The Stylish Five: Spring-Ready Striped Dresses ($35 & Under)!

It’s Easter Sunday & I wanted to share with readers some affordable spring-ready dresses that are perfect for more than just today’s holiday & any body type! I’m recently starting a new position at my job, as well as an entering into an exciting opportunity for a second job this week, so of course I’m thinking about what I’ll be wearing. Fortunately both environments require a blend of professionalism & creativity, so I’m gearing up to dust off favorites from last spring & invest in some show-stopping looks to last me through the spring & summer.

All of these looks are under $35 & I’m really drawn to stripes since there’s so much opportunity to mix with accessories like floral tights on a chillier day, textured pumps, or an embellished cardigan. First, I wanted to share the boat-neck 3/4 sleeve shift dress ($22.97) in black stripe from Old Navy, which will pair well with bold pieces like red heels, a yellow lacquered belt, turquoise tights, or a green leather jacket. Also, I’ve been keeping an eye on the latest styles @JCP, including the a.n.a. short-sleeved cowlneck dress ($22.00), which can be dressed up with a boyfriend blazer & pointy toe pumps, or worn casually with a denim jacket & ballet flats.

For a thicker stripe, I love the rich tones in the striped chiffon sleeveless dress ($32.47) in summer berry punch from New York & Company, which is also available in a blue / green combination. This is an office-friendly dress that can translate well to happy hour, especially when mixing up the look with stacked bangles, a cropped jacket, or knee boots. Also, as a big fan of Target, I knew I had to feature the Mossimo half back zipper fit & flare dress ($27.99) in teal stripe. This youthful dress is perfect for accentuating any figure & is available in sizes XS – XXL. Lastly, another look for my curvy Style Darlings is the colorblocked chiffon dress ($27.80) from Forever 21, which gives off a vintage feel with the playful collar & delicate bow.

Do you like to wear stripes? What kinds of dresses are you looking at for spring? What’s your spring shopping budget? For more spring fashion posts, check out blue moto jackets at every price point, Kim Kardashian’s silver Jimmy Choo pumps, the best mint shoes for the season, & the hottest floral looks as seen on Elizabeth Olsen & Selena Gomez! Happy Styling!

The $100 Challenge: Spring Into A Budget-Friendly Dress Look!

‘Tis the season to be pretty! There are hints of spring everywhere & I even see flowers starting to pop up out of the ground, which means that it’s time to start considering the new & bright pieces for our wardrobe. This includes cotton dresses, wedges, lightweight cardigans, & baring some skin from under the heavy layers of winter. I was clicking through the Old Navy website, which is when I found the striped fit & flare dress ($20.00) in black & white, which is also available in creme caramel.

I knew this look deserved a pop of color, which is why I added the peep toe wedges ($24.90) in green from Forever 21 & American Eagle Outfitter‘s perforated crossbody bag ($19.99) in lemon yellow. Both pieces are perfect to mix & match with other wardrobe staples like dark denim jeans & a ruffled blouse, a graphic tee & mini skirt, or wrap dress & ballet flats.

To complete the look, I headed to LOFT for the dot haircalf skinny belt ($20.99), which is on sale 30% off with no code needed after its already reduced price. I love the idea of matching stripes & polka dots for a truly feminine look, so I wanted to keep with a black accent in the outfit with Forever 21‘s teardrop rhinestone earrings ($5.80). Lastly, the 4-pack bracelet ($7.95) from H&M is a fun way of adding some personality with the layers of chains, studs, & rhinestones.

The total for this look comes to $99.53 (before taxes) & can make for a wonderfully feminine look for a variety of occasions. Try this dress with a blazer to play up the juxtaposition of its softness with some menswear-inspiration, or consider adding the belt with a floral wrap dress & slingback heels. For more posts on affordable fashion, check out previous posts like Kate Young’s new collection for Target, neon looks inspired by Chloe Grace Moretz & Kristen Stewart, spring break-ready must-haves, sexy stilettos for under $30, how to save on the pink skinny jeans trend, all-white ensembles as seen on Rooney Mara & Nicole Richie, & Lauren Conrad’s latest spring collection for Kohl’s. Happy Styling!

Inside A Style Blogger’s Closet / Quickie Darling Deal & Steal: New Striped Dress From The Gap For Under $14!

I was strolling through the mall the other day to get out of the heat & do a little walking when I was struck to hit up The Gap to see if there were any to-die-for bargains waiting for me to take them home. Alas, this asymmetrical striped dress ($49.99) is my newest friend that I almost didn’t buy, but this is one of those too-good-to-be-true stories, but I wouldn’t lie to my Style Darlings about affordable fashion!

Now you might look at the price & think that $49.99 is not a bargain… well, in the store, I found this marked down from its original $64.95 price to $16.99.  Since it was Tuesday, I was able to earn another 10% off & b/c I opened a Gap card on top of that, the store granted me an additional 15% off. I paid under $14.00 for a dress that was originally marked up $50 more!

I don’t usually find myself attracted to stripes, but there’s something a little nautical, something a little Parisian about this very flattering dress (which I bought in a smaller size since I’ve dropped a dress size this year!), that makes me want to layer it with pearls & wedges to feel feminine or add a chunky belt & ankle boots for a transition-to-fall look.  However, I already know that I’m saving it for a special family gathering when I go on a little road trip with my boyfriend next week b/c that’s the perfect occasion to break out this new bargain.

The lesson here is to always check both the store & online price before you commit to buying something, b/c if you’re lucky enough to have access to both, you could really be serving your budget wisely, especially since the styling never stops! Happy Styling!

8/16/11 Darling of the Day: Amanda Seyfried, Emmy Rossum, Zoe Saldana, & More in Express!

Every now & again I find that more than one celebrity is wearing a look from a store that you can probably find in your local mall, but in this case, there are five of today’s most in-demand or up & coming actresses who are sporting a basic striped frock from Express.  Here we have Amanda Seyfried, Emmy Rossum, Zoe Saldana, Olivia Munn, & a very pregnant January Jones wearing a three-quarter sleeve striped dress, which costs $49.90.  The red & gray style seems to be the most popular, however there is also a black & white option (if red & gray aren’t your colors), which I’ve read that Emily Blunt recently wore, but suffice to say, I can’t find an image of it anywhere!

This dress captures the nautical trend of the summer, & can also be accessorized with a fun straw fedora, movie star shades, hoop earrings, or even with a camel belt, as seen on Zoe.  You have plenty of shoe options here too, ranging from flip-flops, gladiator sandals, ballet flats, or even cowboy ankle boots.  Once the fall comes around, layer this with a boyfriend cardigan, belt & some textured tights!

Who do you think looks best in the dress?  How would you style it differently?  Do you like the black & white option better?  Happy Styling!