This holiday season, I’ve been doing a double-take when it comes to festive, feminine, & one-of-a-kind footwear for holiday gatherings & upping up my at-work style game leading up to mid-December. Before I can hit add-to-cart on any of my selections, I have to do my research to see if I am getting the best deal for my dollar, but also, if the holiday shoe of my choice, with a regal satin texture, sparkly embellishment, & bow adornment, is made in a design that best suits my shoe aesthetic.
Back in March, Harper’s Bazaar declared the below Mach and Mach design the party shoe of the year, which makes perfect sense given its glamour, festive embellishment, & Cinderella appeal–not to mention all the different color & design possibilities that have clearly spawned from this original style.
Check out the below designs from various retailers & at a range of price points. All the styles offer all the bride’s dreams to come true, bridesmaids color-coordination perfection, & party girl giving-you-life flare. Which do you like?
So a pair of high heels may not be on every Style Darling’s holiday wishlist & it’s nearly impossible to buy someone else high heels as a surprise—unless you’ve received a specific request, you know their style & size to a tee, or you’re a stylist who can read people’s style needs easily. However, for the rest of us, some high heels remain a dream & that’s fine. That’s not to say that I’ve hung up my high heel collection & passion, but we’re taking a break in the name of happy arches & comfortable days at work. With that… a little sparkle, plaid, & velvet perks my feet right up for holiday footwear!
SHOP:Liv pump in red plaid (on sale: 59.46, available in sizes 6-12), Liv pump in purple metallic (on sale: $62.96, available in sizes 6-12), & Lyla pump in teal green & purple (on sale: $55.96, available in sizes 6-12) @New York & Company. Check site & emails frequently for coupon codes!
I love the idea of pairing the plaid with a sweater dress & faux fur vest. Likewise, the metallic option can amp up a little black dress & statement necklace; whereas, the velvet styles with the blingy bow offset faux leather leggings & a tunic sweater or sheath dress & drop earrings for your next holiday gathering!
If there’s any actress sure to garner attention for the glossy photos of a magazine cover shoot, it’s Anne Hathaway! For the November 2022 issue of Vogue Hong Kong, the Academy Award-winner channels her 60s goddess, which we’ve been seeing a lot lately for recent red carpets & press events, discussing turning 40 soon, her 4 upcoming films (Armageddon Time,Eileen, She Came to Me, & Mother’s Instinct), as well as family & fashion!
With over 40 acting credits to her name, plus an Academy Award & BAFTA nomination, Felicity Jones is a style star on the rise, especially as she steadily presents a likable, force on screen with every role she steps into, such as Jane Hawking in The Theory of Everything, Ruth Bader Ginsburg in On The Basis of Sex, or Jyn Erso in Rogue One, The actress turns 39 today & while taking a look back at her red carpet style, including owns, suits, & short dresses, I’m drawn to subtle details in Felicity’s looks, such as a chunky bang, embroidery, embellishment, belts, or a metallic accent. Take a look at the gallery below for Felicity’s classic style with a twist:
I can’t wait for these to go down in price a little bit more before adding them to my well-stocked & already leopard-spotted cart. I love leopard all year long, & the bow detail on these just cries out for a little black dress, cream sweater with a burgundy pencil skirt, or magenta blouse & straight leg trousers!
There are some accessories or around-the-house pieces I was always rely on until I just can’t wear them anymore. That definitely applies to slippers. In our high ranch house, since we live most of the time upstairs, I keep a pair in the bedroom for early, chilly mornings & when getting ready for bed. Likewise, I have another pair in my cloffice downstairs for work-from-home days & playing with my daughter in our family room. This is convenient, so that no matter where I am, I have slippers to stay cozy.
However, now that Target has a major 40% off deal happening right now on slippers, I might just have to freshen up my options, especially for post-shower primping when I don’t necessarily want my feet to be all covered up.
As fall rolls in, we’re not only getting obsessed with layers, but also textures, especially in footwear! Specifically, velvet is a great fabric for virtually any article of clothing or accessory, but on a shoe, an outfit becomes elevated with a more luxe sophistication & festive fashionability. Last fall, I went crazy buying up all the velvet leggings I could in every rich, jewel tone hue & now I’ve got my eye on velvet flats.
These will be a perfect work staple to contrast a neutral-heavy look in earth tones & dark denim, but also with other luxurious patterns of the season, such as plaid, floral, abstracts, & brocade! my only wishes are for availability in wide width, a pointy toe as opposed to an almond toe, & other colors, such as navy or purple.
As tomorrow marks the last day of summer, I’m not quite ready to bid adieu to my maxi dresses & sandals. My heart just isn’t there yet, but my eyes are on the fashionable fall prize… & so is my finger as I click my mouse to Add-to-Cart! I can’t even think about wearing heavy layers or hefty fabrics, but they just kept finding their way into my social media. Case in point:
SHOP:tweed ballet flats in black @Ardene ($19.90, available in sizes 6-10). Not only do I adore the tweed fabric, but also, the chunky buckle across the pointy toe cries out for black polka dot tights & a cardigan with pencil skirt outfit—fit for any teacher or professor (like myself!) this fall.
Currently, Ardene has a 30% off on select shoes, for customers in the U. S., so this is getting more & more tempting! Tweed never goes out of style & creates the perfect juxtaposition of textures when paired with lace or florals of similar color scheme!
A few weeks ago, I was taking a quick walk through my local Macy’s & was stopped & stunned to find these:
The Karl Lagerfeld Paris Carlisle pump in black (on sale: $118.30) floored me! I’m not a major name brand shopper—I’m more of an admirer from a far. However, I couldn’t help myself, gawking mouth agape & all, thinking of the kind of life a woman wearing these shoes must live. Then, my mind went into a tailspin of styling possibilities: a tailored suit with a bow-neck blouse, cocktail dress for New Year’s Eve, a fit & flare dress with a leather jacket for date night, or a tunic sweater & studded jeggings. No matter the style, these are fierce shoes, going on my wishlist! Truth be told, I’ll likely never actually purchase them, fearing my budget-oriented voice of reason would judge & guilt me over all the other ways I could have invested my money… Oh well!
As the photos roll in for last night’s Emmy Awards, there’s more to love & add to your Pinterest for celebrity inspiration. while the ceremony had its own barrel of issues, the stars were out in full force, celebrating television talent, on & off screen. Check out the expanded gallery below from some Style Darling Daily favorites:
Tonight’s Emmy Awards are a star-studded affair with lots to talk about at the water cooler tomorrow morning. The jokes! The skits! The acceptance speeches! The style! There’s more to come as this post will continue to be updated as more images & details emerge! Enjoy the gallery!
Aside from the pretty floral pattern, I love the rich color combination in conjunction with the jewel embellishment, both of which enable this flat to go from day to night. Imagine wearing this with a navy romper for a posh weekend brunch spot, with a hunter green suit & champagne blouse for an important meeting, a rust pullover sweater with dark denim skinny jeans for a game night with friends, or a cocktail dress & statement studs for a special occasion.
When it comes to prepping for the work week, most people schedule & plan out meals for lunch during work, but also at home, whether you’re single or providing for an entire family. However, on top of that, something that I try to do to make my harried mornings a little easier is outfit prep. A typical Sunday night includes me picking out 5-6 full outfits & folding them in a neat pile in order of when I will wear them so that I can get ready steadily each morning before I’m about to get my pre-schooler dressed & fed, along with embarking on my hour-long commute. Here are my steps to outfit prepping success:
1. Check the weather & your schedule. No matter the season, checking the weather will be helpful. For me, hot days mean dresses & laser cut flats with a lightweight sweater for the air conditioned office. Likewise, snow or rain mean that I need to be conscious of footwear & hair styling. Also, if you have an important meeting or post-work event, take into account how your outfit can transition.
2. Build the whole look. Even if I know I’ll be removing a cardigan or other layer for most of the day, I always keep one handy. I’m a cardigan girl, so all of my outfits include either a button-down, flyaway, or cropped topper to complete the look. I try to mix it up each day with length & color, so it doesn’t look like I’m wearing the same piece each day. Also, I put together a top with pants or a skirt & make a note of the shoes I’ll wear somewhere on my phone. I have too many shoes, so it’s worth it—for me—to ensure that I’m varying them each day. If it’s going to be a hectic week, of course, I’ll repeat out if sheer comfort needs!
3. Pre-select accessories. I have little dishes on my bedroom dresser handy for accessories, in addition to my jewelry boxes & trays that are organized by metal type. Upon selecting the outfit pieces, topper, & shoe, the accessories come next. I usually only do this for 2 days in advance to avoid cluttering my dresser Monday through Friday. This also ensures that I’m putting my jewelry away each day too. I have 5 piercings in each ear, so I select which earring will be the main one, if it’s a drop, hoop, or stud, & then grab a card or 2 of smaller options for my other holes that I’ll grab easily as I’m getting dressed. This applies to necklaces & bracelets too. Also, if I need a belt, I pick one that coordinates with my jewelry.
4. Check for imperfections. I don’t really own much that needs to be ironed or steamed, but I like to plan in advance for those outfits. Rather than folding them on my dresser, as seen below, I’ll steam ahead of time & leave the item hanging somewhere they won’t be in the way if I’m not wearing it until the end of the week & where it will remain in tact. The same goes for checking for fit, holes, missing buttons, stains, etc. You don’t want to be halfway to work when you realize that there’s something irreversibly wrong—in the moment—with your outfit, especially right before a major meeting too!
5. Grab an extra look. I sometimes get overly ambitious with an outfit that I plan, but then when the day comes & maybe the weather changes or I’m feeling bloated, I change my mind & want something more comfortable. Also, I consider factors before & after my work day, such as any errands to run or stops to make, so I’m comfortable & capable to perform those tasks & my outfit doesn’t interfere.
6. Hair! I’m curly all summer long & since my work days have been light lately, I’ve relied on a claw clip or barrette, but once the cooler weather arrives, I’ll straighten my locks & turn to scrunchies, bobby pins, or hair ties, so I plan in advance if I have something that coordinates well with a particular look. It usually ends up on a dish with the jewelry too.
7. Keep it up. The usual Monday mornings when I realize I’ve forgotten to outfit prep somehow always become my most stressful days, setting the tone for more stress. The more frequently I outfit prep to get myself mentally & physically prepared for the week, the calmer I can start my day. Also, by maintaining a weekly outfit prep schedule, at least for a 9-5, I spend more time with my wardrobe & then remember better what I’ve worn recently to make sure I’m getting the most out of my investment by not wearing the same handful of pieces each week & rotating old favorites that make me happy.
8. Adapt as necessary. If you keep grabbing the same top each week, planning to wear it & then you change your mind each time, maybe it’s time to donate it since you may never actually wear it. Similarly, you might find that you’re wearing all black all the time & you’re missing other brighter colors; then, set a goal for the week to celebrate patterns or include a neon each day or coordinate a different take on animal print on Fridays.
To conclude, there definitely other things we all worry about that are way more important in our lives, but if feeling prepared for the week & expressing yourself through your clothing are major facets of who you are, try to outfit prep. Playing dress-up doesn’t have to be just for special occasions. Having fun with what you wear helps with confidence & definitely reduces my anxiety about what lies ahead each week.
Fall fashion doesn’t usually shout out polka dots—at least not like spring & summer style do—but that doesn’t mean it’s not a pattern you can rely on. I love a polka dot piece, especially because it means that I can mix another pattern with it. Particularly, polka dots can work with leopard, stripes, florals, & abstract prints when done right. An easy way to dip your toes into pattern mixing with polka dots—wait for the pun to click—is through an accessory or finishing piece, such as a polka dot shoe.
The Ollio dot pattern ballet comfort pointed toe flat in black @Amazon ($29.99, available in sizes 6-11) is a subtle, stylish, & playful way to incorporate polka dots into your look. I love the pointer toe, which is fashion forward for a street style look, but also elongating for a professional & confident outfit for work.
I’m obsessed with these flats in the black & white combination, especially with the possibility of pairing them with a floral dress, as well as some colorblocking with patterned tights. When experimenting with pattern mixing, try matching up colors that work in both patterns to find success, as seen in my previous black & white outfit post. However, if trying to coordinate black & white polka dot flats like these with another print, then I suggest keeping it solid with classic neutrals, like black pants or dark denim jeans & a bold solid sweater or top in red, magenta, yellow, or royal blue, all of which will really make the polka dots pop.
I definitely love the idea of matching any of these up with floral counterparts when the warmer weather returns, as well as with lighter & more delicate cotton pieces that can be found on sale on the major end-of-season clearance blowout racks.
The picture from 2017 was taken in front of my parents’ house in Lake Grove for my first day of teaching (as Professor LeClair) a college class & I had no idea the path I was about to fashionably forge or how my life would change over the next 5 years! When I recently uncovered the tropical dress from deep storage (that I was unable to unpack or even mentally tackle for a good 2 years), I remembered that I hadn’t worn the dress since that very first, nerve-wracking day of a career I never wanted; however, with the launch of my sixth academic year as an English professor (as Professor Gambino), I thought it was “fitting” to break it out again.
Of course, I accessorized it differently, opting for white accents & skipped the belt, but it’s good to know that 40 or do classes later, I still got it! The top picture on the right was taken this morning, a beautiful summer morning as the buzz of academia awaited me & called so many back to their jobs after a long break. I’d like to look back on both of these moments as bursting with possibility & new starts, reminding myself that they do come back around, even when it seems like fate has stuck you in a never-ending cycle.
Ultimately, recycling old favorites to make them feel new again & doing my very best to live the stylish life (one day at a time) are goals that I hope to uphold now that I’ve reclaimed a part of myself (& my style) in finally having my wardrobe where I want it to be. Stay tuned for more detailed updates on the unveiling of my cloffice (a.k.a. Style Darling Daily headquarters).
As for the outfit: The dress is an oldie from my stylist days @Dressbarn, as is the black bolero. The recent picture includes a @New York & Company cardigan & @Ardene flats, as well as oldie @Dressbarn drop earrings.
When it comes to fall fashion, bold florals don’t usually come to mind first, but I like mixing it up when the seasons change with unexpected pops of colors so as not to look like everyone else in plaid & still challenge myself. Anyway, expressing one’s style isn’t about following trends!
Florals are not for everyone & I typically veer my style attention away from a traditional grandmother/curtain-looking floral; however, one pair of floral flats that I’ve had since last year always seems to stay in rotation. I love the Dream Paris casual pointed toe ballet comfort soft slip on flat shoes in floral @Amazon (on sale: $21.99 & available in sizes 5-12) for the color versatility with magenta, purple, white, neon green, navy, & black.
I’ve worn these to the office with virtually every solid maxi dress that I own, paired with a crochet bolero or cardigan, as well as with different pant & blouse outfits. After getting another closet look at them online & wearing them on & off cue the last few months, I suspect that the floral pattern placement on each pair may vary, as seen with my shoes below.
For fall, I even love mixing these flats with a navy & magenta outfit, as well as a black & purple color-blocked look. Not to mention that the shoes are perfect beyond the office with a shift or fit & flare dress for a special occasion. They’re super comfortable & I get so many compliments on them every time I wear them.
Additionally, they’re reduced in priced from $35.99 & have a 4/5 rating from over 7,000 reviews! However, one downside is that they’re not available for shoppers needing a wide width size.
Actress Blake Lively is not only an A-lister, a mother of three, & wife to Ryan Reynolds, but a style & beauty icon for the ages her dramatic, ultra-glamorous, & iconic red carpet & public appearances that are methodically planned for every occasion.
Today marks the former Gossip Girlstar’s 35th birthday & another year around the sun is just another reason to celebrate Blake’s most fashionable accessories & beauty looks, especially because she is her own stylist.
Her lush layers of blonde locks—usually—are equally a part of her style when not tied back in a ponytail or feminine updo, along with full lashes, a natural shimmer, & statement jewelry, such as a gold drop earring. She knows what works for the occasion & her shape, as well as how to shut down a red carpet or New York City street with extravagance.
Take a look through the gallery below at Blake’s historic jewelry & beauty catalogue from movie premieres, awards shows, the Met Gala, & more!
One style of shoe that’s growing on me (& the trendiest this past spring-summer) is the mule, which always gave me pause since I like to feel a footwear all around my foot—with the exception of flip-flops. However, as I’m getting ready—mentally & stylishly—for the fall semester, as many teachers & professors are, I have my sights set on fashionable, but comfortable footwear.
The Time & Tru twist mule @Walmart ($16.98, available in sizes 6-11) is the answer, especially in black & blush! The low heel & twisted front present a stylish option to coordinate with any blouse & trousers look for parent-teacher conferences, a midi dress & cardigan for the first day of school, or a pair of dark denim jeans with a button-down.
Also, one thing to keep in mind when viewing the miles online versus in person is the difference in shade for the blush pair, as seen below from my discovery of the shoe in-person:
I did try these on & they were comfortable. I didn’t get far walking in them, but they’re still on my mind. I do wish they were available in navy or olive since those are some of my favorite summer-to-fall transition hues.
Just as fruit prints & tropical patterns are signature to summer, houndstooth is a symbol of fall as fashion transitions from the lightweight to the heavier layers. In fact, wearing houndstooth is one of my favorite ways to greet the fall, no matter the color combination, although black & white is the more traditional route. I love a modern take on houndstooth with varying sizes, styles, & colors; particularly, the new Check It Out collection @New York & Company. The black houndstooth that we all love to wear with more subdued solids is brightened with more than white as we see bright yellows, kelly green, & even magenta to experiment with this fashion forward menswear-inspired print. I’ve selected a few tops, bottoms, & shoes that are my favorites to recommend anyone who dares to be bold with this striking pattern.
First, I love the combination of houndstooth on these tops with the details over a trimmed neckline, neck-tie bow, & solid collar, which are perfect to match with a pencil skirt & pumps, joggers & ankle boots, or jeans & ballet flats.
Next, houndstooth certainly makes a style statement on the lower half, especially when coordinating with a pullover sweater & layered necklaces, classic tee & statement necklace, or pleated cami & tailored blazer.
During a recent black hole viewing of Instagram stories (I’m not the only one, am I?), I came across a blogger sharing their interpretation for summer-to-fall teacher outfits, including A New Day’s high-rise slim straight pull-on pants @Target ($25.00, available in sizes XS-4X). There are 2 qualities about these pants that I loved right away: 1. They’re pull-on. Ever since I’ve had my daughter, pants with zippers are the enemy & pull-on pants are my loyal subjects! 2. They’re available in 8 neutral, professional colors / patterns.
The variety includes navy (windowpane), black pinstriped, gray (plaid), gray (& black/purple houndstooth), cream, green, brown, & black. So far, I’ve ordered all, except the black because they weren’t available in my size, & I’ve received the navy & gray houndstooth. They’re very comfortable & run true to size. I love the length (being that I’m 5’3″).
For a professional day, they will pair nicely with a blouse-cardigan-ballet flat combination or a short sleeve sweater & statement necklace with mule heels. I’d love to style these pants for more than just work though. When headed somewhere more casual, I can see pairing the solid options with a dolman top & sandals or a printed tee & wedges. As always, the possibilities are endless! Check out some options by A New Day sold @Target below:
Lastly, an outfit isn’t complete without some stylish (& affordable shoes). Target really knows what they’re doing when it comes to products in the line for A New Day as so many neutral pieces can be coordinated, especially with the pants:
However, finding an affordable & comparable look inspired by these LaPointe pieces is somewhat difficult (try Poshmark or Mercari for similar separates too), but if a shoulder-to-knee sequins may be a bit much for you, think about coordinating the sparkle with satin for a luxurious & comfortable outfit. I’ve selected the pieces below for inspiration, even though an orange set is hard to find for a budget. Also, keep scrolling for suggested accessories too!
About 15 years ago, I would’ve totally donned a look like this—which is not to say that it’s out of style; it’s just not my personal aesthetic. I can still appreciate it & applaud Selena’s fashion choices when it comes to neon hues & unexpected glam! When on vacation, it’s fun to express a different side of yourself to explore a new city or open yourself up to someone knew, all through style! What do you think of Selena’s outfit? Would you wear all-over sequins in a matching set like this? Is orange a color you gravitate towards for summer? For more stylish posts, check out: Anne Hathaway’s NYC street style in gauzy cream, Rachel Brosnahan’s bold Loewe look in parrot pants, & Sadie Sink’s Miu Miu floral dress. Happy Styling!
As I’m preparing to return to the office after almost 2 1/2 weeks off, my mind is racing with style inspiration for what I’ll wear! Even though I’m not teaching again until the fall semester begins, there’s still plenty of opportunity to explore summer work style & that starts with a cute pair of navy flats!
I’d purchased very plain faux suede navy flats from Old Navy years ago, which were staples for anytime I needed a pop of the darker neutral to complete a mostly blue look for work. Eventually, those flats were worn out, but I did order another pair. However, I dreamt of more special navy flats, something with flare to rank with my assortment of patent leather, lace, snake embossed, bowed, jeweled, laser cut, & studded flats in other colors. Navy just never seemed to have its moment—until I found the Ollio faux suede decorative flower pointed toe ballet flats @Amazon ($29.99, available in sizes 6-10 & in 6 additional colors).
I have an 8 medium foot, so these fit me perfectly for work when wearing a blouse & dress pants, wrap dress & cardigan, or if I am attending a special daytime occasion, these coordinate well with any spring or cocktail-length dress needing a navy companion. Unfortunately, the flats are not available in wide & some half sizes.
Right now is the best time to shop for summer’s trendiest & most stylish pieces, from tops to dresses & shorts to accessories. It seems like everything is on sale everywhere & fall is just around the retail corner. Additionally, I was in a local Walmart Superstoretoday with my family when I came across a can’t-miss deal on Time & Tru’s multi-band slide sandal marked down to $8.00 from $14.98!
I tried on a pair, although I didn’t end up buying the great deal. They are comfortable & definitely soft, but I’m, personally, not a fan of slides. However, I’d definitely recommend these to coordinate with a multitude of stylish summer looks, including a tee & pair of shorts, print Ed romper, headed to the beach with a sarong, maxi or midi dress, & button-down with cropped jeans.
I’m a fan of the color variety here, especially when a mint shoe isn’t usually a choice. However, I’d recommend checking your local Walmart stores for the color(s) & size you need since online availability is limited.
It’s amazing that this is the season of the slide sandal. The slide sandal comes in a flat, kitten heel, block heel, and even platform with an array of details including the material, such as leather or faux leather, basket weaving, or a jelly. However, if you are still in the market for comfortable, it’s stylish black knotted slides, don’t break the bank! You might find inspiration from designer label slides, but obtaining the look on a budget for your next backyard gathering, weekend chore, maxi dress & tote bag combo, or day at the beach in a romper is possible!
Below includes a high-end example of black knotted sandals:
Additionally, this type of shoe can even be found in unexpected places, such as Five Below:
However, these sandals, also available and 10, or not sold on the store’s website, but you may still be able to find them in a local Five Below location near you! If they are $5, you might as well get both colors!
About 5 years ago, I posted about finding the prettiest & blingiest summer sandals from David’s Bridal, ones that I still wear to this day. I rotate them with about 3 other sandals, along with flip flops & ballet flats, depending on where I’m going. However, when buying a must-have item, it’s rare to see it still available to purchase, even a whole 5 years later! Since David’s Bridal carries year-round bridal accessories, along with newer, trendy pieces, it’s actually no surprise that the Gemma jeweled t-strap sandal (available in sizes 5-11, in rose gold & silver + wide width, $29.95) is still in stock & as fabulous as ever!
I love styling these with a tropical maxi dress for a party, a blouse & linen shorts for an outdoor dinner, or to dress up a tee & cropped pants.