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!

Quickie Darling Deal & Steal: Seven Must-Have Sale Items For Under $100!


Now that I’m in the throes of dual employment, it’s become clearer than ever to be conscious of what investments I’m making in my wardrobe. I always love to find end-of-the-season deals on sale, especially when they feel like brand new pieces the following year. However, I’ve been seeing a lot of cute separates & accessories that I’m eager to mix & match on these cooler spring nights, into the summer, & eventually include for some fashionable fall outfits. Making tiny purchases here & there are easy on your budget & can really change the way you reinvent old favorites.

Recommended sale items include Dress Barn‘s shimmer stripe sweater ($19.00) in silver, which is perfect for over a maxi dress with ankle boots, or how I recently wore it with leggings & sparkly ballet flats. Also, the Just Chic tee ($7.99) from Forever 21 is exactly what it advertises to be; try wearing this with leather skinny pants & a bold boyfriend blazer, or to dress down a peasant skirt & gladiator flats. I’m always one for a cute skirt, which is why I’ve included the striped jersey pencil skirt ($12.99) in blue from Old Navy. It’s casual enough to wear for brunch with a pullover & a denim jacket, but it can also be worn with a blouse & belted cardigan.

My favorite piece is the Drew dotted cuffed ankle pant ($22.49) from The Limited, which mixes spring’s trendiest fabric, chambray, with the always-classic polka dot print. These will pair well with a nautical-inspired top in stripes or a neon embellished blouse. Affordable accessories include the faux suede colorblock flat ($13.95) in red from GOjane, jewel drops diamondite stretch cuff ($9.25) from Claire’s, & the snakeskin embossed metallic skinny belt ($13.93) in ivory from Express.

The total for these pieces is under $100, ringing in at $99.60, which is quite the bargain! How would you style some of these pieces? What sale items are you eyeing? For more posts on affordable fashion, check out the details behind 3.1 Phillip Lim’s latest collaboration with Target, Ashley Madekwe’s Topshop jumpsuit look, spring-ready cardigans for under $25, & stylish shirt dresses for any size! Happy Styling!

Quickie Darling Deal & Steal: Pick Out Polka Dots For Spring!


In keeping an eye on the latest spring trends, with all the florals, stripes, neons, & pastels in fashion, I’ve been seeing a consistency presence of polka dots in all items from clothing to accessories. I’m a big fan of polka dots for their classic appeal to any age. I even wore polka dot tights with a polka dot dress & polka dot scarf to work this week. Although it seemed a little overkill, I removed the scarf once I entered the building. Since recently starting a second job, I’m surrounded by plenty of feminine details, including  modern cuts on dresses, flouncy fabrics for accessories, & bold color combinations on separates.

I wanted to select some of the best pieces that are both fashionable & affordable for your spring wardrobe. This includes the polka dot faux wrap dress ($40.00) in orange from Dress Barn, as well as the polka dot sandal wedge ($29.80) from Forever 21 & GOjane‘s pointy toe polka dot pumps ($26.95). Other stylish accessories include the striped polka dot lightweight scarf ($9.99) from Charlotte Russe & the Lulu by Lulu Guinness ring leader bow clutch ($35.00) from JC Penney.

I’d like to also suggest timeless pieces to wear with basics like dark denim jeans, a black pencil skirt, a crisp button down shirt, or a bright, ruffled tank. You can wear the Dr Denim snap high waist skinny jeans ($49.88) from ASOS with any number of toppers like a leather jacket, boyfriend blazer, or embellished cardigan. The Express polka dot peplum tank ($29.90) in gray is also available in a nautical-inspired blue / red combo for a dressy casual look with skinny jeans or a denim mini skirt.

Also, try the Rampage polka dot mesh peplum top ($26.99) from Loehmann’s with edgier bottoms like liquid leggings, a leather pencil skirt, or cropped metallic pants. Another option for a more polished look is the Elementz a-line skirt ($17.99) from Macy’s with a scoop neck tank or three-quarter sleeve pullover. To wear polka dots casually, there’s also New York & Company‘s Spring Street polka dot poplin shirt ($31.46) in blue & a more feminine option is available in pink to wear with a white skirt, linen pants, or lace shorts.

How do you like to wear polka dots? Do you prefer black & white polka dots or do you like to wear unexpected colors? For more on polka dots, check out a recent post in The $100 Challenge, various price points for polka dots stockings, & lastly, spring-ready polka dot pants! Happy Styling!

Splurge Or Save… On A Black Peplum Tank!


During a recent shopping venture, it occurred to me that my wardrobe lacks a peplum piece. This was surprising because of how flattering a peplum silhouette is for any & every shape. I’ve seen plenty of peplums on the red carpet, designed into gowns, styled with pencil skirts, paired with pants, & accented on cocktail frocks. This is seen on Glee actress Naya Rivera in a Monique Lhuillier sleeveless top with a printed pencil skirt. Also, Star Trek’s Zoe Saldana celebrated Prabal Gurung in a belted top & shorts look by the designer. Oscar nominee Amy Adams is feminine in a polka dot Jenny Packham design with Jimmy Choo stilettos.

Naya Rivera, Zoe Saldana, Amy Adams, Olivia Palermo, Freida Pinto, & Cate Blanchett.

Style muse Olivia Palermo matches a tweed Rebecca Taylor top with skinny jeans & silver pumps. Indian beauty Freida Pinto took in Burberry Prorsum‘s recent runway show in a jewel tone ensemble. Aussie actress Cate Blanchett attended the Dubai International Film Festival in a peplum top by Peter Pilotto with a pencil skirt & studded evening sandals.

When you’re planning to invest in a trendy piece, it’s always important to consider how often you’ll wear it to get the most for your money. This is especially true in the case of the Trina Turk peplum top ($228.00) from Nordstrom, which is also available in pink & white to lighten up your tougher looks as we transition from winter to spring. For a more relaxed look, you can head over to ShopBop for the Only Hearts ladder back peplum camisole ($110.00) to wear with skinny jeans, liquid leggings, or a satin mini skirt. Banana Republic‘s ponte knit peplum top ($49.50) offers a chic alternative to stuffy work looks with suit separates or printed trousers.

At a lower price point, the Romeo & Juliet Couture high-low peplum blouse ($34.30) from Last Call by Neiman Marcus has been recently marked down from its original $130.00 price tag. For my curvier Style Darlings, the Mossimo sleeveless peplum top ($22.99) is available @Target in sizes XS – XXL. Also, it’s sold in white stripes & orange stripes so that you can play with prints & mix it with a pair of floral cropped pants or a polka dot skirt. Lastly, the most affordable is the zip back peplum tank ($17.94) from Express, however sizes are limited & will probably run out due to the store’s current 40% off sale.

Clearly, peplums are pretty easy to find so many varieties, especially sleeveless ones that are perfect for layering over long-sleeved shirts in the cooler months, over a sheath dress to add more structure, & with any & every bottom in your current wardrobe. Do you follow the peplum trend? How do you like to wear it? For more from Splurge or Save?, check out previous posts including blue leather moto jackets, Kim Kardashian’s silver pointy toe Jimmy Choo pumps, pink jeans from Michael Kors & J Brand, Diane Kruger’s floral Stella McCartney pants, & polka dot pants from White House Black Market & Ralph Lauren. Happy Styling!

Splurge Or Save… On A Blue Leather / Faux Leather Moto Jacket!


I started off 2013 on the hunt for a moto jacket, something that I wouldn’t normally be attracted to for my wardrobe, but I like the idea of adding an edgy piece to my usually ladylike outfits. However, I’ve yet to find the perfect jacket for me, but the hunt is on. In the mean time, I’m inspired by the latest trend in blue leather moto jackets which I’ve been seeing at every price point, perfect for a new Splurge or Save? post! I would recommend adding a moto jacket over a sheath dress with peep toe pumps, to dress up a maxi dress & gladiator flats, or for a graphic tee & skinny jeans with knee boots.

I’m starting this post off with the Jil Sander leather jacket ($3,050.00) from Nordstrom, which is of course made from the highest quality craftsmanship. Its sleek minimalist design calls on a mix of menswear-inspiration & utilitarianism chic. Next, the moto leather jacket ($450.00) from True Religion is a 100% lamb leather design with cool zipper details & a contemproary cut.

At a much more reasonable price, @Macy’s, you can find the INC International Concepts faux-leather classic motorcycle jacket ($89.50). Forth, I’ve selected the (minus the) leather crop biker jacket ($76.80) from Express, which is currently 40% off its original $128.00 price tag. Lastly, @Forever 21, the stitched faux leather jacket ($42.80) is a comparable & budget-friendly topper.

I think it’s really important to mention that I don’t like to bring up the whole animal-free clothing issue, but I do always believe in trying to find clothing that doesn’t hurt the environment or its living creatures. There are so many earth-friendly varieties out there in fashion these days, like Stella McCartney, & I’m always excited to learn more about them. How do you feel about the leather vs. faux leather? Would you wear a cobalt moto jacket?

For more shopping-related posts, check out look-alike pumps to Kim Kardashian’s Jimmy Choos, a variety of mint-colored spring shoes, floral pieces inspired by Miranda Kerr & Jessica Chastain, how to copy Drew Barrymore’s style with pieces from Target & Forever 21, & Ashley Madekwe’s black & white look for less! Happy Styling!