Style Tip: One Skirt Worn Six Ways!


I’m a big believer in getting the most use out of an item as I possibly can. That means that not only am I considering how many seasons I’m wearing something, but also how many different ways a piece can be worn. While I’m a sucker for black & white looks, I also love a colorful piece that way I can play up my neutral & bolder separates to give something new life.

For example, during a recent venture to Target, I perused through their clothing department, knowing that I couldn’t buy anything (budget, budget, budget), but since I’m always seeking inspiration, I excused the detour as necessary for my blog. My eye immediately spotted the Merona stripe pleated skirt, which is available in sizes XS-XXL, & its colorful stripe pattern made my head spin with styling possibilities for spring, summer, & fall. To get the most use out of wearing a garment like this (with tops tucked into the waist-cinching band, of course), here are just six stylish examples. Not to mention that you can layer sleeveless tops with pretty cardigans or neutral jackets (like khaki, denim, or olive camou) to offset the bold color palette.

SHOP: denim tank @GAP, green tank @Target, yellow flutter sleeve sweater @LOFT, navy cut-out tank @New York & Company, white studded tee @dressbarn (shop plus size here), & orange racer back tank @Old Navy

Because of the skirt’s delicate material & playful hues, I wouldn’t recommend it for winter, unless you live somewhere majestically sunny like southern California for those chillier months, perhaps with a ribbed turtleneck & cognac knee boots. Since I live on Long Island, I can’t fathom what it’s like to live somewhere without the extremes of both summer & winter.

However, the styling doesn’t end there, nor does the flair. The busy design & colors of the skirt shouldn’t hinder you from having fun with accessories either. Think of all the opportunities this skirt has to offer, as well as combinations of colors to wear when it comes to a statement necklace or dangly earrings.

SHOP: orange tortoiseshell earrings @Old Navy, yellow fringed hoop earrings @New York & Company, rose gold tassel earrings @H&M, blue lapis drop earrings @Charming Charlie, tribal woven choker @Forever 21, turquoise blossoms bib necklace @Charming Charlie, & howlite stone statement necklace @Francesca’s.

How would you style this skirt? What colors do you like to play with most in your wardrobe? Where are you shopping for the best deals on summer-to-fall transition pieces? Do you like to go bold with texture, pattern, & sparkle for your looks? Happy Styling!

Watch This Style: Fall Wardrobe Inspiration from Returning TV Favorites!


Aside from Fashion Week & the general change of seasons (which marks ankle bootie & rich textures like suede time of year), September means that our favorite television shows are returning to make us laugh, cry, sit at the edge of our seats, & of course, be in awe of the characters’ styles. In a first ever on Style Darling, I’ve undertaken a mighty 10 television shows returning this season & found their most stylish leading ladies (two, in some cases), & found pieces & looks to inspire your fall wardrobe. Naturally, we’re talking something budget-friendly, yet still true to the small scree goddesses that have bloggers everywhere in a fashion tizzy!

Scandal

Scandal (airing Season 4 premiere on 9/25 @9PM on ABC) left Olivia Pope (played magnificently by the one & only Kerry Washington) washing her hands of the controversy & turmoil that she blames herself for in Washington D.C., especially because of her torrid love affair with the president. However, Olivia’s style was only elevated by such drama, sharing with viewers the importance of a luxurious coat collection, classic & statement handbags, as well as clean lines & neutral separates since Olivia is all about getting rid of the fuss in people’s lives.

Scandal inspired look.

To recreate Olivia’s style, I found the Jessica Simpson toggle double pocket coat ($99.99) @TJX.com, & paired it with chic separates like the flutter sleeve blouse ($39.95) in black @New York & Company, which is also available in white, & the studio stretch tab waist slim flare columnist pant ($39.90) in black @Express. In keeping with the character, I thought the lovely Lolita satchel ($39.00) in ivory / black @Charming Charlie was just the right touch. Lastly, for some more Olivia Pope inspiration, be sure to check out the new Scandal collection for The Limited, which hit stores 9/23!

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New Girl

New Girl (airing Season 4 premiere on 9/16 @9PM on FOX) will surely tackle that whole Jess-Nick romance, even though the adorkable couple ended things last season. Now that Zooey Deschanel‘s character has certainly settled into her man-dwelling apartment, she’s constantly battling life with one vintage look after another, & laughter is sure to ensue. Not to mention that Jess’s girlie girl style fits right in with her job as a teacher, always conservative yet cute for partying it up after hours.

New Girl inspired look.

Just about any ’50s/60s-inspired frock will do for recreating Zooey’s on screen look as Jess. This includes the ‘storytelling it like it is’ dress ($39.00) in blue @Mod Cloth, which can be mixed & matched with other bold solids or layered with a floral cardigan. Also, try the Worthington long sleeve crew neck sweater ($19.99) in Lafayette rose @JC Penney over a classic button down shirt or with a mini flip skirt & opaque tights. Jess believes in wearing strong, yet playful pieces like this stripe high waisted full midi skirt ($24.99) in black & white @Charlotte Russe, which will only make her nerdy Durand frames ($95.00) in whiskey tortoise @Warby Parker all the sexier!

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The Mindy Project

The Mindy Project (airing 9/16 @9:30 on FOX) is one of my favorite must-see shows this fall, not just because the brilliant Mindy Kaling writes a hilarious ensemble comedy, but because the show is after the hearts of its viewers with the on-again-off-again love story with one Danny Castellano, played by Chris Messina. Yes, there’s laughter too, but I’m also super excited to see what Dr. Lahiri (Kaling’s character) will wear. She’s no stranger to bright colors, wild patterns, feminine florals, & layers of preppy chic style.

The Mindy Project inspired look.

To build a Mindy-friendly look, I found these gorgeous pieces to mix & match with other bold separates. This includes the double breasted hooded trench ($64.00) in khaki @Dress Barn (for plus size, click here), short sleeve lace dress ($108.00) in chrysanthemum red @LOFT, Merona 3/4 sleeve v-neck cardigan ($16.08) in lime juice print @Targetplaid 2-button jacket ($138.00) in berry plaid @The Limited, & berry blast handbag ($47.00) in fuchsia @LuLu’s. Of course some of these are pricey pieces, but I’ve come to believe that there are certain pieces worth investing in, like a blazer with endless color combination possibilities, or a day-to-night dress.

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Revenge

Revenge (airing 9/28 @10PM on ABC) is returning this fall & Emily Thorne (played by Emily Vancamp) is back & stronger than ever in her plot against the Graysons. I love that her style recalls the effortless ease of a modern day Grace Kelly, with a luxe twist on casual wear. She wears plenty of neutral colors & no-fuss separates so that she can easily slip into scheming mode with the movers & shakers of The Hamptons setting. I love watching out for the designer pieces on this show, especially on additional key characters like Victoria (Madeline Stowe), Charlotte (Chrsta B. Allen), & Ashley (Ashley Madekwe).

Revenge inspired look.

When I started assembling these pieces, I realized that they have various uses, for both day & night, as well as creating looks from season-to-season. While most of our lives won’t be centered around law-breaking revenge schemes, the closest we can get to the fabulous life of Emily Thorne is recreating her style with the colorblock roll sleeve shirtdress ($109.99) in cream puff @Ann Taylor, MOD.lusive ruched sleeve long cardigan ($42.00) in white @Nordstrom, v-neck blouse ($24.95) in powder beige @H&M, & true slim chino pants ($44.99) in khaki @Land’s End.

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Nashville

Nashville (airing 9/24 @10PM on ABC) is the kind of show that not only inspires music, but also fashion. Southern style is loud & clear with this show, especially when it comes to an edgy look & a splash of rock ‘n roll. The show’s leading ladies Rayna James (Connie Britton) & Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panettiere) are constantly at odds, but one thing is clear, they know how to dress. I was especially inspired by the flashy stage looks & modern casual separates that can be jazzed up for a night of music. The last season ended with both divas in trouble, both professionally & personally, but I can’t wait to see what’s gonna happen next.

Nashville inspired look.

For Rayna’s all-American look, I choose the Harper denim jacket ($54.50) in dark wash @GbyGuess, classic rise slight curve slim jeans ($24.90) in extra shade @Levi’s, & Calimesa tie dye loop scarf ($24.00) @Francesca’s, which can be worn with a sequined tank, graphic tee, or cropped top. Then, to channel Juliette’s playful & sexy stage look, I found the sequined tailored dress ($69.99) @Mango Outlet & Michael Antonio ‘Mains’ booties ($29.94) in black @DSW, which makes for a great night-out outfit that can also be accessorized with bangles & drop earrings.

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2 Broke Girls

2 Broke Girls (airing 10/07 @9PM on CBS) combines two of my favorite things: cupcakes & fashion! The comedy’s stars Beth Behrs as the preppy / fashion forward Caroline Chaning & Kat Dennings‘ loveable bad girl Max Black make for the perfect modern day odd couple, just trying to get back. Caroline is always neutral clad, doused in pearls & body conscious dresses, whereas Max’s fashion sense takes on a tougher city vibe in bright primary colors & boots, with a touch of menswear inspiration.

2 Broke Girls inspired look.

For Caroline’s look, I was excited to find the Casual Couture by Green Envelope long sleeve surplice jersey top ($29.00) @Bluefly, Jcolor casual pants ($24.00) in khaki @YOOX, & Madden Girl Getta pumps ($39.95) in nude @Zappos. Also, for Max’s style, I loved the Joe Fresh boyfriend plaid shirt ($24.99) in navy @JC Penney, Juicy Couture knit skinny jeans ($36.99) in black @Kohl’s, & buckled strap slouchy boots ($34.90) in black @Wet Seal. Each piece is fall-ready & great for layering for a day out with the girls or a casual chic dinner with friends.

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The Good Wife

The Good Wife (airing 9/21 @9PM on CBS) keeps raking in the Emmy awards, especially with a constantly compelling performance for the show’s lead, Julianna Margulies as the powerful Alicia Florrick. Her wardrobe includes power suits & strong jackets, much like Scandal‘s Olivia Pope. In Alicia’s world, there’s no room for floral or fussy pieces. She’s all about structure & strength, so edgy embellishments  have no place among the clean details & clean lines.

The Good Wife inspired look.

Start building a professional wardrobe like Alicia’s with strong-shouldered jackets that have unique details & cuts. These will look great with any go-to pair of trousers. As toppers, I picked the ANNE KLEIN Single Button Houndstooth Blazer ($129.00) from Lord & Taylor & H&M‘s fitted jacket ($49.95) in gray mélange. Also, an easy way to complete the look is with the Roz & Ali smart fit trouser pants ($34.50) in black @Dress Barn, which are also available in straight leg, plus sizes, & petites.

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REID EWING, SOFIA VERGARA

Modern Family (airing 9/24 @9PM on ABC) is a comedy must-see, especially because of the show’s female leads. When it comes to style, of course there’s always a cute outfit on Sarah Hyland’s character Hailey, but the real sex-pot changing the look of a stay-at-home mom is Sofia Vergara‘s Gloria. Gloria often steals the spotlight from her family members, especially when it comes to showing off her curves in wrap dresses, V-neck tops, & skinny jeans.

Modern Family inspired look.

Straight from Sofia Vergara’s collection for KMart, including the longsleeve wrap tunic ($19.99) in red, faux wrap dress ($29.99) in animal abstract, & embellished blazer ($39.99) in white. Since Gloria is always seen in high heels, I knew a classic, yet sexy black pair of platforms would do the trick in recreating the look, which is why I found the Fergalicious holler back shoes ($23.98) from 6PM.

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Elementary

Elementary (airing 10/30 @10PM on CBS) is a modern day New York City-based take on the classic Sherlock Holmes stories & what’s extra awesome about this version is that the science-minded Watson is played by kick-ass actress Lucy Liu. Instead of John, she’s a Joan who develops an intense partnership with Holmes (Johnny Lee Miller) while they’re soling crimes all over the city. Aside from her brilliant mind, I love her on-the-go style which often includes dark, layering pieces, always with a chic pair of booties.

Elementary inspired look.

To achieve Joan’s chic style, I picked the Dantelle open pleat front cardigan ($39.00) in ebony @Nordstrom, leggings ($34.50) in black @J.Crew, tulip back knit blouse ($14.80) in silver black @Forever 21, canvas utility jacket ($39.94) in arugula @Old Navy, knit infinity scarf ($12.00) in black @Target, & Qupid cuffed side-zipper chunky heel ankle boots ($42.99) in black @Charlotte Russe.

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Hart of Dixie

Hart of Dixie (2015 on The CW) is the last show that I’m sharing & it doesn’t have a set premiere date since star Rachel Bilson, who plays the quirky city doctor Zoe Hart, is expecting her first child & filming seems to be halted. However, I love her character’s edgy side with dark, modern cuts in tops & leather shorts, as well as dark colors in mini & maxi dresses. She’s an accessories queen with chunky necklaces, embellished details, & the highest heels in sandals & booties imaginable. Also, it’s hard to ignore Lemon Breeland, played hysterically by the one & only Jamie King. Lemon’s style is true to the Alabama debutante ladylike way. She loves florals, sparkle, & vintage-inspired looks with a bold lip & finger curls.

Hart of Dixie inspired look.

To get you Zoe look, try getting inspired with the Liz Claiborne long sleeve blouse ($30.00) @JC Penney, hue leatherette leggings ($48.00) in black @Nordstrom, faux leather moto jacket ($39.80) in black @Forever 21, & Jessica Simpson Adriana mixed -media ankle booties ($94.99) in charcoal @Saks Off Fifth. For a classic Lemon look, you’ll love wearing the Joan Vass wavy sequin crewneck sweater ($47.25) @Neiman Marcus Last Call, scuba midi skirt ($42.50) in peach dusk @New York & Company, Bare Necessity plain pointy heels ($21.30) in fuchsia @GOjane, & No Business Like Show Business dress ($30.99) in poppy @ModCloth.

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Which show are you waiting for? Which character do you think is the most stylish? Which returning fall shows did I leave out? For more stylish posts, be sure to check out Fashion Week runways from Carolina Herrera & Michael Kors, my newest Target dress purchase, textured jackets from Alice + Olivia & Dress Barn, & Altuzarra’s new collection for Target! 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: Red Peep Toe Pumps by Jimmy Choo Vs. Merona by Target!


As I get  back into the blogging swing of things, my search continues for designer look-alikes, especially when it comes to classic pieces. Shoes are always a favorite item to hunt for when clicking around the world wide web, & I came across varying designs of red peep toe pumps, which are naturally a perfect pop of color with a LBD, polka dotted separates, a chic denim look, or for a cocktail affair.

Neiman Marcus - Jimmy Choo peep toe pumps in red $625.00, Target - Merona peep toe pumps in red $29.99.

Obviously when you hear the name Jimmy Choo, dollar signs come to mind, which I’m sure is worth the investment if you have that kind of cash available. I found the Luna peep toe pumps ($625.00) in red from Nordstrom that are likely staples in any A-listers shoe collection.  However, at only 1/4′ less in height, the Merona peep toe pumps ($29.99) in red from Target are just as chic & won’t set any Style Darling back in cost.

For more affordable shoe shopping, check out favorite stores like Payless, DSW, Forever 21, H&M, Wet Seal, Express, TJ Maxx, & GOjane! Happy Styling!

Inside A Style Blogger’s Closet: Summer-Ready Dresses For Under $10!


I’ve been splurging but saving a whole lot lately, especially since I have big travel plans in July. This includes an entire new selection of dresses that I’m happy to adopt into my wardrobe for this spring & summer. I always head to the new sale & clearance racks first in order to get the best possible deal, but I was so happy to come across these two dresses that were under $10 each! If that’s not a bargain, then I don’t know what is!

I never thought I was a yellow kind of girl. Sure, here & there I have a yellow top, yellow flats, but I couldn’t conceive on my fair skin an entire yellow look, but I definitely found one with the Merona refined lcae dress ($8.38) in yellow from Target. Online, this dress is $27.99, but I found it on a 70% off rack at my local store & it fits perfectly. I usually score big with this brand, especially since Target often has coupons on their website for this brand too!

Target - Merona refined lace dress $8.38, Walmart - Faded Glory ruffle knit dress $9.49.My second big score was the unexpected one! I hardly ever shop @Walmart, mostly b/c I’m dedicated to Target & can always find what I need, & the local Walmart doesn’t always look like the nicest place to shop- despite low prices. I came across this Faded Glory ruffled knit dress ($9.94) in black, which wasn’t on sale & this was its original price. I was hesitant b/c I wasn’t sure about the quality of the material, but then I looked at the tag of the New York & Company summer dress that I was wearing… & low & behold, both the above black dress & what I was wearing were both 60% cotton & 40% polyester. I tried it on & it was the perfect length & cut, & I was very happy with my decision to purchase this LBD that could be dressed up or down & won’t ever go out of style.

What makes me even happier with these purchases is their potential for accessorizing, which includes great finds like the arrowhead studded faux leather belt ($5.80) in nude from Forever 21, which is perfect for either dress, or even pairing with shorts & a ruffled tank. Also, for some fun & playful colors, I picked the Mudd Kara colorblock crossbody bag ($13.20) in mint yellow from Kohl’s, especially if you’re looking for something summery & smaller to carry around. To dress up both looks for a classy evening, I recommend the hammered chain link necklace ($6.00) from Charlotte Russe, which definitely plays up the chain link trend.

Also, for a casual day out, I love the idea of a pair of flirty exaggerated cat-eye sunglasses ($9.99) in tortoise shell from JC Penney. Lastly, there are plenty of shoes to match up, but I especially love LOFT‘s basil ballet flats ($20.99) in Bombay blue & the Portia high wedge sling ($15.00) in red from Payless.

What’s the best deal you’ve scored lately? What’s been your biggest shopping surprise yet? For more posts on affordable fashion, check out Taylor Swift’s leggy look for under $100, little white dresses inspired by Angelina Jolie & Kerry Washington, fashionable flip-flops from Guess & Steve Madden, & a look at 3.1 Phillip Lim’s new collaboration with Target! Happy Styling!

The Stylish Five: Spring-Ready Shirt Dresses ($50 & Under)!


I’ve been focusing a lot lately on dresses b/c I think that spring is the best time of year to invest in new dresses. I’ve definitely already started my 2013 collection, which I will definitely wear well into the summer, however, one style of dress that I always turn to is the shirt dress. There are so many shirt dresses out there in stores & online right now, which are perfect for wearing to a brunch with girl friends, a family party on the weekend, or to the office for a feminine change of pace.

The first I found is the Merona sateen belted shirt dress ($22.00) in purple from Target, which is also available in five other bright & neutral hues, & in sizes XS – XXL. This is the perfect dress for matching with a pair of espadrilles, ballet flats, or gladiator flats. Next is the chambray belted shirt dress ($24.50) from Old Navy, which can be made rugged with suede ankle boots or dressed up with cork patent heels, for a Style Darling of any size (XS – XXL).  Forever 21‘s belted high-low shirtdress ($27.80) in turquoise is a soft & lightweight way to add layers to your look, or even mix things up with leggings & knee boots, or a matching suede hat & belt.

To stay on trend with bold neons for spring, I picked the roll-sleeve pocket shirtdress ($34.99) in active yellow from Gap, which is also sold in blue, orange, & pink, in sizes XS-XXL. I recommend pairing it with pointy toe pumps & a printed blazer when headed to a meeting, or with floral flats & a basketweave clutch for a sunny picnic. Lastly, the belted denim shirtdress ($46.00) in orange from Dress Barn is also sold in plus sizes ($50.00) to wear with peep toe wedges & a chainlink bag.

What dresses are you shopping for this spring? What stores do you like to hit up when searching for that perfect dress? Do you like to wear shirt dresses? For more affordable fashion posts, check out nautical inspiration for under $100, Derek Lam’s DesigNation collection for Kohl’s, spring-friendly polka-dotted pieces, peplum tanks inspired by Olivia Palermo & Zoe Saldana, & floral must-have pieces like Selena Gomez & Jessica Chastain! Happy Styling!

Show Me The Shoes / Color Me Style: Mint Is Back For Spring!


During this spring break, I’ve had plenty of time studying the latest spring trends & aside from bold bright, you can find plenty of pastels, including mint shoes that will make any outfit look fresh & spring-ready. After a recent conversation with an engaged friend about the difference between turquoise & teal for her upcoming nuptials, I was inspired to share the color mint. Of course this hue can be seen on dresses, blouses, pants, & accessories, but more importantly, I’m loving the idea of mint shoes, especially since there are so many affordable shoes.

mint shoesAdd mint to your flats collection with the Merona Macha wedge ballet flat ($19.50) from Target, which have a classic faux snake texture with any effortless tee & skinny jeans. Also, the canvas Bella skimmer ($19.50) from Delia’s offers a lighter material to contrast with a neutral leather mini & sleeveless button-down. If you’re headed to a tropical location on vacation before summer, the Steve Madden Swinger sandals ($49.95) is perfect for a maxi dress & stacked bangles, a cotton spring dress with a beaded necklace, or with walking shorts & a silky blouse.

This wouldn’t a proper shoe post if I didn’t talk about some major budget-friendly heels, like the patent cap toe platform pump ($32.50) from Charlotte Russe, which transitions the cap toe trend perfectly between seasons. The GOjane peep toe platform wedges ($24.95) are edgy for a look with leggings & a tunic top, & they’re on sale right now! Next, bring mint to the office with the Fioni Jordyn t-strap pumps ($26.99) from Payless coordinated with a floral sheath dress & a cardigan, or for happy hour with a polka dot blouse & pencil skirt.

The peep toe platform wedge ($32.80) from Forever 21 is chic for a weekend getaway in a chambray dress or with neutral separates like a beige cami with silky pajama-inspired pants. Lastly, DSW‘s Fergalicious Eileen pump ($39.95) is definitely a must-have for a date night in a shift dress or can dress up any outfit like a mini leather skirt & graphic tee if you’re headed to a concert.

Which style is your favorite? Do you like the mint shoe trend? What colors are your mist attracted to this fall? For more posts from Show Me The Shoes, check out floral-inspired shoes from Forever 21 & Gap, luxury look-alike studded Jimmy Choo loafers, how to find affordable platforms like Nikki Reed’s at her recent red carpet appearance, & a behind-the-scenes look with J. Crew’s Jenna Lyons on their latest shoe collection! Happy Styling!

Basics For A Bargain: It’s Finally Spring & Finally Time For Florals!


There’s still a chill in the air here in New York, but it’s finally starting to look like spring. There’s change in the air & I know I’m really excited about it- & not just for my change in wardrobe. However, speaking of spring fashions, the go-to print of the season is florals & I couldn’t turn my back the trend, especially when I’ve been seeing it everywhere! For example, A-list celebs have been wearing florals even during the winter, ushering in the warmer season. Miranda Kerr is all smiles in a floral skirt with a leather Prada tote while taking in the day in Sydney. Elizabeth Olsen mixed her floral top with a mustard coat & skinny jeans. Actress Diane Kruger attended a press event for Farewell, My Queen in a 10 Crosby Derek Lam ensemble.

Miranda Kerr, Elizabeth Olsen, Diane Kruger, Selena Gomez, Jessica Chastain, & Dianna Agron.

Superstar Selena Gomez hit the SXSW Festival in a matching bustier & skirt by Dolce & Gabbana. Two-time Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain wears an Erdem sheath dress with nude Christian Louboutins. Lastly, former Glee star Dianna Agron attended a luncheon with The Hollywood Reporter in an Oday Shakar floral dress with suede Jimmy Choo heels.

Not to mention that there have been plenty of florals hitting the runways this year, including luxe vintage from Valentino, 80s-inspired rocker chic designs from Betsey Johnson, youthful & bright patterns from Tracy Reese, Lanvin‘s elegant & sophistication, & Erdem‘s playful & refreshing angle on flowers.

Valentino, Betsey Johnson, Tracy Reese, Lanvin, & Erdem.

Whether it’s on clothing, accessories, or mixed & match (which I only recommend doing with caution), I made a few selections from some of my favorite stores to share how you can wear the latest floral pieces on a budget! The best piece to start building the perfect spring wardrobe is a dress, like the Merona sleeveless tulip wrap dress ($19.00) from Target, which has recently been marked down from its original $24.99 price. The flattering wrap shape is perfect for accentuating your shape & the navy background adds a regal touch is paired with basketweave espadrilles or bright ballet flats. Next is the LC Lauren Conrad floral ruffle tank ($25.20) from Kohl’s, which is a feminine topper piece to wear with dark denim jeans, white skinny pants, or a denim skirt.

Don’t be afraid of florals on your bottom half, especially with the 4 1/2″ belted printed flat front shorts ($32.94) from Express, which add some tropical flair to your look & will dress down a lace blouse. I love the idea of sequins with florals & this skirt ($34.95) from H&M is a stylish marriage of both. This will pair nicely with a chambray button down shirt for a fashionable day out & about or with a solid pullover & pointy toe pumps for a date. Lastly, floral pants are also one of the biggest trends this season, especially in a looser cut to provide plenty of flow & movement, which is why I choose the Full Tilt skinny harem pants ($24.99) from Tilly’s. The chic black, gray, & white color combination is understated & can be coordinated with pastel pieces like coral or mint.

As for accessories, these bright colors will make your outfit pop, especially since they’re so effortless to match with wardrobe essentials. For example, the sequin tulip print pumps ($27.80) from Forever 21 are flirty & will add extra dimension to cuffed jeans & a ruffled top. Also, for a more subtle floral shoe, the novelty ballet flats ($39.95) from Gap. The soft pink & red tones in the shoe can offset any striped tee & jeans look in a ladylike way.

Part of what I love about spring is that I can still wear scarves, which can bring a lot to a look, like the ground floral scarf ($14.99) from Payless for a denim jacket & LBD with ankle strap platforms or a maxi dress & cargo vest with gladiator flats. Lastly, I’m not really a hat kind of girl, but in some cases, you need to protect your face from the harsh rays of the sun, especially this early in the season, which is why I picked the pop floral baseball cap ($8.99) from Charlotte Russe.

What do you think about the latest floral trend? Which pieces would you wear? What’s your spring wardrobe budget? For more affordable fashion posts, check out how to get Drew Barrymore’s latest look without breaking the bank, suede studded loafers, the best green pieces for spring, a budget-friendly spring look with pieces from Old Navy & American Eagle Outfitters. Happy Styling!

3/26/2013 Darling Of The Day: Copy Drew Barrymore’s Spring-Ready Look By Alice + Olivia & Rag & Bone!


During an appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Hollywood’s glamorous flower child, Drew Barrymore, hit the stage all smiles in a rag & bone Hillary blouse ($395.00) & Alice + Olivia by Stacey Bendet 5-pocket skinny jean ($198.00). The actress & wine entrepreneur looks youthful, on trend, & ready for spring in this outfit, which features some really famous & acclaimed luxury brand names in fashion today. Spending that kind of dough on separates can work if your main focus is quality, but for the rest of us, we can admire Drew’s polished & flirty look with similar separates that cost less & can mix well with other wardrobe staples any time of the year!

First, I picked the Merona pintucked long sleeve blouse ($16.08) in black Target, which is availble sizes XS – XXL. Not only will wearing this lightweight blouse look great with a patterned pant, but consider this for dressing up a denim skirt, headed to the office in a leather pencil skirt, or want to keep a monochromatic rocker look with liquid leggings & pointy toe heels. Also, I’ve been raving about floral pants for quite some time now (& really patterned pants all together), as seen in previous posts including Ashley Madekwe in Mulberry, pieces from Rihanna’s debut collection for River Island, must-haves for your spring break vacation, & Diane Kruger’s Stella McCartney look. Here, I’ve selected two pairs of floral pants from Forever 21, including the Aloha floral ankle pants ($22.80) & plus size rose print skinny pants ($24.80), which share a cimilar color scheme to Drew’s. Not to mention that these feminine flower-power bottoms will look darling mixed with a striped top & cork wedges or a polka dot peplum top & peep toe pumps, if you’re daring to try something new!

For more celebrity-inspired posts, check out Marion Cotillard’s return as the face of Lady Dior, Nikki Reed’s embellished blouse look for less, Beyoncé’s debut ad for H&M, & behind-the-scenes with Katie Holmes for her Allure cover shoot! Happy Styling!

Quickie Darling Deal & Steal: Get These Green Pieces For St. Patrick’s Day!


A friend of mine recently asked me what the big color for spring was going to be & from my research & observation of trends, I saw that emerald green was getting to be very popular, amid the rise in pretty pastels & trendy neons. Nearly everyone looks great in emerald, so I thought, what better day to talk about some amazing emerald pieces than on St. Patrick’s Day!

I know when I’m putting a look together, I usually stick to classic black & white pieces, but there’s nothing better than a special pop of color, especially when it comes to green. First, the Merona 3/4 sleeve v-neck cardigan sweater ($19.99) from Target is the perfect topper to any polka dots, graphic print, or houndstooth sheath dress for both the office & a family party. Speaking of dresses, I love the stretch cotton skater dress ($27.93) from Express (which is currently on sale for 30% off) & the AB Studio lace sheath dress ($25.60) from Kohl’s (which has recently been reduced from its original $64.00 price). Both are reasonably priced & can work for any season if paired with cork wedges or even opaque tights & a boyfriend blazer.

If you prefer separates, then try H&M‘s blouse ($12.95) which can be worn knotted with skinny jeans & sneaker wedges for a casual day out & about, or untucked over some rocker chic leather leggings & metallic pointy toe pumps when headed out with the girls. Also, I recommend the Diva skinny ankle pants ($29.94) from Old Navy to be worn with a cable knit sweater for a preppy look or a flirty blouse & ballet flats when meeting gal pals for a luncheon. Not to mention that Old Navy has a special 17% off coupon code (ONLUCKY) which can be used on almost any online only purchase.

Add green accessories into the mix with some jewelry like the bubble bead statement necklace ($12.99) from Charlotte Russe, which is having a sitewide 20% off sale today, online only! Also, there’s Forever 21‘s iridescent arrowhead drop earrings ($4.80), which can be worn with a modern LBD & strappy sandals, or made exotic for your next vacation in a maxi dress & basketweave wedges.

I always love green in multi-color patterns too, which is why I selected the bright geometric scarf ($19.95) from New York & Company to wear with a denim jacket & jersey skirt while shopping, or to dress up any solid pullover & dark denim jeans. Lastly, you can’t talk about green without mentioning shoes & there are so many ways to wear the Worthington Pennie faux suede ballet flats ($28.00) from JC Penney like with a pair of neutral trousers & button-down shirt. Also, there’s the PaylessAmerican Eagle sweetheart high wedge sling ($24.99) with a cotton wrap dress or a chambray tunic & colored denim shorts.

How do you like to wear green? Do you wear green on St. Patrick’s Day? Which are your favorite pieces? What’s your budget for new spring-friendly fashions? For more posts on affordable fashion, check out a budget-friendly spring look for under $100, the complete lookbook of Kate Young’s collection for Target, colorful crossbody bags for under $15.00, neon looks inspired by Beyoncé Knowles & Jennifer Lopez, chic spring break must-haves, & how to wear yellow like Emmy Rossum & Miranda Kerr! Happy Styling!

The $100 Challenge: Stripes, Tweed, & Gold Accessories For Your Best Holiday Look!


I’ve been really inspired lately by the looks put together & shared on Facebook by pages such as “Fashion is my World”, Trendy Fashion Jewelry, fashion lady, & Fashion Dream, not to mention countless others that I was able to share with my readers.  I love looking for affordable fashion & putting together luxe looks with pieces that are realistic to any wardrobe & can be mixed & matched for a variety of looks.  Thus, my latest post for The $100 Challenge features, first & foremost, the Merona Sparkle Tweed skirt ($22.99) from Target that I’ve been eyeing each time I hit up the store. The $100 Challenge

Also, I’m excited to play with the latest trend of stripes, which is why I included the striped long sleeve top ($12.80) in royal / peach from Forever 21.  Paired with such a rich texture, this top is perfect for a cocktail party & gold accessories makes for an interesting contrast.  Speaking of gold, the rest of the look really comes to life with the Apt. 9 gold tone mesh oval link long necklace ($17.60) from Kohl’s, metal lattice ring ($5.24) from The Limited, Fioni halo chop-out glitter sandal ($24.99) from Payless, & JC Penney‘s Call It Spring Bulciago wristlet ($12.00).

The total for this look comes to $95.62, before taxes, & has enough versatility to last for many cocktail affairs, the office, a casual day, & even a glam date night out.  Which trends are you following this season? Do you pair stripes with fancier pieces to create an unexpected look? Happy Styling!

The Stylish Five: Work A Holiday Skirt Into Your Wardrobe ($30 & Under)!


I’ve been turning to heavier textures for my work & can’t wait to start putting looks together for upcoming holiday gatherings too! For me, if I’m not wearing a dress, then you can be sure that I’ve got a holiday-friendly skirt in mind. I love all different fabrics & accents, which is why I wanted to share my five picks to wear without breaking the bank. 

I love a good tweed & houndstooth is one of my favorite patterns & @Dress Barn the houndstooth ponte skirt ($29.50) is a great buy for that transition from day to night by changing up suede ballet flats to studded ankle booties. For an edgier look, you can find the faux leather skirt ($24.95) @H&M, which will coordinate well with lush silk blouses, embellished tanks, & preppy knits for some contrast.

For a more feminine look, break out a softer hue with the solid trimmed jacquard skirt ($22.80) from Forever 21 & try it with this season’s top color, oxblood, with a leather jacket & some textured tights.  For the real party girl, though this isn’t an office appropriate skirt, I love the i jeans by Buffalo feather skirt ($25.00), which JC Penney has just marked down from its original $100.00 price tag.  With such a statement skirt like this, keep your other pieces a little more basic, but work a collar necklace or some stacked bangles in for extra sparkle.  Lastly, Target is one of my favorite stores to shop & the Merona sweater skirt ($26.99) adds a splash of animal print to any lace peplum or sequin top.  The cozy material is sure to be comfortable, while still showing off your flair for fashion. 

 What’s your holiday style? Do you have a go-to look for that upcoming office party? Do you prefer skirts over dress pants? Check out more affordable style tips including the best vests of the season, a great date look for under $100, & the prettiest ways to dress up your nails! 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!

Quickie Darling Deal & Steal: One Skirt – Two Ways!


One Skirt - Two Ways

Forever 21 sheer top
forever21.com

Polka dot top
shoptaintedkiss.com

Winter white skirt
target.com

Wedge sandals
modcloth.com

Charlotte Russe high heels
charlotterusse.com

Mango straw shoulder bag
$42 – mango.com

Clutch handbag
stylesforless.com

Wallis beaded jewelry
wallisfashion.com

Bracelet
myspringshoes.com

Retro jewelry
modcloth.com

I just bought this summer-friendly white a-line skirt with side button @Target ($11.48 on clearance- $22.99 online). I’m so excited about it & trying to get inspired on how I can mix it up with other fun pieces. It really pays off to shop those sale racks! Not to mention that I scored an extra 20% off by checking out Target’s coupons from their website.  I printed it out & got an even better deal than I expected.  Happy Styling!

 

12/21/11 Darling of the Day: Blake Lively Hits The Streets of Boston in Diesel!


To help celebrate my 100th Darling of the Day post, I was searching high & low for a look that would suit most Style Darling & then this super chic image of Blake Lively came to me! The Gossip Girl star was out & about in Boston recently wearing a motorcycle jacket, lace-up boots, A Theodora & Callum scarf, Diesel jeans, & toted around an elegant Givenchy bag.

I’ve selected pieces for both women’s & plus sizes b/c style knows no shape- it knows all of them!  First off, the building blocks to pulling off this look include an essential baseball tee ($14.99) in black from Merona, available @Target, the (minus the) leather military bomber jacket ($82.80) from Express, & the Kut from the Kloth ‘Jennifer’ skinny jeans ($44.99) from Macy’s.  Both the jacket & jeans are reduced from their respective original prices of $138.00 & $79.00.

For my extra-curvy Style Darlings, I’ve picked out some equally-edgy plus size items that will take your wardrobe from girl-next-door to rocker-chic!  First off, head over to Forever 21 & check out their Plus21 department, which is where you’ll find the solid raglan top ($15.80) in black & fab skinny jeans ($13.50).  Also, @Jessica London, you can find the zip-trim leather jacket ($75.00) in black, but it’s also available in bold colors like amethyst, raspberry, blue, & coral in sizes 12-28.

The finishing touches on this look are easy to find, affordable to purchase, & most of all perfect for transforming a number of looks all season long.  The safari fringed printed scarf ($8.50) in grey / black is from Forever 21 & also comes in jade & blue options. The imitation leather messenger bag ($24.95) from H&M is perfect for carrying your iPod, Kindle, & some extra necessities when you’re on-the-go like Blake.  Lastly, the boots bring it all together!  The Fergalicious ‘Kerin’ boots ($17.49) are currently marked 75% off @6PM! Happy Styling!

Quickie Darling Deal & Steal: Gingham Dresses & Endless Belt Possibilities!


Part of  my recent shopping spree weekend, I started it all off with the purchase of this navy gingham dress by Merona at my local Target.  I’d passed the dress about five or six times before I finally settled on it without even trying it on.  As happy as I was about the purchase, knowing the classic, cook summer vibe of the gingham pattern, making me feel all Charlotte York / preppy inside, it just didn’t sit right on me, belt tied to perfection & all.  Before I could huff & puff to stuff it back into the bag, my very thoughtful boyfriend reminded me that I could always add a different belt.

I immediately thought of something in basket weave to wear with white sandals, but he recommended something red (to appease his pinup persuasion).  So while I was out & about, I found a very similarly looking belt, perhaps a combination of the second & third belt shown here, @Mandee for less than $9 on clearance, using a 25% off coupon!  However it is not available on the website anymore, but I’m sure one of these days, with the right lighting, I’ll actually start posting pictures of the items I have.

As for the red gingham dress, it’s now been on my mind too.  I love the delicate floral detail at the neck.  It would make for a sweet summer look both at work & for weekend backyard barbecues.  Any one of these five belts could be switched between both dresses.

First we have a floral grommet belt by Fossil, also available in black & yellow, but those images could not be acquired either (darnit)!  Next is a very summertime straw-designed, white-accented belt which would even work over a floral printed dress or any shirtdress of your choosing.  I’m not one to usually gravitate towards camel or cognac hues, but this fish tail belt is an irresistible find for $5.80!  If you thought $5.80 was great, then consider the skinny blue belt for $2.50, both available @Forever 21.  This style also comes in plum & grey.  Lastly, we have the red buckle stretch belt that without-a-doubt calls for some sort of halter dress, but would also look smashing with these gingham designs. Happy Styling!

The Stylish Five: Merona Tights from Target ($10 & Under)!


Target is one of my favorite places to shop, not just b/c it’s local, but it seems to always have everything I need!  Not just groceries & home goods, but also the fashions are spot-on with today’s trends.  This week, I treated myself to a new pair of tights by Merona (the black polka dots to the left below), but came across such a stylish variety, I couldn’t wait to finally break out all of my spring dresses to see how I could pair all of these trendy designs.  I wore my new pair with a dotted graphic print bias cut skirt, a black top, a short-sleeved cream cardigan, & some cut out suede pumps.  Why not take a break from neutral hosiery & add a geometric splash against a pencil skirtpeep toe look?  Or perhaps take a walk on the wild side with a grey & black leopard print for a bright dress & ankle booties?  The sheer grey floral tights are just darling for your next family event in a pastel dress with a cardigan & some metallic wedges!  Or get bold with all-over stitching in your LBD for a sexy date night?  AND what’s even better is that these are only $10 or less!  If you have a Target credit card, you always get 5% off your purchase.  Even check out May 2011’s issue of Self magazine with Gwyneth Paltrow on the cover for $5 off your $25 purchase of Merona items at Target.  OR, take a look at Target’s store coupons to get 20% off a Merona purchase!  While the website currently lists some of these styles as out of stock, my store had plenty on the shelves!  Happy Styling!