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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Watch This Style: Fall Wardrobe Inspiration from Returning TV Favorites!


Aside from Fashion Week & the general change of seasons (which marks ankle bootie & rich textures like suede time of year), September means that our favorite television shows are returning to make us laugh, cry, sit at the edge of our seats, & of course, be in awe of the characters’ styles. In a first ever on Style Darling, I’ve undertaken a mighty 10 television shows returning this season & found their most stylish leading ladies (two, in some cases), & found pieces & looks to inspire your fall wardrobe. Naturally, we’re talking something budget-friendly, yet still true to the small scree goddesses that have bloggers everywhere in a fashion tizzy!

Scandal

Scandal (airing Season 4 premiere on 9/25 @9PM on ABC) left Olivia Pope (played magnificently by the one & only Kerry Washington) washing her hands of the controversy & turmoil that she blames herself for in Washington D.C., especially because of her torrid love affair with the president. However, Olivia’s style was only elevated by such drama, sharing with viewers the importance of a luxurious coat collection, classic & statement handbags, as well as clean lines & neutral separates since Olivia is all about getting rid of the fuss in people’s lives.

Scandal inspired look.

To recreate Olivia’s style, I found the Jessica Simpson toggle double pocket coat ($99.99) @TJX.com, & paired it with chic separates like the flutter sleeve blouse ($39.95) in black @New York & Company, which is also available in white, & the studio stretch tab waist slim flare columnist pant ($39.90) in black @Express. In keeping with the character, I thought the lovely Lolita satchel ($39.00) in ivory / black @Charming Charlie was just the right touch. Lastly, for some more Olivia Pope inspiration, be sure to check out the new Scandal collection for The Limited, which hit stores 9/23!

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New Girl

New Girl (airing Season 4 premiere on 9/16 @9PM on FOX) will surely tackle that whole Jess-Nick romance, even though the adorkable couple ended things last season. Now that Zooey Deschanel‘s character has certainly settled into her man-dwelling apartment, she’s constantly battling life with one vintage look after another, & laughter is sure to ensue. Not to mention that Jess’s girlie girl style fits right in with her job as a teacher, always conservative yet cute for partying it up after hours.

New Girl inspired look.

Just about any ’50s/60s-inspired frock will do for recreating Zooey’s on screen look as Jess. This includes the ‘storytelling it like it is’ dress ($39.00) in blue @Mod Cloth, which can be mixed & matched with other bold solids or layered with a floral cardigan. Also, try the Worthington long sleeve crew neck sweater ($19.99) in Lafayette rose @JC Penney over a classic button down shirt or with a mini flip skirt & opaque tights. Jess believes in wearing strong, yet playful pieces like this stripe high waisted full midi skirt ($24.99) in black & white @Charlotte Russe, which will only make her nerdy Durand frames ($95.00) in whiskey tortoise @Warby Parker all the sexier!

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The Mindy Project

The Mindy Project (airing 9/16 @9:30 on FOX) is one of my favorite must-see shows this fall, not just because the brilliant Mindy Kaling writes a hilarious ensemble comedy, but because the show is after the hearts of its viewers with the on-again-off-again love story with one Danny Castellano, played by Chris Messina. Yes, there’s laughter too, but I’m also super excited to see what Dr. Lahiri (Kaling’s character) will wear. She’s no stranger to bright colors, wild patterns, feminine florals, & layers of preppy chic style.

The Mindy Project inspired look.

To build a Mindy-friendly look, I found these gorgeous pieces to mix & match with other bold separates. This includes the double breasted hooded trench ($64.00) in khaki @Dress Barn (for plus size, click here), short sleeve lace dress ($108.00) in chrysanthemum red @LOFT, Merona 3/4 sleeve v-neck cardigan ($16.08) in lime juice print @Targetplaid 2-button jacket ($138.00) in berry plaid @The Limited, & berry blast handbag ($47.00) in fuchsia @LuLu’s. Of course some of these are pricey pieces, but I’ve come to believe that there are certain pieces worth investing in, like a blazer with endless color combination possibilities, or a day-to-night dress.

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Revenge

Revenge (airing 9/28 @10PM on ABC) is returning this fall & Emily Thorne (played by Emily Vancamp) is back & stronger than ever in her plot against the Graysons. I love that her style recalls the effortless ease of a modern day Grace Kelly, with a luxe twist on casual wear. She wears plenty of neutral colors & no-fuss separates so that she can easily slip into scheming mode with the movers & shakers of The Hamptons setting. I love watching out for the designer pieces on this show, especially on additional key characters like Victoria (Madeline Stowe), Charlotte (Chrsta B. Allen), & Ashley (Ashley Madekwe).

Revenge inspired look.

When I started assembling these pieces, I realized that they have various uses, for both day & night, as well as creating looks from season-to-season. While most of our lives won’t be centered around law-breaking revenge schemes, the closest we can get to the fabulous life of Emily Thorne is recreating her style with the colorblock roll sleeve shirtdress ($109.99) in cream puff @Ann Taylor, MOD.lusive ruched sleeve long cardigan ($42.00) in white @Nordstrom, v-neck blouse ($24.95) in powder beige @H&M, & true slim chino pants ($44.99) in khaki @Land’s End.

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Nashville

Nashville (airing 9/24 @10PM on ABC) is the kind of show that not only inspires music, but also fashion. Southern style is loud & clear with this show, especially when it comes to an edgy look & a splash of rock ‘n roll. The show’s leading ladies Rayna James (Connie Britton) & Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panettiere) are constantly at odds, but one thing is clear, they know how to dress. I was especially inspired by the flashy stage looks & modern casual separates that can be jazzed up for a night of music. The last season ended with both divas in trouble, both professionally & personally, but I can’t wait to see what’s gonna happen next.

Nashville inspired look.

For Rayna’s all-American look, I choose the Harper denim jacket ($54.50) in dark wash @GbyGuess, classic rise slight curve slim jeans ($24.90) in extra shade @Levi’s, & Calimesa tie dye loop scarf ($24.00) @Francesca’s, which can be worn with a sequined tank, graphic tee, or cropped top. Then, to channel Juliette’s playful & sexy stage look, I found the sequined tailored dress ($69.99) @Mango Outlet & Michael Antonio ‘Mains’ booties ($29.94) in black @DSW, which makes for a great night-out outfit that can also be accessorized with bangles & drop earrings.

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2 Broke Girls

2 Broke Girls (airing 10/07 @9PM on CBS) combines two of my favorite things: cupcakes & fashion! The comedy’s stars Beth Behrs as the preppy / fashion forward Caroline Chaning & Kat Dennings‘ loveable bad girl Max Black make for the perfect modern day odd couple, just trying to get back. Caroline is always neutral clad, doused in pearls & body conscious dresses, whereas Max’s fashion sense takes on a tougher city vibe in bright primary colors & boots, with a touch of menswear inspiration.

2 Broke Girls inspired look.

For Caroline’s look, I was excited to find the Casual Couture by Green Envelope long sleeve surplice jersey top ($29.00) @Bluefly, Jcolor casual pants ($24.00) in khaki @YOOX, & Madden Girl Getta pumps ($39.95) in nude @Zappos. Also, for Max’s style, I loved the Joe Fresh boyfriend plaid shirt ($24.99) in navy @JC Penney, Juicy Couture knit skinny jeans ($36.99) in black @Kohl’s, & buckled strap slouchy boots ($34.90) in black @Wet Seal. Each piece is fall-ready & great for layering for a day out with the girls or a casual chic dinner with friends.

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The Good Wife

The Good Wife (airing 9/21 @9PM on CBS) keeps raking in the Emmy awards, especially with a constantly compelling performance for the show’s lead, Julianna Margulies as the powerful Alicia Florrick. Her wardrobe includes power suits & strong jackets, much like Scandal‘s Olivia Pope. In Alicia’s world, there’s no room for floral or fussy pieces. She’s all about structure & strength, so edgy embellishments  have no place among the clean details & clean lines.

The Good Wife inspired look.

Start building a professional wardrobe like Alicia’s with strong-shouldered jackets that have unique details & cuts. These will look great with any go-to pair of trousers. As toppers, I picked the ANNE KLEIN Single Button Houndstooth Blazer ($129.00) from Lord & Taylor & H&M‘s fitted jacket ($49.95) in gray mélange. Also, an easy way to complete the look is with the Roz & Ali smart fit trouser pants ($34.50) in black @Dress Barn, which are also available in straight leg, plus sizes, & petites.

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REID EWING, SOFIA VERGARA

Modern Family (airing 9/24 @9PM on ABC) is a comedy must-see, especially because of the show’s female leads. When it comes to style, of course there’s always a cute outfit on Sarah Hyland’s character Hailey, but the real sex-pot changing the look of a stay-at-home mom is Sofia Vergara‘s Gloria. Gloria often steals the spotlight from her family members, especially when it comes to showing off her curves in wrap dresses, V-neck tops, & skinny jeans.

Modern Family inspired look.

Straight from Sofia Vergara’s collection for KMart, including the longsleeve wrap tunic ($19.99) in red, faux wrap dress ($29.99) in animal abstract, & embellished blazer ($39.99) in white. Since Gloria is always seen in high heels, I knew a classic, yet sexy black pair of platforms would do the trick in recreating the look, which is why I found the Fergalicious holler back shoes ($23.98) from 6PM.

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Elementary

Elementary (airing 10/30 @10PM on CBS) is a modern day New York City-based take on the classic Sherlock Holmes stories & what’s extra awesome about this version is that the science-minded Watson is played by kick-ass actress Lucy Liu. Instead of John, she’s a Joan who develops an intense partnership with Holmes (Johnny Lee Miller) while they’re soling crimes all over the city. Aside from her brilliant mind, I love her on-the-go style which often includes dark, layering pieces, always with a chic pair of booties.

Elementary inspired look.

To achieve Joan’s chic style, I picked the Dantelle open pleat front cardigan ($39.00) in ebony @Nordstrom, leggings ($34.50) in black @J.Crew, tulip back knit blouse ($14.80) in silver black @Forever 21, canvas utility jacket ($39.94) in arugula @Old Navy, knit infinity scarf ($12.00) in black @Target, & Qupid cuffed side-zipper chunky heel ankle boots ($42.99) in black @Charlotte Russe.

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Hart of Dixie

Hart of Dixie (2015 on The CW) is the last show that I’m sharing & it doesn’t have a set premiere date since star Rachel Bilson, who plays the quirky city doctor Zoe Hart, is expecting her first child & filming seems to be halted. However, I love her character’s edgy side with dark, modern cuts in tops & leather shorts, as well as dark colors in mini & maxi dresses. She’s an accessories queen with chunky necklaces, embellished details, & the highest heels in sandals & booties imaginable. Also, it’s hard to ignore Lemon Breeland, played hysterically by the one & only Jamie King. Lemon’s style is true to the Alabama debutante ladylike way. She loves florals, sparkle, & vintage-inspired looks with a bold lip & finger curls.

Hart of Dixie inspired look.

To get you Zoe look, try getting inspired with the Liz Claiborne long sleeve blouse ($30.00) @JC Penney, hue leatherette leggings ($48.00) in black @Nordstrom, faux leather moto jacket ($39.80) in black @Forever 21, & Jessica Simpson Adriana mixed -media ankle booties ($94.99) in charcoal @Saks Off Fifth. For a classic Lemon look, you’ll love wearing the Joan Vass wavy sequin crewneck sweater ($47.25) @Neiman Marcus Last Call, scuba midi skirt ($42.50) in peach dusk @New York & Company, Bare Necessity plain pointy heels ($21.30) in fuchsia @GOjane, & No Business Like Show Business dress ($30.99) in poppy @ModCloth.

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Which show are you waiting for? Which character do you think is the most stylish? Which returning fall shows did I leave out? For more stylish posts, be sure to check out Fashion Week runways from Carolina Herrera & Michael Kors, my newest Target dress purchase, textured jackets from Alice + Olivia & Dress Barn, & Altuzarra’s new collection for Target! Happy Styling!

Show Me The Shoes / Color Me Style: Mint Is Back For Spring!


During this spring break, I’ve had plenty of time studying the latest spring trends & aside from bold bright, you can find plenty of pastels, including mint shoes that will make any outfit look fresh & spring-ready. After a recent conversation with an engaged friend about the difference between turquoise & teal for her upcoming nuptials, I was inspired to share the color mint. Of course this hue can be seen on dresses, blouses, pants, & accessories, but more importantly, I’m loving the idea of mint shoes, especially since there are so many affordable shoes.

mint shoesAdd mint to your flats collection with the Merona Macha wedge ballet flat ($19.50) from Target, which have a classic faux snake texture with any effortless tee & skinny jeans. Also, the canvas Bella skimmer ($19.50) from Delia’s offers a lighter material to contrast with a neutral leather mini & sleeveless button-down. If you’re headed to a tropical location on vacation before summer, the Steve Madden Swinger sandals ($49.95) is perfect for a maxi dress & stacked bangles, a cotton spring dress with a beaded necklace, or with walking shorts & a silky blouse.

This wouldn’t a proper shoe post if I didn’t talk about some major budget-friendly heels, like the patent cap toe platform pump ($32.50) from Charlotte Russe, which transitions the cap toe trend perfectly between seasons. The GOjane peep toe platform wedges ($24.95) are edgy for a look with leggings & a tunic top, & they’re on sale right now! Next, bring mint to the office with the Fioni Jordyn t-strap pumps ($26.99) from Payless coordinated with a floral sheath dress & a cardigan, or for happy hour with a polka dot blouse & pencil skirt.

The peep toe platform wedge ($32.80) from Forever 21 is chic for a weekend getaway in a chambray dress or with neutral separates like a beige cami with silky pajama-inspired pants. Lastly, DSW‘s Fergalicious Eileen pump ($39.95) is definitely a must-have for a date night in a shift dress or can dress up any outfit like a mini leather skirt & graphic tee if you’re headed to a concert.

Which style is your favorite? Do you like the mint shoe trend? What colors are your mist attracted to this fall? For more posts from Show Me The Shoes, check out floral-inspired shoes from Forever 21 & Gap, luxury look-alike studded Jimmy Choo loafers, how to find affordable platforms like Nikki Reed’s at her recent red carpet appearance, & a behind-the-scenes look with J. Crew’s Jenna Lyons on their latest shoe collection! Happy Styling!

Show Me The Shoes: Fergalicious Flats On Clearance For Under $20 @DSW!


Whenever you’re shoe shopping in the clearance or sale section, you’re likely to run into that problem of “They don’t have my size,” since an item is older & there’s less availability.  Well, I can’t make any guarantees for DSW‘s stock, but I was clicking around & found that there are tons of shoes on clearance, for as low as under $20, which is how I started my search. I could post about high heels until the end of time, but sometimes, there are just some flats that just step right into my heart, including the ones I’ve featured by Fergalicious

DSW - Fergalicious flats $19.94

This includes the Alana zig zag flat ($19.94), which can be worn with any basics look, adding a flair of print & personality with the color combination.  Also, the Alana leopard flat ($19.94) is a must-have. I love animal prints & this can really help transform some essential pieces like a black button-down & pencil skirt to a chic work look, especially when adding a metallic belt & an embellished cardigan. However, my favorite is the Alana zebra flat ($19.94) since the black & white pattern is my favorite & I’d love wearing them with a purple sheath dress & black tights, or leggings & a chunky knit tunic sweater.  Lastly, add a little sparkle to your shoe-drobe (get it? shoe + wardrobe!), with the Alanis too flat ($19.94) in navy.  They’re also sold in black multi & grey, perfect for staying comfy in a sheath LBD with a statement necklace or some bangles. 

Which flats are your favorites? Do you ever find great deals on clearance? Now is the time to shop for great end-of-the-season bargains & to help you out, check out previous posts, including up to 70% off on the Neiman Marcus Holiday Collection @Target, 40% off on pajama sets from Victoria Secret, & bargain outerwear inspired by Claudia Schiffer & Gwen Stefani! Happy Styling!

The Stylish Five: Affordable Flats For Any Occasion ($25 & Under)!


‘Tis the season to be fashionable & when it comes to shoes, I love all styles, including flats. I’ve been lucky enough to find some great deals lately on late-summer designs, as well as the latest fall markdowns with trends like animal print, cap toes, colorblocking, embellishments, & neons.  Luckily, I was able to scope out these latest picks, all under $25 & are versatile enough for any occasion with some styling tweaks.

First off, I love me some houndstooth, which is why the Fergalicious Alana flats ($24.99) from 6PM are perfect for an office look with trousers & a blouse, a casual day with girlfriends with a cableknit sweater & skinny jeans, or a night in with your beau in a studded cardigan & jeggings.  The all over stone flat ($14.99) in lavender from Wet Seal is a mix of feminine & rock star, & is also available in turquoise, blush, pink, & black for up to $19.50. Break these out to dress up a denim skirt & pullover with a collar necklace, or for that retro-inspired shift dress you’ve been dying to wear!

The dexflex Claire scrunch flat ($24.99) from Payless are right up my alley, perfectly chic with a mix of cream & the metallic toe.  I’d pair this with a sequin top & neutral skirt, or to offset textured tights with a colorblock dress.  The Cyphers flats ($22.49) from ALDO are office-friendly with menswear-inspired tassles, but the playful fuchsia shade is just the right touch of pink to contrast a monochromatic look in navy or charcoal.  Since neon just isn’t going away, I just had to feature the neon toe ballet flats ($16.80) in nude/aqua @Forever 21, which are also sold in nude/pink & nude/yellow.  I’d recommend wearing these with a lace frock & thick belt or to play up your favorite pastel sweater dress.

Which flats are your favorites? What stores do you usually shop in when looking for flats? Do you gravitate towards the sale racks to find the latest markdowns? For more fabulous shoe posts, check out these pointy toe heels inspired by Katie Holmes & Sarah Jessica Parker, the best bargains for peep toe pumps, & GOjane’s crazy sale on booties! Happy Styling!

Splurge Or Save… On Feminine Peep Toe Pumps?


If you’ve been following Style Darling on Instagram, then you know that I’ve been busy with some shoe shopping as of late, but it’s not all for me, for once! My bestie asked for my help in finding closed toe evening pumps & I advised her on investing in Christian Siriano‘s La Femme pumps for Payless, which I featured in a post back in January. I love patent leather for the holidays, but also it’s a luxe material for a shoe any time of year. 

While thinking about holiday shoes, I wanted to share a classic & festive staple & that’s the peep toe pump. Of course you can find any old peep in whatever material you so desire, but for the holidays, I thought it was important to emphasize feminine details in ruffles & bows, especially when our outfits are covered in lace, sequins, or embellishments. 

I’ve selected five pairs of peep toe pumps at varying price points for to share with readers & shoppers that you don’t necessarily have to break the bank when looking for holiday essentials like fashionable footwear. I’ve started off with the Stuart Weitzman peep toe pump ($201.49) that have recently been reduced by 50% @Farfetch. The all-patent exterior is luminous & the shoe offers a stiletto that is sure to show off your legline.  If that’s too out of your price range, then Badgley Mischka sail suede pump ($84.50) from Last Call by Neiman Marcus is sure to get you plenty of bang for you buck. Of course this shoe is definitely more dressy, if worn to at least 2 occasions during the holiday months & throughout the winter, you’ll have 10 wears & each will only cost $8.45! Fancy that!

An even better deal thrives behind my Zappos find with the RSVP Sheryl pumps ($55.99) with an all-over satin finish, perfect for not just the holidays, but evening weddings with a sweeping empire waist gown.  Next, I’m happy to finally share a shoes by Fergalicious (yes, that’s Fergie Ferg) from 6pm, & the Energy pumps ($27.99) break down to less than $3 per wear. The soft ruffle around the peep toe frames your new pedicure, while contrasting any edgy pieces that complete your look like a leather jacket or white satin blazer.

Finally, I’m re-sharing the Valencia bow pumps ($19.99) by Lela Rose for Payless, which I featured back in an August post as a must-have for its patent body & satin bow. The shoe is marked down from its original $44.99 price (which I paid + 20% off with a coupon), but I couldn’t pass these up, thinking that they wouldn’t be around when I needed them (& I wore them for my birthday back in September!). Now, the even lower price makes these all the more desirable & I can tell you from firsthand experience that they’re very comfortable!

Where do you like to shop for holiday shoes? What are your must-have footwear pieces for the holidays? Do you prefer satin over suede or leather over patent? Would you splurge or save on a pair of peep toes like these? Happy Styling!

12/21/11 Darling of the Day: Blake Lively Hits The Streets of Boston in Diesel!


To help celebrate my 100th Darling of the Day post, I was searching high & low for a look that would suit most Style Darling & then this super chic image of Blake Lively came to me! The Gossip Girl star was out & about in Boston recently wearing a motorcycle jacket, lace-up boots, A Theodora & Callum scarf, Diesel jeans, & toted around an elegant Givenchy bag.

I’ve selected pieces for both women’s & plus sizes b/c style knows no shape- it knows all of them!  First off, the building blocks to pulling off this look include an essential baseball tee ($14.99) in black from Merona, available @Target, the (minus the) leather military bomber jacket ($82.80) from Express, & the Kut from the Kloth ‘Jennifer’ skinny jeans ($44.99) from Macy’s.  Both the jacket & jeans are reduced from their respective original prices of $138.00 & $79.00.

For my extra-curvy Style Darlings, I’ve picked out some equally-edgy plus size items that will take your wardrobe from girl-next-door to rocker-chic!  First off, head over to Forever 21 & check out their Plus21 department, which is where you’ll find the solid raglan top ($15.80) in black & fab skinny jeans ($13.50).  Also, @Jessica London, you can find the zip-trim leather jacket ($75.00) in black, but it’s also available in bold colors like amethyst, raspberry, blue, & coral in sizes 12-28.

The finishing touches on this look are easy to find, affordable to purchase, & most of all perfect for transforming a number of looks all season long.  The safari fringed printed scarf ($8.50) in grey / black is from Forever 21 & also comes in jade & blue options. The imitation leather messenger bag ($24.95) from H&M is perfect for carrying your iPod, Kindle, & some extra necessities when you’re on-the-go like Blake.  Lastly, the boots bring it all together!  The Fergalicious ‘Kerin’ boots ($17.49) are currently marked 75% off @6PM! Happy Styling!