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!

Top 10 Celeb Sightings: The Gals from Ghostbusters, Glitter, Glitz, & More!


While I’m working on a new essay based on my recent trip to New York City to the Metropolitan Museum of Art for the Manus x Machina exhibit, my attention has been drawn to the latest & greatest of celebrity red carpet appearances. Just to clarify, I don’t share these celebrity images to praise the thin & privileged, or to negatively reinforce that beauty is supposed to look a certain way (like a white Hollywood actress). I’m inspired by the style in the images below, from sequins to lace to cut-outs to draping to accessories & all that. Not only do I appreciate the craftsmanship of a beautiful garment, but how an outfit is assembled (to me) is like a work of art, setting a tone & inspiring something beautiful with texture & colors.

Oscar-winning actress Alicia Vikander shimmered in a silver Louis Vuitton gown with Bulgari Serpenti jewelry at the Jason Bourne premiere. The Shallows star Blake Lively continued to show off her on fleek maternity style in a salmon lace dress by Jonathan Simkhai (shop similar here) with a Christian Louboutin Paloma bag (shop similar here), Sophia Webster Rosalind crystal sandals (shop here), & jewelry by Anita Ko in New York City. German actress Diane Kruger wowed in a red sheer lace Jason Wu design with a mini nude Chanel clutch (shop similar here) at the premiere of The Infiltrator. Indian beauty Freida Pinto went for a monochromatic all-white look in a beaded embellished top with white leg pants & a menswear inspired jacket by Ralph Lauren Collection & neutral pumps at the Wimbledon Men’s Finals. Julia Stiles showed off her curves in a honeycomb-patterned Rubin Singer halter gown (see runway look here) with jewelry by Amrapali & Jerome C. Rousseau sandals at the European premiere of Jason Bourne.

Alicia Vikander, Blake Lively, Diane Kruger, Freida Pinto, & Julia Stiles.SNL star Kate McKinnon was all smiles in a blue Versace gown with jewelry by David Yurman (shop similar here) at the Ghostbusters premiere, alongside Kristen Wiig who wore in a pink strapless sweetheart tropical palm print Jenny Packham column gown with pink Irene Neuwirth gemstones. Funny lady Leslie Jones stole the red carpet in a red off-the-shoulder sweetheart Christian Siriano gown with studded ankle strap sandals at the Ghostbusters premiere. Aussie actress Margot Robbie stood tall in an embroidered peach Miu Miu column gown with diamonds by Messika at the London premiere of Tarzan. Melissa McCarthy glowed in a yellow lace floral embroidered 50s inspired A-line dress by Judith B. Swartz & Daniela Kurrle with strappy cream Aldo sandals (shop similar here) at the Ghostbusters premiere.

Kate McKinnon, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones, Margot Robbie, & Melissa McCarthy.I love how even after so many years of following celebrity fashion & blogging that I’m still surprised & impressed by what’s happening on the red carpet. I love how classic silhouettes can work for so many different shapes & sizes, proving that fashion can not only be evolutionary, but also timeless. Dressing glamorously isn’t just for the red carpet either. Take some inspiration from these ensembles & try a little extra sparkle for your next night out. Break out some ankle strap sandals to amp up your street style. Don’t be afraid try a head-to-toe color for summer & experiment with white. Which celebrity look is your favorite? Who inspires your summer style? Happy Styling!

 

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7/4/2013 Darling Of The Day: Sandra Bullock’s Monochromatic Look by Alberta Ferretti!


Sandra Bullock has been making the red carpet & talk show rounds promoting her latest film, The Heat, which co-stars Bridesmaids actress Melissa McCarthy. However, this week in Sydney, the Oscar-winner donned a chic monochromatic cobalt look from designer Alberta Ferretti, as well as uber-strappy shoes by Gwen Stefani‘s label, L.A.M.B.. I wanted to post this especially for the 4th of July holiday since the prominent color in the outfit is a very patriotic blue. However, I immediately found look-alike separates to recreate this look, fulfilling yet another post for The $100 Challenge! Also, from now on I’m changing up my format a bit so that it’s easier for readers to access these fashionable wardrobe suggestions!

Sandra Bullock

Top ($19.80) @Forever 21, Pants ($24.75) @Dress Barn, Shoes ($30.00) @Charlotte Russe, Earrings ($4.80) @Forever 21, Belt ($6.98) @Target, Watch ($11.47) @New York & Company.

For more fashionable celebrity posts, check out Nicole Kidman’s latest ad campaign for Jimmy Choo, leather looks inspired by Naomi Watts & Heidi Klum, Jessica Chastain for Yves Saint Laurent’s Manifesto, Kate Mara’s photo shoot for ELLE, & Olivia Palermo’s chic summer outfit! Happy Styling!

Red Carpet Review: Complete Coverage Of The 85th Annual Academy Awards, Featuring Naomi Watts, Reese Witherspoon, Zoe Saldana & More!


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The 2013 Oscars are just starting & there’s so much to talk about from tonight’s red carpet, including the anticipation behind the performances from the cast of Les Miserables, as well as the tribute to the James Bond series. Some of my favorites so far include Naomi Watts‘ high fashion look from Armani Prive, Reese Witherspoon‘s classic old Hollywood Louis Vuitton cobalt gown, Zoe Saldana‘s two-tone fishtail gown by Alexis Mabille, & Sandra Bullock‘s lace-detailed Elie Saab gown.

Other notable hits include Jessica Chastain (in Giorgio Armani), Nicole Kidman (in L’Wren Scott), Jennifer Garner (in Gucci), Kerry Washington (in Miu Miu), & Charlize Theron (in Dior Haute Couture). Not to mention that I predicted Jennifer Lawrence‘s Dior Haute Couture gown as an Oscar pick in my recent post, which is nothing short of fabulous when it hit the red carpet!

Who wore your favorite looks? Which nominees are you rooting for? Are you excited to see performances by Adele, Norah Jones, & Jennifer Hudson? For more from this year’s awards season, check out more from Red Carpet Review including the Golden Globes, Grammys, BAFTAs, & SAGs! Happy Styling!

Red Carpet Review: 2012 Emmy Awards Featuring Zooey Deschanel, Sofia Vergara, Hayden Panettiere, & More!


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This is a first for Style Darling. The 64th Annual Emmy Awards are currently airing & I’ve been scouring the web for the last 45 minutes to put together a complete gallery of the fabulous red carpet looks. Some of my favorites include Zooey Deschanel in a princess-like Reem Acra look, Julie Bowen in neon Monique Lhuillier, Claire Danes as a blushing mom-to-be in Lanvin, & Christina Hendricks in a belted design by Christian Siriano. Who are you rooting for? I’m a big fan of Girls, so keep an eye out for the very multi-talented Lena Dunham! Check out the gallery & share with readers which looks are your favorites! Enjoy the show! Happy Styling!

Magazine Must-Haves: Lady Gaga in Harper’s Bazaar, the Best Preppy Finds for Spring, & the Cast of Bridesmaids!


This month’s issue of Harper’s Bazaar features none other than Lady Gaga, the pop powerhouse & unlikely fashion icon of the century.  The singer / songwriter / performance artist discusses plastic surgery, her fitness regiment, & the late-Alexander McQueen.  If you’re a subscriber to the mag, you’ll see the cover with LG in an all-black Thierry Mugler ensemble.  The on-stand copies show off the pink-tressed Gaga in a Versace top & skirt.  However, both looks are furnished with cosmetics by M.A.C, which the singer is the spokesmodel for in the Viva Glam ads.

If you noticed on the subscriber’s issue, the magazine devotes the month of May to summer fashion.  Even though I’ve been waiting for spring fashions, I’m loving the selection of summer picks that can be incorporated this season too! A far cry from Lady Gaga, the magazine has selected some of these easy-to-find preppy items that can help build up a fresh look for these warmer months.

Take these yellow thick-strapped espadrilles sold @Gap (which are a little pricey compared to some of the similarly looking summer wedges @Payless) & pair them with a neutral-toned look of a ruffled blouse & assymetrical shorts.  For a nautical look, try a striped tee like this one from Michael Stars with cuffed capris & peep toe espadrille flats.  The foundation for any layered spring look or breezy summer outfit is a reliable & crisp white tee to go with an abstract printed skirt & ruffled platform heels.  Go with a denim shirt if you’re looking to don a country look with an embroidered belt mini skirt & some short distressed cowboy boots.  Last but not least, top off your outdoors look in a cute straw fedora, which would be perfect for a belted romper, cropped denim jacket, & braided t-strap sandals.

Something else worth checking out in this issue is a fashion spread of the very funny cast of the new movie, Bridesmaids, realizing the consequence of their Hangover-like shopping spree.  I recently wrote two articles for another site where I contribute, featuring a poster & the first trailer for the film, as well as two raunchier trailers for the highly-anticipated comedy (all @Movie Buzzers).  The movie stars  Kristen Wiig (Saturday Night Live), Maya Rudolph (Away We Go), Melissa McCarthy (Mike & Molly), Rose Byrne (Insidious), Elie Kemper (The Office), Wendi McLendon-Covy (Rules of Engagement), John Hamm (Mad Men), and the late Jill Calyburgh (Love & Other Drugs). Don’t these funny ladies of comedy look super chic?  The movie is due out May 13th!  Happy Styling!