Earlier in the fall, I was asked what trend I was most interested in, & I was surprised to realize that I’d been all about skirts because my spring & summer wardrobe was so fit & flare dress heavy. However, my flirtation with skirts isn’t exclusive to one style since I’m pretty psyched about all styles & how to explore separates combinations & playing with different patterns. Though, not all skirts are flattering for all body types, but one of the most classic styles that best fits & enhances any shape is the pencil skirt, which is versatile enough to pair with a variety of tops to take you to work to date to weekend & everywhere in between.
Take some inspiration from some iconic television characters who’ve always looked their best on the small screen in pencil skirts, including Christina Hendricks as Joan Holloway on Mad Men, Mindy Kaling as Dr. Mindy Lahiri on The Mindy Project, Emma Roberts as Chanel Oberlin on Scream Queens, Kim Cattrall as Samantha Jones on Sex & the City, & Taraji P. Henson as Cookie Lyons on Empire.
So if you haven’t already, take the plunge with a sleek & elegant pencil skirt. Check out these ten affordable picks below to get your holiday, fall, & winter style in gear! Not to mention that most pencil skirts are perfect for year-round wear, which makes the challenge of styling them all the more thrilling!
This time of year is ripe with fashionable possibilities, which is precisely what makes it fun to get dressed in the morning, finding new ways to express your style and personality. Of course, there are challenges when it comes to putting together a chic & effortless fall / winter wardrobe, mainly because of the changing weather, but also, if you’re stuck in a style rut, there are five fall / winter trends that will help elevate your look without having to invest too much cash into passing fashion fads that only work for certain body types. These include: layers, sparkle, prints, jewel tones, & lace. The savviest of Style Darlings can even take some of these trends to create a detailed & unique outfit.
While summer (for me) is all about a good dress & sandals, I’ve been thinking a whole lot about summer outfits that go beyond the comfy Americana look of a tank & cut-off shorts (an ensemble that never really suited my shape to begin with). However, in an effort to fill my brain with as much fashion as possible (an excellent escape plan for when life is throwing a lot of heartache your way), I’m a little obsessed with Gwyneth Paltrow‘s head-to-toe blush outfit in a blouse & pants by Michael Kors with Chloe Gosselin sandals (shop similar here). The actress & goop entrepreneur made a recent appearance to promote her organic Juice Beauty collection while in Toronto, looking effortless & chic in the pastel hue with minimal jewelry.
Usually when I dress in a monochromatic outfit, it’s all-black, easy enough for any shape to pull off since pastels aren’t always figure friendly for the curvier shopper. However, I’m impressed to see so many blush options out there, while keeping a budget in mind, for misses, plus, or petites separates to inspire Gwyneth’s look for when you’re at the office, headed to brunch with family, or a day time party event. Wearing blush as a base color also works for a multitude of accessories options, such as metallics like rose gold, gold, & silver. Also, blush is a luxe foundation for other colors & prints to pop against.
You know the old saying, “If you can’t stop thinking about it, buy it”? Well, that circulated in my head & heart all weekend… about a black pencil skirt. Mind you, I have a few black pencil skirts, all in different materials & cuts, but one particular caught my eye recently & I couldn’t stop thinking about the styling possibilities, especially for my next stylish photo shoot. It’s a staple for any Style Darling at any size, that’s for sure. This isn’t news in the fashion world. Magazines everywhere have been championing pencil skirts for every shape as a way to get the most out of a wardrobe without breaking the bank. Since I gave in to the “buy it” theory, I was simultaneously inspired to explore every which way a pencil skirt can enliven your style.
Pencil skirts aren’t just for the office either. Mix up your pencil skirt look with a graphic tee, peplum top, button down shirt, turtleneck, or body suit, for example. Wear one on a date night, going out with girl friends, or when running daily errands. The possibilities are endless for the basic bottom, especially if you’re looking to dress down something glitzy or elevate a casual top. Play with minimalism or menswear, perhaps even utilitarian or bombshell styles all when wearing a pencil skirt.
When it comes to the fitted skirt, look beyond a pump & to special details in your accessories. A black pencil skirt is a great foundation & neutral for any special extras, including playing with patterns, metallics, sparkle, cut-outs, & luxe textures. The suggestions below barely scrape the surface of what you can do with your ensemble, especially when you can wear a pencil skirt any season.
How would you style a pencil skirt? How often do you wear one? Where do you like to shop for staple wardrobe pieces? How much would you invest in season-to-season separates? Which celebrities inspire your everyday style? Happy Styling!
My biggest style obsession this fall & really for 2015 is earrings, as seen in detail with my Instagram posts (Follow Style Darling Daily @MissAlissaL). I’ve rediscovered my love of the blingy accessory, especially since I’ve recently cut my hair, showing off my collection of studs, chandeliers, hoops, dangles, drops, front-to-backs, & jackets for the every day runway that is life. In an effort to save some cash, but still treat myself here & there, shopping for budget-friendly earrings has been my simple solution when it comes to transforming a look & when I’m in need of some retail therapy. Before I share some of my favorite & elegant picks for not just the season, but really any occasion, I loved the idea of seeking out some extra special inspiration from celebrities who are lucky enough to rock the real thing during red carpet appearances. Celebrity inspiration for killer earrings comes in many metals, colors, & shapes, including some jaw-dropping duds for movie premieres, awards shows, & a slew of other special occasions. Get inspired to upgrade your street style with Jennifer Lawrence, Cara Delevingne, Kerry Washington, Olga Kurylenko, Chrissy Teigen, Angelina Jolie, Bella Thorne, Rihanna, Taylor Swift, Jenna Dewan-Tatum, & below on Jessica Chastain, Sofia Vergara, Chanel Iman, Kate Winslet, Drew Barrymore, Sarah Jessica Parker, Julianne Moore, Demi Lovato, Sarah Hyland, & Diane Kruger.
Of course, there are tons of retailers to select discounted fashion jewelry from, including multi-metal hoops that’ll take your blouse & skinny jeans from day-to-night, oversize studs from work to happy hour, clustered stones from a date to brunch, & other genius possibilities. What’s even better is that the below deals are all under $15.00!
Plaid is the perfect print for fall, calling to match up your menswear style with sleek separates & luxe textures. Celebrities have been on the plaid train for a long time now, & it couldn’t look any better on the following A-listers: Reese Witherspoon, Jessica Alba, Taylor Swift, Rita Ora, & Hilary Duff.
Easy ways to add some plaid to your wardrobe without breaking your budget is to invest in accessories to wear with a variety of looks. Plaid goes against classic staples like a button down shirt & skinny jeans, a sweater dress & knee boots, as well as a lace blouse with a pencil skirt. Anyone of any age can rock plaid, & here are some affordable accessories to get you inspired to build that street style-ready fall look.
When it comes to plaid, amp up your look with a little luxury, playing up your jewelry style based on the colors in your plaid. The richest colors include navy, green, burgundy, rust, burnt orange, gray, & purple, which are easy to find in stud earrings, decadent ear crawlers, statements necklaces, cuffs & bracelets, & cocktail rings.
It’s that time of year to shop for the best end-of-the-summer deals, especially on items that can transition into the next season & be worn as good as new for the following year. I’m all about the bargains & love finding new ways to wear past season favorites, especially when the sales are so good & shoppers of all sizes can up their style game! All of the below items are on sale for under $24 & will certainly make your wardrobe & budget happy!
One of the biggest colors to hit stores in anticipation of fall is mustard, a rich gold hue that’s perfect for transitioning from summer to a cooler, crisper season. It’s not as tricky a shade to pull off as one might think, especially when there’s so much celebrity inspiration to consider when it comes to dresses, separates, outerwear, & accessories that will redefine how you look at mustard, making your outfit pop. This is evident with the always perfect Blake Lively in a leather dress during Milan Fashion Week, Scream star Bella Thorne‘s street style in corduroy overalls, The Twilight Saga actress Ashley Greene‘s casual look in a boyfriend cardigan, & The Honest Company entrepreneur Jessica Alba in a midi length skirt paired with feminine black extras.
If an all-day mustard look just isn’t your thing, then take some inspiration from bold outerwear pieces on American Idoljudge Jennifer Lopez & reality star Kim Kardashian West, as well as statement footwear on pop singer Taylor Swift whose pumps pop against her black & white outfit & socialite / designer darling Olivia Palermo for choosing to dress down her leather leggings with slipper flats.
Now comes the shopping possibilities with plenty of options for Style Darlings of all shapes & sizes, as well as smart shoppers on a budget, looking to get the most use & flare out of their wardrobe.
Aside from Fashion Week & the general change of seasons (which marks ankle bootie & rich textures like suede time of year), September means that our favorite television shows are returning to make us laugh, cry, sit at the edge of our seats, & of course, be in awe of the characters’ styles. In a first ever on Style Darling, I’ve undertaken a mighty 10 television shows returning this season & found their most stylish leading ladies (two, in some cases), & found pieces & looks to inspire your fall wardrobe. Naturally, we’re talking something budget-friendly, yet still true to the small scree goddesses that have bloggers everywhere in a fashion tizzy!
Scandal(airing Season 4 premiere on 9/25 @9PM on ABC) left Olivia Pope (played magnificently by the one & only Kerry Washington) washing her hands of the controversy & turmoil that she blames herself for in Washington D.C., especially because of her torrid love affair with the president. However, Olivia’s style was only elevated by such drama, sharing with viewers the importance of a luxurious coat collection, classic & statement handbags, as well as clean lines & neutral separates since Olivia is all about getting rid of the fuss in people’s lives.
New Girl(airing Season 4 premiere on 9/16 @9PM on FOX) will surely tackle that whole Jess-Nick romance, even though the adorkable couple ended things last season. Now that Zooey Deschanel‘s character has certainly settled into her man-dwelling apartment, she’s constantly battling life with one vintage look after another, & laughter is sure to ensue. Not to mention that Jess’s girlie girl style fits right in with her job as a teacher, always conservative yet cute for partying it up after hours.
The Mindy Project(airing 9/16 @9:30 on FOX) is one of my favorite must-see shows this fall, not just because the brilliant Mindy Kaling writes a hilarious ensemble comedy, but because the show is after the hearts of its viewers with the on-again-off-again love story with one Danny Castellano, played by Chris Messina. Yes, there’s laughter too, but I’m also super excited to see what Dr. Lahiri (Kaling’s character) will wear. She’s no stranger to bright colors, wild patterns, feminine florals, & layers of preppy chic style.
Revenge(airing 9/28 @10PM on ABC) is returning this fall & Emily Thorne (played by Emily Vancamp) is back & stronger than ever in her plot against the Graysons. I love that her style recalls the effortless ease of a modern day Grace Kelly, with a luxe twist on casual wear. She wears plenty of neutral colors & no-fuss separates so that she can easily slip into scheming mode with the movers & shakers of The Hamptons setting. I love watching out for the designer pieces on this show, especially on additional key characters like Victoria (Madeline Stowe), Charlotte (Chrsta B. Allen), & Ashley (Ashley Madekwe).
Nashville(airing 9/24 @10PM on ABC) is the kind of show that not only inspires music, but also fashion. Southern style is loud & clear with this show, especially when it comes to an edgy look & a splash of rock ‘n roll. The show’s leading ladies Rayna James (Connie Britton) & Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panettiere) are constantly at odds, but one thing is clear, they know how to dress. I was especially inspired by the flashy stage looks & modern casual separates that can be jazzed up for a night of music. The last season ended with both divas in trouble, both professionally & personally, but I can’t wait to see what’s gonna happen next.
2 Broke Girls(airing 10/07 @9PM on CBS) combines two of my favorite things: cupcakes & fashion! The comedy’s stars Beth Behrs as the preppy / fashion forward Caroline Chaning & Kat Dennings‘ loveable bad girl Max Black make for the perfect modern day odd couple, just trying to get back. Caroline is always neutral clad, doused in pearls & body conscious dresses, whereas Max’s fashion sense takes on a tougher city vibe in bright primary colors & boots, with a touch of menswear inspiration.
The Good Wife(airing 9/21 @9PM on CBS) keeps raking in the Emmy awards, especially with a constantly compelling performance for the show’s lead, Julianna Marguliesas the powerful Alicia Florrick. Her wardrobe includes power suits & strong jackets, much like Scandal‘s Olivia Pope. In Alicia’s world, there’s no room for floral or fussy pieces. She’s all about structure & strength, so edgy embellishments have no place among the clean details & clean lines.
Modern Family(airing 9/24 @9PM on ABC) is a comedy must-see, especially because of the show’s female leads. When it comes to style, of course there’s always a cute outfit on Sarah Hyland’s character Hailey, but the real sex-pot changing the look of a stay-at-home mom is Sofia Vergara‘s Gloria. Gloria often steals the spotlight from her family members, especially when it comes to showing off her curves in wrap dresses, V-neck tops, & skinny jeans.
Elementary(airing 10/30 @10PM on CBS) is a modern day New York City-based take on the classic Sherlock Holmes stories & what’s extra awesome about this version is that the science-minded Watson is played by kick-ass actress Lucy Liu. Instead of John, she’s a Joan who develops an intense partnership with Holmes (Johnny Lee Miller) while they’re soling crimes all over the city. Aside from her brilliant mind, I love her on-the-go style which often includes dark, layering pieces, always with a chic pair of booties.
Hart of Dixie(2015 on The CW) is the last show that I’m sharing & it doesn’t have a set premiere date since star Rachel Bilson, who plays the quirky city doctor Zoe Hart, is expecting her first child & filming seems to be halted. However, I love her character’s edgy side with dark, modern cuts in tops & leather shorts, as well as dark colors in mini & maxi dresses. She’s an accessories queen with chunky necklaces, embellished details, & the highest heels in sandals & booties imaginable. Also, it’s hard to ignore Lemon Breeland, played hysterically by the one & only Jamie King. Lemon’s style is true to the Alabama debutante ladylike way. She loves florals, sparkle, & vintage-inspired looks with a bold lip & finger curls.
Now that I’m in the throes of dual employment, it’s become clearer than ever to be conscious of what investments I’m making in my wardrobe. I always love to find end-of-the-season deals on sale, especially when they feel like brand new pieces the following year. However, I’ve been seeing a lot of cute separates & accessories that I’m eager to mix & match on these cooler spring nights, into the summer, & eventually include for some fashionable fall outfits. Making tiny purchases here & there are easy on your budget & can really change the way you reinvent old favorites.
Recommended sale items include Dress Barn‘s shimmer stripe sweater ($19.00) in silver, which is perfect for over a maxi dress with ankle boots, or how I recently wore it with leggings & sparkly ballet flats. Also, the Just Chic tee ($7.99) from Forever 21 is exactly what it advertises to be; try wearing this with leather skinny pants & a bold boyfriend blazer, or to dress down a peasant skirt & gladiator flats. I’m always one for a cute skirt, which is why I’ve included the striped jersey pencil skirt ($12.99) in blue from Old Navy. It’s casual enough to wear for brunch with a pullover & a denim jacket, but it can also be worn with a blouse & belted cardigan.
There’s so much going on in fashion right now & all of the latest spring styles have been hitting retailers, which means that it’s time to consider how you can revamp your wardrobe for the upcoming season. One trick that I recently experimented with was how to dress up a graphic tee for more than just a day look, which is the inspiration behind my latest Fabulous in 4 Wayspost. I’m always drawn to pretty t-shirts with fashion-related designs, something Parisian, or a classic Hello Kitty print, however the watercolor-graphic v-neck tee ($14.94) in lodge khaki from Old Navy caught my eye for its modern look over a neutral hue. I’ve decided to share how to style this top for day, weekend, date, & cocktail, ranging in price from $83.52 – $133.48.
Just b/c New Year’s Eve is long gone, that doesn’t mean we can’t still have a little sparkle & shine in our wardrobe. While I’ve been clicking around to find the best clearance deals on the latest markdowns, I keep coming back to Kohl’s, which is where I found the Jennifer Lopez foil racerback tank ($10.20) in primer gray. Of course, this top is versatile for a casual day in skinny jeans & ballet flats under a flyaway cardigan, or perfect for a night out with the girls with leather leggings & cut-out booties. I’ve paired this look with the high waist sequin stripe pencil skirt ($24.99) from The Limited & GOjane‘s open front cropped blazer ($24.95).
I love it when I’m searching the web for a blog & then get totally side-tracked with inspiration for another blog. That’s how I came to find the metallic spiked shoulder patch sweater ($47.20) in silver from GOjane. Now, this sweater is totally not my style & it’s a little high in price for one item (for me, anyway), but I couldn’t get it off my mind. Rather than building just one look with the unforgettable piece, I needed to play with it for another Fabulous In 4 Wayspost!
Spike details have been trending for quite some time now, what with accents on jewelry, shoes, bags, & now clothing. Of course, it takes a certain kind of Style Darling to pull this look off & here are some suggestions for day, weekend, date, & cocktail on how to wear this eye-catching sweater! Let’s start off with weekend, which is a two-day break from the confines of your office apparel & evening pieces when you’re headed out on a date. I wanted to create an easy & comfortable ensemble to wear when shopping with girlfriends or taking in the sites with your beau. This includes the skinny pieced sequin pants ($19.50) in charcoal from Wet Seal, paired with the bow front canvas flat ($15.00) in black from Charlotte Russe. Since there’s so much going on with the striking sweater, I wanted to keep my accessories sweet & functional, which is why I selected Forever 21‘s owl charms necklace ($1.50) in gold/black & the Kirna Zabete kiss print sequins schlepper tote ($17.48) from Target.
When it comes to daywear, a similar vibe from the weekend look is seen, but I love the distressed look of H&M‘s slim regular jeans ($29.95) in black with the scalloped platform wedges ($32.80) in black from Forever 21. The top is flashy enough for day that I simply added Wet Seal‘s 3 on stackable rings ($7.50) in tri-tone to the look, which can be worn on different fingers or stacked on one, as seen above. When I go out during the day, I love the ease of sweaters & basic pants, but this look has a little extra splash, offering a street style smash worthy of Miranda Kerr or Olivia Palermo.
For a cocktail look, it’s always recommended to go with a short dress & some towering heels, but I feel that this sweater is successful even when you’re having drinks with co-workers, or looking to break out those pajama-inspired silk pants. Brocade & other such luxe fabrics are all the rage this season, which is why I turned to The Limited for the Drew mini tab-waist jacquard ankle pants ($29.99) in silver, which have just been marked down. In keeping with the glitzy metallics, I added the metallic x-front peep toe pump ($25.00) in rose gold from Charlotte Russe, which helps dress up both the pants & sweater. Lastly, a simple pendant will do, such as the Candie’s jet marquise pendant ($13.00) from Kohl’s.
If you’re looking to make an impression on a date night, show off your gams to offset the sweater’s volume with the side panel sweater mini skirt ($19.99) in black from Express, along with the Nina Pangea sandal ($19.94) in brown leopard from DSW. You’ve got texture in the strong shoulder, but don’t be afraid to add a little something else like a classic bag to downplay the edginess. @Sears, a great bargain can be found with the Scarleton faux snake flap clutch ($15.99) in black. For a final splash of sass, I recommend the cutout ring ($3.80) in gold from Forever 21 as the only piece of jewelry for your special night.
These looks range in price from $100.68 – $117.45, which isn’t bad when you consider how many different ways you’ll be able to wear all the pieces, not just the spiky sweater. Do you like spike details? What kind of hardware do you look for in clothing? Or, do you prefer them on accessories like shoes or bags?
Just b/c the holidays are mostly over, it doesn’t mean that the glamour has to end. The latest trends in spring fashion are slowly, but surely emerging & this includes floral pants. They’re not just for springtime, especially when there are so many chic & cozy ways to dress up or dress down florals when the weather is still chilly outside. I’d like to take a look at some celebrity inspiration to see how the A-listers are wearing this trend.
Kristin Cavallari shares her chic maternity style in Joe’s Jeans with a basic black top & blazer to offset the vibrant pattern. 90210 star Shenae Grimes adds some punk flavor to her Alice + Olivia cropped pants with strappy booties & a leather top. Playing with the same idea is Minka Kelly, whose Dolce & Gabbana floral pants are enhanced by suede peep toe pumps & a bright rectangular clutch. Singer Lana Del Rey plays up her demure style in Citizens of Humanity pants under her trench coat with embellished ballet flats. Lastly, Twilight star Kristen Stewart sticks to her favorite designer, Balenciaga, for her micro floral printed pants, paired with a Rebecca Minkoff blazer & a Juicy Couture tank.
Even if we look to the runways for Spring 2013, you’ll find that there’s plenty of floral on the bottom. Floral isn’t meant just for dresses, skirts, or blouses anymore. It can be an unexpected pop of femininity or juxtapose more masculine pieces for day or evening. For example, we’ve seen this in collections from Jason Wu, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Lela Rose, Paul & Joe, & Tanya Taylor. Here, complimenting colors in your floral prints can work to accentuate a factor of luxury in your look, especially when it comes to jackets, cardigans, scarves, & heels.
The pants in question for today’sFabulous in 4 Ways post are the floral pants ($24.95) from H&M. Not only are these an amazing bargain, but I’m convinced that these can be worn in a variety of ways to get the most out of your wardrobe basics for day, weekend, date, & cocktail hour. These may be a little hard to pull off in the office, depending on what your work dress code is, but for the more casual environments, I recommend a cute blouse & pumps to make your look polished & professional.
Keep it cozy when it comes to a weekend look, if you’re headed out to a movie during the day with your beau & then sit by the fireplace eating Chinese food. Yes, that’s what I’d like my weekends to be, which is why I picked the striped sweater with oversized cowl neck ($34.96) in herbal mist from New York & Company to wear with the Brash Zoey riding boot ($39.99) in black from Payless. The mixture of stripes & florals has fascinated me for a while, so when you’re cooped up with your significant other in the house when the weather is on the frightful side, experiment with your looks a little to keep things fresh. However, if you’re headed out, I love the mix of tassels with the patent textures in the daisy fuentes Gemini studded cross-body handbag ($29.50) in magenta from Kohl’s matched with a little more spring fever in the floral bangle set ($7.80) from Forever 21.
When it comes to date night looks, you always have to consider where you’re headed. Floral pants may seem busy, but if accessorized correctly, they’re the perfect foundation for a sophisticated & smart look to impress your date. I picked the teardrop cut-out blouse ($24.99) in black from The Limited, a piece that is sure to make the rounds with other wardrobe staples like a pencil skirt, boyfriend jeans, & leggings. Of course in skinny pants like these, a pair of DSW‘s BCBG Paris Preena pumps ($29.94) in fuchsia will elongate the legline & won’t be as intimidating as some seriously pointy toe shoes. For a special finishing touch, I love the colorblocked flap crossbody ($19.80) from Forever 21 & Mixit hematite stone tassel drop earrings ($4.00) from JC Penney.
For a cocktail event, pants aren’t necessarily the first thing to come to mind, especially when a dress is so easy to throw on with some snazzy earrings & killer heels. However, if you’re running around & don’t have time to get that go-to LBD dry-cleaned, you can rely on floral plants to build an evening-ready cocktail look, including the gem collar peplum top ($30.00) in aubergine from Topshop with a built-in jeweled neckline that helps accessorize your ladylike ensemble. Also, I’ve added the Abrianna heels ($34.99) in bone from ALDO with the sparkling sequin hinge wallet ($9.99) in champagne from Charlotte Russe. Lastly, b/c there’s so much going on in the look already, I didn’t want to bog it down with extra bling, but here’s your opportunity to break out a really fabulous cocktail ring like the affordable stretch oval ring ($12.99) in orange from Target.
The total for this look comes to $95.62, before taxes, & has enough versatility to last for many cocktail affairs, the office, a casual day, & even a glam date night out. Which trends are you following this season? Do you pair stripes with fancier pieces to create an unexpected look? Happy Styling!
I’ve never been a dress pants kind of girl- until lately. I was always the girl walking around in a skirt or dress b/c those pieces were just always easier for me to find since I wear petite bottoms in most cases, but also have a curvy shape. However, I’m inspired by these tops & bottoms (pants, more specifically) looks that I’ve been spotting on the most photographed & stylish celebrities.
This includes actress Rashida Jones in jewel-tone trousers by Theyskens’ Theory paired with a studded blazer, an eggplant blouse, Graziela earrings, a Dana Rebecca Designs ring, & metallic cap toe pumps. This look says so much about her edgy, but conservative style. The rich hues combined with the luxe fabrics make looking like you’re wearing pajamas with an 80s-esque jacket look super cool. Next is K-Stew herself, Kristen Stewart, wearing a daring Balenciaga design with a Cartier bracelet, & sleek Christian Louboutins. Critics are calling this look a ripoff of the barely there bra-top & bare midriff look that the blonde-coiffed Miley Cyrus has been sporting, but I think The Twilight Saga star has got it right here. French import / Bond girl Berenice Marlohe is ravishing in colorblocked black with feathers & a white top by Alexander McQueen, Norman Silverman studs, & Sergio Rossi pumps. I love her smoky eye, yet mature Blake-Lively inspired beachy locks, providing a fresh take on an unlikely pairing.
Kate Hudson is a vision in Alexander McQueen menswear with towering Brian Atwood pumps at the Glee premiere in September, while donning a sexy lace cami underneath. Style icon Alexa Chung has never looked sleeker in this Maje button-down shirt & slacks with minimalist black pumps- again another menswear-ish look that couldn’t be more fabulous. Lastly, reality star Olivia Palermo is getting on board with the volume trend wearing an Elin Kling for Marciano oversized sweater with cropped pants, ankle-strap Gucci sandals, & tribal-inspired accessories.
Since I spend most of my week surrounded by the younger generation of trendsetters, I’ve found that there are still a careful few of college age who actually take the time to get dressed in the morning before heading to class… just a few. Working in the academic arena has forced me to look to my wardrobe & try & switch things up in a professional, but relatable way so that I’m seen as an authority figure, but also someone who the students would like to talk to. I’m excited to explore my wardrobe & find great fall pieces to make this semester a memorable & stylish one, but every now & again, I need to refresh some basics & go-to classics with that latest accessories, which is why I’m happy to share my newest post for The $100 Challenge!
For under $100 (before tax), I’ve selected these 8 accessories to try wearing for a number of occasions this season with favorites that are transitioning from the summer & stand-by items making a return now that the temps are lowering. Every year, I’ll always be talking about patterned tights & since I’m always shopping on a budget, I manage to grab up a bunch of different styles to match with pencil skirts & sheath dresses. Get a polished look with the sheer stripe patterned tight ($7.50) from Charlotte Russe, especially when worn with something frilly & feminine like a lace overlay pencil skirt. Cinch in your waist with a fun animal print with the zebra-print faux-leather belts ($16.00) from Old Navy, which will look especially polished with a bold cardigan. I love anything black & white, which is also why I’ve picked out Forever 21‘s fringed houndstooth scarf ($6.80) to tuck in your lightweight jacket for those windier fall mornings. If it’s not needed around your neck, you can always transform your tote back by tieing ir around the straps or body of the bag.
I’ve been trying to expand my jewelry pieces, which is I was drawn to the lemon drop long earrings ($22.90) from The Limited, which look like neutral & luxe additions to any LBD look, or if you want to make a plaid shirt & skinny jeans appear less casual. For simpler necklines, I love the idea of a collar necklace, but also, the Sonoma life + style gold tone multistrand necklace ($15.60) from Kohl’s punches up any basic with the metallic accents, instantly drawing all focus to your face. The burnt gold tear drop bracelet ($10.90) from Windsor Store is a fun pop of color to wear with any three-quarter sleeve top, or contrast with another rich jewel tone ensemble.
Lastly, I love the affordable price & classic look of the Minicci capulet rhinestone sunglasses ($9.99) from Payless, especially if you’re trying to save on must-have items when the holiday season is just around the corner. Not to mention that you’re going to need to hide those peep toe pumps on occasion & cover your toes with some allover argyle socks ($7.95) from Gap. What better way to show off your preppy side than with this menswear-inspired print that’ll work well with any trouser & button-down shirt look?
The total for this look comes to $97.64, which is pretty incredible considering the variety in which these pieces can be alternated all season long. Are you a scarf-fiend? Do you love chunky jewelry or do you prefer dainty pieces? Are you drawn to particular prints or patterns for your accessories this fall? Happy Styling!
I was so excited in August to share one of my newest categories, Fabulous in 4 Ways, especially since the debut post was dedicated to my good friend Laurie, as inspired by her fabulous lace-up knee boots from Victoria’s Secret! Now, I’m talking about faux leather & pencil skirts, but before we dive into the outfits, I turned to some of my favorite celebrities to get some inspiration in how I would style such a classy & modern take on the figure flattering piece.
Kate Bosworth rocks a Proenza Schouler leather-trimmed pencil skirt at the brand’s New York boutique opening with a relaxed white blouse & strappy sandals. The First Lady, Michelle Obama, wore a high-waist pencil skirt in navy with a cropped cardigan & purple top, while visiting a Wisconsin school. Mad Men bombshell Christina Hendricks mixes her old school glamour with a Dolce & Gabbana blouse, red clutch, & classic black pencil skirt.
Total Recall star Kate Beckinsale plays with colorblocking with a chic H&M tank, Diane von Furstenberg turquoise skirt, & spiked neutral pumps. Rashida Jones is polished & professional with a touch of menswear while making an appearance on Good Morning America, wearing a printed button down shirt & white pencil skirt. Aussie starlet Cate Blanchett showed her support for Givenchy in a head-to-toe look with Roger Vivier heels.
Welcome to part 3 of my daily posts in The Stylish Five! Today’s assessment includes sale items & final sale items from The Limited! I’ve actually been thinking about hitting up my local store since they were generous enough to send me some discount coupons for my upcoming 2?th birthday! What I love most about this store is that their timeless pieces really work for any stylish woman of any age. Classic pieces like these are what builds a memorable wardrobe & they’re almost always the most flattering separates to own too!
First the Drew Hollywood cargo pant ($12.99) in black are perfect to capture the preppy look while the first half of September is still summer. Take in those cool summer nights wearing these with your favorite sandals, a tank, & cardigan. Not to mention the tilted pocket pencil skirt ($12.99) in khaki is office-friendly without looking too stiff. The neutral hue will brighten up tops in fuchsia, red, lime, & cobalt, whether you’re headed to a meeting or happy hour.
As for tops, the striped scoop neck tee ($12.99) is a necessary basic, especially if you’re looking to try & mix things up, like with a floral bubble skirt or sequin mini. You can even wear this under a denim jacket for an all-American look with red jeans! The Limited’s Collins skirt ($12.99) in pink was a big splash this season. Talk about making menswear even more feminine, without looking over-the-top frilly. The loose fit is sexy, yet appropriate with your best power suit or over a denim skirt & some drop earrings for lunch with the girls.
Last, but not least, take some time to consider this time of year as an opportunity to freshen up your accessories like jewelry with the latest markdowns, including the multistrand drape bracelet ($14.99). The different hues will bring out warm tones in a printed sheath dress, while also working for a variety of special occasions.
Attention Style Darling Readers: We have a new category alert! Fabulous In 4 Ways is my latest in offering the best style advice that I can, while keeping a budget in mind. Of course, I’ve had this idea (taking one item & showing how it’s worn in 4 fabulous ways) for a while now, just sitting away & linkless on my categories page, but just recently, a good friend has come to me w/ a deal on a killer pair of over-the-knee boots, asking for help on how to wear them once the temperatures cool down & heavy knits emerge from the depths of our closets. Said friend, Laurie (who I’ve dedicated a total of 4 blogs to now- Jordana Brewster’s style, how to wear turtlenecks, & the best day-to-night blazers) has challenged me in a very good & very stylish way. Let’s take a look…
As I usually do in my Basics for a Bargain posts, let’s start off with some celebrity inspiration to see how some of the most photographed & stylish stars interpret their over-the-knee boot looks. The City star / socialite Olivia Palermo looks Upper East Side chic with her navy suede boots & fur-lined jacket, mixing neutrals with a sweater tunic. Mom-on-the-go Kourtney Kardashian wears her boots with a flowy blouse under a menswear-inspired blazer & floppy hat, keeping accessories like her bag matching in texture with her footwear. Supermodel legend Claudia Schiffer goes casual in jeggings & a cobalt cable knit sweater with a coordinating bag for her tan suede over-the-knee boots. Former Spice Girl / designer Victoria Beckham keeps her polished posh persona in check with ultra tight leggings, a black top, & satin-trimmed blazer while traveling through Heathrow airport. Lastly, Project Runway host Heidi Klum offers an edgy approach to her leather Jimmy Choo over-the-knee boots by completing her look with a graphic tee & abstract print blazer.
The boots inspiring this post are the Colin Stuart over-the-knee boots ($94.00) from Victoria’s Secret, which are on sale for less than their original $118.00 price tag (pictured below, to the left). These are fierce confections of footwear meant only for the confident Style Darling (for example: Laurie!). Even though these may seem much pricier than your average pump &/or ankle bootie, I can’t emphasize enough that this is an investment piece, especially one that you can dare to wear from the beginning of fall, all the way to the end of the winter. Since we’re talking boots, VS is currently having a 20% off sale on all Colin Stuart boots, which you can shop here.
However, let’s get down to business in putting together these outfits wth some of the celebrity inspiration seen above. Typically when I see boots, I think of sweaters & leggings b/c they’re both just so comfy & very on-trend for effortless fall looks. My first ensemble includes the asymmetric hem sweater ($59.90) from Express, which is available in orchid, black, grey, & blue. The loose fit is perfect for recalling that 80s off-the-shoulder bulky sweater look, as well as hugging your curves to show off your legs. Just so you know, Express is currently having a mix & match BOGO 50% off sale this Labor Day weekend, so if you really love the look pictured, then check out the short metal stick necklace ($44.90) to go with the sweater. I’ve selected Forever 21‘s pebbled pointe knit leggings ($17.80), which will add some texture & shine against the rich suede of the boots. Of course, any solid legging will do, but if you’re going for something with a print, keep it subtle since you’re dealing with a sexy lace-up detail in the back of the boots.
My second outfit is perfect for an office environment where jeans are allowed. The Faded Glory jeggings ($12.88) from Walmart are a steal & can work with so many other wardrobe staples all year long. The colored denim trend is obviously not going away & pairing it with White House Black Market‘s tweed trophy jacket ($188.00) is a professional & elegant way to dress up denim. When shopping @WHBM, of course the regular prices are on the high side, but if you sign up for their seasonal catalogues, you can get discount codes, as well as earn points for reductions on future purchases. I find that comes in handy around the holidays when in a pinch for a cute cocktail dress. For an extra feminine splash, I’ve selected the graphic checkered strips tiered cotton tank ($39.99) from LOFT to add some dimension- which also just so happens to marked down another 30% at checkout.
Lastly, the forth look is my favorite, but perhaps not too far of a departure from the previous blazer look above. When I saw the Merona tailored blazer ($34.99) @Target, I immediately loved the idea of mixing the plaid with the laces, as well as navy & black, along with integrating the fall’s best new neutral deep red hue with New York & Company‘s satiny roll-tab shirt ($39.95). Of course you can complete the look with skinny pants, but Style & Co. skinny stretch jeggings ($36.75) from Macy’s looked too good to be true in a classic dark wash!
What do you think of these looks? Would you wear over-the-knee boots? If so, how would you style your look with them? What boots are you shopping for this fall? Happy Styling!
Not only can we say TGIF today, but it is Friday, the 13th! So if you’re superstitious, good luck today! In celebration of the often down-on-your-luck lauded day, I’ve added a new post to The Stylish Five, including some stylish deals on items under $13.00. Of course, with my arsenal of go-to stores, this wasn’t very hard. The hard part was narrowing down my picks to just five pieces!
@Forever 21, this perforated knit cardigan ($12.80) in yellow is perfect for throwing over your favorite summer dress when it starts to get cooler at night. I love the lemon yellow hue which is perfect to pair with virtually any color under the sun, including tangerine, cornflower blue, slate, & fuchsia. Next up is a stop @Old Navy for some bangle fun with the satin-covered bracelet ($6.47). The edgy accessory is available in black, orange, yellow, & blue. Mix them together or wear them with an assortment of other bracelets to create a textured effect. While we have jewelry on the brain, JCP‘s everyday deals include the Color Craze pink chandelier earrings ($3.00) which will make any maxi dress look all the more exotic or can very easily dress up a shorts romper.
Nothing says classic quite like a button down, & The Limited‘s Collins shirt ($12.99) makes a bold statement in cobalt, but since this is such a great deal, why not splurge on the grey & purple options too? Wear this tucked in with a pencil skirt & pumps or loose over some cropped jeans & wedges. Lastly, I’ve been searching high & low for the perfect pair of purple flip-flops & I should’ve have known that the Lita flip-flops ($3.99) from Wet Seal would be the answer to my prayers. These are perfect for any & every casual event, but if you’re looking for more color variety, have no fear b/c they’re also available in yellow, turquoise, & pink!
Which of these five picks is your favorite? What special Friday the 13th deals are you scouring the internet for? Happy Styling!
Either of these skirts are perfect for right now with ballet flats or strappy platforms & your favorite blouse, or break this bargain out for the fall with textured tights, ankle booties & a cardigan. The softness of the pleats & stunning color is great for matching with other solids like black, mustard, or even grey. How would you style this look? How do you like to wear pleated skirts? Happy Styling!
I always like to wear a top that can be mixed & matched with any type of bottom, or layered with a vast array of separates. I especially love blouses that can be worn for work, daytime, or going out. Hence, my choosing the true decadence ruffle top ($35.94, originally $70.08) in navy from ASOS. It’s also available in cream, but both colors are essentials for any season!
For an effortless casual day, take the essential nylon leggings ($5.50), which are available in eight different colors @Forever 21. Break out a chunky knit or flyaway cardigan with hoop earrings to complete the look while you’re running errands this fall!
If you’re planning an upcoming winter vacation, the embroidered insert woven top ($10.99) is a major plus-size find b/c Forever 21 is also having a promotion of 11% off with the code: ONEDAY11. Also, if you’re headed to a warm-weather location, the Tamra buckle sandal ($10.99) is a cute way to wear flats, especially with the green & brown color combination.
To help make this fall a little more glamorous, the gold link large square scarf ($9.99) is adorable for a pullover sweater & jeans, or to dress down a little black dress with ballet flats! Sometimes hoops, chandelier, or feather earrings can look overwrought with detail, but I much prefer to look of delicate drops like the gold tone chocolate simulated pearl drop earrings ($11.20). They’re soft & feminine, perfect to wear with a cable-knit sweater with a belted pencil skirt for a day at the office.
Lastly, while we start to snuggle up for an at-home spa day, treat your feet to the terry thong slippers ($10.00) which are available in green, black, blue, pink, & white. I actually own there & they great for getting out of the shower, painting your toenails, & hugging your foot after a long day in high heels.
What can you find for about $11.00 on this very honorable Veteran’s Day? What stores do you shop in for the best holiday sales? Happy Styling!
This blog is dedicated to any nay-saying Style Darlings who think I only create posts for the stick figured ladies out there. I am not one of those, wearing a size 14-short jeans & most of my tops are medium-large, although I have lost a full 12lbs for the 2011 calendar year, hoping to drop at least one size by the end of the year.
Anyway, since I do love The Limited, I was especially excited to share the news that the Eloquii label has created an online only line in sizes 14W-24W. The prices for items range between $30 – $148, including jackets, pants, intimate apparel, & lots more! The stylish collection is fall-friendly, holiday-ready, & work appropriate for Darlings of any style!
Check out the website for more stylish ways to shop the collection, as well as how you can use a special 20% of coupon code (BUYME20) to use until Sunday! Where’s your favorite place to shop for plus size designs? What are your staple pieces to build a wardrobe? Happy Styling!