Accessories Access: Mad for Affordable Plaid Extras This Season!


Plaid is the perfect print for fall, calling to match up your menswear style with sleek separates & luxe textures. Celebrities have been on the plaid train for a long time now, & it couldn’t look any better on the following A-listers: Reese Witherspoon, Jessica Alba, Taylor Swift, Rita Ora, & Hilary Duff.

Reese Witherspoon, Jessica Alba, Taylor Swift, Rita Ora, & Hilary Duff in plaid.Easy ways to add some plaid to your wardrobe without breaking your budget is to invest in accessories to wear with a variety of looks. Plaid goes against classic staples like a button down shirt & skinny jeans, a sweater dress & knee boots, as well as a lace blouse with a pencil skirt. Anyone of any age can rock plaid, & here are some affordable accessories to get you inspired to build that street style-ready fall look.

Accessories Access - Mad for Plaid This Fall!SHOP: 1. poncho ($37.99) in black / white @Necessary Clothing, 2. shawl ($39.99) in stone @ModCloth, 3. France Luxe headband ($20.00) in navy / green @Nordstrom, 4. Remington headband ($5.00) in red plaid @Target, 5. scarf ($12.90) in navy / green @Forever 21, 6. scarf ($12.99) in yellow checked @H&M, 7. Volcom pixie tote ($30.99, was $45.00) in red @6PM, 8. Croft & Barrow wristlet ($24.00) in black / white @Kohl’s, 9. Kelly & Katie pump ($39.95) in multi @DSW, & 10. flats ($12.00) in black pattern @Wet Seal.

When it comes to plaid, amp up your look with a little luxury, playing up your jewelry style based on the colors in your plaid. The richest colors include navy, green, burgundy, rust, burnt orange, gray, & purple, which are easy to find in stud earrings, decadent ear crawlers, statements necklaces, cuffs & bracelets, & cocktail rings.

Affordable jewelry to match with your plaid accessories.SHOP: 1. Helen Pavé square studs ($14.00) in navy @Francesca’s, 2. stone ear crawler ($7.99) in gray @Target, 3. faux stone cocktail ring ($6.90) in green @Forever 21, 4. enamel hinge bracelet ($20.96, was $29.95) in burgundy @The Limited, & 5. spirit beads necklace ($20.00) in light orange @Charming Charlie.

How do you like to wear plaid? What’s your favorite accessories for fall? What jewelry do you find works best with plaid? For more posts, check out fall floral separates for every size, affordable capes & ponchos for any body type inspired by Gwen Stefani & Jamie Chung, Olivia Palermo’s new jewelry collection for Bauble Bar, & Sienna Miller’s three-piece menswear outfit for less. Happy Styling!

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The $100 Challenge: Fun & Flirty With A Bicycle Print Blouse!


Since starting my second job, I’ve been re-thinking my spring / summer wardrobe & have found a lot of inspiration from unusual prints, for example: the bicycle print keyhole to ($38.00) in navy from Dress Barn. This really struck me since I’m so used to wearing polka dots, stripes, graphic prints & watercolor florals, however I’ve taken a new look at the possibilities for this top. This includes a white skirt, colored jeans, or an opposing, yet color-coordinated print for the bottom.

I recently wore this top to a friend’s baby shower with red pants & nude canvas wedges, but I wanted to re-style it with The $100 Challenge in mind. I couldn’t get the idea of navy & red out of my mind, which is also why I picked the rockstar super skinny jeans ($25.00) in ‘apple of my eye’ from Old Navy, which are available in sizes 0-20.

Accessories that make for perfect finishing touches to this look include the ankle-strap single sole pump ($25.50) in nude from Charlotte Russe, the Croft & Barrow silver tone striped bead drop earrings ($5.40) in red white from Kohl’s, & Forever 21‘s multi strand woven cuff ($4.80). This whole look has a nautical feel to it, not to mention the Americana color combination that’s sure to liven & brighten up the season. I really love how each piece can be mixed & matched with other wardrobe essentials, as well as reinvented with pieces like the blouse with a hot pink pencil skirt, the jeans for a sequined tank, or the shoes with an embellished sheath dress.

Would you wear a bicycle print blouse? Which details are your favorites for a blouse? Would you wear red, white, & blue in an outfit? For more posts on affordable fashion, check out previous posts including Katy Perry’s white & silver sandal flats, spring-ready shirt dresses, my favorite latest dress purchases, & Derek Lam’s DesigNation collection for Kohl’s. Happy Styling!

Basics For A Bargain: Monochromatic Looks To Brighten Up Any Season, Wardrobe, & Budget!


It’s not often that I wear monochromatic looks, but when I do, it’s usually either black or gray. These are go-to colors that I know I can always mix & match with each other, especially when I’m headed to work & am looking for something chic & fluid to wear. I was inspired by monochrome outfits during my last photo shoot of pictures of myself to post on Style Darling (see the all-green sweater & pants look, for example).

Since I started covering Runway Rundown here, I noticed the dominance of monochromatic designs, especially for the 2013 runways. This includes Calvin Klein Collection with a multi-textural caramel look, Michael Kors‘ lemon yellow duds, Elie Saab‘s cobalt crush, Salvatore Ferragamo using neutral beige, Christopher Kane‘s all-white ensemble, Bottega Veneta‘s brick menswear-inspiration, & BCBG Max Azria‘s flowing black separates.

Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, Elie Saab, Salvatore Ferragamo, Christopher Kane, Bottega Veneta, & BCBG Max Azria.

Taking a cue from the runways, there have been plenty of color-on-color red carpet apperances. Celebrities who’ve donned monochromatic looks include Michelle Williams who attended the New York Times Arts & Leisure Weekend event in head-to-toe black with a belted mini, tights, & suede booties. Fashion icon Alexa Chung breaks up her nearly-monochromatic look in an oxblood turtleneck by Versus & leather zip-up mini with lasercut flats. Country songstress Taylor Swift went for a more mature look in a custom-made all-white suit by J. Mendel at last year’s MTV Video Music Awards. Victoria Beckham looks nothing short of amazing in her nude sheath dress design with Brian Atwood pumps. Lastly, back in 2009, Penelope Cruz dazzles in a three-piece scarlett suit by Bottega Veneta at the London premiere of Broken Embraces with two-tone strappy sandals.

Michelle Williams, Alexa Chung, Taylor Swift, Victoria Beckham, & Penelope Cruz.

Now that we’ve seen what’s going on inside the pages of our favorite magazines & who’s wearing what on the runways, I wanted to show how anyone can wear a monochromatic look without breaking your budget. What’s great about finding identical tones is the crisp & clean look that it creates & that’s where you can have fun with accessorizing with a sparkling scarf, baubled cocktail rings, bib necklaces, embossed handbags, & so on. In these looks, I have included at least one accessory, but it’s simply a suggestion & option to really bring the look together & in most cases (except for the teal look) still fits within budget.

First, I’ve been thinking about coral, ever since a post from The $100 Challenge where I featured a coral dress for the holidays, but I just love the softness of the color, which is perfect for any skintone. It instantly adds some natural rosiness to your cheeks & always looks feminine. The studded Peter Pan collar shirt ($22.80) from Forever 21 already has some built-in detail with the gold that helps frame your face. This matches perfectly with Target‘s Mossimo ankle pant ($27.99) & the sueded uber platform pumps ($12.50) from Charlotte Russe, which have just been reduced from their original $32.50 price. Lastly, I fell in love with the art deco-inspired spike triangle earrings ($8.77) from ASOS, which add a rose gold luxury to such a relaxed, yet sophisticated outfit. Also, if you want to break up these pieces to create a trendy or unexpected look, mix things up with dark denim skinnies, cap toe ballet flats, a silk boyfriend blazer, or metallic belt.

I’ve also been seeing a neon opportunity for your wardrobe for quite some time now. Of course, this color is to be worn confidently & with caution. We all want to look so good we stop traffic, but this look with highlighter yellow or electric lime tones could almost guarantee such a result. It all started with the a.n.a. perfect skinny corduroy pants ($17.00) from JC Penney that I spotted sometime before the holidays, but now they’re marked down & I’m excited to see how these might be worn for the rest of the winter & into spring. I paired these with the boatneck banded bottom tee ($29.90) from Express & Forever 21‘s faux suede pumps ($29.80). While any gold, white lacquered, or lucite jewelry will enhance this look, Alloy‘s Zahara neon necklace ($19.90) was just irresistible, thanks to a search on ShopStyle for matching accessories. Also, for more ideas on how to wear these pieces, consider other neutrals like charcoal, black, & navy, as well as classic patterns like polka dots, houndstooth, & plaid.

Coral, Neon, Teal, & Fuchsia.

I found myself a little troubled when looking for coordinating pieces for my teal ensemble- ones that wouldn’t make me go over budget, but… I did. Sometimes that happens when you find absolutely must-have pieces. I just adore this color (on me!) & think it’s a bold way to reinterpret greens & blues since it falls so beautifully in the middle. While checking out the newest arrivals @New York & Company, I found the satiny pleated from belted blouse ($29.95), which instantly made me think to find a skirt. Then the Grace Elements teal skirt with yoke ($24.99) from Loehmann’s was a perfect fit, especially if you’re trying to refresh your work wardrobe. For an extra fun touch, @Steve Madden, the Intrude pumps ($34.99) are just what this look needed to add some texture & despite the myth of material, these can be worn any time of the year. Finally, the Croft & Barrow jet bead hoop drop earrings ($12.00) from Kohl’s put the look just a bit over $100, but you can always keep this affordable by wearing favorites that you may already own like diamond stud earrings or something in silver.

My final look goes out to my plus-size Style Darlings because I think a berry tone is perfect for any shape & any woman. I shopped Wet Seal‘s plus section to find the 3/4 sleeve belted blouse ($18.99) on sale, which comes with a detachable belt, perfect for wearing over a cardigan or jersey dress to help enhance your curves. To keep this look balanced & figure-flattering, the roz & ALI stretch colored jeggings ($19.99) from Dress Barn helped complete the bottom half, especially since they’re available in sizes 14-24. I found the Rocket Dog Monica flat ($24.94) @DSW, which would also help dress down a shirt dress, work if paired with a denim skirt & sweater, or contrast a ruffled blouse & dolman top. My final piece to this looks is the neon metallic teardrop earring ($5.80) from Forever 21, which would sparkle for a date night in an LBD or look cute with a mod shift dress.

Do you wear a monochromatic look? Which colors are you most drawn to? Do you prefer matchy-matchy pieces or like to contrast with colorblocking? For more from Basics For A Bargain, check out posts including outerwear inspired by Kate Middleton & Gwen Stefani, pointy toe heels as seen on Mandy Moore & Miranda Kerr, & how to copy separates looks like Kate Hudon & Kristen Stewart! Also, for more affordable looks under $100, check out a sleek black & silver cocktail look, building with black textured accessories, & how to wear a leopard wrap dress! Lastly, be sure to click on over to Color Me Style for the latest trends in yellow with some help from Emmy Rossum & Kim Kardashian, all-black looks like Jennifer Lawrence & Kate Moss, & black & white ensembles like Jessica Alba & Julianne Hough! Happy Styling!

10/31/2012 Darling Of The Day: Pippa Middleton’s Chic Fall Street Look!


This is no trick, but it is a treat. I could’ve posted about sexy maid costumes or how to recreate Carrie Bradshaw’s style, but in lieu of a little hurricane named Sandy, I wanted to share something more realistic, but as equally as delightful.  I haven’t written about Pippa Middleton‘s style in quite some time, but once I saw this chic purple & black ensemble, I knew I had to find the pieces to reimagine it while on a budget.

The Croft & Barrow solid faux suede shirt ($19.99) from Kohl’s is the perfect way to start building this look & if purple isn’t your hue of choice, it’s also available in grey, tan, & green. I always turn to New York & Company for work essentials, which is where I’ve found the ponte knit pencil skirt ($34.95). While it doesn’t have as much detail as Pippa’s, it is still figure flattering with plenty of structure given in the seams.  As for the shoes, I hit up DSW for the Madden Girl Zelouss bootie ($49.95), which compare at up to $80.00.

Accessories for this look in the Worthington tights ($6.00) from JC Penney, oversized wayfarer-style sunglasses ($20.93) from Express, as well as the Amour charm necklace ($3.80) & contrast strap hobo ($24.80), both from Forever 21.

These pieces aren’t just perfect for street style or heading in & out of the office since they can be rearranged with a boyfriend blazer & skinny jeans, belted with leather leggings, or knotted with lace shorts & boots.  For more on my girl crush on Pippa, be sure to check out posts in Top 10 Celeb Sightings, Darling of the Day, Luxury Look-Alikes For Less, & Basics for a Bargain. Happy Styling!

Quickie Darling Deal & Steal: Our Top Picks for Maternity Styles!


I can’t even count on both hands how many women I know who are pregnant or have just popped out their bundle of joy.  While I can’t necessarily share in their journey through motherhood, I can however offer some awesome style suggestions if you’re an expectant mom-on-the-go & on a budget.  You only have nine months of growth, so making a huge investment in maternity clothes could hurt your bank account.  Don’t forget that the easiest way to get the most out of a maternity wardrobe is to swap stylish pieces with friends who no longer need them.  We can look to the baby boom in Hollywood for some inspiration, especially from famous moms like Gisele Bundchen, Ali Larter, Heidi Klum, & Christina Applegate, courtesy of In Style.

I’ve found a variety of cute pieces that can be mixed & matched for many different occasions during your months of pre-motherhood, which include versatile slim leg jeans, a delicate floral blouse, a loose-fitting cream trapeze cardigan, a darling blue belted wrap dress, a casual pair of cargo pants, & a black pleated dress as your go-to LBD for any special events that you may be attending.  If you’ve got basics like these that you like to wear, but want to help jazz them up, try out this braided sandal to keep your feet comfy this spring & summer, yet still chic in a metallic hue.  Or if you’re a real daredevil fashionista, get some neutral wedges for any outdoors affair this season.  During this time, accessories are the best way to show off your style, especially since (for the most part) they’re items that you already have.  For a solid color dress (like the LBD shown), try out a tribal necklace to bring out the wild yet sophisticated side of you.  Since the body is changing, add an elastic beaded bracelet, unless of course it’s too tight, but this pop of color looks so fun against natural colors & can help bright out other flattering shades in printed pieces.  Earrings are the best way to draw attention to your glowing face, so have fun with everything from red stud earrings to shell drop earrings for both casual & dressy days.  Happy Styling!