Color Me Style: Spring Into Neon Yellow This Season!


Last month I blogged about neon blouses at different price points, sharing the big neon trend that will help Style Darling transition from winter to spring. I’ve seen so much in stores lately in neons, especially in the highlighter yellow variety in tops, dresses, pants, skirts, & accessories, which are perfect for mixing with essentials like dark denim jeans, crisp white pieces, & other bold separates.

Neons have been on the rise for quite a while now, especially on the red carpet & seen on celebrities on the street. This includes Indian beauty Freida Pinto in a lace Atelier Versace peplum gown at the Cannes Film Festival. Also, Jennifer Lopez‘s honey-hued glow looks even more chic in a long-sleeved Michael Kors sheath dress with hot pink pumps by Casadei. Hollywood it-girl Chloe Grace Moretz was all smiles at the People’s Choice Awards in a floral Simone Rocha party dress with black ankle-strap pumps.

Freida Pinto, Jennifer Lopez, CHloe Moretz, Kristen Stewart, & Beyonce Knowles.

At last summer’s Comi-Con, Twilight actress Kristen Stewart mixed a neon BCBG Max Azria skirt with a cropped tee & leather Barbara Bui high tops. Beyoncé knew about the neon trend a few years ago when she hit the streets of Manhattan with neon accessories, including a straw hat & ankle-strap platform sandals with an over-sized tank & grey shorts.

One thing to keep in mind when it comes to neons is that you must wear them in moderation. I did recently show neon yellow in a head-to-toe monochromatic look in a Basics for a Bargain post, however these separates & dresses are perfect for any style. For example, the Prabal Gurung ruffle dress ($39.99) & Mossimo ponte colorblock v-neck dress ($27.99) from Target are timeless & affordable essentials to wear at the office with a blazer or for date night with some textured pumps. Also, Expresssplit back dolman sweater ($23.94), Forever 21‘s contrast racerback trapeze tank ($6.80), & New York & Company‘s two-pocket blouse ($20.00) are cute, affordable, & versatile tops to mix with patterned pants, colorful jeans, or neutral pencil skirts. The varying neon hues from bright & bold to soft & near-pastel are elegant & modern.  

Next, the cropped high rise trousers ($19.80) from Forever 21 are ideal for elongating the legline if you dare to wear neon on your bottom half. Also, for a softer look with neon, I recommend the Worthington colorblocked pleated skirt ($25.00) from JC Penney for a white scoop neck tee or a lacy button-down blouse. You always see celebs wearing shorts & the H&M shorts ($29.95) can work for both casual & dressy occasions, if paired with pointy toe heels, ballet flats, or a sleeveless top.

As for accessories, a neon pop of color is always a great choice. Bags that I just couldn’t resist sharing are the Nine West tech mini cross body bag ($19.95) from DSW & H&M‘s clutch ($24.95). Not to mention chic jewelry pieces like the BCBGeneration Le Piaget neon & crystals stretch bracelet ($24.99) from 6PM & enamel coated stretch ring ($6.00) from Charlotte Russe can turn a day look into something ready for cocktail hour. Lightweight gauzy scarves are always fun to consider with your casual look when you’re running errands or headed out shopping with girlfriends, which is why I picked the plaid scarf ($29.95) from Gap to wear with a denim jacket, leather bomber, or twill blazer.

We can’t talk about neon without mentioning shoes, which are always my favorite part of an outfit! I selected the Prabal Gurung pointy toe pump ($39.99) from Target, neon cap toe ballet flats ($19.99) from American Eagle Outfitters, & Forever 21‘s neon strap platform sandals ($26.80).

What do you think about the neon trend? Would you wear it? Do you like the pieces of clothing or prefer the accessories? Which trends are you following this season? For more posts on affordable fashion, check out spring must haves from Old Navy & Payless, stylish stilettos from Forever 21, all-white looks inspired by Kerry Washington & Emmy Rossum, stylish stud earrings for any occasion, & the latest collection for Kohl’s by Lauren Conrad! Happy Styling!

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Basics For A Bargain: Monochromatic Looks To Brighten Up Any Season, Wardrobe, & Budget!


It’s not often that I wear monochromatic looks, but when I do, it’s usually either black or gray. These are go-to colors that I know I can always mix & match with each other, especially when I’m headed to work & am looking for something chic & fluid to wear. I was inspired by monochrome outfits during my last photo shoot of pictures of myself to post on Style Darling (see the all-green sweater & pants look, for example).

Since I started covering Runway Rundown here, I noticed the dominance of monochromatic designs, especially for the 2013 runways. This includes Calvin Klein Collection with a multi-textural caramel look, Michael Kors‘ lemon yellow duds, Elie Saab‘s cobalt crush, Salvatore Ferragamo using neutral beige, Christopher Kane‘s all-white ensemble, Bottega Veneta‘s brick menswear-inspiration, & BCBG Max Azria‘s flowing black separates.

Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, Elie Saab, Salvatore Ferragamo, Christopher Kane, Bottega Veneta, & BCBG Max Azria.

Taking a cue from the runways, there have been plenty of color-on-color red carpet apperances. Celebrities who’ve donned monochromatic looks include Michelle Williams who attended the New York Times Arts & Leisure Weekend event in head-to-toe black with a belted mini, tights, & suede booties. Fashion icon Alexa Chung breaks up her nearly-monochromatic look in an oxblood turtleneck by Versus & leather zip-up mini with lasercut flats. Country songstress Taylor Swift went for a more mature look in a custom-made all-white suit by J. Mendel at last year’s MTV Video Music Awards. Victoria Beckham looks nothing short of amazing in her nude sheath dress design with Brian Atwood pumps. Lastly, back in 2009, Penelope Cruz dazzles in a three-piece scarlett suit by Bottega Veneta at the London premiere of Broken Embraces with two-tone strappy sandals.

Michelle Williams, Alexa Chung, Taylor Swift, Victoria Beckham, & Penelope Cruz.

Now that we’ve seen what’s going on inside the pages of our favorite magazines & who’s wearing what on the runways, I wanted to show how anyone can wear a monochromatic look without breaking your budget. What’s great about finding identical tones is the crisp & clean look that it creates & that’s where you can have fun with accessorizing with a sparkling scarf, baubled cocktail rings, bib necklaces, embossed handbags, & so on. In these looks, I have included at least one accessory, but it’s simply a suggestion & option to really bring the look together & in most cases (except for the teal look) still fits within budget.

First, I’ve been thinking about coral, ever since a post from The $100 Challenge where I featured a coral dress for the holidays, but I just love the softness of the color, which is perfect for any skintone. It instantly adds some natural rosiness to your cheeks & always looks feminine. The studded Peter Pan collar shirt ($22.80) from Forever 21 already has some built-in detail with the gold that helps frame your face. This matches perfectly with Target‘s Mossimo ankle pant ($27.99) & the sueded uber platform pumps ($12.50) from Charlotte Russe, which have just been reduced from their original $32.50 price. Lastly, I fell in love with the art deco-inspired spike triangle earrings ($8.77) from ASOS, which add a rose gold luxury to such a relaxed, yet sophisticated outfit. Also, if you want to break up these pieces to create a trendy or unexpected look, mix things up with dark denim skinnies, cap toe ballet flats, a silk boyfriend blazer, or metallic belt.

I’ve also been seeing a neon opportunity for your wardrobe for quite some time now. Of course, this color is to be worn confidently & with caution. We all want to look so good we stop traffic, but this look with highlighter yellow or electric lime tones could almost guarantee such a result. It all started with the a.n.a. perfect skinny corduroy pants ($17.00) from JC Penney that I spotted sometime before the holidays, but now they’re marked down & I’m excited to see how these might be worn for the rest of the winter & into spring. I paired these with the boatneck banded bottom tee ($29.90) from Express & Forever 21‘s faux suede pumps ($29.80). While any gold, white lacquered, or lucite jewelry will enhance this look, Alloy‘s Zahara neon necklace ($19.90) was just irresistible, thanks to a search on ShopStyle for matching accessories. Also, for more ideas on how to wear these pieces, consider other neutrals like charcoal, black, & navy, as well as classic patterns like polka dots, houndstooth, & plaid.

Coral, Neon, Teal, & Fuchsia.

I found myself a little troubled when looking for coordinating pieces for my teal ensemble- ones that wouldn’t make me go over budget, but… I did. Sometimes that happens when you find absolutely must-have pieces. I just adore this color (on me!) & think it’s a bold way to reinterpret greens & blues since it falls so beautifully in the middle. While checking out the newest arrivals @New York & Company, I found the satiny pleated from belted blouse ($29.95), which instantly made me think to find a skirt. Then the Grace Elements teal skirt with yoke ($24.99) from Loehmann’s was a perfect fit, especially if you’re trying to refresh your work wardrobe. For an extra fun touch, @Steve Madden, the Intrude pumps ($34.99) are just what this look needed to add some texture & despite the myth of material, these can be worn any time of the year. Finally, the Croft & Barrow jet bead hoop drop earrings ($12.00) from Kohl’s put the look just a bit over $100, but you can always keep this affordable by wearing favorites that you may already own like diamond stud earrings or something in silver.

My final look goes out to my plus-size Style Darlings because I think a berry tone is perfect for any shape & any woman. I shopped Wet Seal‘s plus section to find the 3/4 sleeve belted blouse ($18.99) on sale, which comes with a detachable belt, perfect for wearing over a cardigan or jersey dress to help enhance your curves. To keep this look balanced & figure-flattering, the roz & ALI stretch colored jeggings ($19.99) from Dress Barn helped complete the bottom half, especially since they’re available in sizes 14-24. I found the Rocket Dog Monica flat ($24.94) @DSW, which would also help dress down a shirt dress, work if paired with a denim skirt & sweater, or contrast a ruffled blouse & dolman top. My final piece to this looks is the neon metallic teardrop earring ($5.80) from Forever 21, which would sparkle for a date night in an LBD or look cute with a mod shift dress.

Do you wear a monochromatic look? Which colors are you most drawn to? Do you prefer matchy-matchy pieces or like to contrast with colorblocking? For more from Basics For A Bargain, check out posts including outerwear inspired by Kate Middleton & Gwen Stefani, pointy toe heels as seen on Mandy Moore & Miranda Kerr, & how to copy separates looks like Kate Hudon & Kristen Stewart! Also, for more affordable looks under $100, check out a sleek black & silver cocktail look, building with black textured accessories, & how to wear a leopard wrap dress! Lastly, be sure to click on over to Color Me Style for the latest trends in yellow with some help from Emmy Rossum & Kim Kardashian, all-black looks like Jennifer Lawrence & Kate Moss, & black & white ensembles like Jessica Alba & Julianne Hough! Happy Styling!

Luxury Look-Alikes For Less: Featuring Fierce & Affordable Leopard Skirts!


I’m a very big fan of animal prints (when worn sparingly), although my print of choice is always almost zebra for its classic black & white color combo. It’s seemingly coy, yet still perfect for accessorizing with radiant reds, blooming blues, or a natural neutral! It’s been a while since I went out the hunt for some Luxury Look-Alikes For Less, so I was clicking through my emails & found a sale going on @BCBG Max Azria. I wanted to check out these supposed sale items & while I love the designs of glittery skirts, flattering trousers, & lacy tops, these were still beyond my budget.  This Simone leopard jacquard skirt ($168.00) is probably worth every penny & will last a very long time for virtually any season. When it comes to a print like this, especially on a skirt, the shoe possibilities are nearly endless when you consider a classic round toe pump, a daring embossed pointed toe stiletto, zip-up knee boots, or gladiator platforms. 

In a fury of fashion & frugality (go with me on this) I clicked around on Forever 21‘s website only to rejoice in finding the leopard knee length skirt ($12.80), which is perfect to pair with a crisp button-down shirt, silky cami, simple tee, or sequined tank.  For my Style Darlings who wear plus sizes, the Jessica London pencil skirt ($69.99), is available in sizes 12 – 28.  Although the prices have quite the range for my lovely look-alikes, I can’t emphasize enough how flattering & versatile this piece is.  A pencil skirt lasts & you can reinvent it with over & over again with some layered beads, a cropped cardigan, or metallic belt.  Happy Styling!

Magazine Must-Haves: March Madness Means More Style, Especially With Selena Gomez!


After finally sifting through the piles & piles of magazines that I’ve been neglecting, I was so happy that spring is just around the corner (even though in New York, it feels like it’s here).  To help usher in the new season, Selena Gomez is doing double duty this March on the covers of both People Style Watch & Cosmopolitan.

I kept my focus on the great style featured in PSW, one of my favorite style / fashion mags & loved these three looks worn by Selena, which are of course from some months back, but still show off her youthful & flirty side, perfect for preparing your wardrobe for the spring.  First we see Selena in a white BCBG Max Azria Grecian-inspired mini dress with some major shoes by Sergio Rossi.  She mixes professional with cute in a corset by Matthew Williamson under black trousers & a shrunken blazer with Giuseppe Zanotti Design pointed toe bowed shoes.  Lastly, at the 2011 MTV Movie Awards, Selena looked refined, fresh, & glamorous in a top by Giambattista Valli with a two-tone mini skirt, Casadei silver shoes, & a clutch by Cecelia.

Some of my favorite pieces from PSW’s March issue include those pictured to the left.  If you haven’t heard already, designer Jason Wu has created an amazing line of clothing & accessories for Target, including the flap satchel ($49.99).  Michelle Obama, Diane Kruger, & Shailene Woodley are fans of the designer, who I wrote about on Culture Mob, in my column A Dash of Fashion.

Ditch the old frumpy cardigan & try a floral kimono cardigan ($24.80) like this one from Forever 21 to wear with your favorite white tee & jeans.  The soft flowiness of the top is also perfect for wearing over a little black or white dress, if you’re looking to dress it down for a more casual, but stylish event.  For more flowy jackets like this, check out some of my picks @Macy’s, Charlotte Russe, & Torrid.

I was also very excited to recently read about Ivanka Trump‘s latest collection, which is sold @Lord & Taylor & Macy’s.  This includes the very chic ‘Ivana’ silk top ($115.00), which is out of my typical shopping budget’s price, but hopefully these styles will go on sale soon! The line includes very stylish, muted handbags which are perfectly neutral to match with any tailored suit or spring dress when the weather gets warmer.  Also, the shoes are fabulous, including evening sandals, sexy pumps, casual flats, & classic boots.

Speaking of shoes, I couldn’t help buy gasp when I saw the Fioni ‘Kutzie’ knot pump ($29.99) in navy from Payless in the pages of the magazine since I’ve been eyeing them when I returned home from Italy a few weeks ago.  If you’re not a fan of the navy with the stripes, have no fear, the shoes also come in luxe black patent leather, as well as a sexy nude with suede details at the peep toe. If you plan on buying these shoes online, use the coupon code 65634 for 20% off & it expires on 3/19/12.

For more on Selena Gomez from Style Darling, take a look back at Red Carpet Review for her outfit changes when she hosted the MTV Europe Music Awards & also an older Darling of the Day post where Selena’s cute in pink with some fierce Christian Louboutins!

Where are you shopping for the latest spring clothes? Which magazines do you turn to for the best style advice? Which trends are your going after for the upcoming change of seasons? Happy Styling!

Black Friday Sale Update: 50% Off Sweaters, Outerwear, Leather, & Boots @BCBG Max Azria!


To start off with my Black Friday Sale Updates, I’m sharing info form an email that I received from BCBG Max Azria, where there will be a 50% off sale on all sweaters, outerwear, leather, & boots! I don’t normally shop in the store b/c of the higher price points, but for this holiday season, if you’re looking to treat a good friend with a fine-quality article of clothing, or even if you’re looking to put together a fun holiday party look for yourself, BCBG Max Azria would be a good place to start! However, the sale ends on Monday, 11/28!

My favorite pick from the store’s sale is the cropped wrap sweater ($44.00) in pink flush.  It’s also available in light heather gray, perfect for going over a summer dress that you want to add layers to for cold weather nights.

Also, for those who love to read my Super Style Wishlist posts, I selected these fierce boots, which are also in sale.  For an extra touch of faux fur, check out the ‘Mary’ shearling boot ($187.50), which would pair nicely with some embellished leggings & a chunky knit.  Also, the ‘Veronica’ studded ankle boot ($162.50) adds a rocker vibe if you’re wearing a satin mini dress with opague tights. Happy Styling!