For my first official summer as a mommy, I’m scouring the web for a go-to tote to run out the door with (along with my own purse & the diaper bag) for all outing essentials that aren’t a part of my day-to-day life. For example, a bottle of sunscreen, a picnic blanket, a travel water bottle, spare flip flops, & maybe a magazine or book. I love how this season has so many cute & playful options that capture the spirit of the summer, while also being very spacious & useful for a busy Style Darling like myself. Here are just a few examples of what’s out there & what I have my eye on!
If there’s one print I love for any time of the year, it’s leopard. It’s a fun option for a sweater, blouse or top to pair with jeans, leggings, pants, or a skirt, especially when matching it up with a pop of color like red, hot pink, or green. Wearing a leopard top also opens up the opportunity to try some playful bling too in a statement necklace, big earrings, or stacked bangles. Here are some affordable must-have leopard options for misses & women’s sizes for sale now!
When it comes to leopard, you don’t always have to wear black with it. Try something with texture, a seasonal color, or add a little sparkle. You can definitely get a lot of miles out of a leopard top because of all of its styling possibilities.
How do you like to style leopard separates? What are your favorite patterns to wear? Where are you shopping most for affordable fashion this season? For more posts like this, click here, here, here, & here. Happy Styling!
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been readjusting to the work week grind as a new mother, which has been both easy & hard, but that experience is for another post for another day. However, I’ve had to reconsider certain cuts of tops, dresses, & bottoms for my changed post-baby shape. I’m more aware of loose-fitting, forgiving silhouettes as I go about my day in the office & classroom. During my regular online perusal of style inspiration, I discovered Fashion to Figure, a plus size clothing & accessories retailer (part of the New York & Company organization). Meet Noelle, a high-low scuba top in the most luxurious shade of green. It embodies everything I look for in a top & even has a bow on it! Not to mention that the color is everything right now. It’s a bright shade that will pop on any skin tone & embraces the season with the addition of a statement necklace or chandelier earrings. It’s perfect for pairing with leggings & knee boots, a pencil skirt & pointy toe heels, or skinny jeans & caged booties. This top has plenty of flair & femininity & I just can’t stop thinking about it. Check out (below) some stylish bottoms to shop from Fashion to Figure to build a holiday-ready outfit featuring this top.
‘Tis the season to be gifting! Thanksgiving is next week, which means that it’s time to make that gift-giving list (if you choose to do so). There are so many useful, cute, & affordable gift options out right now to fill your most fashionable friends with style & joy this season. Personally, I don’t buy gifts just for the sake of buying meaningless stuff to give to anyone. I like to pick special pieces that will really please a recipient & serve a function—even if that function is indulgence & luxury.
When compiling your shopping list, consider if an item is something that they’ll actually use, that it’s not just a filler gift. Also, jot down their interests by their name on your list so that if you can look out for something particularly perfect for a friend or loved one. Lastly, I’ll often discuss with people close to me if they want to exchange gifts (& if so, establish a spending limit) or if they’d prefer to go out for dinner instead. Sometimes arranging a night with a group of friends with dinner & drinks is the best way to go. However, listing, shopping, wrapping, & giving are my favorite ways to put me in the holiday spirit.
All of the below ideas are not just stylish, but they’re all under $15.
I love discovering accessories as gifts because they add just a little bit more sparkle, which I know I’m always seeking for myself. What kinds of gifts are you shopping for this season? Where do you shop for the best deals this holiday? Happy Styling!
In its fairest shade, pink is a neutral, perfect for matching up with nearly any spring, summer, or fall outfit. I myself do love a rose gold flat with some black tights, if the look demands it, in the winter too! And why shouldn’t a blush shoe be a neutral? It works very well for the upcoming fall season as well with a slew of hues, including navy, chocolate, olive, charcoal, burgundy, cobalt, mustard, hunter green, & so many more!
With all that build up, it’s no surprise that the pretty pink flats I’m featuring are not only pretty & pink, but also, they’re versatile considering their texture & design. I’ve never been a huge fan of the pink family, but over the years, my heart has started to skip a stylish beat when I see some rose gold jewelry. That’s extended into eyeshadow & accessories like shoes & belts too. However, for fall, take a look at these dressy, luxe, & feminine designs @Charlotte Russe to inspire a pop of pink where you might not have previously.
When it comes to summer, there are so many prints that make for a fashionable look, but among them, gingham gets top billing! The typical gingham button down is classic for a variety of outfits, but this summer is all about the trendy, off-the-shoulder, ruffle, or halter gingham top available for shoppers of all sizes! Celebrities even love gingham, as seen on Baby Driver star Lily James, style blogger Olivia Palermo, singer / actress Vanessa Hudgens, A-lister & fashion mogul Reese Witherspoon, & Shameless actress Emmy Rossum.
For a trendy, one-season item like a gingham top, you don’t have to break the bank. There’s so much fashion out in the world & online for shoppers of all budgets, but I do love checking out high-end designer duds for a little inspiration when it comes to finding something to write about, as well as putting together my next outfit. Here are a few examples that range in price from $88 – $265, but still worth keeping an eye on for an end of the season sale item.
The six gingham tops below are much more affordable & perfect for styling with white skinny jeans, red chino shorts, a denim skirt, or with bottoms in a bold pop of color like yellow, green, or orange.
The word “lemonade” will never be the same. Thanks in part to Beyoncé’s epic album, the “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade” cliché is reaching a whole new generation, and it’s inspiring me to continue to stay positive no matter what lemons roll at my feet. Lately, life overall has been pretty lemon-free, in that I am happy. Life is good. It’s summer. I’m in a wonderfully fulfilling relationship. The most important people around me are well.
However, as a writer, there’s this complicated thing that always happens when I’m actually happy: I can’t write. That’s because I have this unconscious routine of writing best when I’m in desperate need of answers, struck with worries of the heart and soul. While I’m always in search of what’s next for Style Darling Daily, my writing, and my professional life, I’m not necessarily haunted by any lack of progress to the degree where I have to write it all out to come up with a plan to advance my career. When I’m happy personally, I’m much more carefree with other parts of my life. My hard-working nature isn’t any less apparent, but I let inspiration find me like a cinematic meet cute. Inspiration is like an old friend I run into at Starbucks. I know the words are there, but I can’t always find them.
Well, since I’m writing now, there must be something on my mind. Let’s take a little trip down memory lane. With all that’s been going on lately, I’m reminded of my mission as a blogger. I wish to portray what I really wear on the daily (hence my “one stylish day at a time” tag line) and where I invest in my style because after all, I’m a budget shopper who believes in always looking my best out of respect for myself and those around me. I don’t dress just for a picture or to represent myself lolling about in some luxurious life of high fashion and glamour. That’s certainly not the life I live. I mean, I live on Long Island! I support myself financially. These aren’t complaints either, just my reality. Also, I don’t have a fancy camera or nearby scenic locations for spur of the moment photo shoots, nor do I often have backup to set up where and when I can share my daily outfit images. There’s plenty of evidence (with pictures taken in my bathroom or at my parents’ house) of how I’ve styled my summer thus far on Instagram (@styledarlingdaily). In addition, there also aren’t many words that go along with those posts. I know, I know. Writers should be writing.
On the upside, when I don’t have the words to express what’s going on with my style, I let the images (and hashtags) do the talking for me. I share my style inspiration for my two jobs where I can thankfully wear clothing that actually suits my personal style, so there isn’t much distinction in my closet between work and non-work apparel. At most, I pack an extra pair of shoes to switch from power heels to ballet flats for the change in shifts when I have to work both in the same day. Because of these day-to-day experiences (which don’t allow for proper photo shoot scheduling), I’m always seeking great deals on unique pieces that lend a stylish hand in how I express myself amid the chaos that is being a working woman in 2017 (not to mention, a happy one at that)! I digress… we were talking lemonade earlier.
Without getting into the lemon details (because I would never use my blog, writing, or social media to bully or hurt anyone whom I love), I recently found myself in a situation where I was no longer in need of a formal gown. The money I’d spent on the garment could not be refunded, nor was I permitted a store credit to use in the future. The dress itself was lovely, but certainly not a color that flattered my skintone or shape, so keeping it was simply not an option. In order to lemonade the whole thing, I realized I needed to reinvest the dollar amount in something that I would get much more use from, therefore resolving my predicament in the best way possible.
To relieve some of the mystery, I’ll share that I was at a local David’s Bridal, where their staff was very helpful and supportive as I pursued stylish options. However, I was not very impressed by their in-store dress selection to make an exchange. Certainly, there were plenty of beautiful colors, flattering styles, and youthful designs to shop through, but nothing special was speaking to my style blogger soul. One of my jobs is working as a stylist at a dress store, which also contributed to the fact that I wasn’t necessarily in need of a fancy party dress anyway. In a last stitch (pun!) effort, when looking at the rows and rows of pastel, sparkly, and ruffled chiffon, I sorted through my mental wardrobe catalogue to assess my existing dress options, what with three weddings and a Sweet Sixteen all scheduled in the span of a very busy and exciting month this coming fall. Basically, I didn’t want a new dress because I was already well-equipped in that department.
Suddenly, it occurred to me that shoes and accessories were often easier to pique my interest when in a shopping rut just like this. When it’s summer, I will only wear shoes that are comfortable. There are so many factors concerning weather (sweating in a heavy garment or taming my curls in the humidity) that invade my style routine for this hotter season, so I’m more than likely to be seen in flats, sandals, or flip flops on a regular occasion, rather than opting for the super fashionable high heel. Low and behold, David’s Bridal has a pretty amazing selection of footwear that had me in giggles. Generally, my everyday outfit will have some sort of sparkle to it, and if it’s not a statement necklace or big earring, my shoes will shine with studs or sequins. Of course, the selection of shoes at David’s Bridal is so blingy and meant for a bride, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t make these “bridal” shoes a reality for what I like to wear. I was so pleased with the discovery of finding fashion that fit my style in this unlikely place, especially when I’m not in the bridal market.
For the price of one gown, I was able to take home six pairs of shoes with only spending an additional ten dollars to offset the difference I owed, on top of a Buy One, Get One 50% off sale and coupon discount for the most expensive item. I felt accomplished and that I was making lemonade to benefit my style, shopping savvy, as well as quelling my soul of the recent circumstances that brought me to David’s Bridal in the first place. Furthermore, I rediscovered my love for the sandal. Gladiator flats and those pom pom sandals are all the rage every summer, but neither trend felt quite like me. Typically, I embrace trends that best work for my body type and personal style. I never encourage anyone to do the reverse. What happens is that we start asking ourselves what’s wrong with our bodies just because we don’t fit into some industry mold of what’s current and fashionable. I’d rather be of the mindset that something doesn’t work for me, as opposed to me being unsuccessful with that external force.
I love to wear pieces that best represent the feminine and detailed way I approach fashion. These metallic sandals (here, here, and here) are neutral for any summer ensemble, including a maxi dress or blouse and skirt outfit. Also, the ballet flats (here and here) will be the perfect way to dress up a casual look, while the lacy white pair (here) will definitely serve regular rotation with my floral summer dresses that I can wear either to work or for date night with my boyfriend.
Upon this shopping win, what came next was a swarm of reminders that bargain buys and surprise fashion finds are happening at so many unlikely stores that we as shoppers and busy women might forget about. A few months ago, my boyfriend and I were at BJ’s in pursuit of a discounted movie ticket package deal when I saw rows and rows of clothing. I’m not a regular BJ’s shopper, so I was shocked to learn that the warehouse store sold more than just fleece jackets or packaged underwear. I scanned the racks to see cute fit-and-flare scuba dresses, classic jersey frocks, and striped maxis, all perfectly priced if one was in need of a proper summer wardrobe update without breaking the bank. I’m always saying that shopping should be easy. While it comes more naturally to some than others (because some know their style and body type so well, while others are more hesitant or uninformed), to conveniently access fashion in an unexpected way is a delight and inspiration to write about.
Since my summer shoe game is all about comfort and function (of course, style never goes by the wayside either), I’m often acquiring my favorite selections at Juniors’ stores where shoes and jewelry are basically the only items available where size isn’t an issue. Juniors’ stores such as Mandee, Charlotte Russe, and Forever 21 all size to fit a younger and mostly slimmer-figured consumer. Although, it is worth mentioning that these retailers have expanded their brands to include stylish options for shoppers of all sizes. However, I’m a most frequent patron of accessories in these stores. Albeit, they don’t always cater to uncommonly smaller or larger shoe sizes, nor are wide sizes always available, but I’m more often than not able to find jewelry, shoes, and other accessories at reasonable prices to build a unique and special collection that works with my everyday style.
During the holidays last year, when I was in pursuit of gifts for coworkers, I sought festive bulk items like ornaments or tea and hot chocolate varieties. I have that “last one picked in gym class” complex (which I basically accept now since I usually never wanted to play in a sport anyway), so I wanted to make sure I extended the joyful spirit of the season to everybody at both of my jobs, an effort that annually proves to be quite the challenge to my budget. However, as I loaded up my cart at a local Big Lots, I found a display for sterling silver jewelry, decked out with chic drop earrings and charm bracelets (all in the vain of modern costume / fashion jewelry) that made my heart sing a song of style. It was such a lovely surprise and while these pieces were all under five dollars, I treated myself and some close friends to a little extra sparkle.
Speaking of a little extra sparkle… that’s all that any Style Darling really needs. It doesn’t have to be the holiday season or literal sparkle in the form of jewelry either. Sparkle and lemonade are basically the same metaphors to me: doing one’s best and making the best out of a negative. That’s all that really matters. If the solution results in six pairs of shoes, or a stylish bargain buy that represents who you are as a strong, kind, mindful, creative, beautiful individual, then any lemons along the way are worth their trouble.
Here’s a video of a live performance of “Silver Lining” by one of my favorite country singers, Kacey Musgraves. The silver lining, lemonade, or sparkle aren’t always obvious during an unfortunate circumstance, but I always have faith that I’ll find that positivity. Happy Styling!
When it comes to spring fashion, scarves don’t always come to mind first, but they do for me! That’s because I have an enormous scarf collection that I have found much use out of over the years, adding plenty of texture & interest in building a look with a denim jacket over a dress, for example. Scarves are not just limited to one’s neck & for outerwear accessorizing too! Most of the time, I wear a light weight scarf knotted or bowed around my purse to give said every day carryall a little extra splash of style. You can play up a floral scarf with the colors in your outfit, as well as matching other hues of your bag. Here are five examples, ranging in price, but each offers a little something different in terms of color combinations & styling possibilities.
To expand on my scarf-bag theory, here are a few combinations to consider when assembling your next spring outfit. This not only serves fashion, but utility as well. In case you’re chilly, but you hadn’t needed it earlier, it’s right there on your bag!
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.
In getting ready for spring (because it still isn’t here on Long Island—though we experienced two very magical spring-ish days before massive blizzards hit), I’m looking ahead, specifically to the trends I can’t wait to explore. One of the easiest ways to get into the mood of a new season is with accessories. My goal is to turn to some staple & classic pieces that I’ve collected from past seasons for my own looks. However, for some inspiration, I love seeing what’s new & stylish in stores & online right now to get me even more into a spring state of mine. Since I’m always interested in ways to mix patterns & textures to create a detailed & sophisticated look, I love the idea of laser cut accessories, which are typically faux leather, modern & feminine, & created in soft & neutral tones, to offset bold hues, floral prints, & abstract color combinations, especially when it comes to handbags, shoes, & belts. To achieve an affordable & fashionable take on spring, I’ve scoured the web & some of my favorite go-to stores to find the chicest ways to elevate your outfit, as well as help Style Darlings to transition from these last remaining chilly winter days & into a brighter & lighter spring style.
Baby, it’s cold outside, which means that you better bundle up in style! That includes hats, headwraps, scarves, & gloves when facing the brutal change in temperature. Not to mention that for Cyber Monday, there are plenty of great buys to help solve your holiday gift giving dilemma, & why not treat a loved one to something cozy & chic like a pom pomp beanie or luxe infinity scarf? Here in the Northeast, it’s been windy & chilly, which means that I’m not leaving the house without layers of elegant extras that won’t add too much frompy bulk. However, as an avid collector of scarves, I’ve found that when it comes to cold weather accessories, there’s such a variety in colors & textures to create an interesting & stylish outerwear look to play with how you style your go-to winter coat.
This time of year is ripe with fashionable possibilities, which is precisely what makes it fun to get dressed in the morning, finding new ways to express your style and personality. Of course, there are challenges when it comes to putting together a chic & effortless fall / winter wardrobe, mainly because of the changing weather, but also, if you’re stuck in a style rut, there are five fall / winter trends that will help elevate your look without having to invest too much cash into passing fashion fads that only work for certain body types. These include: layers, sparkle, prints, jewel tones, & lace. The savviest of Style Darlings can even take some of these trends to create a detailed & unique outfit.
I recently had a conversation with a friend / coworker about the perks of our job, one being all the styling possibilities for certain items that can be worn for a variety of occasions. Thus the inspiration for this post, I couldn’t help thinking about how quickly the summer is going by, & that fall fashion is currently in stores. Blending the new with the past season while keeping a budget in mind is a very present factor when I’m considering how to build new looks from my wardrobe. Transitioning pieces from season to season is really how you can get the most from your fashionable investment, which can also surprise you when planning a day out with friends, a special date night, what to wear for an important work meeting, as well as when you’re headed away for the weekend.
It didn’t take long before I came across this versatile crochet scalloped skirt from @Dress Barn (shop misses available in small – large & plus available in 1X – 2X here. I have the skirt from last spring (in more of a creamy ivory tone) & I was stuck on how to style it, especially since there’s so much detail in the crochet of the skirt. Gladly, this design was returning to stores in a neutral taupe, perfect for coordinating for any season. In the fall, try this skirt with knee boots & a chunky sweater, or for winter with a blouse, tights, & ankle booties. However, when thinking about all of the styling possibilities, I’m excited to share four fabulous ways to wear this skirt, including for day, date, work, & weekend.
You know the old saying, “If you can’t stop thinking about it, buy it”? Well, that circulated in my head & heart all weekend… about a black pencil skirt. Mind you, I have a few black pencil skirts, all in different materials & cuts, but one particular caught my eye recently & I couldn’t stop thinking about the styling possibilities, especially for my next stylish photo shoot. It’s a staple for any Style Darling at any size, that’s for sure. This isn’t news in the fashion world. Magazines everywhere have been championing pencil skirts for every shape as a way to get the most out of a wardrobe without breaking the bank. Since I gave in to the “buy it” theory, I was simultaneously inspired to explore every which way a pencil skirt can enliven your style.
Pencil skirts aren’t just for the office either. Mix up your pencil skirt look with a graphic tee, peplum top, button down shirt, turtleneck, or body suit, for example. Wear one on a date night, going out with girl friends, or when running daily errands. The possibilities are endless for the basic bottom, especially if you’re looking to dress down something glitzy or elevate a casual top. Play with minimalism or menswear, perhaps even utilitarian or bombshell styles all when wearing a pencil skirt.
When it comes to the fitted skirt, look beyond a pump & to special details in your accessories. A black pencil skirt is a great foundation & neutral for any special extras, including playing with patterns, metallics, sparkle, cut-outs, & luxe textures. The suggestions below barely scrape the surface of what you can do with your ensemble, especially when you can wear a pencil skirt any season.
How would you style a pencil skirt? How often do you wear one? Where do you like to shop for staple wardrobe pieces? How much would you invest in season-to-season separates? Which celebrities inspire your everyday style? Happy Styling!
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).
I 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.
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!
It’s hard to think about spring when a change in season is still so far away, but it’s easy-peasy to think about spring fashion since there’s so much of it already out in stores & online to shop through. Specifically, fringe was a big trend from last summer in kimonos & even for fall-winter with luxe poncho sweaters & capes. It doesn’t look like fringe is going away for spring either, especially when it comes to footwear. Fringed suede sandals are the perfect way to mix up your spring look, when traveling in a maxi dress, elevating your LBD, or dressing up some menswear with a feminine touch. When you’re shopping on a budget, but still looking to upgrade your style, finding a fly pair of sandals is a must, which is why the colorful four pairs below are my top picks (& they’re under $40)!
Before we get into what’s going on in the world of celebrity style, I’d like to wish everyone a very happy & stylish 2016. I took a much-needed break from the blogosphere where I finished my thesis (a full-length memoir) & I’m on track to graduate with my MFA this May! Also, I tackled a busy holiday season of working 2 jobs (whilst finishing said thesis) & getting sidelined with 2 cases of laryngitis. However, in keeping with good news, I’m happily part of a new relationship, which is motivating me more to conquer 2016 with all things positive & stylish. I’ve learned that the key to any passion project (I’ve transitioned from thesis to blog) is to make sure your life is in order & in a good place before you can successfully dive into it.
In my absence, A LOT has happened when it comes to celebrity style & wow-worthy red carpet moments. With today’s major snowstorm (shutting down part of Long Island, at least), I finally have the opportunity to indulge in some fashion eye candy, catching up on the latest trends & getting inspired when it comes to a chic winter wardrobe. I scoured the web for this winter’s best red carpet & street style looks, planning on how I can add some sparkle & pastel to my regular rotation, as well as playing with monochromatic looks or menswear inspiration.
Pretty Little Liars star Lucy Hale showed her street style chops headed to the SiriusXM Studios in a black & powder blue flared look with a multicolored woven coat, an ear jacket, a color-block tote, & black pumps (shop similar here @Forever 21). Bond girl Naomie Harris went nautical in a sheer-sleeved white blouse with high-waist buttoned Burberry trousers (shop similar here @Dillard’s) at a party for Louis XIII ‘100 Years’. Style icon Olivia Palermo made the rounds at Couture Fashion Week in a black cowl-neck Iris von Arnim knit, nautical-inspired wide-leg pants, an olive fur stole (shop similar here @Bluefly), & matching mini top-handle purse. Spanish beauty Penelope Cruz sparkled in a custom gold chainmail Atelier Versace gown with a matching Versace clutch, sandals, & Chopard jewelry at the Zoolander 2 premiere. Oscar nominee Rachel McAdams wore a graphic Jonathan Simkhai little white dress with beige pleated Christian Louboutin shoes at the 31st Annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival.
Which celebrity is wearing your favorite look? Whose style inspires you the most? Which trends are you talking about this winter? Thanks so much to all of my readers for your continued support during my blog hiatus, especially on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, & Pinterest. Happy Styling!
My biggest style obsession this fall & really for 2015 is earrings, as seen in detail with my Instagram posts (Follow Style Darling Daily @MissAlissaL). I’ve rediscovered my love of the blingy accessory, especially since I’ve recently cut my hair, showing off my collection of studs, chandeliers, hoops, dangles, drops, front-to-backs, & jackets for the every day runway that is life. In an effort to save some cash, but still treat myself here & there, shopping for budget-friendly earrings has been my simple solution when it comes to transforming a look & when I’m in need of some retail therapy. Before I share some of my favorite & elegant picks for not just the season, but really any occasion, I loved the idea of seeking out some extra special inspiration from celebrities who are lucky enough to rock the real thing during red carpet appearances. Celebrity inspiration for killer earrings comes in many metals, colors, & shapes, including some jaw-dropping duds for movie premieres, awards shows, & a slew of other special occasions. Get inspired to upgrade your street style with Jennifer Lawrence, Cara Delevingne, Kerry Washington, Olga Kurylenko, Chrissy Teigen, Angelina Jolie, Bella Thorne, Rihanna, Taylor Swift, Jenna Dewan-Tatum, & below on Jessica Chastain, Sofia Vergara, Chanel Iman, Kate Winslet, Drew Barrymore, Sarah Jessica Parker, Julianne Moore, Demi Lovato, Sarah Hyland, & Diane Kruger.
Of course, there are tons of retailers to select discounted fashion jewelry from, including multi-metal hoops that’ll take your blouse & skinny jeans from day-to-night, oversize studs from work to happy hour, clustered stones from a date to brunch, & other genius possibilities. What’s even better is that the below deals are all under $15.00!
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.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.
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.
It’s that time of year to shop for the best end-of-the-summer deals, especially on items that can transition into the next season & be worn as good as new for the following year. I’m all about the bargains & love finding new ways to wear past season favorites, especially when the sales are so good & shoppers of all sizes can up their style game! All of the below items are on sale for under $24 & will certainly make your wardrobe & budget happy!
Model turned actress Emily Ratajkowski is a star on the rise, & no wonder. With roles in films like Gone Girl & Entourage, under her belt, the gorgeous star of the upcoming We Are Your Friends, alongside Zac Efron, Emily is making a splash on the red carpet, especially when she’s inspiring easy breezy summer-to-fall fashion transitions in monochromatic & single-color looks. Recently, she’s made a sleek appearance in New York City in blush tones with an Atea Oceanie top (shop similar here) & a suede Brunello Cucinelli skirt (shop similar here), paired with metallic Sophia Webster sandals (shop here).
Somewhere along the way, I fell in love with scarves. They’re perfect for fall & winter, adding that extra splash of personality to your outfit, & only this summer did I realize the full potential of my look when there’s a stylish scarf wrapped around the handle of my favorite tote & crossbody bags. This was a way to get the most use out of my ever-growing scarf collection all year long, resolving the problem of my arms getting chilly during those cool, starry summer nights. However, you can get plenty of scarf envy from some of today’s most stylish celebrities whose looks are elevated by the accessory, like Jessica Alba, Rihanna, Emma Watson, Rachel Bilson, Sarah Jessica Parker, & Ashley Olsen.
In preparation for fall fashion, I wanted to share some of my favorite picks, in prints & solids, to inspire your scarf love, especially when wardrobe budgeting is essential. Scarves can dress down a black dress for day & keep you cozy when there’s a shift in temperature in the evening. Scarves also present an opportunity to play with prints, like trying a stripe against a polka dot (in a similar color scheme) or mixing leopard with something menswear inspired.
One of the biggest colors to hit stores in anticipation of fall is mustard, a rich gold hue that’s perfect for transitioning from summer to a cooler, crisper season. It’s not as tricky a shade to pull off as one might think, especially when there’s so much celebrity inspiration to consider when it comes to dresses, separates, outerwear, & accessories that will redefine how you look at mustard, making your outfit pop. This is evident with the always perfect Blake Lively in a leather dress during Milan Fashion Week, Scream star Bella Thorne‘s street style in corduroy overalls, The Twilight Saga actress Ashley Greene‘s casual look in a boyfriend cardigan, & The Honest Company entrepreneur Jessica Alba in a midi length skirt paired with feminine black extras.
If an all-day mustard look just isn’t your thing, then take some inspiration from bold outerwear pieces on American Idoljudge Jennifer Lopez & reality star Kim Kardashian West, as well as statement footwear on pop singer Taylor Swift whose pumps pop against her black & white outfit & socialite / designer darling Olivia Palermo for choosing to dress down her leather leggings with slipper flats.
Now comes the shopping possibilities with plenty of options for Style Darlings of all shapes & sizes, as well as smart shoppers on a budget, looking to get the most use & flare out of their wardrobe.
There’s nothing more classic than a crisp button down shirt. An extension of this is the chambray shirt for summer. While the season is at its height (let’s ignore fall for just a moment, please), a menswear-inspired chambray shirt is the perfect piece to get optimal use of your wardrobe for a variety of occasions, like day, work, weekend, & date, which is why it’s featured in my latest addition of Fabulous in 4 Ways.
This post is inspired by an equally versatile friend, Meghan, who works boho princess / bombshell prep street style like nobody’s business. When challenged with how to wear a chambray shirt, I advised my very favorite & fashionable friend that any way that a button down shirt can be styled is also any way that a chambray shirt can be styled (depending on the cut, of course). Here are some examples of must-haves tops to build an affordable ensemble at any size:
When it comes to essential basics to fill your closet, it’s always valuable to turn to some top A-listers for a little style inspiration, in the form of the button down shirts for anytime. This includes the flawless likes of Taylor Swiftwho takes the girl next door approach in a skate skirt, red oxford shoes, & retro sunnies. Curvy Kim Kardashian West dresses down her turquoise pencil skirt & ankle strap pumps with a tucked in, low-cut button down for a fierce day look. Draper James creator Reese Witherspoonis all buttoned up while traveling with mixed textures of black denim, leather pointy flats, & a pink lip. Style icon Olivia Palermo makes an appearance at a Kohl’s event in a knotted shirt over a floral pencil skirt with suede pumps.
Mixing chambray with similarly-hued denim isn’t a no-no, as seen on Rihanna who looked sporty & chic in a leather baseball cap & nude slingbacks. Salem actress Ashley Madekweis all about layering with a mini skirt, ankle booties, brocade blazer, & red chain link crossbody bag. Guardians of the Galaxy star Zoe Saldanakept her cool in head-to-toe blue with cowboy boots & aviators when out & about. Lastly, busy mom on the go Jennifer Garneroffers a laid back combo in a chambray pullover shirt tucked into a pencil skirt with ballet flats & a luxe navy snake embossed bowler bag.
Now comes the real-life outfit possibilities. Chambray is so lightweight to wear from week to week, especially if you like to reinvent your favorite pieces in new ways. I styled each look with thechambray shirt ($19.50, was $69.50) @J.Crew Factory because it was not only a bargain, but also the best foundation for a polished & flirty look. Try tucking the shirt in for day by rolling up the sleeves, but on the weekend, open it up & knot it when heading to brunch.
Depending on your job’s dress code, chambray can make a casual Friday a little more elegant when tucked into a minimalist skirt with edgy extras, but then knot it over an LBD for date night to keep cozy with colorful accessories to pop.
I’ve been thinking about fun & transformative ways to get the most out of my summer wardrobe, always looking for upgrades in staples like dresses, jewelry, & accessories at an affordable price. Lately, I love playing with color against my favorite classic pieces, which is the inspiration for this most recent Style Darling Daily post for The $100 Challenge. Since the dress below has so many possibilities, I couldn’t help picking out a few extras to get the most out of summer style for all shapes & sizes.
Affordable extras include neutrals, texture, & sensible alternatives to keep your looks fresh & playful this season. I love mixing up my jewelry from day to day, even when I rotate essentials like a favorite dress from week to week.