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!

Red Carpet Review: 365 Best Dressed Looks From A Fabulous & Stylish 2014!


Angelina Jolie, Shailene Woodley, Rachel McAdams, Rihanna, Emma Stone, & Julianne Hough,

Obviously, 2014 has been one stylish year, especially when you consider the multitude of red carpet appearances, street style looks, cocktail frocks, & day-to-day ensembles that our favorite Style Darlings have sported. A number of breakout stars have made the best dressed gallery. It’s really incomplete since there are still so many gorgeous looks worth talking about that have made this calendar year a little bit more stylish.

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Enjoy the gallery & slideshow, featuring a thorough & vast collection of images to inspire an even more fashionable 2015. Happy Styling!

 

 

 

Magazine Must-Haves: Tobey Maguire & Carolyn Murphy Celebrate Hitchcock’s ‘Rear Window’ For Vogue!


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I’ve been saving up my April magazines to bring with me to work & now that Spring Break is over, I’ve finally had the chance to take in the latest issue of Vogue, with the always lovely FLOTUS Michelle Obama on the cover. However, as a big fan of Alfred Hitchcock movies & Grace Kelly‘s timeless style, I was enchanted by the magazine’s reprise of the 1954 suspense thriller, Rear Window, starring The Great Gatsby‘s Tobey Maguire & supermodel Carolyn Murphy, with an appearance by Laurie Metcalf, taking over the film’s roles for a shoot by Peter Lindbergh. The shoot contains stunning looks by Dolce & Gabbana, Fred Leighton, Marc Jacobs, Oscar de la Renta, J. Crew, Michael Kors, Miu Miu, Hermès, Gucci, House of Lavande, & Rochas.

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Rear Window is definitely in the air since this week’s episode of ABC’s Castle spoofed the Oscar-nominated film, so as soon as I saw the nine-page shoot, I knew I had to feature the retro images. Tobey’s Brooks Brothers pajamas are nearly spot-on to those worn famously by James Stewart‘s photojournalist character in the film.

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What do you think of the stylish shoot? Do you like the Tobey-Carolyn pairing for the shoot? Which is your favorite Grace Kelly film? For more fashionable posts, check out Lena Dunham’s video for designer Rebecca Antonoff, Marion Cotillard for Lady Dior, Beyonce’s debut ads for H&M, & Gucci’s Spring / Summer campaign! Happy Styling!

Cover Craze: Michelle Obama’s 2nd Vogue Cover, Kim K for Cosmo, Nicki Minaj’s Makeunder For Elle, & More!


I know I’m looking forward to April for more than the fabulous spring fashions & big upcoming movies, but I have a lot of exciting professional changes ahead of me. However, there’s so much going on in terms of our favorite magazines & the big international headlines are looking more & more fabulous, guiding where fashion is headed as the weather begins to warm up. In this latest post for Cover Craze, I went all out with a total of 15 covers that I just couldn’t stop looking at & reading up on.

The biggest news in covers is that First Lady Michelle Obama returns to Vogue for the April 2013 issue in a sleek two-tone Reed Krakoff sheath dress, photographed by the always impressive Annie Leibovitz. In an interview with Jonathan Van Meter, FLOTUS discusses parenting, marriage, her duties as First Lady, as well as fashion. She shares with readers, “If you’re comfortable in your clothes it’s easy to connect with people & make them feel comfortable as well.”

Michelle Obama for Vogue, Julie Bowen for Lucky, & Emily VanCamp for Marie Claire Australia April 2013.

On the cover of Lucky, two-time Emmy winner & star of Modern Family, Julie Bowen, looks like the modern & sexy cool mom that we all wish we had, wearing pieces from Tommy Hilfiger, Michael Stars, & Pandora. Inside the svelte blond is contemporary & chic in J.Crew, Juicy Couture, Jimmy Choo, & DKNY. Speaking of TV stars, Revenge actress Emily VanCamp looks smoldering in a cut-out Michael Kors dress on the cover of Marie Claire Australia, sharing the spotlight with her dashing male co-stars  Gabriel Mann (Nolan), Barry Sloane (Aiden), & Nick Wechsler (Jack).

Marie Claire shows The Incredible Burt Wonderstone actress Olivia Wilde in a sexy sheer blue dress, as she talks about her engagement to Saturday Night Live star Jason Sudekis. As for Marie Claire UK, Mila Kunis, star of Oz the Great & Powerful, talks about her breakout performance in Black Swan, upcoming Hollywood projects, & taking a break from back-to-back movies.

Olivia Wilde for Marie Claire, Mila Kunis for Marie Claire UK, & Zooey Deschanel for In Style April 2013.

New Girl star Zooey Deschanel, who takes the cover of In Style in a stunning Carolina Herrera gown. Also featured in the issue are pieces by Oscar de la Renta, Bottega Veneta, Marc Jacobs, Balenciaga, Chanel, & Nicholas Kirkwood, as she talks about her love of all things nail art & being a role model for girls.

I featured Selena Gomez‘s breezy spring look for Harper’s Bazaar in my last Haute Headlines post, but what was awestruck by the young star’s shoot by Terry Richardson featuring red carpet looks by Akris, Dior, Calvin Klein, & Prada. The down-to-earth Texas native & star of Spring Breakers talks about her family traditions, stardom, & her new role as a single lady.

Elle unzips rapper / American Idol judge Nicki Minaj without the big neon hair or exaggerated eyelashes that she’s always famous for donning. Also, Elle UK pays homage to another star in music, Rihanna, who looks effortless in a checkered Louis Vuitton outfit (like from the collection we’ve seen on Kirsten Dunst & Kerry Washington). She talks about her future, family, & more from the pixie-cutted pop star.

Selena Gomez for Harper's Bazaar, Nicki Minaj for Elle, Rihanna for Elle UK April 2013.

Kim Kardashian is always in the news & while photogs are tracking her pregnancy style, you can see her pre-baby-bump curves on the cover of Cosmopolitan in a Sophia Loren-inspired look. Smash star Katharine McPhee look positively fresh-faced for front & back covers of Women’s Health. She models various different makeup looks including striking blue eyeliner, enhanced cheeks, & bold red lips. Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence is the focus of People Style Watch & for her stylish red carpet looks in Stella McCartney, Hugo, & Michael Kors. Also, the mag looks at her street style in Thakoon & Tory Burch, as well as her changing hairstyles for previous films like Silver Linings Playbook, The Hungry Games, & X-Men: First Class.

Kim Kardashian for Cosmopolitan, Katharine McPhee for Women's Health, & Jennifer Lawrence for People Style Watch April 2013.

Lastly, we see country crooner Taylor Swift for Vanity Fair, talking about how she’s the target of constant jokes regarding her love life, including the jab that Tina Fey & Amy Poehler made during last month’s Golden Globes. A topless Kate Hudson let her natural beauty shine for Glamour, decked out in layers of Chanel necklaces. The mom of two talks about her romance with Muse frontman, motherhood in her thirties, & how she balances it all. I almost missed seeing Emily VanCamp‘s second April cover for Canada’s Fashion magazine, but I was glad to catch the former ballerina & leading lady for the Captain America sequel in this gorgeous snake-print dress & necklace, both by Gucci.

Taylor Swift for Vanity Fair, Kate Hudson for Glamour, Emily VanCamp for Fashion April 2013.

For more celebrity posts, check out black & white looks worn by Jessica Chastain & Jessica Alba, the neon trend as seen on Jennifer Lopez & Freida Pinto, Kate Winslet for Lancôme’s latest ad campaign, & complete red carpet coverage from the Academy Awards! Which magazines are your favorite for April? Which look makes for the best cover? Happy Styling!

Haute Headlines: Meet Project Runway’s Season 11 Designers, Alice + Olivia’s Latest Handbag Line, Jennifer Aniston Newest Endorsement Deal, & More!


Yesterday’s inauguration & the inaugural ball were the talk of not just the town, but of the whole country! Of course throngs of fashion fans were waiting to see Michelle Obama in her surprise gown & it’s no wonder she stuck with a fantastic design by Jason Wu. However, there’s a lot more going on that readers should also know about as we kick off yet another stylish week! Which stories are you talking about at the water cooler? Which headlines are you retweeting? Happy Styling!

*Downton Abbey‘s Michelle Dockery talks to InStyle about fashion on & off-screen*

*See Prada‘s sketches for The Great Gatsby costumes*

*Read what designer Reed Krakoff has to say about working with FLOTUS*

*StyleBistro has picked 5 of the most fashionable TV shows to watch right now*

*Which affordable brand did Anne Hathaway wear with her Chanel gown at the Golden Globes?*

*Model / actress Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is the latest face & body for M&S lingerie*

*Get a first look at Alice + Olivia‘s latest line of handbags*

*Meet the designers of Project Runway‘s Season 11, which premiere’s Thursday*

*Jennifer Aniston collaborates with Aveeno Skin Care*

*Girls genius Lena Dunham‘s 5 official rules of style*

*Redbook shares how to steal Michelle Williams‘ red carpet & street style*

Red Carpet Review: The 2013 Presidential Inauguration, Featuring Michelle Obama, Beyoncé, Kelly Clarkson, & More!


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While the 2013 Presidential Inauguration from yesterday might not have been an official red carpet event, some of the most popular names in entertainment were looking their best to celebrate President Obama’s next term. The fashion world was on the edge of their seat to see who FLOTUS, Michelle Obama, was going to wear & as it turned out, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, as seen in her return to wearing a custom-made design in red by the always glamorous Jason Wu. Also in tow were Kelly Clarkson in an adorable outerwear ensemble, a smoldering Alicia Keys in a red gown by Michael Kors, & Beyoncé who performed the National Anthem in a black embellished gown by Emilio Pucci with emerald jewelry by Lorraine Schwartz.

Did you follow yesterday’s public inauguration? Did you think the First Lady made the right fashion decision? What was your favorite part of the event? For more from Red Carpet Review, check out galleries including the all-black trend featuring Scarlett Johansson & Ashley Greene, the comeback of yellow on the red carpet with Lauren Conrad & Olivia Palermo, checkered Louis Vuitton looks on Kerry Washington & Jessica Alba, & the entire red carpet from the Golden Globe Awards featuring Jennifer Lopez, Tina Fey, Hayden Panettiere, Emily Blunt, & more!

Black Friday Sale Update: J. Crew’s All-American Styles Are On Sale 25% Off Storewide& Sitewide!


Not to get political, but now that the Obama family is staying in the White House, we can be sure to see more of the First Lady’s all-American style making headlines in the fashion industry.  We know that one of her favorite places to shop for her & the family is J.Crew, which is celebrating the holiday weekend & joining the Black Friday rush with a 25% off storewide & sitewide sale when using code COLOR25.  This code even works on already reduced sale items, which has inspired me to put together these colorful looks, perfect for now, & especially if you’re heading away on a tropical vacation with that special someone to be the brisk breezes of winter approaching.

This includes pieces that are sure to make bold prints & classic patterns stand out, especially when you consider contrasting textures like leather, dark denim, & suede for a variety of modern & clean ensembles to go about the season.  Starting off, I’ve selected the ruffle string top ($29.99) in sutton purple to match with the mini ruffle hipster ($29.99) in the same hue, however both are available in a many other shades that you can mix & match with other swimwear separates. To keep comfy while out & about somewhere sunny, I’ve added the perfect-fit long-sleeve v-neck tee ($19.99) in dublin green with the 3″ chino shorts ($19.99) in casablance blue.  To complete your breezy look, the Lila patent platform wedges ($29.99) in neon peach are the perfect neutral to switch around with a romper, maxi dress, or cropped pants.  If you’re looking for more a neutral wedge to start off next summer with, these are also available in toffee & black.

I loved all the hues of the classic medium bangle ($17.50) in ivory, neon azalea, & fresh plum, which make for a perfect gift for your girl friends if you want to find something special & share your passion for fashion. Keep with the colorblocking trend & bust those turtleneck myths by choosing the tissue turtleneck tee ($19.99) in gallery green, matched with the high-waisted corduroy pencil skirt ($29.99) in neon fuchsia. For a more masculine look in with this must-have skirt, I recommend swapping out the turtleneck for the ink dip pop over ($34.99) in festival blue & adding the patent leather square-buckle belt ($29.50) in pale gold.

What great Black Friday deals have you snagged? Have you finished your holiday shopping yet? Are you shopping for an upcoming trip? Happy Styling!

Haute Headlines: Rachel Zoe’s NBC Comedy, Marchesa’s Latest Bridal Collection, Beyonce’s Latest Gig, & More!


We’re halfway through the week & it’s time to check on some headlines.  A lot has happened since my last Haute Headlines post & I can’t wait to share with readers all the juicy details.  Check out the following stories & share the links with your friends on Facebook & Twitter! Happy Styling!

*If you’re a bride-to-be, Marchesa‘s latest bridal collection is here, so click through the gallery*

*Hart of Dixie actress Rachel Bilson designs Vegan-friendly handbags for ShoeMint*

*The Kardashians aren’t the only family members in the fashion business, as Jenner sisters Kylie & Kendall prepare to debut their very own Juniors’ line*

*Crew members strike during the upcoming season of NBC’s Fashion Star*

*Beyonce will perform at next year’s Super Bowl Halftime show*

*What does Conan O’Brien think about Brad Pitt‘s Chanel No. 5 ad?*

*Shop 50 cold weather accessories (scarves, gloves, & hats) for under $50*

*Stylist / designer Rachel Zoe signs on for a scipted comedy for NBC based on her life*

*Michelle Obama & Ann Romney both sport hot pink at the latest presidential debate*

*The first images from Kate Upton‘s debut Vogue shoot*

Fabulous In 4 Ways: A Metallic Faux Leather Pencil Skirt For The Ages From New York & Company!


I was so excited in August to share one of my newest categories, Fabulous in 4 Ways, especially since the debut post was dedicated to my good friend Laurie, as inspired by her fabulous lace-up knee boots from Victoria’s Secret!  Now, I’m talking about faux leather & pencil skirts, but before we dive into the outfits, I turned to some of my favorite celebrities to get some inspiration in how I would style such a classy & modern take on the figure flattering piece.

Kate Bosworth rocks a Proenza Schouler leather-trimmed pencil skirt at the brand’s New York boutique opening with a relaxed white blouse & strappy sandals.  The First Lady, Michelle Obama, wore a high-waist pencil skirt in navy with a cropped cardigan & purple top, while visiting a Wisconsin school.  Mad Men bombshell Christina Hendricks mixes her old school glamour with a Dolce & Gabbana blouse, red clutch, & classic black pencil skirt.

Total Recall star Kate Beckinsale plays with colorblocking with a chic H&M tank, Diane von Furstenberg turquoise skirt, & spiked neutral pumps.  Rashida Jones is polished & professional with a touch of menswear while making an appearance on Good Morning America, wearing a printed button down shirt & white pencil skirt.  Aussie starlet Cate Blanchett showed her support for Givenchy in a head-to-toe look with Roger Vivier heels.

Also, at Fashion Week for the upcoming Spring-Summer 2013 runway collections, the pencil silhouette was everywhere, as seen in Runway Rundown posts, including Dolce & Gabbana, Burberry Prorsum, Christopher Kane, & Oscar de la Renta.  Also, these pieces were shared by more fabulous designers like Nina Ricci, Tadashi Shoji, & Salvatore Ferragamo!

To recreate a pencil skirt look, I’ve selected the faux leather bronze pencil skirt ($59.95) in metallic bronze from New York & Company, which challenged me to find a way to wear this for work, day, date, & cocktail occasions.  If you want to get the most out of your wardrobe for the office, check out the zippered contrast sweater ($24.80) in black from Forever 21 with the short tab sleeves top ($24.80) in teal available @Windsor Store.  The colorblocking & relaxed details tone down the metallic texture of the skirt, especially when paired with Express‘ diamond texture body shaping full tights ($22.90) & suede cap toe chunky heels ($21.50) in black from GOjane.

The look to the right (above) is fun for a day with the girls or feeling like mixing it up because of the contrasting details in Lord & Taylor‘s CK JEANS cable-front cotton cardigan ($29.99) in black over the tab-sleeve plaid-chiffon shirts ($29.94) in black combo from Old Navy.  Of course affordable pieces like these can be reworked with skinny jeans or leggings & chunky accessories.  @Payless, I’ve found the Dexflex Maye strappy boot ($59.99) in black & Minicci micro fiber tights ($6.99) in burgundy to add some extra dimension while playing with trends this fall.

Depending on where you’re headed for a date, this kind of pencil skirt is perfect for an elegant & upscale look, without breaking the bank.  I’ve chosen pieces with luxe details to put this look together, including the Jennifer Lopez pleated mesh overlay tank ($19.80) in tuffet from Kohl’s & glitter lace almond tow pump ($38.50) in champagne from Charlotte Russe.  To complete the ladylike feel, I’ve added the round stone drop earrings ($13.60) @Cache & The Limited‘s zip around wallet ($29.90).

Don’t forget that pencil skirts are perfect for building a sexy cocktail look. Of course, a dress will save you lots of time, but to get the most out of your wardrobe, why not play with separates in unexpected ways with the snake-print tiered bustier ($88.00) in amethyst from White House Black Market, paired with the Emma WP platform pump ($39.99) from Bakers Shoes.  Also, I love Forever 21‘s looped drop earrings ($7.80), which look red carpet ready, especially with the Mossimo basket weave print clutch ($16.99) in black & white @Target.

How would you wear this pencil skirt? Are you following the metallics trend? What are your favorite work, day, date, & cocktail looks? Happy Styling!

Quickie Darling Deal & Steal: Cute Cardigans Inspired by Victoria Beckham, Michelle Obama, & More!


I’m super lucky to have thought of packing some cute cardigans to go with my dresses & skirt outfits, especially when sitting for up to three hours during a lecture at this year’s Writer’s Conference in Southampton with Stony Brook University.  I’m so inspired by stylish celebrities for my week & a half in The Hamptons, I’ve really been on my style game everyday.  However, getting back to cardigans, here we have a range of looks from Style Darlings like Michelle Obama, Camilla Belle, Victoria Beckham, Ashley Greene, Olivia Palermo, & Reese Witherspoon (who I recently featured in a Basics for a Bargain post too).

Cardies are no longer boring since they come in a range of fabulous styles, as seen here.  These are essentials for any time of the calendar year & (in my opinion, give the blazer a run for its stylish bucks!).  With the latest rage in boyfriend cardigans, they’re definitely no longer for librarians or bankers (ha!).  Layer one over a graphic tee & a denim mini skirt, or try something soft & feminine with leather leggings.  There’s always a summer dress that’s just calling for a cardigan companion as well!  Take a look at some of these celebrity looks to help get some cardigan inspiration, not to mention the above choices, ranging from $16.00 – $59.90!  If you’re looking for links to these picks, check out Gap, The Limited, Forever 21, Target, & LOFT.  Happy Styling!