Style Tip: No Ordinary Stripe Tops for Summer & Fall!


Whenever I see a garment or item, the imaginative wardrobe archive in my mind starts churning out options of how to style it. I love considering how a statement necklace can be worn with both a dress and blouse, as well as how a jacket can transform other separates. It’s very rare that I invest in an item that I can only wear one way, although there are some outfits that I’ve repeated because it just feels perfect, which is usually the case, I find, with summer clothing.

I was immediately inspired by the jersey top with ruffles @H&M as soon as I saw it an email I recently received. I began to consider its styling possibilities. I love the subtle ruffle sleeve detail, which elevates it as a trend piece above other long sleeve tops. I was a little hesitant to share this one top specifically & singularly because it is only available in sizes XS – XL. I’ve been on a mission to blog about pieces that can reach readers of any size or shape, which is why I set out to find another trendy red & white striped top for plus size shoppers too. That’s how I found the Belle + Sky off the shoulder top @JCPenney, another unique & fashionable shirt that’s a step above the ordinary stripe tee & can transform your summer style.

However, when looking at clothes, I also like to consider how many seasons a piece is relevant for, which is why I’m styling both tops with affordable options for the summer (because there is still plenty of the season left to enjoy!) and fall (an exciting time to play with texture).

SHOP SUMMER: zipper skirt @H&M, sandal flats @Payless, grape pom pom tote @Forever 21, palm tree earrings @Charming Charlie, & hammered gold necklace @Charming Charlie. SHOP FALL: ankle jeans @dressbarn, suede d’Orsay flats @Nine West, utility vest @Target, triangle studs @Charming Charlie, & satchel @Charming Charlie.

Stripes should never be feared by any shopper, especially when an off the shoulder trendy top is both flattering and versatile when headed to a night on the boardwalk or with a fall business casual ensemble.

SHOP SUMMER: shorts @Old Navy, wedges @Francesca’s, heart clutch @Express, necklace @Express, & charm bracelet @Forever 21. SHOP FALL: pixie pants @Old Navy, denim jacket @Lane Bryant, satchel @dressbarn, BCBGeneration heels @DSW, LC Lauren Conrad stud earrings @Kohl’s, & @LC Lauren Conrad layered pendant necklace @Kohl’s.

What items do you carryover from season to season? Where do you like to shop for trendy tops? What’s your philosophy on rewearing pieces in new ways? Do you like preppy & classic red & white stripes? For more fashionable posts, check out Charming Charlie’s pretty $5 stud earrings, Rachel Bilson’s Old Navy denim inspiration, cute olive pieces to transition from summer to fall, & the only navy heels you’ll ever need. Happy Styling!

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06/26/2015 Darling of the Day: Chloe Grace Moretz’s Coach Tee & Leather Mini Look for Less!


Actress Chloe Grace Moretz might only be eighteen years old, but her sense of style exceeds her age. She’s a designer darling & can do no wrong, while still looking youthful & sophisticated when hitting the red carpet & making appearances for press events. This week, she made a splash supporting Coach in the brand’s sheer collar tee & leather mini skirt with a navy crossbody bag & sleek ankle strap sandals at the Coach 2015 Summer Party on the Highline. This effortless luxury look is easy to duplicate, especially for a Style Darling on the a budget. Without cutting out your favorite tee for a collarless look, I recommended the below affordable outfit, including a pointy beaded bib necklace to dress up a staple tee.

Chloe Grace Moretz in a faux-collard knit tee & black leather mini skirt, both by Coach, with a navy Coach crossbody bag & black ankle strap sandals at the Coach 2015 Summer Party on the Highline. 1. crew-neck tee ($7.50) in charcoal @Old Navy, 2. French Connection faux leather mini skirt ($44.80) in black @Dillard's, 3. bib necklace ($12.25) @Swell, 4. BCBGeneration crossbody Zooey bag ($17.39) in navy @Bluefly, & 5. Michael Antonio ankle strap sandals ($20.23) in black @Nordstrom Rack.

SHOP: 1. crew-neck tee ($7.50, was $8.50) in charcoal @Old Navy, 2. French Connection faux leather mini skirt ($44.80, was $128.00) in black @Dillard’s, 3. bib necklace ($12.25, was $24.50) @Swell, 4. BCBGeneration crossbody Zooey bag ($17.39, was $48.00) in navy @Bluefly, & 5. Michael Antonio ankle strap sandals ($20.23, was $45.00) in black @Nordstrom Rack.

How do you like to dress up a basic tee? Do you wear leather or faux leather pieces in the summer? Which celebrity dons your favorite summer style? For more fashionable posts, check out must-have statement jewelry for summer inspired by Kate Hudson & Selena Gomez,  Lily James’ Ralph Lauren look for less, Eddie Borgo’s new collection for Target, & Cara Delevingne’s menswear-inspired look. Happy Styling!

06/21/2015 Darling of the Day: Cara Delevingne’s Starry Menswear Look for Less!


Supermodel Cara Delevingne is a star on the rise, aside from her catwalk fame & awesome-by-association with besties like Taylor Swift & Rihanna. She’s been getting major buzz since the world of fashion media caught wind of her killer street style & enviable red carpet looks. She’s a sure-fire Style Darling who takes risks in modern menswear, minimalistic chic ensembles, & utilitarian pieces, making her a style icon. Recently, she mixed up her off-duty style for an appearance in London in an Equipment star-print ruffled blouse (shop here @Farfetch) with a Saint Laurent blazer (shop here @Net-A-Porter), black skinny pants, initial pendants (shop similar here @Max & Chloe), & black ankle strap sandals (shop similar here @Calvin Klein) at a photo call for her new film, Paper Towns.

Cara’s look here is easy to duplicate, especially for a shopper on a budget. Using the always amazing & helpful site ShopStyle, I was able to recreate the outfit with some Cara-inspired look-alikes for under $100!

Darling of the Day - Cara Delevingne in an Equipment star-print ruffled blouse with a Saint Laurent blazer blazer, black skinny pants, initial pendants, & black ankle strap sandals at the London photo call for Paper Towns.

SHOP: 1. star blouse ($21.99, was $44.99) @Mango Outlet, 2. double-breasted blazer ($15.99, was $32.80) in black @Forever 21 (FREE SHIPPING with code 10ZCSYG, expires 6/25), 3. ELLE skinny leggings ($17.60, was $44.00) in black @Kohl’s (15% off with code JUNE15 online only, expires 6/21), 4. Michael Antonio Jayvix-Sue ankle strap sandals ($32.99, was $49.00) in black @6PM, 5. BCBGeneration initial pendant ($9.99, was $25.00) in silver-gold @Saks Off Fifth, & 6. retro ring set ($2.75) @ChicNova.

What do you think of Cara’s menswear look? Does her style inspire your wardrobe this season? Are you looking forward to seeing Paper Towns in theaters? For more stylish posts, check out luxury look-alikes of gold wedge espadrilles from Michael Kors & Payless, my summer must-haves including affordable maxi dresses & cute tote bags, & stylish celeb sightings from Victoria Beckham & Kate Hudson! Happy Styling!

Basics for a Bargain: Leather Pants Inspired by Gwyneth Paltrow, Ciara, & More!


Part of what I love about fall fashion is how stylishly we can embrace texture!  Wearing leather is a fabulous way to upgrade any cotton button-down from day-to-night, but when it comes to leather pants, we have some really awesome celebrity inspiration for a number of very fashionable looks.  Leather pants can certainly be made into an item for any style & it’s a great basic, if worn the right way.

If you’re preppy, add a gray cableknit sweater with some patent leather mary janes.  Or let the diva in you show off a lacey bustier top with your skinny leather pants & some major platforms.  Leather pants aren’t necessarily just for a rock & roll look, but they definitely add that extra splash of edge with a blouse, tweed jacket, or tunic top.

Jennifer Lopez is on the set of her latest music video, wearing Balmain leather pants with a metallic sweater from H&M & studded Christian Louboutin pumps.  With extra zipper details & stacked bangles, this look is very high-profile for day, but also party-ready for evening.  Fergie takes in a day of travel in caramel colored leather leggings, a Balenciaga printed top, gold sandals, oversized shades, & hoop earrings, all while sporting a tight bun, perfect for letting your outfit get all the attention.  Ciara leaves a New York City hotel wearing destroyed Rag & Bone trousers with a shirt by Equipment, Louboutin platforms, & tote by Givenchy. She looks effortless & veyr natural, not pairing her rich pants with anything too flashy.  Gwyneth Paltrow made an appearance on The Early Show, doing a cooking segment while promoting her new cookbook, wearing straight leg motorcycle pants by The Row & finished off her look in a printed silk top & feminine ballet flats.

I went on a hunt to find affordable leather / faux leather pants to upgrade the bottoms in any Style Darling’s wardrobe.  My main goal was to find something $100 or less & I came pretty close to that with these chic finds.  @Victoria’s Secret, the pencil pants in black are $59.50.  You could take a cue from the model in the picture & try on this style of leather pant with a heavy knit.  What makes leather look even more luxurious is the combination against neutral shades like gray or cream.

For $66.00, head over to Topshop for these faux leather skinny trousers which would look perfect with a graphic tee & menswear vest for day.  If you already wear knit leggings or jeggings, then you’ve got to have leather-inspired bottoms like these!  Marked down from $130.00, Bluefly has on sale the BCBGeneration faux leather skinny pants for $77.35.  These slim fit bottoms are especially stylish for a girl’s night out or date night with your beau.

Of course, I haven’t forgotten about my plus-size Style Darlings who can take advantage of the Jessica London leather jeggings @One Stop Plus.  These are available in sizes 12-28, but range in price from $119.99 – $139.99.  Considering that leather pants are a must-have basic, investing the money in just one pair will last you a long time & can be worn just about any season (but be careful on sticky, humid summer days!).

Since our celebrity-inspirations were also wearing leather pants in the brown family, I searched high & low to find affordable look-alikes, but could only come across the rich brown leather pants from Jamin Leather for $55.00.  Break out your favorite black tank, metallic accessories, & pointed toe pumps to dress these up & you’ll be on your way to a very luxurious fall!

Who do you think wears leather the best?  Would you wear leather or faux leather pants this season?  How much would you spend on them?  Do you think the leather leggings trend is over or just getting started?  Happy Styling!

1/21/11 Darling of the Day: Zoe Saldana!


I went a little further back in the style logs to find today’s look.  While it’s still winter out & definitely mighty cold in New York, I was looking for a go-to comfortable, yet stylish ensemble.  Zoe Saldana wore this equestrian-inspired look to a Pepsi event in Los Angeles, just about this time last year.  This three-piece look includes a black turtleneck, fitted leggings, & knee-high boots, creating a lean & stylish way to wear your basics.  Perhaps you could subtitute a red turtleneck or maybe jeggings to add some dimension, but Zoe’s all-black look brings that LBD glamour to daytime. 

 To recreate this very basic look, my only advice would be to match up your blacks.  Sometimes, I’ve found, that some blacks look a little more gray, while others that may be washed out could appear green. To make your turtleneck look less frompy, make sure it hits right at your hips (if you have Zoe’s shape) & scrunch up the sleeves at your elbows. 

  

 Here are a few suggested accesssories, if you’re looking to jazz up a minimal look like this, but keep in mind that carefully picking out one item to be the star of your look is essential! 

                                        

For more stylish looks by the Avatar actress, here & here.  AND… if an outfit like this really tickles your style pickle, but you’re more of a risk-taker with your leggings, check out these by William Rast, these by BCBGeneration, & these by Miley Cyrus & Max Azria!  Happy Styling!