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!

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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!