28 August 2013

I've 'Fall'en for Khalen

Meet Khalen.

Jessica Simpson's Khalen boot became my very best friend last year. I wore them literally all the time. Khalen even had to take a visit to a cobbler for some light touch up work so she could keep on pushing through.

Those who know me (and those who visit this blog often) know that I'm probably tempted to buy a second pair of Khalen's as a back up so when the first pair get laid to rest we can keep right on strutting.

So it's without question that darling Khalen will be my "go to" boot of the season.

Since I'm fighting back the fall season with my undying desire to hold on to warm weather, I just couldn't bear to do a typical outfit post for IFB Project #110: Fall Boots. So, here are three ways I'm planning to rock Khalen when the temperatures plunge into the 40's and 50's.

Urban Cowgirl

Fresh for Fall

Khalen is chic enough to wear to work and out for play...


So even though I'm nowhere near ready for cooler weather, just between me and you, after doing this post I'm more than just a little bit excited for fall fashion.*wink*

27 August 2013

DD's Style File - Pretty in Penny Chic

People ask me where I shop all the time.

If you're a regular visitor to my blog then you know my shopping locales run the gamut. But I typically respond that I shop "everywhere and anywhere." And it's true. A couple of my favorite purchases, like this one, happen to come from Walmart.

I have to admit that I wasn't very familiar with Penny Chic's blog, I think I found out about it by reading about her upcoming Walmart dress launch in a magazine or something. I thought all the dresses in The Little Black Dress Collection were cute and mostly work friendly, but my utmost fav was the Utility dress.

Which of course was a last minute addition to the line, so it had a later production release date than the others. (this is how things always go in my world)

So I did what every natural shopaholic does and set a calendar reminder on my phone so that I could jump online and snap up my pieces (I do this regularly for Target launches). For me, shopping the Penny Chic line turned out to be a bit of an adventure.

Because I know Walmart's sizing can be off (I used to shop the now defunct Norma Kamali line - which I loved), I originally ordered two of the dresses, the Classic and the Peplum, in a size large. Because my thighs and rear bumper tend to need room. But they were a tad too roomy, so I returned them and then ordered them in a size down, plus the Skater.

Black dress - Walmart via eBay
Snakeprint wedges - Worthington for JCPenney
Black handbag - B. Makowsky
Snakeprint bow belt - The Limited
Snakeprint cuff, earrings & necklace - The Limited

The fit was better but just not as flattering on me as I had hoped. Though I'd seen them on other bloggers across the web and they looked awesome. So, I kept just the Classic, just because, and waited, waited, waited for the Utility.

If I recall correctly it was released a bit later than had been announced, but it was finally here and that was all I cared about. No reviews were posted yet when I ordered the medium, based on the experiences with the other dresses. Bad decision. As absolutely adorable as it looked, the next morning I found it was more junior sized than the others and crawled up my legs with every step as I ran out the door for work. And there I was, trying to tug it downward, desperately wishing for a smaller behind or more dress material.

Not a good look.

I spent the day at the office feeling wildly overexposed, so I hid out in my cubicle for as much of it as I could.

I went back to check out reviews and found that I wasn't alone in being surprised by the sizing. However, to my total and utter dismay, the larges were all sold out. Of course.

So, y'all know how I do... I stalked eBay in hopes of finding one, preferably new, and not grossly marked up.

And patience truly can be a virtue, because whaddya know, I run into one last week. Brand new and $20 with free shipping with a Buy It Now option. SOLD! To the obsessive compulsive budgetnista.

And I was deliriously happy in my Walmart Penny Chic dress as I strutted into the office this morning, no tugging necessary. (Can't y'all tell I felt fabulous lol)

And despite all the bumps and stumbles, I still give Shauna Miller's collab a thumbs up! If there was a follow up collection, you could count me in!

23 August 2013

DD's Style File - Color Chameleon

This is actually the first and only post I've had this week. I know, terrible, right? But trust me, it was in no way due to slacking. I've just been super consumed by my real job and have been so über exhausted that there was no time for photo shoots, photo editing or writing posts.

So, in an attempt to make amends with myself (and you all, of course), I tried to make this one a multi tasking Style File post.
My idea for what to wear today was courtesy of this week's Style Me Friday link up hosted by The Fashionista Next Door. And it's all about the button up shirt, also commonly referred to as the "button down." My initial plans were to work up more of an after hours, chill look, but time constraints forced me into settling for a day-to-day work look. But I still needed a little more inspiration to help me pull together the new neon gingham print blouse I'd purchased (my brain is fried, y'all). 

And then I happened upon a post from the lovely Beth Dreyer blog. For some reason I was really drawn to the juxtaposition of the gingham against the zebra print so I decided to give it a go!

Neon gingham button up - J. Crew
Navy zebra print skirt - JCPenney
Coral belt - J. Crew
Coral handbag - Nila Anthony
Multi color sandals - Nine West
So pairing these pieces together also gave me a chance to do some print mixing. For my outfit I felt the neon color played really well against the navy print. It was a little country chic meets city chic. 

Turquoise necklace - The Limited
Silver wave cuff - The Limited
Watch - ALDO
And although this shirt is geared toward summer, with its softer, lighter weight and vibrant hue, I plan to carry it on into the winter months, using it to turn drab into fab by layering it under charcoal colored pull over sweaters. Which will allow the collar and cuffs to bring a bit of pow to the look. 
Speaking if winter (ugh), I'm having somewhat of a difficult time trying to abstain from end of season summer purchases and welcome fall haul shopping... I'm just not ready. Though it seems the retail world (and yes, Mother Nature) will eventually force me in that direction... *sigh*

I should be back to my regular posting schedule next week. I hope you lovelies have a wonderful weekend!

15 August 2013

DD's Style File - Geek Chic

I never really got into that sports wear trend. Y'know, like fall 2011, make sporty clothing into every day, maybe even wear to work clothing. It just did not work for me. But this airy pair of pants did. I'm guessing that it falls into that "sport" category because of the side stripe, but I just happened to like the look this time on this particular pair of pants.

White peplum top - JCPenney
White striped pant - Apt. 9 for Kohls
White pump - ShoeDazzle
Black leather hanbag - B. Makowsky
Multi bauble necklaces - (old)
It added just a little touch of something extra to a basic black and white outfit. Toss on a bunch of baubles and the schoolboy frames for a professional touch and I was ready to go.

I have to take a minute and just talk about my love for these crisp white pumps from ShoeDazzle. I originally ordered a dotted pair along with these, but had to return them because the fabric material felt too tight on my foot and didn't provide any give. But the white leather like material on this pair loosened up within a couple of hours.

This is the third and final peplum top that I bought at Penney's, you can see the other two looks here and here.

Maybe I'll give the sporty trend another go, I think it's evolved and there are some pieces out there that are really wearable and rather sophisticated.

So do you think this trend is a yay or nay?

I hope you all are having a fantastic week!

13 August 2013

DD's Style File - Haute Hippie

This dress screams Woodstock era. I was born much too late to enjoy any of that save the planet, free lovin', but this dress reminds me of something that I would have found in my mother's closet from days gone by. It's just spot on with that whole vintage feel.

Chiffon maxi dress - Forever 21
Tan sandals - Simply Vera for Kohl's
Turquoise necklace - Forever 21 (old)
During my trip to Forever 21 Times Square, I actually passed this beauty up. Luckily, I had time to go back after seeing Cinderella on Broadway (since F21 conveniently stays open until 2 a.m), so I dropped back in to shop some more.

And I had to go back and visit this dress...

Obviously, the stuff you find at F21 is mass produced, but from time to time you can happen upon a piece that has a unique feel to it, and to me this dress had that vintage-like vibe. Reminiscent of a great piece you find in a great thrift store (if we had any of those around here).

I wasn't able to find this dress online, but its worth checking for again. But if where you live is anywhere like where I live, and you lack awesome thrift stores to shop, Etsy and eBay are both great place to find similarly styled dresses or you can try one of these 12 and 3.
Peace, Love & Hair Grease, y'all!!

08 August 2013

DD's Style File - The Boys Club

Sometimes a piece just lives in your closet, you can't seem to get rid of it, yet it still has the tags on it. This tee would be one such piece of mine... But now I'm so glad I actually kept it.

I've had this shirt for well over a year, I bought it on a whim, then later asked myself why I did that. I lost the receipt, then found it again, but convinced myself to keep it. Only to ask myself why again later. I didn't hate it, I just didn't feel anything particular about it, one way or the other.

I didn't necessarily want to sell it to a clothing resale, because I'd never worn it, it still had the tags on it and I knew they'd give me practically peanuts for it - brand new or not.

Hunting through my closet for something a bit more "special," I found the soft pink tones just played very well with this whole casual day look. Adding that feminine touch to pieces that were borrowed from the boys.

Denim boyfriend jeans - The Limited
Gray iridescent muscle tee - Simply Vera for Kohls
Cream jeweled sandal - Payless
Gold & pink foldover clutch - H&M
Pearl pastel cuff & Sunnies - Charlotte Russe
Triangle earring - JCPenney

06 August 2013

DD's Style File - The Cat's Meow

I'm certain I've talked about my total adoration for leopard print before. I do have an affection for stripes. And I love a good polka dot. But there is an undying inferno that burns inside of me for a leopard printed piece of clothing, accessory or home décor.

To me, leopard print is multi talented and does double duty by not only adding pizazz as a print, but also blends well as a neutral. I rock leopard with basic black, white, vivid hues and as a great piece for print mixing.

I was inspired to get these pants after seeing a pair of Zara pants that become ever so popular in the blogosphere. And I could see why, they gave me immediate heart palpitations! However, Zara happens to be nowhere in my immediate vicinity and they weren't available online, so I was pretty much out of luck.

After a few weeks, who would you think would have a very similar pair. My good old friend, Forever 21. Fashion void filled.
Black vest - Express
Cream crop top - Forever 21
Leopard pant - Forever 21
Tangerine wedge - I.N.C. for Macy's

Lion head necklace - The Limited
Gold teardrop earring - Express
Black & gold statement ring - JCPenney
Black & gold clutch - Dots
I'm not ashamed to say that I consider myself a bit of a leopard connoisseur. I'm very picky about how the print looks. Price doesn't play a part here (usually). Regardless of brand or designer, some leopard spots can just be flat or off in color - so be discerning! Because, darlings, leopard print done wrong screams cheap city....*side eye* and you don't want that.
I also typically stick with the standard brownish tan leopard print, but occasionally I'll dip a toe in to a non-standard variation (like here and here). Next on my Diva's Desires list is a fab leopard coat for fall and a stunner of a leopard bag.


Coincidentally, today's post is kind of like my favorite print - it's doing double duty. Not only is this post a part of this week's Style Me Friday Link Up hosted by The Fashionista Next Door, but it's also a part of IFB Project #107: Printed Matters.


UPDATE: Here on Dazzling Diva I focus a lot on my career style, so I really enjoy when I get to post looks that I wear during my down time and after hours activities, which is why I've decided to also link this post to Mix and Match Fashion for the Summer Style challenge!

01 August 2013

DD's Style File - Nice & Nautical

This is my second navy and white striped dress this season (see the other one here), but I promise they're not the same! Now that I think about it, I even got them from the same place...

There's just something classic about a crisp white foundation with sharp navy lines. Not quite as bold as black, yet just as chic. And white and navy mixed with splashes of yellow just screams summer fun, right?

Navy & white striped dress - The Limited
Yellow woven belt - The Limited
Crystal bracelets - The Limited & Target

You know, it really is rather unfortunate that here in the north we're closing in on the final month of summer. Sometimes we do luck up and get an "Indian summer" but that's a crap shoot. Usually I just hope that the warm weather holds out until my birthday (September 21st), which I typically get lucky with. Then it's pretty much all down hill from there.

Speaking of birthdays, I guess I need to get on the ball and figure out what I want to do this year. I make a rather big deal out of my birthday because, hey, I only get one a year. And since I'm not a mom, I don't get that day and I have to share Christmas with everybody else, so that not quite as fun.
So my birthday is all about lil' ol' me!

I usually try to procure a great handbag too...I find they're a great way to celebrate a birthday. Two years ago it was my Marc Jacobs Akita (and *cough* a B. Makowsky) and last year was a Michael Kors...this year, hmmmm....I've got to think on that. It's got to be something special ('cause its my birthday n' all) and I'd like it to be stellar, like a bag I'd love to gaze at through the season. You know the kind, it makes other girls say, "Where'd you get that bag?!"

I'm definitely open to suggestions....

You beauties have a fab weekend!