Watch This Style: Female Empowerment In Music Videos Never Looked So Good (& Stylish)!


While trying to catch up with the latest music burning up iTunes, I’m guilty of surfing around YouTube to see what some of my favorite & the most talked about recording artists are up to these days, especially since it’s been a while since I posted music videos on Style Darling. One thing has been made clear: Female empowerment is a strong message in so many of the most current pop & rap hits, from well-established artists, to the most controversial ones, & to the up & comers who are certainly making headlines of their own.

Meghan Trainor, Iggy Azalea & Rita Ora, Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, & Nicki Minaj.

Of course, I need to talk about style here too, so here goes. First & foremost, I am obsessed with newcomer Meghan Trainor & her positive body image-themed booty shaker “All About That Bass,” which I’ve shared with so many friends in the last two days. Then, my favorite Aussie Iggy Azalea teamed up with Brit singer Rita Ora for a Kill Bill homage in the music video for “Black Widow,” where the duo look sleek battling against the likes of villain Michael Madsen. Katy Perry‘s party pop song “This Is How We Do” takes fans on a modern art museum tour, making references to pop art, as well as the more geometric side of artists like Mondrian (at the same time celebrating the carefree party lifestyle in a rainbow of wig choices & latex outfits). Taylor Swift‘s uber-pop debut single off her upcoming 1989 album, “Shake It Off” shows the former country crooner as a quirky dancer sporting a tutu, cheerleader uniform, daisy dukes & mega hoops, a letterman jacket & pleather skinnies, as well as an all-black Audrey Hepburn-inspired ensemble. Lastly, the most buzzworthy of them all is Nicki Minaj‘s ” Baby Got Back” reboot, “Anaconda,” which glorifies a healthy rear end in the most explicit & aggressive ways possible, but I say that if she’s got it (which she totally does!), she should flaunt it.

Which music video is repeating on your flat screen? Which artist’s message most applies to you? Who do you think went too far? For more fashionable music videos from Watch This Style, check out videos from Destiny’s Child, Spice GirlsJennifer Lopez, Gwen Stefani, Madonna, & Alicia Keys! Also, for the latest style posts, take a look at bargain pointy toe flats inspired by a Tom Ford design, actress Jamie Chung’s fashion blog ‘What The Chung?,’ budget-friendly skirts inspired by Lily Collins & Miranda Kerr, & Lauren Conrad’s newest LC Lauren Conrad collection for Kohl’s, Happy Styling!

Basics For A Bargain: Pointy Animal Print Flats, Tom Ford Vs. Old Navy!


I am all over the new September issues of my favorite fashion magazines, loving all of the style inspiration inside the pages, especially when I’m seeking Basics for a Bargain. So, Lucky magazine is among my go-to publications to expand my wardrobe, as well as shoe & accessories collections. I’m always a big fan of animal prints, which make a great neutral as accessories with some bold solid pieces like a sheath dress & pumps, a belted jumpsuit, or crisp separates with sandals. Now that I’m looking ahead to the fall, I’m pretty excited about wearing flats when I’m headed out & about to my jobs & class. In the pages of Lucky, I found these gorgeous panther print hair calf padlock ballerina flats ($1,190.00) in cognac by the one & only, Tom Ford.

Leopard flats. Tom Ford & Old Navy.

I was immediately reminded of my recent coupon-toting excursion to Old Navy, where I found these animal print d’orsay flats ($16.00). However, the pair that I ended up bringing home was actually reduced to under $8 in stores. I tried these pointy toe flats on & was very excited at the possibilities of how I can wear them: with a little black dress, a cardigan-blouse-pencil skirt combo, & when I’m trying to transition some of my summer favorites into fall like a maxi dress & denim jacket.

For more fashionable animal print flats on the market right now, check out other picks from Steve Madden, Christian Siriano for Payless, Lucky brand @DSW, & Nine West. Where do you like to shop for new fall footwear? What designer do you turn to for style inspiration? To check out more fall-friendly posts, take a look at Jamie Chung’s fashion blog, budget-friendly skirts from Target & H&M, & Olivia Wilde’s September Glamour shoot! Happy Styling!

The Stylish Five: Budget-Friendly Skirts For Fall ($30.00 & Under), Inspired by Chrissy Teigen, Michelle Dockery, & More!


As much as I’m a fan of dresses, especially this summer since I’ve worn a dress most days of this season, I’m always pro-skirt, especially when it comes to transitioning from one look to another for a variety of occasions. This fall, I’m headed all over the place: the classroom, my academic job, my retail job, an internship in NYC, & wherever my personal life takes me. I turned to some of the most stylish celebrities for a little skirt inspiration, both on the red carpet & when they’re showing off their street style. This includes Miranda Kerr‘s emerald green & violet matching separates(shop here) by Escada at the Escada Joyful event last month, supermodel Chrissy Teigen in a printed crop top & pencil skirt (shop here) by Milly with nude ankle strap sandals, & Lily Collins in a head-to-toe mix print look by Chanel while attending the label’s latest fall/winter runway show. Miranda Kerr, Chrissy Teigen, & Lily Collins.

Jamie Chung, Michelle Dockery, & Hilary Swank.

Also, there’s Style Darling Jamie Chung out & about in Los Angeles this summer in a black pleated midi-length skirt with a chambray top & accessories (shop here & here) by Loeffler Randall, Downton Abbey star Michelle Dockery showing off her playful side in a look by Victoria Beckham with rings by Melinda Maria & EF Collection while attending the show’s photocall this summer, & two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank at the Marc Cain spring/summer 2015 show in a blouse & polka dot skirt by the designer with black patent pumps.

While I was flipping through the first wave of September issues of my favorite magazines, I came across a few ads that caught my eye & was suddenly inspired by skirts for fall. Here are a few of my top picks that are sure to work with your current wardrobe staples, as well as make a new statement about your fall style. Below, said skirt that inspired this post was the Worthington long pencil skirt ($19.99) in blue geo print from JC Penney, which I could imagine worn with a crisp white button down, a black t-shirt, or a cobalt pintucked blouse. To bring out your softer side, I choose the brushstroke print A-line skirt ($22.80) in black & cream from Forever 21 because it just screams Charlotte York to me!

Skirts from JC Penney, Forever 21, H&M, Target, & Dress Barn.

If you’re really looking to mix things up, try this metallic skirt ($29.95) in silver from H&M, which is a great investment for any time of year, paired with a pastel blouse (like that shown in the image above) or an embellished sweater for the holidays. The assymetrical zip skirt ($24.99) in black from Target is a modern twist on the classic, all-purpose pencil skirt, especially if you’re headed to an interview at a trendy office, or looking to dress up your favorite rocker tee. I’m also a big fan of this because it’s available in gray & sizes X-Small to XX-Large. Lastly, to work the menswear trend this fall, I picked the plaid pencil skirt ($30.00) from Dress Barn, which has hints of so many different colors that you can pop it with a regal purple top or make it work-ready with a navy cardigan. Also, this skirt is sold online & in-stores in plus sizes.

Which skirts are you most inspired by? How will you be wearing your separates this fall? Which celebrity skirt look is your favorite? Where will you shop for the new fall skirts? For more stylish reads, check out previous posts including Olivia Wilde’s Glamour September photo shoot, Lauren Conrad’s newest collection for Kohl’s, & If I Stay star Chloe Grace Moretz’s recent red carpet look! 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!

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!