The Stylish Five: Affordable Fall Florals For Every Size!


When it comes to fall fashion, I immediately think of luxe fabrics & jewel tones, mixed with layers to keep warm & look cool at the same time. A fashionable twist on your every day fall look includes lightened up floral pieces to blend with heavier ones, like a leather jacket, chunky knits, fringe tote, or suede booties. Here’s where you can play with color in your wardrobe, using contrasting prints to reinvent fall classics like houndstooth or buffalo plaid.

The Stylish Five - Fall FloralsSHOP: 1. floral sweater ($34.50) in navy / grey @Dress Barn (shop plus size here), 2. floral dress ($29.90) in black / natural @Wet Seal (shop plus size here), 3. jacquard leggings ($12.48, was $24.95) in black @Hollister (shop similar plus size here), 4. floral skirt ($14.98, was $49.95) @New York & Company (shop similar plus size here), & 5. floral bomber jacket ($24.99, was $60.00) @JC Penney (shop similar plus size here). 

When it comes to fall fashion, do you wear florals? Do you prefer printed tops over bottoms? Where are you shopping for the best deals this season? For more posts, check out cozy capes & ponchos inspired by Taylor Swift & Kim Kardashian, Olivia Palermo’s newest jewelry collaboration with Bauble Bar, Sienna Miller’s chic take on menswear, & Anne Hathaway’s playful look for a recent Good Morning America appearance while promoting The Intern. Happy Styling!

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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!

Fabulous in 4 Ways: Floral Leggings for Day, Work, Date, & Weekend (Dedicated to Kristen)!


This has been a season of leggings, especially for those us who have been feeling the sweet consequences of the holidays & blizzards in the north-east. However, that’s no reason to get lazy about your style, especially when leggings come in all prints & patterns. Floral leggings are a stylish play on stretchy bottoms & the possibilities of outfits are endless, thanks to my friend, Kristen, who came to me with this idea. In my latest Fabulous in 4 Ways post, instead of styling just one pair of floral leggings, I sought out four must-have & affordable pairs to wear for day, work, date night, & weekend looks.

When headed out on daily errands, coffee with the girls, or planning your next dinner party, floral leggings work, allowing for a mixture of textures to enrich your daytime look.

Day look with leggings.

SHOP: leggings ($24.99) in multi @Bluefly, sweater ($24.90) in navy / orange @Forever 21, boots ($55.00) in taupe @ALDO, bag ($25.16) @Chic Nova, & stud earrings ($5.00) in gold @Wallis.

Depending on your office environment, floral leggings are also a possibility for your work look. When it comes to casual Friday or a business casual dress code, try leggings with a mini dress, boyfriend cardigan, or long blazer.

Work look with leggings.

SHOP: leggings ($14.69) @Lord & Taylor, sheath dress ($17.80) in black @Forever 21, ankle booties ($19.97) in grey @Nordstrom Rack, tote ($17.99) in black @Shoptiques, & necklace ($8.74) @Target.

When it comes to date night, instead of a classic LBD, try floral leggings with some metallic detail, which instantly dresses up your look. Pairing them with a pop of color & luxe accessories is the perfect way to dress to impress.

Date night look with leggings.

SHOP: leggings ($14.00) @Boohoo, blouse ($28.27) in red @Romwe, boots ($25.99) in black @Shoes.com, clutch ($21.99) in gold @6PM, earrings ($9.80) @JC Penney, & necklace ($8.74) @Target.

I love weekend looks because they present a combination of casual & chic. If you’re going to a B&B, traveling to a vineyard for a four-day weekend, or reading a good book & drinking hot chocolate, layering cozy separates in lightweight fabrics can transform the way you enjoy your down time.

Weekend look with leggings.

SHOP: leggings ($10.00) @H&M, blouse ($19.99) in pink @MANGO, cardigan ($12.95) in black @H&M, ballet flats ($11.99) in black @Wet Seal, tote ($21.00) @Shoptiques, stud earrings ($6.93) @Express.

Do you dare to wear floral leggings? How do you like to style them? Would you wear floral leggings on a date or to work? For more stylish posts, check out Megan Fox & Felicity Jones’ latest red carpet looks, Viktor & Rolf’s Spring 2015 Couture collection, how to wear the fringe trend for spring inspired by Scarlett Johansson & Heidi Klum, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s street style for less, & affordable ear cuffs & front to back earrings from Nasty Gal & River Island. Happy Styling!

#BlackFriday Sale Update: 50% Off Everything At The Gap!


Another stylish store with great #BlackFriday deals is The Gap (code BLKFRIDAY), with everything on their website 50% off! Instead of posting all the same items over & over again, I was happily inspired by the colorful, fair isle pieces to help make this winter not just a fashionable one, but also a snuggly season with soft knits & playful colors.

GapSHOP: sweater ($24.98), hat ($12.46), leggings ($22.48), & scarf ($22.48) @The Gap.

For more budget-friendly posts, check out accessories from New York & Company, 30% off picks from Francesca’s, affordable pieces from TJ Maxx, & 50% off finds from The Limited. Happy Styling!

Color Me Style: Chic & Affordable All-Black Looks Inspired By Rihanna, Alexa Chung, & The Spring 2013 Runway’s From Victoria Beckham, YSL, & More!


During a night-in with my boyfriend, I kept my look simple & casual in all-black with a comfy oversized sweater & leggings.  He shared with me how much he liked my head-to-toe black ensemble & how good I looked in it too. I like keeping my looks classic with black & white, black & cream, black & grey, or the occasional color blocking, but black is always somewhere in my look since it’s so slimming & fun to wear when you consider different textures like leather, lace, suede, or brocade.  So, I’m inspired by all-black looks by the following celebrities who have hit the red carpet or donned their monochromatic street style with the ultimate dark shade. 

Alexa Chung‘s all black look while deejaying in New York includes leather shorts, a three-quarter sleeve sweater, tights, & ankle strap platforms. During a recent appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman, Naomi Watts turned up the style volume in Calvin Klein Collection coat with Christian Louboutin booties, Jamie Wolf earrings, & a Joan Hornig cuff.  Rihanna plays with volume at her latest album’s release launch party with an all-leather look & pointy toe heels. Jennifer Lawrence gets some style tips from her latest collaboration with celeb stylist Rachel Zoe in this chic suit by Christian Dior & stappy peep toe sandals at a screening for Silver Linings Playbook.  Everyone’s favorite Sex & the City star, Sarah Jessica Parker, layered a quilted jacket over her black jumpsuit & unique tasselled necklace. Alexa Chung, Naomi Watts, Rihanna, Jennifer Lawrence, & Sarah Jessica Parker. Kate Moss, Julianne Moore, Natalie Portman, Kate Bosworth, & Diane Kruger.

Supermodel Kate Moss made an appearance last year at The Hope Variety Show mixing her separates in a fitted blazer over a cotton top & gorgeous silk skirt.  Julianne Moore offers her take on menswear in a strong-shouldered suit with feminine earrings & wedge booties.  Oscar-winner Natalie Portman shows off her effortless style in head-to-toe black with a sheer blouse & straight leg trousers at the Nevada Women’s Summit this past summer.  Kate Bosworth gave her support to Chanel in the label’s embellished button-down, tweed miniskirt, sequin purse, & leather lace-up booties.  Trendsetter Diane Kruger took a risk in her all-black look in an embellished Chanel suit over leather leggings & boots while attending an event in Paris. 

You can also find all-black on the runway, with looks from some of the most well-known designers in the upcoming Spring 2013 collections.  Aside from florals, pretty prints, pastels, & bold colorblocking, black is & always will be a favorite among the fashionable.  This is evident with collections from Michael Kors, Dolce & Gabbana, Louis Vuitton, Lanvin, Jason Wu, & Monique Lhuillier

Michael Kors, Dolce & Gabbana, Louis Vuitton, Lanvin, Jason Wu, & Monique Lhuillier Spring 2013 Collections

I also couldn’t resist finding more head-to-toe black, especially when I saw the mix of casual chic, evening, cocktail, & work looks shown in the Spring 2013 collections by Zac Posen, Rachel Zoe Collection, Alexander McQueen, Victoria Beckham, Holmes & Yang, & Yves Saint Laurent.

Zac Posen, Rachel Zoe, Alexander McQueen, Victoria Beckham, Holmes & Yang, & Yves Saint Laurent Spring 2013 Collections

My first look is a fabulous deal for under $100, & this one goes out to my plus size Style Darlings! With this fabulous & classic coated trim shirt with belt ($24.50) from Forever 21, sizes XL – 2X will look ready for the evening.  Also, to keep the look streamlined, you can find @Torrid, the Tripp NYC skinny pant ($29.99), which have been reduced from their original $48.00 price.  These are the perfect foundation for any dressy look, ranging in sizes 12-16.  For an evening of bar hopping, or dessert with the girls, I selected the Lindsay stud ballet flat ($24.50) from Wet Seal.  Also, for an extra splash of sparkly, the Apt. 9 two-tone kite earrings ($10.80) from Kohl’s are the perfect touch, especially with the contrasting metallic texture. 

For a sexy & feminine evening look, try out the sequin & peplum trends with the middle outfit, consisting of the sequin tank ($26.99) from Banana Republic & Arden B.‘s matte latex peplum skirt ($24.50). Also from Kohl’s, the Apt. 9 web net-to-waist tights ($6.99) are the perfect accessory to show off your legs with the Fioni Vice booties ($20.00) from Payless

Lastly, an outfit that’s slightly more expensive, but easy to coordinate with other wardrobe staples includes the seed stitch dolman sleeve tunic sweater ($39.99) from Express with the i jeans by Buffalo Paolo knit leggings ($25.00) from JC Penney. To help accentuate your figure, I’ve added the knot-front stretch belt ($12.99) from The Limited, which is perfect for any sweater or cardigan & blouse set.  Finally, for a modern twist on a basic look, the leather velvet wedge booties ($29.10) from GOjane add lots of texture & a sneak of some toe cleavage!

My three mannequins are affordable & perfect for any all-black moment you wish to have. Which are your favorite pieces? Do you like to wear all-black or do you prefer bolder colors? Which celebrity pulls off all-black the best? Happy Styling!

Inside A Style Blogger’s Closet: My Striped $8.00 Dress From JC Penney!


Even when I’m not shopping for an amazing deal, one sneaks up on me. I made a recent trip to my local JC Penney b/c I was the happy recipient of a $10 reward (for being a cardmember & having used said card on more than one recent occasion), so I decided I was going to treat myself to a new silver chain for my latest variety of charms & pendants that I picked up from a craft store.  However, gravity pulled me toward the clearance dress section, which is where I found the Worthington mixed media dress ($8.00 in stores, $14.00 online). Before I get into talking about what I love about this dress, I gotta emphasize that if you have the opportunity to check a store & its website online, please do so b/c you never know where you’ll be getting the better deal.

Anyway, when I tried the dress on, the $8.00 price tag didn’t seem so great since the dress was very short- too short for comfort, but then when I cinched in its sort of boxy shape with a belt & considered leggings & some boots, I knew I was in business.  Unfortunately I wasn’t able to snap myself a shot in this outfit (& I’ve worn it twice!), but I can say that I love the tunic look to it, as well as the uber-flattering lines that help emphasize my shape.

I did manage to get the chain I was looking for, as well as this dress & a few additional must-have clearance finds for under $10, but I’m a guilt-free shopper knowing that I’ve added to my fall-winter wardrobe & can’t wait to see what else I can find when I least expect it! Happy Styling!

Fabulous in 4 Ways: Over-The-Knee Boots From Victoria’s Secret (Dedicated To Laurie)!


Attention Style Darling Readers: We have a new category alert! Fabulous In 4 Ways is my latest in offering the best style advice that I can, while keeping a budget in mind. Of course, I’ve had this idea (taking one item & showing how it’s worn in 4 fabulous ways) for a while now, just sitting away & linkless on my categories page, but just recently, a good friend has come to me w/ a deal on a killer pair of over-the-knee boots, asking for help on how to wear them once the temperatures cool down & heavy knits emerge from the depths of our closets.  Said friend, Laurie (who I’ve dedicated a total of 4 blogs to now- Jordana Brewster’s style, how to wear turtlenecks, & the best day-to-night blazers) has challenged me in a very good & very stylish way. Let’s take a look…

As I usually do in my Basics for a Bargain posts, let’s start off with some celebrity inspiration to see how some of the most photographed & stylish stars interpret their over-the-knee boot looks. The City star / socialite Olivia Palermo looks Upper East Side chic with her navy suede boots & fur-lined jacket, mixing neutrals with a sweater tunic. Mom-on-the-go Kourtney Kardashian wears her boots with a flowy blouse under a menswear-inspired blazer & floppy hat, keeping accessories like her bag matching in texture with her footwear. Supermodel legend Claudia Schiffer goes casual in jeggings & a cobalt cable knit sweater with a coordinating bag for her tan suede over-the-knee boots. Former Spice Girl / designer Victoria Beckham keeps her polished posh persona in check with ultra tight leggings, a black top, & satin-trimmed blazer while traveling through Heathrow airport. Lastly, Project Runway host Heidi Klum offers an edgy approach to her leather Jimmy Choo over-the-knee boots by completing her look with a graphic tee & abstract print blazer.

The boots inspiring this post are the Colin Stuart over-the-knee boots ($94.00) from Victoria’s Secret, which are on sale for less than their original $118.00 price tag (pictured below, to the left).  These are fierce confections of footwear meant only for the confident Style Darling (for example: Laurie!).  Even though these may seem much pricier than your average pump &/or ankle bootie, I can’t emphasize enough that this is an investment piece, especially one that you can dare to wear from the beginning of fall, all the way to the end of the winter.  Since we’re talking boots, VS is currently having a 20% off sale on all Colin Stuart boots, which you can shop here.

However, let’s get down to business in putting together these outfits wth some of the celebrity inspiration seen above.  Typically when I see boots, I think of sweaters & leggings b/c they’re both just so comfy & very on-trend for effortless fall looks.  My first ensemble includes the asymmetric hem sweater ($59.90) from Express, which is available in orchid, black, grey, & blue.  The loose fit is perfect for recalling that 80s off-the-shoulder bulky sweater look, as well as hugging your curves to show off your legs.  Just so you know, Express is currently having a mix & match BOGO 50% off sale this Labor Day weekend, so if you really love the look pictured, then check out the short metal stick necklace ($44.90) to go with the sweater. I’ve selected Forever 21‘s pebbled pointe knit leggings ($17.80), which will add some texture & shine against the rich suede of the boots.  Of course, any solid legging will do, but if you’re going for something with a print, keep it subtle since you’re dealing with a sexy lace-up detail in the back of the boots.

My second outfit is perfect for an office environment where jeans are allowed.  The Faded Glory jeggings ($12.88) from Walmart are a steal & can work with so many other wardrobe staples all year long.  The colored denim trend is obviously not going away & pairing it with White House Black Market‘s tweed trophy jacket ($188.00) is a professional & elegant way to dress up denim.  When shopping @WHBM, of course the regular prices are on the high side, but if you sign up for their seasonal catalogues, you can get discount codes, as well as earn points for reductions on future purchases. I find that comes in handy around the holidays when in a pinch for a cute cocktail dress.  For an extra feminine splash, I’ve selected the graphic checkered strips tiered cotton tank ($39.99) from LOFT to add some dimension- which also just so happens to marked down another 30% at checkout.

Look #3 required a little more attention since I wanted to find pieces that would work for more than just the over-the-knee boots challenge.  I started with this streaky knit t-shirt dress ($39.99) from The Limited, which has been marked down 50% on the store’s website. With a solid sheath-like dress as this, I immediately thought of a belt & found this duo of ivory cheetah & glossy black skinny belts ($10.79) from Bluefly. To keep warm during the cooler fall days, I picked out the basic, yet affordable Style & Co. three-quarter ruched sleeve cardigan ($14.99) in black from Macy’s. If you’re headed out to happy hour with the girls or going from the office to an evening function, this look is perfect with the boots, especially when the Minicci scroll weave tights ($7.99) from Payless are hiding underneath your layers.

Lastly, the forth look is my favorite, but perhaps not too far of a departure from the previous blazer look above.  When I saw the Merona tailored blazer ($34.99) @Target, I immediately loved the idea of mixing the plaid with the laces, as well as navy & black, along with integrating the fall’s best new neutral deep red hue with New York & Company‘s satiny roll-tab shirt ($39.95). Of course you can complete the look with skinny pants, but Style & Co. skinny stretch jeggings ($36.75) from Macy’s looked too good to be true in a classic dark wash!

What do you think of these looks? Would you wear over-the-knee boots? If so, how would you style your look with them? What boots are you shopping for this fall? Happy Styling!

8/2/2012 Darling Of The Day: Kate Middleton & Christina Hendricks Colorblock With Bright Pants!


When I saw these looks worn by the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, & Mad Men star Christina Hendricks, I kept them in mind b/c I loved the bright bottoms worn by both Style Darlings.  Kate’s look is very casual, perfect for observing Olympic events, whereas Christina’s look is more feminine & polished while she walks the red carpet.

Since it’s summer time, a crisp white top, whether it be a polo shirt or a blouse, is always a stylish way to start building an outfit.  I’ve selected both looks to feature in Darling of the Day, especially since it’s been a while since my last post in this category.

To start building Kate’s look, I’ve turned to KMart for the polo shirt ($7.99) & paired it with the Stella colored jean legging ($79.90) in cobalt from Express. The price on the jeans may be high, but right now @Express, there’s a BOGO $29.90 sale on these jeans.  If you’re an Express credit card holder, you can earn coupons for up to $50.oo off! To complete this look, head over to Piperlime for the Nine West Skip N Jump wedges ($39.99) & Kohl’s for the Simply Vera Vera Wang silver tone simulated crystal ball drop earrings ($10.50).

If you’re looking for a dressier way of pairing your whites with bright bottoms, take a look at Christina’s ensemble, which can comprise affordable separates like the satin cascading ruffle blouse ($17.80) from Forever 21 & New York & Company‘s The Crosby Street city double stretch slim leg pants ($46.95). This outfit lends the perfect opportunity to play with prints & textures in your accessories, such as the Andiamo gavel pumps ($34.94) from DSW & Big Buddha handbag clutch ($24.99) from Macy’s.

To shop more colorful bottoms, inducing jeans, pants, & leggings, check out colored stonewash skinnies ($24.80) from Forever 21, stretch twill pants ($24.95) from H&M, Jessica London‘s color jeggings ($39.99), colorful skinny jean ($44.90 – $74.90) from The Limited, & the cafe capris ($39.99) from J.Crew. Also, for basic white tops to mix & match with other wardrobe staples, check out the burnout animal racerback tank ($9.99) from Charlotte Russe, The Gap‘s Essex sugar wash scoop tee ($19.99), the ASOS button down skirt ($33.14), the white zebra twist tee ($28.50) from Torrid, Old Navy‘s split-neck button-front blouse ($22.50).

For more celebrity-inspired posts, be sure to check out Blake Lively’s commercial for Gucci Premiere, Top 10 Celeb Sightings featuring Emmy Rossum, Katy Perry, Liv Tyler, & more, & Kate Hudson’s latest ad campaign for Ann Taylor.  Happy Styling!

Inside A Style Blogger’s Closet: Ciao Style Darlings, From Italia!


Ciao Style Darlings! My time in Italy is coming to an end, but I wanted to share a little something from my trip.

A few days ago the weather was particularly gorgeous, for it being January & all, so I took a stroll along the Arno river, wearing my favorite sweater dress with cable knit panel ($22.50) in green.  Also, I’ve been leaving my footprint all over Florence in my boots from Payless.

Additional favorites include my leggings from Target, as well as flats boots & another sweater tunic.

I should also mention that I’ve made a few trips to the local H&M, finding such affordable fashions, including a green short-sleeved dress. As it turns out the conversion from Euros to U.S. currency wasn’t pro-budget, but there were dozens of other sale items that I’m bringing back with me from the international retailer.

Tomorrow (Saturday) is my travel day, & then I’ll be waking up on Sunday back on Long Island, reacquainting myself with all the shoes in my closet that I’ve been missing.

Hope everyone’s having a stylish 2012 so far! Ciao! Happy Styling!

12/24/11 Darling of the Day: Katie Holmes Struts Her Stuff In Nine West Boots & A Comfy Sweater in NYC!


I’ve been all about the big, chunky sweaters this season, especially since I’m crazy for my new boots & favorite leggings. There’s nothing more classic than a cream cable-knit sweater, like the one seen here, worn by Katie Holmes while taking a stroll in New York City.  The actress is also wearing leggings by The Girls, Nine West boots, & a red bag by Clare Vivier.

While this look would’ve been perfect for running around, getting all that holiday shopping done- we’re still in the very beginning of winter & it’s never too late for essential items like these to be added to your wardrobe.  I selected the ELLE pointelle cowl neck sweater ($34.80) from Kohl’s & Jessica London‘s turtleneck sweater ($34.99), which is available in sizes M-2x.

As for the leggings, I was so happy to find two pair that cost under $8.  This includes the Decree leggings ($7.99) from JC Penney, which also come in chocolate & gray, as well as the basic knit leggings ($6.50) from Forever 21‘s plus size line, Plus21.

When it come to the boots, I’m super jealous b/c I’ve wanted to find myself a good pair of gray knee boots this year, but since I’ve already bought the black ones (previously referenced), my budget won’t allow for another splurge.  However, the side ruffle suede platform boot ($19.95) from GOJane & Torrid‘s ‘Sally’ knee-high suede boots ($68.50) in wide-width are the best way to recreate the look!

Also, the last finishing touches on the look help bring this classic outfit into the spotlight, with square sunglasses ($5.80) & buckled leatehrette handbag ($24.80) in red, both from Forever 21.

Would you wear this look?  Would you change it up? Where are you shopping for boots & chunky sweaters?  Happy Styling!