01/11/2019 Darling of the Day: Meghan Markle’s Maternity LBD!


The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, made her first patronage to work with the charity organization, Smart Works, that works with women who are seeking to improve their job pursuits (via interview skills & wardrobe choices). The mother-to-be arrived in a black materntiy t-shirt dress by Hatch & Oscar de la Renta coat with a Victoria Beckham purse & cow print heels. The looks was in keeping with her minimalist elegance, especially as she radiated with positivity & style.

Of course, Meghan’s wardrobe budget can’t compare to most of ours, but her designer pieces are available to shop online. See below.

SHOP: Hatch maternity t-shirt dress @Shop Bop, coat @Oscar de la Renta, & Victoria Beckham purse @Net-A-Porter.

However, to achieve a look similar to Meghan’s (pregnant or not), I scoured the web for similar & affordable items that are also chic wardrobe essentials. The LBD could be styled for day or night depending on your accessories. Also, a neutral coat is a must-have for the colder months.

SHOP: Isabel maternity t-shirt dress by Ingrid & Isabel @Target, t-shirt dress @Old Navy, pea coat @Milanoo, Emmala pointy toe pumps @Nine West, & Kelly & Katie purse @DSW.

What do you think of Meghan’s demure look? How would you style a little black dress? For more celebrity-inspired posts, check out Michelle Obama’s holographic boots, pearl-inspired looks from Brie Larson & Rihanna, Jessica Alba’s gold top, & Jennifer Lopez’s Second Act premiere gown. Happy Styling!

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Stocking Stuffer Sparklers!


When in doubt, I always turn to accessories & jewelry for gift giving. It’s fun for me to shop through stacks & stacks of sparkly goodies, where I can always find a little something for myself too. However, with the days counting down closer & closer to Christmas, I’ve been curious about affordable stocking stuffers for our stylish friends. Jewelry is a perfect way to go, especially if you know someone’s style really well. When you find that special something, it’s hard to resist the spirit of gift giving! What’s especially great about my five latest picks is that the most expensive is $18, which works fro a budget-minded shopper.

A New Day cuff @Target

locket @IcingAubrey heart studs @BaubleBar earrings @dressbarnbeaded necklace set @Charming Charlie

Where are you shopping for stocking stuffers? Are you ready for the holidays? What sort of jewelry do you like to wear this time of year? For more posts on accessories, click here, here, here, & here. Happy Styling!

The Anytime Party Flat (on Clearance)!


It’s no secret that when I find a style of something I looooove (like can’t-live-without-it love), I have to have it in every color / style. That goes for earrings, sweaters, skirts, & shoes–especially shoes! I’ve written about the Gigi flats by Christian Siriano for Payless previously (here), but now that I’m wearing these black & gold brocade shoes (for the first time, for a work holiday party), I’m shocked that they’re already on clearance for $12.00!

That’s an amazing must-have price for shoes that can really be worn for any special occasion. I will forever & always love me a high heel stiletto, but ballet flats have been tiptoeing into my heart for quite some time now & I feel no shame in wearing them. I’m not settling. I’m simply considering comfort along with style & with flats like these, I don’t have to sacrifice style one bit.

The only downsides (that I’ve noticed) is that not all Gigi styles are available in wide width, & also that the soft exterior probably won’t withstand wet weather. However, trying out a little pop of sparkle in the gold brocade will definitely add a splash of timeless sass for girls’ night out, an evening work function, or for just having a little fashionable fun.

What do you think of these brocade flats? How would you style them? For more shoe-inspired posts, click here, here, here, & here! Happy Styling!

Affordable Pearly Whites for the Holidays!


Sometimes when I can’t make up my mind of how I want to style my outfit in terms of jewelry, pearls are an easy go-to for instantly adding some much-needed glam & sophistication to an otherwise casual look. The holidays are the perfect time of year to consider pearls, & not just for jewelry must-haves.Take inspiration from the stylish likes of Angelina Jolie, Brie Larson, Lupita Nyong’o, Reese Witherspoon, Rihanna, & Zooey Deschanel, all donning pearls in earring, bracelet, or necklace form.

One of my favorite shopping spots, New York & Company, has some stylish & affordable pearly finds to wear for your next holiday party, date night, girls’ night out, or even sipping on some hot cocoa while wrapping presents.

cluster stud earrings

pearl drop earrings

pearl statement necklace

pearl beret

pearl hooded sweatshirt

pearl jogger pants

However you choose to wear your pearls, own them. Pearls are timeless & go with any outfit.I love glamming up a casual Sunday with a pair of cluster studs, for example. The pearl resurgence that we saw last holiday season on clothing isn’t going away either. How do you like to wear pearls? Do you have a favorite pearl accessory that you love to wear? For more jewelry inspired posts, click here, here, here, & here. Happy Styling!

12/17/2018 Darling of the Day: Jessica Alba’s Goes Gold!


Whenever I’m seeking out style inspiration from celebrities (on the red carpet or their street style), my mind immediately races with ideas on how readers (& myself) can make a look their (affordable) own. Style isn’t this inaccessible thing anymore since there are so many reasonably price retailers that look to high fashion sources for their own inspiration too. Hence my latest post featuring actress / entrepreneur Jessica Alba dressing down a gold sparkly blouse with a velvet blazer by Frame (shop here), frayed wide leg jeans, black suede booties, & a gold buckle wide belt. A blazer & jeans are two staple items that we all have in our wardrobe, which is why this look is so easy to recreate without breaking the bank.

To build this look, here are two essential pieces, which can also be mixed & matched with other items throughout the holiday season & during the year. 

STARVNC sequin tank @Walmart & Thalia Sodi halter top @Macy’s (both available in sizes S – XXL)

faux suede ankle bootie @Forever 21 & Qupid Parma bootie @DSW

Which celebs do you turn to for street style & holiday inspiration? How do you get the most use out of your favorite & most sparkly holiday pieces? For more celebrity style posts, click here, here, here, & here. Happy Styling!

I’m Obsessed with this Green Top!


Over the last few weeks, I’ve been readjusting to the work week grind as a new mother, which has been both easy & hard, but that experience is for another post for another day. However, I’ve had to reconsider certain cuts of tops, dresses, & bottoms for my changed post-baby shape. I’m more aware of loose-fitting, forgiving silhouettes as I go about my day in the office & classroom. During my regular online perusal of style inspiration, I discovered Fashion to Figure, a plus size clothing & accessories retailer (part of the New York & Company organization).  Meet Noelle, a high-low scuba top in the most luxurious shade of green. It embodies everything I look for in a top & even has a bow on it! Not to mention that the color is everything right now. It’s a bright shade that will pop on any skin tone & embraces the season with the addition of a statement necklace or chandelier earrings. It’s perfect for pairing with leggings &  knee boots, a pencil skirt & pointy toe heels, or skinny jeans & caged booties. This top has plenty of flair & femininity & I just can’t stop thinking about it. Check out (below) some stylish bottoms to shop from Fashion to Figure to build a holiday-ready outfit featuring this top.

leggings, skirt, & jeans

For more plus size shopping, check out some favorite stores including Fashion Nova, Maurice’s, Lane Bryant, White House Black Market, Charlotte Russe, Torrid, Kohl’s, ModCloth, dressbarn, Old Navy, Forever 21, Eloquii, & H&M. Happy Styling!

Buttoned Up Bargain!


This Thanksgiving-Black Friday weekend was a whirlwind for me! There was plenty of time spent with family, showing off our dazzling daughter, but there was lots of shopping too! Of course, gift lists were made, but I couldn’t help & treat myself here & there when a great buy was discovered.

As a part of my daily uniform (for work mostly–my at-home mom style has become more of function than fashion), I love a cute blouse-skirt combo with a cardigan, or at least to wear a cardigan over a dress. I was never one for structured jackets (although I can appreciate their visual appeal), so cardigans are my go-to & I can be quite obsessed with them. I’m always on the hunt for a patterned cardigan that I don’t have, especially one that allows me to experiment with pattern mixing too.

When I least expected to find some major style, the Laura Scott houndstooth cardigan found me @Sears. Black & white is always a great way to go when it comes to patterns, that way I could really highlight bright colors to match up; however, I was very interested & attracted to the purple-black combination.

Laura Scott houndstooth cardigan @Sears

For the price I paid, I could’ve very easily bought both colors & been done with it, but keeping my budget in mind for the holidays for my whole family, I limited myself to the purple option. The fit was just what I look for in a cardigan, so I was definitely all set. My mind is already swirling with styling ideas for this cardigan for the rest of the fall and throughout the colder months.

How do you like to style cardigans? What’s your best Black Friday fashion find? For more stylish posts about affordable fashion, click here, here, here, & here. Happy Styling!

Velvet: The Holiday Season’s Most Luxurious Texture!


When shopping for holiday must-haves, it’s easy to be attracted to the intricate details of jacquard, colors of tweed, lines of corduroy, & patterns of knits. However, when mixing & matching your favorite separates to prepare for a stylish season, there’s one texture that remains a constant (& it’s really affordable too). That’s velvet!

Right now @Old Navy, velvet is everywhere & affordable in tops (ranging in sizes XS-XXL) & shoes, perfect for coordinating with a printed pencil skirt, skinny jeans, trousers, & much more. What I love the most of these velvet items is their hue. Shoppers can easily enjoy the softest pastel pink & cream, but also go for something more dramatic a jewel tone or luxe charcoal.

camiglitter top

ruffle top

heelsflats

These pieces are easily transitional from day to night, especially when replacing a pendant necklace with a statement bauble, swapping out a pair of pants for a tiered skirt & patterned tights, or playing with layers of leather & silk too. Velvet gets me super excited for all of its styling possibilities, inspiring me to take a closer look at accessories with pearls, ribbons, studs, & mixed metals!

What textures do you like to wear in the fall-winter? What colors are your favorites for this time of year? For more posts on affordable fashion, click here, here, here, & here! Happy Styling!

Inside A Style Blogger’s Closet: Black & White Pattern Mixing!


When it comes to putting together an outfit, one of two things will happen for me. First, I’ll plan ahead of time for a special occasion what I’d like to wear to honor or celebrate whatever the event is—& I won’t budge away from that outfit idea. On the other hand, for day-to-day styling, I simply go by however I feel. I consider the weather, how long of a work day is ahead of me, where I’m headed socially, as well as how I’m feeling health-wise to measure how much I’m willing to fuss with a garment. While it might look like a lot goes into an outfit, sometimes spur of the moment ideas hit me & I’ve created something unique & detailed.

However, when I want to experiment with my wardrobe to try something new with staple items (usually a cardigan, belt, statement necklace, or dress), my instincts lead me to pattern mixing, which is just my kind of fashion risk & something that I’ve happily & successfully explored over the last year. I love discovering the result of pairing stripes with florals or animal prints with polka dots, as well as metallics with chevron, just to have some fun while reinventing old favorites in a new way. When taking a fashion leap just such as this, I make sure that accompanying items are subtle, such as a patent leather flat, black pant, or opaque tights.

Last week, I was inspired to play with some new fall finds from dressbarn, pieces that are also perfect for a cool summer afternoon too. As soon as I saw the black & white tiered floral blouse & diamond print ankle pants, I knew I loved them, but hadn’t immediately thought of putting the pieces together. A black & white color combination is possibly my favorite because of its timeless & clean vibe for any season. When I play around with mixing patterns, I always keep in mind that the best way to execute an ensemble is by keeping with the color scheme. I added an extra special touch to finish off the look with my older floral printed pointy toe flats (shop similar here), a classic denim jacket (shop here), & silver jewelry (shop similar here) since the busy patterns need neutral companion accessories.

Of course, either of these pieces can be styled in multiple ways. For example, the blouse would look cute with a  pretty pink cardigan & skinny jeans, but it can also be a flirty option for night with a blazer & leather leggings. The printed ankle pants are screaming for a pop of color with a bold yellow tank & cobalt heels, or with a red turtleneck for fall & embellished ballet flats.

SHOP: cardigan @New York & Company, skinny jeans @Old Navytop @Nordstrom Rack, & heels @DSW.

For a little more black & white mixed print inspiration, here are a few more pieces in classic patterns like polka dots, stripes, floral, & houndstooth to get you thinking about all the ways to wear these two very versatile & chic colors.

SHOP: sweater @H&M, pants @YOOX, blouse @Maurice’s, & skirt @New York & Company.

Lastly, when seeking some style inspiration, I usually turn to Pinterest, which is where I can find some amazing red carpet & street style shots of my favorite fashionista celebrities who are experimenting on the daily, just like me, when it comes to mixing prints. Some admirable & professional pattern pushers are style icons Olivia Palermo, Solange Knowles, & Jamie Chung.

Look how each of these fashion forward ladies uses neutrals to play up the busier pieces of their outfits, while also offering a sense of balance among the stylish chaos of their outfits. Olivia uses a black blazer as a topper, as well as gold ankle strap heels for some glamorous edge. Solange is all about yellow with her handbag & cropped pants. Finally, Jamie’s gray booties & black heels complete her effortless looks.

Do you like to mix patterns in your outfits? What questions do you have about this risk-taking outlook? Which celebrities do you turn to for style inspiration? How do you feel about the classic black & white trend? Happy Styling!

 

Accessories Access: Laser Cut Handbags, Shoes, & Belts for Spring!


In getting ready for spring (because it still isn’t here on Long Island—though we experienced two very magical spring-ish days before massive blizzards hit), I’m looking ahead, specifically to the trends I can’t wait to explore. One of the easiest ways to get into the mood of a new season is with accessories. My goal is to turn to some staple & classic pieces that I’ve collected from past seasons for my own looks. However, for some inspiration, I love seeing what’s new & stylish in stores & online right now to get me even more into a spring state of mine. Since I’m always interested in ways to mix patterns & textures to create a detailed & sophisticated look, I love the idea of laser cut accessories, which are typically faux leather, modern & feminine, & created in soft & neutral tones, to offset bold hues, floral prints, & abstract color combinations, especially when it comes to handbags, shoes, & belts. To achieve an affordable & fashionable take on spring, I’ve scoured the web & some of my favorite go-to stores to find the chicest ways to elevate your outfit, as well as help Style Darlings to transition from these last remaining chilly winter days & into a brighter & lighter spring style.

SHOP: black & white tote @dressbarn, nude scalloped crossbody @ASOS, beige handbag @Target, & white Western crossbody @Express.

SHOP: blue pointy toe flats @GOjane, white d’Orsay flats @Old Navy, black Darlene flats @Target, & blush dress sandals @Charlotte Russe

SHOP: pink stretch belt @Charming Charlie, bone skinny belt @Old Navy, & black faux leather belt @Banana Republic

What spring trends are you most excited to wear? Where do you shop to refresh your wardrobe from season-to-season? What neutral accessories do you like best? Happy Styling!