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!

Show Me the Shoes: Affordable Fall Flats for the Office, Inspired by Emma Stone, Victoria Beckham, & More (Dedicated to Christine)!


I love getting inspired about fashion when chatting up my friends, & today’s post is no exception. My dear friend Christine, styling it up in New Jersey, recently shared her concerns about finding comfy, yet stylish flats for the office & my brain went spinning with inspiration. Given my crazy day-to-day schedule between two jobs & grad school, I’m constantly on the go, which also means that my collection of flats has grown exponentially with fashionable possibilities for a chic, professional look. To get started, I sought out some images of the best dressed A-listers wearing elements that make up a great work look, especially with a fall wardrobe on the brain.Angelina Jolie, Camilla Belle, Emma Stone, Emmy Rossum, Jennifer Lopez, & Karlie Kloss in flats.These celebrities include: Angelina Jolie, Camilla Belle, Emma Stone, Emmy Rossum, Jennifer Lopez, Karlie Kloss, Mandy Moore, Olivia Palermo, Pippa Middleton, Reese Witherspoon, Taylor Swift, & Victoria Beckham. Flats are certainly not a cop-out, adding a little extra splash of femininity against a cardigan & shirt pairing, sleek menswear look, blouse & trousers ensemble, & sheath dress.

Mandy Moore, Olivia Palermo, Pippa Middleton, Reese Witherspoon, Taylor Swift, & Victoria Beckham in flats.And for some affordable flats to amp up your office style, consider a few elements for an interesting look: pattern, texture, & shine, which will also help transition any Style Darling from day-to-night, as well as date & weekend. 

Show Me the Shoes - Affordable Fall Flats for the Office!SHOP: 1. loafers ($14.99) in navy @H&M (also available in black, camel, hot pink, & gray), 2. boucle pointed flats ($15.00, was $25.99) in black & white @Charlotte Russe, 3. stud flats ($15.00) in black @Wet Seal (also available in burgundy), 4. pointed patent flats ($19.90) in black @Forever 21 (also available in nude), 5. Gigi flats by Christian Siriano ($24.99, was $29.99) in wine @Payless (also available in black & taupe), & 6. lace pointed flats ($34.90) in black @Express.

What do you wear to work? What details do you look for when it comes to flats? Where do you shop for your favorite office footwear? For more stylish posts, check out affordable plaid accessories for fall, florals to wear this season from New York & Company & Hollister, capes & ponchos inspired by Gwen Stefani & Jamie Chung, & Olivia Palermo’s BaubleBar collaboration. 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!

08/26/2015 Darling of the Day: Emily Ratajkowski’s Seamless Summer-to-Fall Suede Look!


Emily Ratajkowski in a neutral Atea Oceanie top with a suede Brunello Cucinelli skirt & metallic Sophia Webster sandals in New York CityModel turned actress Emily Ratajkowski is a star on the rise, & no wonder. With roles in films like Gone GirlEntourage, under her belt, the gorgeous star of the upcoming We Are Your Friends, alongside Zac Efron, Emily is making a splash on the red carpet, especially when she’s inspiring easy breezy summer-to-fall fashion transitions in monochromatic & single-color looks. Recently, she’s made a sleek appearance in New York City in blush tones with an Atea Oceanie top (shop similar here) & a suede Brunello Cucinelli skirt (shop similar here), paired with metallic Sophia Webster sandals (shop here).

Emily Ratajkowsi-inspired suede skirt & heels looksSHOP: LOOK 1: blouse ($20.42, was $22.20) in burgundy @Chic Nova, skirt ($29.99) in burgundy @Shoptiques, & ankle strap sandals ($20.00, was $29.99) in burgundy @Charlotte Russe. LOOK 2: tank ($15.00, was $24.50) in black @LOFT (available in sizes XS-XXL), skirt ($39.99) in black @H&M, & heels ($27.99, was $60.00) in black @JC Penney (available in sizes 5-11). LOOK 3: tee ($12.00) in oatmeal @Target (available in sizes XS-XXL), skirt ($64.00) in tan @River Island, & sandal ($28.99, was $59.95) in taupe @Shoes.com. LOOK 4: blouse ($29.00, was $29.94) in fig @Old Navy (available in sizes XS-XXL), skirt ($59.99, was $189.99) in purple @Jessica London (available in sizes 12-28), & Nine West pump ($39.94, was $89.00) in purple/grey @DSW. LOOK 5: mock neck tee ($12.90) in gray @Forever 21 (available in XL-3X), skirt ($24.00, was $50.00) in gray @Missguided (available in sizes 12-20), & Belle by Badgley Mischka shoes ($29.70, was $99.00) in silver @Lord & Taylor.

For more suede inspiration, check out how some major A-listers styled their suede skirts, like fashion darling Alexa Chung, actress Ashley Madekwe, The Art of More star Kate Bosworth, English model Poppy Delevingne, & pop star, Taylor Swift.

Alexa Chung, Ashley Madekwe, Kate Bosworth, Poppy Delevingne, & Taylor Swift in suede skirts.Which suede look do you like the best? Do you wear suede now in the summer & then into fall? How do you like to style the textured separate? For more stylish posts, check out five affordable scarves for fall inspired by Sarah Jessica Parker & Emma Watson, the entire lookbook from Adam Lippes’ plaid collection for Target, must-have mustard pieces to get Jennifer Lopez & Olivia Palermo’s style, new movie trailers like Sisters starring TIna Fey & Amy Poheler, & the latest red carpet looks from celebrities including Eva Longoria & Reese Witherspoon. Happy Styling!

Fabulous in 4 Ways: A Chambray Shirt for Day, Work, Date, & Weekend (Dedicated to Meghan)!


There’s nothing more classic than a crisp button down shirt. An extension of this is the chambray shirt for summer. While the season is at its height (let’s ignore fall for just a moment, please), a menswear-inspired chambray shirt is the perfect piece to get optimal use of your wardrobe for a variety of occasions, like day, work, weekend, & date, which is why it’s featured in my latest addition of Fabulous in 4 Ways.

This post is inspired by an equally versatile friend, Meghan, who works boho princess / bombshell prep street style like nobody’s business. When challenged with how to wear a chambray shirt, I advised my very favorite & fashionable friend that any way that a button down shirt can be styled is also any way that a chambray shirt can be styled (depending on the cut, of course). Here are some examples of must-haves tops to build an affordable ensemble at any size:

Chambray shirts.

SHOP: 1. Dockers chambray shirt ($24.99, was $40.00) @6PM, 2. chambray shirt ($39.99, was $69.00) @J.Jill, 3. chambray shirt ($32.94) available in sizes XS – XXL @Old Navy, 4. New Directions plus size chambray shirt ($18.19, was 52.00) @Belk, & 5. plus size chambray shirt ($46.00) @Maurices.

When it comes to essential basics to fill your closet, it’s always valuable to turn to some top A-listers for a little style inspiration, in the form of the button down shirts for anytime. This includes the flawless likes of Taylor Swift who takes the girl next door approach in a skate skirt, red oxford shoes, & retro sunnies. Curvy Kim Kardashian West dresses down her turquoise pencil skirt & ankle strap pumps with a tucked in, low-cut button down for a fierce day look. Draper James creator Reese Witherspoon is all buttoned up while traveling with mixed textures of black denim, leather pointy flats, & a pink lip. Style icon Olivia Palermo makes an appearance at a Kohl’s event in a knotted shirt over a floral pencil skirt with suede pumps.

Taylor Swift, Kim Kardashian West, Reese Witherspoon, Olivia Palermo, Rihanna, Ashley Madekwe, Zoe Saldana, & Jennifer Garner.

Mixing chambray with similarly-hued denim isn’t a no-no, as seen on Rihanna who looked sporty & chic in a leather baseball cap & nude slingbacks. Salem actress Ashley Madekwe is all about layering with a mini skirt, ankle booties, brocade blazer, & red chain link crossbody bag. Guardians of the Galaxy star Zoe Saldana kept her cool in head-to-toe blue with cowboy boots & aviators when out & about. Lastly, busy mom on the go Jennifer Garner offers a laid back combo in a chambray pullover shirt tucked into a pencil skirt with ballet flats & a luxe navy snake embossed bowler bag.

Now comes the real-life outfit possibilities. Chambray is so lightweight to wear from week to week, especially if you like to reinvent your favorite pieces in new ways. I styled each look with the chambray shirt ($19.50, was $69.50) @J.Crew Factory because it was not only a bargain, but also the best foundation for a polished & flirty look. Try tucking the shirt in for day by rolling up the sleeves, but on the weekend, open it up & knot it when heading to brunch.

Cambray for Day. Chambray for Weekend.

SHOP the DAY look: 1. chambray shirt ($19.50, was $69.50) @J.Crew Factory, 2. pineapple earrings ($5.00, was $7.50) @Icing, 3. LC Lauren Conrad necklace ($8.00, was $20.00) @Kohl’s, 4. shorts ($13.98, was $19.99) in orange @Target, 5. Nine West crossbody bag ($19.99, was $45.00) in oat @Century 21, & 6. wedges ($31.49, was $89.99) in beige @Dillard’s.

SHOP the WEEKEND look: 7. earrings ($12.00) @Francesca’s, 8. tank ($16.95) in turquoise @Gap (available in sizes XS – XXL), 9. maxi skirt ($30.00) @Dress Barn (available in plus size here), 10. bangle set ($9.99, was $26.00) @JCPenney, 11. tote ($14.90) in cream / mustard @Forever 21, & 12. sandals ($15.00, was $22.99) in gold @Charlotte Russe.

Depending on your job’s dress code, chambray can make a casual Friday a little more elegant when tucked into a minimalist skirt with edgy extras, but then knot it over an LBD for date night to keep cozy with colorful accessories to pop.

Chambray for Work. Chambray for Date.

SHOP the WORK look: 1. chambray shirt ($19.50, was $69.50) @J.Crew Factory, 2. cardigan cape ($34.00, was $108.00) in black @Neiman Marcus Last Call, 3. earrings ($10.50) in gold @G by Guess, 4. Daniel Rainn pencil skirt ($24.97, was $68.00) in black @Nordstrom Rack (shop similar in plus size here), 5. necklace ($15.00) in rose gold @Topshop, 6. bowler bag ($49.00, was $99.00) @ASOS, 7. belt ($24.90) in snake @Express (shop similar in plus size here), & 8. booties ($38.50) in black @GOjane.

SHOP the DATE look: 9. dress ($12.95) in black @H&M (shop similar in plus size here), 10. necklace ($8.99) @Rainbow Shops, 11. ring ($16.00) @River Island, 12. clutch ($29.00, was $43.00) in yellow @Venus, & 13. sandals ($39.95, was $70.00) in red @DSW.

Do you wear button down or chambray shirts during the summer? How many ways do you like to style them? Which celebrity wears your favorite chambray look? For more stylish posts, check out Kate Mara’s sleek pixie cut & outfits while promoting Fantastic 4, affordable maxi skirts inspired by Jennifer Lopez & Miranda Kerr, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s Fall 2015 denim campaign for Paige Denim, how to restyle bridesmaid dresses from Weddington Way, Eva Mendes for Estee Lauder, & a figure-friendly summer outfit for under $100! Happy Styling!

The $100 Challenge: Styling A Summer Dress At Every Size!


I’ve been thinking about fun & transformative ways to get the most out of my summer wardrobe, always looking for upgrades in staples like dresses, jewelry, & accessories at an affordable price. Lately, I love playing with color against my favorite classic pieces, which is the inspiration for this most recent Style Darling Daily post for The $100 Challenge. Since the dress below has so many possibilities, I couldn’t help picking out a few extras to get the most out of summer style for all shapes & sizes.

The $100 Challenge: dress ($30.00) in black / white @Old Navy, heels ($25.00) in lemon @Charlotte Russe, hat ($12.90) in white / black @Forever 21, studs ($8.99) @Francesca's, & clutch ($14.75) in ivory @Dress Barn.

SHOP: 1. dress ($30.00, was $32.94) in black / white @Old Navy (available in sizes XS-XXL), 2. heels ($25.00, was $28.99) in lemon @Charlotte Russe (available in sizes 5.5-10), 3. hat ($12.90) in white / black @Forever 21, 4. studs ($8.99, was $14.00) @Francesca’s, & 5. clutch ($14.75, was $29.50) in ivory @Dress Barn (also available in peach & black).

Affordable extras include neutrals, texture, & sensible alternatives to keep your looks fresh & playful this season. I love mixing up my jewelry from day to day, even when I rotate essentials like a favorite dress from week to week.

Affordable extras: jacket ($34.95) in light beige & plus jacket ($34.99) in light beige @H&M, bracelet ($5.99) in gold @Romwe, sunglasses ($5.99) @ModCloth, & sandals ($12.90) in coral @Wet Seal.

SHOP: 1. jacket ($34.95) in light beige & plus jacket ($34.99) in light beige @H&M, 2. bracelet ($5.99, was $8.42) in gold @Romwe, 3. sunglasses ($5.99, was $19.99) @ModCloth, & 4. sandals ($12.90) in coral (wide width available for $10.99, was $14.90) @Wet Seal.

Where are you shopping for this season’s best bargains? How do you like to style your favorite summer dresses? What patterns or colors do you love to wear now? For more stylish posts, check out the latest red carpet looks from Rachel McAdams & Karlie Kloss, where to get a figure-friendly Calvin Klein dress for less, Taylor Swift’s fashionable 1989 music videos, ankle strap sandals inspired by Jennifer Lawrence & Michelle Monaghan, & jewelry must-haves from Express. Happy Styling!