Luxury Look-Alikes For Less: Red Peep Toe Pumps by Jimmy Choo Vs. Merona by Target!


As I get  back into the blogging swing of things, my search continues for designer look-alikes, especially when it comes to classic pieces. Shoes are always a favorite item to hunt for when clicking around the world wide web, & I came across varying designs of red peep toe pumps, which are naturally a perfect pop of color with a LBD, polka dotted separates, a chic denim look, or for a cocktail affair.

Neiman Marcus - Jimmy Choo peep toe pumps in red $625.00, Target - Merona peep toe pumps in red $29.99.

Obviously when you hear the name Jimmy Choo, dollar signs come to mind, which I’m sure is worth the investment if you have that kind of cash available. I found the Luna peep toe pumps ($625.00) in red from Nordstrom that are likely staples in any A-listers shoe collection.  However, at only 1/4′ less in height, the Merona peep toe pumps ($29.99) in red from Target are just as chic & won’t set any Style Darling back in cost.

For more affordable shoe shopping, check out favorite stores like Payless, DSW, Forever 21, H&M, Wet Seal, Express, TJ Maxx, & GOjane! Happy Styling!

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!

Accessories Access: Affordable & Fashionable Floppy Hats (Dedicated to Christine)!


The sun is shining & the sandals are out, which means that considering sun protection is a must! With that, I’ve taken some inspiration from my writer bestie, Christine, in exploring the world of floppy hats. Of course, with a budget in mind, I wanted to turn to some of my favorite & most stylish celebrities to see the variety of ways to wear floppy hats.

Lupita Nyong'o, Michelle Williams, & Jamie Chung.

Oscar winning actress & designer darling Lupita Nyong’o mixed a conservation black hat with her printed Alexander McQueen dress at the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic. For a casual day out & about, Michelle Williams topped off her chambray & striped shorts look with a country-inspired straw hat, which soften her camel leather sandals & shoulder bag. Lastly, Jamie Chung shows off her weekend style in a pale floral jumpsuit & tortoiseshell sunnies with a straw Panama hat.

Floppy hats - Kohl's, Forever 21, Old Navy, & Dillards

As you can see, there are many different ways to wear a floppy hat, but you don’t have to spend a lot of cash to get the most out of your summer wardrobe, especially if you’re looking to mix things up. The David & Young straw floppy hat ($22.80) in pink stripe from Kohl’s is also available in yellow, blue, & black to match up with any beachy look. For a truly nautical feel, head to Forever 21 for the tasseled straw hat ($14.80) to wear with a searsucker dress & gold sandals. For the perfectly neutral topper, the floppy hat ($22.94) in brown sugar from Old Navy to protect your face and shoulders from the harsh rays of the sun. My forth selection is the Kate Landry floppy hat ($12.00) in black from Dillard’s, which is also sold in a flirty red & both will make any cotton dress pop.

Checking out these floppy hats also made me think of how classic & current straw  & basket weave details are for the season. The following items are also versatile to celebrate summer style:

Payless wedges, Dillard's Lauren Ralph Lauren belt, & DSW Kelly & Katie clutch.

 The Dexflex Margaret wedge espadrille ($12.00) in coral from Payless is also available to wear with any dress, separates outfit, or shorts romper in black, white, turquoise, & nude. Also, to mix up your shirtdress look, switch it up with this Lauren Ralph Lauren stretch belt ($29.40) from Dillard’s, which has recently been reduced from its original $42.00 price.  My last pick is the Kelly & Katie striped straw clutch ($19.94) from DSW to help transition your day look to evening.

Where do you like to shop for summer accessories? Do you like to wear floppy hats? What do you think of straw accessories? 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!

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!