Style Resolutions: Shopping Your Own Closet!


Happy belated 2017, Style Darlings! Hope you’re having just as wonderful and smiley a year as I’m having! The proof is in my Instagram traffic, with a whopping 900 followers as of today! I couldn’t be happier about the progress I’m making in spreading the joy of living the stylish life, one positively coiffed day at a time!

I’ve had a great deal of time since the holidays to consider the goals I want to achieve this calendar year, especially when so many new adventures and responsibilities are headed my way. The countless windows of opportunity are open to me in all personal and professional aspects of life, which is why this year, more than any other, will be MY year. Of course, it’s possible that anyone with a keyboard and Wi-Fi connection is declaring just such ownership of 2017 (I mean, I can share)… or perhaps the public is more concerned with other crucial national / international issues regarding where our country is headed. Not to be an ostrich in the sand given the clamorous climate during this weekend’s emotional marches, but I know that the best way I can be true to myself as an American woman, the woman I want to be, and the woman I want my readers to know, is to just be me, to talk about the magic that is life, love, positivity, inspiration, fashion, and all things creative—all the things that give me hope.

You may begin to wonder (if you’re out there reading and wondering at all) where this Style Darling chick is going with this setup of resolutions? The title of this post basically points to “shopping your own closet” (and I’ll be getting to that more directly in just a moment, so please bear with me). Well, the arsenal of style that I have packed away on hangers, stuffed under my bed, and still stored at my parents’ house from over three years ago are the external representations of what I wish to express as my hopes for this year. On the inside, the strength that I’ve recovered from thirty three years of life experience has allowed me a much greater and more valuable inventory, if you will, of knowledge that I will claim as much as I possibly can. When I’m putting together an outfit. When I’m making my morning tea. When I’m listening to the La La Land soundtrack. When I’m tutoring students about syntax. When my hand is held while hustling through the streets of New York City. And for every lovely moment in between. That knowledge simply includes the promise that I will embrace the richness of every day. I will be present. I will speak up. I will appreciate the time I have to myself and with my loved ones. I will always be my best self; both the world and I deserve it.

In doing so, there are also some worries that make the drive to win the year a little more challenging. Among these, finances are always on my mind, which is why I’m committed to better shopping resolutions, only seeking unique and special must-haves unlike anything I currently own, as well as reinvesting and shopping my very full and fashionable closet with favorite wardrobe staples. In a conscious effort to mind my spending, I’m looking at how unexpected pieces can be played down and how basics can be styled up.

Since I have the liberty of taking my style into my hands at both of my jobs, as an educator and stylist, I’m free to explore what inspires me on social media, in magazines, from the people around me, and within my imagination. However, it has been quite the exercise in self-control since I will no longer, at the swift swipe of my credit card, buy any and every affordable sparkly thing I see online or in stores. No matter how sparkly it is. Really. I’m certainly not punishing myself for past indulgences, but in moving forward to wherever the future takes me, I hallucinate a little bit that I’ll end up being a real-life Miss Havisham of the 21st century, but of the clothing hoarder variety.

And now for the moment you’ve been waiting for… I’ve also recently been very careful about what I look at when it comes to seeking out style inspiration in stores and online, because it is oh-so tempting. However, I found the below affordable and chic graphic tees (gray, cream, black, & navy) from Old Navy for $15.00. I was immediately inspired to give these t-shirts the style blogger treatment they deserve, especially since I’m all about Prosecco and Paris. Upon discovering these tops, I went on a sort-of text rant about how they should have been presented on the Facebook post I initially saw them on, but also in how they are so plainly styled on the website.  

graphic-tees-earrings graphic-tees-necklaces

A simple pop of jewelry takes these tees to the next level, while staying true to any mix of ladylike and modern style where casual meets cool. In addition, to build a budget-friendly shopper-savvy collection, these tees are perfect for Style Darlings of any size, ranging from XS-XXL in each of the designs. As for the jewelry (filigree earrings, drop earrings, choker, & statement necklace) from Forever 21, there’s no better place to shop when selecting something special, while also saving some cash instead of splurging on luxury sparkles.

To take these tees even further, think beyond your favorite pair of skinny jeans and try a sequin pencil skirt with a denim jacket, or a midi skirt and blazer. Also, when it comes to footwear, t-shirts are always compatible with ankle booties, ballet flats, strappy sandals, and knee boots. If you need further proof, just click around on Pinterest and take a fashion risk!

That’s all from me. Have questions? Have inspiration you wanna chat about? Let’s hear it. Happy 2017 and Happy Styling!

Inside A Style Blogger’s Closet: My Birthday Style in Navy, Black, & Lace!


birthday-dressAs fashion-obsessed as I am, I have to say that there are few articles of clothing or accessories that really make me stop in my tracks. Well, maybe that’s not entirely true since there are certain qualities in a dress, for example, that are right up my style alley. I’m talking about anything a-line, with lace detail, & overall feminine in nature. In my line of work (or one of my lines of work, that is), it’s not difficult to find dresses such as what I’ve described. When it came time to think about what I’d wear for my birthday during this past Labor Day holiday, I was ready to turn to an older favorite (that I’d only worn one other special occasion time), which had a beautiful floral print in a lightweight summer fabric, perfect for celebrating on a summer weekend at high tea, a party organized by a very special small group of gal pals. However, I came across the Luxe by Carmen Marc Valvo lace fit & flare dress @Dress Barn in navy & black (available in plus size here), & suddenly my birthday outfit dreams were becoming a reality. I couldn’t stop talking about how excited this dress made me & 33 was starting to look really good!

luxe-by-carmen-marc-valvo-lace-fit-flare-dress-at-dress-barnI love the classic look of this dress, which really can be worn any time of year because of the rich navy tone with black lace details. It’s a chic alternative to a go-to little black dress for shoppers of any size, especially when navy can sometimes look dowdy, but here, it’s a modern & elegant party dress that I’m confident will find special multiple wears. For the summer, I paired my look with navy peep toe pumps & a bolero sweater (in case I needed the arm coverage). When it comes to the fall, I’ll mix up the look with a denim jacket & ankle booties for an edgy, textured take. Even in the colder months, I’d love to see how to the dress looks with opaque tights & knee boots. What’s even better about this dress is that it’s available top shop @Dress Barn in sizes 4-24!

How would you style this lace frock & where would you wear it? Do you often transform party dresses for day looks? What trends are you most excited about this fall? For more amazing style, check out more styles from Luxe by Carmen Marc Valvo, as well as model & designer Ashley Graham‘s newest crop of dresses for Dress Barn! Happy Styling!

Fab in 4 Ways: A Crochet Skirt for Day, Date, Work, & Weekend!


I recently had a conversation with a friend / coworker about the perks of our job, one being all the styling possibilities for certain items that can be worn for a variety of occasions. Thus the inspiration for this post, I couldn’t help thinking about how quickly the summer is going by, & that fall fashion is currently in stores. Blending the new with the past season while keeping a budget in mind is a very present factor when I’m considering how to build new looks from my wardrobe. Transitioning pieces from season to season is really how you can get the most from your fashionable investment, which can also surprise you when planning a day out with friends, a special date night, what to wear for an important work meeting, as well as when you’re headed away for the weekend. 

It didn’t take long before I came across this versatile crochet scalloped skirt from @Dress Barn (shop misses available in small – large & plus available in 1X – 2X here. I have the skirt from last spring (in more of a creamy ivory tone) & I was stuck on how to style it, especially since there’s so much detail in the crochet of the skirt. Gladly, this design was returning to stores in a neutral taupe, perfect for coordinating for any season. In the fall, try this skirt with knee boots & a chunky sweater, or for winter with a blouse, tights, & ankle booties. However, when thinking about all of the styling possibilities, I’m excited to share four fabulous ways to wear this skirt, including for day, date, work, & weekend. 

Crochet for day.SHOP: misses shirt @Charles Tyrwhitt, Aubrey Brooke wedge @DSW, turquoise bracelet @Charming Charlie, Gabrielle Rocha lobster tote @6PM, square stud earring @White House Black Market, plus shirt @Gap, Naturalizer wedge @DSW, turquoise bracelet @Charming Charlie, Gabriella Rocha nautical tote @6PM, & Jasper stud earring @White House Black Market.

Crochet for date.SHOP: misses cut-out top @Forever 21, strappy heels @GOjane, beaded hoop earrings @Francesca’s, champagne stretch bracelet @Icing, ALDO clutch @Zappos, plus fringe top @Forever 21, chunky platforms @GOjane, drop earrings @Francesca’s, iridescent stretch bracelet @Icing, & Jessica McClintock clutch @Zappos.

Crochet for work.SHOP misses Dana Buchman top @Kohl’s, neutral jacket @Dress Barn, neutral pump @Payless, long necklace @Forever 21, watch @Target, stud earrings @Express, plus Dana Buchman top @Kohl’s, neutral jacket @Dress Barn, pointy toe slingback @Payless, long necklace @Forever 21, watch @Target, & knot stud earrings @Express.

Crochet for weekend.SHOP: misses pocket tee @Charlotte Russe, collar necklace @BaubleBar, printed kimono @Wet Seal, fringe sandal @ModCloth, straw shopper @H&M, plus pocket tee @Charlotte Russe, statement necklace @BaubleBar, printed kimono @Wet Seal, colorblock sandal @ModCloth, & canvas shopper @H&M.

How would you style the crochet skirt? What items do you keep handy all year long? Which staples do you like to reinvent in new ways? Where do you shop for everyday essentials? Happy Styling!

Accessories Access: Summer Must-Haves For $15 & Under!


While there’s still a week before the calendar kicks off summer, the sunny season is here on Long Island & there’s no turning back. For me, summer is about taking it easy when it comes to life & style. I want to read, get together with friends, & spend nights cuddling up with my special someone. When I’m not working or on the go, I want to wear comfortable, breezy, effortless pieces from my wardrobe & accessories, all of which exude the playful lightness that makes summer a fashionable time of year. When I’m stumped on what to wear, especially when transitioning between seasons, I turn to Pinterest to look up some fierce street style looks, as well as those of my favorite celebrities.

This includes Eva Longoria in a graphic jumpsuit with a bold white tote & aviators, Miranda Kerr‘s maxi dress look in sandal flats & a hat, Olivia Palermo in a cotton off-the-shoulder top with sneakers & a blue clutch, Kendall Jenner‘s flowy shorts & strappy sandals street look, Ashley Madekwe in a graphic tee & denim shorts, & Zoe Saldana in a floral print maxi, hoop earrings, & neutral tote bag.

Summer inspiration from Eva Longoria, Miranda Kerr, Olivia Palermo, Kendall Jenner, Ashley Madekwe, & Zoe Saldana.I’m always up for different colors & textures, keeping things bright with classic primaries & flowy in cotton or linen to inspire a fun, relaxing day in the sun & night under the stars. When hitting up the beach or going away for the weekend, I’d like to recommend a few essential accessories that are not only affordable, but can also play up your personality when mixing & matching with your favorite summer staples like denim cut-offs, a shirt-dress or maxi dress, gladiator sandals, & a shorts romper. 

SHOP: hat @Dress Barn, espadrille sandals @Old Navy, sunglasses @Forever 21, tote @Charming Charlie, & cover-up @Walmart (shop plus size here).

What are your favorite summer-ready pieces to wear? Where do you shop for the best bargain accessories? Which celebrities do you turn to for style inspiration? What’s your go-to summer look? Happy Styling!

Quickie Darling Deal & Steal: 10 Affordable, Must-Have Spring Picks To Inspire Your Style!


When it comes from transitioning from season to season, I love the idea of reinventing current wardrobe staples, but I’m also crazy about seeing what’s new & fresh in stores to find new favorites. However, I always have a budget in mind, which is why I wanted to share some perfect picks for spring, which are sure to add new life to your look. Spring is all about light layers, flowers, flirty prints, & soft colors, perfect for mixing with bolder pieces that channel menswear, modern, & minimalistic aesthetics.

Quickie Darling Deal & Steal- 10 Affordable, Must-Have Spring Picks To Inspire Your Style!SHOP: dress ($48.00) @Dress Barn, crossbody ($24.00) in ivory @Francesca’s, earrings ($14.99) @ModCloth, LC Lauren Conrad skirt ($45.00, was $60.00) in moonstruck @Kohl’s, blouse ($31.46, was $44.95) in pink @New York & Company, Brash pumps ($29.99, was $34.99) in nude @Payless, kimono jacket ($39.99) @H&M, watch ($16.90) in nude @Wet Seal, Tilda flats ($19.99) in white @Target, & necklace ($5.00, was $19.50) @Icing

What trends are you looking to explore for spring? Where do you like to shop for the latets buys? How would you style the ideal spring outfit? Which colors are you most excited about wearing this spring? For more stylish posts, check out Olivia Palermo’s cover shoot for Fashion magazine, fringed suede sandals for under $40, Lupita Nyong’o’s floral & leather red carpet look, & Victoria Beckham’s spring-winter street style combo. Happy Styling!

Cover Craze: Olivia Palermo’s Stunning Spring Shoot for FASHION Magazine’s March Issue!


Olivia Palermo for FASHION Magazine March 2016 01It’s not a secret that I have a major style girl crush on icon Olivia Palermo & when I saw that the designer-mogul-socialite was on the cover of the Canadian magazine, Fashion, for its latest March 2016 issue, I knew I had to indulge in the flawlessly styled & beautiful images to inspire readers to get into a spring state of mind. 

Olivia Palermo for FASHION Magazine March 2016 02Olivia Palermo for FASHION Magazine March 2016 03Not only did the shoot capture Olivia’s pristine style in floaty florals & sexy bedhead, there’s plenty to talk about when it comes to spring fashion. There’s an elegance & ease in the boldness in which Olivia wears a long-sleeve flowery frock, all-over lace, a cold-shoulder blouse with dark denim overalls, & all the boho chic your heart can handle. She poses in pieces from Salvatore Ferragamo, Greta Constantine, & Dolce & Gabbana, to name a few. In the article, Olivia discusses her views on fashion & style, how she dresses for herself, what influences in her luxe way of looking at patterns & fabric, & how social media is changing the way women put themselves together & present their style to the world. 

Olivia Palermo for FASHION Magazine March 2016 06Olivia Palermo for FASHION Magazine March 2016 09What do you think of Olivia’s shoot for Fashion? What inspires your spring style? Which celebs set your favorite trends? For more stylish posts on Queen Olivia Palermo, check out her debut collection collaboration with Chelsea28 for Nordstrom, her latest look from Couture Fashion Week, her Victoria shoot for Holt Renfrew, & her jewelry line for BaubleBar. Happy Styling!

02/11/2016 Darling of the Day: Victoria Beckham’s Winter-Spring Combo!


Even though Long Island is in the thick of winter, it’s not too early to start looking ahead to spring fashion. The one & only Victoria Beckham, pop star turned fashion mogul, is already doing so. She’s a success on & off the red carpet, who not only sets the trends, but resets them in a much more polished & elevated way. For example, during a day out in New York City, the designer stepped out recently in her own Victoria Beckham brand, wearing a marigold ribbed turtleneck with a printed pleated skirt. Her accessories of choice are naturally minimalist, letting her outfit make the statement, with a chain link shoulder bag, oversized sunnies, & leather boots.

Darling of the Day - Victoria Beckham

SHOP: Misses outfit: turtleneck ($39.99, was $89.50) in lemon zest @J.Crew & LC Lauren Conrad skirt ($20.48, was $64.00) @Kohl’s. Plus outfit: Ralph Lauren turtleneck ($19.99, was $64.50) in orange @Ralph Lauren & skirt ($59.99, was $109.99) @Jessica London. Accessories: sunglasses ($14.99) @Target, ring ($8.75, was $12.50) @Icing, bag ($22.90) @Forever 21, & boots ($16.99, was $69.00) @6PM.

What do you think of Victoria’s recent street style look? Are you thinking about spring fashion yet? Which celebrities inspire your wardrobe? For more Darling of the Day posts, check out Sienna Miller, Anne Hathaway, Gwyneth Paltrow, Emily Ratajkowski, Chrissy Teigen, & Reese Witherspoon. Happy Styling!

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!

Quickie Darling Deal & Steal: End-Of-The-Summer Favorites On Sale!


It’s that time of year to shop for the best end-of-the-summer deals, especially on items that can transition into the next season & be worn as good as new for the following year. I’m all about the bargains & love finding new ways to wear past season favorites, especially when the sales are so good & shoppers of all sizes can up their style game! All of the below items are on sale for under $24 & will certainly make your wardrobe & budget happy!

Quickie Darling Deal & Steal - End of the summer deals.

SHOP: 1. gem floral necklace ($8.99, was $18.90) in gold / white @Forever 21, 2. chunky sandals ($15.49, was $30.99) in floral @Charlotte Russe, 3. tie front top ($23.80, was $34.00) in black & white @Dress Barn, available in plus size here ($26.00, was $38.00), 4. Alohaa flats ($19.99, was $79.95) in multi @Steve Madden, 5. dress ($22.00, was $29.94) in navy @Old Navy, available in sizes XS – XXL, 6. maxi dress ($16.99, was $32.90) in burgundy @Wet Seal, shop similar plus sizes here ($20.99, was $36.90), 7. crossbody bag ($17.99, was $35.00) in pink @JCPenney, & 8. scarf ($6.98, was $18.00) in pink @Francesca’s.

And for a few more items that aren’t as widely available in sizes & color options, I couldn’t resist also sharing these basics & special pieces too!:

More end of the summer deals.

SHOP: 1. pants ($29.99, was $69.95) in tan @The Limited, 2. denim midi skirt ($21.99, was $64.99) @Jessica London, 3. lace stripe tee ($11.17, was $21.51) in black & white @Romwe, 4. flower earrings ($3.99, was $8.00) in coral @Charming Charlie, & 5. quilted flare dress ($34.00, was $59.95) in black @New York & Company.

Where are you shopping for the best end-of-the-season deals? What are your must-have summer items during these last few days before fall starts? For more stylish posts, check out Emily Ratajkowski’s suede skirt look, affordable scarves inspired by Emma Watson & Sarah Jessica Parker, the entire lookbook from Adam Lippes’ collection for Target, must-have mustard pieces for fall, must-see fall films including The Intern & Joy, & the latest red carpet looks from Gigi Hadid & Zendaya. Happy Styling!