Basics for a Bargain: Pretty & Patterned Separates To Amp Up Your Solids (Dedicated to Lisa)!


When it comes to new style resolutions for 2015, an easy way to spruce up a boring wardrobe or upgrade to a more mature style is to step outside of your comfort zone & that starts with prints. An attention to detail immediately shows off your personality & gives off a very positive first impression. I’ve learned (from shows like What Not to Wear) that when you put a thoughtful effort into what you’re wearing, you’ll have more confidence & the people around you will notice. I’d like to dedicate this post to my favorite cousin, Lisa, who has turned to me with advice & questions on how to dress more appropriate to her age, while shopping on a budget & discovering who she is through her own personal style.

When it comes to prints, there are a lot of opportunities to discover your personal style, which is why I turned to recent Spring 2015 Ready-To-Wear runway collections for a little inspiration of what’s trending this coming spring.

Altuzarra, Dries Van Noten, Louis Vuitton, & Valentino Spring 2015 Ready-To-Wear.

Of course, not all of these outfits are meant to be taken literally as inspiration, but it’s apparent that the range of prints, from classic to crazy, will instantly amp up any look, including those from Altuzarra, Dries Van Noten, Louis Vuitton, & Valentino.

Also, when it comes to prints, mixing separates with basics is the perfect way to build a variety of outfits for day, work, night, & weekend looks, as seen with these tops & sweaters on actress Jessica Alba, model Miranda Kerr, Glee star Lea Michele, fashion darling Alexa Chung, singer Gwen Stefani, & it-girl Kendall Jenner.  

Jessica Alba, Miranda Kerr, & Lea Michele in printed tops.

Alexa Chung, Gwen Stefani, & Kendall Jenner in printed sweaters.

Also, A-listers know how to play with prints when it comes to bottoms, which is why I sought out chic printed shorts, skirts, & pants. Examples include The Americans star Keri Russell, Victoria’s Secret supermodel Alessandra Ambrosio, Oscar nominee Reese Witherspoon, TV personality Kelly Ripa, style icon Olivia Palermo, & actress / fashion blogger Jamie Chung.

Keri Russell & Alessandra Ambrosio in printed shorts.

Reese Witherspoon & Kelly Ripa in printed skirts.

Olivia Palermo & Jamie Chung in printed pants.And so… with a budget shopper in mind, I’ve searched high & low to find great deals on stylish printed separates. First, these printed tops are great building blocks to a more sophisticated look, when layered with staples like a military or moto jacket, flyaway cardigan or cropped bolero, or with leather leggings, tuxedo pants, dark denim jeans, or bootcut trousers.

Printed tops.

SHOP: printed tank ($22.50) @Neiman Marcus, lace tee ($14.97) @Old Navy, print top ($22.80) @Nordstrom, & black top ($22.90) @Forever 21.

Also, printed blouses are must-haves when you’d like to sport a clean, professional look. Not only do smaller patterns work on flowy toppers, but they’re great for when you really want to go all out with your prints & mix them with other bolder prints, like animal spots, polka dots, colorblocked stripes, & many more.

Printed blouses.

SHOP: heart blouse ($24.99) @Kohl’s & shirt ($29.94) @Old Navy.

In these colder months, printed sweaters are a fun way to play with patterns, while also staying warm. Also, sweaters in different textures will surely show off a variety of colors to play with when it comes to accessories too! 

Printed sweaters.

SHOP: lace sweater ($27.80) @Forever 21 & animal sweater ($32.99) @LOFT.

When headed to the office in a dress or skirt outfit, try on a printed cardigan to wear open or closed over basics like a button down shirt, scoop neck tee, tie-neck blouse, or ruffled camisole.

Printed cardigans.

SHOP: houndstooth cardigan ($22.99) @Target & snake cardigan ($11.93) @LOFT.

When it comes to bottoms, we’re often so quick to pick out a pair of jeans or leggings, but wearing prints on your lower half is unexpected & certainly a way to get the most out of your solid tops, like a black turtleneck, three-quarter sleeve sweater, or pocket tee. However, printed skirts are fun since you can not only layer with neutrals, but also enhance your look with a pop of color.

Printed skirts.

SHOP: plaid pencil skirt ($24.99) @Target & zebra skirt ($29.95) @H&M.

Maxi skirts are everywhere & great when headed on vacation, to a day  by the water, or lunch with the girls, which is why playing with printed maxi skirts has so many possibilities, especially with metallic gladiator sandals, riding boots with button details, & textured wedges.

Printed maxi skirts.SHOP: snake maxi skirt ($30.00) in blue @Dress Barn & print maxi skirt ($30.00) in coral @Dress Barn.

For those who dare to wear shorts, think outside of the box with printed shorts in delicate fabrics. not only can these be perfect for day, but they’re easy to dress up with decadent pieces in lace, leather, & brocade.

Printed shorts.

SHOP: chevron shorts ($23.30) @Saks Off Fifth & shorts ($24.99) @Kohl’s.

Printed pants aren’t new, but not everyone gives them a chance, especially when concerned about emphasizing your assets in an unflattering way. However, loose-fitting pants in subtle prints are perfect for neutral tops & jackets when on the go. These are also great for pairing with ballet flats or pointy toe stilettos.

Printed pants.SHOP: pants ($12.00) @H&M & stripe pants ($19.99) @JC Penney.

Lastly, I’m certainly not saying that anyone should abandon jeans in any way, but perhaps instead of wearing regular washes, try a printed jean, which will not only perk up a casual look, but will surprise those around you, especially when paired with a blouson top, graphic tee, or tunic sweater.

Printed jeans.

SHOP: camo jeans ($26.55) @Lord & Taylor & floral jeans ($24.99) @6PM.

Must-have prints to have in your wardrobe, yet worn with caution, include polka dots, animal prints, graphics, modern florals, lace, stripes & chevron, tribal, plaid, & houndstooth. I even made a quick guide to learning prints, which will perhaps also serve as a chart on how to successfully mix prints too.

The guide to prints & patterns

Which prints are you naturally drawn to wear? How do you like to wear prints? Do you mix prints with solids regularly? For more stylish posts, check out all of the runway looks from Christian Dior’s Spring 2015 Ready-To-Wear collection, tips on how to dress your body type, the complete red carpet gallery of this year’s Screen Actor’s Guild Awards, & spring dress predictions inspired by designers Erin Fetherston & Nanette Lepore! Happy Styling!

Red Carpet Review: 365 Best Dressed Looks From A Fabulous & Stylish 2014!


Angelina Jolie, Shailene Woodley, Rachel McAdams, Rihanna, Emma Stone, & Julianne Hough,

Obviously, 2014 has been one stylish year, especially when you consider the multitude of red carpet appearances, street style looks, cocktail frocks, & day-to-day ensembles that our favorite Style Darlings have sported. A number of breakout stars have made the best dressed gallery. It’s really incomplete since there are still so many gorgeous looks worth talking about that have made this calendar year a little bit more stylish.

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Enjoy the gallery & slideshow, featuring a thorough & vast collection of images to inspire an even more fashionable 2015. Happy Styling!

 

 

 

Watch This Style: My Top 5 Favorite ‘Glee’ Moments!


I’ve featured plenty of news about Glee on Style Darling in the past, but I wanted to take a moment today to share my favorite moments from the musical show, especially with the headlines circulating about the death of lead actor Cory Monteith this weekend. I’ve been saying for a while now that the show isn’t the same as it was in its first two seasons, but either way, a memorable impression has been made on the world of television & its audience. My persona here is all about fashion & style with a side of literary nerd-dom, but I also come from a theatrical background & have come to appreciate performers for their craft & style, which is why I frequently feature music videos in Watch This Style posts.

Glee

There have been so many great Glee moments, including anything that Darren Criss has performance by Katy Perry, as well as Chris Colfer‘s “I Want To Hold Your Hand” ballad, Lea Michele singing with Idina Menzel, & when the New Directions broke out into a Rolling Stones number. However, with that in mind, I’d like to share my top 5 favorites which is comprised of Barbra Streisand’s “Don’t Rain On My Parade,” a Queen cover of “Somebody To Love,” Prince’s “Kiss” featuring Gwyneth Paltrow, “Bust Your Windows” by Jazmine Sullivan, & the always touching “Imagine” by John Lennon.

Which are your favorite Glee songs? What do you think will happen in light of recent events for the upcoming season? For more video posts, check out Rooney Mara for Calvin Klein’s Downtown fragrance, Miu Miu’s fall ad campaign, behind-the-scenes with Nicole Kidman for Jimmy Choo, & Adam Levine speaks out about his debut fragrance! Happy Styling!

Red Carpet Review: The 2013 Screen Actors Guild Awards, Featuring Amanda Seyfried, Marion Cotillard, Jennifer Garner, & More!


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In this latest Red Carpet Review post, we’re one step closer to rounding out this year’s awards season with the red carpet looks from tonight’s 2013 Screen Actors Guild Awards. The ceremony is currently airing & there’s so much movie news to report, however some of the hottest & most-talked-about celebrities have made a splash in couture, following the runway trends, including black gowns (like what we saw at the Golden Globes) on Anne Hathaway (in Giambattista Valli Haute Couture), Elisabeth Moss (in Dolce & Gabbana), Naya Rivera (in Donna Karan), Michelle Dockery (in Chado Ralph Rucci), Tina Fey (in Oscar de la Renta), Jaimie Alexander (in Marc Bouwer) & Kelly Osbourne (in Jenny Packham).

Also, side parts for hair are big, as seen on Jessica Chastain (in Alexander McQueen), Katrina Bowden (in Badgley Mischka), & Naomi Watts (in Marchesa). Colors of the night that popped were pretty pinks & purples on Lea Michele (in Valentino), Nina Dobrev (in Elie Saab), Freida Pinto (in Roland Mouret), & Sally Field (in J. Mendel).

There was a classic & regal combination of blue & navy hues hit the red carpet with Amanda Seyfried (in Zac Posen), Jordin Sparks, Nicole Kidman (in Vivienne Westwood), Jennifer Lawrence (in Christian Dior Haute Couture), Giuliana Rancic (in Max Azria Atelier), & Edie Flaco (in Chagoury).

Lastly, colorblocking & mixed tones in black & white were a hit, featured on Claire Danes (in Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci), January Jones (in Prabal Gurung), Julianna Margulies, & Julianne Moore (in Chanel Haute Couture).

Which looks were your favorites? Are you watching the show tonight? For more red carpet looks this season, check out gallery posts including the 2013 Presidential Inauguration, all black & leather looks on Miranda Kerr & Scarlett Johansson, Louis Vuitton’s checkered runway pieces on Kerry Washington & Jessica Alba, & the 2013 Art of Elysium Heaven Gala! Happy Styling!

Red Carpet Review: The 2013 Golden Globes, Featuring Jessica Alba, Tina Fey, Jennifer Lopez, Katharine McPhee & more!


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The 2013 Golden Globe Awards are still airing, but I just couldn’t wait any longer to post this very thorough gallery. Some of my favorite looks include Tina Fey (in L’Wren Scott), Jennifer Lopez (in Zuhair Murad), Katharine McPhee (in Theyskens’ Theory), Kerry Washington (in Miu Miu), Emily Blunt (in Michael Kors), Lucy Liu (in Carolina Herrera), Rachel Weisz (in Louis Vuitton), Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (in Saint Laurent Paris)… just to name a few!

Top trends included lots of black & gold, as seen on Kate Hudson (in Alexander McQueen), Helen Mirren (in Badgley Mischka), & Nicole Kidman (in Alexander McQueen), as well as reds & oranges like Jennifer Lawrence (in Christian Dior Haute Couture), Jessica Alba (in Oscar de la Renta), Marion Cotillard (in Dior), Claire Danes (in Versace), & Zooey Deschanel (in Oscar de la Renta).

Also, you can’t forget about the black looks, some of which I’ve named in my favorites, but I also loved Julianne Moore (in Tom Ford), Adele (in Burberry), Allison Williams (in J. Mendel), Debra Messing (in Donna Karan Atelier), Sofia Vergara (in a floor-length sequin gown), Eva Longoria (in Pucci), & Salma Hayek (in Gucci).

Lastly, softer nearly colorless colors had their place with Anne Hathaway (in Chanel), Lea Michele (in Elie Saab), Amy Adams (in Marchesa), Amanda Seyfried (in Givenchy), Megan Fox (in Dolce & Gabbana), & Hayden Panettiere (in Roberto Cavalli)!

Which looks are your favorite? For more posts from Red Carpet Review, check out galleries from the Critics’ Choice Awards & red carpet from the recent People’s Choice Awards! Happy Styling!