Basics For A Bargain: Leather Has Never Looked Better, Inspired By Mandy Moore, Sandra Bullock, Heidi Klum, & More!


Leather really had never looked better! Each summer I’m surprised to see many looks worn by celebrities with leather, as well as dresses that have recently hit the runway. Of course, most of these runway looks are for the upcoming fall / resort seasons, but playing the game of fashion always means that you’re looking ahead with your wardrobe. For example, here we have leather dresses that offer texture, femininity, elegance, & modernism from Barbara Bui Pre-Fall 2013, Alice + Olivia Fall 2013 Ready-To-Wear, Tibi Pre-Fall 2013, & 10 Crosby by Derek Lam Pre-Fall 2013.

Alice + Olivia, Tibi, Barbara Bui, 10 Crosby by Derek Lam.This also makes me think of recent red carpet appearances by some of my favorite celebrities who’ve worn leather dresses, including Naomi Watts in a leather dress by Alexander McQueen with jewelry by Jennifer Meyer at the Los Angeles premiere of Ray Donovan. Also, my girl crush, Mandy Moore, attended a Helmut Newton event in a leather LBD with gold jewelry & sexy ankle-strap heels. Byzantium actress Gemma Arterton showed off her shape in a curve-hugging letaher dress with 3/4 sleeves, black pointy toe pumps, & a metallic clutch at the film’s screening in London. Scandal star Kerry Washington walks the red carpet at an ABC event in a red Marc by Marc Jacobs leather sheath dress with black & gold accessories, including House of Lavande studs.

Naomi Watts, Mandy Moore, Gemma Arterton, & Kerry Washington.Shopping for leather, or faux leather in this case, dresses is tricky sometimes b/c you always want to make sure that it fits you properly & doesn’t require an abundance of care or cleaning. I found these chic options that are both timeless & edgy to mix & match with accessories like pointy toe pumps, platform sandals, a metallic clutch, or drop earrings. First, I selected the BB Dakota Kira perforated dress ($68.00) from ShopBop, which definitely plays up the lasercut trend with playful peek-a-boo holes. Also, I found the Sanctuary Clothing faux leather shift dress ($55.65) from Dillard’s. It’s especailly flattering with strategic colorblocked panels.

leather dressesMy third pick is from Forever 21, the studded faux leather dress ($27.80) is the most affordable, & also offers plenty of styling possibilities with a boyfriend blazer, cropped bolero, metallic belt, or suede knee boots. For a change of color, the Anne Klein faux leather dress ($42.99) from 6PM brings a gritty edge to any office look, especially if paired with strappy sandals or printed pumps.

When it comes to leather, we’ve also seen a great deal of separates, especially in the form of skirts & leggings, which always cause a stir on the runway. The mixture of the tough material in sophisticated silhouettes makes for a memorable show, especially with skirts of varying lengths for a date night, the office, or an instant update to other basics. I found trendy leather separates in collections from SUNO Resort 2014, L.A.M.B. by Gwen Stefani Fall 2013 Ready-To-Wear, Altuzarra Fall 2013 Ready-To-Wear, & Michael Kors Pre-Fall 2013.

Suno, L.A.M.B. by Gwen Stefani, Altuzarra, & Michael Kors.Celebrities continue to once again mirror the runways when on the street or red carpet with leather pieces to accent this look. Sandra Bullock heated up the premiere of The Heat in an affordable leather pencil skirt from ASOS with a button-down blouse & strappy leather sandals. Rashida Jones was all smiles in a striped top with a cobalt blue leather mini skirt, which she accessorized with a statement pendant, colorful clutch, & towering platform sandals. Project Runway judge / supermodel Heidi Klum looks every bit the style icon in a head-to-toe midnight blue look, including a zippered pencil skirt, blouse, pumps, & snakeskin bag. Lastly, the always effortless Zoe Saldana attends a Chime for Change event in a Gucci floral blouse with leather leggings, jewlery by Repossi, & strappy sandals.

Sandra Bullock, Rashida Jones, Heidi Klum, & Zoe Saldana.As for wearing leather bottoms, you have a chic choice of skirts or leggings. Of course, there are shorts out there, as well as cropped trousers, but here I’m focusing on recreating skirts & leggings as seen by the celebrities above. This starts with the Rhyme Los Angeles perforated vegan leather skirt ($46.99) from Piperlime, which not only serves the environment, but also offers an upgrade to your professional office look. Also, for a pop of color, I love the Glamorous PU patent faux leather mini skirt ($42.43) in wine from ASOS, which adds a futuristic vibe to any button-down shirt, studded tank, or scoop neck pullover.

leather separatesFor a flirtier look, BonTon‘s Blu Pepper lasercut faux leather skirt ($47.20) will instantly make a silk blouse & fishnets look like you’ve just stepped off the runways of Paris. Lastly, these faux leather zip leggings ($13.80) from Forever 21 are perfect for pairing with a printed tunic top, knit oversized sweater, & sequin mini dress.

Would you wear leather this summer? Which is your favorite leather look? Do you experiment with leather in different colors? This isn’t the first time I’ve featured leather looks on Style Darling, so if you’d like to read more to catch all the trends, check out previous posts including inspiration from Jessica Chastain & Lucy Hale, red carpet looks from Julianne Hough & Zoe Kravitz, & leather pant looks on Gwyneth Paltrow & Fergie! For more posts from Basics for a Bargain, check out little white dresses as seen on Jennifer Lopez & Angelina Jolie, luxury leopard & metallic flip flops, floral favorites on Dianna Agron & Selena Gomez, striped maxi skirts from Vince Camuto & BCBG Max Azria, & peplum looks inspired by Amy Adams & Cate Blanchett! Happy Styling!

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Red Carpet Review: This Year’s CFDA Fashion Awards, Featuring Nicole Richie, Hailee Steinfeld, Sofia Vergara, & More!


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For those of you who didn’t know.. The CDFA Fashion Awards are like the Oscars in the world of fashion design. This week, the festivities took place, honoring the best in fashion with a stunning red carpet, which included lots of sheer panels, cut-outs, ankle-strap sandals, & bare backs. Winners of the night included Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez for Proenza Schouler as Womenswear Designer of the Year, Thom Browne for Menswear Designer of the Year, & Phillip Lim for 3.1 Phillip Lim for Accessories Designer of the Year.

Of course, the red carpet was dripping with models like Karlie Kloss in a black deep-v Cushnie et Ochs dress, a golden Karolina Kurkova in a Michael Kors shorts outfit, Adriana Lima showing off her legs in a sheer Givenchy dress, & Miranda Kerr looking as flirty & pretty as ever in a printed Proenza Schouler dress with strappy shoes.

Some of my favorite celeb looks were no-brainers like Kerry Washington‘s ode to Beauty & the Beast in a yellow Jason Wu gown, Nicole Richie‘s slinky gold Marc Jacobs dress, Sofia Vergara‘s plunging, emerald Hervé L. Leroux gown, an adorable Hailee Steinfeld in a floral print Suno dress, & Kate Mara‘s black lasercut Dolce & Gabbana dress with Irene Neuwirth jewelry.

Which looks were you the most excited to see? Do you agree with the winning designers? Who was your favorite on the red carpet? For more fashionable galleries, check out previous posts, including Tory Burch’s Resort 2014 Collection, Gucci’s glittery Resort 2014 Collection, menswear looks on Jennifer Lopez & Brit Marling, & the gorgeous designs that hit the Cannes Film Festival! Happy Styling!

Luxury Look-Alikes For Less: Katy Perry’s Silver & White Sandals From ALDO!


Katy Perry has been everywhere these days, promoting her upcoming film, The Smurfs 2. Along with hitting Europe & Mexico, Katy turned up in Los Angeles to the I Create Music Expo. The “Teenaged Dream” singer wore a cell phone-designed graphic print collared tank dress ($650.00) by Suno, as well as Kasota sandals ($80.00) from Aldo. While I think it’s a great idea for the pop star to don accessories from retailers that can be found in the local mall, $80 is still a pretty penny to spend on sandals. Surely this style can be worn with plenty of looks throughout the spring & summer, but I was really inspired to search for silver & white look-alikes to recreate Katy’s footwear choice, without breaking the bank.

I’ve come up with the following shoes: Forever 21‘s studded strappy sandal ($27.80), the Sperry top-sider Meridian sandals ($29.99) from 6PM, & the Impo Gaga wedge sandal ($39.95) from DSW. Aside from wearing these with a spring or summer dress, they’re also perfect for pairing with a blouse & cropped pants, a tunic top & leggings, & a pullover tee with silk shorts.

Which sandals do you prefer? Do you like Katy’s Suno & Aldo look? How would you style these shoes? For more posts on affordable fashion, check out cork heels by Michael Kors, peplum tops inspired by Cate Blanchett & Olivia Palermo, studded loafer flats for springhow to get Taylor Swift’s sophisticated menswear look, & Kim Kardashian’s silver pointy toe pumps! Happy Styling!

Watch This Style: Solange Knowles’ Wears DVF, J.Crew, & More For Her Fashionable New Music Video, “Losing You”!


Solange Knowles has broken away from her big sis Beyonce’s shadow since her last album in 2008, Sol-Angel & the Hadley St. Dreams, but it’s time to take another look at her blend of fashion & music with her latest single “Losing You.” Filmed on the streets of Cape Town, South Africa, the Madewell spokesmodel is stylish while crooning to the dance / pop track with the help of designer duds from Diane von Furstenberg, J.Crew, Kenzo, Suno, & Opening Ceremony.

Style Darling featured the multi-talented celeb back in June with a post in Red Carpet Review, especially after her smash appearance at the Met Costume Institute Gala, wearing a sweet yellow peplum Rachel Roy confection. Take a look at her latest video, download the infectious track onto your iPod, & share with readers what you think about her bold menswear-inspired style!

For more stylish music videos, check out previous posts from Watch This Style, including Glee‘s remake of “Celebrity Skin,” Lea Michele’s sexy interpretation of “Oops I Did It Again,” & Lana Del Rey’s cover of “Blue Velvet.”Happy Styling!

Basics For A Bargain: Maxi Dresses Inspired By Olivia Wilde, Lauren Conrad, Lily Collins, & More!


‘Tis the season for maxidresses, which will be staples in your warm weather wardrobe from now even until after Labor Day.  As you can see, there are plenty of celebrities wearing maxidresses in a bunch of different ways.  Belts, beads, heels, flats, & jackets are perfect for accessorizing these flowy floor-length frocks.  First we have Alessandra Ambrosio in a tiered maxidress with a Loewe bag, Beyonce in a printed maxidress with stilettos, Rachel Bilson in a Suno maxidress, & Lily Collins in a Peter Som maxidress.

Also, for some more celebrity-inspiration, there’s Lauren Conrad in a belted Heartloom maxidress, Olivia Wilde in a Yigal Azrouel maxidress, Emma Roberts in an Isabel Lu maxidress, & Nicole Richie in a floral printed maxidress. With all these celebrity images, you can see how a maxidress is perfect for a red carpet event, daytime luncheon, or summer date night.

I’ve searched high & low for the best & most affordable maxi dresses from my favorite stores to share with readers.  In an effort to offer up some variety, I’ve selected trends like colorblocking, animal print, ruffles, & chiffon, as well as patterns like stripes, paisley, & florals. These selections include the cheetah lace maxi dress ($28.99) @Charlotte Russe, the I Heart Ronson striped maxi dress ($32.00) from JC Penney, tube cup feather maxi dress ($29.50) from Wet Seal, paisley maxi dress ($50.00) from Dress Barn, New York & Company‘s floral ruffle maxi dress ($69.95), leopard maxi dress ($27.80) from Forever 21‘s Plus 21 collection, colorblock maxi dress ($25.00) from Target, & flounced racer back dress ($27.80) also from Forever 21.

Which maxidress do you like the best? Where do you shop for maxidresses? How do you like to accessorize your spring / summer looks? Happy Styling!

Magazine Must-Haves / Silver Screen Style: Miss Piggy Goes Glam for In Style!


To mark the excitement of Style Darling’s 300th post, I’m recycling some style news, but it’s still important news! Thanks to my editor over @Movie Buzzers, I got an exclusive heads up about a very special fashion spread that I’m so excited to cross-blog!

With all the news surrounding the long-awaited new movie, The Muppets, Miss Piggy is making her comeback in a big way!  In the November issue of In Style, featuring Gwen Stefani on the cover, the beloved puppet siren puts all previous high-fashion centerfolds to shame with looks by designers like a feathered flapper dress by Jason Wu, a romantic LWD (little white dress) by Parabal Gurung, and many more!

It’s been a whole twelve years since we saw the Muppet crew on the big screen, but Miss Piggy is making every effort to steal the show, especially after an impressive 35 years in the entertainment business.  In the magazine, she discusses her relationship with Kermit, her fashion sense, what it was like to film with her old friends, and exactly what she thinks about her co-stars Jason Segel and Amy Adams. Not to mention that all of the looks that the famous pig models were custom-made for the diva, including strappy leopard pumps by Brian Atwood, gold-plated jewelry by Philip Crangi for Giles & Brother, a floral belted Suno dress, and sweet Opening Ceremony halter dress with ankle strap heels.

You can expect to see the movie in theaters on November 23rd and check out Movie Buzzers’ previous articles about the latest trailer and video, a parody trailer, and news on the movie’s soundtrack featuring OKGO, Weezer, and many more! Also, check back with Movie Buzzers at the end of the year since I’m sure Miss Piggy’s on screen style will put The Muppets on my Top 10 Most Stylish Movies of 2011 list!

Happy Styling!