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!

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Quickie Darling Deal & Steal: A Top Shoe Pick From Sofia Vergara for KMart!


It’s not a secret that I love celebrity fashion lines, so I’m returning to one of my favorites & that is Sofia by Sofia Vergara for KMart.  The funny star of Modern Family understands the budget of a working woman, as well as her desire to look smart, sexy, & stylish!  I’ve featured Sofia’s line @KMart previously here & here b/c there’s just so much to love about the very affordable & wearable collection.

I’ve chosen this Harper suede & snake pump ($34.99) b/c it is so versatile for work, to dress up a day look, or to wear with any cocktail dress.  Not only is it available in a sultry black, but it’s also sold in nude as a perfect neutral to any printed sheath dress, vintage-inspired jumpsuit, or modern LBD.

The possibilities are endless on how to wear this shoe, but for the unbeatable price, it’s a must-have this spring.  Also, it’s one of those styles that you can wear all year long.  For example, in the fall, break out some super opaque tights to wear these with a belted sweater dress or any layered look of a blouse & cardigan with skinny pants.  In the winter, I’d recommend these with a wool suit for the office or even with a structured brocade dress which will offset the snake & suede textures very nicely.

For more of my favorite footwear picks, check out previous posts which include jellies from Express, starry ballet flats from ALDO, DexFlex scrunch flats from Payless, & Old Navy’s colorful espadrilles!

Have you shopped for anything from Sofia’s line? Do you like these shoes? What would you wear them with? Happy Styling!

Basics for a Bargain: Best Black Jackets For Day & Night (Dedicated to Laurie)!


During a recent breakfast date with my uber-stylish friend Laurie, the subject of blazers came up since she’s in search of a jacket with enough flair to dress up a going out look, but one that can also be worn for a daytime casual look.  Because a black blazer is such an essential item, I thought I’d turn to some of my favorite celebrities for some inspiration on the different styles of blazers for a number of different occasions.

First off, we have Olivia Palermo in a velvet Giambattista Valli mini dress with brogues from Zara & a Mango clutch.  She tops her look with a button-embellished jacket for a more polish at a Macy’s event.  Fergie attended an affair for Black Eyed Peas in a feathered & gold skirt with a satin-trim blazer & Christian Louboutins.  Rachel Weisz paired her velvet jacket with leather leggings at the DVD launch for Deep Blue Sea.  At the premiere of Sandra Bullock‘s latest film, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, the Oscar-winner donned an Alexander McQueen suit with a plunging jacket & corset-inspired belt.  Jessica Alba went out for a stroll in West Hollywood, pairing a single-button jacket with a high-neck white dress & black tights.  Lastly, Kristen Bell played down her cropped pink trousers with a Rachel Zoe tuxedo jacket & satin pointy toe pumps.

When looking for a blazer that works for you, there are a lot of factors to take into account like fit around the waist, where the sleeves fall, & details like trim & structure.  Since jackets are investment pieces, these bargains are a little higher in price, but totally worth it if you find one that works best for your shape.  I picked out a variety of jacket suggestions to be worn casually with shorts & tights, with your favorite dark denim jeans & a button-down top, over an LBD, or over a sequin cocktail dress.

The classic two-button blazer ($59.99) from Gap ranges in sizes 0 – 20 & has been marked down from its original $98.00 price tag.  There’s plenty of room here to add a fancy antique brooch if it looks too office-ready for a going out ook.  If you’re looking for something with some built-in personality, try the zebra stripe textured blazer ($32.80) from Forever 21.  A dressy option for a jacket comes from JC Penney, the MNG by Mango tuxedo jacket with satin trim ($60.00) is just enough to wear over a blouse or with a jersey dress & metallic belt.  If details like buttons are your thing, the H&M blazer ($59.95) is not just available in black, but also light pink & bright blue.  A classic single-button stretch jacket ($48.96) like the one from New York & Company adds confidence to a t-shirt & jeans look, especially with knee boots & hoop earrings.  Lastly, I remembered my recent post about Kmart’s Sofia by Sofia Vergara collection & the velvet tuxedo blazer ($31.99) came to mind, especially if worn with a slinky cami & skinny pants.

For more Basics for a Bargain looks, check out scarves inspired by Claire Danes & Rihanna, tees & leather like Miranda Kerr, & look-alike sweater dresses to those worn by Nicole Richie & Eva Mendes! How do you wear your favorite blazers? Where are your favorite places to shop for blazers? Happy Styling!

Quickie Darling Deal & Steal: Sofia Vergara Unveils Her New Collection @KMart!


If you thought Jennifer Lopez’s latest collection @Kohl’s was a big deal, then watch out for Sofia Vergara‘s new clothing line for Kmart.  True, J.Lo is a much bigger & more established star than the Modern Family star, but Sofia has that down-to-earth / polished / sexy girl style that we all want to achieve while on a budget.

The star, who’s famous for showing off her curvy figure on the red carpet in looks by Carolina Herrera & Dolce & Gabbana, has designed a full line that you can check out on the store’s website, Sofia by Sofia Vergara here.  Sofia recently talked to WWD magazine about why she developed the line: “This is not a new store for me. When you have kids you don’t go to Bergdorf Goodman to buy underwear and socks. You go to Kmart,” hence her decision to join the retail family that also houses Attention, Dream Out Loud by Selena Gomez, & BONGO.

Below are some promotional images from the collection, which feature modern & comfortable separates, fitted dresses for going out, bomber jackets, mini skirts, & trendy accessories that can be mixed & matched with other pieces in your wardrobe.  Sizes on all items range from small to extra large.  The prices are very affordable, ranging from $9.99 – $49.99, perfect for the average Kmart shopper & savvy Style Darling.

Which of the above looks do you like?  Is it the sequined animal print teeDark wash jeansAnimal print ruched mini dress? Black flutter sleeve dress? Or the bustier pencil dress? Also, play the video below to hear from the Emmy-nominated actress in her own words about the very versatile collection & how it matches her own personal style!

Happy Styling!