHOP: American Living shirt ($38.99, was $49.50) @Macy’s, skirt ($22.90) in black @Forever 21, Tommy Hilfiger flats ($32.99) @6PM, & earrings ($5.00, was $12.50) @Icing. The total for this amazing look (before tax) is a whopping $99.88, an awesome bargain & inspiration for any shopper looking to pinch some pennies while not sacrificing her style. I’m always thinking about my readers of all shapes & sizes, which is why I also wanted to share some inspiration for a similar & fabulous plus-size look, including a Chaps shirt @Kohl’s & a faux leather Guess skirt @Lord & Taylor.

What do you think of Lupita’s winter-spring look? Would you wear floral with faux leather? Which celebs inspire you to experiment with your style? For more fabulous posts, check out Victoria Beckham’s latest street style, Olivia Palermo’s debut collection with Chelsea28 for Nordstrom, & red carpet inspiration from A-listers like Alicia Vikander & Lucy Hale. Happy Styling!

02/11/2016 Darling of the Day: Victoria Beckham’s Winter-Spring Combo!


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.

Darling of the Day - Victoria Beckham

SHOP: Misses outfit: turtleneck ($39.99, was $89.50) in lemon zest @J.Crew & LC Lauren Conrad skirt ($20.48, was $64.00) @Kohl’s. Plus outfit: Ralph Lauren turtleneck ($19.99, was $64.50) in orange @Ralph Lauren & skirt ($59.99, was $109.99) @Jessica London. Accessories: sunglasses ($14.99) @Target, ring ($8.75, was $12.50) @Icing, bag ($22.90) @Forever 21, & boots ($16.99, was $69.00) @6PM.

What do you think of Victoria’s recent street style look? Are you thinking about spring fashion yet? Which celebrities inspire your wardrobe? For more Darling of the Day posts, check out Sienna Miller, Anne Hathaway, Gwyneth Paltrow, Emily Ratajkowski, Chrissy Teigen, & Reese Witherspoon. Happy Styling!

The Stylish Five: Love-Themed Accessories Just In Time For Valentine’s Day!


Happy Valentine's Day, Style Darlings!It’s less than a week until Valentine’s Day & there’s plenty of love-themed ways to amp up your style when it comes to hearts, lips, graphics, & sparkle. I wear hearts all year long since they’re my favorite shape & I’m always indulging in heart-adorned accessories this time of year, especially with jewelry. They’re flirty & add some humor to any outfit during the year, but they can also help you get into the holiday spirit. With that in mind, I clicked around on some of my favorite websites for some love-themed accessories that are both affordable & functional for any style. 

The Stylish Five - Love-Themed Accessories Just In Time For Valentine's Day!SHOP: 1. scarf ($13.99, was $28.00) @Kohl’s (use code BEMINE for 20% off online orders over $75), 2. watch ($15.00) @Charming Charlie (FREE SHIPPING on online orders over $50), 3. clutch ($34.00) @GOjane (FREE SHOPPING on online order over $50), 4. bangle ($7.90) in gold @Forever 21 (FREE SHIPPING on online orders over $50), & 5. stud earrings ($3.00, was $5.50) @Icing (use code SURPRISE for 10% off online orders).

When it comes to Valentine’s Day-themed style picks, you can certainly have fun with separates, as well as accessories, including these affordable finds:

More fashionable finds for Valentine's DaySHOP: 1. sweater ($32.95) @Shoptiques, 2. tee ($10.17, was $22.11) @Romwe, 3. crop top ($44.50) @Torrid (available in sizes 0-6), & 4. shoes ($22.99, was $74.99) @ModCloth.

What are you looking to wear this romantic holiday weekend? What plans do you have to keep it stylish? Do you wear love-themed accessories or separates? For possible Valentine’s Day gift items for your loved one or besties, check out Francesca’s, Dress Barn, Nordstrom, Burlington Coat Factory, Banana Republic, & Chico’s. Happy Styling!