Lemonade & Style: A Story about Finding Fashion in the Unlikeliest of Circumstances


The word “lemonade” will never be the same. Thanks in part to Beyoncé’s epic album, the “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade” cliché is reaching a whole new generation, and it’s inspiring me to continue to stay positive no matter what lemons roll at my feet. Lately, life overall has been pretty lemon-free, in that I am happy. Life is good. It’s summer. I’m in a wonderfully fulfilling relationship. The most important people around me are well.

However, as a writer, there’s this complicated thing that always happens when I’m actually happy: I can’t write. That’s because I have this unconscious routine of writing best when I’m in desperate need of answers, struck with worries of the heart and soul. While I’m always in search of what’s next for Style Darling Daily, my writing, and my professional life, I’m not necessarily haunted by any lack of progress to the degree where I have to write it all out to come up with a plan to advance my career. When I’m happy personally, I’m much more carefree with other parts of my life. My hard-working nature isn’t any less apparent, but I let inspiration find me like a cinematic meet cute. Inspiration is like an old friend I run into at Starbucks. I know the words are there, but I can’t always find them.

Well, since I’m writing now, there must be something on my mind. Let’s take a little trip down memory lane. With all that’s been going on lately, I’m reminded of my mission as a blogger. I wish to portray what I really wear on the daily (hence my “one stylish day at a time” tag line) and where I invest in my style because after all, I’m a budget shopper who believes in always looking my best out of respect for myself and those around me. I don’t dress just for a picture or to represent myself lolling about in some luxurious life of high fashion and glamour. That’s certainly not the life I live. I mean, I live on Long Island! I support myself financially. These aren’t complaints either, just my reality. Also, I don’t have a fancy camera or nearby scenic locations for spur of the moment photo shoots, nor do I often have backup to set up where and when I can share my daily outfit images. There’s plenty of evidence (with pictures taken in my bathroom or at my parents’ house) of how I’ve styled my summer thus far on Instagram (@styledarlingdaily). In addition, there also aren’t many words that go along with those posts. I know, I know. Writers should be writing.

On the upside, when I don’t have the words to express what’s going on with my style, I let the images (and hashtags) do the talking for me. I share my style inspiration for my two jobs where I can thankfully wear clothing that actually suits my personal style, so there isn’t much distinction in my closet between work and non-work apparel. At most, I pack an extra pair of shoes to switch from power heels to ballet flats for the change in shifts when I have to work both in the same day. Because of these day-to-day experiences (which don’t allow for proper photo shoot scheduling), I’m always seeking great deals on unique pieces that lend a stylish hand in how I express myself amid the chaos that is being a working woman in 2017 (not to mention, a happy one at that)! I digress… we were talking lemonade earlier.

Without getting into the lemon details (because I would never use my blog, writing, or social media to bully or hurt anyone whom I love), I recently found myself in a situation where I was no longer in need of a formal gown. The money I’d spent on the garment could not be refunded, nor was I permitted a store credit to use in the future. The dress itself was lovely, but certainly not a color that flattered my skintone or shape, so keeping it was simply not an option. In order to lemonade the whole thing, I realized I needed to reinvest the dollar amount in something that I would get much more use from, therefore resolving my predicament in the best way possible.

To relieve some of the mystery, I’ll share that I was at a local David’s Bridal, where their staff was very helpful and supportive as I pursued stylish options. However, I was not very impressed by their in-store dress selection to make an exchange. Certainly, there were plenty of beautiful colors, flattering styles, and youthful designs to shop through, but nothing special was speaking to my style blogger soul. One of my jobs is working as a stylist at a dress store, which also contributed to the fact that I wasn’t necessarily in need of a fancy party dress anyway. In a last stitch (pun!) effort, when looking at the rows and rows of pastel, sparkly, and ruffled chiffon, I sorted through my mental wardrobe catalogue to assess my existing dress options, what with three weddings and a Sweet Sixteen all scheduled in the span of a very busy and exciting month this coming fall. Basically, I didn’t want a new dress because I was already well-equipped in that department.

Suddenly, it occurred to me that shoes and accessories were often easier to pique my interest when in a shopping rut just like this. When it’s summer, I will only wear shoes that are comfortable. There are so many factors concerning weather (sweating in a heavy garment or taming my curls in the humidity) that invade my style routine for this hotter season, so I’m more than likely to be seen in flats, sandals, or flip flops on a regular occasion, rather than opting for the super fashionable high heel. Low and behold, David’s Bridal has a pretty amazing selection of footwear that had me in giggles. Generally, my everyday outfit will have some sort of sparkle to it, and if it’s not a statement necklace or big earring, my shoes will shine with studs or sequins. Of course, the selection of shoes at David’s Bridal is so blingy and meant for a bride, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t make these “bridal” shoes a reality for what I like to wear. I was so pleased with the discovery of finding fashion that fit my style in this unlikely place, especially when I’m not in the bridal market.

For the price of one gown, I was able to take home six pairs of shoes with only spending an additional ten dollars to offset the difference I owed, on top of a Buy One, Get One 50% off sale and coupon discount for the most expensive item. I felt accomplished and that I was making lemonade to benefit my style, shopping savvy, as well as quelling my soul of the recent circumstances that brought me to David’s Bridal in the first place. Furthermore, I rediscovered my love for the sandal. Gladiator flats and those pom pom sandals are all the rage every summer, but neither trend felt quite like me. Typically, I embrace trends that best work for my body type and personal style. I never encourage anyone to do the reverse. What happens is that we start asking ourselves what’s wrong with our bodies just because we don’t fit into some industry mold of what’s current and fashionable. I’d rather be of the mindset that something doesn’t work for me, as opposed to me being unsuccessful with that external force.

I love to wear pieces that best represent the feminine and detailed way I approach fashion. These metallic sandals (here, here, and here) are neutral for any summer ensemble, including a maxi dress or blouse and skirt outfit. Also, the ballet flats (here and here) will be the perfect way to dress up a casual look, while the lacy white pair (here) will definitely serve regular rotation with my floral summer dresses that I can wear either to work or for date night with my boyfriend.  

Upon this shopping win, what came next was a swarm of reminders that bargain buys and surprise fashion finds are happening at so many unlikely stores that we as shoppers and busy women might forget about. A few months ago, my boyfriend and I were at BJ’s in pursuit of a discounted movie ticket package deal when I saw rows and rows of clothing. I’m not a regular BJ’s shopper, so I was shocked to learn that the warehouse store sold more than just fleece jackets or packaged underwear. I scanned the racks to see cute fit-and-flare scuba dresses, classic jersey frocks, and striped maxis, all perfectly priced if one was in need of a proper summer wardrobe update without breaking the bank. I’m always saying that shopping should be easy. While it comes more naturally to some than others (because some know their style and body type so well, while others are more hesitant or uninformed), to conveniently access fashion in an unexpected way is a delight and inspiration to write about.

Since my summer shoe game is all about comfort and function (of course, style never goes by the wayside either), I’m often acquiring my favorite selections at Juniors’ stores where shoes and jewelry are basically the only items available where size isn’t an issue. Juniors’ stores such as Mandee, Charlotte Russe, and Forever 21 all size to fit a younger and mostly slimmer-figured consumer. Although, it is worth mentioning that these retailers have expanded their brands to include stylish options for shoppers of all sizes. However, I’m a most frequent patron of accessories in these stores. Albeit, they don’t always cater to uncommonly smaller or larger shoe sizes, nor are wide sizes always available, but I’m more often than not able to find jewelry, shoes, and other accessories at reasonable prices to build a unique and special collection that works with my everyday style.

During the holidays last year, when I was in pursuit of gifts for coworkers, I sought festive bulk items like ornaments or tea and hot chocolate varieties. I have that “last one picked in gym class” complex (which I basically accept now since I usually never wanted to play in a sport anyway), so I wanted to make sure I extended the joyful spirit of the season to everybody at both of my jobs, an effort that annually proves to be quite the challenge to my budget. However, as I loaded up my cart at a local Big Lots, I found a display for sterling silver jewelry, decked out with chic drop earrings and charm bracelets (all in the vain of modern costume / fashion jewelry) that made my heart sing a song of style. It was such a lovely surprise and while these pieces were all under five dollars, I treated myself and some close friends to a little extra sparkle.

Speaking of a little extra sparkle… that’s all that any Style Darling really needs. It doesn’t have to be the holiday season or literal sparkle in the form of jewelry either. Sparkle and lemonade are basically the same metaphors to me: doing one’s best and making the best out of a negative. That’s all that really matters. If the solution results in six pairs of shoes, or a stylish bargain buy that represents who you are as a strong, kind, mindful, creative, beautiful individual, then any lemons along the way are worth their trouble.

Here’s a video of a live performance of “Silver Lining” by one of my favorite country singers, Kacey Musgraves. The silver lining, lemonade, or sparkle aren’t always obvious during an unfortunate circumstance, but I always have faith that I’ll find that positivity. Happy Styling!

Accessories Access: Stuff Those Stockings Early With Stylish Studs & More!


I know it’s only November 9th & all, which is realistically too early to start making holiday wish lists, but at my current (& second) retail job, the holiday music has started & the decorations have been displayed. While scanning my Facebook newsfeed for blog inspiration, I saw some affordable jewelry picks from LC Lauren Conrad for Kohl’s, which made me feel like it was time to write a shopping post, after all this celebrity stuff I’ve been sharing lately.

If you follow Style Darling‘s Instagram, then you know that I’m a big fan of stud earrings, especially with my five fabulous ear piercings in each ear. Not a day goes by where I don’t fill up my ear with my favorite studs, which always coordinate with my outfit & other jewelry pieces. However, I’m getting more & more keen on the idea of mixing up stud earrings with each other to create a visually-interesting look to my ear bling. Part of the former reality star & current fashion mogul’s collection includes these super adorable earrings, which will certainly put a smile on any Style Darling’s face. I love the richness of the gold-tone metal, as well as the very feminine rose gold hues that make Conrad’s line of accessories perfect for my style (at least).

Jewelry by LC Lauren Conrad for Kohl's

I’m crazy about the clover drop earrings ($7.00), crystal stud earrings ($7.00), X stud earrings ($8.40), & high heel shoe stud earrings ($8.40), which are all currently on sale. Also, the consummate believer in heart jewelry, I especially love the heart link bracelet ($14.00) & cystal heart pendant ($11.20), both which would find regular rotation in my own wardrobe- hint hint!!

Anyway, what jewelry trends are you most attracted to? Where do you plan on doing your holiday shopping? What’s your go-to gift for stylish gal pals? Suggested sites for online accessories shopping including Forever 21, Gap, Charming Charlie, JC Penney, & Bauble Bar. Also, for more suggestions on affordable stocking stuffer jewelry ideas, check out previous posts on budget-shopping, including fall-ready striped tops inspired by Kate Middleton, my favorite new Dress Barn purchases, & a gallery of Catherine Malandrino’s DesigNation collection for Kohl’s. Happy Styling!

Luxury Look-Alikes For Less: Kim Kardashian’s Silver Jimmy Choo Pumps!


Fashion critics & bloggers have been on the look out for Kim Kardashian‘s pregnancy style, which has included lots of pencil skirts, body conscious dresses, & empire-waisted looks to show off her growing shape & glow. Kim is never one to turn away from a high heel, & during a recent appearance in New York City, she donned the Anouck metallic leather pumps ($650.00) by Jimmy Choo from Saks Fifth Avenue. Not every expectant mom-to-be would be so bold as to keep up their pre-baby bump style with such confidence & sophistication.

Of course, that’s a heft price to pay for silver pumps, but the neutral metallic trend is coming back for spring, especially when paired with bright neons, soft pastels, & edgy embellished pieces. I recently shared a pic on Instagram featuring a shoe find in the latest issue of Harper’s Bazaar of a killer pair of silver pointy toe heels, but I also found several options at lower price points for any budget.

This includes the Stuart Weitzman Daisy pumps ($335.00) from Zappos, Joe’s Jeans Delores pumps ($109.99) from 6PM, the pointed toe pump ($47.94) from Express, & the most affordable are the pointed hologram pumps ($24.80) from Forever 21. All of these are sexy additions to upgrade a jeans & blouse look for day, modernize a lace LBD, or satin shorts & a blazer for a night out with the girls.

For more celebrity-related posts, check out the latest in florals inspired by Selena Gomez & Dianna Agron, Drew Barrymore’s recent look on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, the red carpet from the 2013 Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards, Marion Cotillard’s latest Lady Dior ad campaign, & Beyoncé’s debut as spokesmodel for H&M! Happy Styling!

Haute Headlines: Season 5 Preview Of ‘The Rachel Zoe Project,’ Banana Republic Reveals Another Mad Men-Inspired Collection, Carrie Underwood’s Latest Music Video, & More!


Haute Headlines

Tomorrow is Super Bowl Sunday, which will be all anyone is talking about, but for us more fashion-friendly Style Darlings, here are a few headlines that I wanted to share! You know, just in case you’re stuck at a party with some bored ladies & wanna strike up a conversation! Happy Styling!

*Chanel‘s Spring 2013 video stars Lindsey Wixson & Aymeline Valade*

*H&M will show its first collection in 8 years at Paris Fashion Week*

*Check out the Season 2 preview of It’s A Brad, Brad World*

*Taylor Swift strikes a pose for Disney*

*Take a look at Vera Wang‘s ethereal Spring 2013 ad campaign*

*Banana Republic plans a sequel Mad Men-inspired collection*

*Victoria Beckham relaunches her website with a personal touch*

*Diane von Furstenberg collaborates with Gap Kids*

*Watch the Season 5 preview of The Rachel Zoe Project*

*The video for Carrie Underwood‘s latest single “Two Black Cadillacs” is out*

*Kim Kardashian posted a baby-bumptastic Instagram pic with sis Khloe*

Haute Headlines: Holiday Weekend Sales, Hart of Dixie Style, Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show Highlights, & More!


I missed posting last week b/c of the nasty hurricane, but there’s been so much going on in fashion, it’s hard to pick just 10 stories to talk about.  Of course, so much has caught my eye on Facebook, Instagram, & Twitter, but I’ve tried to narrow it down to the must-see stories that all Style Darlings need to know! What stories are trending in your social network? Happy Styling!

*Get a sneak peek at Rachel Bilson‘s wardrobe on next week’s Hart of Dixie*

*Lucky magazine is giving away loads of gifts*

*StyleBistro‘s 5 most stylish & beautiful Instagram shots by fashion bloggers*

*David Beckham returns to H&M for more from his bodywear collection*

*Forever 21‘s Veteran’s Day weekend sale includes BOGO 50% off sale items*

*Zara is the world’s largest fashion retailer*

*Salma Hayek introduces her latest Nuance nail polish*

*Rihanna finally releases her music video for “Diamonds“*

*Actress / dancer / singer Julianne Hough launches a shoe line with Sole Society*

*The highlights from last week’s Victoria’s Secret fashion show*

Super Style Wishlist: Christian Louboutin’s Latest Instagram Shots!


The luxury footwear designer, Christian Louboutin, has been invading Instagram & their Facebook with shot sof their classic & newest shoes.  Of course these designs cost more than 6-months of car insurance, but they’re always fabulous to fantasize about! I just wanted to share these darling designs with readers, encouraging them to turn to brand name designers on Facebook to get all the latest about their collections… Or just ‘like’ Style Darling & follow me on Twitter under “MissAlissaL.”

To shop Christian Louboutin, check out Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, & Barneys.  Also, if you’re looking to read more posts from Super Style Wishlist, I recommend party looks form Polyvore, Dolce & Gabbana’s Fall / Winter 2013 collection, & the latest glittery pumps from Jimmy Choo! Happy Styling!