Beach Bound & Weekend Totes!


For my first official summer as a mommy, I’m scouring the web for a go-to tote to run out the door with (along with my own purse & the diaper bag) for all outing essentials that aren’t a part of my day-to-day life. For example, a bottle of sunscreen, a picnic blanket, a travel water bottle, spare flip flops, & maybe a magazine or book. I love how this season has so many cute & playful options that capture the spirit of the summer, while also being very spacious & useful for a busy Style Darling like myself. Here are just a few examples of what’s out there & what I have my eye on!

SHOP: Hello Weekend tote @Windsor, Life’s A Beach tote @New York & Company, Magid multi color stripe tote @Stein Mart, Magid pink & black tote @T.J. Maxx, & City Streets bananas tote @JCPenney.

Some summer must-have items that I have my eye on for inside my go-to tote include:

SHOP: eyeglass case @Walmart, red sunglasses @Forever 21, silver braided flip flops @Charlotte Russe, watermelon makeup pouch @Rue 21, travel water bottle @Five Below, Neutrogena sunscreen @Target, & tropical beach towel @H&M.

What are your summer must-haves? Where are you headed on weekends for some fun in the sun? Where are you shopping for affordable travel pieces? For more stylish posts, check out pretty pendant necklaces from Kohl’s & LOFT, Victoria Beckham’s neon high heels, & New York & Company’s most popular maxi dress! Happy Styling!

Flip for Old Navy’s Flip Flops & Stylish Summer Footwear!


Last summer, when my husband & I were planning our wedding, we included a basket of flip flops to give to our guests for those with tired feet after all the dancing & partying at our reception. Of course, we turned to Old Navy for comfortable, affordable, & colorful flip flops in bulk (& we couldn’t resist buying a few pairs for ourselves too). This summer, Old Navy continues its flip flop legacy with so many fashionable varieties, which brings us to today’s post!

black stripe flip flop @Old Navy

 

lavender dots flip flop @Old Navy

lavender red color block flip flops @Old Navy

lobster flip flop @Old Navy

mint flip flop @Old Navy

 

mustard hot pink flip flop @Old Navy

silver flip flop @Old Navy

Not only is Old Navy one of my favorite flip flop destinations (making traveling or packing for a quick weekend jaunt of errands so much easier), but there’s plenty of fashionable footwear to shop for if you’re looking for something with a little more flair this summer. Try out some slides, espadrilles, sandal flats, or wedges!

beetroot braided faux suede slide @Old Navy

black faux suede braided strap flat @Old Navyleopard knotted twist slide @Old Navy

mustard faux suede mule @Old Navy

olive faux suede faux leather ankle strap espadrille @Old Navy

peach gold metallic strappy ankle strap sandal @Old Navyred faux suede espadrille @Old Navy

Try any of these shoe styles with a floral summer dress & denim jacket for a cool evening walk by the water, a t-shirt with layered necklaces & cut-off jeans, or ankle pants & a blouse while transitioning from work to play! Additionally, the below dresses are also available, perfect for styling (& super affordable) with these shoes!

tamarind swing dress, striped linen-blend jumpsuit, blue gingham wrap dress, white botanical crepe midi dress, & beetroot cross-front jersey maxi dress @Old Navy

SHOP: tamarind swing dress, striped linen-blend jumpsuit, blue gingham wrap dress, white botanical crepe midi dress, & beetroot cross-front jersey maxi dress @Old Navy.

Where are you shopping for the best summer duds? What kind of shoes do you like to wear when the weather heats up? What shopping deals are you finding? For more stylish posts, check out resin earrings from LOFT & BaubleBar, summer hats inspired by Frieda Pinto & Jennifer Lopez, & skirts inspired by Rosie Huntington-Whiteley & Priyanka Chopra. Happy Styling!

The $100 Challenge: Summer Vacation Must-Haves For The Budget Shopper!


Let’s get right to it! I’m going away this week to The Hamptons for yet another exciting & stylish two weeks, while attending a school-related Writer’s Conference. This is one of my favorite & most fashionable times of year, where I can prepare my wardrobe & budget to reinvent new looks for the hip south shore niche. Speaking of a budget, I’ve been very price tag conscious & in doing that, I recommend the following for a memorable vacation. Also, I love the diversity of these pieces & how they can be worn in so many different ways!

Dress @Dress Barn, $46.00

The abstract shirtdress ($46.00) from Dress Barn is perfect for playing up your preppy side, while still celebrating the bright & neon sides of summer. Pair this dress with metallic sandals & a messenger bag for day, or glam it up in the evening with peep toe pumps & stacked bangles.

Leopard flip flop @Payless, $9.99

To keep your summer style fresh & timeless at the same time, classic patterns are the best way to go. With that, the sunset disc flat flip flop ($9.99) in leopard from Payless is a flirty way to amp up your separates, mixing prints like animal inspiration with polka dots or seersucker. Also, leopard looks great with bright hues like a pair of red lace shorts, an orange sheath dress, or black ruffled romper.

Blouse @H&M, $9.95

To build up wardrobe that you can transform from season to season, try something playful like an unexpected topper like this sleeveless blouse ($9.95) from H&M. At first glance, the print looks like flower petals, but upon closer examination, the soft blue is actually eyelashes. As seen on the model above, try this top with faux leather skinnies, but if you’re looking for something more low maintenance, add a contrasting color like yellow bermuda shorts & espadrilles for a lunch date or with a white pencil skirt & cardigan for a more professional look.

Earrings @Icing, $8.50Accessories are an important part of building any look, especially when it comes to jewelry. I was once a silver-only gal, but as I’ve grown up, I see the value in expanding with different metals. Here the drop earrings ($8.50) from Icing recall a deco feel that can work as a statement piece with an LBD & strappy sandals, a maxi dress & modern cuff bracelet, & a knotted button down shirt & denim shorts. Not to mention that now is a great time to invest in timeless jewelry since the store’s entire website is BOGO 50% off!

Tote @TJMaxx, $19.99Naturally, a tote bag is any Style Darling’s must-have when going out & about for the summer. This Yoki perforated tote ($19.99) from TJMaxx is right on trend with laser cut details on luxe materials. It’s the perfect size to fill with your cell phone, a pair of sunglasses, & whatever best seller you’re taking with you to the beach. To dress up the bag even more, braid or tie a bold scarf onto the handle to add a pop of color.

If you’re shopping on a budget, like me, don’t fret over spending too much. These five fabulous finds total for under $100, to be specific: $94.43 before tax! What summer essentials are on your wish list or crowding your closet? Happy Styling!

Accessories Access: Affordable Summer Must-Haves For The Beach!


A week from today I’ll be heading away for a long-awaited vacation out to The Hamptons & have been thinking how I’m going to make the most of my time. This includes preparing for a day at the beach with plenty of sunscreen & stylish accessories to keep me happy. Also, I love the idea of finding affordable extras that I can use every summer, especially ones that are under $12!

summer accessories

Towel ($6.99) @Target, Aviators ($5.99) @Charlotte Russe, Head wrap ($6.50) @Wet Seal, Flip-flops ($5.00) @Old Navy, Hat ($11.00) @Dress Barn, & Tote ($3.80) @Forever 21.

What are your beach must-haves? Where do you like to shop for affordable accessories? How would you describe your summer style? For more shopping tips, check out previous posts including Sandra Bullock’s monochromatic look for under $100, rhinestone & metallic flip-flops from Steve Madden & Guess, leather looks inspired by Kerry Washington & Heidi Klum, studded gladiator sandals from Forever 21, & maxi dresses under $25! Happy Styling!

Luxury Look-Alikes For Less: Leopard, Metallic, & Rhinestone Flip Flops For Summer!


Memorial Day marks the start of summer for retailers & everywhere you look, cut-off shorts, maxi dresses, & swimsuits are invading the racks at some of my favorite stores. Also, you’ll find plenty of flip-flop options, including ones with leopard print, metallic finished, & rhinestone details, which are perfect for mixing & matching with a variety of summer staples. In my search to share some of the best deals, I couldn’t help but see these trends all over, including at luxury department stores by big brand names. Of course, my goal here is to find the most affordable picks, & that it’s so easy to find look-alikes without breaking the bank.

First, I love the look of animal inspiration for flip-flops, which can work with a polka dot shorts romper, neon bathing suit, or blouse & mini skirt look. That’s why I found the Sam Edelman Gracie flat sandal ($60.00) from Neiman Marcus, & compared it to the American Eagle Twinkle flat flip-flop ($7.99) from Payless.

Next, @Steve Madden, you can find the Sandstrom flip flop ($49.95) in platinum, but you can also achieve the metallic look with the faux leather thong sandals ($8.80) in silver from Forever 21, which are also available in black, gold, & rose. Also, dress up your flip-flops with a little sparkle, as seen with the GUESS flip-flop sandals ($49.00) from Bloomingdale’s. However, for your next barbecue or beachside getaway, check out the rhinestone strap jelly flip-flop ($14.50) in black from Charlotte Russe, which is also where you can score the Buy 1 Get 1 for $12.50 deal on footwear!

Which is your favorite flip-flop trend? How do you like to wear flip-flops? For more posts on affordable fashion, check out the best maxi skirts of the season, 7 must-have sale items for under $100, & a sneak peek at 3.1 Philip Lim’s collaboration with Target! Happy Styling!

Quickie Darling Deal & Steal: My Favorite Flip Flops From Wet Seal’s BOGO 50% Off Sale!


Of course all the fashion blogs & style magazines are gearing up for fall, but now is the best time to get your hands (or feet in this case) on some fabulous end-of-the-season deals. This includes the latest BOGO 50% off sale @Wet Seal, which applies to select styles of flip flops, available in a variety of colors.  I recently scored an adorable patent leather purple pair, which I featured in a previous post for The Stylish Five.

Aside from the chic & vibrant hues of these flat sandals, I’m loving the different details which really make them work for nearly any summer-oriented ensemble.  The basic glitter flip flops ($6.50) in gold are also sold in fuchsia, black, & silver, perfect for adding that pop of polish to your poolside outfit.  For some tribal-inspiration, the knotted macrame flip flops ($7.99 – $12.50) add a little something extra to a multi color maxi dress or shorts romper.  The side bow flip flop ($5.99 – $9.50) is just what any feminine beach babe needs to experiments with neon. Lastly, the Brandy braided flip flop ($3.99 – $6.50) is a classic style, available in pink, yellow, blue, silver, & orange. 

Also included in this BOGO 50% off sale are the store’s Blue Asphalt jeans & more sandals & wedges! Which flip flop is your favorite? Are you going to shop this sale? Happy Styling!

The Stylish Five: Friday The 13th Deals ($13 & Under!)


Not only can we say TGIF today, but it is Friday, the 13th! So if you’re superstitious, good luck today! In celebration of the often down-on-your-luck lauded day, I’ve added a new post to The Stylish Five, including some stylish deals on items under $13.00.  Of course, with my arsenal of go-to stores, this wasn’t very hard. The hard part was narrowing down my picks to just five pieces!

@Forever 21, this perforated knit cardigan ($12.80) in yellow is perfect for throwing over your favorite summer dress when it starts to get cooler at night.  I love the lemon yellow hue which is perfect to pair with virtually any color under the sun, including tangerine, cornflower blue, slate, & fuchsia.  Next up is a stop @Old Navy for some bangle fun with the satin-covered bracelet ($6.47). The edgy accessory is available in black, orange, yellow, & blue.  Mix them together or wear them with an assortment of other bracelets to create a textured effect.  While we have jewelry on the brain, JCP‘s everyday deals include the Color Craze pink chandelier earrings ($3.00) which will make any maxi dress look all the more exotic or can very easily dress up a shorts romper.

Nothing says classic quite like a button down, & The Limited‘s Collins shirt ($12.99) makes a bold statement in cobalt, but since this is such a great deal, why not splurge on the grey & purple options too? Wear this tucked in with a pencil skirt & pumps or loose over some cropped jeans & wedges.  Lastly, I’ve been searching high & low for the perfect pair of purple flip-flops & I should’ve have known that the Lita flip-flops ($3.99) from Wet Seal would be the answer to my prayers.  These are perfect for any & every casual event, but if you’re looking for more color variety, have no fear b/c they’re also available in yellow, turquoise, & pink!

Which of these five picks is your favorite? What special Friday the 13th deals are you scouring the internet for? Happy Styling!

8/3/11 Darling of the Day: Jordana Brewster Goes Casual in Lavender Shorts (Dedicated to Laurie)!


For my friend Laurie’s birthday today, I decided to post a cool, casual look that reminds me of her!  I especially wanted to post something with shorts since both Laurie & Ms. Jordana Brewster have such great legs!

Here we have the Fast & Furious star taking a stroll in L.A., wearing a cute ensemble of a classic white button-down shirt with lavender belted shorts, shades, & flip-flops. This look is nothing short of polished (no pun intended).

To start, head to Express for the shirt, which is also available in nine different colors.  Watch out for the store’s end of the season blowout sales when basic items like this are marked down to practically nothing!  A crisp button down can be a 365-day investment under a cardigan with dark denim jeans, or paired with a sleeveless sweater vest & pencil skirt. I found @Forever 21 look-alike shorts for only $13.50, which also come in white, black, & khaki, if you’re looking to sport a casual shorts look for the rest of your summer days with babydoll tops, racerback tanks, & graphic tees!

To complete this outfit, I’ve compiled affordable accessories, including a $9.50 belt & stylish bag for under $20 from Charlotte Russe, $5.99 flip flops from Payless that you may be able to find cheaper during the store’s next BOGO 50% off sale, & rectangular sunglasses from Forever 21 for $5.80, which will save you a bundle instead of getting a designer style! I picked out a silver loop ring from JC Penney which costs $19.99, reduced from $40.00.  Also, while you’re there, check out the crystal wrap bracelet by MixIt for only $6.00 (originally $15.00).  A menswear-inspired watch from Kohl’s is the last finishing touch to an ensemble perfect for a picnic, family gathering, or walk about town shopping with girl friends!

For more celebrity-inspired looks, check out previous Darling of the Day posts, including Drew Barrymore, Amy Adams, Eva Longoria & more! Happy Birthday Laurie! Happy Styling!

The Stylish Five: Bargain Beach Accessories ($10 & Under)!


Summer is all about bright colors, fun in the sun, & light, easy style.  What better way to head to the beach than with a few fabulous must-haves for a bargain of $10 & under?!  These few essentials will help out your wallet & help you save for that vacation you’re planning this season!

You can’t go wrong with sunscreen!  @Ulta, this spray is super easy to apply, but if you’re looking for lotions or oils, those are available as well.  Not to mention, if you’re not a beach bum, but want to show off a fresh sun-kissed tan, take a look at the brand’s very affordable bronzers for $10 & under! If you sign up for the website’s emails, you’ll receive all the latest news on sales, coupon deals ($3.50 off $10 or more!), free shipping events, & specials for free samples!  This is great to keep in mind if you’re about to travel, or want to save a bundle on skin care items.

Next, we have a bright & playful beach towel from Target.  Obviously, you don’t need me to say this, but the brighter your towel, the more comfortable it is.  And it’s sooooo soft!  Stay away from dark colors which will absorb more UV rays.  Not to mention, I just bought 2 towels like these which just so happened to be on sale for $5 at the time.  If you check out the coupons available at the store’s website, you can receive $1 off your next towel purchase of $5 or more!

So, what are you gonna put all of your beach accessories in?  A resuable recyclable bag, of course!  This is an eco-friendly item & VERY budget-friendly for only $1.50 @Forever 21.  From time to time I feature these bags sold in stores & on the website b/c they’re so cute & really easy to carry around.  All year round the store sells brightly decorated bags like this that are perfect for running errands, carrying books from the library, or if you’re just out grabbing some groceries.  Or while you’re at the beach, throw all of your essentials in it, including a book, iPod, & cell phone!  Even though we are talking accessories here, I have to mention that the website has some really fabulous finds on swimwear & coverups for all sizes!

While you’re shopping around the Forever 21 site, don’t forget to take a look at their fashionable selection of eyewear, including these gray square frames.  They sell hundreds of different styles for only $5.80!  So if you are looking for something inexpensive to protect your eyes during a round of beach volleyball, put away your investment shades by brands like Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, or Fendi, & break out these very cute sunglasses! You can go with classic movie star frames, sqaures ones, aviators, or even something neon with some 80s flair!

Last, but not least, you can’t have a sunny day at the beach without some flip-flops!  Yeah, gladiator sandals & other flat strappy picks are all the rage, but don’t flip-flops just feel like the best go-to shoes sometimes?  I know that’s how I feel!  You can’t go wrong with a bright patterned rubber pair like these from Old Navy which are only $5!  If you catch your email alerts right, you can even find them on sale for as low as $2.50!  They sell up to 9 different pairs of prints, including florals, animal-inspired, tropical patterns, & stripes to go with whatever mood or swimsuit you’re wearing!

What are your beach essentials?  What music do you love to listen to?  Any suggestions on how to keep your hair looking fun & healthy during the heat?  Have a safe summer! Happy Styling!

NYC Street Style: Flip Flops, Crops, & Summer Dresses Everywhere!


During a girls-only weekend in New York City, my best friend, Rosie, & I headed out for her birthday celebration, including a classy dinner at a Midtown Italian restaurant, Arno, & then we followed it up with some drinks at a West Village bar, Bobo with another friend.  When we were headed out & about the next day for brunch, we hit up the very modern & affordable West End Bar & Grill for some bellinis & fruit after spending some time in Central Park & before enjoying the final performance of Born Yesterday, starring Jim Belushi, Nina Arianda, & Robert Sean Leonard.

This excursion was nothing short of stylish as we spied the feats of fashion that were pounding the pavement during this very warm weekend.  The streets were covered in flip-flopped feet, laced up sneakers, & exposed embellished sandals, making it evident that heels aren’t necessarily on-trend for easy-going daytime activities.  Also, shorts, crops, tunic tops, tanks, & all sorts of summer dresses (long & short) were all the rage since being comfortable amid a humid day was key.  I put some outfit examples together, along with some key pieces like a flowy black & white skirtbeaded chandelier earrings, colorful drop earringsthick red bangle, or a pink stone ring that helped make this weekend quite the stylish one for not just me.

Don’t forget to find basic accessories for maxi dresses like hoop earrings or a braided belt, or perhaps some beads over a shift dress with canvas wedges.  At night, we saw tons of bejeweled sandals & bright nail polishes, as well as the casual on-lookers enjoying the ease of denim shorts & lightweight tees or animal print tops with metallic flip flops and colorful beaded bracelets. And there’s no way you can get away with a day in the city without some fierce sunglasses too!

There’s no specific code necessary to enjoy a summer weekend in the city, however, depending on where you’re headed, there may be a dress code.  Just enjoy yourself & all the varieties of looks that exist in your wardrobe. I always recommend stylish pieces in cotton, linen, & jersey to help beat the heat, as well as sensible shoes (which was a very hard lesson to relearn, in my case), like classic wedges or low heels so that you don’t destroy your feet. I know I’ve been inspired to mix up bright colors in ocean-inspired necklaces with basics & embrace flats or black woven sandals for more occasions when I’m likely to put on some heels.

When strolling around, carry something colorful like a floral clutch, striped wallet or a graphic shoulder bag to add a modern splash to your look.  What looks do you find most prominent when you visit New York City, or any other local happening city?  What do you like to pick out to wear?  See you soon New York!  Happy Styling!