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!

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Inside A #StyleBlogger’s Closet: My New, Affordable Summer Favorites!


I’ve been off the grid, but now Style Darling is back with plenty of affordable & stylish summer finds that I know I was pretty psyched to add to my wardrobe. Always with a budget in mind, I came across some summer must-haves, including maxi dresses, footwear (sandals & flats), totes, & jewelry. Also, when it comes to making seasonal investments, I seek out pieces that I can get as much wear from, transitioning pieces (especially accessories) from season to season. This summer, I’m not only planning a Hamptons getaway, but I’m also hard at work & making plenty of time for social calls, which makes me want to amp up my staples for more than one occasion. The following buys are the newest additions to my wardrobe, & I hope they’ll inspire my readers as well!

Sear - Covington maxi dress $24

SHOP: Covington maxi dress ($24.00) in black @Sears & Covington maxi dress ($24.00) in tribal @Sears.

Old Navy - linen scrunch flat $22

SHOP: Libby jeweled sandal ($24.99) in gold @Dress Barn & linen blend scrunch flats ($22.94) off white @Old Navy.

Dress Barn - floral bag $25

SHOP: floral handbag ($25.20) in black & white @Dress Barn & patterned shopper ($9.95) @H&M.

H&M - stud earrings set $9

SHOP: earrings set ($9.95) in rose gold @H&M & rhinestone button stud earrings ($6.00 / 2 for $10.00) in silver @Charlotte Russe

What are your favorite summer buys? What stores are you shopping for the latest trends this season? For more stylish posts, check out summer celebrity style featuring Olivia Palermo & Victoria Beckham, Charlize Theron’s Forever 21 jumpsuit look, the complete red carpet gallery of this year’s Met Ball including Rihanna & Beyoncé, & Top 10 Celeb Sightings with Iggy Azalea & Taylor Swift. Happy Styling!

Basics For A Bargain: LBDS Inspired by Jennifer Lopez, Natalie Portman, & Kristen Bell!


Black Friday is all about getting the best deals on holiday gifts, but why not treat yourself to something special this season? The perfect go-to look for upcoming parties, family celebrations, & gatherings with friends is a little black dress, much like these flirty & elegant choices worn by A-list celebrities like Jennifer Lopez in DSquared, Kristen Bell‘s cut-out zip-up dress, & Natalie Portman‘s red carpet Dior look.

Jennifer Lopez in Dsquared. Kristen Bell in a cut-out LBD. Natalie Portman in Christian Dior.

While shopping around the web, I couldn’t help but fall in love with these designs, perfect for every style & budget. They can be styled in so many fabulous ways with a sequined blazer, embellished bolero sweater, or cardigan, along with accessories like a statement necklace, chandelier earrings, & a cocktail ring.

Forever 21 - Simply Sophisticated Bodycon Dress $24.80, Dress Barn - Belted Capelet Dress $25.00, & Lulu's - Spick & Span Black Midi Dress $35.00.

These dresses include: Simply sophisticated bodycon dress ($24.80) in black, available in sizes XL-3X, @Forever 21, belted capelet dress ($25.00) in black @Dress Barn, & spick & span midi dress ($35.00) in black @Lulu’s.

To shop more affordable LBDs, check out these additional selections from Bluefly, Dillard’s, Victoria’s Secret, Express, Sears, & H&M. For more Black Friday posts, check out sweater sales featuring items from The Limited & Old Navy, fabulous flats from Steve Madden & Payless, & cold weather accessories from LOFT & Zara! Happy Styling!

Fabulous In 4 Ways: A Spiked Sweater From GOjane For Day, Weekend, Date, & Cocktail!


I love it when I’m searching the web for a blog & then get totally side-tracked with inspiration for another blog.  That’s how I came to find the metallic spiked shoulder patch sweater ($47.20) in silver from GOjane. Now, this sweater is totally not my style & it’s a little high in price for one item (for me, anyway), but I couldn’t get it off my mind. Rather than building just one look with the unforgettable piece, I needed to play with it for another Fabulous In 4 Ways post!

Spike details have been trending for quite some time now, what with accents on jewelry, shoes, bags, & now clothing.  Of course, it takes a certain kind of Style Darling to pull this look off & here are some suggestions for day, weekend, date, & cocktail on how to wear this eye-catching sweater!  Let’s start off with weekend, which is a two-day break from the confines of your office apparel & evening pieces when you’re headed out on a date.  I wanted to create an easy & comfortable ensemble to wear when shopping with girlfriends or taking in the sites with your beau.  This includes the skinny pieced sequin pants ($19.50) in charcoal from Wet Seal, paired with the bow front canvas flat ($15.00) in black from Charlotte Russe.  Since there’s so much going on with the striking sweater, I wanted to keep my accessories sweet & functional, which is why I selected Forever 21‘s owl charms necklace ($1.50) in gold/black & the Kirna Zabete kiss print sequins schlepper tote ($17.48) from Target

When it comes to daywear, a similar vibe from the weekend look is seen, but I love the distressed look of H&M‘s slim regular jeans ($29.95) in black with the scalloped platform wedges ($32.80) in black from Forever 21. The top is flashy enough for day that I simply added Wet Seal‘s 3 on stackable rings ($7.50) in tri-tone to the look, which can be worn on different fingers or stacked on one, as seen above. When I go out during the day, I love the ease of sweaters & basic pants, but this look has a little extra splash, offering a street style smash worthy of Miranda Kerr or Olivia Palermo. 

For a cocktail look, it’s always recommended to go with a short dress & some towering heels, but I feel that this sweater is successful even when you’re having drinks with co-workers, or looking to break out those pajama-inspired silk pants.  Brocade & other such luxe fabrics are all the rage this season, which is why I turned to The Limited for the Drew mini tab-waist jacquard ankle pants ($29.99) in silver, which have just been marked down.  In keeping with the glitzy metallics, I added the metallic x-front peep toe pump ($25.00) in rose gold from Charlotte Russe, which helps dress up both the pants & sweater.  Lastly, a simple pendant will do, such as the Candie’s jet marquise pendant ($13.00) from Kohl’s

 If you’re looking to make an impression on a date night, show off your gams to offset the sweater’s volume with the side panel sweater mini skirt ($19.99) in black from Express, along with the Nina Pangea sandal ($19.94) in brown leopard from DSW.  You’ve got texture in the strong shoulder, but don’t be afraid to add a little something else like a classic bag to downplay the edginess.  @Sears, a great bargain can be found with the Scarleton faux snake flap clutch ($15.99) in black. For a final splash of sass, I recommend the cutout ring ($3.80) in gold from Forever 21 as the only piece of jewelry for your special night. 

These looks range in price from $100.68 – $117.45, which isn’t bad when you consider how many different ways you’ll be able to wear all the pieces, not just the spiky sweater.  Do you like spike details? What kind of hardware do you look for in clothing? Or, do you prefer them on accessories like shoes or bags?

For more stylish posts & outfit ideas, check out The $100 Challenge, featuring a black & blue look based off a Gap dress, how to work stripes & tweed, & perfect LBD look with sparkly tights & a cardigan! Also, in Basics for a Bargain, get your wardrobe’s worth with coats inspired by Jessica Chastain & Victoria Beckham, pointy toe heels like the ones seen on Maria Sharapova & Tina Fey, as well as how to get affordable separates looks like Kristen Stewart & Alexa Chung! Lastly, just b/c I love a bargain, check out Splurge of Save? to find out the best prices for polka dot tights, floral & stripe looks inspired by the pages of Marie Claire, & winter-friendly red suede ankle booties! Happy Styling!

Ad Madness: Pretty Little Liars’ Actresses Model For Bongo!


I should’ve known this already, but Bongo is still around! I recently spotted Pretty Little Liars actresses Lucy Hale & Ashley Benson rocking duds from the brand that is currently sold @Sears & KMart.  Aside from finding figure-friendly designs by the Kardashians @Sears, or getting your curve on with Sofia Vergara’s KMart collection, the department stores are revamping their apparel scene in a majorly stylish way! Of course, Bongo is a Juniors’-geared brand, but I’m also happy to share that they also sell plus-sized clothing, like colored denim jeggings ($16.00) up to size 22.  Not to mention, I’m loving Ashley’s sequin front tank top ($12.00$14.00) in the ad on the left!

For more celebrity-fronted ads, be sure to check out more from Ad Madness, including Mila Kunis for Dior & Chloe Grace Moretz for Aeropostale! Happy Styling!

Basics For A Bargain / Red Carpet Review: The Look Of Summer Leather!


Instead of posting yet another click-worthy gallery, I’ve selected these five outstanding red carpet looks, worn recently by some of my favorite celebrities.  Each of them are showing how leather isn’t just a material for the cooler months.  The sexy skin is also no longer just for jacket & bags, as seen in these above photos. Designers are all about texture this season, showing leather off in all sorts of articles of clothing.  This includes dresses, as most frequently seen on the likes of rivaling stars like Angelina Jolie & Jennifer Aniston, but here I’m featuring Rock of Ages actress Julianne Hough in a blue leather dress at the film’s premiere & the always adorable Emma Stone in a red frock by Monique Lhuillier for an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

In addition, trendsetter Alexa Chung mixes her leather motorcycle jacket with a menswear-inspired look, paired with a printed mini skirt, embroidered clutch by Charlotte Olympia, & patent leather flats. Model Karolina Kurkova hit the streets of New York in leather leggings, Monika Chiang sneakers, a printed blouse, & chic double-breasted jacket.  Zoe Kravitz plays with leather & tweed in a black & white ensemble at a cash celebrating Chanel.

For the rest of us on a budget, real leather may not be as tangible, but while keeping animal-friendly, faux leather is always an option, especially with these cute & affordable options to mix up your wardrobe.  Check out the faux leather sheath dress ($27.00) from Venus, which makes the idea of an LBD all the more sexier.  While I was searching through the Venus website, I came across this super sweet faux leather circle skirt ($24.00) in brown, which will toughen up even the most feminine of blouses or dress up the most basic silk camisoles for a stylish night out!

If you’re daring enough to wear leather on your bottom half, head over to Sears for the faux leather leggings ($25.99) which will pair nicely with any bohemian-inspired tunic top, a dolman top, or your favorite tank & blazer.  For more subtle ways to wear leather, Cynthia Steffe has created this Maggie draped faux leather trim top ($47.00), available @Saks Fifth Avenue. To keep a classic faux leather look in your wardrobe, I’ve found this chic faux leather zip front jacket ($27.49 – $29.99) from Fashion Bug, which is sold in sizes Small – 4XL.  This can make any pair of trousers & blouse fiercer & more fashionable because of the front pinhole details & rugged zippers.

For more celebrity-inspired style for the budget buyer, check out previous posts of Basics For A Bargain, as well as Luxury Look-Alikes For Less to get the latest & greatest in affordable fashion! To see more of what the celebrities are wearing & what trends are hitting the red carpet, take a look at Red Carpet Review, especially Charlize Theron’s latest looks & who wore what at the MTV Movie Awards! Which faux leather pieces are your favorites? Do you often wear leather or faux leather in the spring & summer months? Happy Styling!

Quickie Darling Deal & Steal: Get Sofia Vergara’s Collection @Kmart Before Store Closures!


It’s been all over the news today that KMart stores across the country are in trouble, so I took the style liberty to check out what’s going on in terms of style at the retailer, which sells Sofia Vergara’s collection, aptly called Sofia by Sofia Vergara.  The affordable prices, figure-flattering cuts, & modern pieces are must-haves for any wardrobe.

Here are some of my favorite pieces that I will be checking out if & when I make my way to the local Kmart store.  The flared ink wash jeans ($20.99) are an easy fix to putting together a polished, but dressed down look for casual Fridays at the office.  Then after work, when you’re heading out for cocktails, throw on the lace back dress ($14.39) in green, which has a little surprise when you turn around to tip the bartender.

If you’re daring enough to show off your gams, try the lace micro mini skirt ($8.99) with a silk blouse & opaque tights.  If you’re looking for some glitzy shoes to wear when ringing in the new year, the tipsy red carpet pump ($19.99) in gold is the perfect way to complete your look.  Also, there are just some days when animal print does just the trick, so take a look at the bustier dress ($21.59), which is available in both neutral & grey, emphasizing your best assets. For a little splash of shine, the oval links bracelet ($9.99) in silver makes for a trendy way to punch up an LBD.  Lastly, ’tis the season for jegging jeans ($17.99) with an ultra slim ankle, perfect for wearing under boots of all heights.

I have previously reported on the collection, as seen here, but be sure to check back with Style Darling, as well as on the Kmart site for newer styles & markdowns on these sexy looks! Happy Styling!