Show Me the Shoes: Fall-Girl Velvet Flats from Old Navy!


As fall rolls in, we’re not only getting obsessed with layers, but also textures, especially in footwear! Specifically, velvet is a great fabric for virtually any article of clothing or accessory, but on a shoe, an outfit becomes elevated with a more luxe sophistication & festive fashionability. Last fall, I went crazy buying up all the velvet leggings I could in every rich, jewel tone hue & now I’ve got my eye on velvet flats.

SHOP: velvet bow tie ballet flat shoe in blackjack, dark bottle, & raisin Arizona @Old Navy (on sale: $26.99, available in sizes 6-11).

These will be a perfect work staple to contrast a neutral-heavy look in earth tones & dark denim, but also with other luxurious patterns of the season, such as plaid, floral, abstracts, & brocade! my only wishes are for availability in wide width, a pointy toe as opposed to an almond toe, & other colors, such as navy or purple.

How would you style these flats? Would you wear them to the office & for a holiday party? What color velvet flats would you wear? For more stylish posts, check out: an open-front cardigan in every color from Amazon, Ana de Armas’ performance of “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend,” & cozy fleece separates from Target! Happy Styling!

Show Me the Shoes: Your Next Add-To-Cart Tweed Ballet Flats!


As tomorrow marks the last day of summer, I’m not quite ready to bid adieu to my maxi dresses & sandals. My heart just isn’t there yet, but my eyes are on the fashionable fall prize… & so is my finger as I click my mouse to Add-to-Cart! I can’t even think about wearing heavy layers or hefty fabrics, but they just kept finding their way into my social media. Case in point:

SHOP: tweed ballet flats in black @Ardene ($19.90, available in sizes 6-10). Not only do I adore the tweed fabric, but also, the chunky buckle across the pointy toe cries out for black polka dot tights & a cardigan with pencil skirt outfit—fit for any teacher or professor (like myself!) this fall.

Currently, Ardene has a 30% off on select shoes, for customers in the U. S., so this is getting more & more tempting! Tweed never goes out of style & creates the perfect juxtaposition of textures when paired with lace or florals of similar color scheme!

How would you style these flats? Do you experiment with different kinds of hardware or embellishments in footwear? What’s your must-have fall favorite? For more stylish posts, check out: Arden Cho’s sophisticated wardrobe on Partner Track, fall-rustic earrings from Target, the next best tunic for work or play, & dreamy Karl Lagerfeld Paris pumps from Macy’s! Happy Styling!

Show Me the Shoes: Gorgeous Jacquard Flats for $35!


Instagram’s algorithm is working since it has identified that I love a deal & a pretty ballet flat. After over 8,000 posts, how could it not?! See examples below:

And as summer is turning into fall, I’m already scoping out bargains & must-haves to prepare for a sparkly holiday season!

So… when scrolling through my feed, I happened upon the Laura embellished pointed ballet flats in jacquard @ASOS ($35.00, available in sizes 4-12), which hit all the right style notes, in my opinion.

Aside from the pretty floral pattern, I love the rich color combination in conjunction with the jewel embellishment, both of which enable this flat to go from day to night. Imagine wearing this with a navy romper for a posh weekend brunch spot, with a hunter green suit & champagne blouse for an important meeting, a rust pullover sweater with dark denim skinny jeans for a game night with friends, or a cocktail dress & statement studs for a special occasion.

How would you style these shoes? Do you wear patterned or embellished flats? Do you have holiday style on the brain already? What’s your favorite go-to footwear for a special event? For more stylish posts, check out: classic & affordable v-neck sweaters by A New Day, Ana de Armas’ stunning Louis Vuitton gown at the Venice Film Festival premiere of Blonde, more jewelry organization ideas, & the most feminine faux leather midi dress of the season! Happy Styling!

Style Tip: How to Outfit Prep for the Week!


When it comes to prepping for the work week, most people schedule & plan out meals for lunch during work, but also at home, whether you’re single or providing for an entire family. However, on top of that, something that I try to do to make my harried mornings a little easier is outfit prep. A typical Sunday night includes me picking out 5-6 full outfits & folding them in a neat pile in order of when I will wear them so that I can get ready steadily each morning before I’m about to get my pre-schooler dressed & fed, along with embarking on my hour-long commute. Here are my steps to outfit prepping success:

1. Check the weather & your schedule. No matter the season, checking the weather will be helpful. For me, hot days mean dresses & laser cut flats with a lightweight sweater for the air conditioned office. Likewise, snow or rain mean that I need to be conscious of footwear & hair styling. Also, if you have an important meeting or post-work event, take into account how your outfit can transition.

2. Build the whole look. Even if I know I’ll be removing a cardigan or other layer for most of the day, I always keep one handy. I’m a cardigan girl, so all of my outfits include either a button-down, flyaway, or cropped topper to complete the look. I try to mix it up each day with length & color, so it doesn’t look like I’m wearing the same piece each day. Also, I put together a top with pants or a skirt & make a note of the shoes I’ll wear somewhere on my phone. I have too many shoes, so it’s worth it—for me—to ensure that I’m varying them each day. If it’s going to be a hectic week, of course, I’ll repeat out if sheer comfort needs!

3. Pre-select accessories. I have little dishes on my bedroom dresser handy for accessories, in addition to my jewelry boxes & trays that are organized by metal type. Upon selecting the outfit pieces, topper, & shoe, the accessories come next. I usually only do this for 2 days in advance to avoid cluttering my dresser Monday through Friday. This also ensures that I’m putting my jewelry away each day too. I have 5 piercings in each ear, so I select which earring will be the main one, if it’s a drop, hoop, or stud, & then grab a card or 2 of smaller options for my other holes that I’ll grab easily as I’m getting dressed. This applies to necklaces & bracelets too. Also, if I need a belt, I pick one that coordinates with my jewelry.

4. Check for imperfections. I don’t really own much that needs to be ironed or steamed, but I like to plan in advance for those outfits. Rather than folding them on my dresser, as seen below, I’ll steam ahead of time & leave the item hanging somewhere they won’t be in the way if I’m not wearing it until the end of the week & where it will remain in tact. The same goes for checking for fit, holes, missing buttons, stains, etc. You don’t want to be halfway to work when you realize that there’s something irreversibly wrong—in the moment—with your outfit, especially right before a major meeting too!

5. Grab an extra look. I sometimes get overly ambitious with an outfit that I plan, but then when the day comes & maybe the weather changes or I’m feeling bloated, I change my mind & want something more comfortable. Also, I consider factors before & after my work day, such as any errands to run or stops to make, so I’m comfortable & capable to perform those tasks & my outfit doesn’t interfere.

6. Hair! I’m curly all summer long & since my work days have been light lately, I’ve relied on a claw clip or barrette, but once the cooler weather arrives, I’ll straighten my locks & turn to scrunchies, bobby pins, or hair ties, so I plan in advance if I have something that coordinates well with a particular look. It usually ends up on a dish with the jewelry too.

7. Keep it up. The usual Monday mornings when I realize I’ve forgotten to outfit prep somehow always become my most stressful days, setting the tone for more stress. The more frequently I outfit prep to get myself mentally & physically prepared for the week, the calmer I can start my day. Also, by maintaining a weekly outfit prep schedule, at least for a 9-5, I spend more time with my wardrobe & then remember better what I’ve worn recently to make sure I’m getting the most out of my investment by not wearing the same handful of pieces each week & rotating old favorites that make me happy.

8. Adapt as necessary. If you keep grabbing the same top each week, planning to wear it & then you change your mind each time, maybe it’s time to donate it since you may never actually wear it. Similarly, you might find that you’re wearing all black all the time & you’re missing other brighter colors; then, set a goal for the week to celebrate patterns or include a neon each day or coordinate a different take on animal print on Fridays.

To conclude, there definitely other things we all worry about that are way more important in our lives, but if feeling prepared for the week & expressing yourself through your clothing are major facets of who you are, try to outfit prep. Playing dress-up doesn’t have to be just for special occasions. Having fun with what you wear helps with confidence & definitely reduces my anxiety about what lies ahead each week.

What do you do to prepare your work looks? Do you outfit prep or do you just grab something quick in the morning? What are your style goals? For more stylish posts, check out: the prettiest polka dot flats from Amazon, fun leopard print pencil skirt options, & fabric headbands for fall from Old Navy! Happy Styling!

Show Me the Shoes: Pick Polka Dots!


Fall fashion doesn’t usually shout out polka dots—at least not like spring & summer style do—but that doesn’t mean it’s not a pattern you can rely on. I love a polka dot piece, especially because it means that I can mix another pattern with it. Particularly, polka dots can work with leopard, stripes, florals, & abstract prints when done right. An easy way to dip your toes into pattern mixing with polka dots—wait for the pun to click—is through an accessory or finishing piece, such as a polka dot shoe.

The Ollio dot pattern ballet comfort pointed toe flat in black @Amazon ($29.99, available in sizes 6-11) is a subtle, stylish, & playful way to incorporate polka dots into your look. I love the pointer toe, which is fashion forward for a street style look, but also elongating for a professional & confident outfit for work.

I’m obsessed with these flats in the black & white combination, especially with the possibility of pairing them with a floral dress, as well as some colorblocking with patterned tights. When experimenting with pattern mixing, try matching up colors that work in both patterns to find success, as seen in my previous black & white outfit post. However, if trying to coordinate black & white polka dot flats like these with another print, then I suggest keeping it solid with classic neutrals, like black pants or dark denim jeans & a bold solid sweater or top in red, magenta, yellow, or royal blue, all of which will really make the polka dots pop.

Additionally, the Ollio store on Amazon, which I’ve previously recommended for these cute navy floral flats, also includes polka dot flats in other colors, such as pink, green, red, yellow, & blue.

I definitely love the idea of matching any of these up with floral counterparts when the warmer weather returns, as well as with lighter & more delicate cotton pieces that can be found on sale on the major end-of-season clearance blowout racks.

How would you style these flats? Are you a fan of polka dots? Do you shop Amazon for shoes or back-to-school must-haves? For more stylish posts, check out: leopard print pencil skirts from New York & Company, fabric headbands from Old Navy, & kimono-inspired tops for fall! Happy Styling!

Inside a Style Blogger’s Closet: Professor Style Then & Now!


The picture from 2017 was taken in front of my parents’ house in Lake Grove for my first day of teaching (as Professor LeClair) a college class & I had no idea the path I was about to fashionably forge or how my life would change over the next 5 years! When I recently uncovered the tropical dress from deep storage (that I was unable to unpack or even mentally tackle for a good 2 years), I remembered that I hadn’t worn the dress since that very first, nerve-wracking day of a career I never wanted; however, with the launch of my sixth academic year as an English professor (as Professor Gambino), I thought it was “fitting” to break it out again.

Of course, I accessorized it differently, opting for white accents & skipped the belt, but it’s good to know that 40 or do classes later, I still got it! The top picture on the right was taken this morning, a beautiful summer morning as the buzz of academia awaited me & called so many back to their jobs after a long break. I’d like to look back on both of these moments as bursting with possibility & new starts, reminding myself that they do come back around, even when it seems like fate has stuck you in a never-ending cycle.

Ultimately, recycling old favorites to make them feel new again & doing my very best to live the stylish life (one day at a time) are goals that I hope to uphold now that I’ve reclaimed a part of myself (& my style) in finally having my wardrobe where I want it to be. Stay tuned for more detailed updates on the unveiling of my cloffice (a.k.a. Style Darling Daily headquarters).

As for the outfit: The dress is an oldie from my stylist days @Dressbarn, as is the black bolero. The recent picture includes a @New York & Company cardigan & @Ardene flats, as well as oldie @Dressbarn drop earrings.

Happy Styling!

Show Me the Shoes: Fabulous Floral Flats for Fall!


When it comes to fall fashion, bold florals don’t usually come to mind first, but I like mixing it up when the seasons change with unexpected pops of colors so as not to look like everyone else in plaid & still challenge myself. Anyway, expressing one’s style isn’t about following trends!

Florals are not for everyone & I typically veer my style attention away from a traditional grandmother/curtain-looking floral; however, one pair of floral flats that I’ve had since last year always seems to stay in rotation. I love the Dream Paris casual pointed toe ballet comfort soft slip on flat shoes in floral @Amazon (on sale: $21.99 & available in sizes 5-12) for the color versatility with magenta, purple, white, neon green, navy, & black.

I’ve worn these to the office with virtually every solid maxi dress that I own, paired with a crochet bolero or cardigan, as well as with different pant & blouse outfits. After getting another closet look at them online & wearing them on & off cue the last few months, I suspect that the floral pattern placement on each pair may vary, as seen with my shoes below.

For fall, I even love mixing these flats with a navy & magenta outfit, as well as a black & purple color-blocked look. Not to mention that the shoes are perfect beyond the office with a shift or fit & flare dress for a special occasion. They’re super comfortable & I get so many compliments on them every time I wear them.

Additionally, they’re reduced in priced from $35.99 & have a 4/5 rating from over 7,000 reviews! However, one downside is that they’re not available for shoppers needing a wide width size.

Where are you shopping for all-year must-have items? Do you wear florals on your feet? What’s on your fall fashion wishlist? For more stylish posts, check out: kimono-inspired tops from Amazon in multiple colors, stylish patterned tights from Target, & Time & Tru’s latest dresses & cardigans! Happy Styling!

SHOP NOW!: The Best Summer-To-Fall Pants for Work & Play from Target!


During a recent black hole viewing of Instagram stories (I’m not the only one, am I?), I came across a blogger sharing their interpretation for summer-to-fall teacher outfits, including A New Day’s high-rise slim straight pull-on pants @Target ($25.00, available in sizes XS-4X). There are 2 qualities about these pants that I loved right away: 1. They’re pull-on. Ever since I’ve had my daughter, pants with zippers are the enemy & pull-on pants are my loyal subjects! 2. They’re available in 8 neutral, professional colors / patterns.

The variety includes navy (windowpane), black pinstriped, gray (plaid), gray (& black/purple houndstooth), cream, green, brown, & black. So far, I’ve ordered all, except the black because they weren’t available in my size, & I’ve received the navy & gray houndstooth. They’re very comfortable & run true to size. I love the length (being that I’m 5’3″).

For a professional day, they will pair nicely with a blouse-cardigan-ballet flat combination or a short sleeve sweater & statement necklace with mule heels. I’d love to style these pants for more than just work though. When headed somewhere more casual, I can see pairing the solid options with a dolman top & sandals or a printed tee & wedges. As always, the possibilities are endless! Check out some options by A New Day sold @Target below:

SHOP: short sleeve scoop neck t-shirt in dark pink ($5.00, available in sizes XS-XXL & 6 colors, shop plus here), raglan long sleeve tie-front top in black ($20.00, available in sizes XS-XXL & 9 colors / patterns, shop plus here), polo sweater in cream ($25.00, available in sizes XS-XXL & 4 colors), puff short sleeve v-neck top in brown ($18.00, available in sizes XS-XXL & 5 colors, shop plus here), dolman short sleeve plisse top in green ($18.00, available in sizes XS-XXL & 4 colors, shop plus here), & flutter sleeve tank top in green (on sale: $17.00, available in sizes XS-XXL & 7 colors, shop plus here).

Lastly, an outfit isn’t complete without some stylish (& affordable shoes). Target really knows what they’re doing when it comes to products in the line for A New Day as so many neutral pieces can be coordinated, especially with the pants:

SHOP: Millie twin gore slip-on sneakers in green ($14.99, available in sizes 5-12, wide width options, 6 colors), Thea mules in black ($19.99, available in sizes 5-12), Sue heels in blush ($29.99, available in sizes 5-12 & 2 colors), Corinna ballet flats in mahogany ($14.99, available in sizes 5-12, wide width options, 6 colors), Danica platform loafers in off-white ($32.99, available in sizes 5-12, wide width options, 2 colors), & Kiki mules in cognac ($29.99, available in sizes 5-12 & 3 colors).

Do you shop Target’s A New Day collection? What kind of pants do you wear to work? Do you prefer a pull-on pant or pants with a zipper? How would you style any of these separates? For more stylish posts, check out: the perfect organizer for your stylish wristwear needs from Amazon, blue & resin jewelry from LOFT, Time & Tru’s colorful totes from Walmart, & how to get Anne Hathaway’s breezy gauzy look for less! Happy Styling!

07/09/2022 Darling of the Day: Stranger Things Star Sadie Sink Appears on TODAY in a Floral Miu Miu Dress!


Now that volume two of Stranger Things‘ fourth season has finally hit Netflix, the show’s stars are talking up that major cliffhanger ending in preparation for a final fifth season. This week, Max Mayfield herself, portrayed by the always luminous Sadie Sink, hit the press circuit with an appearance on Today, wearing all Miu Miu in a floral prairie dress & kitten heel loafer slingbacks. The 20-year-old actress discussed not only “Running Up That Hill” by Kate Bush as Max’s escape song, which, by the way, is still charting strong, but also Netflix’s binge-worthy success with Stranger Things, her supportive family, and starring in Taylor Swift‘s short film for her song “All Too Well.”

The dress includes many classic summer dress elements, including the delicate floral print, button down closure, & puffed sleeves, adding maturity & retro style to the ensemble that is paired with an unexpected, though on-brand, menswear-inspired footwear choice. See below:

SHOP: long printed crepe de chine dress in pomegranate yellow / red ($3,900) & leather loafers with heel in white ($1,700) @Miu Miu.

However, if shopping the luxury price tag of Miu Miu isn’t in your budget realm (it’s not in mine, that’s for sure), I selected some look-alike summer dresses to recreate Sadie’s anytime look, which is perfect for work with a cardigan & pumps or weekend with flat sandals & a crossbody bag.

SHOP: 1. BebreezChic floral puff sleeve chiffon dress in yellow flowers (available in sizes XS-XL, $39.99 + $6 off coupon code on site) @Amazon, 2. SheIn allover print ruffle a-line maxi dress in multi color (available in sizes XS-L, $33.99) @Amazon, & 3. Agnes Orinda casual ditsy floral midi shirt dress in white (available in sizes 1X-4X, on sale: $34.99) @Target.

SHOP: 1. metallic chain decor slingback mules in white (available in sizes 6-10.5, $38.00) @Shein, 2. faux weave mule flats in white (available in sizes 6-10, on sale: $10.00) @Ardene, & 3. Nina loafer in white (available in sizes 6-10, on sale: $25.00) @New York & Company.

Do you like Sadie’s Miu Miu look for TODAY? Would you mix a floral dress with loafer heels? Have you been binging Stranger Things? Who is your favorite character from the show? For more stylish posts, check out: The Crown star Emma Corrin on the cover of Vogue‘s August 2022 issue, Kim Kardashian’s beauty regimen interview with Allure, a flashback to Cameron Diaz’s best red carpet looks, an entire any-day dress look from H&M for under $100, & Keira Knightley’s little black dress inspiration from Paris Fashion Week! Happy Styling!

Show Me the Shoes: Summer’s Perfect Laser Cut Ballet Flats!


If you’re the type of shopper to buy one of each (insert stylish vice here–mine are many!) in every color, then Ardene‘s Laser Cut Pattern Ballet Flats (sale: $10.43), where available in sizes 6-10, are the shoe for you! I recently bought the purple, yellow, & brown since I already have very similar black & white laser cut flats from previous years; however, this is a class summer style that will never go out of fashion.

I love the possibility of wearing any of these for any weekend family event, with a maxi dress & rose gold sunglasses, paired with tropic shorts & a bold tee, as well as for a concert or day of running errands. I love that I can feel my feet breathing, so to speak, & the fact that these shoes include a subtle cushion for my arch, offering support as I’m on the go, which isn’t always present in fast fashion flats.

Since this style is currently on sale for such a bargain-can’t-miss price, I might just go ahead & grade an extra pair of black & white flats to store for future seasons. However, my only wish is that these were also available in other pastel & neon hues, like a pistachio, powder blue, hot pink, or aqua. Perhaps, that would only fuel more of my penchant for variety.

How would you style these flats? Which colors are your favorites? What features do you look for in ballet flats? Do you prefer a laser cut pattern or a different style toe? For more recommended footwear from Ardene, check out: v-shaped vamp flats, pointy toe flats with chain, 2-band pool slides with buckles, braided platform slides, & quilted heeled sandals. Additionally, for more stylish posts, check out: affordable fruit fashion finds, classic gingham picks from Old Navy, Charlize Theron’s denim and Dior look, fashionable linen & cotton shorts from Walmart, & Beyonce’s British Vogue cover shoot! Happy Styling!

Martha Stewart’s New Shoe Line for Payless!


Over the years, there have been countless celebrity collaborations with designers & retailers, resulting in some memorable pieces that stand the test of time, or just turn into fading trend pieces that you might remember. However, one such celebrity is entering, or re-entering, the world of fashion with a new shoe collection for Payless. Martha Stewart, designer of all things luxury living, has created Martha Everyday exclusively for the affordable footwear retailer, featuring plenty of must-have shoes perfect for the holiday season & beyond, as well as the daily work grind. 

According to the lifestyle maven’s official website, Martha is “thrilled to partner with Payless to design a line of footwear that’s both beautiful and affordable.” She adds, “For as long as I’ve been in business my goal has been to deliver well-made, beautiful products to my audience, at the right price. Payless has the same goal, making them a perfect partner to collaborate with to create gorgeous shoes that our customers can afford.”

The collection includes some holiday staples, such as the Primrose ballet flats (in metallic neutrals & suede with a delicate scallop detail), Wayside mule slides, Laurels slingbacks, Haven kitten heels, & Highclere strappy sandals, as well as the new color “gilver,” which is a grey-silver combination with just enough sparkle to be easily integrated into your evening wardrobe rotation. Prices range $29.99 – $34.99, which is definitely an affordable buy (& it’s so easy to get a coupon for Payless to use on top of the  great price).

Haven

Highclere

Laurels

Primrose

Wayside

Which shoe is your favorite? How would you style these options? Where are you shopping for holiday shoes this season? For more shoe-related posts, click here, here, here, & here. Happy Styling!

Velvet: The Holiday Season’s Most Luxurious Texture!


When shopping for holiday must-haves, it’s easy to be attracted to the intricate details of jacquard, colors of tweed, lines of corduroy, & patterns of knits. However, when mixing & matching your favorite separates to prepare for a stylish season, there’s one texture that remains a constant (& it’s really affordable too). That’s velvet!

Right now @Old Navy, velvet is everywhere & affordable in tops (ranging in sizes XS-XXL) & shoes, perfect for coordinating with a printed pencil skirt, skinny jeans, trousers, & much more. What I love the most of these velvet items is their hue. Shoppers can easily enjoy the softest pastel pink & cream, but also go for something more dramatic a jewel tone or luxe charcoal.

camiglitter top

ruffle top

heelsflats

These pieces are easily transitional from day to night, especially when replacing a pendant necklace with a statement bauble, swapping out a pair of pants for a tiered skirt & patterned tights, or playing with layers of leather & silk too. Velvet gets me super excited for all of its styling possibilities, inspiring me to take a closer look at accessories with pearls, ribbons, studs, & mixed metals!

What textures do you like to wear in the fall-winter? What colors are your favorites for this time of year? For more posts on affordable fashion, click here, here, here, & here! Happy Styling!

Splurge or Save… on Lace Up Ballet Flats?


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

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

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

SHOP NOW! Clearance Tops, Dresses, Shoes, & More from TJ Maxx!


One of my favorite things to do when I wake up in the morning (without the ring of a rowdy alarm clock) is to check my email. While I’ve been trying to discipline myself to disconnect from technology a little more each day, especially in the summer where there’s just so much to do & plenty of fresh air & sunshine to take in, I can’t help but still be a little obsessed with clicking through emails from my favorite retailers, blogs, & fashion news sources. It’s like having my own personal fashion show & bargain shopping experience while I’m still in the comfort of my own bed. With that, I’ve created SHOP NOW!, a new category of blog posts here on Style Darling Daily where I’ll be sharing the most exciting fashion buys & sales from the day. These are the styles that make me do a double take, inspire me to explore the latest in fashion, & even get me excited to get ready for another stylish day. So let’s get to it!

Getting into the spirit of summer isn’t hard to do, but when you can’t find anything to wear (oh, I’ve been there!) & you’re on a budget, there are plenty of options to resolve your style rut! Classic tops, flirty dresses, chic shoes, & effortless accessories are the key ingredients to a summer of superb style. Right now, TJ Maxx is having a major clearance event with plenty of brand names items, seasonal essentials, & trendy must-haves for unbelievable prices. Keep in mind that when it comes to clearance sales, sizes & quantities are sometimes limited, but finding a last chance deal makes for a great story!

These tops are perfect for a cool night with a pair of skinny jeans, headed to the local festival in cut-off shorts & sandals, or mixing it up with capris & wedges for a sophisticated summer take.

SHOP: Kaktus cold shoulder ruffle top, Cable & Gauge lace cut-out top, Cupio off-the-shoulder flutter sleeve top, & Acemi plus flounce cami.

Like this season’s hottest summer tops, dresses with ruffles & cold shoulders are the way to go. These affordable & versatile dress options can be accessorized in so many ways with statement necklaces or layering chains, espadrilles or peep toe flats, & belted or not!

SHOP: Cece by Cynthia Steffe Jackie ruffle cold shoulder dress, Ellen Tracy floral scuba dress, Nine West cold shoulder printed dress, & London Times plus denim dress.

It wouldn’t be summer without a fun & flirty shoe. While I’m always touting comfort as my first shoe priority, I love how a neutral wedge offer balance & elegance to a floral frock, whereas something with interesting details like polka dots, a laser cut trim, or animal prints can really express your personality & create some lovely style memories.

SHOP: Style by Charles David ankle strap wedges, Charles by Charles David Becki cork wedges, Jessica Simpson Raffia d’orsay pumps, Nicole Miller leather scalloped peep toe flats, & Bahia leather thong sandals.

Playing with accessories can completely revamp an old favorite like a shirt dress or t-shirt & jeans. Seek out details like pattern or texture in your extras. When it comes to jewelry, a mix of sparkle & simplicity is always the best way to go,

SHOP: Jules Smith stars scarf, Under One Sky paradise charger clutch, Isabella M rose gold opal stud earrings, Mythologie choker, Trina Turk gold opal ring, & Lisa Freede rhodium chain bracelet.

Where are you shopping for your best summer deals? Which store emails do you wait for in the morning? What seasonal trends are you seeking on sale? What’s your summer shopping budget? Happy Styling!

Inside A Style Blogger’s Closet: My First Day of Spring Outfit!


For at least a good three weeks, I’ve been ready for spring. Here on Long Island, the weather has been so wishy-washy where there’d be an amazing sunny, spring-like day in the 60s, followed by a major yucky blizzard. This happened more than once recently too! My wardrobe has been feeling super bipolar as I’ve been wanting to wear lighter & softer pieces in pastels or florals, but there’s still a need for cozy layers to stay warm, especially since it’s been pretty chilly early in the morning… which brings me to today’s outfit. I don’t normally post a whole outfit that I’ve worn, partially because I don’t have access to a photographer (I live alone) on a daily basis. I’m lucky that my friends & coworkers at both of my jobs can spare a few minutes to indulge my style fancies & help me out with some spur-of-the-moment pics while on the clock, hence the sporadic sharing of whole outfit posts on my Instagram account (@MissAlissaL).

I absolutely love this floral fit-and-flare scuba skirt. It’s a style that I’ve been having a lot of fun with since last fall, one that’s perfect for tucking in with various tops, cinching in my waist & playing up a retro & ladylike vibe with modern flare. I’ve thought about styling this particular skirt in so may ways, pairing it with the different colors in the print, as well as with sparkly accessories. I’ve had the sheer dotted sweater in black (both pieces from @dressbarn) that I hadn’t worn yet. When I saw the two together, the sweater added just enough feminine detail at the neckline to counter the softness of the skirt without being too overpoweringly dark & black at the same time.

The accessories that I’m wearing in the picture above are no longer available (because I’ve had them each for quite some time now), but it’s easy to recreate a similar spring style with affordable look-alike coordinating statement jewelry, polished footwear, & a thin neutral belt. 

SHOP: floral statement necklace @Forever 21, Fola bib necklace @Charming Charlie, flower stud earrings @Francesca’s, & glitter stone drop earrings @Icing.

SHOP: gold trim platform peep toe pumps @Charlotte Russe, patent D’Orsay pumps @Old Navy, snake pointed toe flats @Express, & Hope chopout mid heel @Payless

SHOP: bow belt @Target, skinny mint belt @Lulu’s, gold snake belt @H&M, & black braided belt @JCPenney

What spring trends are you excited to wear this season? What pastel colors do you love? Which accessories do you build your outfit around? 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!

Show Me the Shoes: Affordable Fall Flats for the Office, Inspired by Emma Stone, Victoria Beckham, & More (Dedicated to Christine)!


I love getting inspired about fashion when chatting up my friends, & today’s post is no exception. My dear friend Christine, styling it up in New Jersey, recently shared her concerns about finding comfy, yet stylish flats for the office & my brain went spinning with inspiration. Given my crazy day-to-day schedule between two jobs & grad school, I’m constantly on the go, which also means that my collection of flats has grown exponentially with fashionable possibilities for a chic, professional look. To get started, I sought out some images of the best dressed A-listers wearing elements that make up a great work look, especially with a fall wardrobe on the brain.Angelina Jolie, Camilla Belle, Emma Stone, Emmy Rossum, Jennifer Lopez, & Karlie Kloss in flats.These celebrities include: Angelina Jolie, Camilla Belle, Emma Stone, Emmy Rossum, Jennifer Lopez, Karlie Kloss, Mandy Moore, Olivia Palermo, Pippa Middleton, Reese Witherspoon, Taylor Swift, & Victoria Beckham. Flats are certainly not a cop-out, adding a little extra splash of femininity against a cardigan & shirt pairing, sleek menswear look, blouse & trousers ensemble, & sheath dress.

Mandy Moore, Olivia Palermo, Pippa Middleton, Reese Witherspoon, Taylor Swift, & Victoria Beckham in flats.And for some affordable flats to amp up your office style, consider a few elements for an interesting look: pattern, texture, & shine, which will also help transition any Style Darling from day-to-night, as well as date & weekend. 

Show Me the Shoes - Affordable Fall Flats for the Office!SHOP: 1. loafers ($14.99) in navy @H&M (also available in black, camel, hot pink, & gray), 2. boucle pointed flats ($15.00, was $25.99) in black & white @Charlotte Russe, 3. stud flats ($15.00) in black @Wet Seal (also available in burgundy), 4. pointed patent flats ($19.90) in black @Forever 21 (also available in nude), 5. Gigi flats by Christian Siriano ($24.99, was $29.99) in wine @Payless (also available in black & taupe), & 6. lace pointed flats ($34.90) in black @Express.

What do you wear to work? What details do you look for when it comes to flats? Where do you shop for your favorite office footwear? For more stylish posts, check out affordable plaid accessories for fall, florals to wear this season from New York & Company & Hollister, capes & ponchos inspired by Gwen Stefani & Jamie Chung, & Olivia Palermo’s BaubleBar collaboration. Happy Styling!

Fabulous In 4 Ways: A Bold Statement Necklace For Under $12!


Although the holidays may be over, that doesn’t mean it’s time to put away your best & most sparkly accessories & that includes statement necklaces. I’m pretty new to the bauble club, but I’m having fun experimenting with different ways to wear the bold piece of jewelry, which is what inspired my latest post for Fabulous in 4 Ways. I’m excited to explore the variety of style choices one can make with a statement necklace, especially when headed out for a day off of lunch with the girls, to the office for a big meeting, a cocktail party on a date, or a weekend getaway trip.

Coco Rocha, Katy Perry, Emma Roberts, Olivia Palermo, Molly Sims, & Jamie King in statement necklaces.Statement necklaces have been a prominent go-to accessory for celebrities over the years, including supermodel Coco Rocha, pop star Katy Perry in Amrapali, actress Emma Roberts, style icon Olivia Palermo, Molly Sims in a floral necklace, & Hart of Dixie‘s Jamie King.

To start this project, I choose the statement necklace ($11.98) in black & gold from Target, which has just enough glitz & glam to dress up several combinations of basics with prints & rich textures.

Target - statement necklace $11.98.

For daytime, I love the ease of this look & how just one piece instantly adds some punch against the backdrop of casual separates. Also, the necklace is successful over a basic blouse & colorblock look for a fashionable office environment, playing up your personality, yet still remaining professional.

Fabulous in 4 Ways - Day & Work

SHOP day look: sweater ($24.80) @Forever 21, jeans ($19.99) @Zara, & ballet flats ($44.10) @Bon Ton. SHOP work look: top ($25.00) @Topshop, skirt ($34.11) @ASOS, & shoes ($32.99) @Charlotte Russe.

When headed to a cocktail party, a statement necklace is just the piece to elevate a classic LBD, sheath, or lace frock. Lastly, when taking a road trip for the weekend, a statement necklace is perfectly interchangeable when considering how to efficiently pack to get the most out of your wardrobe.  

Fabulous in 4 Ways - Cocktail & Weekend

SHOP cocktail look: dress ($49.99) @ModCloth, sandal ($19.94) @DSW, & clutch ($15.00) @Payless. SHOP weekend look: sweater ($19.97) @New York & Company, sweat pants ($41.30) @Last Call, booties ($44.99) @Nine West, & cardigan ($18.99) @Kohl’s.

For more statement necklace inspiration, I choose a few more styles that are both affordable & adjustable to any neckline for any outfit.

statement necklaces.

SHOP: gothic collar necklace ($16.00) @Boo Hoo, marquise necklace ($15.00) @Charming Charlie, tribal necklace ($12.90) @Forever 21, & pharaoh bib necklace ($20.00) @Bauble Bar.

Which way would you wear a statement necklace? What’s your favorite go-to piece of jewelry? Do you mix p your wardrobe staples to create new, stylish options? For more fashionable posts, check out Natalie Portman’s Dior look for less, full red carpet galleries from the Critics Choice Awards & this year’s Golden Globes, Runway Rundown lookbooks from Jenny Packham & Alice + Olivia, & affordable fashion inspired by HBO’s Girls. Happy Styling!

Inside A Style Blogger’s Closet: New Year, New Bargains from LOFT, Target, & More!


One of my resolutions for 2015 includes spending less money on my wardrobe, mostly because I just don’t have as much space as I’d like for all of my favorite shopping finds. In a last stitch (no pun intended) effort to grab some must-haves, I asked Santa for a few essentials & picked up some great buys with all of the post-holiday sales / coupon deals.

Inside A Style Blogger's ClosetSHOP: rose garden cardigan ($49.99) @LOFT (extra 60% off sale styles – no code needed), belted chevron dress ($46.00) @Dress Barn (code 687 for 20% off in-stores), Xhilaration tights ($6.00) in burgundy @Target (5% off when you use your Target Red Card), & Chelsea flat ($19.99) in silver / gold @Payless (code 251458739 for 15% off, expires 1/4).

What bargains are you shopping for this season? Which stores are you hitting up for post-holiday deals? For more stylish posts, be sure to check out the Top 10 Style Darlings to Watch For in 2015, Oscar de la Renta’s Pre-Fall 2015 Collection, 365 best dressed looks from 2014, & bargain-priced scarves from Forever 21. Happy Styling!

#BlackFriday Sale Update: GOjane’s Major Deals on Shoes, Belts, Jewelry, & More!


I love a store where I can find great deals on accessories that I didn’t even know I wanted, but I’m always up for seeking out metallic details, fun florals, animal prints, texture, & sparkle in the special extras that really bring an outfit to life. When looking through all of my #BlackFriday emails, I kept the one for GOjane nearby, knowing that I was going to have to talk about it in a post. Well, here it is, with deals ranging from 25-60% off & FREE SHIPPING on orders $50 or more!

GOjaneSHOP: leopard belt ($10.38), studded heels ($20.28), floral heels ($17.78), wallet ($9.78) in red, suede flats ($12.95) in blue, & pointy flats ($9.95) in lavendar @GOjane.

For more stylish posts on Black Fridat deals, check out Gap’s cozy fair isle pieces for 50% off, accessories from New York & Company for 50% off, & luxe holiday picks from The Limited. Happy Styling!

#BlackFriday Sale Update: New York & Company’s Entire Website Is 50% Off!


In keeping with all of the latest #BlackFriday deals, I wanted to mix things up & show some accessories that will not only make perfect gifts, but will definitely spruce up any winter wardrobe rut you’re in. New York & Company‘s entire website is 50% off & it’s hard not to want to shop everything. I know I’m always looking for extras to mix up with my casual, party, & professional looks, which is also why I’ve picked the items below!

New York & CompanySHOP: heart tights ($8.00), scarf ($12.99), stretch bracelet ($8.00), studded flat ($24.00), & opague tights ($8.00) @New York & Company.

For more Black Friday shopping, check out previous posts, including my picks from TJ Maxx, must-haves from The Limited, & holiday-ready items from Francesca’s! Happy Styling!

Splurge or Save… on Bowed Ballet Flats?


‘Tis the season for texture & glamour! There’s one trend covering that & it’s bowed ballet flats in black with a gold metallic detail. This style has caught my eye on all price points, starting with luxury fashion brands, trickling down to affordable retail department stores. Whether you’re shopping for velvet, suede, or patent leather, the mixture with a luxe gold accent is sure to complete any on-the-go look, or chic professional ensemble. Try mixing these styles with a skinny jeans & cardigan outfit when jet setting for a comfortable day of travel, a sheath dress & statement necklace for a family dinner, or a blouse & pencil skirt for a job interview.

Bow Ballet flats - Salvatore Ferragamo @Saks Fifth Avenue $475.00, Kate Spade New York @FootNotesOnline $198.00, MICHAEL Michael Kors @Neiman Marcus $125.00, ALDO @DSW $39.95, & Forever 21 $22.90.

The above flats range in price, but investing in high style doesn’t have to be limited to a working girl’s budget. Shop: Salvatore Ferragamo Varina flats ($475.00) @Saks Fifth Avenue, Kate Spade New York Tock flats ($198.00) @FootNotesOnline, MICHAEL Michael Kors Kiera flats ($125.00) @Neiman Marcus, ALDO Lovecia flats ($39.95) @DSW, & faux leather flats ($22.90) @Forever 21.

For more fashionable posts, be sure to check out Gwyneth Paltrow’s Marilyn Monroe-inspired ad campaign for Max Factor, Jennifer Lopez’s wide leg pants trend, & holiday-ready accessories ideas for the season! Happy Styling!

Color Me Style: Breaking The Brown & Black Mixing Myth (Dedicated to Christine)!


In an effort for some variety, I turned to my dear friend Christine for some blog inspiration. Of course, there’s plenty of great deals out there this weekend with all of the Black Friday sales, but I was intrigued by her question about mixing black & brown, as in boots & dress, or belt & bag. 2013 is  a year to break the rules with accessories coordination & knowing which hues work best for your look, despite the myths that these colors don’t work together!

Walmart - waistband dress $14.00, Payless - riding boots $29.99, H&M - leather belt $12.95, & Dress Barn - disc earrings $12.00.

The first look I’m featuring shows a casual chic way to reinterpret a little black dress, including brown accessories: Faux leather waistband dress ($14.00) in black @WalmartBrash Zane riding boot ($29.99) in cognac @Payless, Glitter disc earrings ($12.00) in brown @Dress Barn, & leather belt ($12.95) in brown @H&M.

Target - sweater dress $29.99, Forever 21 - chain necklace $12.80, JC Penney - stretch bead bracelets $7.95, & DSW - NYLA flat $19.95.

To dress up a flattering brown sweater dress, I’ve picked some luxe black accessories to make this look perfect & effortless for the holidays. Here’s what we’re working with: Mossimo long sleeved sweater dress ($29.99) in brown heather @Target, sleek curb chain necklace ($12.80) in black / gold @Forever 21, & black bead & shell stretch bracelet ($7.50) in black / gold @JC Penney, & NYLA Elanino flat ($19.94) in black @DSW.

Other style myths worth breaking are the navy & black combination, as well as wearing gold & silver jewelry. There are so many ways around a clashing look, and often mixing metals & textures can be even more fabulous! For more shopping posts, check out fashionable flats on sale for Black Friday, stylish sweater steals from The Limited & Old Navy, & ladylike stud earrings from Lauren Conrad’s Kohl’s collection! Happy Styling!

Show Me The Shoes: Fun Flats For Fall From Old Navy!


Fall fashion is all around us & I wanted to embrace the latest must-haves with a new post featured in Show Me The Shoes, including some stylish flats from Old Navy, one of my favorite stores to find affordable fashions & extra cherry-on-top great deals! I’m excited to pull out my past-season steals with new items, including fun & flirty shoes for any Style Darling on the go!

All for under $25 each, I can already picture these with different outfits, mixing prints & textures for a day at the office, heading to class at night, or when I’m out & about with the girls on the weekend. I especially love the trendy details like jeweled accents, ankle-straps & buckles, pointy toes, delicate bows, & cap toes.

Old Navy

I recommend the embellished ballet flat ($24.94) in asparagus, printed ballet flat ($22.94) in coral print, printed cap toe flat ($22.94) in black/white dots, & pointed ankle flat ($22.94) in clay mate.

What’s your ballet flat style? Where are you shopping for shoes this fall? For more posts featuring fabulous shoes, check out H&M’s studded heels, Nine West suede booties, luxury look-alike sandals from Neiman Marcus, & Nicole Kidman’s debut as spokesmodel for Jimmy Choo! Happy Styling!

Basics For A Bargain: It’s Finally Spring & Finally Time For Florals!


There’s still a chill in the air here in New York, but it’s finally starting to look like spring. There’s change in the air & I know I’m really excited about it- & not just for my change in wardrobe. However, speaking of spring fashions, the go-to print of the season is florals & I couldn’t turn my back the trend, especially when I’ve been seeing it everywhere! For example, A-list celebs have been wearing florals even during the winter, ushering in the warmer season. Miranda Kerr is all smiles in a floral skirt with a leather Prada tote while taking in the day in Sydney. Elizabeth Olsen mixed her floral top with a mustard coat & skinny jeans. Actress Diane Kruger attended a press event for Farewell, My Queen in a 10 Crosby Derek Lam ensemble.

Miranda Kerr, Elizabeth Olsen, Diane Kruger, Selena Gomez, Jessica Chastain, & Dianna Agron.

Superstar Selena Gomez hit the SXSW Festival in a matching bustier & skirt by Dolce & Gabbana. Two-time Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain wears an Erdem sheath dress with nude Christian Louboutins. Lastly, former Glee star Dianna Agron attended a luncheon with The Hollywood Reporter in an Oday Shakar floral dress with suede Jimmy Choo heels.

Not to mention that there have been plenty of florals hitting the runways this year, including luxe vintage from Valentino, 80s-inspired rocker chic designs from Betsey Johnson, youthful & bright patterns from Tracy Reese, Lanvin‘s elegant & sophistication, & Erdem‘s playful & refreshing angle on flowers.

Valentino, Betsey Johnson, Tracy Reese, Lanvin, & Erdem.

Whether it’s on clothing, accessories, or mixed & match (which I only recommend doing with caution), I made a few selections from some of my favorite stores to share how you can wear the latest floral pieces on a budget! The best piece to start building the perfect spring wardrobe is a dress, like the Merona sleeveless tulip wrap dress ($19.00) from Target, which has recently been marked down from its original $24.99 price. The flattering wrap shape is perfect for accentuating your shape & the navy background adds a regal touch is paired with basketweave espadrilles or bright ballet flats. Next is the LC Lauren Conrad floral ruffle tank ($25.20) from Kohl’s, which is a feminine topper piece to wear with dark denim jeans, white skinny pants, or a denim skirt.

Don’t be afraid of florals on your bottom half, especially with the 4 1/2″ belted printed flat front shorts ($32.94) from Express, which add some tropical flair to your look & will dress down a lace blouse. I love the idea of sequins with florals & this skirt ($34.95) from H&M is a stylish marriage of both. This will pair nicely with a chambray button down shirt for a fashionable day out & about or with a solid pullover & pointy toe pumps for a date. Lastly, floral pants are also one of the biggest trends this season, especially in a looser cut to provide plenty of flow & movement, which is why I choose the Full Tilt skinny harem pants ($24.99) from Tilly’s. The chic black, gray, & white color combination is understated & can be coordinated with pastel pieces like coral or mint.

As for accessories, these bright colors will make your outfit pop, especially since they’re so effortless to match with wardrobe essentials. For example, the sequin tulip print pumps ($27.80) from Forever 21 are flirty & will add extra dimension to cuffed jeans & a ruffled top. Also, for a more subtle floral shoe, the novelty ballet flats ($39.95) from Gap. The soft pink & red tones in the shoe can offset any striped tee & jeans look in a ladylike way.

Part of what I love about spring is that I can still wear scarves, which can bring a lot to a look, like the ground floral scarf ($14.99) from Payless for a denim jacket & LBD with ankle strap platforms or a maxi dress & cargo vest with gladiator flats. Lastly, I’m not really a hat kind of girl, but in some cases, you need to protect your face from the harsh rays of the sun, especially this early in the season, which is why I picked the pop floral baseball cap ($8.99) from Charlotte Russe.

What do you think about the latest floral trend? Which pieces would you wear? What’s your spring wardrobe budget? For more affordable fashion posts, check out how to get Drew Barrymore’s latest look without breaking the bank, suede studded loafers, the best green pieces for spring, a budget-friendly spring look with pieces from Old Navy & American Eagle Outfitters. Happy Styling!