*photo from an awesome new-to-me blog, Paige Arminta

For almost five years now, Design Darling has been my digital happy place — a reason to share my favorite people, places, and things with a community of (mostly) women who have similar interests and taste. This little sliver of the internet has grown up with me: I’ve shared everything from my study abroad semester at 20 and moving to San Francisco at 21 to launching my online store at 22, weathering a tough break-up at 23, and sharing my first New York apartment at 24.

Along the way I’ve gotten more comfortable sharing glimpses of my personal styleprofessional milestones, and goals I’ve tackled as part of my 101 in 1001 list. I’ve also struggled with where to draw the line on sharing pieces of my personal life… Travel pictures, yes; dating advice, no. I’ve consistently tried to make this blog a home for the kind of content I want to read, particularly with the recent additions of career spotlights on some of my favorite women in business and shopping finds under $100.

In my continual quest for self-improvement, I’d love to hear your feedback on what you like, what you want more of, and what you could do without. This blog would be nothing without the awesome people who read it and I want to make Design Darling better for all of you. (Especially as I get ready to launch my site redesign — more on that soon!) I’m often surprised by which posts perform best (in terms of comments, social engagement, traffic from Pinterest, etc.) and I’d be lying if I said I don’t get discouraged when a career spotlight, DIY project, or more personal post don’t seem to resonate the way I thought they would. 

So please don’t be afraid to speak up and let me know: what’s your favorite feature? anything from the past you wish I’d bring back? any features you skip over? something you’ve seen elsewhere that you’d like to see a Design Darling spin on? what makes you come to this blog day in and day out? what would make you check in more often? what do you wish I’d do differently? Please keep it constructive but don’t be afraid to be honest with me. I’m looking forward to hearing what you have to say!


I get a lot of emails asking what to wear for a job interview or how to spruce up a professional wardrobe. The truth is that, if I’m not shooting an outfit post, I can usually wear an oxford shirt and jeans and get through my daily to dos without a wardrobe change. I’ve never bought a suit and every office I’ve ever worked in was the opposite of business formal. (My stint in PR as well as my internships at Jonathan Adler and Ralph Lauren all emphasized personal style over corporate dress code.) 
But I know not all my readers are self-employed or working in fashion and I hate to leave anyone hanging. So I was pretty excited when I stumbled upon the new-to-me blog The Classy Cubicle. Mary works in corporate America and does an amazing job dressing for it. She looks appropriately conservative and perfectly polished in every post, exactly the way I’d like to look if I didn’t work from home. Here are a few of my favorite outfits to elevate and inspire your next office look:
If you’re taking notes, the following items are must-haves:
1. A bevy of sharp button-down shirts. 
splurge  //  spend  //  save
2. Dress pants tailored to fit perfectly.
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3. A classic trench coat.
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4. A few colorful sweaters for layering.
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5. Sensible heels with flattering pointed toes. 
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I hope that helps you get dressed for your next interview or meeting! I really do try to answer all my readers’ style questions so shoot me an email if there’s something you’d like to see next. And don’t forget to pop over to The Classy Cubicle for more work wardrobe inspiration — I know you’ll enjoy her archives as much as I did! 


Sophie Hulme clutch  //  J Brand jeans  //  Coach ring  //  Michael Antonio heels (on sale for $44!)

Can you believe it’s the last day of January? I have no idea where this month went but I’m pretty excited to be that much closer to warmer weather. I’m dying for an excuse to splurge on this Cynthia Rowley bow top… You know when you’re shopping online and something kind of stops you in your tracks? This top is a little outside my usual comfort zone (let’s be serious, when’s the last time you saw me wear a print that wasn’t stripes? umm, never) but click over to see it on the model and I think you’ll agree it’s a showstopper. I do need to get shopping for fashion week… 😉 Have a great weekend, friends!

Shop the post:


Rag & Bone jeans  //  J.Crew shoes (on sale!)

J.Crew (on sale!)  //  Alice & Olivia  //  J.Crew

3.1 Phillip Lim dress via Gilt Groupe (similar here)

I don’t always have time to take outfit pictures during the week (particularly during this busy season!) but here are a few recent looks snapped on Instagram. Follow along right here!


Dress (only $60!)  //  Glasses  //  Clutch  //  Cuff  //  Shoes

How good is this little navy shift dress? Because I have so little closet space in my apartment, I base most of purchases on how often I’d wear the piece and whether it would work year-round or for a variety of different occasions. This shift looks comfy enough that I could wear it on days when I work from home but still dressy enough that it would work for meetings with a cute blazer layered on top. Add a couple key accessories and a killer shoe and you’ve got a great look for work and play — don’t be surprised if you see a version of this in a future outfit post! 😉

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