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!

Quickie Darling Deal & Steal: A Figure-Friendly Calvin Klein Dress For Less!


While Style Darling is undergoing some exciting new upgrades, I’m making a conscious effort to discuss fashion & style for women of all sizes, keeping a budget in mind, while promoting a positive body image for all. One of the best ways to show off your curves is with an a-line dress. Last summer, I shared a post featuring a classic dress from Calvin Klein @Dress Barn, & I’m happy to report that a new incarnation of the dress has hit stores, perfect for any occasion & transitioning into fall with style.

Dress Barn - Calvin Klein fit & flare color block dress

SHOP: color block stripe fit & flare dress ($59.50) in red / black & ivory (available in size 4-16) & plus size color block stripe fit & flare dress ($67.50) in black / neutral & red / black (available in sizes 14W-24W) @Dress Barn.

Do you like to wear a-line dresses? Do you shop designers at a discount? Where do you find the best summer deals? For more posts, check out Taylor Swift’s stylish music videos, ankle strap sandals inspired by Rihanna & Bella Thorne, Chrissy Teigen’s menswear separates for summer, & must-have wedges from Payless for $10.00. Happy Styling!

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Basics For A Bargain: Little White Dresses Inspired By Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Lopez, & More!


Little white dresses are a go-to for this spring & summer, which make for a fresh take for a date, as well as night out with the girls. Of course, white at a wedding is for the bride only, but some of the most photographed celebrities have been spotted in figure-flattering silhouettes of LWDs! This includes actress / model Rosie Huntington-Whitely at the Cannes Film Festival in a strapless silk bustier dress by Christian Dior with Christian Louboutin stilettos & Kerry Washington‘s Giambattista Valli frock at a screening of Scandal with a gold-accented wristlet. Also, Bond-girl Gemma Arterton is all smiles while visiting BBC Radio One in a Talbot Runhof dress with classic black pointy toe pumps & a colorblocked handbag.

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Kerry Washington, Gemma Arterton, Jennifer Lopez, Angelina Jolie, & Samantha Barks.

Next, Jennifer Lopez shows off her shape in a curve-hugging Louise Goldin pencil dress with matching Casadei pumps at a press event for Verizon Wireless. Everyone’s talking about Angelina Jolie‘s return to the red carpet in a gold-belted Ralph & Russo peplum dress with feminine rose gold jewelry & white pointy toe pumps. Lastly, Les Miserables breakout star Samantha Barks contrasts her white lace sheath dress with a strategic black belt & adorable fuchsia heels at a Royal Academy of Arts event.

Personally, I think you can get away with wearing a white dress any time of the year, depending on the material & cut of the dress. For example, something in eyelet or linen is strictly for the warmer months with metallic sandals or peep toe pumps & a tweed fabric would work best in the winter with suede ankle booties.

My first pick is the embroidered sundress ($50.00) from Dress Barn, which not only cinches in at the waist, but also will work with any pop of color in a cardigan, boyfriend blazer, ballet flats, or espadrilles. If you like to show off your arms, check out the sleeveless ecru ponte dress ($39.99) which is currently marked down from its original $150.00 price @White House Black Market. For a sleek look, the eyelet sheath dress with patent belt ($35.00) from New York & Company offers up a variety of looks, especially with a sophisticated built-in accessory that can match with other staples like a printed shrug sweater or opaque tights.

The midi strapless dress ($36.50) from Lulu’s is definitely sexier is matched with a blinged out necklace & stacked bangles, while the cut-out makes for a flirty show of skin. For my plus-size Style Darlings, I picked out the mesh back chiffon dress ($24.80) from Forever 21‘s Plus 21 line, which creates a classic hourglass figure for day & evening, & is sold in sizes XL – 3X. My final selection includes the detailed dress ($17.95) from H&M, which is also available in black, & will certainly turn heads when you walk in the room.

Which is your favorite little white dress? How do you like to accessorize white dresses? Do you like to wear white over the summer? For more posts on affordable fashion, check out luxury look-alike flip flops, summer-ready striped maxi skirts, must-have sale items for $100, & a behind-the-scenes look at 3.1 Phillip Lim’s Target collaboration! Happy Styling!