Inside A Style Blogger’s Closet: My First Day of Spring Outfit!


For at least a good three weeks, I’ve been ready for spring. Here on Long Island, the weather has been so wishy-washy where there’d be an amazing sunny, spring-like day in the 60s, followed by a major yucky blizzard. This happened more than once recently too! My wardrobe has been feeling super bipolar as I’ve been wanting to wear lighter & softer pieces in pastels or florals, but there’s still a need for cozy layers to stay warm, especially since it’s been pretty chilly early in the morning… which brings me to today’s outfit. I don’t normally post a whole outfit that I’ve worn, partially because I don’t have access to a photographer (I live alone) on a daily basis. I’m lucky that my friends & coworkers at both of my jobs can spare a few minutes to indulge my style fancies & help me out with some spur-of-the-moment pics while on the clock, hence the sporadic sharing of whole outfit posts on my Instagram account (@MissAlissaL).

I absolutely love this floral fit-and-flare scuba skirt. It’s a style that I’ve been having a lot of fun with since last fall, one that’s perfect for tucking in with various tops, cinching in my waist & playing up a retro & ladylike vibe with modern flare. I’ve thought about styling this particular skirt in so may ways, pairing it with the different colors in the print, as well as with sparkly accessories. I’ve had the sheer dotted sweater in black (both pieces from @dressbarn) that I hadn’t worn yet. When I saw the two together, the sweater added just enough feminine detail at the neckline to counter the softness of the skirt without being too overpoweringly dark & black at the same time.

The accessories that I’m wearing in the picture above are no longer available (because I’ve had them each for quite some time now), but it’s easy to recreate a similar spring style with affordable look-alike coordinating statement jewelry, polished footwear, & a thin neutral belt. 

SHOP: floral statement necklace @Forever 21, Fola bib necklace @Charming Charlie, flower stud earrings @Francesca’s, & glitter stone drop earrings @Icing.

SHOP: gold trim platform peep toe pumps @Charlotte Russe, patent D’Orsay pumps @Old Navy, snake pointed toe flats @Express, & Hope chopout mid heel @Payless

SHOP: bow belt @Target, skinny mint belt @Lulu’s, gold snake belt @H&M, & black braided belt @JCPenney

What spring trends are you excited to wear this season? What pastel colors do you love? Which accessories do you build your outfit around? Happy Styling!

Inside A Style Blogger’s Closet: A Daytime LBD for Fall!


As a blogger, I’m always looking for inspiration on the web & from stores where I shop. It’s only recently that I’m directly using my own style & images of myself (as seen on my Instagram @MissAlissaL) in what I’m wearing to share with readers on a daily basis (which is ironic considering the name of this blog includes the word “daily”). It hasn’t been easy, what with a constant (self) scrutiny of how I look, what an image says about me, & how I feel about putting this side of myself out there to the blog-iverse. In a leap of fashion faith, I’m seizing this opportunity for a number of reasons: 1. The weather is bound to change here on Long Island, so my accessibility to flattering outdoor lighting for pictures is extra limited. (Sidenote: I live alone & don’t own a fancy camera, so heading to my parents’ house between jobs is my usual stop for a quickie photo sesh.) 2. I’m feeling confident in my voice as a writer / blogger, as well as in my style & about my shape. There’s so much about expression through style & body positivity that I want to share with readers & can’t get my fingertips on the keyboard fast enough. 3. I can’t build the Style Darling Daily empire without attaching my face to it. This seems to be working because friends & coworkers of mine regularly greet me with, “Hey Style Darling.” I live the moniker, so I need to blog it.

So here I am in a black floral lace dress that surprised me when I saw it & even more so then tried it on. It’s not a full-on a-line dress, like I’m used to wearing, but I saw the potential in dressing it up & down. Since I had to get to work on this Saturday afternoon, I wanted to try the dress out with fall favorites like patterned tights & a denim jacket, so that the dress wouldn’t look so party-ready. I played up the feminine vibe of this dress with fun & flirty heels, & accessorized with my new metallic bow clutch. I was really into the delicate feel of the dress, so I paired a flower pendant necklace with it, as well as two beaded bracelets.

Some of these pieces are old & no longer available, but there are so many accessorizing possibilities to this look. I’d consider a statement necklace or belt (both of which I tried while getting ready & saved in my mind for later), as well as a blanket scarf & knee boots for a weekend-in-the-country vibe. However, the key elements to recreate this outfit for yourself are just a click away!

SHOP: black floral lace dress, Westport 1962 denim jacket, pin dot tights, & shimmer bow wristlet @dressbarn

What’s your dress style for the fall? What colors & pattern combos are you attracted to? Where are you shopping for great deals on your favorite outfits? Happy Styling!

 

Basics for a Bargain: Pencil Skirt Party for All Sizes!


Earlier in the fall, I was asked what trend I was most interested in, & I was surprised to realize that I’d been all about skirts because my spring & summer wardrobe was so fit & flare dress heavy. However, my flirtation with skirts isn’t exclusive to one style since I’m pretty psyched about all styles & how to explore separates combinations & playing with different patterns. Though, not all skirts are flattering for all body types, but one of the most classic styles that best fits & enhances any shape is the pencil skirt, which is versatile enough to pair with a variety of tops to take you to work to date to weekend & everywhere in between.

Take some inspiration from some iconic television characters who’ve always looked their best on the small screen in pencil skirts, including Christina Hendricks as Joan Holloway on Mad Men, Mindy Kaling as Dr. Mindy Lahiri on The Mindy Project, Emma Roberts as Chanel Oberlin on Scream Queens, Kim Cattrall as Samantha Jones on Sex & the City, & Taraji P. Henson as Cookie Lyons on Empire.

You don’t have to break the bank either to find a pencil skirt for you, especially when they’re available in nearly every size, pattern, color, & material. Try a pencil skirt for your next office look with a denim button down shirt, a polka dot cardigan with a striped skirt, or a graphic tee tucked into a brocade skirt. The styling possibilities are endless & evident in the countless posts I’ve previously shared in the past, including inspiration from Lauren Conrad & Kerry Washington, Reese Witherspoon’s floral take on pencil skirts, & style steals straight from the red carpet on Cate Blanchett & Michelle Obama! Also, here are just a few ways I’ve been wearing pencil skirts lately!

So if you haven’t already, take the plunge with a sleek & elegant pencil skirt. Check out these ten affordable picks below to get your holiday, fall, & winter style in gear! Not to mention that most pencil skirts are perfect for year-round wear, which makes the challenge of styling them all the more thrilling!

SHOP: 1. plaid skirt @The Limited (available in sizes 0-18), 2. Thalia Sodi leopard skirt @Macy’s, 3. Worthington woven skirt @JCPenney (available in sizes 4-18 & petites), 4. denim skirt @Nordstrom Rack, & 5. sweater skirt @Old Navy (available in XS-XXL, tall, & petite).

SHOP: 6. lace skirt @dressbarn (shop plus size here), 7. pinstripe skirt @H&M, 8. faux leather skirt @New York & Company (available in sizes 0-20), 9, windowpane skirt @Target, & Melissa McCarthy leopard skirt @TJMaxx (available in 1X-3X).

How do you like to style pencil skirts? What colors or patterns are you most drawn to? Where do you like to shop for basic bargains? Happy Styling!

Inside A Style Blogger’s Closet: My Birthday Style in Navy, Black, & Lace!


birthday-dressAs fashion-obsessed as I am, I have to say that there are few articles of clothing or accessories that really make me stop in my tracks. Well, maybe that’s not entirely true since there are certain qualities in a dress, for example, that are right up my style alley. I’m talking about anything a-line, with lace detail, & overall feminine in nature. In my line of work (or one of my lines of work, that is), it’s not difficult to find dresses such as what I’ve described. When it came time to think about what I’d wear for my birthday during this past Labor Day holiday, I was ready to turn to an older favorite (that I’d only worn one other special occasion time), which had a beautiful floral print in a lightweight summer fabric, perfect for celebrating on a summer weekend at high tea, a party organized by a very special small group of gal pals. However, I came across the Luxe by Carmen Marc Valvo lace fit & flare dress @Dress Barn in navy & black (available in plus size here), & suddenly my birthday outfit dreams were becoming a reality. I couldn’t stop talking about how excited this dress made me & 33 was starting to look really good!

luxe-by-carmen-marc-valvo-lace-fit-flare-dress-at-dress-barnI love the classic look of this dress, which really can be worn any time of year because of the rich navy tone with black lace details. It’s a chic alternative to a go-to little black dress for shoppers of any size, especially when navy can sometimes look dowdy, but here, it’s a modern & elegant party dress that I’m confident will find special multiple wears. For the summer, I paired my look with navy peep toe pumps & a bolero sweater (in case I needed the arm coverage). When it comes to the fall, I’ll mix up the look with a denim jacket & ankle booties for an edgy, textured take. Even in the colder months, I’d love to see how to the dress looks with opaque tights & knee boots. What’s even better about this dress is that it’s available top shop @Dress Barn in sizes 4-24!

How would you style this lace frock & where would you wear it? Do you often transform party dresses for day looks? What trends are you most excited about this fall? For more amazing style, check out more styles from Luxe by Carmen Marc Valvo, as well as model & designer Ashley Graham‘s newest crop of dresses for Dress Barn! Happy Styling!

Inside A Style Blogger’s Closet: A Little BOGO 50% Off Sale Goes A Long Way!


There’s always room in my accessories arsenal for some earrings (as seen in my various Instagram posts), which is why I have to share the latest BOGO 50% off sale on jewelry @Express. I’m crazy about the elegant & sophisticated fashion jewelry, perfect for day & evening, especially when there’s a coupon in hand. During my latest mall venture, I discovered & fell in love with the earrings below, which I already have lined up for very special outfits.

Express - faceted stone dangle earrings $!9.90 & white stone stud earrings $19.90.SHOP: faceted stone dangle earrings ($19.90) in shiny gold (also available in pale pink) & stone stud earrings with pave halo ($19.90) in white (also available in turquoise) @Express.

While I love special, one-of-a-kind jewelry, I’m also a big fan of go-to piece when in a rush. What kind of jewelry do you like to wear over the summer? What sales are you shopping this season? Do you prefer gold or silver, or do you mix your metals? For more stylish posts, check out can’t-miss bargain wedges from Payless for $10, Chrissy Teigen’s menswear inspiration on the red carpet, the latest from The $100 Challenge, & Reese Witherspoon’s street style in her own Draper James separates. Happy Styling!

Inside A #StyleBlogger’s Closet: My New, Affordable Summer Favorites!


I’ve been off the grid, but now Style Darling is back with plenty of affordable & stylish summer finds that I know I was pretty psyched to add to my wardrobe. Always with a budget in mind, I came across some summer must-haves, including maxi dresses, footwear (sandals & flats), totes, & jewelry. Also, when it comes to making seasonal investments, I seek out pieces that I can get as much wear from, transitioning pieces (especially accessories) from season to season. This summer, I’m not only planning a Hamptons getaway, but I’m also hard at work & making plenty of time for social calls, which makes me want to amp up my staples for more than one occasion. The following buys are the newest additions to my wardrobe, & I hope they’ll inspire my readers as well!

Sear - Covington maxi dress $24

SHOP: Covington maxi dress ($24.00) in black @Sears & Covington maxi dress ($24.00) in tribal @Sears.

Old Navy - linen scrunch flat $22

SHOP: Libby jeweled sandal ($24.99) in gold @Dress Barn & linen blend scrunch flats ($22.94) off white @Old Navy.

Dress Barn - floral bag $25

SHOP: floral handbag ($25.20) in black & white @Dress Barn & patterned shopper ($9.95) @H&M.

H&M - stud earrings set $9

SHOP: earrings set ($9.95) in rose gold @H&M & rhinestone button stud earrings ($6.00 / 2 for $10.00) in silver @Charlotte Russe

What are your favorite summer buys? What stores are you shopping for the latest trends this season? For more stylish posts, check out summer celebrity style featuring Olivia Palermo & Victoria Beckham, Charlize Theron’s Forever 21 jumpsuit look, the complete red carpet gallery of this year’s Met Ball including Rihanna & Beyoncé, & Top 10 Celeb Sightings with Iggy Azalea & Taylor Swift. Happy Styling!

Inside A Style Blogger’s Closet: New Year, New Bargains from LOFT, Target, & More!


One of my resolutions for 2015 includes spending less money on my wardrobe, mostly because I just don’t have as much space as I’d like for all of my favorite shopping finds. In a last stitch (no pun intended) effort to grab some must-haves, I asked Santa for a few essentials & picked up some great buys with all of the post-holiday sales / coupon deals.

Inside A Style Blogger's ClosetSHOP: rose garden cardigan ($49.99) @LOFT (extra 60% off sale styles – no code needed), belted chevron dress ($46.00) @Dress Barn (code 687 for 20% off in-stores), Xhilaration tights ($6.00) in burgundy @Target (5% off when you use your Target Red Card), & Chelsea flat ($19.99) in silver / gold @Payless (code 251458739 for 15% off, expires 1/4).

What bargains are you shopping for this season? Which stores are you hitting up for post-holiday deals? For more stylish posts, be sure to check out the Top 10 Style Darlings to Watch For in 2015, Oscar de la Renta’s Pre-Fall 2015 Collection, 365 best dressed looks from 2014, & bargain-priced scarves from Forever 21. Happy Styling!

Beauty Buys: Julep’s Holiday #NailArt Must-Haves & Tips to ‘Winterize’ Nails!


Style Darling Nail ArtOne of my favorite luxury nail beauty companies is Julep, thanks to my lovely writer friend & style twin, Meghan, for gifting me some of the brand’s elegant polishes for my birthday earlier this fall. I’m a registered Maven & love seeing my monthly subscription options for what I can add to my Maven box, as well as exclusive deals through the (FREE) Julep smartphone app!

Thanks to Julep for sharing with me some of their trending winter & holiday colors, including Ilsa ($6.99), Joanne ($6.99), Shari ($11.40), Sawyer ($6.99), & Kiki ($11.20). I love the variety of matte & sparkly colors, which presents some #nailart inspiration to decorate for upcoming holiday parties, dinner out with the girls, or a romantic night in.

Trending Winter Colors, courtesy of Julep.However, I have a love-hate relationship with my nails. LOVE: when my nails look perfect after dressing them up in sparkly hues. HAAATE: when the color chips or a nail breaks. SOLUTION: ‘WINTERIZING‘ your nails, which is not just about taking care of the part you’re polishing, since the condition of your hands is equally as important.

I thought I had a solid nailcare routine, but I’ve learned so much from Julep with their valuable tips for a nail, cuticle, & skin regimen for healthy digits when the drop in temperature becomes a factor in your beauty routine! Not only do I wash & moisturize my hands with sensitive hand soap & intensive moisturizer, I’m guilty of skipping a few steps for lack of time. Now, with Julep’s how-to guide, I know just what must-haves to put on my list to Santa & I’m so excited to share these with my readers!

Winterize Nails How-To, courtesy of Julep.SHOP: emery board ($4.00), cuticle softener ($14.40), cuticle pusher ($11.40), hand scrub ($18.40), oxygen smoothing base coat ($14.40), & silk effect top coat ($9.99).

Some of my favorite & recommended polishes for stocking stuffers & to upgrade your collection include:

FavoritesSHOP: Aretha ($11.20), Phia ($11.20), Queen Anne ($4.99), Mia ($11.20), Florence ($11.20), Cameron ($11.20), Natalia ($11.20), & Devon ($11.20).

For more from Julep, sign up to be a Maven & receive your first FREE Maven box, their uber-stylish blog, & shop their new arrivals, which includes tons of beauty care must-haves! To check out all the latest from Style Darling, read my post for Casper’s Beauty Sleep ChallengeJennifer Aniston’s recent red carpet looks, the ultimate Olivia Palermo photo gallery featuring over 300 of her most fashionable outfits, & how to incorporate pastels into your winter wardrobe! Happy Styling!

Inside A Style Blogger’s Closet: Going Green For Fall With A Target Dress!


It’s a very rare occasion that I buy an article of clothing for myself without any kind of coupon or additional discount, especially when it’s a regular priced item. I am always on some sort of budget, but one exception to this is when I am in possession of a gift card. That is the case behind my latest shopping post. My birthday was just a week ago & I was the happy recipient of a Target gift card, which my friends know is one of my go-to stores for all things… LIFE-related. When I took a quick trip to pick up some household essentials, the ME Concept brocade dress ($27.99) in green caught my eye & I couldn’t turn away from it. A pair of Fioni green suede & gold embossed pumps (below & discontinued) from a clearance sale early this year at Payless immediately popped into my mind & I was sold on the look.

Inside A Style Blogger's Closet

I hadn’t worn the shoes since they were an end-of-season purchase, but I had plenty of ideas how to style just such a look when the weather felt officially fall. Of course black opaque tights & a long gold chained necklace would be involved, as well a long sleeve black pullover to wear underneath, so I know I’m set. If I’m really feeling uber-fashionable, I’ll even break switch up my hosiery for a hunter green pair, channeling monochromatic looks of A-listers.

I love the luxe brocade / jacquard texture of the dress, which will also allow me to play with metallic like bronze or gold for dressy occasions, but I can also belt it with something patent leather & wear patterned tights for work with it. Not to mention that I just remembered I have a pair of green suede ballet flats too! Oh the possibilities are endless… Thank you to my friends for celebrating my birthday with me, & their generosity in thinking of my style needs. 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!