Color Me Style: All You Need is Olive!


One color that works well to transition from spring to summer & summer to fall is olive. It’s an earthy neutral, sometimes referred to as khaki green, that looks luxe against gold accessories or with rich leather. Also, olive touches in cargo separates offer a dressed down & utilitarian feel to more formal pieces like a sequin skirt or little black dress, presenting new options to standards in your wardrobe rotation. Olive is also a fashionable alternative to pair with denim to channel a bohemia look, additional neutrals like navy or chocolate for a layered & details ensemble, as well as pastels in peach or pink for a blend of warmth & femininity.

SHOP: shirt dress @H&M, wrap dress @Kohl’s (available in sizes XS-XXL), crochet tank @Target, twill jacket @Old Navy, Audrey Brooke Viv sandal @DSW, G by Guess Beaut wedge sandal @DSW, cargo jogger pants @White House Black Market, & high low mini skirt @dressbarn.

What colors are your favorite to wear each season? Where do you shop for your favorite trends? Do you like to mix cargo separates with other wardorbe pieces? Which of the above bargain finds is your favorite? Happy Styling! 

Splurge or Save… On Summer Gingham Tops!


When it comes to summer, there are so many prints that make for a fashionable look, but among them, gingham gets top billing! The typical gingham button down is classic for a variety of outfits, but this summer is all about the trendy, off-the-shoulder, ruffle, or halter gingham top available for shoppers of all sizes! Celebrities even love gingham, as seen on Baby Driver star Lily James, style blogger Olivia Palermo, singer / actress Vanessa Hudgens, A-lister & fashion mogul Reese Witherspoon, & Shameless actress Emmy Rossum.

For a trendy, one-season item like a gingham top, you don’t have to break the bank. There’s so much fashion out in the world & online for shoppers of all budgets, but I do love checking out high-end designer duds for a little inspiration when it comes to finding something to write about, as well as putting together my next outfit. Here are a few examples that range in price from $88 – $265, but still worth keeping an eye on for an end of the season sale item.

SHOP: Carmen blouse @White House Black Market, McGuire Florentine top @Saks Fifth Avenue, Rag & Bone off-the-shoulder Drew top @Neiman Marcus, Draper James Cloister top @Nordstrom, & Mindy Cindy one-shoulder top @Nordstrom.

The six gingham tops below are much more affordable & perfect for styling with white skinny jeans, red chino shorts, a denim skirt, or with bottoms in a bold pop of color like yellow, green, or orange.

SHOP: checked top @H&M, gingham tie top @Saks Off 5th, Design Lab blouse @Lord & Taylor, flounced gingham top @Talbots, plus off-the-shoulder lace-up top @Charlotte Russe, & plus one shoulder ruffle top @Lane Bryant.

Which summer trends are on your wardrobe wish list? Do you prefer the black, navy, or red gingham color scheme? Where are you shopping for summer favorites? Happy Styling!

The Stylish Five: Floral Scarves for Spring!


When it comes to spring fashion, scarves don’t always come to mind first, but they do for me! That’s because I have an enormous scarf collection that I have found much use out of over the years, adding plenty of texture & interest in building a look with a denim jacket over a dress, for example. Scarves are not just limited to one’s neck & for outerwear accessorizing too! Most of the time, I wear a light weight scarf knotted or bowed around my purse to give said every day carryall a little extra splash of style. You can play up a floral scarf with the colors in your outfit, as well as matching other hues of your bag. Here are five examples, ranging in price, but each offers a little something different in terms of color combinations & styling possibilities.

SHOP: abstract floral scarf @Ann Taylor, fuchsia floral scarf @dressbarn, floral & print scarf @Target, woven floral scarf @H&M, & meadow oblong scarf @White House Black Market.

To expand on my scarf-bag theory, here are a few combinations to consider when assembling your next spring outfit. This not only serves fashion, but utility as well. In case you’re chilly, but you hadn’t needed it earlier, it’s right there on your bag!

SHOP: blue dew scarf @DSW, striped Dana Buchman Bella tote @Kohl’s, square tulip scarf @LOFT, bucket backpack @Charlotte Russe, floral fringe scarf @Gap, & faux leather white tote @Forever 21.

Do you wear scarves in the spring? Where do you like to shop for spring accessories? Do you coordinate with your purse on a daily basis? Happy Styling!

Fab in 4 Ways: A Crochet Skirt for Day, Date, Work, & Weekend!


I recently had a conversation with a friend / coworker about the perks of our job, one being all the styling possibilities for certain items that can be worn for a variety of occasions. Thus the inspiration for this post, I couldn’t help thinking about how quickly the summer is going by, & that fall fashion is currently in stores. Blending the new with the past season while keeping a budget in mind is a very present factor when I’m considering how to build new looks from my wardrobe. Transitioning pieces from season to season is really how you can get the most from your fashionable investment, which can also surprise you when planning a day out with friends, a special date night, what to wear for an important work meeting, as well as when you’re headed away for the weekend. 

It didn’t take long before I came across this versatile crochet scalloped skirt from @Dress Barn (shop misses available in small – large & plus available in 1X – 2X here. I have the skirt from last spring (in more of a creamy ivory tone) & I was stuck on how to style it, especially since there’s so much detail in the crochet of the skirt. Gladly, this design was returning to stores in a neutral taupe, perfect for coordinating for any season. In the fall, try this skirt with knee boots & a chunky sweater, or for winter with a blouse, tights, & ankle booties. However, when thinking about all of the styling possibilities, I’m excited to share four fabulous ways to wear this skirt, including for day, date, work, & weekend. 

Crochet for day.SHOP: misses shirt @Charles Tyrwhitt, Aubrey Brooke wedge @DSW, turquoise bracelet @Charming Charlie, Gabrielle Rocha lobster tote @6PM, square stud earring @White House Black Market, plus shirt @Gap, Naturalizer wedge @DSW, turquoise bracelet @Charming Charlie, Gabriella Rocha nautical tote @6PM, & Jasper stud earring @White House Black Market.

Crochet for date.SHOP: misses cut-out top @Forever 21, strappy heels @GOjane, beaded hoop earrings @Francesca’s, champagne stretch bracelet @Icing, ALDO clutch @Zappos, plus fringe top @Forever 21, chunky platforms @GOjane, drop earrings @Francesca’s, iridescent stretch bracelet @Icing, & Jessica McClintock clutch @Zappos.

Crochet for work.SHOP misses Dana Buchman top @Kohl’s, neutral jacket @Dress Barn, neutral pump @Payless, long necklace @Forever 21, watch @Target, stud earrings @Express, plus Dana Buchman top @Kohl’s, neutral jacket @Dress Barn, pointy toe slingback @Payless, long necklace @Forever 21, watch @Target, & knot stud earrings @Express.

Crochet for weekend.SHOP: misses pocket tee @Charlotte Russe, collar necklace @BaubleBar, printed kimono @Wet Seal, fringe sandal @ModCloth, straw shopper @H&M, plus pocket tee @Charlotte Russe, statement necklace @BaubleBar, printed kimono @Wet Seal, colorblock sandal @ModCloth, & canvas shopper @H&M.

How would you style the crochet skirt? What items do you keep handy all year long? Which staples do you like to reinvent in new ways? Where do you shop for everyday essentials? Happy Styling!

Splurge Or Save… On A Lace Sweatshirt?


Even though I’m stuck in the thick of winter, along with the rest of the east coast, I’m still looking ahead to spring for some style inspiration. One of the favorite trends that started coming up during the winter & is making its way into stylish spring wardrobes in the lace sweatshirt. The feminine combination of elegance & casual makes for a fabulous way to reinterpret what it means to be chic. This is an essential separate for a casual Friday at the office, which can also be turned into a night our piece with leather leggings & ankle boots or skinny jeans & stilettos.

Keeping a budget in mind for any Style Darling shopping the sale rack, I wanted to direct your attention to a pair of lace sweatshirts, in different price ranges.

lace sweatshirtsThe lace sweatshirt ($110.00) to the left is from White House Black Market, & while it will make an investment in quality craftsmanship, it’s not exactly budget-friendly. However, on the right, the floral lace front tee ($44.50) @LOFT, which is a lightweight option, but still shares the same idea. To maintain the classy look of this shirt, mix these up with various accessories, like a string of pearls, stud earrings, & a headband, especially with modern bottoms like distressed jeans & ballet flats, menswear-inspired trousers & studded boots, or cigarette pants & ankle strap platforms.

What trends are you looking forward to this spring? What looks caught your eye during New York Fashion Week? Which pieces are your favorites to mix & match? For more fancy sweatshirts, check out designer duds like these from Tory Burch @Nordstrom & Valentino @Net-A-Porter! Other more affordable shopping options include sweatshirts from Delia’s, Macy’s, Bluefly, & Kohl’s. Happy Styling!

2013 Black Friday Style: White House Black Market’s 25% Off $100 Sale!


One of my favorite stores (in life!) is White House Black Market, so needless to say, I was super psyched to see what was going on in celebration of the Black Friday excitement. If you’re looking to update your wardrobe, for now or later, this sale is a great way to snatch up stylish deals on the most classic & contemporary separates that you can mix & match with many different looks. These items include: patent snake embossed reversible belt ($14.99) in black, floral scarf ($19.99) in imperial, blanc couture slim ankle jean ($19.99) in pink, & removable tie silk blouse ($19.99) in white.

White House Black Market - snake belt $14.99, slim ankle jean $19.99, floral scarf $19.99, & silk blouse $19.99.

Wrap the belt over a sweater dress with knee boots & hoop earrings. Or try the floral scarf with a pullover tee & skinny jeans with ballet flats. I love the bright pink jeans for a tunic sweater & pointy toe pumps. Lastly, the uber-elegant blouse would upgrade any work look with a pencil skirt, patterned tights, & a cardigan.

For more Black Friday-related posts, check out sweater sales from Dress Barn & The Limited, fabulous flats from Steve Madden & Forever 21, cold weather accessories from LOFT & Zara, little black dresses inspired by Jennifer Lopez & Natalie Portman, & ankle booties from Nine West & ALDO. Happy Styling!

2013 Black Friday Style: Fashionable Flats For Your Shopping Frenzy!


Whether you’re spending the holidays with family or hitting up the stores in search of the biggest & best deal, you’re definitely going to need a fabulous pair of shoes to help you along the way, which is why I’m happy to feature flats as a part of my 2013 Black Friday Style series. Having so much retail experience, I can tell you that flats are a stylish lifesaver to the working woman’s feet. I’m most inspired by details print & pattern, texture, shine, & menswear inspiration, which are essential ingredients to make any holiday season all the more special.

Forever 21 - plaid flats $16.80, GOjane - glitter flats $23.80, H&M quilted ballet flats $9.99, Steve Madden - patent KINGG flats $41.98, & Payless - Christian Siriano smoking flat $26.99.

Shop these: bold plaid flats ($16.80) in red multi @Forever 21, chain-ge glitter flats ($23.80) in gold @GOjane, quilted ballet flats ($9.99) in beige @H&M, patent KINGG flat ($41.98) in fawn @Steve Madden, & Christian Siriano crimson smoking flat ($26.99) in black @Payless.

I know I’ll be breaking out my most comfortable & stylish flats this weekend (working the 2nd job!), thinking about all the ways that I can style my flats with leggings & tunic sweater, blouse & skinny jeans, & a cardigan & A-line skirt with tights. How do you like to wear flats? Which style is your favorite?

For more suggestions on must-have flats, check out these picks from White House Black Market, LOFT, Nine WestCharlotte Russe, Kohl’s, Wet Seal, & Tilly’s. Happy Styling!

Basics For A Bargain: Little White Dresses Inspired By Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Lopez, & More!


Little white dresses are a go-to for this spring & summer, which make for a fresh take for a date, as well as night out with the girls. Of course, white at a wedding is for the bride only, but some of the most photographed celebrities have been spotted in figure-flattering silhouettes of LWDs! This includes actress / model Rosie Huntington-Whitely at the Cannes Film Festival in a strapless silk bustier dress by Christian Dior with Christian Louboutin stilettos & Kerry Washington‘s Giambattista Valli frock at a screening of Scandal with a gold-accented wristlet. Also, Bond-girl Gemma Arterton is all smiles while visiting BBC Radio One in a Talbot Runhof dress with classic black pointy toe pumps & a colorblocked handbag.

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Kerry Washington, Gemma Arterton, Jennifer Lopez, Angelina Jolie, & Samantha Barks.

Next, Jennifer Lopez shows off her shape in a curve-hugging Louise Goldin pencil dress with matching Casadei pumps at a press event for Verizon Wireless. Everyone’s talking about Angelina Jolie‘s return to the red carpet in a gold-belted Ralph & Russo peplum dress with feminine rose gold jewelry & white pointy toe pumps. Lastly, Les Miserables breakout star Samantha Barks contrasts her white lace sheath dress with a strategic black belt & adorable fuchsia heels at a Royal Academy of Arts event.

Personally, I think you can get away with wearing a white dress any time of the year, depending on the material & cut of the dress. For example, something in eyelet or linen is strictly for the warmer months with metallic sandals or peep toe pumps & a tweed fabric would work best in the winter with suede ankle booties.

My first pick is the embroidered sundress ($50.00) from Dress Barn, which not only cinches in at the waist, but also will work with any pop of color in a cardigan, boyfriend blazer, ballet flats, or espadrilles. If you like to show off your arms, check out the sleeveless ecru ponte dress ($39.99) which is currently marked down from its original $150.00 price @White House Black Market. For a sleek look, the eyelet sheath dress with patent belt ($35.00) from New York & Company offers up a variety of looks, especially with a sophisticated built-in accessory that can match with other staples like a printed shrug sweater or opaque tights.

The midi strapless dress ($36.50) from Lulu’s is definitely sexier is matched with a blinged out necklace & stacked bangles, while the cut-out makes for a flirty show of skin. For my plus-size Style Darlings, I picked out the mesh back chiffon dress ($24.80) from Forever 21‘s Plus 21 line, which creates a classic hourglass figure for day & evening, & is sold in sizes XL – 3X. My final selection includes the detailed dress ($17.95) from H&M, which is also available in black, & will certainly turn heads when you walk in the room.

Which is your favorite little white dress? How do you like to accessorize white dresses? Do you like to wear white over the summer? For more posts on affordable fashion, check out luxury look-alike flip flops, summer-ready striped maxi skirts, must-have sale items for $100, & a behind-the-scenes look at 3.1 Phillip Lim’s Target collaboration! Happy Styling!

Color Me Style: Winter White Dresses Inspired By Rooney Mara, Nicole Richie, & Runway Looks Of Michael Kors, Rachel Zoe, & More!


Winter white is a big trend right now, especially when it comes to LWD (little white dresses). I’m a big fan of dresses- no surprise there- but I’ve yet to find a winter white dress that works for me. Whatever I have is definitely too summer-friendly in eyelet, cotton, or linen, however I’ve been very inspired by what’s happening on the latest runways when it comes to feminine white looks, featuring dresses of skirt outfits.

For example, take a look at the chic cocktail & casual white dresses, which were shown for seasons other than winter, but are certainly inspiring fashionistas everywhere. These looks include Rachel Zoe Spring 2013 Collection‘s shimmering shift dress, J. Mendel Pre-Fall 2013 Collection‘s old Hollywood sweetheart dress, Michael Kors Spring-Summer 2013 Collection‘s button-down shirt-dress, a slitted peplum dress by Marios Schwab Spring Ready-To-Wear 2013 Collection, the strapless bow-bedecked dress from Christopher Kane‘s Spring Ready-To-Wear 2013 Collection, Erin Fetherston Pre-Fall 2013 Collection‘s sheer lace mini dress, & Hervé Léger by Max Azria Pre-Fall 2013 Collection‘s belted body-conscious frock.

Rachel Zoe Spring 2013 Collection, J. Mendel Pre-Fall 2013 Collection, Michael Kors Spring-Summer 2013 Collection, Marios Schwab Spring Ready-To-Wear 2013 Collection, Christopher Kane Spring Ready-To-Wear 2013 Collection, Erin Fetherston Pre-Fall 2013 Collection, & Hervé Léger by Max Azria Pre-Fall 2013 Collection.

In addition, some of the most photographed stars have been hitting the red carpet in the last month while wear white dresses. Side Effects actress Rooney Mara hit the premiere of her latest film in this flower-embellished dress by Alexander McQueen, which she paired with neutral patent leather Nicholas Kirkwood peep toe pumps. This month’s Self magazine cover girlEmmy Rossum, took a break from promoting her new album, Sentimental Journey, in Santa Monica in this pleated Andrew Gn dress with sparkling pumps. Everywhere it-girl Kerry Washington attended an after-party for Django Unchained in a white lace Dolce & Gabbana shift dress with pointy toe Christian Louboutin stilettos.

Rooney Mara, Emmy Rossum, Kerry Washington, Taylor Swift, Emma Stone, & Nicole Richie.

Award-winning singer-songwriter, Taylor Swift, hit the blue carpet for the  40 Principales Awards in this plunging Kaufmanfranco three-quarter sleeve design with mixed-fabric sandals by Christian Louboutin & geometric drop earrings. Everyone’s favorite girl-next-door & Gangster Squad star, Emma Stone, helped announce this year’s Oscar nominees in a belted 50s-inspired dress by Andrew Gn with black patent leather pumps. Lastly, the always polished Nicole Richie stepped out for a party in Los Angeles in this white zip-up m ini dress with embellished leather accessories by Salvatore Ferragamo.

For the budget-conscious Style Darling, I wanted to find pieces that are perfect for wear now in the winter, given some mixing & matching of accessories, as well as dresses that’ll work for the upcoming spring season, although that seems to be getting further away from us on this Groundhog’s Day.  The first is the sheer sleeve lace dress ($24.80) from Forever 21, which would be perfect with black opaque tights or neon pops of color in a belt or pointy toe heels. Next, for a curve-hugging dress, I found the long & lean dress ($19.00) from Venus, which will also pair nicely over leather leggings & under a plaid button-down. While white is sometime bridal-looking, it can also be worn to work, like with this sleeveless ecru ponte sheath dress ($39.99) from White House Black Market.  I’d recommend wearing it with a red blazer & loafer-detailed pumps.

white dresses & accessories

I found this simply sweet & feminine shirt dress ($29.95) from H&M, & it’s the perfect foundation for a metallic braided belt, patent leather accessories, or classic lace & pearl details.  Lastly, for my plus-size readers, I was so happy to find this modern Alyx belted twist neckline dress ($40.00) from JC Penney, which is available in sizes 14W-24W.

White is such a stunning & pure color for a dress, but I was successful in searching for white accessories that will make any all-white, monochromatic, or trendy printed look stand out for every occasion. There’s never any reason why you shouldn’t have a pair of white shoes on hand, which is why I’m suggesting the pointed silver toe pumps ($32.50) from Charlotte RusseC Label Divine flats ($19.99) from 6PM, & the Wentzell pumps ($44.98) from ALDO shoes. Also, I’ve selected the patent skinny belt ($29.50) from Banana Republic, bejeweled bib necklace ($12.80) from Forever 21, & the Jennifer Lopez gold tone disc drop earrings ($12.00) form Kohl’s.

Which white pieces are your favorites? Would you wear a winter white dress now? How do you like to wear white? Which celebrity look do you like the best? For more Color Me Style posts, check out monochromatic looks in coral, neon, berry, & teal inspired by Penelope Cruz, Victoria Beckham, & more, as well as all-black outfits featuring Jennifer Lawrence & Kate Moss, & the best of yellow as seen on Kate Mara, Lauren Conrad, & Olivia Palermo! Happy Styling!

Splurge or Save… On Polka Dot Pants?


Polka dots will always & forever exist as a classic pattern on any article of clothing. This means shoes, bags, dresses, tops, & certainly pants. So, with my latest Splurge or Save? post, I wanted to feature polka dot pants, a trend that just isn’t going away for any season. It wasn’t surprising that I could find polka dot pants when I was searching the web since there are so many different ways to wear them.  Without breaking the bank, I’m happy to share pairs from under $20 – just about $100. Of course, you need to always consider your cost per wear when investing in key pieces, especially ones that will continue to pay you back over time.

First up, I wanted to share my most affordable selection, which is the polka dot print pants ($19.80) from Forever 21. These range in sizes X-Small – Large & while I love most polka dots in black & white, you can always get away with a black & ivory color combination. An awesome sale deal can be found at Gap with the slim cropped refined dot pants ($24.99), which have recently been marked down from their original $49.95 price. Available is limited since this is an older items, but my plus size Style Darlings would be happy to know that these run up to size 20.

Next, @Dillards, the Soulmates polka dot skinny pants ($39.00) are perfect for wear with bright colors like magenta, red, kelly green, or lemon, especially when matched with pointy toe heels, rounded platforms, or quilted ballet flats. As we move higher in price, the polka dot slim ankle pants ($84.00) from White House Black Market caught my attention. I simply love this story more than I can say & find that their designs are super sophisticated & well-made, so at the end of next season, I will be hunting them down to add to my wardrobe. Lastly, the polka dot ankle pants ($99.50) from Ralph Lauren are classic to wear with a white button-down, tunic sweater, or dolman top. If you were to wear these pants at least once a week, estimated at about four times a month, then each wear would be around $25.

Most of the patterns & prints that I love are in black & white (like zebra & houndstooth), but polka dots will always be number one for me! Would you wear polka dot pants? How much are you willing to spend? Would you only wear these during the warmer months or do you think they serve a year-round purpose? For more posts about affordable fashion, check out Rachel Zoe’s ShoeDazzle favorite picks, a black & silver cocktail or date night look for under $100, Prabal Gurung’s uber-chic & must-have Target collection, & stylish scarves for $10 & under! Happy Styling!