The Stylish Five: Summer Must-Haves ($35 & Under)!


Summer is in full swing & fall fashions are already hitting stores (ugh!), but that doesn’t mean it’s too late (it really isn’t!) to enjoy some fun & affordable summer styles. It’s still only the first week of July, which means that there’s the rest of this month, all of August, & the first half of September awaiting for you to explore the many outfit & accessory possibilities for a variety of outdoor, everyday, & special occasions. If you need a style boost, here’s a little inspiration of the five summer must-haves that’ll make your summer wardrobe not only chic, but memorable & playful.

1. The denim dress is a hallmark of summer. It’s lightweight with the ultimate classic feel, both features that make this dress perfect for pairing with wedges or sandals, textures like basket weave or cork, as well as acting as a neutral foundation to pops of color in your accessories.

SHOP: cold shoulder dress @Target & shift dress @Old Navy (both styles available in sizes XS – XXL).

2. I tend to rely on big earrings over the summer since heavier metals on my skin in the form of statement necklaces get uncomfortable when I’m out & about during a hot day when I’m trying to stay cool. Try a bold tassel earring instead to play up your personality & bring out the colors of a printed dress. Not to mention, a tassel style helps frame your face with a little flair too!

SHOP: purple shimmy earrings & multi color shimmy earrings @Charming Charlie.

3. There are so many shoe varieties when it comes to summer footwear, but the fringe trend is here to stay. A fringe sandal will not only relieve your feet the discomfort & stress caused by high heels in the heat, but also, it adds an extra splash of style to coordinate with neutrals like a button-down shirt & denim skirt.

SHOP: multi color fringe sandal @Francesca’s & Fergalicious black fringe Tanya sandal @DSW.

4. A floppy hat is always a summer necessity to not only protect your face from the harsh rays of the sun, but also adding a little bit of humor to your beach-ready look. Whether you’re laying out for a nap or walking the boardwalk, floppy hats with a message will easily refresh a tropical cover-up or maxi dress on those beautiful weekends by the water.

SHOP: Do Not Disturb hat @dressbarn & Sonoma Beach Please hat @Kohl’s.

5. Speaking of messages, a phrase / message clutch makes a statement that you’re all about style, taking it just seriously enough. If you’re headed for a weekend away or full-on vacation, clutches that celebrate the luxuries of style while abroad or having fun in the sun are sure to be the extra details that elevate your jersey dress or shorts romper, while also functioning to hold your most precious necessities.

SHOP: I Need A Vacay clutch @Forever 21 & Au Revoir clutch @Lulu’s.

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Accessories Access: Holiday Party Circuit Clutches!


‘Tis the season to be glitzy! When you’re getting for your the biggest holiday events, shopping for & coordinating your favorite party dresses & shoes, don’t forget about the all-important clutch, especially when hitting the cocktail party circuit where a bulky bag just won’t do. Investing in a classic, all-purpose clutch bag will serve your wardrobe over & over again, & this time of year, you won’t even have to break the bank for that final finishing piece. Take some inspiration from red carpet pros whose clutch game is on point for any occasion, including Reese Witherspoon, Anne Hathaway, Gigi Hadid, Emma Roberts, Jennifer Hudson, Anna Kendrick, & Kerry Washington

Because it is the holiday season, I scouted the web for party-specific bags that will pop with any look, whether it’s an LBD, sparkly frock, sleek jumpsuit, or fit & flare number. The following selections are $40 & under from some of my favorite retailers that I often turn to when getting my wardrobe state of mind into party mode.

SHOP: Tevolio merlot mesh clutch @Target, Luxe by Carmen Marc Valvo tassel clutch @dressbarn, sequin shoulder bag @H&M, & faux fur pouch @Nordstrom.

SHOP: metallic rhinestone clutch @Francesca’s, burgundy velvet minaudiere @Century 21, wine foldover clutch @Forever 21, & gold ring clutch box @Icing.

Happy Styling!

Color Me Style: White-Hot White Style For Spring, Inspired by Victoria Beckham, Lily James, Gwen Stefani, & More!


While there’s snow outside during this first week of spring, I have my eye on transitioning between seasons with the color white. Celebrities have made winter white super white-hot, but as we move into the warmer season, a bright pop of white, when it comes to separates, a dress, a full on monochromatic look, & accessories, will certainly look fresh & stylish.

Also, white isn’t just for brides since it works to brighten any skin tone, as we can see during the latest red carpet appearances of some of our favorite A-listers, especially in gorgeous white dresses & gowns.

Shailene Woodley, Karlie Kloss, Elizabeth Hurley, & Olga Kurylenko.

Shailene Woodley stunned in an ivory silk & organza gown with an open back by Ralph Lauren Collection (shop here) at the London premiere of Insurgent. Supermodel Karlie Kloss went minimal in a white & black accented Tom Ford Fall 2015 Collection cut-out column gown at the Brit Awards red carpet. Brit beauty Elizabeth Hurley hit the red carpet in a white curve-hugging lace-paneled pencil dress with Chopard diamonds, a metallic clutch, & gray pointy toe pumps at the NYC premiere of The Royals. Actress Olga Kurylenko was gorgeous in a sleeveless white midi length dress with a hot pink ombre clutch & metallic rose pumps at The Winter Music Brit Party 2015.

There’s nothing more classic than a white button down shirt, blouse, or t-shirt, but sometimes it’s adding that topper to your color blocked, playful, or formal looks that can transform your entire view on the staple must-have white top.

Gwen Stefani, Solange Knowles, Reese Witherspoon, & Veronica Roth.

Fashion icon Gwen Stefani hit the street in a white sheer top with black zippered skinny jeans, an oversize shopper, & mesh open-toe booties in L.A. Singer Solange Knowles took a risk in a white caped Balmain top (here) & belted wide-leg pants with a wooden clutch & black sandals at the Balmain Fall Winter 2015 show at Paris Fashion Week. Oscar-nominee Reese Witherspoon spent the day shopping in a white blouse with a floral flounced Dolce & Gabbana skirt, Tabitha Simmons basket weave wedges (shop here), & white leather bag from The Row. Author of The Divergent Series, Veronica Roth, wowed in an Ann Demeulemeester white blazer with a camisole, striped Michael Lo Sordo asymmetric skirt, Salvatore Ferragamo clutch, Tory Burch sandals, & Le Vian jewels.

Wearing white on the bottom is sometimes a big risk, but try mixing up skirts, trousers, & jeans in a quality fabric to get the most out of your favorite blouses, sweaters, & crop tops.

Sarah Hyland, Jamie Chung, Olivia Palermo, & Julianne Moore.

Modern Family actress Sarah Hyland looked playful in a lavender busier top with a white midi skirt, bejeweled clutch, & mint green Bionda Castana pumps (shop here) at the 32nd Annual Paleyfest. Style blogger / actress Jamie Chung took her adorable pup for a walk in a striped tank by twenty with a white midi length skirt, leather moto jacket, cut-out booties by Sol Sana (here), & black leather shoulder bag. Fashion it-girl Olivia Palermo showed her support for the Chalayan Fall Winter 2015 show during Paris Fashion Week in an oatmeal turtleneck knit with a white leather fringe midi-length pencil skirt, a white clutch, lavender pumps. Academy Award winner Julianne Moore was effortless in a navy sweater & blazer with white trousers & a long pendant necklace.

There are even those who have dares to wear head-to-toe white in a chic, sleek monochromatic look, playing with menswear inspiration, volume & cut-outs, & soft edges.

Victoria Beckham, Julianne Hough, Lily James, & Robin Wright.

Designer Victoria Beckham showed off her own Victoria Beckham design in a high neck sleeveless dress with cut-outs, a full skirt, & white pointed toe platform pumps at the amfAR Hong Kong gala. Dancing with the Stars alum Julianne Hough mixed menswear in a semi-sheer A.L.C. blouse with flared trousers & Kurt Geiger snakeskin pumps (shop here) for an appearance on Extra. Cinderella star Lily James was ethereal in a Camilla & Marc white top (shop here) & skirt with a statement gold necklace, Jennifer Fisher rings, & metallic sandals at a Cinderella event. At the House of Cards season premiere in London, Robin Wright looked sleek in a white suit with a black cami & python pumps.

Aside from the red cart, white stunned on recent runways during Fashion Weeks across the world, especially in gorgeous dresses from the collections of Roland Mouret Spring 2015 Ready-To-Wear, Jean Paul Gaultier Spring 2015 Couture, & 3.1 Phillip Lim Fall Winter 2015.

Roland Mouret Spring 2015 Ready-To-Wear, Jean Paul Gaultier Spring 2015 Couture, & 3.1 Phillip Lim Fall Winter 2015.

Jonathan Saunders Spring 2015 Ready-To-Wear, Honor Spring 2015 Ready-To-Wear, & Osman Spring 2015 Ready-To-Wear.

Also, white separates glowed on the runway, especially in the catwalk shows from Jonathan Saunders Spring 2015 Ready-To-Wear, Honor Spring 2015 Ready-To-Wear, & Osman Spring 2015 Ready-To-Wear.

With all this celebrity & designer inspiration, it’s time to take the white idea to your wardrobe & on your must-have shopping list, starting with affordable dresses, perfect for a variety of shapes & sizes. Dresses - Charlotte Russe $19.99, Romwe $28.00, Missguided $29.98, & Dress Barn $48.00.

SHOP: skater dress @Charlotte Russe ($19.99), maxi dress @Romwe ($28.00), bodycon dress @Missguided ($29.98), & fit & flare dress @Dress Barn ($48.00).

Step away from black tops & try these options in white to add a bright pop against a pencil skirt, pastel jeans, menswear trousers, or leather paneled leggings.

Tee - Alloy $5.99, V-Neck - JC Penney $9.99, Blouse - Forever 21 $14.90, & Sweater - Nordstrom Rack $24.97.

SHOP: tee @Alloy ($5.99), v-neck @JC Penney ($9.99), blouse @Forever 21 ($14.90), & sweater @Nordstrom Rack ($24.97).

Experiment with white bottoms with figure-hugging skinny jeans, playful skirts, & this season’s must-have look, culottes with heels.

Jeans - YOOX $24.00, Pencil Skirt - Old Navy $29.94, Culottes - JC Penney $36.00, & ASOS $42.00.

SHOP: jeans @YOOX ($24.00), pencil skirt @Old Navy ($29.94), culottes @JC Penney ($36.00), & midi skirt @ASOS ($42.00).

Now is the times favorite white accessories, including shoes like flats with a shirt dress, embossed sandals for a cocktail frock, wedges with jeans & a blouse, & pumps for an office look.

Flats - Target $19.98, Wedges - Famous Footwear $25.00, Sandals - 6PM $29.99, & Pumps - Boohoo $44.00.

SHOP: flats @Target ($19.98), wedges @Famous Footwear ($25.00), sandals @6PM ($29.99), & pumps @Boohoo ($44.00).

When breaking out new spring separates & jackets, a white bag or clutch is great to pair against primary colors, rich neutrals, soft pastels, & bold prints.

Clutch - Dorothy Perkins $17.00, Tote - Alloy $29.99, Messenger - Last Call $45.00, & Bucket Bag - Shoptiques $35.00.

SHOP: clutch @Dorothy Perkins ($17.00), tote @Alloy ($29.99), messenger @Last Call ($45.00), & bucket bag @Shoptiques ($35.00).

Wearing white jewelry is sure to pop against with any ensemble. Choose drop earrings for a party look, a statement necklace over a sheath dress, studs for a casual outfit, & bangles in mixed metallics.

Drop earrings - ChicNova $2.88, Necklace - H&M $9.95, Studs - River Island $6.00, & Bangle - Designs by Stephene $20.00.

SHOP: drop earrings @ChicNova ($2.88), necklace @H&M ($9.95), studs @River Island ($6.00), & bangle @Designs by Stephene ($20.00).

What do you think of wearing white? Which celebrities wear white the best? Who do you turn to for style inspiration? Which white pieces were your favorite? For more stylish & affordable fashion posts, check out the complete red carpet gallery from last month’s Academy Awards, Oscar de la Renta’s Fall Winter 2015 collection from Fashion Week, bucket bags inspired by Michael Kors & Tory Burch, & four fabulous ways wear floral leggings! Happy Styling!

Luxury Look-Alikes for Less: Get Embellished With A Clutch from Forever 21 or by Judith Leiber @Neiman Marcus!


My apologies, Style Darlings, for the long-awaited return of my style posts.  This holiday season has demanded much of my time & now that I’m officially done with all school & baking obligations, I can devote more time to the best picks for the end of the year celebration.  What better way to do that than with a return to Luxury Look-Alikes for Less?!

If you’re looking for the best New Year’s Eve accessory as you’re making plans for a fabulous party, check out these two clutches, which vary in price by a wide margin!  Of course, there’s a certain je-ne-sais-quoi about the luxe design of a clutch by accessories-designer-to-the-stars, Judith Leiber, especially when it comes to this fizzy studded envelope clutch ($1595.00) from Neiman Marcus.  However, since we’re Style Darling son a budget, you can carry on the same embellished feel with the glamour pearl clutch bag ($14.80) from Forever 21, while saving yourself lots of money.  What’s so great about both of these bags is that they’re flashy enough for a girl’s night out, a more formal event, or for cocktail hour.  Remember: Style Darlings should always get the most out of their wardrobe & accessories, so let’s make that our resolution for 2012!  Happy Styling!

Quickie Darling Deal & Steal: Affordable Animal-Inspired Accessories!


There’s nothing that I love more in an accessory than a pop of animal inspiration!  Personally, I’m a big fan od zebra print, having always been pro-black-&-white in my style.  However, the spectrum of animal print doesn’t stop there since we have leopard, cheetah, croc, & snake prints to bring out the style in our basic items.

First let’s talk shoes… hands down, the boldest of my choices is this blue platform heel from Charlotte Russe for $35.50.  It does border on tacky, but you’re not likely to run into anyone else at a cocktail party wearing them!  They’re wild to pair with a metallic mini dress or even show off with a pair of jeans & silk top.  Something to keep in mind while shopping the shoes @Charlotte Russe is that they’re always having promotions for shoes, like BOGO $10 or $15.  That’s when getting the zebra slingbacks comes in handy so that you’re saving a bunch of money since they cost $40.00!

If you’re looking for something more moderate when it comes to an animal-inspired shoes, take a look at the scrunchy cheetah flats for $15.80 @Forever 21.  They’re darling for a tunic top & leggings or to wearing with skinny jeans & a babydoll top on a casual day.  Another fierce option would be the leopard peep toe cone pumps for $22.80, & cone pumps are very on-trend for fall.  There’s something vintage about them, yet they’re still cute enough to wear with a pencil skirt & button-down shirt.

For fall, I’m also currently obsessed with scarves & can’t wait to layer them over tanks & short-sleeved cardigans at night when the summer weather turns cooler!  The first of my scarf choices is the multi-print scarf from The Limited, but is no longer available!  I had picked this item out a few days ago for $16.99, but my heart has broken b/c I was sooo close to ordering it!  The combination of leopard & polka dot just screamed chic & would’ve paired so well with an all-black ensemble! However, the leopard scarf is available @Payless for $12.99.  It would look so great with a neutral wrap dress or against a black romper.

In the middle, I have three belts picked out, which make for the best finishing touch on a look where you want to show off your figure.  The Material Girl belt duo in pink & taupe is no longer available @Macy’s.  Sad face.  Although, you can do very well with the leopard & black skinny belts from Payless for $12.99, especially since the store is currently having their BOGO 50% promotion!  If you wanna find something a little thicker, try the animal tab stretch belt by Style & Co. @Macy’s for $19.98.

You can’t talk about accessories & not show some bags.  The patchwork shopper is from Payless for $26.99, available in Black / Gray & Brown / Tan.  The combination of exotic prints & the chain strap add some luxury.  Not to mention that it’s also super spacious to put your iPad, cell phone, & other goodies in!  I have been talking about Target a lot lately & looooove this snake print clutch wallet for $19.99.  It’s looks like chic enough to be an evening clutch, but can always be used on a daily basis as your very sassy wallet.  It’s multiple sections inside are perfect for helping to organize your bills & shopping expeditions!

Last, but not least, I have some jewelry pics.  This includes the pink snake embossed bangle from White House Black Market for $34.o0.  It’s just enough print to go with a floral sun dress,  Right now the store is having a sale that you can’t miss: All jewelry is BOGO 25% off!  So while you’re there, try the zebra drop hoop earrings which are marked down to $13.99 from $20.00!

What are your favorite animal print accessories?  For more inspiration, check out how celebrities like  Megan Fox, Rachel Bilson, Julia Roberts, Diane Kruger, Rihanna, & Eva Longoria sport animal-inspired accessories on the red carpet & when they’re out & about!  Happy Styling!

Quickie Darling Deal & Steal: Big Buddha Purse at Piperlime!


When going out, perhaps even for this Valentine’s Day, it’s always a great idea to carry with you as little as possible.  Just hang onto the essentials like your phone, a tube of lipstick, some cash or a credit card (but why would you be paying anyway?), or any other personal toiletry.   How about trying this adorable mini-purse with a flower ruffle design, available in yellow, gray, & black for only $13.99 @Piperlime.  The design is by Big Buddha & is currently a marked down item from $20.00.  Take out the yellow for a spring time day affair with a shirtdress, or save the gray for a night out with the girls & your favorite sparkled top.  And who doesn’t love a black option when wearing something a little bit on the loud side? 

They make for great gift ideas (maybe for bridesmaids?) & will never go out of style.  If you’re thinking of this as gift item, load it up with little sample sizes of the latest beauty items & color palettes for your bestie!  You can always try the standard rectangular clutch, but this ‘Tilly’ purse is a portable & posh way to get about your business, especially since you can simply clip it on your jeans or your belt when going out without having to carry around in your hands.  Always looking our for a great deal, I can’t help but notice how super celebrity stylist & mom-to-be Rachel Zoe endorses this brand on the website by seasonally picking some of their bags as her favorites of the moment.  Can’t go wrong when a professional is telling you it’s hot!  What kind of clutches do you like to coordinate?  Any comments, suggestions, or questions are welcome!  Happy Styling!

 

1/29/11 Darling of the Day: Kerry Washington at Sundance!


                             

                           

 At this year’s Sundance Film Festival, Kerry Washington brings winter casual forward with a jacket from Ann Taylor, Hudson jeans, ring from Lia Sophia, & Rene Caovilla clutch.  Her knee boots, hoop earrings, & lace  top are items that most of us have in some form or another, but here at the premiere of The Details, she shows us again her effortless & trendy style.  Nothing completes an outfit like a blazer, but the Lakeview Terrace star makes hers a little more special for evening. For more on Kerry’s chic sense of style, check out In Style, Cosmopolitan, & Fashion Indie!  Happy Styling!