Basics for a Bargain: Cozy Capes & More Must-Have Fall Favorites, Inspired by Taylor Swift, Gwen Stefani, & more!


The weather has finally taken its turn for fall here on Long Island, so it’s definitely time to break out those layers to keep warm & build a stylish look. This starts with toppers like capes, ponchos, & vests, which are perfect for transitioning some of your favorite summer separates for this season. These chunky knits, fine wool, & fringed pieces are not only popular on street style pros of the blogosphere, but also some of the most fashionable celebrities, including A-listers like Taylor Swift, Gwen Stefani, Jamie Chung, Kim Kardashian, & Olivia Palermo.

Taylor Swift, Gwen Stefani, Jamie Chung, Kim Kardashian, & Olivia Palermo.Here’s also an opportunity for Style Darlings of any size to play with textures & prints like cable knit, faux fur, stripes, plaid, & fringe to mix with solid basics, pops of color, and complimenting patterns.

The Stylish Five - Capes, Ponchos, & Vests for fall & for all.SHOP: 1. faux fur mink cape ($69.90) in winter white @HSN (available in plus size, as well as brown & black), 2. stripe fringe poncho ($29.90) in black & white @Forever 21 (shop similar plus size here), 3. fringed cable poncho sweater ($42.00) in fig @Dress Barn (shop plus size here), 4. Ava & Viv plaid poncho ($34.99) in black & white @Target, & 5. everyday vest ($26.60, was $38.00) in black @Macy’s (one size fits all).

When wearing a full, flowy topper, the best way to show off your shape & stylish flare is to select a fitted, slim bottom to create a sense of balance. Also, these shapes are perfect to coordinate with knee boots, ankle boots, & other suede footwear for a head-to-toe fashion forward fall look.

What to wear with capes, ponchos, & vests.SHOP: 1. pencil skirt ($39.90) in black @Express (shop similar plus size here), 2. Levi’s skinny jeans ($36.99) in indigo @Kohl’s (shop similar plus size here), 3. faux leather pants ($24.99) in black @H&M (shop similar plus size here), 4. skinny cords ($34.94) in burnt ochre @Old Navy (available in sizes 0-20), & 5. seamless leggings ($6.94) in black @Walmart (shop similar plus size here).

How do you like to style capes, ponchos, & vests? Where do you like to shop for fall’s biggest trends? Which celebrity inspires your style this season? For more stylish posts, check out Olivia Palermo’s jewelry collaboration with Bauble Bar, red carpet & street style inspiration from Sienna Miller, Anne Hathaway, & Gwyneth Paltrow, as well as how to wear scarves like Rihanna & Jessica Alba. Happy Styling!

Top 10 Celeb Sightings: Menswear, Black & White, & Cute Cocktail Frocks, Featuring Jessica Alba, Allison Williams, & More!


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The stars have been hitting the latest in Paris Fashion Week, while also making the rounds at various press events looking nothing short of fabulous. The latest trend for in-between-seasons is black & white pieces, whether it’s a one-piece colorblocked look, or timeless, menswear-inspired separates. Also, even though awards season has ended, the ladies of the red carpet are sure to be seen in the most photo-worthy frocks. Some of my favorite looks from the last two weeks includes Allison Williams in a Prabal Gurung silk set, Jessica Alba‘s Valentino jumpsuit, & Naomi Watts‘ little white dress look by Louis Vuitton.

Addition highlights include Les Miserables star Amanda Seyfried in leather & a pencil skirt, Revenge actress / fashion blogger Ashley Madekwe in a dress by Versus, Gwyneth Paltrow‘s age-defying leather leggings & Nicholas Kirkwood booties, Jessica Chastain in black & white, Lily Collins in a gold & black printed minidress, Fashion Star mentor Nicole Richie in her 80s-inspired separates, & Stacy Keibler celebrating the launch of Joe Fresh for JC Penney in a slim-leg suit.

Which look if your favorite? Do you like / wear the current black & white trend? Which runways have you been following during the international fashion weeks? For more from Top 10 Celeb Sightings, check out previous posts including red-hot looks worn by Cate Blanchett & Jennifer Lopez, LBDs on Krysten Ritter & Anne Hathaway, gorgeous red carpet looks on Emma Stone & Kerry Washington! Happy Styling!

Basics For A Bargain: Swap In Some Sweaters, Inspired By Carrie Underwood, Nicole Richie, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, & More!


As if Long Island hasn’t been riddled enough with weather, it’s snowing now & I bundled up in my favorite sweater to brave the day.  This was my inspiration when I clicked through some of my top go-to websites to find must-have sweaters for the fall-winter season- no matter where you live.  Because sweaters are bulkier, often requiring special care, & available in an array of materials, I don’t necessarily admonish anyone who is looking for an investment piece to add to their cold weather wardrobe.  However, let’s take a look at some stylish celebrities who have been spotted in recent months donning some fashionable sweaters.

Actress Rose Byrne accents her textured black sweater with a ruffled skirt & leopard belt at the debut short film for Target, Falling For You.  Country crooner Taylor Swift looks all sorts of ladylike with maroon sweater by French Connection, paired with polka dot jeans by AG Adriano Goldschmied, Charlotte Olympia flats, & a tasteful string of pearls. Jessica Alba plays with menswear in her Alice + Olivia sweater to contrast her printed pants & bold cap toe pumps. Former Heroes star Ali Larter mixes sophistication with urban chic in a shawl collar sweater with olive cargo pants, ankle booties, & a Coach bag.

You can count on American Idol Carrie Underwood to bring the glitz to an appearance at The Late Show with David Letterman, wearing a sequin sweater, skinny jeans, & strappy wedges. Model / actress Rosie Huntington-Whiteley goes all-black in a fringed black sweater & liquid leather leggings when arriving at the Sao Paulo Fashion Week celebration.  Lastly, designer Nicole Richie goes casual in a zebra print Proenza Schouler sweater with skinny black jeans & suede pumps.

For under $50, you can find heart details, metallic threading, animal-inspiration, feminine accents, & some sparkle when it comes to wearing a sweater.  Of course, there’s the classic cable knit or argyle that you can wear to the office, but there are lots of ways to look ladylike & modern without having to sacrifice style when it comes to chunky knitwear.

I love the fun & flirty colors in the colored animal pattern sweater ($27.80) from Forever 21 is a cool way to accent a pencil skirt with a metallic collar necklace, or to wear during the day with skinny jeans & knee boots.  If you’re headed on a double date or want to stay warm when going out at night, check out Expressmetallic wedge sweater ($19.99), which would look hot with leather shorts & tights or colored jeans.  I’ve surprised myself lately by finding an interest in stripes (I’m not typically a stripey), but I love the color contrast & splash of sparkle in the Varick Street sequin stripe v-neck sweater ($46.95) from New York & Company, which is available in a whole range of colors if you’re not into the yellow-gray combo.

As seen on many Style Darlings like Alexa Chung & Rihanna, wearing novelty pieces is a big trend, & this includes LC by Lauren Conrad‘s lurex heart sweater ($34.99) from Kohl’s, which is also sold in black & white, as well as tan & black.  Pair this fun top with wide leg jeans & a scarf, or polish the look with textured a-line skirt & pointed toe heels.  Lastly, @Venus you can find knit sweater with bow ($22.00) in light brown which can be easily played up with a fancy lace pencil skirt or some leather leggings.

What sweater styles do you like to wear when the weather gets cold? Are there sweater trends that you love to follow? For more posts featured in Basics for a Bargain, be sure to check out fall’s best faux leather looks featuring Lucy Hale & Jessica Chastain, leopard flats inspired by Olivia Palermo & Whitney Port, & Anne Hathaway’s all-black day & evening looks! Happy Styling!

Top 10 Celeb Sightings: Kate & Pippa Middleton Hit Wimbledon & More Royal Style!


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In my second post for Top 10 Celebrity Sightings, I’m super happy to share some more fabulous looks from fearless fashionista sisters, Duchess Catherine & little sis, Pippa Middleton.  I’ve made it no secret that I have a girl crush on P, but in an effort to share the style spotlight, I’ve also included some additional envious looks.  We’re spanning many different occasions here, from evening ensembles, red carpet looks, & sassy street style, so buckle up b/c it’s going to be a glamorous ride!

Check out: Anne Hathway in Givenchy, Kate Middleton in an ivory suit by Joseph, Charlene Wittstock in a gold gown, Diane Kruger in Azzedine Alaia, Freida Pinto in Raoul, Gabrielle Union in a red shift dress, Kelly Rowland in Christian Louboutins, Leslie Mann in Armani Prive, Pippa Middleton in Project D & Tory Bruch, & Victoria Beckham sporting her own design.

While I always loves me a Middleton duo, I have to admit that my favorite look is worn by Victoria Beckham.  The former spice girl & revolutionary designer knows how to wear a dress! Happy Styling!

Basics For A Bargain / Red Carpet Review: The Look Of Summer Leather!


Instead of posting yet another click-worthy gallery, I’ve selected these five outstanding red carpet looks, worn recently by some of my favorite celebrities.  Each of them are showing how leather isn’t just a material for the cooler months.  The sexy skin is also no longer just for jacket & bags, as seen in these above photos. Designers are all about texture this season, showing leather off in all sorts of articles of clothing.  This includes dresses, as most frequently seen on the likes of rivaling stars like Angelina Jolie & Jennifer Aniston, but here I’m featuring Rock of Ages actress Julianne Hough in a blue leather dress at the film’s premiere & the always adorable Emma Stone in a red frock by Monique Lhuillier for an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

In addition, trendsetter Alexa Chung mixes her leather motorcycle jacket with a menswear-inspired look, paired with a printed mini skirt, embroidered clutch by Charlotte Olympia, & patent leather flats. Model Karolina Kurkova hit the streets of New York in leather leggings, Monika Chiang sneakers, a printed blouse, & chic double-breasted jacket.  Zoe Kravitz plays with leather & tweed in a black & white ensemble at a cash celebrating Chanel.

For the rest of us on a budget, real leather may not be as tangible, but while keeping animal-friendly, faux leather is always an option, especially with these cute & affordable options to mix up your wardrobe.  Check out the faux leather sheath dress ($27.00) from Venus, which makes the idea of an LBD all the more sexier.  While I was searching through the Venus website, I came across this super sweet faux leather circle skirt ($24.00) in brown, which will toughen up even the most feminine of blouses or dress up the most basic silk camisoles for a stylish night out!

If you’re daring enough to wear leather on your bottom half, head over to Sears for the faux leather leggings ($25.99) which will pair nicely with any bohemian-inspired tunic top, a dolman top, or your favorite tank & blazer.  For more subtle ways to wear leather, Cynthia Steffe has created this Maggie draped faux leather trim top ($47.00), available @Saks Fifth Avenue. To keep a classic faux leather look in your wardrobe, I’ve found this chic faux leather zip front jacket ($27.49 – $29.99) from Fashion Bug, which is sold in sizes Small – 4XL.  This can make any pair of trousers & blouse fiercer & more fashionable because of the front pinhole details & rugged zippers.

For more celebrity-inspired style for the budget buyer, check out previous posts of Basics For A Bargain, as well as Luxury Look-Alikes For Less to get the latest & greatest in affordable fashion! To see more of what the celebrities are wearing & what trends are hitting the red carpet, take a look at Red Carpet Review, especially Charlize Theron’s latest looks & who wore what at the MTV Movie Awards! Which faux leather pieces are your favorites? Do you often wear leather or faux leather in the spring & summer months? Happy Styling!

Silver Screen Style: ‘The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo’ Style Comes to H&M!


I haven’t read the popular book series by Steig Larsson, by the trailer for the new movie adaptation, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, starring Rooney Mara & Daniel Craig looks pretty awesome!  Fans are gearing up for the movie which premieres December 21st, but before that, you can get your stylish hands on a new line @H&M, inspired by Mara’s character, Lisbeth Salander.  The news comes courtesy of In Style, but I wanted to share these pieces which will be available in H&M stores on December 14th.

Talk about distressed, androgynous, & edgy!  If you’re a leggings lover, then get a load of these leather pieces, along with the destroyed tees which can also be mixed & match with boyfriend blazers & cardigans.  Try the gray jeans with menswear pieces or oversized sequined tops. The items, which also includes accessories like bags, sneakers, cold weather knitwear, & jewelry, range in price from $4 – $199.

For more in-depth details about this line, check out my latst article for my column A Dash of Fashion on Culture Mob here! Would you wear any of the items from this line? Do you think it’s overkill to create a collection inspired by the movie or do you think that’s where fashion is headed?  Happy Styling!