Color Me Style: Chic & Affordable All-Black Looks Inspired By Rihanna, Alexa Chung, & The Spring 2013 Runway’s From Victoria Beckham, YSL, & More!

During a night-in with my boyfriend, I kept my look simple & casual in all-black with a comfy oversized sweater & leggings.  He shared with me how much he liked my head-to-toe black ensemble & how good I looked in it too. I like keeping my looks classic with black & white, black & cream, black & grey, or the occasional color blocking, but black is always somewhere in my look since it’s so slimming & fun to wear when you consider different textures like leather, lace, suede, or brocade.  So, I’m inspired by all-black looks by the following celebrities who have hit the red carpet or donned their monochromatic street style with the ultimate dark shade. 

Alexa Chung‘s all black look while deejaying in New York includes leather shorts, a three-quarter sleeve sweater, tights, & ankle strap platforms. During a recent appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman, Naomi Watts turned up the style volume in Calvin Klein Collection coat with Christian Louboutin booties, Jamie Wolf earrings, & a Joan Hornig cuff.  Rihanna plays with volume at her latest album’s release launch party with an all-leather look & pointy toe heels. Jennifer Lawrence gets some style tips from her latest collaboration with celeb stylist Rachel Zoe in this chic suit by Christian Dior & stappy peep toe sandals at a screening for Silver Linings Playbook.  Everyone’s favorite Sex & the City star, Sarah Jessica Parker, layered a quilted jacket over her black jumpsuit & unique tasselled necklace. Alexa Chung, Naomi Watts, Rihanna, Jennifer Lawrence, & Sarah Jessica Parker. Kate Moss, Julianne Moore, Natalie Portman, Kate Bosworth, & Diane Kruger.

Supermodel Kate Moss made an appearance last year at The Hope Variety Show mixing her separates in a fitted blazer over a cotton top & gorgeous silk skirt.  Julianne Moore offers her take on menswear in a strong-shouldered suit with feminine earrings & wedge booties.  Oscar-winner Natalie Portman shows off her effortless style in head-to-toe black with a sheer blouse & straight leg trousers at the Nevada Women’s Summit this past summer.  Kate Bosworth gave her support to Chanel in the label’s embellished button-down, tweed miniskirt, sequin purse, & leather lace-up booties.  Trendsetter Diane Kruger took a risk in her all-black look in an embellished Chanel suit over leather leggings & boots while attending an event in Paris. 

You can also find all-black on the runway, with looks from some of the most well-known designers in the upcoming Spring 2013 collections.  Aside from florals, pretty prints, pastels, & bold colorblocking, black is & always will be a favorite among the fashionable.  This is evident with collections from Michael Kors, Dolce & Gabbana, Louis Vuitton, Lanvin, Jason Wu, & Monique Lhuillier

Michael Kors, Dolce & Gabbana, Louis Vuitton, Lanvin, Jason Wu, & Monique Lhuillier Spring 2013 Collections

I also couldn’t resist finding more head-to-toe black, especially when I saw the mix of casual chic, evening, cocktail, & work looks shown in the Spring 2013 collections by Zac Posen, Rachel Zoe Collection, Alexander McQueen, Victoria Beckham, Holmes & Yang, & Yves Saint Laurent.

Zac Posen, Rachel Zoe, Alexander McQueen, Victoria Beckham, Holmes & Yang, & Yves Saint Laurent Spring 2013 Collections

My first look is a fabulous deal for under $100, & this one goes out to my plus size Style Darlings! With this fabulous & classic coated trim shirt with belt ($24.50) from Forever 21, sizes XL – 2X will look ready for the evening.  Also, to keep the look streamlined, you can find @Torrid, the Tripp NYC skinny pant ($29.99), which have been reduced from their original $48.00 price.  These are the perfect foundation for any dressy look, ranging in sizes 12-16.  For an evening of bar hopping, or dessert with the girls, I selected the Lindsay stud ballet flat ($24.50) from Wet Seal.  Also, for an extra splash of sparkly, the Apt. 9 two-tone kite earrings ($10.80) from Kohl’s are the perfect touch, especially with the contrasting metallic texture. 

For a sexy & feminine evening look, try out the sequin & peplum trends with the middle outfit, consisting of the sequin tank ($26.99) from Banana Republic & Arden B.‘s matte latex peplum skirt ($24.50). Also from Kohl’s, the Apt. 9 web net-to-waist tights ($6.99) are the perfect accessory to show off your legs with the Fioni Vice booties ($20.00) from Payless

Lastly, an outfit that’s slightly more expensive, but easy to coordinate with other wardrobe staples includes the seed stitch dolman sleeve tunic sweater ($39.99) from Express with the i jeans by Buffalo Paolo knit leggings ($25.00) from JC Penney. To help accentuate your figure, I’ve added the knot-front stretch belt ($12.99) from The Limited, which is perfect for any sweater or cardigan & blouse set.  Finally, for a modern twist on a basic look, the leather velvet wedge booties ($29.10) from GOjane add lots of texture & a sneak of some toe cleavage!

My three mannequins are affordable & perfect for any all-black moment you wish to have. Which are your favorite pieces? Do you like to wear all-black or do you prefer bolder colors? Which celebrity pulls off all-black the best? Happy Styling!

Quickie Darling Deal & Steal: Get Cozy & Comfy with Old Navy Sale Items!

A new Old Navy store recently opened just a few miles away, so I was super psyched to see that they had some pretty big sales going on!  I treated myself to some cold-weather favorites, but the prices in the store were actually much, much cheaper! This just goes to show that the online sales aren’t always the better deal.  You gotta do your style research!

There’s nothing that I love more than a cozy, but stylish top to pair with jeans & boots for a fall day.  Even though this past weekend was very summer-like in the 80s, I’m happy to say that I’m refreshing my fall / winter wardrobe on a budget.  I love the shawl collar cardigan ($34.00), also available in red.  You can layer it for much colder says over a button down shirt, or put it over a summer top with a denim skirt.  I did go home with the cropped fleece jacket ($20.00), but found that the charcoal was better suited for my style.  It’s the perfect way to complete your look without breaking out the down jacket when it’s really not too chilly out.

I know my friend Laurie would love the collared breezy blouse ($27.00) for its versatility & earth-tone.  It comes in growing green, frosty peach, black jack, & brown animal print in sizes XS – XXL.  It’s a stylish basic to go under a sweater vest, with wide leg trouser jeans, belted under a cardigan, or worn open with a graphic tee & skinny pants.

For something heavier, the cropped cowl neck sweater ($29.00) is just the piece to dress down leather leggings, brocade cigarette pants, or a tweed pencil skirt for weekend events or day gatherings.  If you’re just not ready for all that bulk, the dolman-sleeve cardigan ($25.00) is a smart way to dress up some basic slacks, or wear your sparkly flair at the office.

Lastly, I also found a home from the preppy ‘plumonade’ mini cable-knit v-neck sweater ($22.00), which is also available in black jack, bright white, baby spinach, crimson & clover, oatmeal heather, & medium heather gray.  It’s great for a pencil skirt & patent leather belt, or worn over a collared shirt for a job interview.

What are your favorite fall pieces?  Are you a loyal Old Navy shopper?  How much are you willing to invest in key seasonal pieces?  For more fall-ready finds, check out The Stylish Five‘s cold weather accessories, how to wear a turtleneck like a celebrity in Basics for a Bargain, & where to find the best flats, scarves, booties, tights, & belts in NYC Street Style! Happy Styling!