The Stylish Five: Loving A Little Leopard, Inspired by Heidi Klum, Miranda Kerr, & More!


When it comes to animal prints, my go-to is zebra, which goes back to my natural love all black & white patterns. However, as we’re in the thick of summer, stores are filling up with fall fashions, including luxe leopard pieces to mix up with neutral separates & pops of color in your accessories.

Olivia Palermo, Miranda Kerr, & Heidi Klum

Trendsetter Olivia Palermo styled her separates by Tibi with a pop of leopard in her skinny belt, which offset the geometric look of her ankle strap sandals. Model Miranda Kerr was flawless this spring when hitting the street for a stylish day out with a bold leopard A.L.C. duffel bag to add a trendy splash of personality to her button down shirt, denim skirt, & thigh high boots. Project Runway host Heidi Klum shows off her wild side (& her legs!) in a high slit skirt & embellished too.

For affordable leopard love in your wardrobe, I found these functional & fashionable pieces that are sure to make a splash when corrdinated a variety of ways. First, the leopard tote ($2.50) from Forever 21 is great for all of your on-the-go needs, especially when wanting to use a durable recyclable bag when hitting the market. Also, you can dress up or dress down the tiered leopard tank ($34.00) from Dress Barn (which I own & love!) with dark denim skinnies & a blazer for a girls’ night out, or cardigan & pencil skirt for the office. For a truly wild look, pair these loose fit pants ($17.95) from H&M with a black tank & gold flats for day, or mix up your look with a crop top & pointy heels for evening.

leopard images

I love shopping for printed belts, which can work well with a wrap dress, shirtdress, over a cardigan, or when you wanna cinch in a tunic top to show off your waist, like the leopard skinny belt ($24.90) from Express. One of my most recent purchases come from Charlotte Russe, & that is the patent thong sandal ($7.50), which was such a great buy too since there’s currently a BOGO $5 sale of select shoes. So, I also indulged in a white pair to wear with sporty jersey dresses & when heading out to the beach this summer.

For one last look at some leopard inspirations, I put together some of my favorite images, high end & affordable items, & celebrity moments that include leopard. This includes a September 2010 Vogue UK shoot fetauring supermodel Kate Moss in an embellished leopard jacket. Scarlett Johansson added a pop of leopard in her Christian Louboutin pointy toe pumps with a Vivienne Westwood dress. Also, to celebrate leopard on your nails, there’s the Sally Hansen strips ($9.99) in leopard, available @Ulta. Also, you can keep warm on those cool summer knits with this Apt. 9 leopard scarf ($11.99) from Kohl’s. For some designer inspiration, the paneled leopard dress ($1,150.00) by Escada is sold @Neiman Marcus. Lastly, the leopard heart drop earrings ($16.00) from River Island are playful & flirty to dress down a classic LBD.

Kate Moss for Vogue UK, Scarlett Johansson in a Vivienne Westwood dress & Christian Louboutin pumps, Leopard earrings by River Island, Sally Hansen leopard nail stickers, leopard scarf from Kohl's, & Escada leopard panel dress from Neiman Marcus.

How do you like to wear leopard? What’s your favorite leopard accessory? Which leopard pieces are your favorites? Happy Styling!

The $100 Challenge: Summer Vacation Must-Haves For The Budget Shopper!


Let’s get right to it! I’m going away this week to The Hamptons for yet another exciting & stylish two weeks, while attending a school-related Writer’s Conference. This is one of my favorite & most fashionable times of year, where I can prepare my wardrobe & budget to reinvent new looks for the hip south shore niche. Speaking of a budget, I’ve been very price tag conscious & in doing that, I recommend the following for a memorable vacation. Also, I love the diversity of these pieces & how they can be worn in so many different ways!

Dress @Dress Barn, $46.00

The abstract shirtdress ($46.00) from Dress Barn is perfect for playing up your preppy side, while still celebrating the bright & neon sides of summer. Pair this dress with metallic sandals & a messenger bag for day, or glam it up in the evening with peep toe pumps & stacked bangles.

Leopard flip flop @Payless, $9.99

To keep your summer style fresh & timeless at the same time, classic patterns are the best way to go. With that, the sunset disc flat flip flop ($9.99) in leopard from Payless is a flirty way to amp up your separates, mixing prints like animal inspiration with polka dots or seersucker. Also, leopard looks great with bright hues like a pair of red lace shorts, an orange sheath dress, or black ruffled romper.

Blouse @H&M, $9.95

To build up wardrobe that you can transform from season to season, try something playful like an unexpected topper like this sleeveless blouse ($9.95) from H&M. At first glance, the print looks like flower petals, but upon closer examination, the soft blue is actually eyelashes. As seen on the model above, try this top with faux leather skinnies, but if you’re looking for something more low maintenance, add a contrasting color like yellow bermuda shorts & espadrilles for a lunch date or with a white pencil skirt & cardigan for a more professional look.

Earrings @Icing, $8.50Accessories are an important part of building any look, especially when it comes to jewelry. I was once a silver-only gal, but as I’ve grown up, I see the value in expanding with different metals. Here the drop earrings ($8.50) from Icing recall a deco feel that can work as a statement piece with an LBD & strappy sandals, a maxi dress & modern cuff bracelet, & a knotted button down shirt & denim shorts. Not to mention that now is a great time to invest in timeless jewelry since the store’s entire website is BOGO 50% off!

Tote @TJMaxx, $19.99Naturally, a tote bag is any Style Darling’s must-have when going out & about for the summer. This Yoki perforated tote ($19.99) from TJMaxx is right on trend with laser cut details on luxe materials. It’s the perfect size to fill with your cell phone, a pair of sunglasses, & whatever best seller you’re taking with you to the beach. To dress up the bag even more, braid or tie a bold scarf onto the handle to add a pop of color.

If you’re shopping on a budget, like me, don’t fret over spending too much. These five fabulous finds total for under $100, to be specific: $94.43 before tax! What summer essentials are on your wish list or crowding your closet? Happy Styling!

Color Me Style: Now Is All About Navy, Featuring Blake Lively, Marchesa, & More!


Somewhere around the corner is spring, & while Pantone’s color of 2014 is orchid, I’ve been seeing so much navy everywhere. I love the idea of this regal neutral all over the runways for spring, breaking away from basic black to match with other bold hues.

Blake Lively, Rose Byrne, & Kate Mara.

A-list celebs have been embracing navy on the red carpet, including Blake Lively & Rose Byrne in head-to-toe Michael Kors looks straight from the runway. Also, House of Cards actress Kate Mara shows off her feminine & edgy side with the crop top trend in lace Dior separates & pointy toe pumps.

Derek Lam, Rebecca Minkoff, & Marchesa Fall 2014 Ready-To-Wear

Also, navy appeared on the runway during New York Fashion Week in all forms. Navy is perfect for casual wear, the office, & a night out, as seen on Derek Lam, Rebecca Minkoff, & Marchesa. There’s a decadence to the marvelous midnight color, which was shown with futuristic cut-outs, mod layered lines, & romantic drama.

To bring the red carpet & runway to your closet, I’ve found a few must-have pieces that will transition easily from winter-to-spring, including the belted button-front shirtdress ($40.00) from Dress Barn. To wear it now, in the midst of yet another wintry snow storm here in New York, coordinate this with tights, knee boots, & a chunky boyfriend sweater.

Dress @Dress Barn $40.00, Peasant Top @Forever 21 $22.80, Top @H&M $17.95, Pants @New York & Company $52.95.

Top off your favorite skinny jeans, pencil skirt, or tuxedo pants with the daydreamer peasant top ($22.80) from Forever 21 & H&M‘s lace top ($17.95). Lastly, get rid of those old, boring pants & trade them in for New York & Company‘s 7th Avenue bootcut pants ($52.95) in windowpane print. Mix up your look with a cashmere sweater, embroidered cardigan, or studded vest.

How do you feel about navy in your wardrobe? Which of these pieces can you see yourself wearing? For more fabulous navy picks, check out designer duds like Armani @Nordstrom, Alice + Olivia @Bergdorf Goodman, & Tadashi Shoji @Saks Fifth Avenue. More affordable shopping picks include LC Lauren Conrad for Kohl’s, Victoria’s Secret, Modcloth, & JC Penney! Happy Styling!

Basics For A Bargain: LBDS Inspired by Jennifer Lopez, Natalie Portman, & Kristen Bell!


Black Friday is all about getting the best deals on holiday gifts, but why not treat yourself to something special this season? The perfect go-to look for upcoming parties, family celebrations, & gatherings with friends is a little black dress, much like these flirty & elegant choices worn by A-list celebrities like Jennifer Lopez in DSquared, Kristen Bell‘s cut-out zip-up dress, & Natalie Portman‘s red carpet Dior look.

Jennifer Lopez in Dsquared. Kristen Bell in a cut-out LBD. Natalie Portman in Christian Dior.

While shopping around the web, I couldn’t help but fall in love with these designs, perfect for every style & budget. They can be styled in so many fabulous ways with a sequined blazer, embellished bolero sweater, or cardigan, along with accessories like a statement necklace, chandelier earrings, & a cocktail ring.

Forever 21 - Simply Sophisticated Bodycon Dress $24.80, Dress Barn - Belted Capelet Dress $25.00, & Lulu's - Spick & Span Black Midi Dress $35.00.

These dresses include: Simply sophisticated bodycon dress ($24.80) in black, available in sizes XL-3X, @Forever 21, belted capelet dress ($25.00) in black @Dress Barn, & spick & span midi dress ($35.00) in black @Lulu’s.

To shop more affordable LBDs, check out these additional selections from Bluefly, Dillard’s, Victoria’s Secret, Express, Sears, & H&M. For more Black Friday posts, check out sweater sales featuring items from The Limited & Old Navy, fabulous flats from Steve Madden & Payless, & cold weather accessories from LOFT & Zara! 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!