Basics For A Bargain: The Hottest Tops & Pants Looks Worn By Kristen Stewart, Alexa Chung, Kate Hudson, & More!


I’ve never been a dress pants kind of girl- until lately.  I was always the girl walking around in a skirt or dress b/c those pieces were just always easier for me to find since I wear petite bottoms in most cases, but also have a curvy shape.  However, I’m inspired by these tops & bottoms (pants, more specifically) looks that I’ve been spotting on the most photographed & stylish celebrities.

This includes actress Rashida Jones in jewel-tone trousers by Theyskens’ Theory paired with a studded blazer, an eggplant blouse, Graziela earrings, a Dana Rebecca Designs ring, & metallic cap toe pumps.  This look says so much about her edgy, but conservative style.  The rich hues combined with the luxe fabrics make looking like you’re wearing pajamas with an 80s-esque jacket look super cool.  Next is K-Stew herself, Kristen Stewart, wearing a daring Balenciaga design with a Cartier bracelet, & sleek Christian Louboutins. Critics are calling this look a ripoff of the barely there bra-top & bare midriff look that the blonde-coiffed Miley Cyrus has been sporting, but I think The Twilight Saga star has got it right here. French import / Bond girl Berenice Marlohe is ravishing in colorblocked black with feathers & a white top by Alexander McQueen, Norman Silverman studs, & Sergio Rossi pumps. I love her smoky eye, yet mature Blake-Lively inspired beachy locks, providing a fresh take on an unlikely pairing.

Kate Hudson is a vision in Alexander McQueen menswear with towering Brian Atwood pumps at the Glee premiere in September, while donning a sexy lace cami underneath.  Style icon Alexa Chung has never looked sleeker in this Maje button-down shirt & slacks with minimalist black pumps- again another menswear-ish look that couldn’t be more fabulous.  Lastly, reality star Olivia Palermo is getting on board with the volume trend wearing an Elin Kling for Marciano oversized sweater with cropped pants, ankle-strap Gucci sandals, & tribal-inspired accessories.

I gave myself the daunting task (while the power could hold out during the crazy snow storm that hit the Northeast on Wednesday) to try & replicate these looks- all in one post! Of course, I’m still working on those PhotoShop skills, but I’m happy to share affordable versions of these six looks, which cost b/w $41.50 – $124.99. If you take a look below, you’ll see that I’ve recreated the pieces of clothing from Rashida’s look, including a textured Lark Lane foil-print zip jacket ($45.00) from JCPenney, the Honey Punch ‘high-waisted hopes pants ($42.00) in red from Lulu’s, & the LC by Lauren Conrad embellished chiffon blouse ($26.40) from Kohl’s. Kristen’s look was tougher to put together, but a daring Style Darling can certainly pull off the stretch lace bralette ($24.50) from Victoria’s Secret & pair it with White House Black Market‘s legacy bi-stretch modern bootcut pant ($49.99).

For Berenice’s look, I couldn’t find feathers, but the peplum trend was easy to put together when I found the laser cut dot peplum tank ($21.99) from Charlotte Russe & the Lauren Jeans Co. Biltmore trouser pants ($44.99) @Macy’s. A winter white tuxdeo on a budget was an even trickier ensemble to recreate, but Kate’s look wasn’t too far off when I found the Bar III three-quarter open-front tuxedo blazer ($26.99) from Macy’s & the White House Black Market modern bootcut tux pant ($98.00). Alexa’s look is comprised of pieces from Forever 21, including the tail hem shirt ($18.90) & coated trimmed trousers ($22.80). Lastly, Olivia’s look was perfectly timed now that heavy knits are in stores, & I selected The Limited‘s cowlneck poncho ($49.99) & Logan fit slim ankle pant ($49.99) from Banana Republic.

For more celebrity-inspired posts, check out features in Red Carpet Review, Darling Of The Day, & Top 10 Celeb Sightings.  Also, if you’re looking for the best ways to acquire an affordable wardrobe, take a look at updates blogs in Basics For A Bargain, Luxury Look-Alikes For Less, The $100 Challenge, & Splurge or Save?! Happy Styling!

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?

Color Me Style: What’s Black & White & Chic All Over?


My last post in Color Me Style was published just days before my trip to Italy earlier this year, so I thought that since I don’t have a third go-around to look forward to for 2013, I’d revisit the category in a way only appropriate for this Style Darling. My favorite color combination is black & white, which is what I’m featuring- although quite impressed with the fall collections that celebrities are sporting since this season doesn’t typically see all-white looks.  Of course, the beach-filled party days of summer are long gone, but white is still thriving, black has never looked better, & when you put them together, there’s a serious style moment happening.

It wasn’t very hard to find some celebrity inspiration for these colors & this is what I’m sharing. Gwyneth Paltrow looks demure & ladylike in a white knit, wool Misha Nonoo skirt with bright Sergio Rossi pumps. It-girl Olivia Wilde is bold-shouldered in a figure-flattering LWD, House of Lavande jewelry, & metallic platform pumps. 666 Park Avenue star Rachael Taylor wears a head-to-toe Calvin Klein Collection look, including silver lace-up heels & a box clutch. British actress Felicity Jones looks flirty & cool in an all-black sweater & skirt outfit with bowed pumps at the Miu Miu show. Olivia Palermo continues to catch my eye in an all-black leather Dior look with Giuseppe Zanotti pumps. Modern Family bombshell Sofia Vergara shows off her curves in her Sofia by Sofia Vergara for KMart black sparkling dress with tights & suede platforms.

As for black & white looks, I love the variety here when it comes to feminine dresses, vintage-inspiration, as well as nods to menswear with separates all in my favorite color combination! Jessica Alba goes androgynous sexy in a Narciso Rodriguez blouse with loose-fitting trousers & cap-toe Jimmy Choo pumps. French import Laetitia Costa shows the softness of a slim-fitting black suit & sandals, all by Dolce & Gabbana. The sultry Penelope Cruz is elegant & statuesque in an embroidered black & white cardigan by L’Wren Scott with cuffed trousers & Salvatore Ferragamo pumps. Rock of Ages actress / former Dancing with the Stars dancer Julianne Hough is mod in a black & white mini dress with silver pumps at a Henri Bendel party. Scandal star Kerry Washington is as pretty as ever in a white feminine sheath dress with black accents, rose gold Anita Ko studs, & metallic cap-toe pumps.

Black & white has also made the Spring 2013 runways, with especially fabulous designs from Dolce & Gabbana, Giorgio Armani, Chloe, Yves Saint Laurent, Carolina Herrera, & Catherine Malandrino Black Label.

Naturally, I’m excited to share with readers how you can achieve the perfect black & white looks while on a budget. From LOFT, you can find the polka dot wedge top ($39.99), or if you’re looking for a more streamlined look, try New York & Company‘s contrast trim banded collar blouse ($39.95) which will pop against any pencil skirt, colored jean, or slim leg pant.  For a more feminine touch, I love the dolled-up darling ruffled bow blouse ($28.99) from Ruche, which I’d wear to work with a lacy tweed skirt & textured tights, or for a fun night with the girls wearing my favorite dark wash jeans & metallic sandals.

However, if you’re looking to add an unexpected edge to any fall/winter ensemble, try the Danielle seamless skirt ($12.48) in white from G by Guess, which is also available in black.  Also, I’m always a big fan of zebra, which is why I picked the knee-length zebra print skirt ($19.80) from Forever 21. Black & white dresses are perfect for any occasion, especially with a modern graphic print or something in a classic polka dot.  I love the Ronnie & Nicole short-sleeve mitered stripe dress ($35.00) from JC Penney & White House Black Market‘s strapless dot dress ($29.99). Also, Superfly flats ($49.00) from Nine West are a fun touch for the office or a day date, especially when worn with brighter pieces like skinny cords or dark denim jeans.

How do you like to wear black & white? Do you prefer one color over the other? Which staples in these colors do you wear for day & night? For more posts on affordable & fashionable finds, check out posts from Quickie Darling Deal & Steal, Fabulous in 4 Ways, The $100 Challenge, & Splurge or Save! Happy Styling!

Red Carpet Review: 2012 Emmy Awards Featuring Zooey Deschanel, Sofia Vergara, Hayden Panettiere, & More!


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This is a first for Style Darling. The 64th Annual Emmy Awards are currently airing & I’ve been scouring the web for the last 45 minutes to put together a complete gallery of the fabulous red carpet looks. Some of my favorites include Zooey Deschanel in a princess-like Reem Acra look, Julie Bowen in neon Monique Lhuillier, Claire Danes as a blushing mom-to-be in Lanvin, & Christina Hendricks in a belted design by Christian Siriano. Who are you rooting for? I’m a big fan of Girls, so keep an eye out for the very multi-talented Lena Dunham! Check out the gallery & share with readers which looks are your favorites! Enjoy the show! Happy Styling!

Magazine Must-Haves: March Madness Means More Style, Especially With Selena Gomez!


After finally sifting through the piles & piles of magazines that I’ve been neglecting, I was so happy that spring is just around the corner (even though in New York, it feels like it’s here).  To help usher in the new season, Selena Gomez is doing double duty this March on the covers of both People Style Watch & Cosmopolitan.

I kept my focus on the great style featured in PSW, one of my favorite style / fashion mags & loved these three looks worn by Selena, which are of course from some months back, but still show off her youthful & flirty side, perfect for preparing your wardrobe for the spring.  First we see Selena in a white BCBG Max Azria Grecian-inspired mini dress with some major shoes by Sergio Rossi.  She mixes professional with cute in a corset by Matthew Williamson under black trousers & a shrunken blazer with Giuseppe Zanotti Design pointed toe bowed shoes.  Lastly, at the 2011 MTV Movie Awards, Selena looked refined, fresh, & glamorous in a top by Giambattista Valli with a two-tone mini skirt, Casadei silver shoes, & a clutch by Cecelia.

Some of my favorite pieces from PSW’s March issue include those pictured to the left.  If you haven’t heard already, designer Jason Wu has created an amazing line of clothing & accessories for Target, including the flap satchel ($49.99).  Michelle Obama, Diane Kruger, & Shailene Woodley are fans of the designer, who I wrote about on Culture Mob, in my column A Dash of Fashion.

Ditch the old frumpy cardigan & try a floral kimono cardigan ($24.80) like this one from Forever 21 to wear with your favorite white tee & jeans.  The soft flowiness of the top is also perfect for wearing over a little black or white dress, if you’re looking to dress it down for a more casual, but stylish event.  For more flowy jackets like this, check out some of my picks @Macy’s, Charlotte Russe, & Torrid.

I was also very excited to recently read about Ivanka Trump‘s latest collection, which is sold @Lord & Taylor & Macy’s.  This includes the very chic ‘Ivana’ silk top ($115.00), which is out of my typical shopping budget’s price, but hopefully these styles will go on sale soon! The line includes very stylish, muted handbags which are perfectly neutral to match with any tailored suit or spring dress when the weather gets warmer.  Also, the shoes are fabulous, including evening sandals, sexy pumps, casual flats, & classic boots.

Speaking of shoes, I couldn’t help buy gasp when I saw the Fioni ‘Kutzie’ knot pump ($29.99) in navy from Payless in the pages of the magazine since I’ve been eyeing them when I returned home from Italy a few weeks ago.  If you’re not a fan of the navy with the stripes, have no fear, the shoes also come in luxe black patent leather, as well as a sexy nude with suede details at the peep toe. If you plan on buying these shoes online, use the coupon code 65634 for 20% off & it expires on 3/19/12.

For more on Selena Gomez from Style Darling, take a look back at Red Carpet Review for her outfit changes when she hosted the MTV Europe Music Awards & also an older Darling of the Day post where Selena’s cute in pink with some fierce Christian Louboutins!

Where are you shopping for the latest spring clothes? Which magazines do you turn to for the best style advice? Which trends are your going after for the upcoming change of seasons? Happy Styling!

Basics for a Bargain: Dispell Those Turtleneck Myths with Inspiration from Claudia Schiffer, Keira Knightley, & More (Dedicated to Laurie)!


My dear friend Laurie, who I’ve dedicated a past blog to, has inspired this post with a question about the myth that turtlenecks = frompy.  However, here is the evidence that they’re not!  Of course I’m not a turtleneck-donning Style Darling myself, or anything with collars for that matter, but I can say that looking at the celebs below, there’s no way turtlenecks can be so wrong when they look so right- especially on my dear Laurie who always looks fashionable in a turtleneck.

Over the last few years, we’ve seen turtlenecks come back in style, in the most classic way, just like a good pair of trousers, dark denim jeans, a pencil skirt, & a button-down shirt. Jennifer Connelly layers her turtleneck with a blazer & pleated Balenciaga mini skirt & opaque tights.  Supermodel Claudia Schiffer makes a spring-like tunic fall-ready with a turtleneck, leggings, & heavy cardigan. Kristin Chenoweth looks super cozy in a furry sweater jacket, skinny jeans, & knee boots with her classic gray turtleneck underneath.  Reese Witherspoon multi-tasks in a black mock turtleneck, aviators, straight leg jeans, & embellished flats with a Rebecca Minkoff crossbody bag.  Amanda Seyfried covers up in the cold with a black turtleneck under a bright red romper dress for a TV appearance & matching red lips.  Keira Knightley looks like a modern-day Audrey Hepburn in a belted pencil dress & turtleneck ensemble with round toe Sergio Rossi pumps.  Disney darling Selena Gomez downplays her printed pants with a short-sleeved turtleneck & layered chains from LOFT.

And now the basic we’ve all been waiting for…. here are some turtlenecks, in stores now! @Old Navy, the ‘tropical storm’ turtleneck ($17.94) is available in five other colors & can be mixed & matched up with a skirt suit or puffer vest with white skinny jeans.  Each color is available in sizes XS – XXL for Style Darlings of all shapes! Try out some jewel tones & primary colors with the classic turtleneck sweater ($34.93) from The Limited, marked down from $49.90.  Take a skinny belt, like shown on the model, & add some modern edge to the underestimated basic piece that would look contemporary with classic stud earrings & bangles.  Style&co created this gray & black colorblock turtleneck ($21.98), available @Macy’s, also in black & red. It’s prefect for a pair of leather shorts & hoop earrings. Add some straight leg cigarette pants & platform boots to create an mod / equestrian look.

If you’re a mock turtleneck kind of gal, check out Target‘s short-sleeve mock in black which can help you recreate Keira’s look, or would be fabulous with a houndstooth pencil skirt for work! Also, this turtleneck reminds me of a Fashion Flashback post featuring Marilyn Monroe with white pants & bouncy blonde curls.

Work a built-in belt with a sweater turtleneck ($17.80) like this from Forever 21 for a denim skirt & boots when you grab some hot chocolate with your gal pals on weeknight.  Probably my favorite of all the turtlenecks is the shirred turtleneck in deep teal ($28.00) by Jennifer Lopez for Kohl’s.  Also available in heather gray & black, this top is marked down from $40.00!

For those of you who still need some extra convincing, celebrities like Zoe Saldana, Emma Roberts, Lake Bell, Beyonce, & Cameron Diaz show that covering up in a turtleneck dress can be just as sexy & polished like a cocktail dress on the red carpet.  Check out a previous Basics for a Bargain post, featuring sweater dresses to see stars like Heather Graham, Eva Mendes, & Nicole Richie sporting fall-ready turtleneck style sweater dresses without any worry about if it’s a do or don’t.

Turtlenecks have come a long way.  Stay away from anything too festive, adorned with holiday-themes, & you won’t look like a fuddy-duddy.  Look for a turtleneck in a strong solid color, or in a modern print. Remember: Since turtlenecks are a must-have basic, you’re setting up the foundation to a really fashionable ensemble that could be accented with with long necklaces, a vest, belted bootcut jeans, a leather corset, mini skirt, or figure-flattering pencil skirt.

Also, for a final persuasion to any nay-sayers, check out these stunning runway looks from Chanel, Proenza Schouler, Michael Kors, Valentino, Stella McCartney, & Donna Karan.

Do you have any style myths that you just can’t figure out?  I’d be happy to show off how some celebrity-inspiration can translate into an affordable look.  Do you have any turtleneck stories?  Laurie, I hope this blog does the trick! Happy Styling!

4/17/11 Darling of the Day: Gwyneth Paltrow Promotes New Cookbook in Neutrals!


Oscar winner Gwyneth Paltrow is on a major press tour right now, promoting her new cook book My Father’s Daughter.  She made an appearance on Good Morning America in a beige sheath with a blush satin blazer by Alexander Wang & strappy sandals by Sergio Rossi.  This look is perfect for spring & the pieces can be mixed & matched in many different ways.  For a more trendy affair, add a chunky belt & some peep toes.  The jacket can be worn with jeans & a blouse or even with another sheath dress.  Leather sandals in cognac are really versatile for a maxi dress or a work look in a pencil skirt with a cardigan.  Shoes by Sergio Rossi range from $500 & up @Neiman Marcus, but this entire look only costs about $178!  For more red carpet looks that Gwyneth has donned, check out In Style, Style.com, & Harper’s Bazaar!  Happy Styling!