Basics for a Bargain: Pencil Skirt Party for All Sizes!


Earlier in the fall, I was asked what trend I was most interested in, & I was surprised to realize that I’d been all about skirts because my spring & summer wardrobe was so fit & flare dress heavy. However, my flirtation with skirts isn’t exclusive to one style since I’m pretty psyched about all styles & how to explore separates combinations & playing with different patterns. Though, not all skirts are flattering for all body types, but one of the most classic styles that best fits & enhances any shape is the pencil skirt, which is versatile enough to pair with a variety of tops to take you to work to date to weekend & everywhere in between.

Take some inspiration from some iconic television characters who’ve always looked their best on the small screen in pencil skirts, including Christina Hendricks as Joan Holloway on Mad Men, Mindy Kaling as Dr. Mindy Lahiri on The Mindy Project, Emma Roberts as Chanel Oberlin on Scream Queens, Kim Cattrall as Samantha Jones on Sex & the City, & Taraji P. Henson as Cookie Lyons on Empire.

You don’t have to break the bank either to find a pencil skirt for you, especially when they’re available in nearly every size, pattern, color, & material. Try a pencil skirt for your next office look with a denim button down shirt, a polka dot cardigan with a striped skirt, or a graphic tee tucked into a brocade skirt. The styling possibilities are endless & evident in the countless posts I’ve previously shared in the past, including inspiration from Lauren Conrad & Kerry Washington, Reese Witherspoon’s floral take on pencil skirts, & style steals straight from the red carpet on Cate Blanchett & Michelle Obama! Also, here are just a few ways I’ve been wearing pencil skirts lately!

So if you haven’t already, take the plunge with a sleek & elegant pencil skirt. Check out these ten affordable picks below to get your holiday, fall, & winter style in gear! Not to mention that most pencil skirts are perfect for year-round wear, which makes the challenge of styling them all the more thrilling!

SHOP: 1. plaid skirt @The Limited (available in sizes 0-18), 2. Thalia Sodi leopard skirt @Macy’s, 3. Worthington woven skirt @JCPenney (available in sizes 4-18 & petites), 4. denim skirt @Nordstrom Rack, & 5. sweater skirt @Old Navy (available in XS-XXL, tall, & petite).

SHOP: 6. lace skirt @dressbarn (shop plus size here), 7. pinstripe skirt @H&M, 8. faux leather skirt @New York & Company (available in sizes 0-20), 9, windowpane skirt @Target, & Melissa McCarthy leopard skirt @TJMaxx (available in 1X-3X).

How do you like to style pencil skirts? What colors or patterns are you most drawn to? Where do you like to shop for basic bargains? Happy Styling!

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Basics for a Bargain: Black Pencil Skirts for Every Body Type & Budget!


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.

Check out the A-listers below to get inspired by all kinds of black pencil skirts & style choices, including blogger / actress Jamie Chung, designer / author Lauren ConradMad Men star Christina Hendricks, Aussie actress Rebel Wilson, the flawless Kerry Washington, & the one & only, Jennifer Lopez.

Jamie Chung, Lauren Conrad, Christina Hendricks, Rebel Wilson, Kerry Washington, & Jennifer Lopez.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.

Misses, Plus, & Petites pencil skirt looks.SHOP: Misses cold shoulder top @Charlotte Russe, graphic tee @Nordstrom Rack, floral blouse @ModCloth, Plus plaid shirt @Forever 21, embellished top @Dress Barn, printed peplum top @Old Navy, & Petites ruffle tank @JCPenney, denim t-shirt @ASOS, & lace trim tank @Gap. Misses skirt @TJMaxx & skirt @H&M, Plus skirt @Eloquii & skirt @Kohl’s, & Petites skirt @Lord & Taylor & skirt @The Limited.

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. 

Pencil skirt accessoriesSHOP: ankle strap pumps @DSW, metallic heels @GOjane, ankle booties @Lane Bryant, embellished flats @Topshop, belt @Lulu’s, rose gold tote @Payless, leopard clutch @6PM, & tortoise sunglasses @Target.

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!

#RedCarpet Review: All The Looks From The 2015 #Emmys, Including #BestDressed Stars Kerry Washington, Lady Gaga, & More!


Tonight’s Emmy awards are already causing a buzz all over the internet, especially among fashion bloggers everywhere. I have nothing but love to show for all the female nominees & presenters on the red carpet. At the end of the day, it’s all about positively celebrating today’s most talented women. However, when it comes to fashion, there’s a legacy about the red carpet & seeing high-end couture & designers’ visions come to life on some of our favorite stars.

Some of my favorites walked the red carpet in California’s sweltering heat to the beat of their own stylish drum, including Scandal star Kerry Washington (in Marc Jacobs), Modern Family star Sarah Hyland (in Zac Posen), a bold January Jones (in  Ulyana Sergeenko), Empire‘s Cookie, Taraji P. Henson (in Alexander Wang), & funny girl Amy Schumer (in Zac Posen).

Kerry Washington, Sarah Hyland, January Jones, Taraji P. Henson, & Amy Schumer at the 2015 Emmys.More beauty was in tow with stars from all side of entertainment, including the highly anticipated star of American Horror Story: Hotel, Lady Gaga (in Brandon Maxwell), Orange is the New Black star Laverne Cox (in Calvin Klein Collection), Homeland actress Claire Danes (in Prada), the always curvaceous Christina Hendricks (in Naeem Khan), Parks & Recreation star Aubrey Plaza (in Alexandre Vauthier), & bride to be Sofia Vergara (in St. John).

Lady Gaga, Laverne Cox, Claire Danes, Christina Hendricks, Aubrey Plaza, & Sofia Vergara athe 2015 Emmy's.There were so many trends lighting up the red carpet, such as pops of colors, chain details, shimmers & sparkles, & much more! Also, among the gorgeous fashion choices were additional favorites like Jane the Virgin breakout star Gina Rodriguez (in Lorena Sarbu), Orange is the New Black‘s Danielle Brooks (in Christian Siriano), The Mindy Project show runner Mindy Kaling (in a belted gold number), Blindspot actress Jaimie Alexander (in Armani Prive), & the always statuesque Taylor Schilling (in Stella McCartney). 

Gina Rodriguez, Danielle Brooks, Mindy Kaling, Jaimie Alexander, & Taylor Schilling at the 2015 Emmy's.Watch the slideshow below for a complete red carpet gallery & leave comments on who wore your favorite look! For more stylish posts, check out the best end of the summer deals from JC Penney & Francesca’s, Emily Ratajkowski’s suede skirt look, & affordable scarf inspiration from Rachel Bilson & Jessica Alba. Happy Styling!

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Runway Rundown: Christian Siriano’s Pre-Fall 2015 Collection Lookbook!


Christian Siriano Pre-Fall 2015 Collection.

Among keeping your resolutions for the new year, something else & perhaps more stylish to look forward to is the Pre-Fall 2015 Collection lookbooks that hit the web last month & continue to send fashion critics & bloggers in a tizzy! I couldn’t help but gush over the recent images released by Project Runway winner Christian Siriano. The collection features any & everything luxe with lace details, metallic foil fabrics, fierce fringe, stunning coats, & timeless silhouettes that are sure to attract consistent celebrity clients of the designer, including Sarah Hyland, Christina Hendricks, Solange Knowles, & Mena Suvari. It’s hard to resist anticipating some of the formal pieces in the line for this season’s awards shows, especially when flawless nominees like Emma Stone, Amy Adams, Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting, Viola Davis, & Lizzy Caplan are about to his the red carpet looking their best to celebrate an amazing year in entertainment.

Which looks are your favorite? What red carpet trends are you expecting to see? Shop Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, Bluefly, & Payless for Christian Siriano‘s designs.  For more lookbook posts from Runway Rundown, check out Tory Burch, Alice + Olivia, Naeem Kahn, & Marchesa. Also, for more stylish posts, check out affordable capes from ASOS & Chic Nova, my newest bargain picks from LOFT & Dress Barn, & the top 10 Style Darlings to watch for in 2015! Happy Styling!

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Cover Craze: Mad Men’s Christina Hendricks Is Lucky’s June Cover Girl!


Christina Hendricks for Lucky June 2013 01

Christina Hendricks has been one of the most watched out for celebrities on the red carpet, especially with her success on the drama, Mad Men. Plus, it wasn’t that long ago that I featured the curvy actress in another Cover Craze post for her feature in Canada’s Flare magazine, however the fiery redhead is now the face for Lucky magazine’s June 2013 issue.

Christina Hendricks for Lucky June 2013 02

She talks to the magazine about her favorite red carpet moments, famous for wearing designer duds by L’Wren Scott, Christian Siriano, Zac Posen, & Dolce & Gabbana. Also, her Mad Men fame & iconic role as Joan have created a signature style for the actress who embraces pencil skirts, high heels, & anything bra-friendly. She’s also a bargain shopper as a fan of Nine West & J.Crew, as well as international boutique for vintage-inspired pieces.

Watch the video above to get a behind-the-scenes look at the magazine’s shoot & hear Christina first-hand charm the pants off of us! Christina can be seen next in the Ryan Gosling-directed film How To Catch A Monster, & the Neil Labute ensemble dramedy Seconds of Pleasure. For more magazine posts, check out Scarlett Johansson for Marie Claire, Hayden Panettiere’s beachy shoot for Glamour, & last month’s Lucky cover with Drew Barrymore! Also, be sure to check out InStyle‘s inside look at the costumes worn by Mad Men‘s leading ladies! Happy Styling!

Watch This Style / Cover Craze: Christina Hendricks’ Flare Cover Shoot!


Christina Hendricks for Flare May 2013

It’s no secret that Mad Men has been inspiring a retro sophistication in fashion since the show premiere in 2007, especially with stunning leading ladies like Elisabeth Moss & January Jones. However, it’s Christina Hendricks‘ curves that have always caught the attention of critics on the red carpet. She fills a pencil skirt like nobody’s business & even admits during her recent cover shoot for the May 2013 issue of the Canadian fashion magazine, Flare, that she owns about 75 pencil skirts!

The shoot, which took place in Beverly Hills, was inspired by Dolce & Gabbana‘s Spring / Summer 2013 collection. We see a celebration of spring with includes lots of florals, pin-up silhouettes, bright colors, & fun patterns. Christina looks amazing with her big hair, smokey eye, complimenting turquoise jewelry, & soft lip. She’s definitely an inspiration when it comes to style & I love how she celebrates her figure every chance she gets!

Christina Hendricks for Flare May 2013

Christina Hendricks for Flare May 2013 02

Not only does the stunning redhead talk fashion, but also she sheds light on her experiences working with Ryan Gosling. The pair were both cast in Drive, and she’s now one of the stars of Gosling’s directorial debut in How To Catch A Monster. Also, during the interview, she talks about the audition process & accepting career setbacks. “It’s something that I’m used to,” she says about rejection. “You’re either right for it or you’re not right for it. You could leave thinking you had the best audition in the world and they say you don’t look like the person I imagined. It has nothing to do with your talent. Someone could have just broken up with a redhead the other day and not want to hire me.

Talk about one classy lady! Watch the video below for a behind-the-scenes look at the actress in action & share with readers what you think about the sexy & sweet shoot! Do you follow Christina’s red carpet style? For more fabulous photo shoots, check out previous posts including Hayden Panettiere for Glamour, Kate Hudson for ELLE UK, & Zöe Saldana for InStyle!

Fabulous In 4 Ways: A Metallic Faux Leather Pencil Skirt For The Ages From New York & Company!


I was so excited in August to share one of my newest categories, Fabulous in 4 Ways, especially since the debut post was dedicated to my good friend Laurie, as inspired by her fabulous lace-up knee boots from Victoria’s Secret!  Now, I’m talking about faux leather & pencil skirts, but before we dive into the outfits, I turned to some of my favorite celebrities to get some inspiration in how I would style such a classy & modern take on the figure flattering piece.

Kate Bosworth rocks a Proenza Schouler leather-trimmed pencil skirt at the brand’s New York boutique opening with a relaxed white blouse & strappy sandals.  The First Lady, Michelle Obama, wore a high-waist pencil skirt in navy with a cropped cardigan & purple top, while visiting a Wisconsin school.  Mad Men bombshell Christina Hendricks mixes her old school glamour with a Dolce & Gabbana blouse, red clutch, & classic black pencil skirt.

Total Recall star Kate Beckinsale plays with colorblocking with a chic H&M tank, Diane von Furstenberg turquoise skirt, & spiked neutral pumps.  Rashida Jones is polished & professional with a touch of menswear while making an appearance on Good Morning America, wearing a printed button down shirt & white pencil skirt.  Aussie starlet Cate Blanchett showed her support for Givenchy in a head-to-toe look with Roger Vivier heels.

Also, at Fashion Week for the upcoming Spring-Summer 2013 runway collections, the pencil silhouette was everywhere, as seen in Runway Rundown posts, including Dolce & Gabbana, Burberry Prorsum, Christopher Kane, & Oscar de la Renta.  Also, these pieces were shared by more fabulous designers like Nina Ricci, Tadashi Shoji, & Salvatore Ferragamo!

To recreate a pencil skirt look, I’ve selected the faux leather bronze pencil skirt ($59.95) in metallic bronze from New York & Company, which challenged me to find a way to wear this for work, day, date, & cocktail occasions.  If you want to get the most out of your wardrobe for the office, check out the zippered contrast sweater ($24.80) in black from Forever 21 with the short tab sleeves top ($24.80) in teal available @Windsor Store.  The colorblocking & relaxed details tone down the metallic texture of the skirt, especially when paired with Express‘ diamond texture body shaping full tights ($22.90) & suede cap toe chunky heels ($21.50) in black from GOjane.

The look to the right (above) is fun for a day with the girls or feeling like mixing it up because of the contrasting details in Lord & Taylor‘s CK JEANS cable-front cotton cardigan ($29.99) in black over the tab-sleeve plaid-chiffon shirts ($29.94) in black combo from Old Navy.  Of course affordable pieces like these can be reworked with skinny jeans or leggings & chunky accessories.  @Payless, I’ve found the Dexflex Maye strappy boot ($59.99) in black & Minicci micro fiber tights ($6.99) in burgundy to add some extra dimension while playing with trends this fall.

Depending on where you’re headed for a date, this kind of pencil skirt is perfect for an elegant & upscale look, without breaking the bank.  I’ve chosen pieces with luxe details to put this look together, including the Jennifer Lopez pleated mesh overlay tank ($19.80) in tuffet from Kohl’s & glitter lace almond tow pump ($38.50) in champagne from Charlotte Russe.  To complete the ladylike feel, I’ve added the round stone drop earrings ($13.60) @Cache & The Limited‘s zip around wallet ($29.90).

Don’t forget that pencil skirts are perfect for building a sexy cocktail look. Of course, a dress will save you lots of time, but to get the most out of your wardrobe, why not play with separates in unexpected ways with the snake-print tiered bustier ($88.00) in amethyst from White House Black Market, paired with the Emma WP platform pump ($39.99) from Bakers Shoes.  Also, I love Forever 21‘s looped drop earrings ($7.80), which look red carpet ready, especially with the Mossimo basket weave print clutch ($16.99) in black & white @Target.

How would you wear this pencil skirt? Are you following the metallics trend? What are your favorite work, day, date, & cocktail looks? Happy Styling!

Red Carpet Review: 2012 Emmy Awards Featuring Zooey Deschanel, Sofia Vergara, Hayden Panettiere, & More!


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This is a first for Style Darling. The 64th Annual Emmy Awards are currently airing & I’ve been scouring the web for the last 45 minutes to put together a complete gallery of the fabulous red carpet looks. Some of my favorites include Zooey Deschanel in a princess-like Reem Acra look, Julie Bowen in neon Monique Lhuillier, Claire Danes as a blushing mom-to-be in Lanvin, & Christina Hendricks in a belted design by Christian Siriano. Who are you rooting for? I’m a big fan of Girls, so keep an eye out for the very multi-talented Lena Dunham! Check out the gallery & share with readers which looks are your favorites! Enjoy the show! Happy Styling!

8/2/2012 Darling Of The Day: Kate Middleton & Christina Hendricks Colorblock With Bright Pants!


When I saw these looks worn by the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, & Mad Men star Christina Hendricks, I kept them in mind b/c I loved the bright bottoms worn by both Style Darlings.  Kate’s look is very casual, perfect for observing Olympic events, whereas Christina’s look is more feminine & polished while she walks the red carpet.

Since it’s summer time, a crisp white top, whether it be a polo shirt or a blouse, is always a stylish way to start building an outfit.  I’ve selected both looks to feature in Darling of the Day, especially since it’s been a while since my last post in this category.

To start building Kate’s look, I’ve turned to KMart for the polo shirt ($7.99) & paired it with the Stella colored jean legging ($79.90) in cobalt from Express. The price on the jeans may be high, but right now @Express, there’s a BOGO $29.90 sale on these jeans.  If you’re an Express credit card holder, you can earn coupons for up to $50.oo off! To complete this look, head over to Piperlime for the Nine West Skip N Jump wedges ($39.99) & Kohl’s for the Simply Vera Vera Wang silver tone simulated crystal ball drop earrings ($10.50).

If you’re looking for a dressier way of pairing your whites with bright bottoms, take a look at Christina’s ensemble, which can comprise affordable separates like the satin cascading ruffle blouse ($17.80) from Forever 21 & New York & Company‘s The Crosby Street city double stretch slim leg pants ($46.95). This outfit lends the perfect opportunity to play with prints & textures in your accessories, such as the Andiamo gavel pumps ($34.94) from DSW & Big Buddha handbag clutch ($24.99) from Macy’s.

To shop more colorful bottoms, inducing jeans, pants, & leggings, check out colored stonewash skinnies ($24.80) from Forever 21, stretch twill pants ($24.95) from H&M, Jessica London‘s color jeggings ($39.99), colorful skinny jean ($44.90 – $74.90) from The Limited, & the cafe capris ($39.99) from J.Crew. Also, for basic white tops to mix & match with other wardrobe staples, check out the burnout animal racerback tank ($9.99) from Charlotte Russe, The Gap‘s Essex sugar wash scoop tee ($19.99), the ASOS button down skirt ($33.14), the white zebra twist tee ($28.50) from Torrid, Old Navy‘s split-neck button-front blouse ($22.50).

For more celebrity-inspired posts, be sure to check out Blake Lively’s commercial for Gucci Premiere, Top 10 Celeb Sightings featuring Emmy Rossum, Katy Perry, Liv Tyler, & more, & Kate Hudson’s latest ad campaign for Ann Taylor.  Happy Styling!

Red Carpet Review: Heidi Klum, Drew Barrymore, & Zooey Deschanel In Glitters, Sparkle, Pastel, Details, Pink, & Pretty at the 2011 Emmy’s (Part Three)!


When it came to glitz, & glamour, the stars were on hand at this year’s Emmy Awards.  There were no details left behind during the red carpet festivities & we learned that the ladies love some sparkle & pastel hues.  In a hodge-podge of images below, we see some of our favorites succeed with their luxury looks & some give it an honorable try.

Jennifer Carpenter wore this blush beaded Tony Ward Couture gown with Martin Katz jewelry.  Cat Deeley went for some super glamour in this gold beaded Monique Lhuillier gown with Bulgari diamonds & a metallic clutch to complete the look.  Taraji P. Henson could’ve used a little help in this embellished Blumarine column gown, although her Fred Leighton drop earrings & cocktail ring helped the look.  Maria Bello glowed in the one-shoulder Kaufmanfranco column gown with a satin clutch & Martin Katz cocktail ring.  Christina Hendricks never shies away from showing off her best assets & this Johanna Johnson gown hugs her curves in all the right ways.  I could’ve done without the slit in the front, but she still looks like a million bucks.  Drew Barrymore took the stage with the new cast of ABC’s Charlie’s Angels in a Givenchy couture gown with Jimmy Choo platforms & gems by Van Cleef & Arpels.

Mad Men star Elisabeth Moss was stunning in this encrusted illusion gown by MarchesaPadma Lakshmi looked golden in this Armani Prive gown with Jimmy Choo sandals & her own jewelry.  Jane Krakowski looked a little over-tanned in this white deep-v gown with a jewel embellishment, but for a lady who recently had a baby, her body looks fantastic.  Kudos to her for showing it off!  The Good Wife star Julianna Margulies puzzled critics in this Armani Prive lampshade-corset white gown with peculiar embellishments.  Heidi Klum supported Project Runway winner Christian Siriano in a custom-made greige (gray / beige) ruffled cocktail dress with colorful jewelry by Lorraine Schwartz & extra high Christian Louboutin heels.  Charlie’s Angels star (& former Grey’s Anatomy doctor) Rachael Taylor made her Emmy’s debut in a memorable way with this iridescent beaded Giorgio Armani column gown with diamonds by Neil Lane.

The stars were also pretty in pink, for example, Modern Family‘s Ariel Winter showed that she’s all grown up in this powdered pink botanical-themed halter dress with diamond flower studs & matching ring by Jamie WolfJayma Mays channeled her inner ballerina in this tiered Zuhair Murad gown with a Swarovski clutch, Brian Atwood shoes, & Neil Lane jewelry & brooch.  Rashida Jones looked ladylike in a pink Alberta Ferretti strapless number with bangles by Van Cleef & Arpels.  Footloose star & former Dancing with the Stars champ Julianne Hough took a risk in this multi-tonal Carolina Herrera gown with jewelry by ForevermarkZooey Deschanel disappointed in this bubble gum pink Monique Lhuillier gown with a red sash. Even though she’s so pretty & stylish, the whole look seemed like a costume.  Anyone agree?

I wanted to feature Raising Hope‘s Martha Plimton in my red-theme Emmy post, but was unable to find an adequate image at the time, so here is she is, looking beyond gorgeous in a curve-hugging sparkly Zac Posen dress.  Elizabeth McGovern wore a merlot-hued sweetheart dress, but I wish that the clutch didn’t blend in so much- something gold would’ve been especially gorgeous against the rich hue.  Hostess of the night, Jane Lynch, turned heads in a strapless David Meister gown with Lorraine Schwartz jewelry.  Sarah Hyland also collaborated with Christian Siriano with Grecian-inspired coral belted dress & Lorraince Schwartz jewelry.  Julia Stiles has never looked better on a red carpet wearing this lavender Georges Hobeika gown with a clutch by Kotur.

We’ve seen dozens of looks from the stars in red, black, blue, & now the paler, sparkly hues… Have you picked your favorite?  Do you think Taraji P. Henson & Zooey Deschanel could do better?  What would you have liked to see them wear on the red carpet?  Happy Styling!