The Stylish Five: Invest In These Fall Must-Have Dresses!


Typically, my posts in The Stylish Five  under s feature bargain items under a certain price point & while I’m still budget conscious, I have to talk about these five dresses, which range in price from $40.00 – $60.00 @Dress Barn.  As some of you may know, I’ve been spending a lot of time at that store, reveling in the new fall fashions, readying my wardrobe for some refreshing updates & getting inspired by details like leather trims, lace overlays, colorblocking, structured silhouettes, & flirty prints!

Dress Barn dresses

This post features the following dresses: Faux leather trim ponte dress ($46.00), Belted zebra dress ($46.00), Peplum sheath dress ($40.00), Belted houndstooth dress ($50.00), & Lace & faux leather dress ($60.00). Of course, there are plenty of ways to get around the original price tags, but I’d like for my readers to consider the usefulness of an all-purpose dress. This means that it can be worn to the office, for a special occasion, during a night out, & transformed with different accessories. This also includes statement necklaces, drop earrings, textured clutch bags, embossed peep toe pumps, or animal print ballet flats.

What’s on your must-have fall shopping list? Which stores do you hit up first when dress shopping? For more shopping-friendly posts, check out affordable flats from Old Navy, Emmy Rossum in a Banana Republic dress, Phillip Lim’s lookbook for Target, & Gisele Bundchen for H&M’s fall ad campaign! Happy Styling!

The Stylish Five: Major Deals On Maxi Dresses ($25 & Under)!


While preparing for my long-awaited summer vacation, I’ve been scoping out dresses since they’re just so easy to wear & coordinate with all of my favorite summer shoes. However, I know that maxi dresses are a big part of summer fashion & I wasn’t always a big fan of them on me- worried about the length since I’m on the shorter side & concerned with extra volume where I certainly don’t need it.

The shopping fairies have been on my side lately since I recently picked up 2 stylish maxi dresses, which inspired me to surf for some more suggestions online.  This includes the Speechless animal maxi dress ($23.99) from Kohl’s, which brings out the wild side of any Style Darling, especially when paired with metallic gladiator sandals or patent leather platforms. Next, the tie-back knit maxi dress ($24.99) from Charlotte Russe is perfect for paying homage to a Grecian-inspired look, as well as showing off your taste in accessories with a studded belt, stacked bangles, or glittery dangling earrings. I love the simplicity behind the Mossimo Supply Co. drawstring waist maxi dress ($24.99) from Target, as well as the summer-friendly hue, which will match with any nautical-inspired pieces like a canvas tote or boat shoes.

For my plus-size readers, I was so excited to find the garden goddess floral maxi dress ($24.80) from Forever 21, which makes a colorful & stylish statement with nude sandals & a patent clutch for a date night by the water. Lastly, I’m always a fan of classic black & white prints, especially the Love, Fire chevron stripe printed side slit tube dress ($19.99) @Loehmann’s, which will stand out in the crowd when coordinated with cork wedges, a beaded necklace, or studded envelope clutch.

Which maxi dress is more your style? Where are you shopping for maxi dresses this summer? For more posts on affordable fashion, check out cap toe pumps from Payless, my latest bargain purchase of summer dresses, Taylor Swift’s leggy look in London, & little white dresses inspired by Angelina Jolie & Kerry Washington! Happy Styling!

The Stylish Five: Top Off Your Look With A Cardigan ($25 & Under)!


During the transition from winter to spring, I’ve been relying on mixing up my looks with layers, & topping them off with a cardigan. However, now that spring is in full effect, I’ve been taking another look at my cardigans, thinking about patterns & prints that’ll work for me, especially when I’m out & about from day-to-night… which brings me to my latest post for The Stylish Five.

From stripes to polka dots, animal prints, watercolors, & florals… the cardigan possibilities are endless. To start, I’ve selected the linear print crew-neck cardigan ($14.99) in red from New York & Company, which is perfect for wearing over an LBD with ballet flats or with a lace cami & walking shorts. Keeping with the idea of stripes, I love the cotton linen blend stripe cardigan ($15.00) in purple stripe from JC Penney to match with colored jeans & wedges or with a belted cotton dress & pointy toe pumps.

I love the idea of hardware on a cardigan, which instantly adds some extra edge to your look, like with Charlotte Russe‘s studded shoulder striped cover-up ($18.99). This can dress down a leather mini skirt & pullover or toughen up some skinny jeans & a blouse with peep toe pumps. I’m a big fan of hearts, which is why I chose the hearts cardigan ($24.80) in navy & pink from Forever 21. Of course this is a more youthful piece, but I think unexpected prints like hearts, or even the bicycle pattern in the blouse for my previous post in The $100 Challenge, are a lot of fun & instantly put a smile on your face. Lastly, the Mossimo Supply Co. ombre boyfriend cardigan ($24.99) in blue from Target is a bright way to keep comfy when it gets cooler at night, especially with a wrap dress or shorts romper.

For more posts on affordable fashion, check out Katy Perry’s white & silver Aldo sandals, must-have polka dot pieces for spring, peplum tops inspired by Amy Adams & Zoe Saldana, & silver pumps like Kim Kardashian’s Jimmy Choo shoes. Happy Styling!

The Stylish Five: Spring-Ready Shirt Dresses ($50 & Under)!


I’ve been focusing a lot lately on dresses b/c I think that spring is the best time of year to invest in new dresses. I’ve definitely already started my 2013 collection, which I will definitely wear well into the summer, however, one style of dress that I always turn to is the shirt dress. There are so many shirt dresses out there in stores & online right now, which are perfect for wearing to a brunch with girl friends, a family party on the weekend, or to the office for a feminine change of pace.

The first I found is the Merona sateen belted shirt dress ($22.00) in purple from Target, which is also available in five other bright & neutral hues, & in sizes XS – XXL. This is the perfect dress for matching with a pair of espadrilles, ballet flats, or gladiator flats. Next is the chambray belted shirt dress ($24.50) from Old Navy, which can be made rugged with suede ankle boots or dressed up with cork patent heels, for a Style Darling of any size (XS – XXL).  Forever 21‘s belted high-low shirtdress ($27.80) in turquoise is a soft & lightweight way to add layers to your look, or even mix things up with leggings & knee boots, or a matching suede hat & belt.

To stay on trend with bold neons for spring, I picked the roll-sleeve pocket shirtdress ($34.99) in active yellow from Gap, which is also sold in blue, orange, & pink, in sizes XS-XXL. I recommend pairing it with pointy toe pumps & a printed blazer when headed to a meeting, or with floral flats & a basketweave clutch for a sunny picnic. Lastly, the belted denim shirtdress ($46.00) in orange from Dress Barn is also sold in plus sizes ($50.00) to wear with peep toe wedges & a chainlink bag.

What dresses are you shopping for this spring? What stores do you like to hit up when searching for that perfect dress? Do you like to wear shirt dresses? For more affordable fashion posts, check out nautical inspiration for under $100, Derek Lam’s DesigNation collection for Kohl’s, spring-friendly polka-dotted pieces, peplum tanks inspired by Olivia Palermo & Zoe Saldana, & floral must-have pieces like Selena Gomez & Jessica Chastain! Happy Styling!

The Stylish Five: Spring-Ready Striped Dresses ($35 & Under)!


It’s Easter Sunday & I wanted to share with readers some affordable spring-ready dresses that are perfect for more than just today’s holiday & any body type! I’m recently starting a new position at my job, as well as an entering into an exciting opportunity for a second job this week, so of course I’m thinking about what I’ll be wearing. Fortunately both environments require a blend of professionalism & creativity, so I’m gearing up to dust off favorites from last spring & invest in some show-stopping looks to last me through the spring & summer.

All of these looks are under $35 & I’m really drawn to stripes since there’s so much opportunity to mix with accessories like floral tights on a chillier day, textured pumps, or an embellished cardigan. First, I wanted to share the boat-neck 3/4 sleeve shift dress ($22.97) in black stripe from Old Navy, which will pair well with bold pieces like red heels, a yellow lacquered belt, turquoise tights, or a green leather jacket. Also, I’ve been keeping an eye on the latest styles @JCP, including the a.n.a. short-sleeved cowlneck dress ($22.00), which can be dressed up with a boyfriend blazer & pointy toe pumps, or worn casually with a denim jacket & ballet flats.

For a thicker stripe, I love the rich tones in the striped chiffon sleeveless dress ($32.47) in summer berry punch from New York & Company, which is also available in a blue / green combination. This is an office-friendly dress that can translate well to happy hour, especially when mixing up the look with stacked bangles, a cropped jacket, or knee boots. Also, as a big fan of Target, I knew I had to feature the Mossimo half back zipper fit & flare dress ($27.99) in teal stripe. This youthful dress is perfect for accentuating any figure & is available in sizes XS – XXL. Lastly, another look for my curvy Style Darlings is the colorblocked chiffon dress ($27.80) from Forever 21, which gives off a vintage feel with the playful collar & delicate bow.

Do you like to wear stripes? What kinds of dresses are you looking at for spring? What’s your spring shopping budget? For more spring fashion posts, check out blue moto jackets at every price point, Kim Kardashian’s silver Jimmy Choo pumps, the best mint shoes for the season, & the hottest floral looks as seen on Elizabeth Olsen & Selena Gomez! Happy Styling!