Living in Style: Summer Vacation Must-Haves from Francesca’s!


Summer is all about fun in the sun & adventure, which means it’s time to explore each & every beautiful day. If you haven’t already gone on or planned your summer getaway, or sought out stay-cation options for a local weekend of sightseeing, now is the time to do so! I know I’ve got a beach day on the brain, listing out all the necessities for a comfortable & memorable day of relaxation & style. Here’s an opportunity for Style Darlings to make more playful & whimsical choices when it comes to wardrobe & accessories for a most fashionable day off. This also includes a few must-haves that you’ll need while travelling from one hot spot to the next, such as beach gear, food / drink items, & some extras for quiet time too! I love shopping Francesca’s for cute finds for around the house, which is why I also sought out their latest online collection of vacation-ready trends.

SHOP: watermelon beach blanket, tribal kimono, woven tassel tote, pineapple hair pins, aviator sunglasses, Roxette thong sandal, Bonjour journal, & Secretly A Mermaid emergency kit @ Francesca’s.

Where are you headed this summer? What are some of your travel-ready favorites? Where do you shop for vacation necessities? What’s your vacation style? Happy Styling!

Splurge or Save… On Summer Gingham Tops!


When it comes to summer, there are so many prints that make for a fashionable look, but among them, gingham gets top billing! The typical gingham button down is classic for a variety of outfits, but this summer is all about the trendy, off-the-shoulder, ruffle, or halter gingham top available for shoppers of all sizes! Celebrities even love gingham, as seen on Baby Driver star Lily James, style blogger Olivia Palermo, singer / actress Vanessa Hudgens, A-lister & fashion mogul Reese Witherspoon, & Shameless actress Emmy Rossum.

For a trendy, one-season item like a gingham top, you don’t have to break the bank. There’s so much fashion out in the world & online for shoppers of all budgets, but I do love checking out high-end designer duds for a little inspiration when it comes to finding something to write about, as well as putting together my next outfit. Here are a few examples that range in price from $88 – $265, but still worth keeping an eye on for an end of the season sale item.

SHOP: Carmen blouse @White House Black Market, McGuire Florentine top @Saks Fifth Avenue, Rag & Bone off-the-shoulder Drew top @Neiman Marcus, Draper James Cloister top @Nordstrom, & Mindy Cindy one-shoulder top @Nordstrom.

The six gingham tops below are much more affordable & perfect for styling with white skinny jeans, red chino shorts, a denim skirt, or with bottoms in a bold pop of color like yellow, green, or orange.

SHOP: checked top @H&M, gingham tie top @Saks Off 5th, Design Lab blouse @Lord & Taylor, flounced gingham top @Talbots, plus off-the-shoulder lace-up top @Charlotte Russe, & plus one shoulder ruffle top @Lane Bryant.

Which summer trends are on your wardrobe wish list? Do you prefer the black, navy, or red gingham color scheme? Where are you shopping for summer favorites? Happy Styling!

Fab in 4 Ways: The Prettiest Summer-To-Fall Transition Sweater!


Right now is a very interesting time for fashion & retail. Summer is here & thriving, the best seasonal styles are on sale, but also, the newest fall pieces are starting to hit stores. More than anything, I want to stay in a summer state of mind, especially since the weather has been beautiful, just sunny enough & not oppressively hot (at least here on Long Island). My eye keeps catching what’s next for fall, which brings me to this Roz & Ali lace bell sleeve sweater @dressbarn, available in both misses & plus sizes.

The lightweight top is both flattering & versatile when it comes to styling. The airy, feminine sleeves are my favorite part, inspiring me to think about other patterns & color schemes to experiment with. Since these summer evenings have been on the cooler side lately, this is the perfect top for now & next season too. Making the investment in future pieces that you can wear now is the best way to get the most use out of your wardrobe. However, I especially love the always classic look of black and white separates, which is perfect for Style Darlings of any age or size.

Styling the sweater with a pair of shorts offers a polished look for a weekend brunch with some sandals & drop earrings. A pencil skirt is party-ready with a statement necklace & strappy heels. For a relaxed feel, a maxi skirt is easy-breezy when paired with wedges & layering necklaces. Lastly, cozy palazzo pants are effortless & cool for a day of errands or casual Friday at the office with ballet flats & stud earrings.

SHOP: stripe linen drapey shorts @Gap (available in sizes XS-XXL), front slit pencil skirt @New York & Company (available in sizes 0-20), floral print maxi skirt @dressbarn (available in plus size here), & striped palazzo pants @Target (available in sizes S-XXL).

When I’m styling other women, I always encourage them to try pieces that can not only be worn multiple ways, but also for multiple seasons. This ensures that the garment’s value is really worth it. While I don’t want to wish summer away, I can’t get over all the possibilities for this sweater. Here are a few more suggestions of how you can play up your best fall style when coordinated with any black lacy sweater for work, day, date, or weekend.

SHOP: pencil skirt @H&M (similar in plus size here), utility pixie chinos @Old Navy (available in sizes 0-20), pinstripe ankle pants @Express (similar in plus size here), & 415 classic boot cut jeans @Levi’s (similar in plus size here).

What pieces do you have your eye on this season? What fall trends are you most looking for to next? What staple items do you get the most wear from? Happy Styling!

 

SHOP NOW! Clearance Tops, Dresses, Shoes, & More from TJ Maxx!


One of my favorite things to do when I wake up in the morning (without the ring of a rowdy alarm clock) is to check my email. While I’ve been trying to discipline myself to disconnect from technology a little more each day, especially in the summer where there’s just so much to do & plenty of fresh air & sunshine to take in, I can’t help but still be a little obsessed with clicking through emails from my favorite retailers, blogs, & fashion news sources. It’s like having my own personal fashion show & bargain shopping experience while I’m still in the comfort of my own bed. With that, I’ve created SHOP NOW!, a new category of blog posts here on Style Darling Daily where I’ll be sharing the most exciting fashion buys & sales from the day. These are the styles that make me do a double take, inspire me to explore the latest in fashion, & even get me excited to get ready for another stylish day. So let’s get to it!

Getting into the spirit of summer isn’t hard to do, but when you can’t find anything to wear (oh, I’ve been there!) & you’re on a budget, there are plenty of options to resolve your style rut! Classic tops, flirty dresses, chic shoes, & effortless accessories are the key ingredients to a summer of superb style. Right now, TJ Maxx is having a major clearance event with plenty of brand names items, seasonal essentials, & trendy must-haves for unbelievable prices. Keep in mind that when it comes to clearance sales, sizes & quantities are sometimes limited, but finding a last chance deal makes for a great story!

These tops are perfect for a cool night with a pair of skinny jeans, headed to the local festival in cut-off shorts & sandals, or mixing it up with capris & wedges for a sophisticated summer take.

SHOP: Kaktus cold shoulder ruffle top, Cable & Gauge lace cut-out top, Cupio off-the-shoulder flutter sleeve top, & Acemi plus flounce cami.

Like this season’s hottest summer tops, dresses with ruffles & cold shoulders are the way to go. These affordable & versatile dress options can be accessorized in so many ways with statement necklaces or layering chains, espadrilles or peep toe flats, & belted or not!

SHOP: Cece by Cynthia Steffe Jackie ruffle cold shoulder dress, Ellen Tracy floral scuba dress, Nine West cold shoulder printed dress, & London Times plus denim dress.

It wouldn’t be summer without a fun & flirty shoe. While I’m always touting comfort as my first shoe priority, I love how a neutral wedge offer balance & elegance to a floral frock, whereas something with interesting details like polka dots, a laser cut trim, or animal prints can really express your personality & create some lovely style memories.

SHOP: Style by Charles David ankle strap wedges, Charles by Charles David Becki cork wedges, Jessica Simpson Raffia d’orsay pumps, Nicole Miller leather scalloped peep toe flats, & Bahia leather thong sandals.

Playing with accessories can completely revamp an old favorite like a shirt dress or t-shirt & jeans. Seek out details like pattern or texture in your extras. When it comes to jewelry, a mix of sparkle & simplicity is always the best way to go,

SHOP: Jules Smith stars scarf, Under One Sky paradise charger clutch, Isabella M rose gold opal stud earrings, Mythologie choker, Trina Turk gold opal ring, & Lisa Freede rhodium chain bracelet.

Where are you shopping for your best summer deals? Which store emails do you wait for in the morning? What seasonal trends are you seeking on sale? What’s your summer shopping budget? Happy Styling!

The Stylish Five: Summer Must-Haves ($35 & Under)!


Summer is in full swing & fall fashions are already hitting stores (ugh!), but that doesn’t mean it’s too late (it really isn’t!) to enjoy some fun & affordable summer styles. It’s still only the first week of July, which means that there’s the rest of this month, all of August, & the first half of September awaiting for you to explore the many outfit & accessory possibilities for a variety of outdoor, everyday, & special occasions. If you need a style boost, here’s a little inspiration of the five summer must-haves that’ll make your summer wardrobe not only chic, but memorable & playful.

1. The denim dress is a hallmark of summer. It’s lightweight with the ultimate classic feel, both features that make this dress perfect for pairing with wedges or sandals, textures like basket weave or cork, as well as acting as a neutral foundation to pops of color in your accessories.

SHOP: cold shoulder dress @Target & shift dress @Old Navy (both styles available in sizes XS – XXL).

2. I tend to rely on big earrings over the summer since heavier metals on my skin in the form of statement necklaces get uncomfortable when I’m out & about during a hot day when I’m trying to stay cool. Try a bold tassel earring instead to play up your personality & bring out the colors of a printed dress. Not to mention, a tassel style helps frame your face with a little flair too!

SHOP: purple shimmy earrings & multi color shimmy earrings @Charming Charlie.

3. There are so many shoe varieties when it comes to summer footwear, but the fringe trend is here to stay. A fringe sandal will not only relieve your feet the discomfort & stress caused by high heels in the heat, but also, it adds an extra splash of style to coordinate with neutrals like a button-down shirt & denim skirt.

SHOP: multi color fringe sandal @Francesca’s & Fergalicious black fringe Tanya sandal @DSW.

4. A floppy hat is always a summer necessity to not only protect your face from the harsh rays of the sun, but also adding a little bit of humor to your beach-ready look. Whether you’re laying out for a nap or walking the boardwalk, floppy hats with a message will easily refresh a tropical cover-up or maxi dress on those beautiful weekends by the water.

SHOP: Do Not Disturb hat @dressbarn & Sonoma Beach Please hat @Kohl’s.

5. Speaking of messages, a phrase / message clutch makes a statement that you’re all about style, taking it just seriously enough. If you’re headed for a weekend away or full-on vacation, clutches that celebrate the luxuries of style while abroad or having fun in the sun are sure to be the extra details that elevate your jersey dress or shorts romper, while also functioning to hold your most precious necessities.

SHOP: I Need A Vacay clutch @Forever 21 & Au Revoir clutch @Lulu’s.

The $100 Challenge: Summer Vacation Must-Haves For The Budget Shopper!


Let’s get right to it! I’m going away this week to The Hamptons for yet another exciting & stylish two weeks, while attending a school-related Writer’s Conference. This is one of my favorite & most fashionable times of year, where I can prepare my wardrobe & budget to reinvent new looks for the hip south shore niche. Speaking of a budget, I’ve been very price tag conscious & in doing that, I recommend the following for a memorable vacation. Also, I love the diversity of these pieces & how they can be worn in so many different ways!

Dress @Dress Barn, $46.00

The abstract shirtdress ($46.00) from Dress Barn is perfect for playing up your preppy side, while still celebrating the bright & neon sides of summer. Pair this dress with metallic sandals & a messenger bag for day, or glam it up in the evening with peep toe pumps & stacked bangles.

Leopard flip flop @Payless, $9.99

To keep your summer style fresh & timeless at the same time, classic patterns are the best way to go. With that, the sunset disc flat flip flop ($9.99) in leopard from Payless is a flirty way to amp up your separates, mixing prints like animal inspiration with polka dots or seersucker. Also, leopard looks great with bright hues like a pair of red lace shorts, an orange sheath dress, or black ruffled romper.

Blouse @H&M, $9.95

To build up wardrobe that you can transform from season to season, try something playful like an unexpected topper like this sleeveless blouse ($9.95) from H&M. At first glance, the print looks like flower petals, but upon closer examination, the soft blue is actually eyelashes. As seen on the model above, try this top with faux leather skinnies, but if you’re looking for something more low maintenance, add a contrasting color like yellow bermuda shorts & espadrilles for a lunch date or with a white pencil skirt & cardigan for a more professional look.

Earrings @Icing, $8.50Accessories are an important part of building any look, especially when it comes to jewelry. I was once a silver-only gal, but as I’ve grown up, I see the value in expanding with different metals. Here the drop earrings ($8.50) from Icing recall a deco feel that can work as a statement piece with an LBD & strappy sandals, a maxi dress & modern cuff bracelet, & a knotted button down shirt & denim shorts. Not to mention that now is a great time to invest in timeless jewelry since the store’s entire website is BOGO 50% off!

Tote @TJMaxx, $19.99Naturally, a tote bag is any Style Darling’s must-have when going out & about for the summer. This Yoki perforated tote ($19.99) from TJMaxx is right on trend with laser cut details on luxe materials. It’s the perfect size to fill with your cell phone, a pair of sunglasses, & whatever best seller you’re taking with you to the beach. To dress up the bag even more, braid or tie a bold scarf onto the handle to add a pop of color.

If you’re shopping on a budget, like me, don’t fret over spending too much. These five fabulous finds total for under $100, to be specific: $94.43 before tax! What summer essentials are on your wish list or crowding your closet? Happy Styling!