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!

2013 Black Friday Style: Watch Out For Cold Weather Accessories!


‘Tis the season for cold weather accessories, & they always make for a great gift for the holidays. However, if you’re looking to mix up your outerwear look, but love your classic coat, changing up your hat, scarf, & gloves will do the trick! I’m a big fan of scarves, wearing them with my coats & coordinating them with my tunic sweaters & other essentials.

Avenue - Metallic Headband $12.00, Zara - Short Faux Leather Gloves $25.90, Charlotte Russe - Ruffled Open Knit Scarf $12.99, LOFT - Pearlized Gem Embellished Hat $34.50, & Kohl's - Croft & Barrow Ombre Animal Fringed Scarf $9.99.

Some suggestions that break that break the conventions of neutral cold weather accessories include the following: metallic headband ($12.00) in camel @Avenue, short faux leather gloves ($25.90) in navy @Zara, ruffled open knit scarf ($12.99) in rust @Charlotte Russe, pearlized gem embellished hat ($34.50- use code ENJOY for 40% off) in pale berry pink @LOFT, & Croft & Barrow’s ombre animal fringed scarf ($9.99) @Kohl’s.

I’m such a big fan of patterns when it comes to scarves, especially polka dots or houndstooth, which is why I also wanted to feature these other accessories for more shopping fun: Aeropostale, Wet Seal, Ann Taylor, QVC, Joe Fresh, & Urban Outfitters. Happy Styling!

2013 Black Friday Style: Fashionable Flats For Your Shopping Frenzy!


Whether you’re spending the holidays with family or hitting up the stores in search of the biggest & best deal, you’re definitely going to need a fabulous pair of shoes to help you along the way, which is why I’m happy to feature flats as a part of my 2013 Black Friday Style series. Having so much retail experience, I can tell you that flats are a stylish lifesaver to the working woman’s feet. I’m most inspired by details print & pattern, texture, shine, & menswear inspiration, which are essential ingredients to make any holiday season all the more special.

Forever 21 - plaid flats $16.80, GOjane - glitter flats $23.80, H&M quilted ballet flats $9.99, Steve Madden - patent KINGG flats $41.98, & Payless - Christian Siriano smoking flat $26.99.

Shop these: bold plaid flats ($16.80) in red multi @Forever 21, chain-ge glitter flats ($23.80) in gold @GOjane, quilted ballet flats ($9.99) in beige @H&M, patent KINGG flat ($41.98) in fawn @Steve Madden, & Christian Siriano crimson smoking flat ($26.99) in black @Payless.

I know I’ll be breaking out my most comfortable & stylish flats this weekend (working the 2nd job!), thinking about all the ways that I can style my flats with leggings & tunic sweater, blouse & skinny jeans, & a cardigan & A-line skirt with tights. How do you like to wear flats? Which style is your favorite?

For more suggestions on must-have flats, check out these picks from White House Black Market, LOFT, Nine WestCharlotte Russe, Kohl’s, Wet Seal, & Tilly’s. Happy Styling!

Fabulous In 4 Ways: An Old Navy Graphic Tee For Day, Weekend, Date, & Cocktail!


There’s so much going on in fashion right now & all of the latest spring styles have been hitting retailers, which means that it’s time to consider how you can revamp your wardrobe for the upcoming season. One trick that I recently experimented with was how to dress up a graphic tee for more than just a day look, which is the inspiration behind my latest Fabulous in 4 Ways post. I’m always drawn to pretty t-shirts with fashion-related designs, something Parisian, or a classic Hello Kitty print, however the watercolor-graphic v-neck tee ($14.94) in lodge khaki from Old Navy caught my eye for its modern look over a neutral hue. I’ve decided to share how to style this top for day, weekend, date, & cocktail, ranging in price from $83.52 – $133.48.

For the day look, I loved bringing out fun colors like the 1969 always skinny jeans ($21.99) in lemon meringue from Gap & pairing it with the Christian Siriano Camile bow flat ($26.99) in dark green from Payless. Of course there’s always dark denim as an option, but I loved the neutrality of the tabbed sleeve jacket ($22.50) in Olive from Wet Seal. For an extra splash of style, I picked the 1928 jet-tone filigree teardrop earrings ($5.00) from Kohl’s, which will dress up any casual look & even work with a sheath or LBD for a night out on the town.

When you’re headed away for the weekend, consider comfortable options like the Mossimo Supply Co. bootcut denim ($22.99) in dark wash from Target. To add some extra height to this already casual chic look, I love the basic longline cardigan ($12.80) in black from Forever 21, which gives that boyfriend-sweater menswear look, especially when paired with the Michael Antonio Mallory bootie ($24.99) in black from Piperlime. Lastly, the tribal style bangle set ($7.80) in gold / dark brown from Forever 21 highlight the colors in the graphic tee & bring some extra personality to the whole ensemble.

On the flipside, experiment with this graphic tee, or any printed top for a cocktail look with the feminine skirt ($29.95) in black from H&M & edgy Jacquez jacket ($24.98) in jet black from G by Guess. To contrast the softness of the watercolor butterflies, I choose Charlotte Russe‘s spiked zip-back sueded pumps ($38.50) in black, which complimented the two tone chevron statement necklace ($12.90) from Windsor Store.

A date night look is the perfect opportunity for dressing up a graphic tee, especially when there are options like The Limited‘s silver & rose gold sequin jacket ($49.99) with the faux leather moto leggings ($39.80) in black from Forever 21. Sexy accessories for this look include the sparkling geo drop earrings ($4.80) in black / gold, also from Forever 21, as well as the patent faux leather pumps ($23.95) in black from GOjane, which have been recently marked down.

For more posts on affordable fashion, check out how to find the best bargain-priced pink jeans, look-alike floral Stella McCartney pants as seen on Diane Kruger, clearance heels & flats from Target, winter white looks inspired by Nicole Richie & Taylor Swift, Lauren Conrad’s latest Kohl’s collection, & Christian Siriano’s newest designs for Payless. Happy Styling!

Basics For A Bargain: Monochromatic Looks To Brighten Up Any Season, Wardrobe, & Budget!


It’s not often that I wear monochromatic looks, but when I do, it’s usually either black or gray. These are go-to colors that I know I can always mix & match with each other, especially when I’m headed to work & am looking for something chic & fluid to wear. I was inspired by monochrome outfits during my last photo shoot of pictures of myself to post on Style Darling (see the all-green sweater & pants look, for example).

Since I started covering Runway Rundown here, I noticed the dominance of monochromatic designs, especially for the 2013 runways. This includes Calvin Klein Collection with a multi-textural caramel look, Michael Kors‘ lemon yellow duds, Elie Saab‘s cobalt crush, Salvatore Ferragamo using neutral beige, Christopher Kane‘s all-white ensemble, Bottega Veneta‘s brick menswear-inspiration, & BCBG Max Azria‘s flowing black separates.

Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, Elie Saab, Salvatore Ferragamo, Christopher Kane, Bottega Veneta, & BCBG Max Azria.

Taking a cue from the runways, there have been plenty of color-on-color red carpet apperances. Celebrities who’ve donned monochromatic looks include Michelle Williams who attended the New York Times Arts & Leisure Weekend event in head-to-toe black with a belted mini, tights, & suede booties. Fashion icon Alexa Chung breaks up her nearly-monochromatic look in an oxblood turtleneck by Versus & leather zip-up mini with lasercut flats. Country songstress Taylor Swift went for a more mature look in a custom-made all-white suit by J. Mendel at last year’s MTV Video Music Awards. Victoria Beckham looks nothing short of amazing in her nude sheath dress design with Brian Atwood pumps. Lastly, back in 2009, Penelope Cruz dazzles in a three-piece scarlett suit by Bottega Veneta at the London premiere of Broken Embraces with two-tone strappy sandals.

Michelle Williams, Alexa Chung, Taylor Swift, Victoria Beckham, & Penelope Cruz.

Now that we’ve seen what’s going on inside the pages of our favorite magazines & who’s wearing what on the runways, I wanted to show how anyone can wear a monochromatic look without breaking your budget. What’s great about finding identical tones is the crisp & clean look that it creates & that’s where you can have fun with accessorizing with a sparkling scarf, baubled cocktail rings, bib necklaces, embossed handbags, & so on. In these looks, I have included at least one accessory, but it’s simply a suggestion & option to really bring the look together & in most cases (except for the teal look) still fits within budget.

First, I’ve been thinking about coral, ever since a post from The $100 Challenge where I featured a coral dress for the holidays, but I just love the softness of the color, which is perfect for any skintone. It instantly adds some natural rosiness to your cheeks & always looks feminine. The studded Peter Pan collar shirt ($22.80) from Forever 21 already has some built-in detail with the gold that helps frame your face. This matches perfectly with Target‘s Mossimo ankle pant ($27.99) & the sueded uber platform pumps ($12.50) from Charlotte Russe, which have just been reduced from their original $32.50 price. Lastly, I fell in love with the art deco-inspired spike triangle earrings ($8.77) from ASOS, which add a rose gold luxury to such a relaxed, yet sophisticated outfit. Also, if you want to break up these pieces to create a trendy or unexpected look, mix things up with dark denim skinnies, cap toe ballet flats, a silk boyfriend blazer, or metallic belt.

I’ve also been seeing a neon opportunity for your wardrobe for quite some time now. Of course, this color is to be worn confidently & with caution. We all want to look so good we stop traffic, but this look with highlighter yellow or electric lime tones could almost guarantee such a result. It all started with the a.n.a. perfect skinny corduroy pants ($17.00) from JC Penney that I spotted sometime before the holidays, but now they’re marked down & I’m excited to see how these might be worn for the rest of the winter & into spring. I paired these with the boatneck banded bottom tee ($29.90) from Express & Forever 21‘s faux suede pumps ($29.80). While any gold, white lacquered, or lucite jewelry will enhance this look, Alloy‘s Zahara neon necklace ($19.90) was just irresistible, thanks to a search on ShopStyle for matching accessories. Also, for more ideas on how to wear these pieces, consider other neutrals like charcoal, black, & navy, as well as classic patterns like polka dots, houndstooth, & plaid.

Coral, Neon, Teal, & Fuchsia.

I found myself a little troubled when looking for coordinating pieces for my teal ensemble- ones that wouldn’t make me go over budget, but… I did. Sometimes that happens when you find absolutely must-have pieces. I just adore this color (on me!) & think it’s a bold way to reinterpret greens & blues since it falls so beautifully in the middle. While checking out the newest arrivals @New York & Company, I found the satiny pleated from belted blouse ($29.95), which instantly made me think to find a skirt. Then the Grace Elements teal skirt with yoke ($24.99) from Loehmann’s was a perfect fit, especially if you’re trying to refresh your work wardrobe. For an extra fun touch, @Steve Madden, the Intrude pumps ($34.99) are just what this look needed to add some texture & despite the myth of material, these can be worn any time of the year. Finally, the Croft & Barrow jet bead hoop drop earrings ($12.00) from Kohl’s put the look just a bit over $100, but you can always keep this affordable by wearing favorites that you may already own like diamond stud earrings or something in silver.

My final look goes out to my plus-size Style Darlings because I think a berry tone is perfect for any shape & any woman. I shopped Wet Seal‘s plus section to find the 3/4 sleeve belted blouse ($18.99) on sale, which comes with a detachable belt, perfect for wearing over a cardigan or jersey dress to help enhance your curves. To keep this look balanced & figure-flattering, the roz & ALI stretch colored jeggings ($19.99) from Dress Barn helped complete the bottom half, especially since they’re available in sizes 14-24. I found the Rocket Dog Monica flat ($24.94) @DSW, which would also help dress down a shirt dress, work if paired with a denim skirt & sweater, or contrast a ruffled blouse & dolman top. My final piece to this looks is the neon metallic teardrop earring ($5.80) from Forever 21, which would sparkle for a date night in an LBD or look cute with a mod shift dress.

Do you wear a monochromatic look? Which colors are you most drawn to? Do you prefer matchy-matchy pieces or like to contrast with colorblocking? For more from Basics For A Bargain, check out posts including outerwear inspired by Kate Middleton & Gwen Stefani, pointy toe heels as seen on Mandy Moore & Miranda Kerr, & how to copy separates looks like Kate Hudon & Kristen Stewart! Also, for more affordable looks under $100, check out a sleek black & silver cocktail look, building with black textured accessories, & how to wear a leopard wrap dress! Lastly, be sure to click on over to Color Me Style for the latest trends in yellow with some help from Emmy Rossum & Kim Kardashian, all-black looks like Jennifer Lawrence & Kate Moss, & black & white ensembles like Jessica Alba & Julianne Hough! Happy Styling!