Holiday Gift Style: Embellished Cardigans!


One of my latest obsessions this season, to pair with my other obsession: the pencil skirt, is an embellished cardigan. I’ve always been a cardigan girl, opting for the softness of a button-down topper that could be mixed & matched with skirts, jeans, pants, & even over a dress. This is the perfect season for just such a cardigan, one with dazzling sequins, beads, & stones, in designs inspired by a winter wonderland, feminine florals, or holiday sparkle. There are plenty of high-end cardigans on the market, but as always, I’ve selected some style that will surely fit any budget & heighten your holiday ensemble!

SHOP: black cardigan @dressbarn, cream cardigan @Target, red pearl crewneck cardigan @New York & Company (also available in black & white in sizes XS – XXL), red jewel collar cardigan @Walmart (also available in black, gray, & ivory in sizes S-XXL), heather cardigan @Macy’s (also available in pink & ivory in sizes XS-XXL), & black embellished neck cardigan @Nordstrom Rack (also available in gray in sizes S-XL).

Happy Styling!

Accessories Access: Summer Must-Haves For $15 & Under!


While there’s still a week before the calendar kicks off summer, the sunny season is here on Long Island & there’s no turning back. For me, summer is about taking it easy when it comes to life & style. I want to read, get together with friends, & spend nights cuddling up with my special someone. When I’m not working or on the go, I want to wear comfortable, breezy, effortless pieces from my wardrobe & accessories, all of which exude the playful lightness that makes summer a fashionable time of year. When I’m stumped on what to wear, especially when transitioning between seasons, I turn to Pinterest to look up some fierce street style looks, as well as those of my favorite celebrities.

This includes Eva Longoria in a graphic jumpsuit with a bold white tote & aviators, Miranda Kerr‘s maxi dress look in sandal flats & a hat, Olivia Palermo in a cotton off-the-shoulder top with sneakers & a blue clutch, Kendall Jenner‘s flowy shorts & strappy sandals street look, Ashley Madekwe in a graphic tee & denim shorts, & Zoe Saldana in a floral print maxi, hoop earrings, & neutral tote bag.

Summer inspiration from Eva Longoria, Miranda Kerr, Olivia Palermo, Kendall Jenner, Ashley Madekwe, & Zoe Saldana.I’m always up for different colors & textures, keeping things bright with classic primaries & flowy in cotton or linen to inspire a fun, relaxing day in the sun & night under the stars. When hitting up the beach or going away for the weekend, I’d like to recommend a few essential accessories that are not only affordable, but can also play up your personality when mixing & matching with your favorite summer staples like denim cut-offs, a shirt-dress or maxi dress, gladiator sandals, & a shorts romper. 

SHOP: hat @Dress Barn, espadrille sandals @Old Navy, sunglasses @Forever 21, tote @Charming Charlie, & cover-up @Walmart (shop plus size here).

What are your favorite summer-ready pieces to wear? Where do you shop for the best bargain accessories? Which celebrities do you turn to for style inspiration? What’s your go-to summer look? Happy Styling!

10/28/2015 Darling of the Day: Victoria Beckham’s Preppy & Sleek Fall Street Style!


This isn’t the first time designer Victoria Beckham has surprised fashion critics with pops of color, & also her orange pants from 2013 have appeared again on the radar of bloggers everywhere. The former Spice Girls’ jet setting style has always looked flawless, especially when she models her own designs & now repeats favorites, showing that classic staples never go out of style. Get inspired by her sleek, clean look & embrace bold bottoms, topped with this season’s must-have accessory: a statement coat.

10-28-2015 Darling of the Day - Victoria Beckham's menswear style.SHOP: Misses Outfit: Oxford shirt ($24.94) in white @Old Navy (available in sizes XS-XXL), pants ($28.17, was $46.50) in roasted pepper @New York & Company, long coat ($62.90) in plaid @Forever 21, sunglasses ($15.95) in black @American Eagle Outfitters, Mix No.6 Sarti pumps ($39.95, was $80.00) in gray @DSW, & three-tone ring set ($20.93, was $29.90) @Express. Plus Outfit: shirt ($34.96, was $49.95) in white @Lane Bryant, pants ($14.97, was $79.90) in orange @Eloquii, coat ($39.90) in black & white @Forever 21, sunglasses ($15.95) in black @Walmart, Katie & Kelly Isabel pump ($29.94, $50.00) in gray @DSW,  & textured ring set ($10.00) @Charming Charlie.

What do you think of Victoria’s orange pants? How do you wear menswear inspiration for fall? Which celebrity’s style do you follow? For more stylish posts, check out Michelle Williams & Alicia Vikander for Louis Vuitton’s The Spirit of Travel, fall flats for work inspired by Emma Stone & Angelina Jolie, plaid favorites for this season like Reese Witherspoon & Rita Ora, & pretty fall florals for any body type!

Holiday Gift Styles: Casper’s Beauty Sleep Challenge & Stylish Deals for Better Sleep!


November is nearly over, but it’s not too late to take better steps towards National Sleep Comfort Month… Did you know? I didn’t! Casper, a company that makes latex memory foam mattresses, is holding a Beauty Sleep Challenge & Style Darling is up for the task, sharing favorite ways to relax in style & get ready for bed for a more satisfying night’s sleep. Not to mention the fact that everyone’s life gets crazy, so giving the gift of better sleep to a loved one this holiday season is a great idea, whether it’s with a pajama set, fuzzy slippers, stylish throw blanket, or relaxing extras like candles or moisturizers!

When it comes to sleepwear, I’m all about color. Here’s the one instance where color-coordination isn’t such a big deal for me. I love mixing pops of color since sleep is all about a time for your body to rejuvenate & why not have fun with colors & patterns that you can alternate for a playful sleep ensemble? When hitting the sheets, I’ve picked some must-haves that will certainly make lounge-time even better, & these selections won’t break the bank!

Casper's Beauty Sleep Challenge for National Sleep Comfort MonthSHOP: Eartherapeutics sleep mask ($8.00) @Ultashort robe ($39.50) in pink @Victoria’s Secret, pajama set ($13.19) in oatmeal heather @Target, pajama set ($13.19) in grey @Target, & slippers ($17.95) in blue @H&M.

This is definitely the time of year to bundle up & I’m not one to shy away from blanket variety, if I’m snuggling up for a Sunday afternoon nap or curling up with my beau for a restful winter night’s sleep. Here’s another opportunity to let your style speak through your sleep-ready essentials. Soft textures & modern prints are what bring any bedding arrangement to life & these will certainly inspire you to get that much-needed shut eye.

sleepSHOP: throw blanket ($8.88) in interlocking squares @Walmart, velvet plush throw ($8.99) in leopard @JC Penneyfleece blanket ($6.00) in houndstooth @OldNavy, & fluffy throw ($9.99) in fucshia @Bed Bath & Beyond.

Before heading off to bed, I always have to take care of my skin since I suffer from dryness. Staying moisturized will keep your skin glowing & healthy for when you wake up!

sleepSHOP: Neutrogena night cream ($11.99) @CVS & Blistex medicated lip balm ($3.69) @Drugstore.com for a 3-pack.

Lastly, the writer in me loves a good book before dozing off at night. When prepping my mind for dreamland, I have a few other valuable pre-sleep rituals to relax & distress me from everything going on during my hectic day of work, school, relationships, & writing. I try to keep hydrated, especially since this the dryness in the air this time of year sometimes affects my mouth and throat.

sleepSHOP: chamomile tea ($3.39) @Celestial Seasonings, coconut water ($21.16) @Zico for a 12-pack, candle ($11.25) in necatrine green tea @Bath & Body Works, & Eartherapeutcis pillow mist ($9.00) @Ulta.

When it comes to sleep, the best thing you can really do is invest in a quality mattress & pillows that meet your sleeping needs. For more from Casper, be sure to check out their informative & helpful blog, Pillow Talk, featuring plenty of tips for better sleep habits & ways to relax before heading to bed!

Where do you like to shop for pajamas? What’s your sleepwear style for the seasons? For more stylish & affordable posts, check out recent #BlackFriday deals from stores like Gap & New York & Company, Jennifer Aniston’s latest red carpet looks, the ultimate photo gallery featuring Olivia Palermo’s style, & winter pastel wardrobe inspiration from Lupita Nyong’o & Elle Fanning! Happy Styling!

Color Me Style: Breaking The Brown & Black Mixing Myth (Dedicated to Christine)!


In an effort for some variety, I turned to my dear friend Christine for some blog inspiration. Of course, there’s plenty of great deals out there this weekend with all of the Black Friday sales, but I was intrigued by her question about mixing black & brown, as in boots & dress, or belt & bag. 2013 is  a year to break the rules with accessories coordination & knowing which hues work best for your look, despite the myths that these colors don’t work together!

Walmart - waistband dress $14.00, Payless - riding boots $29.99, H&M - leather belt $12.95, & Dress Barn - disc earrings $12.00.

The first look I’m featuring shows a casual chic way to reinterpret a little black dress, including brown accessories: Faux leather waistband dress ($14.00) in black @WalmartBrash Zane riding boot ($29.99) in cognac @Payless, Glitter disc earrings ($12.00) in brown @Dress Barn, & leather belt ($12.95) in brown @H&M.

Target - sweater dress $29.99, Forever 21 - chain necklace $12.80, JC Penney - stretch bead bracelets $7.95, & DSW - NYLA flat $19.95.

To dress up a flattering brown sweater dress, I’ve picked some luxe black accessories to make this look perfect & effortless for the holidays. Here’s what we’re working with: Mossimo long sleeved sweater dress ($29.99) in brown heather @Target, sleek curb chain necklace ($12.80) in black / gold @Forever 21, & black bead & shell stretch bracelet ($7.50) in black / gold @JC Penney, & NYLA Elanino flat ($19.94) in black @DSW.

Other style myths worth breaking are the navy & black combination, as well as wearing gold & silver jewelry. There are so many ways around a clashing look, and often mixing metals & textures can be even more fabulous! For more shopping posts, check out fashionable flats on sale for Black Friday, stylish sweater steals from The Limited & Old Navy, & ladylike stud earrings from Lauren Conrad’s Kohl’s collection! Happy Styling!

Inside A Style Blogger’s Closet: Summer-Ready Dresses For Under $10!


I’ve been splurging but saving a whole lot lately, especially since I have big travel plans in July. This includes an entire new selection of dresses that I’m happy to adopt into my wardrobe for this spring & summer. I always head to the new sale & clearance racks first in order to get the best possible deal, but I was so happy to come across these two dresses that were under $10 each! If that’s not a bargain, then I don’t know what is!

I never thought I was a yellow kind of girl. Sure, here & there I have a yellow top, yellow flats, but I couldn’t conceive on my fair skin an entire yellow look, but I definitely found one with the Merona refined lcae dress ($8.38) in yellow from Target. Online, this dress is $27.99, but I found it on a 70% off rack at my local store & it fits perfectly. I usually score big with this brand, especially since Target often has coupons on their website for this brand too!

Target - Merona refined lace dress $8.38, Walmart - Faded Glory ruffle knit dress $9.49.My second big score was the unexpected one! I hardly ever shop @Walmart, mostly b/c I’m dedicated to Target & can always find what I need, & the local Walmart doesn’t always look like the nicest place to shop- despite low prices. I came across this Faded Glory ruffled knit dress ($9.94) in black, which wasn’t on sale & this was its original price. I was hesitant b/c I wasn’t sure about the quality of the material, but then I looked at the tag of the New York & Company summer dress that I was wearing… & low & behold, both the above black dress & what I was wearing were both 60% cotton & 40% polyester. I tried it on & it was the perfect length & cut, & I was very happy with my decision to purchase this LBD that could be dressed up or down & won’t ever go out of style.

What makes me even happier with these purchases is their potential for accessorizing, which includes great finds like the arrowhead studded faux leather belt ($5.80) in nude from Forever 21, which is perfect for either dress, or even pairing with shorts & a ruffled tank. Also, for some fun & playful colors, I picked the Mudd Kara colorblock crossbody bag ($13.20) in mint yellow from Kohl’s, especially if you’re looking for something summery & smaller to carry around. To dress up both looks for a classy evening, I recommend the hammered chain link necklace ($6.00) from Charlotte Russe, which definitely plays up the chain link trend.

Also, for a casual day out, I love the idea of a pair of flirty exaggerated cat-eye sunglasses ($9.99) in tortoise shell from JC Penney. Lastly, there are plenty of shoes to match up, but I especially love LOFT‘s basil ballet flats ($20.99) in Bombay blue & the Portia high wedge sling ($15.00) in red from Payless.

What’s the best deal you’ve scored lately? What’s been your biggest shopping surprise yet? For more posts on affordable fashion, check out Taylor Swift’s leggy look for under $100, little white dresses inspired by Angelina Jolie & Kerry Washington, fashionable flip-flops from Guess & Steve Madden, & a look at 3.1 Phillip Lim’s new collaboration with Target! Happy Styling!

Fabulous in 4 Ways: Over-The-Knee Boots From Victoria’s Secret (Dedicated To Laurie)!


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.

Look #3 required a little more attention since I wanted to find pieces that would work for more than just the over-the-knee boots challenge.  I started with this streaky knit t-shirt dress ($39.99) from The Limited, which has been marked down 50% on the store’s website. With a solid sheath-like dress as this, I immediately thought of a belt & found this duo of ivory cheetah & glossy black skinny belts ($10.79) from Bluefly. To keep warm during the cooler fall days, I picked out the basic, yet affordable Style & Co. three-quarter ruched sleeve cardigan ($14.99) in black from Macy’s. If you’re headed out to happy hour with the girls or going from the office to an evening function, this look is perfect with the boots, especially when the Minicci scroll weave tights ($7.99) from Payless are hiding underneath your layers.

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!

Inside A Style Blogger’s Closet: How I Styled A Summer Dress ($8.74) For Fall!


I took a recent trip to Target, just to return something & pick up some tortilla wraps, but of course I was swayed to check out the clearance section in the women’s clothing department.  Despite my protest against buying yet another dress since I clearly have no closet space for it, the $8.74 price tag made all the difference when I saw the Converse One ‘Adna’ Dress ($34.99 online).  Not to mention, that the only two dresses on the rack were in a Medium, so I didn’t think it would fit.  But then again, I did recently lose some weight, so I ducked into the fitting room to try it on. Now, this is me, at home with my new dress friend, smiling like it’s Christmas day!

I bought the wide stretch belt by Minicci ($12.99) a while back from Payless, of course with a coupon when it was on sale for $7.99. Also, the crocodile tights ($9.80) were another recent coupon purchase from Kohl’s by Simply Vera Vera Wang. I got 20% off just for being a cardholder!

The cardigan is a last season clearance purchase from Old Navy (I’m sure it was under $12).  Since the dress is pretty lightweight, the heaviness of the knit cardigan is a perfect match to add some texture & make it fall-ready! My staple sunburst necklace comes from Park Lane Jewelry, in which I received at a discounted price since I reaped the benefits of hosting a jewelry party two summers ago.

I bet you’re all wondering about the shoes.. They’re from Payless by Lela Rose.  I bought them about two winters ago, probably for around $38.00, but I’m sure that there was a BOGO 50% off deal in there somewhere!  I’m a big fan of black & cream, so this is a perfect uniform for me this fall.

I’m especially proud of the closeup on the headband since I made it myself, with a basic fabric-wrapped headband from a dollar store, as well as ribbons & lace from stores like Michael’s, Walmart, & Joann’s Fabrics & Craft Stores. I love all the different details in this look, knowing that it’s not too busy or bulky.

What do you think of my first official outfit posting?  All together it probably cost just over $100, but all of it can be mixed & matched with different outfits.  I can’t wait to see how this dress looks next summer with some wedges & an updo!  If you like looks that can be switched up b/w seasons, check out The $100 Challenge! Happy Styling!

The $100 Challenge: Best Bargains for a Beach Bum!


I recently posted a blog called The Stylish Five: Bargain Beach Accessories ($10 & Under)! but here I’ve put together an entire beach look for under $100!  This outfit is both sexy & fun, demonstrating the only playful time that I would mix so many animal prints.  Summer is about having fun & embracing patterns, so why not have some fun with your accessories too?

Starting off, we have this slimming shirred halter swimsuit by Catalina sold @Walmart for $32.00.  It’s also available in black & teal, but I went with the red b/c it’s a little spicier.  It recalls a very vintage Marilyn Monroe feeling.  Although I wouldn’t actually do it at the beach, wearing a sexy sarong with some towering platform sandals would make for a sexy way to greet your beau when he comes home from the office this summer!  While this suit is ideal for any body type, check out Walmart’s entire department of swimwear for more affordable separates & one-pieces in almost every size!

Next is the all important terry ho0ded cover-up in white.  It’s fresh-looking against the red of the swimsuit, super easy to wear, & only $19.50 @Old Navy.  It is also available in pink & army green, but I like the white the best! Also, the sizes go up to 2X for the more voluptuous Style Darlings out there!

As for your feet, I selected these fun leopard print sandals from Forever 21, for only $9.80.  Not only are they great for a day at the beach, but you can wear them with a maxi dress or even with some leggings & a tunic!  I would typically pick regular flip-flops for a day beach look, but this special swimsuit calls for something with a little more splash!  Keeping with the animal print theme, also from Old Navy, I found this canvas tote for $7.97, which is spacious enough for all of your accessories at 16″L x 4″W x 14″H. If you’re looking for a tote like this for the day, then also check out the army green / seahorse one available at the same price! To complete our safari-esque accessories, cheetah / zebra towel, called Cheebra at Target is a great way to mark your beach territory for only $9.99!

While you’re laying out or taking a stroll down the boardwalk, break out a pair of blingy sunglasses for only $3.00 @Wet Seal, perfect for maintain that fiery movie star glow about you, but also protecting your eyes.  If you’re looking to keep the sun away, try a floppy hat with beaded details to protect your face.  It costs $10.80 @Forever 21, but they also have other cowboy hat styles if that’s the look you’re going for!  Last, but not least, the always important travel size sunscreen, preventing your skin from any sun damage, but also affordable & space efficient when you’re looking to carry around that copy of Great Expectations that you’ve been meaning to read, along with an MP3 player & some refreshments.  Not to mention that the travel size is $2.99 @Ulta!

And that would make our grand total… $96.05 (before taxes)!  Check out our previous $100 Challenge posts for more great outfit ideas on a budget! Happy Styling!

The $100 Challenge: Get 5 Dresses for Under $100!


I’m always looking for a bargain, so when I thought of The $100 Challenge for the blog here, I was super psyched to find all the ways that one can wear an outfit by budgeting, but not sacrificing style.  And who doesn’t love a dress??  So yeah, this isn’t entirely an outfit, but here were have 5 dresses ranging in price from $11.99 – $24.46, yet if buying all five, for example, you’d only be spending a total of $98.03!

If you frequent stores like Forever 21, you know all about the best sales & when they have items marked down between seasons.  Not to mention their ridiculously affordable prices on shoes, cardigans, & jewelry.  As for New York & Company, you get a discount most of the time just for having a credit card & can earn tons of coupons.  They sometimes even have sales of the whole store being marked down up to 50% off.  I love Mandee‘s coupons & my Mandee credit card b/c you spend so little & get so much, like this adorable animal print dress.  It’s not just a junior’s store- they sell accessories by brands like Steve Madden, XOXO, & Nine West.  @Kohls, there is always an abundance of sales & they give you lots of benefits for having a credit card as well. I love looking at the latest styles by Simply Vera by Vera Wang & LC by Lauren Conrad. The best feeling is when you’re walking out of the store & look down at your reciept to see that you saved more than you spent.  And then there’s Old Navy that’s always having some kind of special, & you get points for having the store’s credit card during each purchase, which you can also use at their sister stores like Gap, Piperlime, Banana Republic, & Athleta. Other stores that I looked at for this blog were H&M, Wet Seal, Charlotte Russe, GOjane, Target, & WalMart.  Happy Styling!