Splurge or Save… on Lace Up Ballet Flats?


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

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

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

06/24/2016 Darling of the Day: Angelina Jolie’s Easy Breezy Summer LBD & Strappy Flats!


I can talk (or write, in this case) for hours about shoes. That’s always been the case for me. Yeah, I’m that girl, a shoe girl! I have to say (or write, in this case) that my relationship with shoes has evolved over the years in the most strangely sensible way too. Once I transitioned from working a job in an office (where sitting meant I could really wear any & every shoe I could stick my feet in) to a commuting job in the city & most currently as a sales associate in the retail world, my shoe needs have drastically & painstakingly changed. Don’t get me wrong, I still gasp in admiration & find high heels sexy as hell. However, my everyday shoes are usually flats that I can actually walk in (go figure!). I save the heels for special occasions of going out with my boyfriend, days in the classroom during the semesters (not much walking to do there), & specific photo opportunities (when I’m really digging an outfit combination). 

During one recent & busy night at work, I had a conversation with a lovely but frustrated customer for whom I was helping put an outfit together. Once a top & skirt found, our conversation turned to shoes. Of course, any kind of black pump (slingback, stiletto, or wedge) would make for a party-ready look, but then I suggested a nude shoe, which time and time again, has proved successful, especially when it comes to a summer ensemble. By now, you’re probably wondering what this anecdote has to do with the title of this post about. While I rely on a nude shoe as my go-to for many stylish summer outfits, my fashion world was rocked once more scrolling through social media, discovering that during a New York City day with her son, Knox, Angelina Jolie simplified a classic LBD-wayfarer shades look with nude ankle tie flats by Gianvito Rossi (shop here). 

Darling of the Day - Angelina Jolie's Easy Breezy Summer LBD & Strappy FlatsI was instantly inspired by this delightful & obvious (really!) style choice that I had to share its versatility with my readers. Speaking of evolutions, the ballet flat has come a very long way & as a result of that journey, shoppers don’t have to break their budget (even when there’s a time crunch) to achieve this level of style perfection. Really, this sort of shoe would amplify a belted cotton frock with a cardigan, a cargo vest & skimmers, or a sheath mini & blazer.

SHOP: Misses tee dress @Old Navy (available in sizes XS – XXL), black sunglasses @Icing, lace-up pointed flats @Charlotte Russe, Plus dress @Forever 21, Betsey Johnson sunglasses @Nordstrom Rack, Wild Diva ankle strap flats @Aeropostale (also available in black), Petites Worthington dress @JCPenney, ELLE sunglasses @Kohl’s, & ankle strap d’orsay flats @GOjane.

Do you like to wear ankle strap or lace-up flats? Where do you shop for your summer shoe must-haves? Do you like Angelina Jolie’s street style? How do you like to style a day-ready little black dress? How does summer inspire your style? Happy Styling!

#RedCarpet Review: #2015SAGAwards #BestDressed Gallery, Featuring Sofia Vergara, Jennifer Aniston, Emmy Rossum, & More!


Reese Witherspoon, Claire Danes, Keira Knightley, & Sarah Hyland.

Last night’s Screen Actor’s Guild Awards were full of red carpet surprises from veteran A-listers like Cake nominee Jennifer Aniston (in vintage Galliano), Birdman‘s Emma Stone (in Dior Couture), America’s sweetheart Julia Roberts (in Givenchy), Homeland‘s Claire Danes (in Marc Jacobs), & last year’s it-girl, Lupita Nyong’o (in Elie Saab). Also, there were plenty of newcomers who made an impact, including many Orange is the New Black winners like Uzo Aduba (in Angel Sanchez) & Danielle Brooks (in Christian Siriano), as well as Game of ThronesMaisie Williams (in Self-Portrait).

Some of my favorites of the night included The Imitation Game nominee Keira Knightley (in Erdem), Wild‘s Reese Witherspoon (in Atelier Versace), model & wife, Camila Alves McConauhey (in Donna Karan), designer darling Emmy Rossum (in Armani Prive), Modern Family‘s rising star Sarah Hyland (in Vera Wang), St. Vincent nominee Naomi Watts (in Balenciaga), How to Get Away with Murder winner Viola Davis (in Max Mara), & this season’s golden girl, Still Alice winner, Julianne Moore (in Givenchy).

Now the official countdown to the Academy Awards can begin, which takes place on Sunday February 22nd, sure to wow & inspire more amazing style. Who wore your favorite look? What trends are you still talking about? For all the latest on this awards season, check out previous Red Carpet Review posts with complete galleries from the Golden Globe Awards & Critic’s Choice Awards. If that isn’t enough, get more celebrity inspiration from Style Darling‘s spring dress predictions featuring Kerry Washington & Allison Williams, how to style a statement necklace like Katy Perry or Emma Roberts, & Jennifer Lopez’s stylish press tour for her new movie, The Boy Next Door! Happy Styling!

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Watch This Style / Cover Craze: Claire Dane’s For ELLE’s February 2013 Issue!


Claire Danes for Elle February 2013

Claire Danes is not only dominating television with her hit show Homeland, but the new mom & recent Golden Globe winner is the cover girl for ELLE‘s February 2013 issue.  At the time of the shoot, The actress was almost at full term during her pregnancy, but you’d never know it by the looks of strategic & fashionable shots taken by Carter Smith & styled by Joe Zee.

Claire Danes for Elle February 2013

The shoot includes looks from designers Tom Ford, Cartier, Chloé, Narciso Rodriguez, Gianvito Rossi, Bvlgari, & many more! Not to mention that Claire talks about her evolution as an actress, having started out on the hit show, My So-Called Life, & graduated to the Showtime smash which just wrapped its second season. Also, her sense of humor comes through when talking about her love of Mr. Rogers, Punky Brewster, & other such shows as a young aspiring actress.

Take a look at the video below for a special behind-the-scenes glimpse of the shoot & the magazine’s interview, while playing a Carrie or Angela version of Whose Line? For more video posts, check out Rooney Mara’s cover shoot for Vogue, the full-length trailer for Beyoncé’s documentary, Life Is But A Dream, & what shoes the stars were wearing on the red carpet at the Golden Globes! Happy Styling!