Accessories Access: Laser Cut Handbags, Shoes, & Belts for Spring!


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.

SHOP: black & white tote @dressbarn, nude scalloped crossbody @ASOS, beige handbag @Target, & white Western crossbody @Express.

SHOP: blue pointy toe flats @GOjane, white d’Orsay flats @Old Navy, black Darlene flats @Target, & blush dress sandals @Charlotte Russe

SHOP: pink stretch belt @Charming Charlie, bone skinny belt @Old Navy, & black faux leather belt @Banana Republic

What spring trends are you most excited to wear? Where do you shop to refresh your wardrobe from season-to-season? What neutral accessories do you like best? Happy Styling!

Accessories Access: How To Style The New Warby Parker Fall Collection!


New York Fashion Week (#NYFW) is upon us (certainly my favorite time of year), but what’s also exciting is to keep an eye out for the newest collections at our favorite & affordable retailers that don’t preview their designs on a traditional runway. I know when it comes to accessories, I generally lean toward scarves & jewelry, but one important & oh-so fashionable accessory for both men & women is a chic frame of eyeglasses- especially styles from Warby Parker‘s new fall line of eyewear. Hey, guess what? It debuts today! Sporting frames just because you have to is a thing of the past! However, a brand like Warby Parker is a long-awaited trendy gift for those of us with eyes needing assistance. I’ve been wearing glasses for over 20 years & was psyched when I was approached by the company to showcase the new styles right here on Style Darling

Warber Parker collection

In getting to know the brand a little better, I learned so much & was especially impressed with the company’s target unisex audience: “those who own their style, exercise their wit, & add life to the party. Personality is what makes a good pair of glasses great.” Not to mention that investing in one of these 9 new styles (in titanium & acetate), you’ll be investing ($95.00 for a single vision pair) in a good cause since Warby Parker donates a pair of glasses to someone in need with the help of their partnered non-profit organizations. Click here for more info on this very worthy cause!

When I got a good look at the promotional shots & different styles, my blog-ready brain was eager to pair up some of my favorite designs with outfits for various occasions. This includes a relaxed day look for when you’re running errands & an evening outfit, á la Zooey Deschanel‘s lovable character, Jess, on New Girl. Also, I must share my vision for wearing chic frames to the office, as well as when you’re headed out of town for a weekend getaway of luxury & style!

Warby Parker - Hardy Striped Pacific Day Look

My first outfit can be easily recreated with basic wardrobe staples so that the Hardy frames in striped pacific can be the star player. Keeping  a budget in mind, I choose a short-sleeve bike graphic tee ($14.99) in blue from JC Penney & Old Navy‘s flirt skinny jean ($22.00) in eyre. To top off the look, I love the luxe feel of the zippered faux leather moto jacket ($24.80) in camel from Forever 21. Additional accessories to finish off the outfit include the American Eagle ‘Boulevard’ brogue flat ($16.99) in cognac from Payless, Freemont zipper tote ($29.98) in black from Francesca’s, & the Jennifer Lopez textured concentric hoop drop earrings ($13.50) from Kohl’s.

Then switch things up in the evening with a blend of timeless pieces that can be mixed & matched with other separates, especially when paired with the 80s-inspired Coley frames in crystal. This includes the ‘Gorgeous Gems’ dress ($21.99) from Modcloth (now 70% off), cotton slub moto jacket ($39.00) from Dress Barn, & buckled faux suede booties ($29.80) in light grey from Forever 21. For some extra flair, since the Coley frames offer so much versatility, I styled the look with the Mossimo Supply Co. stud belt ($14.99) in grey from Target, a super cute novelty cat wallet ($14.95) in black from H&M, & lastly, Charming Charlie‘s fair & square earrings ($6.00) & big bash stretch bracelet ($10.00) in silver.

Warby Parker - Coley Crystal Night Look

 

For a professional & polished look when headed to work, I immediately thought of the Oliver frames in striped olive. The hue is spot-on for fall, & perfect for coordinating with neutrals like black, navy, chocolate, & charcoal. I was excited to style these frames with Dress Barn‘s solid cowl neck tank ($19.50) in olive, Jaclyn Smith’s tuxedo style knit jacket ($13.99) in black onyx from KMart, LOFT‘s ponte trouser pencil skirt ($69.50) in black, & DSW‘s Franco Sarto ‘Mumba’ pump ($29.94) in black.

Warby Parker - Oliver Striped Olive Work Look

Accessorizing when it comes to work looks can be tricky, especially when you want to impress your boss & colleagues, which is why I simply added the braided chain bracelet ($9.97) from New York & Company & the diamond texture full tights ($16.03) from Express. Both mixed metals & textured tights are staples for any fall wardrobe & allow for a sophisticated layered & interesting overall look.  

Warby Parker - Annette Petal Tortoise Weekend Look

Finally, my absolute favorite new design in the Wary Parker collection is the Annette frames in petal tortoise, which immediately makes me think of spectacle-wearing icons of old Hollywood. These are perfect for the weekend look since they capture the playful side of any Style Darling. I started building the outfit with the patterned cotton shirt ($29.95) from H&M, Old Navy‘s sweetheart gray super-skinny jeans ($34.94) in mudcave, & the Rocket Dog ‘Sayla’ vintage worn boots ($49.95) in mushroom from Zappos. For such a minimal outfit, I wanted to dress it up with some elegant & effortless accessories, which is what a weekend look is all about. For example, the gauzy crinkled infinity scarf ($9.99) from Charlotte Russe works well with the colors in the shirt. Also, I haven’t shared anything with pearls & here’s my chance with the pearl hinge bangle bracelet ($34.00) from BaubleBar & Ann Taylor‘s modern pearlized triangle studs ($29.50) in gold.

And since we’re still on the topic of glasses, I wanted to share some more notable designs in the collection, for their shape, colors, & androgynous appeal:

Warby Parker Fall Collection frames

The above styles include (clockwise, starting at upper left) Baxter Ti in sugar maple, Chandler Ti in English oak, Durand in whiskey tortoise, Greenleaf in woodgrain tortoise, Annette in striped sassafras, & Eli in crystal.

And if looking like a real life Clark Kent or the (insert your hometown here)-equivalent of Tina Fey isn’t enough, here are a few other incredibly attractive famous people to help inspire your frames fetish for fall! Whether you’re trying to recreate a vintage look, sport some menswear inspiration, or play with different trends, eyeglasses are a must-have, as seen on actress Anne Hathaway, musician / singer Alicia Keys, No Doubt frontwoman & fashion icon Gwen Stefani, R&B crooner Ne-Yo, mega hottie Ryan Gosling, & talented boy-next-door Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Anne Hathaway, Alicia Keys, Gwen Stefani, Neyo, Ryan Gosling, & Joseph Gordon Levitt.

Which frames are your favorites? How would you wear some of these new designs? What trends are you most looking forward to during this season’s fashion week? Who are your favorite spec-donning celebs? For more fashionable posts, be sure to check out Emma Stone’s Venice Film Festival looks, buzzworthy music videos from Iggy Azalea & Nicki Minaj, shoe inspiration from Tom Ford, & budget-friendly skirts as seen on Chrissy Teigen & Lily Collins. Happy Styling!

P.S.: Thanks to Warby Parker for the exciting opportunity to form a marriage of stylish eyewear with Style Darling! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

The Stylish Five: Work A Holiday Skirt Into Your Wardrobe ($30 & Under)!


I’ve been turning to heavier textures for my work & can’t wait to start putting looks together for upcoming holiday gatherings too! For me, if I’m not wearing a dress, then you can be sure that I’ve got a holiday-friendly skirt in mind. I love all different fabrics & accents, which is why I wanted to share my five picks to wear without breaking the bank. 

I love a good tweed & houndstooth is one of my favorite patterns & @Dress Barn the houndstooth ponte skirt ($29.50) is a great buy for that transition from day to night by changing up suede ballet flats to studded ankle booties. For an edgier look, you can find the faux leather skirt ($24.95) @H&M, which will coordinate well with lush silk blouses, embellished tanks, & preppy knits for some contrast.

For a more feminine look, break out a softer hue with the solid trimmed jacquard skirt ($22.80) from Forever 21 & try it with this season’s top color, oxblood, with a leather jacket & some textured tights.  For the real party girl, though this isn’t an office appropriate skirt, I love the i jeans by Buffalo feather skirt ($25.00), which JC Penney has just marked down from its original $100.00 price tag.  With such a statement skirt like this, keep your other pieces a little more basic, but work a collar necklace or some stacked bangles in for extra sparkle.  Lastly, Target is one of my favorite stores to shop & the Merona sweater skirt ($26.99) adds a splash of animal print to any lace peplum or sequin top.  The cozy material is sure to be comfortable, while still showing off your flair for fashion. 

 What’s your holiday style? Do you have a go-to look for that upcoming office party? Do you prefer skirts over dress pants? Check out more affordable style tips including the best vests of the season, a great date look for under $100, & the prettiest ways to dress up your nails! Happy Styling!

Basics For A Bargain: Fall’s Faux Leather Forecast, Inspired by Jessica Chastain, Lucy Hale, Maria Sharapova, & More!


I’ve been on the prowl for great fall finds & one trend that keeps stopping me in my tracks is leather & it’s just not going away.  Why should it? The luxe, lush material adds an edge to a feminine blouse, contradicts a flirty skirt, makes you look like a rock star, or just helps any Style Darling stand out a little bit more.  Take it from some of our favorite celebrities, including Jessica Chastain, Kate Bosworth, Lucy Hale, Nicole Richie, Sophia Bush, Maria Sharapova, & Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.

My previous post about summer leather shared looks worn by Emma Stone, Alexa Chung, & Julianne Hough, but our calendars change to fall in just a few days, so why not start looking at ways to wear leather- or faux leather in this case, that can really spruce up your current wardrobe, as well as help welcoming the season.

At the recent celebration of New York Fashion Week, we saw lots of leather in recent posts for Runway Rundown, including Spring 2013 collections by designers Jason Wu, Holmes & Yang, Oscar de la Renta, & Michael Kors. Also, there was more leather to be found hitting the runway with metallic pencil skirts from DKNY, jackets by Marc Jacobs, pleated dresses by Tracy Reese, cut-out accents from Pamella Roland, & chic tops for Helmut Lang, as seen below.

However, when it comes to affordable fashion, it’s not always easy to find leather when you’re shopping on a budget. Enter: faux leather. You can’t forget that faux leather isn’t harmful to animals & is always less expensive.  It’s so easy to find faux leather separates, jackets, & dresses these days & I couldn’t decide on just a handful of items, so brace yourself… there’s a lot to look at!

What caught my attention to start posting about all these leather trends was a recent post made by Venus that I spotted on my newsfeed on Facebook.  These looks all include faux leather items, including (from left to right) the faux leather trimmed blouse ($36.00), faux leather mini skirt ($32.00), peep toe ankle strap heel ($39.00), sweater with faux leather ($18.00), faux leather leggings ($44.00), & faux leather dress ($64.00) in black. Of course, I couldn’t just write about items from one store, so here’s some more!

I should disclaim that I do not condone wearing any of these items with other faux leather pieces. You can take that risk if you’d like, but to avoid looking like a biker chick or appearing as though in costume, I’d recommend allowing for one item to be the standout & then mix with other fabrics to create a multi-dimensional & textured look.  First, the zipped faux leather denim skirt ($19.80) comes from Forever 21 & is available in plus sizes 12-20.  Underneath, you’ll find the essential faux leather shorts ($15.80), which are perfect for fall with tights & ankle booties.  Pair either of these bottoms with a fabulous blouse, studded tee, or menswear-inspired button-down.  The a-line skirt ($39.00) from Joe Fresh is cute for bringing to life the looks worn by Selena Gomez & Nicole Richie at the top of this post.  Also, add just a hint of leather with the zip back pencil skirt with (minus the) leather ($59.90) from Express.

We all know that leggings are all the rage right now, so to find the perfect pair for this edition of Basics for a Bargain, I turned to H&M for their leggings ($24.95) in black, which are also available in white, if you dare! Break these bad boys out with a chunky oversized knit & your fiercest pointed toe pumps, or help a graphic tee look less casual & top it off with a satin blazer.

I also found the plus size tee with faux leather shoulders ($34.99 – $39.99) from Jessica London & Antonio Melani Sardinia faux-leather top ($34.65) @Dillards which pair well underneath a suit for the office, or with dark denim pieces like jeggings or a mini.  If all-over leather isn’t your thing, then the touch of texture on the shoulders helps frame your face & becomes an accessory to your look. Lastly, the faux leather strapless cocktail club dress ($54.99) in black 2 cute 2 trendy crawls near the borderline of pinup, but with asymmetric zipper details, you could be working it just like Kristen Stewart or Brooklyn Decker do when making red carpet appearances.

Which leather pieces are your favorite? Which celeb looks the best in leather? Are you a fan of real leather or would you rather wear faux leather? How would you style your leather look? Happy Styling!

Luxury Look-Alikes for Less: A Black Croc Wallet for $225.00 Vs. $10.80!


Everyone has differing tastes in wallets because you have to consider size, functionality, & appearance.  Something neutral & textured like a black croc wallet is perfect for any time of year with any look (except for something glamorous like a ball, naturally).  Here we have two very similarly looking wallets, however one is genuine leather & goes for $135.00 by the luxury brand Furla, sold @Bluefly & its retail price is $225.  Whereas, the other just as stylish & lovely affordable faux leather (animal friendly!) wallet costs a mere $10.80 @Forever 21!  Happy Styling!