Accessories Access: Pom Pom Bags for Spring!


The world is our runway. This phrase couldn’t be truer. When a lot is happening in life, I sometimes feel stuck in my wardrobe, seeking something refreshing & exciting to recreate old favorites & discover new trends to move my style forward. However, inspiration is always just around the corner with every click & keystroke on different social media forums.

This spring is probably my favorite spring ever, possibly because so much in life seems to be aligned personally, & I’m also feeling more confident in my style. This knowledge has also informed my newfound respect & developing radar for how accessories can transform your look. While I’m experimenting most right now with separates (mixing prints & color combinations), I’ve noticed how the playful pom pom movement isn’t going away. This includes all sorts of accessories: bags, shoes, earrings, & necklaces. When so much of spring is about light layers & pastels, pom pom accents make a bold statement without being too over the top.

One easy way to embrace the pom pom is with a straw bag, which is perfect for the everyday Style Darling looking to try something different, as well as for a variety of occasions like a weekend away or luncheon with the girls. Sure, there are plenty of expensive designer options making waves in the fashion world, including selections by (above) Kate Spade New York, Rebecca Minkoff, Loeffler Randall, Alice + Olivia, & Nannacay. When seeking out this look, you certainly don’t have to break the bank since the following styles (below) range in price from $29.99 – $43.00.

SHOP: 1. bag @ASOS, 2. tote @Fayrouzy, 3. tote @Zulily, 4. bag @ASOS, & 5. tote @Stein Mart.

What spring trends are you most interesting in trying? Where do you shop for new seasonal accessories? How much do you invest in trend items? Happy Styling!

Splurge or Save… A Burgundy Blouse?


The color of the upcoming fall-winter season is burgundy & its related hues, including brick, deep red, maroon, oxblood, merlot, & so on. I have to say that this isn’t a color I wear often, but I can see the luxury in it, especially when it comes to classic & feminine pieces like a burgundy blouse. Lately, Style Darling has been all about what’s been going down at New York Fashion Week with manic posts under Runway Rundown, but if we’re going to look ahead, let’s talk about what we should be considering for updating our wardrobe this fall.  Even if you’re not looking to stay on-trend, the idea of a burgundy blouse is pretty timeless.  It will look lush & expensive against any black, gray, navy, cream, mustard (yes, I said mustard), or denim pieces that you already own & rely on for building your everday looks.  Keep with the jewel tones & add a splash of deep purple for some colorblocking!

I’ve found five similar blouses that fit the criteria for Splurge of Save?, ranging in price from nearly $400 to under $20.  Of course, when it comes to a blouse, you have to consider the care that you will take in cleaning it, if it’s hand wash or dry clean only, which will entail an extra cost & time spent going to & from a reliable dry cleaners. Also, let’s say that for the sake of variety, we’d be looking at wearing this blouse twice a month from September to April. That’s 8 months & 16 wears, which is how we’ll figure the always important CPW (cost per wear).

The most expensive, but perhaps my favorite of all these blouses is the Equipment Signature 2-pocket silk chiffon shirt ($398.38) from ASOS. The subtle polka dot print can also be mixed with other prints like a pinstripe pant or always fashionable houndstooth pencil skirt if you’re going for a real runway-inspired look.  At most, this comes to just under $25 per wear, which can always buy you a great lunch & dessert with a refreshing glass of wine when you’re out with the girls.  Next, the Joie ‘Marru’ pleated blouse ($198.00) @Neiman Marcus is a less conventional looking blouse, but the modern pleats down the front add texture to this flowy feminine piece.  Wearing this will cost you less than $13 each day, which doesn’t sound so bad, but for some, the sleeve-length may not be favorable.  This can always be remedied with a cool cardigan or heavy knit wrap sweater. ALso, keep in mind that light pieces like blouses can always soften up tough separates like a leather jacket!

Thirdly, the Calvin Klein roll sleeve shirt ($69.50) from Bloomingdale’s doesn’t necessarily fall under the blouse category, but if worn with the right separates, this shirt can be utilized for day or night, in the office or for a date.  The sporty sleeves are perfect for pairing with a menswear-inspired vest, but this can also be coordinated with faux leather leggings, tucked in with satin shorts & tights, or simply worn with distressed boyfriend jeans & flats.  Dress this up with an embellished cardigan & drop earrings, or keep it simple with a croc embossed belt & riding boots.  For just over $4 a day, this doesn’t seem like such a bad deal, but of course, every Style Darling knows to keep their budget in mind.

For those who love the retro look, consider the ‘Prepare to Bordeaux’ top ($49.99) from Mod Cloth, which recalls that sexy librarian / secretary vibe, while also donning an air of Old Hollywood.  With a metallic-accented brocade pencil skirt or sequined mini, this is perfect with a killer blazer or worn to show off the sheer sleeves.  Not to mention that the scarf-like knot at the neck draws attention to your face.  Not to keep getting too math-y, for just over $3 a day, this blouse is worth the investment.  Lastly, Forever 21‘s shirred high-low shirt ($19.80) is our least expensive blouse, costing barely $1.25 per wear & is also great for styling for day or night.  Take a cue from the pic above & try your favorite pair of colored jeans, or create a 70’s look with wide leg jeans & camel accessories.

Which blouse is your favorite? Are you getting into the burgundy trend? How would you style this look? What piece would you like to see next in Splurge or Save? Happy Styling! (Special thanks to graphic designer, Nino Vlacich <3, for his time & skills in creating the image above!)