Fabulous in 4 Ways: A Chambray Shirt for Day, Work, Date, & Weekend (Dedicated to Meghan)!


There’s nothing more classic than a crisp button down shirt. An extension of this is the chambray shirt for summer. While the season is at its height (let’s ignore fall for just a moment, please), a menswear-inspired chambray shirt is the perfect piece to get optimal use of your wardrobe for a variety of occasions, like day, work, weekend, & date, which is why it’s featured in my latest addition of Fabulous in 4 Ways.

This post is inspired by an equally versatile friend, Meghan, who works boho princess / bombshell prep street style like nobody’s business. When challenged with how to wear a chambray shirt, I advised my very favorite & fashionable friend that any way that a button down shirt can be styled is also any way that a chambray shirt can be styled (depending on the cut, of course). Here are some examples of must-haves tops to build an affordable ensemble at any size:

Chambray shirts.

SHOP: 1. Dockers chambray shirt ($24.99, was $40.00) @6PM, 2. chambray shirt ($39.99, was $69.00) @J.Jill, 3. chambray shirt ($32.94) available in sizes XS – XXL @Old Navy, 4. New Directions plus size chambray shirt ($18.19, was 52.00) @Belk, & 5. plus size chambray shirt ($46.00) @Maurices.

When it comes to essential basics to fill your closet, it’s always valuable to turn to some top A-listers for a little style inspiration, in the form of the button down shirts for anytime. This includes the flawless likes of Taylor Swift who takes the girl next door approach in a skate skirt, red oxford shoes, & retro sunnies. Curvy Kim Kardashian West dresses down her turquoise pencil skirt & ankle strap pumps with a tucked in, low-cut button down for a fierce day look. Draper James creator Reese Witherspoon is all buttoned up while traveling with mixed textures of black denim, leather pointy flats, & a pink lip. Style icon Olivia Palermo makes an appearance at a Kohl’s event in a knotted shirt over a floral pencil skirt with suede pumps.

Taylor Swift, Kim Kardashian West, Reese Witherspoon, Olivia Palermo, Rihanna, Ashley Madekwe, Zoe Saldana, & Jennifer Garner.

Mixing chambray with similarly-hued denim isn’t a no-no, as seen on Rihanna who looked sporty & chic in a leather baseball cap & nude slingbacks. Salem actress Ashley Madekwe is all about layering with a mini skirt, ankle booties, brocade blazer, & red chain link crossbody bag. Guardians of the Galaxy star Zoe Saldana kept her cool in head-to-toe blue with cowboy boots & aviators when out & about. Lastly, busy mom on the go Jennifer Garner offers a laid back combo in a chambray pullover shirt tucked into a pencil skirt with ballet flats & a luxe navy snake embossed bowler bag.

Now comes the real-life outfit possibilities. Chambray is so lightweight to wear from week to week, especially if you like to reinvent your favorite pieces in new ways. I styled each look with the chambray shirt ($19.50, was $69.50) @J.Crew Factory because it was not only a bargain, but also the best foundation for a polished & flirty look. Try tucking the shirt in for day by rolling up the sleeves, but on the weekend, open it up & knot it when heading to brunch.

Cambray for Day. Chambray for Weekend.

SHOP the DAY look: 1. chambray shirt ($19.50, was $69.50) @J.Crew Factory, 2. pineapple earrings ($5.00, was $7.50) @Icing, 3. LC Lauren Conrad necklace ($8.00, was $20.00) @Kohl’s, 4. shorts ($13.98, was $19.99) in orange @Target, 5. Nine West crossbody bag ($19.99, was $45.00) in oat @Century 21, & 6. wedges ($31.49, was $89.99) in beige @Dillard’s.

SHOP the WEEKEND look: 7. earrings ($12.00) @Francesca’s, 8. tank ($16.95) in turquoise @Gap (available in sizes XS – XXL), 9. maxi skirt ($30.00) @Dress Barn (available in plus size here), 10. bangle set ($9.99, was $26.00) @JCPenney, 11. tote ($14.90) in cream / mustard @Forever 21, & 12. sandals ($15.00, was $22.99) in gold @Charlotte Russe.

Depending on your job’s dress code, chambray can make a casual Friday a little more elegant when tucked into a minimalist skirt with edgy extras, but then knot it over an LBD for date night to keep cozy with colorful accessories to pop.

Chambray for Work. Chambray for Date.

SHOP the WORK look: 1. chambray shirt ($19.50, was $69.50) @J.Crew Factory, 2. cardigan cape ($34.00, was $108.00) in black @Neiman Marcus Last Call, 3. earrings ($10.50) in gold @G by Guess, 4. Daniel Rainn pencil skirt ($24.97, was $68.00) in black @Nordstrom Rack (shop similar in plus size here), 5. necklace ($15.00) in rose gold @Topshop, 6. bowler bag ($49.00, was $99.00) @ASOS, 7. belt ($24.90) in snake @Express (shop similar in plus size here), & 8. booties ($38.50) in black @GOjane.

SHOP the DATE look: 9. dress ($12.95) in black @H&M (shop similar in plus size here), 10. necklace ($8.99) @Rainbow Shops, 11. ring ($16.00) @River Island, 12. clutch ($29.00, was $43.00) in yellow @Venus, & 13. sandals ($39.95, was $70.00) in red @DSW.

Do you wear button down or chambray shirts during the summer? How many ways do you like to style them? Which celebrity wears your favorite chambray look? For more stylish posts, check out Kate Mara’s sleek pixie cut & outfits while promoting Fantastic 4, affordable maxi skirts inspired by Jennifer Lopez & Miranda Kerr, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s Fall 2015 denim campaign for Paige Denim, how to restyle bridesmaid dresses from Weddington Way, Eva Mendes for Estee Lauder, & a figure-friendly summer outfit for under $100! Happy Styling!

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Basics For A Bargain: Swap In Some Sweaters, Inspired By Carrie Underwood, Nicole Richie, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, & More!


As if Long Island hasn’t been riddled enough with weather, it’s snowing now & I bundled up in my favorite sweater to brave the day.  This was my inspiration when I clicked through some of my top go-to websites to find must-have sweaters for the fall-winter season- no matter where you live.  Because sweaters are bulkier, often requiring special care, & available in an array of materials, I don’t necessarily admonish anyone who is looking for an investment piece to add to their cold weather wardrobe.  However, let’s take a look at some stylish celebrities who have been spotted in recent months donning some fashionable sweaters.

Actress Rose Byrne accents her textured black sweater with a ruffled skirt & leopard belt at the debut short film for Target, Falling For You.  Country crooner Taylor Swift looks all sorts of ladylike with maroon sweater by French Connection, paired with polka dot jeans by AG Adriano Goldschmied, Charlotte Olympia flats, & a tasteful string of pearls. Jessica Alba plays with menswear in her Alice + Olivia sweater to contrast her printed pants & bold cap toe pumps. Former Heroes star Ali Larter mixes sophistication with urban chic in a shawl collar sweater with olive cargo pants, ankle booties, & a Coach bag.

You can count on American Idol Carrie Underwood to bring the glitz to an appearance at The Late Show with David Letterman, wearing a sequin sweater, skinny jeans, & strappy wedges. Model / actress Rosie Huntington-Whiteley goes all-black in a fringed black sweater & liquid leather leggings when arriving at the Sao Paulo Fashion Week celebration.  Lastly, designer Nicole Richie goes casual in a zebra print Proenza Schouler sweater with skinny black jeans & suede pumps.

For under $50, you can find heart details, metallic threading, animal-inspiration, feminine accents, & some sparkle when it comes to wearing a sweater.  Of course, there’s the classic cable knit or argyle that you can wear to the office, but there are lots of ways to look ladylike & modern without having to sacrifice style when it comes to chunky knitwear.

I love the fun & flirty colors in the colored animal pattern sweater ($27.80) from Forever 21 is a cool way to accent a pencil skirt with a metallic collar necklace, or to wear during the day with skinny jeans & knee boots.  If you’re headed on a double date or want to stay warm when going out at night, check out Expressmetallic wedge sweater ($19.99), which would look hot with leather shorts & tights or colored jeans.  I’ve surprised myself lately by finding an interest in stripes (I’m not typically a stripey), but I love the color contrast & splash of sparkle in the Varick Street sequin stripe v-neck sweater ($46.95) from New York & Company, which is available in a whole range of colors if you’re not into the yellow-gray combo.

As seen on many Style Darlings like Alexa Chung & Rihanna, wearing novelty pieces is a big trend, & this includes LC by Lauren Conrad‘s lurex heart sweater ($34.99) from Kohl’s, which is also sold in black & white, as well as tan & black.  Pair this fun top with wide leg jeans & a scarf, or polish the look with textured a-line skirt & pointed toe heels.  Lastly, @Venus you can find knit sweater with bow ($22.00) in light brown which can be easily played up with a fancy lace pencil skirt or some leather leggings.

What sweater styles do you like to wear when the weather gets cold? Are there sweater trends that you love to follow? For more posts featured in Basics for a Bargain, be sure to check out fall’s best faux leather looks featuring Lucy Hale & Jessica Chastain, leopard flats inspired by Olivia Palermo & Whitney Port, & Anne Hathaway’s all-black day & evening looks! Happy Styling!

Basics For A Bargain / Red Carpet Review: The Look Of Summer Leather!


Instead of posting yet another click-worthy gallery, I’ve selected these five outstanding red carpet looks, worn recently by some of my favorite celebrities.  Each of them are showing how leather isn’t just a material for the cooler months.  The sexy skin is also no longer just for jacket & bags, as seen in these above photos. Designers are all about texture this season, showing leather off in all sorts of articles of clothing.  This includes dresses, as most frequently seen on the likes of rivaling stars like Angelina Jolie & Jennifer Aniston, but here I’m featuring Rock of Ages actress Julianne Hough in a blue leather dress at the film’s premiere & the always adorable Emma Stone in a red frock by Monique Lhuillier for an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

In addition, trendsetter Alexa Chung mixes her leather motorcycle jacket with a menswear-inspired look, paired with a printed mini skirt, embroidered clutch by Charlotte Olympia, & patent leather flats. Model Karolina Kurkova hit the streets of New York in leather leggings, Monika Chiang sneakers, a printed blouse, & chic double-breasted jacket.  Zoe Kravitz plays with leather & tweed in a black & white ensemble at a cash celebrating Chanel.

For the rest of us on a budget, real leather may not be as tangible, but while keeping animal-friendly, faux leather is always an option, especially with these cute & affordable options to mix up your wardrobe.  Check out the faux leather sheath dress ($27.00) from Venus, which makes the idea of an LBD all the more sexier.  While I was searching through the Venus website, I came across this super sweet faux leather circle skirt ($24.00) in brown, which will toughen up even the most feminine of blouses or dress up the most basic silk camisoles for a stylish night out!

If you’re daring enough to wear leather on your bottom half, head over to Sears for the faux leather leggings ($25.99) which will pair nicely with any bohemian-inspired tunic top, a dolman top, or your favorite tank & blazer.  For more subtle ways to wear leather, Cynthia Steffe has created this Maggie draped faux leather trim top ($47.00), available @Saks Fifth Avenue. To keep a classic faux leather look in your wardrobe, I’ve found this chic faux leather zip front jacket ($27.49 – $29.99) from Fashion Bug, which is sold in sizes Small – 4XL.  This can make any pair of trousers & blouse fiercer & more fashionable because of the front pinhole details & rugged zippers.

For more celebrity-inspired style for the budget buyer, check out previous posts of Basics For A Bargain, as well as Luxury Look-Alikes For Less to get the latest & greatest in affordable fashion! To see more of what the celebrities are wearing & what trends are hitting the red carpet, take a look at Red Carpet Review, especially Charlize Theron’s latest looks & who wore what at the MTV Movie Awards! Which faux leather pieces are your favorites? Do you often wear leather or faux leather in the spring & summer months? Happy Styling!