Introducing… Professor Mommy Style Darling


As 2018 winds down, I can’t help but reflect on how much my life has changed in the last year. As some of you may or may not have noticed, I took a yearish-long break from the blog grind. This was because my life and priorities changed drastically. While I have always adored all things about fashion and exploring my personal style (this will never truly go away), I was faced with little to no time to regularly document my outfits, nor was I able to take a breath to seek inspiration in new trends to compose daily posts. Developing my blog and establishing a relevant online presence in the world of fashion blogging had long been a goal of mine. I believed that I had an empire to build, one blog post at a time. I relished in the challenge and was hungry for it every moment of every day. But sometimes, a curveball changes everything.

I became a college English professor. Teaching was never a dream of mine, but once offered the position (with five days to spare on my birthday weekend to create an entire syllabus for a Developmental Writing course for struggling student writers), taking the next professional step just made sense. Life before academia had been great, albeit static. I felt I had all the time in the world to blog and post on social media about every fashionable thing I experienced. I was content in the steady craziness that was my weekly schedule because it was what I’d become accustomed to for so long.

Upon accepting to teach the class, I dove right into the responsibility to mold young minds (with the very spare basics of writing) and it became utterly overwhelming. My respect for education has always been held in the highest regard since I’d been a perpetual student until I earned my Masters degree in 2016. Because of this new job, I turned into a maniac with lesson planning and preparing assignments—ever the perfectionist Virgo that I am. Just like with exploring my wardrobe, I was obsessed with the details of a topic and strengthening my grammar muscle. I couldn’t sleep until everything I was about to hand out to students was proofread, articles had been vetted for reliability, and questions were answered by colleagues to help guide me. If I had even a spare minute on the computer, it was completely dedicated to research and class prepping. I feared not knowing what I was doing in the classroom.

It all started with one class (at the college where I’d been regularly tutoring for about five years), but then it turned into two more classes at another college (with barely a whole weekend to prepare). By the end of 2017, I’d been working four different jobs (teaching three classes at two colleges, tutoring part-time during the week, and styling part-time—mostly on weekends). Once 2017 wrapped up, I was offered a full-time professor position teaching English at one of the colleges. Style Darling Daily seemed to be fading in my rearview mirror.

Just when I was getting my feet wet with the new job, 2018 also threw me for a personal loop as well. I was engaged, moving, pregnant, and planning a summer wedding. Don’t get me wrong—these were all good things that took up my time and changed my life, but no matter how much preparation I put into my career, the off-the-clock hours flew by faster than I believed was possible.Chris and I were married in July and our daughter, Melanie, was born in September. Our wedding was beautiful and I couldn’t have been happier with those memories. Melanie is healthy and growing happier every single day. She keeps us busy and laughing all the time. However, after her birth, I spent the better part of two months in pajamas, sometimes forgetting to wash my face—I was so tired, uninspired, and getting dressed was the last thing on my mind. Though, I wanted more than anything to dip my toes back into my Style Darling routine to regain a sense of my identity that no longer seemed feasible while adjusting to life as a mother.Not to mention, my perception of my body changed. I lost all my baby weight rather quickly, mostly because I choose catching up on sleep over eating when presented a few hours of reprieve when the baby was sleeping or help had arrived. I accepted the fact that the shape of my body had changed, but it made making decisions about how to get dressed in the morning (when I did return to work eight weeks later) difficult. For so long, I relied on staples to mix and match for my pre-baby figure. Fit was never anything I had to consider since my arsenal of go-to pieces was constantly at the ready. I had a uniform in place and could automatically put together an outfit; excitement came with pattern mixing, glitzing it up, and reinventing old favorites.

Post-baby, I could still wear the same dresses I had previously, although my collection of tights was no longer viable because they were all too small for me. My maternity leave occurred in the transition from summer to fall and I had a whole closet flip to conduct before returning to work. Also, the pants I’d searched high and low for (pants were always the enemy—I’m a dress girl) were too snug around my healing middle. I was uncomfortable wearing anything tight to put pressure on my C-section incision. Lastly, time to get ready in the morning is even less available, so I have to plan a week’s worth of work outfits in a hurried and harried 20-minute span the weekend before, if I can.

Just to clarify, all of the above information is not shared with resentment or unhappiness. After years of dating the wrong guys and waiting around for the next big thing to happen to me, everything fell right into place when it was supposed to. I am lucky. I thank my lucky stars for Chris’ love and patience with me, my family’s unyielding support, and every one of Melanie’s cheeky smiles.

I’ve figured out (for now, at least) that I can take a minute to breathe and think usually in between classes, while driving home, or feeding the baby for the now one time she wakes up in the middle of the night. I’m excited to seek out inspiration again for Style Darling Daily—taking baby steps (pun intended), of course. I want my daughter to grow up seeing me take care of myself, especially in how I present myself to the world. I want her to play in my closet one day and ask me about the purple leopard print cardigan (that I wore on my second date with her father) or those seashell stud earrings (that I commandeered from my mother).

With that, I’m more conscious than ever about my shopping budget. I was gifted gift cards to my favorite stores, so I’ve been considering any purchases very wisely, investing in unique pieces and favorites that I can get a lot of mileage out of. Also, Melanie is getting spoiled with her own wardrobe and I have a lot of fun coordinating colors, patterns, and themes with her when the occasion arises.

All and all, I’m tiptoeing back into blogland and I can’t guarantee the “daily” anymore for Style Darling Daily, but my heart is still in it, so please stick with me on this stylish journey. I’m back to work full-time and appreciating the opportunity that I have to reacquaint myself with my style sense. I have all the possibilities in the world ahead of me. I’d like to introduce myself while wearing all my fashionable hats. I’m Professor Mommy Style Darling. I love to sparkle and slay, so stay tuned.

What styling challenges have you faced over time? Where does your style inspiration come from? What advice do you rely on when considering your daily wardrobe? Happy Styling!

Advertisements

The Best Floral Shoes for the Holidays!


The holidays are just around the corner & as much as I love indulging in seasonal duds (red knits, green velvet pieces, fair isle sweaters, etc.), I’m always excited to get my hands on (or feet in, in this case) a new find that can be interpreted for the holidays & beyond. I’m talking about the Habit pump & Gigi flat @Payless by Project Runway winner Christian Siriano (a favorite designer of mine!) whose shimmer black floral footwear opens up the styling possibilities for fall, winter, & spring!

Habit pump @Payless

Gigi flat @Payless

I love these shoe options because of their versatility. They can be worn to the office & easily transition for evening for a night on the town or holiday party. They offer the perfect pop of personality for a little black dress, gold-burgundy outfit combination, & a blush blouse & skinny jeans. Also, these two styles of shoes are made in another matching heel-flat companion (for example: black with silver studs here & here), both of which are equally comfortable & chic for a variety of looks.

Holiday florals don’t have to be the traditional poinsettia or all about holly, especially when getting the most mileage out of your wardrobe investments will pay off better in the long run. For more fun shoe-related posts, click here, here, here, & here! Happy Holiday & Happy Styling!

Make A Stylish Statement–Not Just For The Holidays Either!


Statement necklaces never go out of style. They instantly elevate any outfit & reinvent a look’s accompanying pieces.I love mixing & matching statement necklaces with solid tops or printed dresses, often playing on color combinations to brighten up an ensemble, while also framing the face &, of course, facing the day like the true Style Darling!

Also, statement necklaces aren’t limited to special occasions or the holiday season. Add that extra element of sparkle creates interest in any look, as well as gets the most worth out of your accessories.

To help you get inspired when trying a statement necklace for the first time (or if you’re scouring for new ways to wear old favorites), check out Taraji P. Henson, Scarlett Johansson, Kerry Washington, & Cate Blanchett.

Remember, statement necklaces aren’t just for the red carpet either! Now that it’s starting to get chilly out, you’re breaking out the layers to bundle up & that shouldn’t exclude jewelry. Try wearing a glitzy statement necklace over a chunky sweater with leggings & riding boots or a statement necklace over a sweater dress with patterned tights. Shop these affordable & stylish finds to build your go-to statement necklace inventory for a variety of occasions.

Charming Charlie

Dressbarn

Forever 21

For more statement necklace inspiration, check out this timeless trend in previous posts here, here, here, & here. Happy Styling!

Show Me the Shoes: Velvet Ankle Strap Heels on Sale Now!


I have a lot to look forward to as season transitions from summer to fall. My birthday is coming up, I’m returning my primary job after summer vacation, it’s my boyfriend’s birthday, & we’re headed to some pretty major celebrations all in a matter of a month. With that, I’m very budget-conscious & plan to reinvent wardrobe favorites with stylish accessory combinations, in an effort to avoid buying new pieces. However, when I saw the Delphine velvet ankle strap heels @Nine West, I became really excited at the idea of wearing luxe gray or pretty blush shoes as neutrals to my planned party dresses.

Right now, Nine West is clearing out their spring & summer shoes with amazing clearance discounts. These Delphine evening sandals were originally $99.00 & they’re currently on sale for $29.99, available in sizes 5.5-10. The ankle strap sandal trend isn’t going away, especially as we head into the holidays. Wearing a regal textured shoe is also a stylish way to extend the life of cocktail dresses, dressy separates, & chic street style pieces.

Do you wear the same pair of shoes for every special occasion? Do you invest into textured, unique pieces for events? How much do you spend on end of the season shoes? Where do you shop for your favorite footwear? Happy Styling!

SHOP NOW! Stylish Back-To-School Buys!


The back-to-school time of year marks the end of the summer, but it’s also an exciting time of year. Kicking off the school year in style always made me feel confident & prepared for whatever challenges were to come. While I’m no longer in the student phase of my life, I love checking out the newest back-to-school must-haves, especially since I’m always working on writing projects & reading in my spare time. There’s nothing wrong with a little stylish touch on with your school accessories, no matter what level of education you’re in. I’m mad for colorful paperclips & sticky notes for efficient note-taking, as well as personal journals for writing prompts. Also, being comfortable when I’m home studying or preparing something is essential, especially when I have to “tote” a lot of materials with me from one spot to another. Here are just a few affordable & fashionable extras to keep you organized, inspired, & stylish for the upcoming academic calendar.

SHOP: pom pom paper clips @Forever 21, gold tassel charging cable @Icing, bed rest pillow @JCPenney, large purple scarf @H&M, striped 2017-2018 agenda @TJMaxx, nylon tote handbag @Target, Yes I’m Reading This bookmark @Francesca’s, & staineless steel water bottle @Old Navy.

What back-to-school accessories are you shopping for? Where do you go for the best in back-to-school? What favorites help you stay inspired from year to year? Happy Styling!

08/22/2017 Darling of the Day: Reese Witherspoon’s One-Shoulder Dress & Strappy Sandals!


Reese Witherspoon never fails to deliver on the red carpet, with her street style, & for any press event she attends. I love her feminine & edgy style, often a chic blend of preppy meets glam girl. The Oscar-winning actress & Draper James founder recently made an appearance in The Hamptons while promoting her new film, Home Again, wearing a gorgeous black & metallic one-shoulder Isabel Marant dress (shop here) (from the designer’s Fall 2017 collection) with ruffled Christian Louboutin strappy sandals (shop here). The look is picture perfect, which is why I’m featuring it for my latest Darling of the Day post. The ensemble is a definite style win, but the cost of the dress & shoes alone will run you back by the thousands.

It was hard to achieve a near-identical look-alike outfit, but I loved the inspiration behind the trendy one-shoulder & ruffled ankle strap heels. In featuring pieces inspired by Reese’s look, it’s always my pleasure to share how to recreate something similar for shoppers of any size. I love a great print & a black & white color combination is classic for every woman!

SHOP: Lucky Brand dress @Macy’s, plus floral dress @Target, LC Lauren Conrad linear drop earrings @Kohl’s, Napier linked bracelet @Kohl’s, & ruffle strappy heels @Missguided.

Which celebrity’s style do you love to watch the most? What’s your favorite dress trend right now? Where are you shopping for the most stylish accessories? For more celebrity style posts, check out Emma Stone for Marie Claire‘s September issue, Gabrielle Union’s newest collection for New York & Company, blazers on Jennifer Lopez & Olivia Palermo, & Rachel Bilson’s Old Navy denim look! Happy Styling!

Cover Craze: Emma Stone for Marie Claire’s September Issue!


I. Love. Emma. Stone. My nose is glued to the screen whenever Emma Stone is promoting a film & has countless red carpet premieres to attend. She’s not only an iconic fashion chameleon, but her all-around girl-next-door goofball vibes makes me feel like we really could be best friends. I’m obsessed with her sense of style & will almost always vote her best dressed, no matter the competition. So, when it came to seeking out what she’s been up to, I was super excited that she was Marie Claire’s September cover star. Emma’s currently promoting her new film, Battle of the Sexes, all about tennis-legend Billie Jean King in 1973 & co-starring Steve Carrell, Emma’s Crazy, Stupid Love on-screen dad, who plays her rival, Bobby Riggs.

The interview for Marie Claire is conducted by funny lady Sarah Silverman, who has a girl crush on Emma that reads quite equal to mine, where Emma discusses the power each of our voices have in times of controversy & political uprising, but also the challenges that the Oscar-winning actress (for of course, La La Land) faced when becoming Billie Jean King for the new film.

The photo shoot (led by Greg Kadel) includes Emma wearing some gorgeous pieces from Dior, Chanel, Valentino, Bulgari, to name a few!

Battle of the Sexes premieres on September 22nd, just in time to kick of awards season & you can be sure that I’ll be on the lookout for Emma’s highly anticipated press tour fashion!

Are you going to see Emma Stone’s new film? Do you like the styling of her Marie Claire cover shoot? Which stars do you love to see on magazines? Happy Styling!

SHOP NOW! A New Day by Target!


Retailers are currently faced with the challenge to reach shoppers in a new & innovative way, while trying to remain relevant, especially when online shopping is so prevalent. The ever-popular Target is headed in a new direction with A New Day, or A.N.D., an in-house collection of apparel, shoes, & accessories for any female shopper. This is evident in the availability of sizes from XS – 4X, ranging in price from $8 – $49.99. The line is full of fashionable fall finds, including denim, menswear inspiration, street pieces, outerwear, & more chic separates that will take shoppers from work to weekend to days off in style.

The line hits stores just in time for back to school shopping on August 27th. It’s sure to make a stylish splash, especially when seeking trend items like pleated skirts, military jackets, & bell sleeve shirts. A New Day comes just in time for Target’s change in clothing too, since announcing the phasing out of popular, staple brands like Merona & Mossimo.

Will you be shopping this new collection at Target? What are your favorite pieces from the line? Do you shop Target for new fall fashion must-haves? Happy Styling!

Cover Craze: Jennifer Lawrence for Vogue’s September Issue!


It’s that time of the summer when fall fashions are not just hitting stores, but also magazines too! September issues of fashion mags are perhaps the most highly acclaimed, ad-heavy, & competitive in capturing beautiful images of today’s most famous style icons. Vogue is celebrating their 125th anniversary as Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence graces the cover with photos from a slew of creative visionaries including artist John Currin, as well as photographers Annie Leibovitz, Inez & Vinoodh, & Bruce Weber.

Jennifer is clad is designer fashions & accessories including Miu Miu, Ralph Lauren Collection, Cathy Waterman, Tiffany & Co., Elsa Peretti, Dior, Eli Halili, Versace, & David Yurman.

During the interview, Jennifer discusses her love of reality television, the consequences of fame & judgment, as well as her upcoming projects. This includes her new film, Mother!, directed by Darren Aronofsky (& her current beau), as well as films working with Steven Spielberg & that rumored collaboration with Amy Schumer.

Which September issue are you most excited to see? Which stars are your favorites for magazine covers? Are you going to see her new film Mother!? Happy Styling!

Accessories Access: Big Bargain Baubles!


Summer is typically the season of the big earring (for me) since I don’t love feeling heavy metals layered on my skin during a humid & sticky day. However, when I’m headed to work or for a special occasion with friends, knowing that I’ll be in air conditioning changes the way I think about my outfit & accessories. I’ve been spotting so many gorgeous statement & bib necklaces lately, each that are perfect for these last days of summer in fun pops of color & whimsical designs. Also, discounted prices play a big role in what I’m willing to invest in, especially as my accessories collection grows!

SHOP: hammered gold coin necklace @Francesca’s, black teardrop stone necklace @Target, poppy collar necklace @BaubleBar, & floral bib necklace @Charming Charlie.

Statement necklaces definitely do make a statement, which can be anything from elegance, confidence, & a chic sensibility. Even though they’re bold, statement necklaces work for outfits that include both patterns & solids, creating an interesting, layered look. Try one of these affordable options over a little black dress, printed maxi dress, blouse & jeans, or graphic tee & leather mini.

Do you like to wear statement necklaces? Which colors do you gravitate towards? What metals are your favorite to wear? How do you style bold accessories? Happy Styling!