Tee Time!


I’m a sucker for dresses, cardigans, & big jewelry. There’s no question about it. There are some staple pieces that I love to have en masse, including cardigans, ankle pants, & blouses. However, one wardrobe must-have that I haven’t embraced so much is the classic t-shirt!

(gasp)

…Perhaps this is because I always relied on the cozy ease of a t-shirt for my sleepwear & not so much to mix with my day pieces. T-shirts are an easy way to play off of busy patterns, bold textures, & trendy companions, which is why I’m featuring some great deals on colorful, classic, & trendy t-shirts.

SHOP: navy crewneck Hampton tee @New York & Company (available in 4 colors in size XS – XXL), blue pocket tee @LOFT (available in 4 colors in size XS – XXL), coral square-neck trim tee @dressbarn (available in six colors in size XS – XL, shop 1X – 3X here, pale blue v-neck tee @Gap (available in 17 colors in size XS – XXL), A New Day white crewneck tee @Target (available in 4 colors in size XS – XXL), & green jersey tee @H&M (available in 7 colors in size XXS – XXL).

No matter what your favorite neckline is, t-shirts really are for everyone. There are so many styles to consider from crewneck to v-neck to square-neck to split-neck, which is what makes t-shirts so versatile & compatible to offset a busy look to keep in minimal with all solids. Any of these tees could be worn with jeans, tucked into a skirt, with printed pants, or under a sleeveless dress, creating a new layer of possibilities in outfit building. Consider coordinating any of these items to build your next comfy t-shirt chic look:

SHOP: beaded flower necklace @dressbarn, gold chain choker @Forever 21, blue paisley Audrey ankle pant @New York & Company, Match Made midi skirt @ModCloth, green gingham sandals @GOjane, & leopard Pixie pant @Old Navy.

How do you like to style t-shirts? Where do you shop for a variety of colors when it comes to t-shirts? What is your favorite style t-shirt? For more stylish posts, check out Betsey Johnson’s butterfly adorned heels, stylish summer totes from T.J. Maxx & Windsor, pretty pendant necklaces for any outfit from Kohl’s & Francesca’s, & Victoria Beckham’s bold neon heels! Happy Styling!

Style Tip: One Skirt Worn Six Ways!


I’m a big believer in getting the most use out of an item as I possibly can. That means that not only am I considering how many seasons I’m wearing something, but also how many different ways a piece can be worn. While I’m a sucker for black & white looks, I also love a colorful piece that way I can play up my neutral & bolder separates to give something new life.

For example, during a recent venture to Target, I perused through their clothing department, knowing that I couldn’t buy anything (budget, budget, budget), but since I’m always seeking inspiration, I excused the detour as necessary for my blog. My eye immediately spotted the Merona stripe pleated skirt, which is available in sizes XS-XXL, & its colorful stripe pattern made my head spin with styling possibilities for spring, summer, & fall. To get the most use out of wearing a garment like this (with tops tucked into the waist-cinching band, of course), here are just six stylish examples. Not to mention that you can layer sleeveless tops with pretty cardigans or neutral jackets (like khaki, denim, or olive camou) to offset the bold color palette.

SHOP: denim tank @GAP, green tank @Target, yellow flutter sleeve sweater @LOFT, navy cut-out tank @New York & Company, white studded tee @dressbarn (shop plus size here), & orange racer back tank @Old Navy

Because of the skirt’s delicate material & playful hues, I wouldn’t recommend it for winter, unless you live somewhere majestically sunny like southern California for those chillier months, perhaps with a ribbed turtleneck & cognac knee boots. Since I live on Long Island, I can’t fathom what it’s like to live somewhere without the extremes of both summer & winter.

However, the styling doesn’t end there, nor does the flair. The busy design & colors of the skirt shouldn’t hinder you from having fun with accessories either. Think of all the opportunities this skirt has to offer, as well as combinations of colors to wear when it comes to a statement necklace or dangly earrings.

SHOP: orange tortoiseshell earrings @Old Navy, yellow fringed hoop earrings @New York & Company, rose gold tassel earrings @H&M, blue lapis drop earrings @Charming Charlie, tribal woven choker @Forever 21, turquoise blossoms bib necklace @Charming Charlie, & howlite stone statement necklace @Francesca’s.

How would you style this skirt? What colors do you like to play with most in your wardrobe? Where are you shopping for the best deals on summer-to-fall transition pieces? Do you like to go bold with texture, pattern, & sparkle for your looks? Happy Styling!

Fab in 4 Ways: The Prettiest Summer-To-Fall Transition Sweater!


Right now is a very interesting time for fashion & retail. Summer is here & thriving, the best seasonal styles are on sale, but also, the newest fall pieces are starting to hit stores. More than anything, I want to stay in a summer state of mind, especially since the weather has been beautiful, just sunny enough & not oppressively hot (at least here on Long Island). My eye keeps catching what’s next for fall, which brings me to this Roz & Ali lace bell sleeve sweater @dressbarn, available in both misses & plus sizes.

The lightweight top is both flattering & versatile when it comes to styling. The airy, feminine sleeves are my favorite part, inspiring me to think about other patterns & color schemes to experiment with. Since these summer evenings have been on the cooler side lately, this is the perfect top for now & next season too. Making the investment in future pieces that you can wear now is the best way to get the most use out of your wardrobe. However, I especially love the always classic look of black and white separates, which is perfect for Style Darlings of any age or size.

Styling the sweater with a pair of shorts offers a polished look for a weekend brunch with some sandals & drop earrings. A pencil skirt is party-ready with a statement necklace & strappy heels. For a relaxed feel, a maxi skirt is easy-breezy when paired with wedges & layering necklaces. Lastly, cozy palazzo pants are effortless & cool for a day of errands or casual Friday at the office with ballet flats & stud earrings.

SHOP: stripe linen drapey shorts @Gap (available in sizes XS-XXL), front slit pencil skirt @New York & Company (available in sizes 0-20), floral print maxi skirt @dressbarn (available in plus size here), & striped palazzo pants @Target (available in sizes S-XXL).

When I’m styling other women, I always encourage them to try pieces that can not only be worn multiple ways, but also for multiple seasons. This ensures that the garment’s value is really worth it. While I don’t want to wish summer away, I can’t get over all the possibilities for this sweater. Here are a few more suggestions of how you can play up your best fall style when coordinated with any black lacy sweater for work, day, date, or weekend.

SHOP: pencil skirt @H&M (similar in plus size here), utility pixie chinos @Old Navy (available in sizes 0-20), pinstripe ankle pants @Express (similar in plus size here), & 415 classic boot cut jeans @Levi’s (similar in plus size here).

What pieces do you have your eye on this season? What fall trends are you most looking for to next? What staple items do you get the most wear from? Happy Styling!

 

The Stylish Five: Floral Scarves for Spring!


When it comes to spring fashion, scarves don’t always come to mind first, but they do for me! That’s because I have an enormous scarf collection that I have found much use out of over the years, adding plenty of texture & interest in building a look with a denim jacket over a dress, for example. Scarves are not just limited to one’s neck & for outerwear accessorizing too! Most of the time, I wear a light weight scarf knotted or bowed around my purse to give said every day carryall a little extra splash of style. You can play up a floral scarf with the colors in your outfit, as well as matching other hues of your bag. Here are five examples, ranging in price, but each offers a little something different in terms of color combinations & styling possibilities.

SHOP: abstract floral scarf @Ann Taylor, fuchsia floral scarf @dressbarn, floral & print scarf @Target, woven floral scarf @H&M, & meadow oblong scarf @White House Black Market.

To expand on my scarf-bag theory, here are a few combinations to consider when assembling your next spring outfit. This not only serves fashion, but utility as well. In case you’re chilly, but you hadn’t needed it earlier, it’s right there on your bag!

SHOP: blue dew scarf @DSW, striped Dana Buchman Bella tote @Kohl’s, square tulip scarf @LOFT, bucket backpack @Charlotte Russe, floral fringe scarf @Gap, & faux leather white tote @Forever 21.

Do you wear scarves in the spring? Where do you like to shop for spring accessories? Do you coordinate with your purse on a daily basis? Happy Styling!

#BlackFriday Sale Update: 50% Off Everything @GAP!


Happy Thanksgiving & early Black Friday! I tried to stay disconnected from technology for most of the holiday, but I just can’t take it anymore. There are so many awesome sales going on right now that will not only help build up a killer winter wardrobe, but also check off some stylish names on your gift list. Once I filtered through the dozens & dozens of emails, I couldn’t start posting fast enough.

For classic styles to wear from season to season, GAP is the place to shop, especially for their big Black Friday sale of 50% off everything with the online code TGIF50.

SHOP: plaid dress, stripe sweater, pleated skirt, star scarf, ballet flat, knit hat, & stripe belt @GAP.

Happy Styling!

The Stylish Five: Trendy & Affordable Fall / Winter Must-Haves!


This time of year is ripe with fashionable possibilities, which is precisely what makes it fun to get dressed in the morning, finding new ways to express your style and personality. Of course, there are challenges when it comes to putting together a chic & effortless fall / winter wardrobe, mainly because of the changing weather, but also, if you’re stuck in a style rut, there are five fall / winter trends that will help elevate your look without having to invest too much cash into passing fashion fads that only work for certain body types. These include: layers, sparkle, prints, jewel tones, & lace. The savviest of Style Darlings can even take some of these trends to create a detailed & unique outfit.

SHOP: turtleneck poncho @Macy’s, plaid blanket scarf @Lord & Taylor, faux fur vest @Old Navy, hooded cape @Zulily, & oversized cardigan @The Limited.

SHOP: embellished sweater @Target, glitter skirt @Wet Seal, statement necklace @Icing, glittery platforms @Charlotte Russe, & sequined satin clutch @Forever 21.

SHOP: plaid shirt @H&M, houndstooth blouse @JCPenney, paisley dress @Forever 21, leopard scarf @Charming Charlie, & floral flats @DSW.

SHOP: velvet wrap dress @ASOS, cold shoulder top @Macy’s, zipper sweater @New York & Company, straight leg pants @The Limited, & midi skirt @Charlotte Russe.

SHOP: dress @H&M, tank @Gap, blouse @New York & Company, choker @Lulu’s, & pumps @Payless.

What fall / winter trend are you thinking about? Where are you shopping for the latest deals & style buys? Happy Styling!

Fab in 4 Ways: A Crochet Skirt for Day, Date, Work, & Weekend!


I recently had a conversation with a friend / coworker about the perks of our job, one being all the styling possibilities for certain items that can be worn for a variety of occasions. Thus the inspiration for this post, I couldn’t help thinking about how quickly the summer is going by, & that fall fashion is currently in stores. Blending the new with the past season while keeping a budget in mind is a very present factor when I’m considering how to build new looks from my wardrobe. Transitioning pieces from season to season is really how you can get the most from your fashionable investment, which can also surprise you when planning a day out with friends, a special date night, what to wear for an important work meeting, as well as when you’re headed away for the weekend. 

It didn’t take long before I came across this versatile crochet scalloped skirt from @Dress Barn (shop misses available in small – large & plus available in 1X – 2X here. I have the skirt from last spring (in more of a creamy ivory tone) & I was stuck on how to style it, especially since there’s so much detail in the crochet of the skirt. Gladly, this design was returning to stores in a neutral taupe, perfect for coordinating for any season. In the fall, try this skirt with knee boots & a chunky sweater, or for winter with a blouse, tights, & ankle booties. However, when thinking about all of the styling possibilities, I’m excited to share four fabulous ways to wear this skirt, including for day, date, work, & weekend. 

Crochet for day.SHOP: misses shirt @Charles Tyrwhitt, Aubrey Brooke wedge @DSW, turquoise bracelet @Charming Charlie, Gabrielle Rocha lobster tote @6PM, square stud earring @White House Black Market, plus shirt @Gap, Naturalizer wedge @DSW, turquoise bracelet @Charming Charlie, Gabriella Rocha nautical tote @6PM, & Jasper stud earring @White House Black Market.

Crochet for date.SHOP: misses cut-out top @Forever 21, strappy heels @GOjane, beaded hoop earrings @Francesca’s, champagne stretch bracelet @Icing, ALDO clutch @Zappos, plus fringe top @Forever 21, chunky platforms @GOjane, drop earrings @Francesca’s, iridescent stretch bracelet @Icing, & Jessica McClintock clutch @Zappos.

Crochet for work.SHOP misses Dana Buchman top @Kohl’s, neutral jacket @Dress Barn, neutral pump @Payless, long necklace @Forever 21, watch @Target, stud earrings @Express, plus Dana Buchman top @Kohl’s, neutral jacket @Dress Barn, pointy toe slingback @Payless, long necklace @Forever 21, watch @Target, & knot stud earrings @Express.

Crochet for weekend.SHOP: misses pocket tee @Charlotte Russe, collar necklace @BaubleBar, printed kimono @Wet Seal, fringe sandal @ModCloth, straw shopper @H&M, plus pocket tee @Charlotte Russe, statement necklace @BaubleBar, printed kimono @Wet Seal, colorblock sandal @ModCloth, & canvas shopper @H&M.

How would you style the crochet skirt? What items do you keep handy all year long? Which staples do you like to reinvent in new ways? Where do you shop for everyday essentials? Happy Styling!

Basics for a Bargain: Black Pencil Skirts for Every Body Type & Budget!


You know the old saying, “If you can’t stop thinking about it, buy it”? Well, that circulated in my head & heart all weekend… about a black pencil skirt. Mind you, I have a few black pencil skirts, all in different materials & cuts, but one particular caught my eye recently & I couldn’t stop thinking about the styling possibilities, especially for my next stylish photo shoot. It’s a staple for any Style Darling at any size, that’s for sure. This isn’t news in the fashion world. Magazines everywhere have been championing pencil skirts for every shape as a way to get the most out of a wardrobe without breaking the bank. Since I gave in to the “buy it” theory, I was simultaneously inspired to explore every which way a pencil skirt can enliven your style.

Check out the A-listers below to get inspired by all kinds of black pencil skirts & style choices, including blogger / actress Jamie Chung, designer / author Lauren ConradMad Men star Christina Hendricks, Aussie actress Rebel Wilson, the flawless Kerry Washington, & the one & only, Jennifer Lopez.

Jamie Chung, Lauren Conrad, Christina Hendricks, Rebel Wilson, Kerry Washington, & Jennifer Lopez.Pencil skirts aren’t just for the office either. Mix up your pencil skirt look with a graphic tee, peplum top, button down shirt, turtleneck, or body suit, for example. Wear one on a date night, going out with girl friends, or when running daily errands. The possibilities are endless for the basic bottom, especially if you’re looking to dress down something glitzy or elevate a casual top. Play with minimalism or menswear, perhaps even utilitarian or bombshell styles all when wearing a pencil skirt.

Misses, Plus, & Petites pencil skirt looks.SHOP: Misses cold shoulder top @Charlotte Russe, graphic tee @Nordstrom Rack, floral blouse @ModCloth, Plus plaid shirt @Forever 21, embellished top @Dress Barn, printed peplum top @Old Navy, & Petites ruffle tank @JCPenney, denim t-shirt @ASOS, & lace trim tank @Gap. Misses skirt @TJMaxx & skirt @H&M, Plus skirt @Eloquii & skirt @Kohl’s, & Petites skirt @Lord & Taylor & skirt @The Limited.

When it comes to the fitted skirt, look beyond a pump & to special details in your accessories. A black pencil skirt is a great foundation & neutral for any special extras, including playing with patterns, metallics, sparkle, cut-outs, & luxe textures. The suggestions below barely scrape the surface of what you can do with your ensemble, especially when you can wear a pencil skirt any season. 

Pencil skirt accessoriesSHOP: ankle strap pumps @DSW, metallic heels @GOjane, ankle booties @Lane Bryant, embellished flats @Topshop, belt @Lulu’s, rose gold tote @Payless, leopard clutch @6PM, & tortoise sunglasses @Target.

How would you style a pencil skirt? How often do you wear one? Where do you like to shop for staple wardrobe pieces? How much would you invest in season-to-season separates? Which celebrities inspire your everyday style? Happy Styling!

Fabulous in 4 Ways: A Chambray Shirt for Day, Work, Date, & Weekend (Dedicated to Meghan)!


There’s nothing more classic than a crisp button down shirt. An extension of this is the chambray shirt for summer. While the season is at its height (let’s ignore fall for just a moment, please), a menswear-inspired chambray shirt is the perfect piece to get optimal use of your wardrobe for a variety of occasions, like day, work, weekend, & date, which is why it’s featured in my latest addition of Fabulous in 4 Ways.

This post is inspired by an equally versatile friend, Meghan, who works boho princess / bombshell prep street style like nobody’s business. When challenged with how to wear a chambray shirt, I advised my very favorite & fashionable friend that any way that a button down shirt can be styled is also any way that a chambray shirt can be styled (depending on the cut, of course). Here are some examples of must-haves tops to build an affordable ensemble at any size:

Chambray shirts.

SHOP: 1. Dockers chambray shirt ($24.99, was $40.00) @6PM, 2. chambray shirt ($39.99, was $69.00) @J.Jill, 3. chambray shirt ($32.94) available in sizes XS – XXL @Old Navy, 4. New Directions plus size chambray shirt ($18.19, was 52.00) @Belk, & 5. plus size chambray shirt ($46.00) @Maurices.

When it comes to essential basics to fill your closet, it’s always valuable to turn to some top A-listers for a little style inspiration, in the form of the button down shirts for anytime. This includes the flawless likes of Taylor Swift who takes the girl next door approach in a skate skirt, red oxford shoes, & retro sunnies. Curvy Kim Kardashian West dresses down her turquoise pencil skirt & ankle strap pumps with a tucked in, low-cut button down for a fierce day look. Draper James creator Reese Witherspoon is all buttoned up while traveling with mixed textures of black denim, leather pointy flats, & a pink lip. Style icon Olivia Palermo makes an appearance at a Kohl’s event in a knotted shirt over a floral pencil skirt with suede pumps.

Taylor Swift, Kim Kardashian West, Reese Witherspoon, Olivia Palermo, Rihanna, Ashley Madekwe, Zoe Saldana, & Jennifer Garner.

Mixing chambray with similarly-hued denim isn’t a no-no, as seen on Rihanna who looked sporty & chic in a leather baseball cap & nude slingbacks. Salem actress Ashley Madekwe is all about layering with a mini skirt, ankle booties, brocade blazer, & red chain link crossbody bag. Guardians of the Galaxy star Zoe Saldana kept her cool in head-to-toe blue with cowboy boots & aviators when out & about. Lastly, busy mom on the go Jennifer Garner offers a laid back combo in a chambray pullover shirt tucked into a pencil skirt with ballet flats & a luxe navy snake embossed bowler bag.

Now comes the real-life outfit possibilities. Chambray is so lightweight to wear from week to week, especially if you like to reinvent your favorite pieces in new ways. I styled each look with the chambray shirt ($19.50, was $69.50) @J.Crew Factory because it was not only a bargain, but also the best foundation for a polished & flirty look. Try tucking the shirt in for day by rolling up the sleeves, but on the weekend, open it up & knot it when heading to brunch.

Cambray for Day. Chambray for Weekend.

SHOP the DAY look: 1. chambray shirt ($19.50, was $69.50) @J.Crew Factory, 2. pineapple earrings ($5.00, was $7.50) @Icing, 3. LC Lauren Conrad necklace ($8.00, was $20.00) @Kohl’s, 4. shorts ($13.98, was $19.99) in orange @Target, 5. Nine West crossbody bag ($19.99, was $45.00) in oat @Century 21, & 6. wedges ($31.49, was $89.99) in beige @Dillard’s.

SHOP the WEEKEND look: 7. earrings ($12.00) @Francesca’s, 8. tank ($16.95) in turquoise @Gap (available in sizes XS – XXL), 9. maxi skirt ($30.00) @Dress Barn (available in plus size here), 10. bangle set ($9.99, was $26.00) @JCPenney, 11. tote ($14.90) in cream / mustard @Forever 21, & 12. sandals ($15.00, was $22.99) in gold @Charlotte Russe.

Depending on your job’s dress code, chambray can make a casual Friday a little more elegant when tucked into a minimalist skirt with edgy extras, but then knot it over an LBD for date night to keep cozy with colorful accessories to pop.

Chambray for Work. Chambray for Date.

SHOP the WORK look: 1. chambray shirt ($19.50, was $69.50) @J.Crew Factory, 2. cardigan cape ($34.00, was $108.00) in black @Neiman Marcus Last Call, 3. earrings ($10.50) in gold @G by Guess, 4. Daniel Rainn pencil skirt ($24.97, was $68.00) in black @Nordstrom Rack (shop similar in plus size here), 5. necklace ($15.00) in rose gold @Topshop, 6. bowler bag ($49.00, was $99.00) @ASOS, 7. belt ($24.90) in snake @Express (shop similar in plus size here), & 8. booties ($38.50) in black @GOjane.

SHOP the DATE look: 9. dress ($12.95) in black @H&M (shop similar in plus size here), 10. necklace ($8.99) @Rainbow Shops, 11. ring ($16.00) @River Island, 12. clutch ($29.00, was $43.00) in yellow @Venus, & 13. sandals ($39.95, was $70.00) in red @DSW.

Do you wear button down or chambray shirts during the summer? How many ways do you like to style them? Which celebrity wears your favorite chambray look? For more stylish posts, check out Kate Mara’s sleek pixie cut & outfits while promoting Fantastic 4, affordable maxi skirts inspired by Jennifer Lopez & Miranda Kerr, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s Fall 2015 denim campaign for Paige Denim, how to restyle bridesmaid dresses from Weddington Way, Eva Mendes for Estee Lauder, & a figure-friendly summer outfit for under $100! Happy Styling!

Luxury Look-Alikes For Less: A Fall-Ready Textured Jacket, Featuring Alice + Olivia Vs. Dress Barn!


Since my closet space is already limited & bursting, I only have a few must-haves on my fall wardrobe shopping list. However, when it comes to textured jackets, it kind of becomes an impulse buy only because I have a historical love affair with cardigans. But one such jacket has left an impression on me & I had to have it, which only made me happier for my choice upon the discovery that it was already a luxury brand imitation at a much more affordable price.

Bergdorg Goodman - Alice + Olivia Burma tween jacket $550.00. Dress Barn - collared shawl jacket $44.00.

At Bergdorf Goodman, one can acquire the Alice + Olivia by Stacey Bendet Burma tweed jacket ($550.00) to don the original design, which is a very beautiful combination of menswear inspiration & the sort of modern interest that affords staple everyday separates. My latest addition was the shawl collared jacket ($44.00) from Dress Barn, which I was happy to buy in one size smaller for a sleeker fit on my arms, without having to break the bank either. Also, for shoppers looking to save a little extra, use code jkt25 for an additional 25% off when ordered online. One thing that I love about shopping with Dress Barn is that there’s free shipping anytime your online order is shipped to a store location.

Now, I recognize that these aren’t identical designs, but the mixture of a heavy fabric that wears lightly is the main appeal, along with the endless styling possibilities for both day & the office, transitioning perfectly for happy hour cocktails. I choose the H&M crepe dress ($29.95) in black, accessorized with the Sonya dress bootine ($34.99) in black from Payless & Francesca’s Bailey coil belt ($9.99).

For a chic day out, pair the jacket with basics like the collared surplice blouse ($17.80) from Forever 21, leggings ($24.90) in black from Gap (available in XS – XXL), & the round flat over-the-knee boots ($40.99) in black from Charlotte Russe. How would you style this jacket? What textures are you most drawn to for the upcoming cooler season? What fall trends are you shopping for? For more stylish posts, be sure to check out the latest runway show from Diane von Furstenberg, Warby Parker’s new fall eyewear collection, the fashionable international magazine covers for September! Happy Styling!

The Stylish Five: Spring-Ready Shirt Dresses ($50 & Under)!


I’ve been focusing a lot lately on dresses b/c I think that spring is the best time of year to invest in new dresses. I’ve definitely already started my 2013 collection, which I will definitely wear well into the summer, however, one style of dress that I always turn to is the shirt dress. There are so many shirt dresses out there in stores & online right now, which are perfect for wearing to a brunch with girl friends, a family party on the weekend, or to the office for a feminine change of pace.

The first I found is the Merona sateen belted shirt dress ($22.00) in purple from Target, which is also available in five other bright & neutral hues, & in sizes XS – XXL. This is the perfect dress for matching with a pair of espadrilles, ballet flats, or gladiator flats. Next is the chambray belted shirt dress ($24.50) from Old Navy, which can be made rugged with suede ankle boots or dressed up with cork patent heels, for a Style Darling of any size (XS – XXL).  Forever 21‘s belted high-low shirtdress ($27.80) in turquoise is a soft & lightweight way to add layers to your look, or even mix things up with leggings & knee boots, or a matching suede hat & belt.

To stay on trend with bold neons for spring, I picked the roll-sleeve pocket shirtdress ($34.99) in active yellow from Gap, which is also sold in blue, orange, & pink, in sizes XS-XXL. I recommend pairing it with pointy toe pumps & a printed blazer when headed to a meeting, or with floral flats & a basketweave clutch for a sunny picnic. Lastly, the belted denim shirtdress ($46.00) in orange from Dress Barn is also sold in plus sizes ($50.00) to wear with peep toe wedges & a chainlink bag.

What dresses are you shopping for this spring? What stores do you like to hit up when searching for that perfect dress? Do you like to wear shirt dresses? For more affordable fashion posts, check out nautical inspiration for under $100, Derek Lam’s DesigNation collection for Kohl’s, spring-friendly polka-dotted pieces, peplum tanks inspired by Olivia Palermo & Zoe Saldana, & floral must-have pieces like Selena Gomez & Jessica Chastain! Happy Styling!

The $100 Challenge: Update Your Wardrobe With Nautical Inspiration!


There are a lot of trends that come & go, & I’m still waiting for this sneaker wedge thing to go away. However, as the weather warms up & we begin to plan more outdoor activities, I’m looking for new ways to wear my favorite spring & summer pieces. The nautical trend keeps coming back for its crisp all-American feel & classic color combinations.

I’ve selected five pieces that will cost under $100 total to help bring a fresh, youthful, & flirty nautical look to your spring & summer essentials. This includes the luxe jersey striped ringer tank ($17.99) in gray heather from Gap, which is perfect for skinny jeans, a dark denim mini skirt, white cropped pants. Also, a fun topper for any casual outfit is the cropped canvas hooded jacket ($34.94) in sea turtle from Old Navy, which will work for over a tank & jeans, with leather pants & a graphic tee, or to dress down a sheath dress & ballet flats.

Also, I love the nautical stripe lightweight scarf ($9.99) from Charlotte Russe to wear with patriotic separates like a red top or blue capris. The striped boat shoes ($19.80) in red / white from Forever 21 are a literal way to include nautical inspiration into your wardrobe & will allow for all of your current love of menswear loafers to make a preppy appearance this summer. Lastly, the Brash dusty crossbody bag ($16.99) from Payless offers a cute seersucker neutral pattern to offset florals, polka dots, & pastel paisley prints.

The total for these pieces comes to an affordable $99.17! How do you like to wear nautical inspired looks? Do you prefer articles of clothing or striped accessories? For more posts on shopping on a budget, check out Steve Madden cork heels, Derek Lam’s DesigNation collection for Kohl’s, how to wear polka dots this spring, & peplum looks inspired by Cate Blanchett & Zoe Saldana! Happy Styling!

Basics For A Bargain: It’s Finally Spring & Finally Time For Florals!


There’s still a chill in the air here in New York, but it’s finally starting to look like spring. There’s change in the air & I know I’m really excited about it- & not just for my change in wardrobe. However, speaking of spring fashions, the go-to print of the season is florals & I couldn’t turn my back the trend, especially when I’ve been seeing it everywhere! For example, A-list celebs have been wearing florals even during the winter, ushering in the warmer season. Miranda Kerr is all smiles in a floral skirt with a leather Prada tote while taking in the day in Sydney. Elizabeth Olsen mixed her floral top with a mustard coat & skinny jeans. Actress Diane Kruger attended a press event for Farewell, My Queen in a 10 Crosby Derek Lam ensemble.

Miranda Kerr, Elizabeth Olsen, Diane Kruger, Selena Gomez, Jessica Chastain, & Dianna Agron.

Superstar Selena Gomez hit the SXSW Festival in a matching bustier & skirt by Dolce & Gabbana. Two-time Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain wears an Erdem sheath dress with nude Christian Louboutins. Lastly, former Glee star Dianna Agron attended a luncheon with The Hollywood Reporter in an Oday Shakar floral dress with suede Jimmy Choo heels.

Not to mention that there have been plenty of florals hitting the runways this year, including luxe vintage from Valentino, 80s-inspired rocker chic designs from Betsey Johnson, youthful & bright patterns from Tracy Reese, Lanvin‘s elegant & sophistication, & Erdem‘s playful & refreshing angle on flowers.

Valentino, Betsey Johnson, Tracy Reese, Lanvin, & Erdem.

Whether it’s on clothing, accessories, or mixed & match (which I only recommend doing with caution), I made a few selections from some of my favorite stores to share how you can wear the latest floral pieces on a budget! The best piece to start building the perfect spring wardrobe is a dress, like the Merona sleeveless tulip wrap dress ($19.00) from Target, which has recently been marked down from its original $24.99 price. The flattering wrap shape is perfect for accentuating your shape & the navy background adds a regal touch is paired with basketweave espadrilles or bright ballet flats. Next is the LC Lauren Conrad floral ruffle tank ($25.20) from Kohl’s, which is a feminine topper piece to wear with dark denim jeans, white skinny pants, or a denim skirt.

Don’t be afraid of florals on your bottom half, especially with the 4 1/2″ belted printed flat front shorts ($32.94) from Express, which add some tropical flair to your look & will dress down a lace blouse. I love the idea of sequins with florals & this skirt ($34.95) from H&M is a stylish marriage of both. This will pair nicely with a chambray button down shirt for a fashionable day out & about or with a solid pullover & pointy toe pumps for a date. Lastly, floral pants are also one of the biggest trends this season, especially in a looser cut to provide plenty of flow & movement, which is why I choose the Full Tilt skinny harem pants ($24.99) from Tilly’s. The chic black, gray, & white color combination is understated & can be coordinated with pastel pieces like coral or mint.

As for accessories, these bright colors will make your outfit pop, especially since they’re so effortless to match with wardrobe essentials. For example, the sequin tulip print pumps ($27.80) from Forever 21 are flirty & will add extra dimension to cuffed jeans & a ruffled top. Also, for a more subtle floral shoe, the novelty ballet flats ($39.95) from Gap. The soft pink & red tones in the shoe can offset any striped tee & jeans look in a ladylike way.

Part of what I love about spring is that I can still wear scarves, which can bring a lot to a look, like the ground floral scarf ($14.99) from Payless for a denim jacket & LBD with ankle strap platforms or a maxi dress & cargo vest with gladiator flats. Lastly, I’m not really a hat kind of girl, but in some cases, you need to protect your face from the harsh rays of the sun, especially this early in the season, which is why I picked the pop floral baseball cap ($8.99) from Charlotte Russe.

What do you think about the latest floral trend? Which pieces would you wear? What’s your spring wardrobe budget? For more affordable fashion posts, check out how to get Drew Barrymore’s latest look without breaking the bank, suede studded loafers, the best green pieces for spring, a budget-friendly spring look with pieces from Old Navy & American Eagle Outfitters. Happy Styling!

Color Me Style: Spring Into Neon Yellow This Season!


Last month I blogged about neon blouses at different price points, sharing the big neon trend that will help Style Darling transition from winter to spring. I’ve seen so much in stores lately in neons, especially in the highlighter yellow variety in tops, dresses, pants, skirts, & accessories, which are perfect for mixing with essentials like dark denim jeans, crisp white pieces, & other bold separates.

Neons have been on the rise for quite a while now, especially on the red carpet & seen on celebrities on the street. This includes Indian beauty Freida Pinto in a lace Atelier Versace peplum gown at the Cannes Film Festival. Also, Jennifer Lopez‘s honey-hued glow looks even more chic in a long-sleeved Michael Kors sheath dress with hot pink pumps by Casadei. Hollywood it-girl Chloe Grace Moretz was all smiles at the People’s Choice Awards in a floral Simone Rocha party dress with black ankle-strap pumps.

Freida Pinto, Jennifer Lopez, CHloe Moretz, Kristen Stewart, & Beyonce Knowles.

At last summer’s Comi-Con, Twilight actress Kristen Stewart mixed a neon BCBG Max Azria skirt with a cropped tee & leather Barbara Bui high tops. Beyoncé knew about the neon trend a few years ago when she hit the streets of Manhattan with neon accessories, including a straw hat & ankle-strap platform sandals with an over-sized tank & grey shorts.

One thing to keep in mind when it comes to neons is that you must wear them in moderation. I did recently show neon yellow in a head-to-toe monochromatic look in a Basics for a Bargain post, however these separates & dresses are perfect for any style. For example, the Prabal Gurung ruffle dress ($39.99) & Mossimo ponte colorblock v-neck dress ($27.99) from Target are timeless & affordable essentials to wear at the office with a blazer or for date night with some textured pumps. Also, Expresssplit back dolman sweater ($23.94), Forever 21‘s contrast racerback trapeze tank ($6.80), & New York & Company‘s two-pocket blouse ($20.00) are cute, affordable, & versatile tops to mix with patterned pants, colorful jeans, or neutral pencil skirts. The varying neon hues from bright & bold to soft & near-pastel are elegant & modern.  

Next, the cropped high rise trousers ($19.80) from Forever 21 are ideal for elongating the legline if you dare to wear neon on your bottom half. Also, for a softer look with neon, I recommend the Worthington colorblocked pleated skirt ($25.00) from JC Penney for a white scoop neck tee or a lacy button-down blouse. You always see celebs wearing shorts & the H&M shorts ($29.95) can work for both casual & dressy occasions, if paired with pointy toe heels, ballet flats, or a sleeveless top.

As for accessories, a neon pop of color is always a great choice. Bags that I just couldn’t resist sharing are the Nine West tech mini cross body bag ($19.95) from DSW & H&M‘s clutch ($24.95). Not to mention chic jewelry pieces like the BCBGeneration Le Piaget neon & crystals stretch bracelet ($24.99) from 6PM & enamel coated stretch ring ($6.00) from Charlotte Russe can turn a day look into something ready for cocktail hour. Lightweight gauzy scarves are always fun to consider with your casual look when you’re running errands or headed out shopping with girlfriends, which is why I picked the plaid scarf ($29.95) from Gap to wear with a denim jacket, leather bomber, or twill blazer.

We can’t talk about neon without mentioning shoes, which are always my favorite part of an outfit! I selected the Prabal Gurung pointy toe pump ($39.99) from Target, neon cap toe ballet flats ($19.99) from American Eagle Outfitters, & Forever 21‘s neon strap platform sandals ($26.80).

What do you think about the neon trend? Would you wear it? Do you like the pieces of clothing or prefer the accessories? Which trends are you following this season? For more posts on affordable fashion, check out spring must haves from Old Navy & Payless, stylish stilettos from Forever 21, all-white looks inspired by Kerry Washington & Emmy Rossum, stylish stud earrings for any occasion, & the latest collection for Kohl’s by Lauren Conrad! Happy Styling!

Fabulous In 4 Ways: An Old Navy Graphic Tee For Day, Weekend, Date, & Cocktail!


There’s so much going on in fashion right now & all of the latest spring styles have been hitting retailers, which means that it’s time to consider how you can revamp your wardrobe for the upcoming season. One trick that I recently experimented with was how to dress up a graphic tee for more than just a day look, which is the inspiration behind my latest Fabulous in 4 Ways post. I’m always drawn to pretty t-shirts with fashion-related designs, something Parisian, or a classic Hello Kitty print, however the watercolor-graphic v-neck tee ($14.94) in lodge khaki from Old Navy caught my eye for its modern look over a neutral hue. I’ve decided to share how to style this top for day, weekend, date, & cocktail, ranging in price from $83.52 – $133.48.

For the day look, I loved bringing out fun colors like the 1969 always skinny jeans ($21.99) in lemon meringue from Gap & pairing it with the Christian Siriano Camile bow flat ($26.99) in dark green from Payless. Of course there’s always dark denim as an option, but I loved the neutrality of the tabbed sleeve jacket ($22.50) in Olive from Wet Seal. For an extra splash of style, I picked the 1928 jet-tone filigree teardrop earrings ($5.00) from Kohl’s, which will dress up any casual look & even work with a sheath or LBD for a night out on the town.

When you’re headed away for the weekend, consider comfortable options like the Mossimo Supply Co. bootcut denim ($22.99) in dark wash from Target. To add some extra height to this already casual chic look, I love the basic longline cardigan ($12.80) in black from Forever 21, which gives that boyfriend-sweater menswear look, especially when paired with the Michael Antonio Mallory bootie ($24.99) in black from Piperlime. Lastly, the tribal style bangle set ($7.80) in gold / dark brown from Forever 21 highlight the colors in the graphic tee & bring some extra personality to the whole ensemble.

On the flipside, experiment with this graphic tee, or any printed top for a cocktail look with the feminine skirt ($29.95) in black from H&M & edgy Jacquez jacket ($24.98) in jet black from G by Guess. To contrast the softness of the watercolor butterflies, I choose Charlotte Russe‘s spiked zip-back sueded pumps ($38.50) in black, which complimented the two tone chevron statement necklace ($12.90) from Windsor Store.

A date night look is the perfect opportunity for dressing up a graphic tee, especially when there are options like The Limited‘s silver & rose gold sequin jacket ($49.99) with the faux leather moto leggings ($39.80) in black from Forever 21. Sexy accessories for this look include the sparkling geo drop earrings ($4.80) in black / gold, also from Forever 21, as well as the patent faux leather pumps ($23.95) in black from GOjane, which have been recently marked down.

For more posts on affordable fashion, check out how to find the best bargain-priced pink jeans, look-alike floral Stella McCartney pants as seen on Diane Kruger, clearance heels & flats from Target, winter white looks inspired by Nicole Richie & Taylor Swift, Lauren Conrad’s latest Kohl’s collection, & Christian Siriano’s newest designs for Payless. Happy Styling!

The $100 Challenge: Pastels, Polka Dots, & Pops Of Color!


The $100 ChallengeI’ve been up to earrings in fashion news lately, but I’ve definitely wanted to spend more time focusing on shopping tips for an affordably fashionable spring & that starts with pastel & neon jeans. I’ve yet to find a pair that works for me since I’m a little self-conscious about wearing the lighter & brighter hues on my curvier lower half, but the search isn’t over yet. One example that I need to pursue is the 1969 neon always skinny skimmer jeans ($21.99) in neon violet from Gap, which are also available in neon mint green. What I love about these is that they’re available in sizes 4-20.

I didn’t want to play down the fun color in the jeans, which is why I picked out the jumbo polka dot print shirt ($13.50) from Forever 21 & the ribbon & jewel bodyshaper tank ($8.00) in heather grey from New York & Company. Both pieces are perfect for mixing & layering with other basics like a pencil skirt, boyfriend jeans, or leggings.

For this look, I wanted to create a fashionable day outfit for any season, but with an extra punch of femininity & polish, which is why I picked PaylessLower East Side Chelsea flat ($16.99) in black glitter. Also, I picked these shoes since I know that they’re super comfortable b/c I own the gold version. They’re perfect for wearing a demure LBD with opaque tights, or casually with leather shorts & a crisp white shirt. Additional accessories include the Mudd Kara triple-zip cross body bag ($23.80) in lemon from Kohl’s, carved roses Parisian charm necklace ($8.50) from Claire’s, & Forever 21‘s lacquered rhinestone studs ($3.80).

To see more affordable looks, check out more posts from The $100 Challenge, including three all-black outfits, a black & silver look with pieces from The Limited & GOjane, how to dress up with black textured accessories, a striped & tweed cocktail ensemble, & a leopard print date-ready dress from Old Navy! Happy Styling!

Splurge or Save… On Polka Dot Pants?


Polka dots will always & forever exist as a classic pattern on any article of clothing. This means shoes, bags, dresses, tops, & certainly pants. So, with my latest Splurge or Save? post, I wanted to feature polka dot pants, a trend that just isn’t going away for any season. It wasn’t surprising that I could find polka dot pants when I was searching the web since there are so many different ways to wear them.  Without breaking the bank, I’m happy to share pairs from under $20 – just about $100. Of course, you need to always consider your cost per wear when investing in key pieces, especially ones that will continue to pay you back over time.

First up, I wanted to share my most affordable selection, which is the polka dot print pants ($19.80) from Forever 21. These range in sizes X-Small – Large & while I love most polka dots in black & white, you can always get away with a black & ivory color combination. An awesome sale deal can be found at Gap with the slim cropped refined dot pants ($24.99), which have recently been marked down from their original $49.95 price. Available is limited since this is an older items, but my plus size Style Darlings would be happy to know that these run up to size 20.

Next, @Dillards, the Soulmates polka dot skinny pants ($39.00) are perfect for wear with bright colors like magenta, red, kelly green, or lemon, especially when matched with pointy toe heels, rounded platforms, or quilted ballet flats. As we move higher in price, the polka dot slim ankle pants ($84.00) from White House Black Market caught my attention. I simply love this story more than I can say & find that their designs are super sophisticated & well-made, so at the end of next season, I will be hunting them down to add to my wardrobe. Lastly, the polka dot ankle pants ($99.50) from Ralph Lauren are classic to wear with a white button-down, tunic sweater, or dolman top. If you were to wear these pants at least once a week, estimated at about four times a month, then each wear would be around $25.

Most of the patterns & prints that I love are in black & white (like zebra & houndstooth), but polka dots will always be number one for me! Would you wear polka dot pants? How much are you willing to spend? Would you only wear these during the warmer months or do you think they serve a year-round purpose? For more posts about affordable fashion, check out Rachel Zoe’s ShoeDazzle favorite picks, a black & silver cocktail or date night look for under $100, Prabal Gurung’s uber-chic & must-have Target collection, & stylish scarves for $10 & under! Happy Styling!

The $100 Challenge: Dress Up Those Winter Blues With Textured Black Pieces!


The $100 ChallengeFor a long time I never liked the blue & black combination, perhaps b/c of the nasty bruise reference, but somewhere along the way, blues became richer, more regal, & elegant to wear, especially for evening.  When paired with black pieces, it somehow looked refreshing & it’s now a combination that I’m very drawn to, especially considering how well hues like royal & cobalt look on me! Once I saw the fluid wrap dress ($27.99) in active blue on sale @Gap, I knew this was going to be a foundation piece for my next post in The $100 Challenge.  Of course, it’s also available in black, but I thought for a funky mix for day or a cocktail party, I’d mix it up with some special black accessories.

When it comes to winter, I really love adding suede with softer fabrics, or bringing out quilted, sequined, or animal-embossed textures to make the black look more luxurious. Therefore I was inspired by the sheer pattern cardigan ($29.95) from H&M to add immediate interest that will catch the eye over the simple front of the solid color dress. Also, to make the look edgier, I added the perforated peep toe booties ($20.99) in black from Forever 21, which can also be mixed with leggings, skinny jeans, or a mini skirt from the fall into spring.

Since it is winter, no look is complete without a pair of tights, which is why I selected the Minicci vertical weave tights ($3.00) from Payless, which are currently on clearance & also sold in grey to add to an office ensemble. Since we’re working on a budget here, I couldn’t go all out with jewelry, but I loved the look of the Rock & Republic gold tone skull shield c-hoop earrings ($4.80) from Kohl’s.  Lastly, I wanted to add a must-have bag that can be used for a variety of occasions & outfits, so @Charlotte Russe, I found the deco flap chain-strap clutch ($12.99).

For more posts on affordable fashion, check out all black looks inspired by Rihanna & Diane Kruger, 4 ways to wear floral skinny pants, fabulous flats for under $25, & pointy toe heels inspired by Kate Bosworth & Rashida Jones! Happy Styling!

Basics For A Bargain: Best Coats To Buy Now, Inspired By Gwen Stefani, Victoria Beckham, Michelle Williams, & More!


The holidays are over, but the big sales are just starting. In an effort to wish the warmer spring weather on, retailers are getting a head start on their markdowns, especially when it comes to outerwear. If you live in the Northeast (like I do!), then you’ll know that the weather outside is quite frightful. After spending the day in NYC on Friday, I was plenty thankful for my recent investment in a new wool coat to keep comfortable amid gusty winds down the fashionable streets of the Big Apple. 

Celebrities are even breaking out their best in outerwear, including Kate Middleton in a belted Reiss Angel coat with suede knee boots. Supermodel Claudia Schiffer looks cozy in a retro 70s-inspired poncho-style coat with a middle part & suede-accented bag. Katie Holmes arrives for her appearance on Broadway in a knee-length coat, eggplant Dolce & Gabbana bag, & suede Rag & Bone booties.  Socialite & reality star Olivia Palermo hits the streets of Brooklyn in her fur-trimmed coat over leather leggings & knee boots.  Gwen Stefani always stands out, especially in her printed plaid coat with matching red lips & white-rimmed shades for a day out in London. Kate Middleton, Claudia Schiffer, Katie Holmes, Olivia Palermo, Gwen Stefani, Alexa Chung, Victoria Beckham, Leslie Mann, Jessica Chastain, & Michelle Williams

Alexa Chung enhances her shape with this waist-cinching grey coat, which is made all the more feminine with ankle-strap heels & a leather clutch.  Victoria Beckham never gets it wrong, offsetting her menswear look with a plum trench coat & pointy toe heels.  This Is 40 star Leslie Mann reinvents the look of a modern working mom with this tan coat over a leopard print dress for an appearance on Good Morning AmericaJessica Chastain poses for photogs after a performance of The Heiress, wearing a tan piped trench coat with grey knee boots & a leopard scarf.  Michelle Williams plays up her bombshell style with this fur-trimmed double-breasted coat & towering peep toe pumps.

Of course, you don’t have to be a celebrity to look great in outerwear, especially when so much of it is currently on sale.  I’ve selected ten coats of varying styles, all under $100, perfect for any shape & look. I start with $100 b/c a winter coat is something that will last you up to five months out of the year, which means that’s about $20 a month on a coat if you go out everyday to brave the elements. It’s always a good idea to consider how your clothing investments can pay you back, especially when looking for a basic necessity like outerwear.

First, if you’re looking to throw on something chic over your winter sweaters, check out the fur military cape ($67.99) in brown from Gap. If a printed coat is more your style, then the VS peacoat ($59.99) in plaid from Victoria’s Secret is great for dressing up basics like a pullover & jeans. @New York & Company, you’ll find the knit collar wool coat ($41.98) in black, which is currently marked down from its original $139.95 price.  By checking out the Juniors’ department @Macy’s, you can spot the Levi’s faux-fur collar anorak ($35.99) in navy, however it’s also sold in khaki if you want to avoid a denim-on-denim disaster. LOFT‘s blanket stripe wool blend zip coat ($129.99) is listed rather high in price, but due to the site’s current sale, upon checkout, the price automatically reduces to $65.00!

coats

I’m such a big fan of houndstooth in the winter, which is why I was excited to spot the Jaclyn Smith houndstooth coat ($51.99) from KMart, recently reduced from $129.99. For more fun with color, @JC Penney, the a.n.a. hooded peacoat ($30.00) in sangria/black is a must-have clearance item & is also available in ivory/black, which will contrast nicely with leather leggings or a skirt & knee boots. A classic silhouette can be found in the faux-fur trimmed puff sleeve coat ($69.99) in red from Express, which is also sold in pink & navy. The wool-blend cape coat ($29.97) in warm stripe from Old Navy is a great buy for the color-savvy Style Darling & sold in sizes XS – XXL. Finally, the most affordable of all is the quilted self-tie coat ($19.99) from Forever 21, which offers that regal Chanel look with a contemporary twist, especially when worn with a striking scarf in animal print or paisley.

Where do you find the best prices on coats? Do you like to shop after the holidays when there are big sales? What’s your favorite outerwear style? For more posts from Basics for a Bargain, check out 4 ways to wear floral pants from H&M, an LBD look for under $100, & pointy toe heels inspired by Miranda Kerr, Kerry Washington, & More! Happy Styling!

Splurge Or Save… Stripes & Florals, Inspired By The Pages Of Marie Claire!


While preparing for the imminent hurricane, I’ve gathered plenty of reading materials that will have to suffice as both entertainment & education in case of a power outage.  I have Monday & Tuesday off from work b/c of this Sandy nuisance, so I was starting to refer back to some of my favorite magazine articles that I checked out while at work & this page from Marie Claire sticks out most in my mind.  The latest issue, which features the lovely Ashley Greene, actress from The Twilight Saga & spokesmodel for DKNY, on its cover.  However, I posted this image on my Instagram (@MissAlissaL), sharing the daring dud combination of stripes & florals- one I’ve yet to explore.

Of course any Style Darling would be lucky to own any of the pictured items from page 72 of MC (ranging in price from $44.95 – $565.00, from brands like Sergio Rossi, Coach, Chris Benz, Kate Spade, & more); however, I wanted to share my version of this page, hoping to see this trend done right without breaking the bank!

My recommendations all cost under $50.00 per item & will certainly help transform your fall favorites into fresh, new outfits to wear to work, going on a date, a family occasion, or a party.  We know how figure flattering pencil skirts are, so I stuck with the idea of a floral pencil skirt, matching with uncomplicated basic stripes, as well as strong neutral accessories.  The jewelry has enough visual interest to add the perfect amount of dimension for an evening occasion, while still looking expensive & luxurious.

First, I’m sharing a plus size look, which can be built from the lace pencil skirt ($40.00) @Eloquii by The Limited, available in sizes 14W-24W. Yes, I see that this isn’t a basic floral print, but the flower concept is in the feminine lace details. To help make the elegant skirt pop, I’ve added the Extra Touch plus-size top ($19.99) from Macy’s, which is also available in green, fuchsia, & purple. To finish off the look, I turned to Torrid for the patent system heel ($26.70) in red, which is available in size 7-13 wide width.  Also, the Candie’s two tone bead multistrand necklace ($7.20) is from Kohl’s & can be worn over any graphic tee, with an LBD, or to add a splash of personality to a solid cardigan.

My next looks run in misses sizes, including New York & Company‘s tapestry print wrap skirt with pleating ($46.95) in black plum, but this can also be bought in saffron. Since the print is so busy, I wanted to stick to an all-flattering stripe with the striped cowlneck waffle tee ($29.95) in black & white from the Gap. The neckline of the top is pronounced, so I opted for the patent hip belt ($4.80) in eggplant from Forever 21 over a necklace & matched it with the Moda Spana Nadine patent pump ($29.94) from DSW.

The third look is definitely a bold statement, mixing the floral pencil skirt ($24.99) from The Limited with Forever 21‘s cream & navy striped 3/4 sleeve top ($10.80). The Brash Kosmic platform pump ($29.99) in tan suede from Payless & BaubleBar‘s triple tear pendant ($26.00) are neutral pieces that can be mixed with any variety of casual, office, & evening looks.

Look’s #1-3 total out to $93.89, $111.64, & $91.78, respectively. That’s a pretty amazing deal for such versatile pieces that will work with jeans, skinny pants, button-down shirts, & other wardrobe staples. Would you dare to wear stripes & florals? Which of these looks is your favorite? How much would you spend on an outfit like this?

The $100 Challenge: Revamp Your Fall Wardrobe With Affordable Accessories!


Since I spend most of my week surrounded by the younger generation of trendsetters, I’ve found that there are still a careful few of college age who actually take the time to get dressed in the morning before heading to class… just a few. Working in the academic arena has forced me to look to my wardrobe & try & switch things up in a professional, but relatable way so that I’m seen as an authority figure, but also someone who the students would like to talk to. I’m excited to explore my wardrobe & find great fall pieces to make this semester a memorable & stylish one, but every now & again, I need to refresh some basics & go-to classics with that latest accessories, which is why I’m happy to share my newest post for The $100 Challenge!

For under $100 (before tax), I’ve selected these 8 accessories to try wearing for a number of occasions this season with favorites that are transitioning from the summer & stand-by items making a return now that the temps are lowering.  Every year, I’ll always be talking about patterned tights & since I’m always shopping on a budget, I manage to grab up a bunch of different styles to match with pencil skirts & sheath dresses.  Get a polished look with the sheer stripe patterned tight ($7.50) from Charlotte Russe, especially when worn with something frilly & feminine like a lace overlay pencil skirt.  Cinch in your waist with a fun animal print with the zebra-print faux-leather belts ($16.00) from Old Navy, which will look especially polished with a bold cardigan.  I love anything black & white, which is also why I’ve picked out Forever 21‘s fringed houndstooth scarf ($6.80) to tuck in your lightweight jacket for those windier fall mornings.  If it’s not needed around your neck, you can always transform your tote back by tieing ir around the straps or body of the bag.

I’ve been trying to expand my jewelry pieces, which is I was drawn to the lemon drop long earrings ($22.90) from The Limited, which look like neutral & luxe additions to any LBD look, or if you want to make a plaid shirt & skinny jeans appear less casual.  For simpler necklines, I love the idea of a collar necklace, but also, the Sonoma life + style gold tone multistrand necklace ($15.60) from Kohl’s punches up any basic with the metallic accents, instantly drawing all focus to your face.  The burnt gold tear drop bracelet ($10.90) from Windsor Store is a fun pop of color to wear with any three-quarter sleeve top, or contrast with another rich jewel tone ensemble.

Lastly, I love the affordable price & classic look of the Minicci capulet rhinestone sunglasses ($9.99) from Payless, especially if you’re trying to save on must-have items when the holiday season is just around the corner.  Not to mention that you’re going to need to hide those peep toe pumps on occasion & cover your toes with some allover argyle socks ($7.95) from Gap. What better way to show off your preppy side than with this menswear-inspired print that’ll work well with any trouser & button-down shirt look?

The total for this look comes to $97.64, which is pretty incredible considering the variety in which these pieces can be alternated all season long.  Are you a scarf-fiend? Do you love chunky jewelry or do you prefer dainty pieces? Are you drawn to particular prints or patterns for your accessories this fall? Happy Styling!

Basics for a Bargain: Best Black Jackets For Day & Night (Dedicated to Laurie)!


During a recent breakfast date with my uber-stylish friend Laurie, the subject of blazers came up since she’s in search of a jacket with enough flair to dress up a going out look, but one that can also be worn for a daytime casual look.  Because a black blazer is such an essential item, I thought I’d turn to some of my favorite celebrities for some inspiration on the different styles of blazers for a number of different occasions.

First off, we have Olivia Palermo in a velvet Giambattista Valli mini dress with brogues from Zara & a Mango clutch.  She tops her look with a button-embellished jacket for a more polish at a Macy’s event.  Fergie attended an affair for Black Eyed Peas in a feathered & gold skirt with a satin-trim blazer & Christian Louboutins.  Rachel Weisz paired her velvet jacket with leather leggings at the DVD launch for Deep Blue Sea.  At the premiere of Sandra Bullock‘s latest film, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, the Oscar-winner donned an Alexander McQueen suit with a plunging jacket & corset-inspired belt.  Jessica Alba went out for a stroll in West Hollywood, pairing a single-button jacket with a high-neck white dress & black tights.  Lastly, Kristen Bell played down her cropped pink trousers with a Rachel Zoe tuxedo jacket & satin pointy toe pumps.

When looking for a blazer that works for you, there are a lot of factors to take into account like fit around the waist, where the sleeves fall, & details like trim & structure.  Since jackets are investment pieces, these bargains are a little higher in price, but totally worth it if you find one that works best for your shape.  I picked out a variety of jacket suggestions to be worn casually with shorts & tights, with your favorite dark denim jeans & a button-down top, over an LBD, or over a sequin cocktail dress.

The classic two-button blazer ($59.99) from Gap ranges in sizes 0 – 20 & has been marked down from its original $98.00 price tag.  There’s plenty of room here to add a fancy antique brooch if it looks too office-ready for a going out ook.  If you’re looking for something with some built-in personality, try the zebra stripe textured blazer ($32.80) from Forever 21.  A dressy option for a jacket comes from JC Penney, the MNG by Mango tuxedo jacket with satin trim ($60.00) is just enough to wear over a blouse or with a jersey dress & metallic belt.  If details like buttons are your thing, the H&M blazer ($59.95) is not just available in black, but also light pink & bright blue.  A classic single-button stretch jacket ($48.96) like the one from New York & Company adds confidence to a t-shirt & jeans look, especially with knee boots & hoop earrings.  Lastly, I remembered my recent post about Kmart’s Sofia by Sofia Vergara collection & the velvet tuxedo blazer ($31.99) came to mind, especially if worn with a slinky cami & skinny pants.

For more Basics for a Bargain looks, check out scarves inspired by Claire Danes & Rihanna, tees & leather like Miranda Kerr, & look-alike sweater dresses to those worn by Nicole Richie & Eva Mendes! How do you wear your favorite blazers? Where are your favorite places to shop for blazers? Happy Styling!

Black Friday Sale Update: Get To The Gap For Sales Up To 60% Off!


60% off sure sounds good to me, especially with items from Gap!  I picked out these tops, which are fun basics to layers with sweaters, blazers, jackets, vests, & cardigans.  The Isabel Marant (Product) Red T ($22.46) is not just a comfy, stylish tee, but 50% of profits from the shirt go to benefit the Global Fund to help eliminate AIDS in Africa. So since the shirt is reduced in price from $24.95 & you’re getting a big sale discount, buy a few & give them to friends while helping to support the good cause!

I recently posted about the myths behind turtlenecks, but here I’ve selected the rayon turtleneck ($12.48) in acai berry, which also comes in six other colors to mix & match with your corduroy mini skirt & boots, or with trousers & shooties.  Another classic basic to keep an eye out for this season is a long-sleeve v-neck T ($14.50), like the one pictured in optic white.  It’s also available in four other colors, in sizes XS to XXL.

Show off your feminine side in the printed short-sleeve T ($17.46) & bring out the fun colors in the top with some plum-colored jeans or red skinny pants!  If you’re stomped on a gift, but have a friend who loves graphic tees, check out the New York City graphic T ($19.99) which is perfect for any time of the year.  Break out the long-sleeved top for underneath it, or show a rocker side with leather pants & a boyfriend blazer with bangles.  Happy Styling!

10/13/11 Darling of the Day: Gwen Stefani’s Sleek Casual Stroll in London!


Gwen Stefani took a stroll around London looking beyond chic! She’s donning a white sleeveless top, skinny pants, movie star sunglasses, & classic peep toe pumps.  This look is so easy to recreate b/c it’s made from basic pieces that we all have.

I love the simplicity of a sleeveless white blouse & fitted black trousers.  Gwen always looks good in black & white, often sporting polka dots, houndstooth, or stripes, but this look is always elegant & very age appropriate for the forty-two year-old L’Oreal spokesmodel.

I found the cream crepe de chine shirt ($22.80) @Forever 21 & the pleated button front blouse ($29.90) from Avenue to help bring this look to life for Style Darlings of all sizes.  The slim crop pants ($49.95) from Gap come are available in size 00-20.

There are so many different black peep toe pumps out there, but I just love that GOjane layered patent peep toe platforms ($23.90) are a little more edgy than your average pair of heels.  Since the look is so minimal, a textured tote ($19.99) by Merona from Target is the perfect everyday accessory for a day-to-day basis.

To finish off the look, oversized round black sunglasses ($5.80), mixed chain necklaces ($8.80), & two-tone textured bangles ($12.60) are subtle ways to show off your style.  I know this look has inspired me to put together some classic pieces of my own for a polished go-to look.

Check out my previous Darling of the Day posts, featuring stars like Lea Michele, Rosie Huntington – Whiteley, & Jessica Biel. Also, if you love Gwen’s style, check out my post on last season’s L.A.M.B. collection! Happy Styling!

10/6/11 Darling of the Day: Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s Isabel Marant Fur Vest, Burberry Aviators, & More Affordable Style!


What better way to start off the fall than with a fur vest?  AND whenever I talk about fur, it’s always faux fur!  As soon as I saw Rosie Huntington – Whiteley‘s look while strolling through Beverly Hills on In Style, I knew this was going to be a Darling of the Day post!

The Victoria’s Secret model sports a casual white tee under an Isabel Marant fur vest with skinny jeans, Burberry aviators, gray booties, & a tote by Alexander Wang.  This is the best sunny day look as the seasons are changing, mixing your favorite basic tee & clean skinny jeans with fall favorites like booties & a vest.

To get this look, take a top like the kiss tee ($24.50) from Victoria’s Secret, which can be paired with a leather mini skirt or cigarette pants with a bib necklace or hoop earrings.  Skinny crop jeans ($44.99) from Gap can easily go from day-to-night by switching up wedges with knee boots or a tunic top with a dolman blouse. @Forever 21, this very affordable vest ($37.80) is perfect to also make an LBD & gladiator sandals a little more edgy or with a maxi dress & cowboy boots!

As for my plus-size Style Darlings, check out the white slub tee ($16.99) from Dress Barn, Forever 21+ distressed skinny jeans ($24.80), & an I.N.C. sleeveless faux fur vest ($39.99) from Macy’s.

My favorite part of this whole look is the gray faux leather shooties ($29.00), which can be found at Old Navy, marked down from $32.94! They look just like a beloved pair that I bought from Payless a few winters ago!  Aviators are everywhere & the silver & black pair ($5.80) is cool, timeless, & sporty. As for a bag, @H&M, this spacious shoulder bag ($17.95) in rich golden brown is a functional & fashionable option to carry around all your favorite belongings.  It’s neutrality is what you need for a day-to-day basis & it’s the ultimate piece to rely on when jet-setting around the globe any time of the year!

All the pieces can be alternated with so many other excellent pieces in your wardrobe, so investing in skinny jeans, booties, & a vest like this makes for so many different looks!  For more on Rosie, check out Basics for a Bargain & Red Carpet Review.  Also, to get more dish on how to dress like a celebrity, check out previous Darling of the Day posts featuring Jessica Biel, Anna Paquin, & Kristen Stewart! Happy Styling!