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!

Holiday Gift Style: Embellished Cardigans!


One of my latest obsessions this season, to pair with my other obsession: the pencil skirt, is an embellished cardigan. I’ve always been a cardigan girl, opting for the softness of a button-down topper that could be mixed & matched with skirts, jeans, pants, & even over a dress. This is the perfect season for just such a cardigan, one with dazzling sequins, beads, & stones, in designs inspired by a winter wonderland, feminine florals, or holiday sparkle. There are plenty of high-end cardigans on the market, but as always, I’ve selected some style that will surely fit any budget & heighten your holiday ensemble!

SHOP: black cardigan @dressbarn, cream cardigan @Target, red pearl crewneck cardigan @New York & Company (also available in black & white in sizes XS – XXL), red jewel collar cardigan @Walmart (also available in black, gray, & ivory in sizes S-XXL), heather cardigan @Macy’s (also available in pink & ivory in sizes XS-XXL), & black embellished neck cardigan @Nordstrom Rack (also available in gray in sizes S-XL).

Happy Styling!

#BlackFriday Sale Update: Up To 50% Off @ALDO Shoes!


‘Tis boot season, which means that at least a few days a week, your wardrobe should consist of a tunic sweater & leggings, a turtleneck & skinny jeans, & a cardigan & boyfriend jeans. I’m pretty psyched to get the most use out of my favorite fall / winter shoes to reinvent staple pieces in a new way. Footwear is the easiest way to spruce up any look, especially when you can consider adding extra texture & detail in suede, laces, & metallic accents. ALDO Shoes is currently celebrating Black Friday with up to 50% off select styles, with FREE SHIPPING on purchases until 11/29!

SHOP: gray boots, brown boots, black ankle booties, tan suede booties, red lace-up booties, peep toe toe booties, bordeaux bag, & cognac bag @ALDO Shoes.

Happy Styling!

#BlackFriday Sale Update: 30% Off Everything @Francesca’s!


Francesca’s is one of my favorite stores where I can indulge in accessories, especially jewelry! There’s always something unique & extra sparkly to select, even if you’re shopping for some fashionable friends this holiday season. For Black Friday, the entire website is 30% off & also the regular-priced boots are up to 40% off (no code necessary) until tomorrow! Consider a token bag, cute cape, or sassy suede footwear when putting together your next special occasion look with some of these stylish & affordable suggestions!

SHOP: toggle cape, crossbody bag, cluster earrings, beaded belt, suede wedges, bead statement necklace, strap platform, drop earrings, & dome ring @Francesca’s.

Happy Styling!

#BlackFriday Sale Update: 50% Off Everything @GAP!


Happy Thanksgiving & early Black Friday! I tried to stay disconnected from technology for most of the holiday, but I just can’t take it anymore. There are so many awesome sales going on right now that will not only help build up a killer winter wardrobe, but also check off some stylish names on your gift list. Once I filtered through the dozens & dozens of emails, I couldn’t start posting fast enough.

For classic styles to wear from season to season, GAP is the place to shop, especially for their big Black Friday sale of 50% off everything with the online code TGIF50.

SHOP: plaid dress, stripe sweater, pleated skirt, star scarf, ballet flat, knit hat, & stripe belt @GAP.

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!

Holiday Gift Styles: Cozy & Cute Sleepwear!


As we gear up for all the Black Friday fuss, start making your lists now of what you’re getting your loved ones, especially those stylish ones. A holiday favorite when it comes to gifts is sleepwear because everybody likes to cuddle up in style, feel relaxed & perhaps with a little sense of humor, don something cheeky (literally too, but this isn’t that kind of post). Everywhere I go, I see all sorts of fun holiday & season-themed pajama sets, night shirts, pajamas, slippers, & socks. I know winter isn’t as bad everywhere like it is in the northeast, but keeping it cozy & chic on heavy snow days & chilly evenings with a cup of tea always warms my heart & wardrobe. Here are some sweet suggestions on how Santa can help dress you & your friends for the season! 

SHOP: black sleep set @dressbarn, santa pajamas @Target, one-piece microfleece pajamas @Kohl’s, lace print pajamas @TJMaxx, Terry kimono robe @Macy’s, green sleep tee @Victoria’s Secret, & pink sleep tee @Victoria’s Secret.

SHOP: leopard slippers @Soma, knit slippers @H&M, penguin sock @Old Navy, & leopard socks @Old Navy.

Where do you like to shop for sleepwear? Do you prefer matching sets? What patterns or colors do you shop for when considering sleepwear? Happy Styling!

Inside A Style Blogger’s Closet: A Daytime LBD for Fall!


As a blogger, I’m always looking for inspiration on the web & from stores where I shop. It’s only recently that I’m directly using my own style & images of myself (as seen on my Instagram @MissAlissaL) in what I’m wearing to share with readers on a daily basis (which is ironic considering the name of this blog includes the word “daily”). It hasn’t been easy, what with a constant (self) scrutiny of how I look, what an image says about me, & how I feel about putting this side of myself out there to the blog-iverse. In a leap of fashion faith, I’m seizing this opportunity for a number of reasons: 1. The weather is bound to change here on Long Island, so my accessibility to flattering outdoor lighting for pictures is extra limited. (Sidenote: I live alone & don’t own a fancy camera, so heading to my parents’ house between jobs is my usual stop for a quickie photo sesh.) 2. I’m feeling confident in my voice as a writer / blogger, as well as in my style & about my shape. There’s so much about expression through style & body positivity that I want to share with readers & can’t get my fingertips on the keyboard fast enough. 3. I can’t build the Style Darling Daily empire without attaching my face to it. This seems to be working because friends & coworkers of mine regularly greet me with, “Hey Style Darling.” I live the moniker, so I need to blog it.

So here I am in a black floral lace dress that surprised me when I saw it & even more so then tried it on. It’s not a full-on a-line dress, like I’m used to wearing, but I saw the potential in dressing it up & down. Since I had to get to work on this Saturday afternoon, I wanted to try the dress out with fall favorites like patterned tights & a denim jacket, so that the dress wouldn’t look so party-ready. I played up the feminine vibe of this dress with fun & flirty heels, & accessorized with my new metallic bow clutch. I was really into the delicate feel of the dress, so I paired a flower pendant necklace with it, as well as two beaded bracelets.

Some of these pieces are old & no longer available, but there are so many accessorizing possibilities to this look. I’d consider a statement necklace or belt (both of which I tried while getting ready & saved in my mind for later), as well as a blanket scarf & knee boots for a weekend-in-the-country vibe. However, the key elements to recreate this outfit for yourself are just a click away!

SHOP: black floral lace dress, Westport 1962 denim jacket, pin dot tights, & shimmer bow wristlet @dressbarn

What’s your dress style for the fall? What colors & pattern combos are you attracted to? Where are you shopping for great deals on your favorite outfits? Happy Styling!

 

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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!