Splurge of Save… On Light Blue Suede Ankle Strap Sandals for Spring!


My goal, as of late, when it comes to my everyday outfits and sharing style tips on Style Darling Daily, is try something new. This includes combinations of separates that I hadn’t thought of previously, as well as only investing in special new additions that not only stand apart from other items I already own, but will also serve multiple purposes. I’ve realized that in the past, I’ve sought out dresses, shoes, & more that thrill me in the moment to add to my wardrobe, without considering their need in the long run. In order to better maintain my closet & finances, I’m being much more careful about how I approach styling.

With that, spring is underway & I’m trying to break away from my usual all-black or only black & white routine. Spring is all about soft, light colors, embracing pastels & brighter hues like nobody’s business. When I was recently perusing through my daily barrage of emails from my favorite stores, I saw a shoe trend that I just couldn’t stop thinking about. Normally, I’m not a trend chaser, sticking to what’s classic & works for my specific body type & daily needs. Ankle strap sandals have always been a little tricky. I haven’t been able to find a comfortable pair in recent years, though I’ve written much about the sleek & delicate style (here), but when I saw that so many different designers & retailers were pitching light blue suede ankle strap sandals for spring, my mind was racing with all the styling possibilities—with dresses, pencil skirts, cropped jeans, & so many more!

It doesn’t hurt to have a little celebirty inspiration when it comes to this particular shoe style, showing all the different colors & ways to wear them. This includes German starlet Diane Kruger, supermodel Kendall Jenner, Oscar-winner Emma Stone, blogger / actress Ashley MadekweOrange Is The New Black star Taylor Schilling, & pop star Rihanna

SHOP: 1. Stuart Weitzman nearly nude sandal @Stuart Weitzman, 2. Pelle Moda Bonnie sandal @Zappos, & 3. Steve Madden Carrson sandal @Steve Madden.

SHOP: 4. Jessica Simpson Monrae sandals @DSW, 5. Brash Houston sandal @Payless, & 6. ‘It’s Simple Really’ sandal @GOjane.

We all have different styling expectations & budgets, which is why I wanted to share the six above pairs of shoes, ranging in price from $21 – $400, including some very well-known, quality brands, as well as more affordable options to try this spring for a weekend brunch, Easter with the family, or a fashionable date night look.

For more ankle strap sandals, check out these options in other colors & textures to expand your shoe collection & brave a new shoe adventure!

SHOP: Call It Spring wine velvet sandal @Macy’s, Fiolla pink suede sandal @ALDO, Mossimo Pamela sandal in black @Target, Michael Antonio Lovina sandal in pink @JC Penney, & ‘All Star Cast’ white patent leather sandal @Lulu’s.

How much do you typically spend on trendy items? Do you like to try new colors from season to season? What’s your spring go-to shoe style? Happy Styling!

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


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

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

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

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: Nude Patent Studded Flats From Steve Madden & Payless!


I’ve been working so much this summer that I haven’t given my heels & wedges the attention they deserve. Now that it’s September, I know there’s not much more time for them left; however, earlier this summer, I made an investment in a trendy, yet neutral ballet flat, which is perfect for all aspects of my life: 2 jobs & school. This purchase was the Brash Chaos stud flat ($16.99) from Payless (see below), which are marked down from their original $27.99 price tag.

Steve Madden - KSTUDD flats $19.99. Payless - Chaos stud flat $16.99.

I also checked out what was going on recently with Steve Madden‘s summer clearance, which is how I found the KSTUDD flat ($19.99) that offers a doubly stylish stud detail & is also reduced from the original $49.95 price.

I’m already picturing these with skinny jeans & a tunic sweater when running errands, a sheath dress & cardigan for the office, & a printed blouse with trousers for meeting the girls for brunch. How would you style these shoes? Which brand would you pick? Do you like the studded trend on shoes & accessories this fall?

For more posts on affordable style, check out Jamie Chung’s Ann Taylor skirt, smart dress investments from Dress Barn, more fun flats from Old Navy, the Phillip Lim lookbook for Target, & Gisele Bundchen modeling the latest fall collection for H&M! Happy Styling!

The $100 Challenge: Update Your Wardrobe With Nautical Inspiration!


There are a lot of trends that come & go, & I’m still waiting for this sneaker wedge thing to go away. However, as the weather warms up & we begin to plan more outdoor activities, I’m looking for new ways to wear my favorite spring & summer pieces. The nautical trend keeps coming back for its crisp all-American feel & classic color combinations.

I’ve selected five pieces that will cost under $100 total to help bring a fresh, youthful, & flirty nautical look to your spring & summer essentials. This includes the luxe jersey striped ringer tank ($17.99) in gray heather from Gap, which is perfect for skinny jeans, a dark denim mini skirt, white cropped pants. Also, a fun topper for any casual outfit is the cropped canvas hooded jacket ($34.94) in sea turtle from Old Navy, which will work for over a tank & jeans, with leather pants & a graphic tee, or to dress down a sheath dress & ballet flats.

Also, I love the nautical stripe lightweight scarf ($9.99) from Charlotte Russe to wear with patriotic separates like a red top or blue capris. The striped boat shoes ($19.80) in red / white from Forever 21 are a literal way to include nautical inspiration into your wardrobe & will allow for all of your current love of menswear loafers to make a preppy appearance this summer. Lastly, the Brash dusty crossbody bag ($16.99) from Payless offers a cute seersucker neutral pattern to offset florals, polka dots, & pastel paisley prints.

The total for these pieces comes to an affordable $99.17! How do you like to wear nautical inspired looks? Do you prefer articles of clothing or striped accessories? For more posts on shopping on a budget, check out Steve Madden cork heels, Derek Lam’s DesigNation collection for Kohl’s, how to wear polka dots this spring, & peplum looks inspired by Cate Blanchett & Zoe Saldana! Happy Styling!

The $100 Challenge: Chic Spring Break Must-Haves For Your Next Vacation!


The weather outside is pretty nasty here on Long Island & while I’m trying to keep my head up & attitude positive, I know with the recent personal trials that I’ve been through, I need a vacation. Unfortunately, I’m not in the position to do so, but a girl can dream when there are still some shreds of dreams left to ponder. Also, after some inspiring messaging with another Style Darling, I decided to just throw myself into the online retail forum & find some amazing & affordable pieces, perfect for a Spring Break vacation or much-needed warm-weather getaway in my latest post for The $100 Challenge.

Whenever the temperature rises, it’s always stylish to add a maxi dress to your wardrobe, which is why I picked out the chiffon tribal print maxi dress ($16.80) from Forever 21, which can be dressed up with beaded earrings & platform sandals, or made day-ready with a chunky leather belt & gladiators. I also always love checking out the latest in spring shoes, which includes the Brash Molly side t-strap wedge sandal ($19.99) in black from Payless. They’re also available in coral, gold, & white- perfect for mixing with a cotton spring dress, cropped pants & a blouse, or with cut-off jeans & a graphic tee. When spring rolls around, I’m happy to switch out my heavy wool & knit scarves for something lighter & more feminine, like the daisy print infinity scarf ($9.99) from Charlotte Russe to wear with basics like a cotton tee & denim jacket.

The $100 Challenge

Don’t forget that spring & vacations are all about embracing bright colors & while I’m not one to wear shorts myself, I love the shorts ($12.95) in red from H&M, which are also sold in powder pink, black, white, blue, pink, & yellow. For a nautical feel to your look, I recommend the striped roll-tab scoop neck tee ($13.47) in blue from New York & Company, which are a limited quantity item, reduced from their original $26.95 price tag. Also, florals are very popular this time of year, so if you’re headed somewhere chic, the a.n.a. ankle-length skinny jeans ($14.00) in all over floral from JC Penney are great for coordinating with different prints like stripes, polka dots, or plaids. Lastly, for some sparkle with versatility, I choose Old Navy‘s sheer sequin-chiffon tank ($11.99) in pink to wear with satin shorts & platforms for a night out with the girls, dark denim jeans & ballet flats for brunch, or a pencil skirt & boyfriend blazer when headed to an office meeting.

All of this also considers a $100 budget & the total for these comes to $99.19 (before taxes), which is pretty awesome for any Style Darling on a budget. Which pieces are your favorites? Which trends are you following to revamp your spring wardrobe? How much are you willing to spend on essentials for the new season? For more posts on affordable fashion, check out fabulous neon criss cross stilettos from Forever 21, 4 fashionable ways to wear a graphic tee from Old Navy, varying price points on trendy pink jeans, my latest bargain shoe purchases from Target, & floral pants inspired by Diane Kruger’s Stella McCartney look! Happy Styling!

Fabulous in 4 Ways: Floral Skinny Pants From H&M For Day, Date, Cocktail, & Weekend!


Just b/c the holidays are mostly over, it doesn’t mean that the glamour has to end. The latest trends in spring fashion are slowly, but surely emerging & this includes floral pants. They’re not just for springtime, especially when there are so many chic & cozy ways to dress up or dress down florals when the weather is still chilly outside.  I’d like to take a look at some celebrity inspiration to see how the A-listers are wearing this trend.

Kristin Cavallari shares her chic maternity style in Joe’s Jeans with a basic black top & blazer to offset the vibrant pattern.  90210 star Shenae Grimes adds some punk flavor to her Alice + Olivia cropped pants with strappy booties & a leather top.  Playing with the same idea is Minka Kelly, whose Dolce & Gabbana floral pants are enhanced by suede peep toe pumps & a bright rectangular clutch.  Singer Lana Del Rey plays up her demure style in Citizens of Humanity pants under her trench coat with embellished ballet flats.  Lastly, Twilight star Kristen Stewart sticks to her favorite designer, Balenciaga, for her micro floral printed pants, paired with a Rebecca Minkoff blazer & a Juicy Couture tank.

Kristin Cavallari, Shenae Grimes, Minka Kelly, Lana Del Rey, & Kristen Stewart.Even if we look to the runways for Spring 2013, you’ll find that there’s plenty of floral on the bottom. Floral isn’t meant just for dresses, skirts, or blouses anymore. It can be an unexpected pop of femininity or juxtapose more masculine pieces for day or evening.  For example, we’ve seen this in collections from Jason Wu, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Lela Rose, Paul & Joe, & Tanya Taylor. Here, complimenting colors in your floral prints can work to accentuate a factor of luxury in your look, especially when it comes to jackets, cardigans, scarves, & heels.

Jason Wu, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Lela Rose, Paul & Joe, & Tanya Taylor. The pants in question for today’s Fabulous in 4 Ways post are the floral pants ($24.95) from H&M. Not only are these an amazing bargain, but I’m convinced that these can be worn in a variety of ways to get the most out of your wardrobe basics for day, weekend, date, & cocktail hour.  These may be a little hard to pull off in the office, depending on what your work dress code is, but for the more casual environments, I recommend a cute blouse & pumps to make your look polished & professional.

First, for daytime when you’re running some errands or meeting with your girlfriends for a casual luncheon (á la Sex & the City), I recommend playing with the colors in the pants, including the ruched panel cardigan ($9.99) in gold from Dress Barn worn over the lurex lace bra cami ($14.99) in true white from Express. When floral pants such as these are the focal point of your look, you can play with textures to add interest, which is why I’ve selected the Kenneth Cole ‘Slip Me One’ flats ($29.97) in red @Piperlime & the easy metallic combo of Forever 21‘s beaded hoop earrings ($5.80).

Keep it cozy when it comes to a weekend look, if you’re headed out to a movie during the day with your beau & then sit by the fireplace eating Chinese food. Yes, that’s what I’d like my weekends to be, which is why I picked the striped sweater with oversized cowl neck ($34.96) in herbal mist from New York & Company to wear with the Brash Zoey riding boot ($39.99) in black from Payless. The mixture of stripes & florals has fascinated me for a while, so when you’re cooped up with your significant other in the house when the weather is on the frightful side, experiment with your looks a little to keep things fresh.  However, if you’re headed out, I love the mix of tassels with the patent textures in the daisy fuentes Gemini studded cross-body handbag ($29.50) in magenta from Kohl’s matched with a little more spring fever in the floral bangle set ($7.80) from Forever 21.

When it comes to date night looks, you always have to consider where you’re headed.  Floral pants may seem busy, but if accessorized correctly, they’re the perfect foundation for a sophisticated & smart look to impress your date.  I picked the teardrop cut-out blouse ($24.99) in black from The Limited, a piece that is sure to make the rounds with other wardrobe staples like a pencil skirt, boyfriend jeans, & leggings.  Of course in skinny pants like these, a pair of DSW‘s BCBG Paris Preena pumps ($29.94) in fuchsia will elongate the legline & won’t be as intimidating as some seriously pointy toe shoes.  For a special finishing touch, I love the colorblocked flap crossbody ($19.80) from Forever 21 & Mixit hematite stone tassel drop earrings ($4.00) from JC Penney.

For a cocktail event, pants aren’t necessarily the first thing to come to mind, especially when a dress is so easy to throw on with some snazzy earrings & killer heels. However, if you’re running around & don’t have time to get that go-to LBD dry-cleaned, you can rely on floral plants to build an evening-ready cocktail look, including the gem collar peplum top ($30.00) in aubergine from Topshop with a built-in jeweled neckline that helps accessorize your ladylike ensemble.  Also, I’ve added the Abrianna heels ($34.99) in bone from ALDO with the sparkling sequin hinge wallet ($9.99) in champagne from Charlotte Russe. Lastly, b/c there’s so much going on in the look already, I didn’t want to bog it down with extra bling, but here’s your opportunity to break out a really fabulous cocktail ring like the affordable stretch oval ring ($12.99) in orange from Target.

Do you own floral pants? Would you consider adding them to your wardrobe? How would you style them? For more styling posts, check out my affordable LBD look, statement rings for under $10, & how to wear a metallic faux leather skirt in 4 ways! Happy Styling!

Splurge Or Save… Stripes & Florals, Inspired By The Pages Of Marie Claire!


While preparing for the imminent hurricane, I’ve gathered plenty of reading materials that will have to suffice as both entertainment & education in case of a power outage.  I have Monday & Tuesday off from work b/c of this Sandy nuisance, so I was starting to refer back to some of my favorite magazine articles that I checked out while at work & this page from Marie Claire sticks out most in my mind.  The latest issue, which features the lovely Ashley Greene, actress from The Twilight Saga & spokesmodel for DKNY, on its cover.  However, I posted this image on my Instagram (@MissAlissaL), sharing the daring dud combination of stripes & florals- one I’ve yet to explore.

Of course any Style Darling would be lucky to own any of the pictured items from page 72 of MC (ranging in price from $44.95 – $565.00, from brands like Sergio Rossi, Coach, Chris Benz, Kate Spade, & more); however, I wanted to share my version of this page, hoping to see this trend done right without breaking the bank!

My recommendations all cost under $50.00 per item & will certainly help transform your fall favorites into fresh, new outfits to wear to work, going on a date, a family occasion, or a party.  We know how figure flattering pencil skirts are, so I stuck with the idea of a floral pencil skirt, matching with uncomplicated basic stripes, as well as strong neutral accessories.  The jewelry has enough visual interest to add the perfect amount of dimension for an evening occasion, while still looking expensive & luxurious.

First, I’m sharing a plus size look, which can be built from the lace pencil skirt ($40.00) @Eloquii by The Limited, available in sizes 14W-24W. Yes, I see that this isn’t a basic floral print, but the flower concept is in the feminine lace details. To help make the elegant skirt pop, I’ve added the Extra Touch plus-size top ($19.99) from Macy’s, which is also available in green, fuchsia, & purple. To finish off the look, I turned to Torrid for the patent system heel ($26.70) in red, which is available in size 7-13 wide width.  Also, the Candie’s two tone bead multistrand necklace ($7.20) is from Kohl’s & can be worn over any graphic tee, with an LBD, or to add a splash of personality to a solid cardigan.

My next looks run in misses sizes, including New York & Company‘s tapestry print wrap skirt with pleating ($46.95) in black plum, but this can also be bought in saffron. Since the print is so busy, I wanted to stick to an all-flattering stripe with the striped cowlneck waffle tee ($29.95) in black & white from the Gap. The neckline of the top is pronounced, so I opted for the patent hip belt ($4.80) in eggplant from Forever 21 over a necklace & matched it with the Moda Spana Nadine patent pump ($29.94) from DSW.

The third look is definitely a bold statement, mixing the floral pencil skirt ($24.99) from The Limited with Forever 21‘s cream & navy striped 3/4 sleeve top ($10.80). The Brash Kosmic platform pump ($29.99) in tan suede from Payless & BaubleBar‘s triple tear pendant ($26.00) are neutral pieces that can be mixed with any variety of casual, office, & evening looks.

Look’s #1-3 total out to $93.89, $111.64, & $91.78, respectively. That’s a pretty amazing deal for such versatile pieces that will work with jeans, skinny pants, button-down shirts, & other wardrobe staples. Would you dare to wear stripes & florals? Which of these looks is your favorite? How much would you spend on an outfit like this?

7/12/2012 Darling Of The Day / Basics For A Bargain: Anne Hathaway’s Cropped ‘Do, LBDs, & Audrey Hepburn Inspiration!


Anne Hathaway has hit the red carpet with a reinvented classic retro vibe, cad with her pixie cut (for Les Miserables), little black dresses, basic black shoes, & elegance pendant necklaces.  The Oscar-nominee is in full swing promoting her latest film, the major summer blockbuster The Dark Knight Rises. The Style Darling‘s looks are elegant, contemporary, youthful, & worth making her the Darling of the Day.

Since I couldn’t pick just one look that I loved, I decided to share the four most recent images of her Audrey Hepburn-inspired style.  Her short ‘do is perfectly understated while these leg-baring frocks reveal that the actress isn’t slowing down her glamour game just yet.  Included in these images are dresses by Dolce & Gabbana, Stella McCartney, & Givenchy, paired with Tory Burch ankle strap sandals.

Since there are so many fabulous details in the dresses above, I’ve found some affordable LBDs to help recreate Anne’s breathtaking noir turn.  First from Forever 21, we have the shawl collar surplice dress ($27.80) & the mesh yoke bodycon dress ($24.80), which is available in sizes XL – 3X. H&M has this belted dress ($34.95) which moves beautifully & can be dressed up with peep toes or worn casually with flats.  To show off your shape, I recommend the ponte knit sheath dress ($48.93) from Express.  If you’re looking to imitate the feel of Anne’s forth look above, head over to Lulu’s for the Motown black dress ($38.00). Lastly, since we are talking about one of the most sought after actresses in all the land, we need to step up our style game just a little & share the Jessica Howard sequin cap sleeve dress ($70.00) @JCP

Lastly, to help complete the look, I’ve searched high & low for some of the best accessories. This includes the Forever 21 oval locket necklace ($5.80) & floral pendant necklace ($1.50).  In addition, my shoe choices include the Brash Gemini flat ($26.99) from Payless (which I’ve previously featured in champagne), Charlotte Russe‘s fabric mouse ballet flat ($30.00), sueded ankle wrap pump ($35.50), & Michael Antonio Loveme patent pump ($40.00) @Zappos.

Which of Anne’s looks do you like the best? Would you ever rock a pixie cut? How do you feel about all the black-on-black? All comments & suggestions are always welcome, so please share! Check out more posts like this in Basics for a Bargain, Luxury Look-Alikes for Less, & Red Carpet Review! Happy Styling!

Cover Craze / Magazine Must-Haves / Luxury Look-Alikes For Less: Jessica Biel Wears Gucci Heels On In Style’s August 2012 Cover!


I love Jessica Biel‘s look on the August 2012 cover of In Style, my style Bible. It’s perfect for getting ready for fall, full of casual chic detail, & accessible for any shopper- except for the price tag.  I can certainly see myself donning this look, but first I’d have to find look-alikes within budget.  As soon as I saw this image, I immediately thought of a post I created back in April about the Brash platform sandals ($16.99, originally $29.99) from Payless. Although they don’t share the same luxe velvet texture as the Gucci ankle strap sandals ($695.00) from Nordstrom, the same look can be achieved.

Shame on me for not having enough time to properly flip through the pages of the magazine YET, especially when my knee-high stack of past issues is getting embarrassing, but I’ve made a vow to lighten up my periodical load since before I know it, the massively mind-boggling September issues of my favorite fashion mags will be stuffed my mailbox.

For more posts like this & fabulous deals on designer imitations, check out Luxury Look-Alikes For Less, Magazine Must-Haves, & Cover Craze! Happy Styling!