Splurge Or Save… Stripes & Florals, Inspired By The Pages Of Marie Claire!


While preparing for the imminent hurricane, I’ve gathered plenty of reading materials that will have to suffice as both entertainment & education in case of a power outage.  I have Monday & Tuesday off from work b/c of this Sandy nuisance, so I was starting to refer back to some of my favorite magazine articles that I checked out while at work & this page from Marie Claire sticks out most in my mind.  The latest issue, which features the lovely Ashley Greene, actress from The Twilight Saga & spokesmodel for DKNY, on its cover.  However, I posted this image on my Instagram (@MissAlissaL), sharing the daring dud combination of stripes & florals- one I’ve yet to explore.

Of course any Style Darling would be lucky to own any of the pictured items from page 72 of MC (ranging in price from $44.95 – $565.00, from brands like Sergio Rossi, Coach, Chris Benz, Kate Spade, & more); however, I wanted to share my version of this page, hoping to see this trend done right without breaking the bank!

My recommendations all cost under $50.00 per item & will certainly help transform your fall favorites into fresh, new outfits to wear to work, going on a date, a family occasion, or a party.  We know how figure flattering pencil skirts are, so I stuck with the idea of a floral pencil skirt, matching with uncomplicated basic stripes, as well as strong neutral accessories.  The jewelry has enough visual interest to add the perfect amount of dimension for an evening occasion, while still looking expensive & luxurious.

First, I’m sharing a plus size look, which can be built from the lace pencil skirt ($40.00) @Eloquii by The Limited, available in sizes 14W-24W. Yes, I see that this isn’t a basic floral print, but the flower concept is in the feminine lace details. To help make the elegant skirt pop, I’ve added the Extra Touch plus-size top ($19.99) from Macy’s, which is also available in green, fuchsia, & purple. To finish off the look, I turned to Torrid for the patent system heel ($26.70) in red, which is available in size 7-13 wide width.  Also, the Candie’s two tone bead multistrand necklace ($7.20) is from Kohl’s & can be worn over any graphic tee, with an LBD, or to add a splash of personality to a solid cardigan.

My next looks run in misses sizes, including New York & Company‘s tapestry print wrap skirt with pleating ($46.95) in black plum, but this can also be bought in saffron. Since the print is so busy, I wanted to stick to an all-flattering stripe with the striped cowlneck waffle tee ($29.95) in black & white from the Gap. The neckline of the top is pronounced, so I opted for the patent hip belt ($4.80) in eggplant from Forever 21 over a necklace & matched it with the Moda Spana Nadine patent pump ($29.94) from DSW.

The third look is definitely a bold statement, mixing the floral pencil skirt ($24.99) from The Limited with Forever 21‘s cream & navy striped 3/4 sleeve top ($10.80). The Brash Kosmic platform pump ($29.99) in tan suede from Payless & BaubleBar‘s triple tear pendant ($26.00) are neutral pieces that can be mixed with any variety of casual, office, & evening looks.

Look’s #1-3 total out to $93.89, $111.64, & $91.78, respectively. That’s a pretty amazing deal for such versatile pieces that will work with jeans, skinny pants, button-down shirts, & other wardrobe staples. Would you dare to wear stripes & florals? Which of these looks is your favorite? How much would you spend on an outfit like this?

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!