Splurge or Save… on Lace Up Ballet Flats?


This time of the summer is when retailers are rearing to go with the newest fall items for shoppers to clamor over. This includes trend items that might not stand the test of time, but there are definitely some worth seeking. For inspiration on the best of the newest arrivals for the next season, it’s easy to turn to luxury designers & brands. Those styles trickle down the price point pole & then look-alike items finally become affordable for a Style Darling on a budget.

One example is the lace-up ballet flat, a stylish option to help transition your wardrobe from summer to fall. The below styles range in prices from $685 (wowie!) to $24.99. These are examples of the next level of the ballet flat craze that’s obviously not going anywhere. What will designers think of next? A black ballet flat doesn’t have to be basic anymore, especially when styled with a little black dress or blouse & silk shorts ensemble.SHOP: 1. Gianvito Rossi flats @Neiman Marcus, 2. Sam Edelman flats @Bloomingdale’s, 3. MICHAEL Michael Kors flats @Macy’s, 4. lace-up flats @LOFT, & 5. SO flats @Kohl’s.

Which designers do you follow & invest in? What trends do you buy for less? Where are your favorite places to shop for shoes? What are you most looking forward to wearing for fall? Happy Styling!

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Show Me the Shoes: Affordable Fall Flats for the Office, Inspired by Emma Stone, Victoria Beckham, & More (Dedicated to Christine)!


I love getting inspired about fashion when chatting up my friends, & today’s post is no exception. My dear friend Christine, styling it up in New Jersey, recently shared her concerns about finding comfy, yet stylish flats for the office & my brain went spinning with inspiration. Given my crazy day-to-day schedule between two jobs & grad school, I’m constantly on the go, which also means that my collection of flats has grown exponentially with fashionable possibilities for a chic, professional look. To get started, I sought out some images of the best dressed A-listers wearing elements that make up a great work look, especially with a fall wardrobe on the brain.Angelina Jolie, Camilla Belle, Emma Stone, Emmy Rossum, Jennifer Lopez, & Karlie Kloss in flats.These celebrities include: Angelina Jolie, Camilla Belle, Emma Stone, Emmy Rossum, Jennifer Lopez, Karlie Kloss, Mandy Moore, Olivia Palermo, Pippa Middleton, Reese Witherspoon, Taylor Swift, & Victoria Beckham. Flats are certainly not a cop-out, adding a little extra splash of femininity against a cardigan & shirt pairing, sleek menswear look, blouse & trousers ensemble, & sheath dress.

Mandy Moore, Olivia Palermo, Pippa Middleton, Reese Witherspoon, Taylor Swift, & Victoria Beckham in flats.And for some affordable flats to amp up your office style, consider a few elements for an interesting look: pattern, texture, & shine, which will also help transition any Style Darling from day-to-night, as well as date & weekend. 

Show Me the Shoes - Affordable Fall Flats for the Office!SHOP: 1. loafers ($14.99) in navy @H&M (also available in black, camel, hot pink, & gray), 2. boucle pointed flats ($15.00, was $25.99) in black & white @Charlotte Russe, 3. stud flats ($15.00) in black @Wet Seal (also available in burgundy), 4. pointed patent flats ($19.90) in black @Forever 21 (also available in nude), 5. Gigi flats by Christian Siriano ($24.99, was $29.99) in wine @Payless (also available in black & taupe), & 6. lace pointed flats ($34.90) in black @Express.

What do you wear to work? What details do you look for when it comes to flats? Where do you shop for your favorite office footwear? For more stylish posts, check out affordable plaid accessories for fall, florals to wear this season from New York & Company & Hollister, capes & ponchos inspired by Gwen Stefani & Jamie Chung, & Olivia Palermo’s BaubleBar collaboration. Happy Styling!

Show Me The Shoes: Black & White Spring Trends From Payless!


I’ve always been pro black & white when it comes fashion, loving the classic color combination, especially when it comes to patterns like polka dots, houndstooth, & stripes. However, now that winter is finally leaving us, we can focus on spring trends, like black & white in our accessories. Wearing black & white printed shoes, for example, will instantly punch up any look, helping transition the heavy layers from the winter to lighter, breezier separates for spring.

black & white shoes

I know I can always count on Payless for the latest styles to mix & match with my other wardrobe staples, especially at such an affordable price. If you’re headed for the beach during the upcoming spring break, take the Sadia raffia high wedge sling ($24.99) with a maxi dress or shorts romper. Also, for the office, I love the Krime peep toe pump ($19.99) for a sheath dress, blazer & pencil skirt look, or for happy hour in a sequin tank & skinny jeans. If you’re looking for chic & comfy flats, I’m excited about the Chelsea flat ($16.99) & Claire scrunch flat ($24.99) that can work for a variety of occasions.

For more fabulous black & white shoes, check out luxury designs like these from Christian Louboutin, Michael Kors, Manolo Blahnik, & Loeffler Randall. More affordable options also include Nine West, Madden Girl, Fergalicious, & Croft & Barrow. What shoe trends are you following for the new season? What colors are you ready to wear? Happy Styling!

2013 Black Friday Style: Fashionable Flats For Your Shopping Frenzy!


Whether you’re spending the holidays with family or hitting up the stores in search of the biggest & best deal, you’re definitely going to need a fabulous pair of shoes to help you along the way, which is why I’m happy to feature flats as a part of my 2013 Black Friday Style series. Having so much retail experience, I can tell you that flats are a stylish lifesaver to the working woman’s feet. I’m most inspired by details print & pattern, texture, shine, & menswear inspiration, which are essential ingredients to make any holiday season all the more special.

Forever 21 - plaid flats $16.80, GOjane - glitter flats $23.80, H&M quilted ballet flats $9.99, Steve Madden - patent KINGG flats $41.98, & Payless - Christian Siriano smoking flat $26.99.

Shop these: bold plaid flats ($16.80) in red multi @Forever 21, chain-ge glitter flats ($23.80) in gold @GOjane, quilted ballet flats ($9.99) in beige @H&M, patent KINGG flat ($41.98) in fawn @Steve Madden, & Christian Siriano crimson smoking flat ($26.99) in black @Payless.

I know I’ll be breaking out my most comfortable & stylish flats this weekend (working the 2nd job!), thinking about all the ways that I can style my flats with leggings & tunic sweater, blouse & skinny jeans, & a cardigan & A-line skirt with tights. How do you like to wear flats? Which style is your favorite?

For more suggestions on must-have flats, check out these picks from White House Black Market, LOFT, Nine WestCharlotte Russe, Kohl’s, Wet Seal, & Tilly’s. 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!

Show Me The Shoes: Cosmopolitan’s Line Of Pumps, Flats, & Boots For JC Penney!


So it’s time to talk shoes & I’ve been hitting up some of my local favorite stores for all the best deals to try & get the best ideas on how to update my fall wardrobe.  I’ve been to JC Penney twice in the last week & kept to the clearance racks, but while I was checking out the website, I found that one of my favorite magazines has joined the designing ranks.

Cosmopolitan, yes that magazine, has created a very sexy, sophisticated, & modern collection of intimates & accessories sold exclusively @JCP.  This also includes the above shoes (yay!) ranging in affordable prices- not to mention that when the big fall sales start that these prices will just get better! Check out the Jackie pumps ($37.00), Burma pumps ($40.00), Ingrid pumps ($37.00), Mary flats ($30.00), Zima flats ($30.00), Olive boots ($55.00). Personally, I’m crazy for the sequin flats, but also can’t get enough of the neutral & gold-tone on the Burma pumps, which are prefect for mixing the nude shoes trend with metallic details.

Which shoes are your favorite? For more from Show Me The Shoes, check out previous posts, including leopard print flats at several price points, summer sale items from Charlotte Russe, the season’s latest designer styles @Neiman Marcus. Happy Styling!

Runway Rundown / Show Me The Shoes: The Entire 106 Piece Fall 2012 Collection By Nicholas Kirkwood!


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I talk about a lot of shoes here on Style Darling, but this is the biggest shoe gallery I’ve ever shared with readers- on top of this being my 600th post!  As I was happily surfing through Facebook & Twitter today, I came across a link to Refinery 29 which included a 106-image slideshow gallery of designer Nicholas Kirkwood‘s Fall 2012 Collection of shoes.  The line ranges in sandals, pumps, flats, & wedges- each sleek, flirty, fierce, & sexy for a variety of occasions. Here’s a chance for you to check out the latest trends in fall styles, including platforms & towering high heels that can match perfectly with so many colorblocked, solid, printed, or textured looks for the upcoming season.

For more shoe posts, check out Show Me The Shoes, including Lela Rose’s latest for Payless, Christian Siriano’s loafer pumps, & Prada’s fall runway shoes @Neiman Marcus! Happy Styling!

Style ABC’s (x3): F is for Fergie, Flats, & Forever 21!


is for Fergie, Flats, & Forever 21!

While it took me a long time to finally warm up to Fergie’s style, you can’t deny that the Black Eyed Peas frontwoman has got her look down! She’s confident on the red carpet & knows how to show off her curves. Not to mention that she’s got a killer voice that even landed her the part of Saraghina in Rob Marshall’s Oscar-nominated film,  Nine

Wearing the most fierce LBDs & well-coordinated rock & roll separates, she’s made Style Darling status pretty early on.  AND she has even branched out with her own line of shoes, perfect for making any pair of legs look as sensational as her.  Check out these satin heels, boots, backless animal print platforms, & flat sandals at her website to catch all the latest styles! Also, the multi-talented California native is the face & creator behind one of Avon’s best-selling fragrances, Outspoken

Forever 21 is a retailer sometimes criticized for copying styles & designs created by bigger brand names like Gwen Stefani’s L.A.M.B. However, the fashion world is never without controversy, but all morals aside, this store is one of the most affordable & stylish around for teens & women of all ages. Sure, mini skirts & towering platforms aren’t recommended for all ages & sizes, but here’s a place where you can always find extra pieces to help amp up your look to the next level.  While the store doesn’t offer as wide of a size variety as I’d like for real women who shop at the mall, you can’t ignore the affordability factor, which is why I feature it so much.

You can mix & match these items with any number of other pieces from your favorite places to shop & they’d look just as luxurious & trendy, like the belted flowered skirt with a tucked in white tee for a picnic, a cuffed plaid shirt with the yellow shorts for a day of shopping with girlfriend, the preppy striped cardigan with a pleated skirt & ballet flats for a family event, the one-shoulder top would look awesome with some skinny jeans & suede platforms for a date night, & the black & white dress is a modern & flattering look for the office & happy hour!

No matter what size you are, there are always accessories to add that special finishing touch, including a big cocktail ring for your LBD & satin pumps, a quilted wallet for something in tweed or wool, or a colorful stack of bangles with a maxi dress & strappy sandals! I also love finding cute hair accessories like these clips & bobby pins to keep the cute going from head-to-toe.  And of course, last but not least, these nude platform heels are the ultimate in sexy & cost under $25!

Don’t forget to check out Love21, the stores contemporary & more mature brand, as well as the fashions in the Plus Size department, which includes tops, denim, sweaters, dresses, swimwear & outerwear.  For any expectant mothers out there on a budget, the website offers a maternity department with items costing only as high as $28!

For the men in your life, spruce up their style with some affordable tees, vests, & jackets from 21Men!  If you’re looking to start off your little one (a daughter- duh!) with some serious style, check out the Forever21Girls line with includes so many adorable tops, dresses, & accessories.  If these aren’t on your shopping list, hit up the site’s fun gift items for your next housewarming or bachelorette party!

Even though summer is all about sandals, flip-flops, & showing off your feet, flats in all shapes, colors, & styles work so well for many occasions.

For a quick run to the store, or while I’m having a day of errands, I always turn to my flats, even though I want to be buried with my high heel collection!  They’re classic, especially the ballet flats, so easy to match up with virtually any outfit, & even look great for evenings out on the town.

Try something with some jeweled or studded embellishment, an open toe or d’orsay, a style with floral or patterned details, metallic & animal prints, for your summer look with shorts, an eyelet dress, cut-off capris, or with a romper.

They’re an easy way to look stylish when you’re between pedicures, but also very affordable from stores like Forever 21, Aldo, Charlotte Russe, Steve Madden, Nine West, & Payless.  Happy Styling!

Quickie Darling Deal & Steal: Sophie Theallet Designs for Nine West!


While doing my religious clicking around on my favorite sites like In Style & Lucky Magazine, I came across some serious style news & when it comes to shoes, I drop everything, including my jaw over these two delicious creations to the right. French designer Sophie Theallet has created a new line this spring for Nine West.  She presents a fresh take on stripes with sandals, espadrilles, & flats.  You can’t forget about the bags & accessories, check ’em all out here

These would contrast so nicely with something very utilitarian like a shorts romper or dress down some satin pants.  Sweet details likes a ruffled edge & gold buckle make for a more expensive look for shoes that start at $109.00.  This collection won’t be available until May 11th in store!

Perhaps the next time you receive an email from Nine West, you’ll get all the latest information on sales. As of right now, the website has an end-of-season sale of up to 70% off boots, shoes, & accessories.  While we look ahead to spring, we can still stock up on marked down goodies for next fall / winter! 

If you’re looking for a patterned ankle strap shoes like Sophie Theallet’s, but for you’re on a budget like me, & $109 is just too much… well, I’ve got just the thing for you!  Check out these four selections below that don’t go above $45! Happy Styling!

    

 

 

Color Me Style: Yellow (Dedicated To Estelle)!


On a rather semi-uneventful night of style (although I did break in my new silver flats from Wet Seal!), I suddenly found myself pursued by my good friend & fellow shoe lover, Estelle, who was in a style crisis- shudder to think.  She’s getting married in less than six months & has her heart set on yellow shoes for the big day.  As much as I love dresses & the thought of going shopping for my own wedding dress one day, deep down, it’ll always be about the shoes.  I had to help out & happily began my mission.  I turned to my emergency “favorites” folder, reserved for Style Darlings in need (which I’ve since expanded & updated here for all your crazy online shoppers!).  Not to mention that this challenge was a little extra hard since yellow isn’t necessarily a fall color & it is October.

I should mention that in my Color Me Style posts, I featurd all fashionable items from jewelry to tops to skirts, & so on, along with celebrity looks in the specific color.  However, this is a special case, so I’m breaking up my blog routine.  Estelle is looking for something open so that her feet could breathe on her very busy day, so strappy sandals & peep toes were essential.  Knowing Estelle, bows were not to be ruled out!  With a collection of varying styles, colors, & heel heights, here’s what we came up with during a lengthy & satisfying Facebook exchange.

Overall there were some winners & hopefully, of these picks, the beautiful bride-to-be will have found the pair for her. For general knowledge, here are the websites featured in this blog: Nina Shoes, 6pm, Baker’s Shoes, EDressMe, Love My Shoes, Shoe Buy, Shoe Mall, Shoe Woo, YOOX, GOjane. During my extensive exchange with Estelle, sites like DSW, Zappos, Piperlime, Endless, Steve Madden, Chinese Laundry, Foot Notes Online, Bluefly, Couture Candy, AMI Clubwear, Macys, Jildor, Nine West, Jessica Simpson Collection, & Victoria’s Secret were also perused.  I recommend all of the above sites for you next shoe adventure even though they didn’t provide for tonight’s goal.  If you know of any great websites to check out yellow peep toe heels for a special occasion, leave a comment to let us know!  The search is still in progress, so please please please share!  Happy Styling!