If you’ve been reading Design Darling for a while, you might remember this post (around this time last year) about mixing navy blue and black. I figure with fashion week upon us, there’s no better time for me to try out the look! And when Jones New York offered to send over one of their signature blazers, I knew exactly how I’d style it:

jones new york black blazer

Black blazer + navy tank + skinny jeans + statement shoes! I think it’s a winning combo, don’t you? I’m a big believer that adding a fitted blazer can add instant polish to almost any outfit, any day of the week. I wear navy blazers all.the.time (previously seen here, herehere, here, and here) so I’m pretty excited about having a new color to style!

kate spade jayna sunglasses

I picked out the Meredith blazer in black ponte knit and I think it’s the perfect wardrobe staple: affordable, classic, and versatile. (I also love it in charcoal!) For those of you who work in an office, it would be super chic layered over a sheath dress or a silk blouse. Here I styled it for happy hour with a few blog friends — proof that it’s just as suitable when you’re off duty.

ann taylor bow heelsBusiness on top, party on my feet.

jones new york blazer

This company Wink & Winn lets you design your own bag so I jumped at the chance to design my perfect navy leather tote. I actually don’t own a single black handbag (how do I live in New York?!) but I love how the navy accessories pop against the black.

wink & winn tassel bag

Jones New York blazer ($129 ℅)  //  J.Crew silk tank ($98 $69)  //  Henry & Belle jeans ($148)  //  Wink & Winn design-your-own bag (℅)  // Bow heels (similar)  //  Photos by Bekka Palmer

design darling mackenzie horan

Compensation for this post was provided by Jones New York via AOL Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Jones New York or AOL.


73 questions with Anna Wintour.

An elbow patch sweater for $45.

A trend I could get behind.

Hustle prints are back in stock!

I cannot wait to read this book (and enjoyed this article as well).

I really love this navy jumpsuit.

Love this look on Kat featuring turquoise tassel earrings from Design Darling.

My friend Kelly is raising money for school supplies for her husband’s classroom in Chicago. I adored her post and their mission — what an extraordinary couple.

Navy pinstripes — such a sharp look for fall.

Not one but two beauty posts this week! An update on my Kerasilk treatment and my new favorite lipsticks.

Save 30-50% on J.Crew sale items like this cashmere long-sleeve tee, my favorite schoolboy blazer, and these cap-toe ballet flats with code EASYSALE through Sunday.

So proud of Liz for this darling capsule collection!

The perfect fall dress.

What do you think of this bag?



Are you comfortable wearing lipstick? I have a few girlfriends who look AMAZING in it (Jess, for one, rocks a red lip like nobody’s business) but I’ve always been a little hesitant even though I love the look. When several readers requested more beauty content and Nordstrom asked me to share their fall lipsticks on Design Darling, I figured the stars had aligned and it was high time I get over my fear of walking out the door with a painted pout. So I enlisted (who else?) my bestie Amy‘s second opinion and we spent an afternoon trying out different brands and colors before heading out for margaritas. I definitely found a couple new favorites but I’ll let you all be the judge!

design darling lipstick

Tory Burch cosmetic case

chanel extatique

Chanel Rouge Allure Luminous Intense lip colour in “Extatique”  //  Joie blouse  //  Michael Kors double strap leather watch

fresh sugar tint rose

Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment SPF 15 in “Rose”

red lipstick for redheads

NARS lipstick in “Jungle Red”

shiseido ophelia

Shiseido Lacquer Rouge Lipstick in “Ophelia”

tom ford flamingo lipstick

Tom Ford lip color in “Flamingo”  //  Jouer cheek tint in “Peony”

ysl encre rose lip gloss

YSL Rouge Pur Couture glossy stain in “Encre Rose”

Here’s a little cheat sheet to help you keep them straight:

best lipstick for red hair

Pretty packaging aside, I think the two I’ll wear the most are NARS “Jungle Red” (I’m already contemplating more colors) and Shiseido “Ophelia.” The first is the only red lipstick I’ve found that looks good on a redhead (with the smoothest application) and the second is a great pink gloss for days when I’m feeling something a little fancier than chapstick. (Though if you’re a chapstick devotee, I have a feeling you’ll really like the Fresh tint!) It was really fun to step outside my comfort zone and get in touch with my inner girly girl. I can’t wait to do a little more experimenting in Nordstrom’s beauty department (I decided to pick up this moisturizer as well so I’ll report back on that!). I’d love to know your favorite lipsticks in the comments!

*Thank you to Amy Stone for the photos and to Nordstrom for sponsoring this post!


I love shopping for boys almost as much as I like shopping for myself. ;) There’s really nothing more satisfying than giving a guy (be it your dad, brother, or beau) a classic piece and seeing him wear it every time he sees you for the rest of time. My dad still wears the Ralph Lauren chinos I bought him when I worked in their Nantucket store and my little brothers are definitely haunted by memories of me and my mom trying to wrestle them into the cutest pair of yellow corduroys for family photos. Since a new season is upon us (New York is feeling very fall-like this week!), I thought it would be fun to round up a few of my favorite items to gift the guys in my life:



streetfsn by Nam

*images one / two / three

Is your taste in menswear equally preppy? Where are your favorite places to shop for guys?


j.crew sweater + skirt

madewell holepunch flats

demylee j.crew colorblock sweaterhenri bendel handbagDemylee for J.Crew sweater ($310)  //  J.Crew skirt ($98 $39)  //  Madewell flats ($108 $84)

Krewe du Optic sunglasses ($185 ℅)  //  Henri Bendel bag ($478 ℅)  //  Photos by Bekka Palmer

I was getting dressed for fashion week last Friday, standing in front of my mirror in a white dress and pink shoes. I was worried the white wasn’t particularly slimming and that I’d undoubtedly spill coffee on myself before reaching the Kate Spade presentation. At the last minute, I slipped into this navy-or-nothing ensemble and instantly felt more like myself. Simple? Sure. Predictable? Probably. But I’d choose an outfit that makes me feel my best over one that’s fresh and new ten days out of ten. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Above I’m wearing the same skirt dressed down for running errands around the West Village. I swapped out the silk blouse for a cozy sweater (this one is super soft and in my favorite color combination — I couldn’t say no) and nixed the wedges in favor of flats, my feet crying tears of relief. I love an item of clothing that can do double duty and I’ve probably worn this skirt fifty times since I bought it. Lucky for you it’s now on super sale in a bunch of colors for less than $40 so scoop one up before it’s too late!

UPDATE: J.Crew is offering 50% off all sale styles with code EASYSALE, making this skirt only $20!!!