Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Can't Change A Leopard's Spots

Leopard accessories are everywhere this fall - showing up on both bags and shoes. But it seems that faux-fur leopard coats are also staging a trend takeover. The celeb inspiration for this post is the one and only Rachel Zoe. She rocks her faux-fur like no other, and her stylish choice of leopard coats is no exception.

Here are three great choices in faux-fur.

Leopard provides a natural color scheme to work with - black, white, cream, deep brown, and gold - which all look wonderful paired with these coats.

Wear a faux-fur leopard coat with a white bow blouse tucked into flared black pants. Layer on top with an open black vest over the white blouse. Put on a couple rings in plain gold or embellished, and finish off the look with black booties or pumps. And I think even Rachel Zoe would approve.

Play on the natural palette of leopard with this blouse from Gap in the color "bone" not exactly white, not exactly cream. Wear the flowy top over a black bandage skirt. Since bandage skirts are tight, often short, and therefore quite sexy, I recommend wearing a flat. Don't wear booties or foot encasing sandals because it will break up the line of your leg that is created with a bandage skirt. It cuts you off at the ankle and your legs will look blockier than they are. If you prefer a high heel, go with a basic pump. But I love these flats with a ruffle at the heel, it adds a little something extra without being too cutesy with say, a bow. Finally, wear a gold cuff like this one from French Connection and a black and gold ring to polish off the look.

  Another garment that looks fabulous with a fur coat is a long dress. This simple black strapless dress would look stunning paired with a leopard faux-fur coat. Since it's strapless, wear a bold necklace like this gold one from Marc by Marc Jacobs composed of chain links and safety pins - I love how he mixes classic links with the more edgy pins to create this look. Add on this ring that spans two fingers for another touch of glam. For your feet, I love these peep-toe flat sandals - a little gladiator, a little bohemian.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Gilty as Charged

On the opposite end of the spectrum from minimalism is opulence. While minimalism has certainly dominated the trend discourse -- opulent gold actually had its own moment on the runways for Fall/Winter 2010. Main inspiration: Alexander McQueen, but gilded dresses showed up everywhere from Dries Van Noten to Diane von Furstenberg to Lanvin (left to right in the above image).

There are two keys to mastering this trend. First, don't look trashy in some sort of overly tight, gold lamé business - there is no reason for this to trend look cheap, it should look the opposite, it should look expensive. Second, please, oh please, keep it simple. These dresses are gold all over the place, there is no need to pile on jewelry as it would quickly become what Tim Gunn calls, "a lot of look." Here are several lovely gilded out dresses in a variety of prices.

Now here are the simple things I would wear these glamorous gold dresses with. I recommend keeping it really simple with just black pumps, but if you love to accessorize - stick to rings. This will add bling without going over the top.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Living in Leather Part II

 Welcome to Part II of the leather series. This episode is dedicated to a more controversial leather item - leather shorts. These are the definition of trendy. Whereas leather jackets seem to have staying power, leather shorts are new to the scene. Well, new to the scene of fashionable items - as leather shorts actually stem from traditional lederhosen a la Kurt in Sound of Music. Sans suspenders and pastoral embroidery, leather shorts have made quite the impression this season, earning a "Love It or Hate It" reputation. That's probably because, being honest about leather's reputation, it can look trashy and cheap. I think that we would love it if leather shorts looked good on all of us, but we are hesitant because our better instincts say to avoid tight, short, leather products. So approach this trend with caution. I do genuinely think there is a way to make this trend work, and it may mean forcing yourself to go up a size. Because when it comes down to it, it isn’t about the number it’s about how you look in the clothes. And this is not a trend you want to fit snugly, they will look so much better a little bit wide in the leg.

 1. ASOS Airtex Leather Shorts 102.
2. Sparkle & Fade Leather Shorts 128.
 3. Theory Iselin Leather Shorts 315.

Leather shorts look great with a bold printed sweater - I really like this tiger print sweater in cream and brick red. Keeping the top a little big over leather shorts keeps the look classy. 

A tight top and leather shorts, would probably be described this way by Louse Roe via a Plain Jane episode "you look sexy! The kind of sexy men pay for..." 

Make the look sexy with the oversize sweater by wearing black booties like these woven ones. And I like the bangles picking up the tiger print in a different color scheme and the white Kenneth Jay Lane gold and glass bangle.

For a more formal look, like Olivia Palermo's in the above photo, wear leather shorts with a flowy white blouse, a feminine necklace like this glass necklace from JCrew, a boyfriend blazer, black tights and black platform pumps. 

Leather shorts can look feminine and delicate. For a feminine look that is also cozy for fall wear a nude colored tank with some embellishments like this rhinestone studded one from JCrew. Pile on an oversize knit and scarf for some warmth, and wear metallic flats to pick up on the embellishments on the top. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Living in Leather Part I

Time for another series! This time, it's all about leather. And we are starting with leather jackets. This is hardly a novel trend for fall/winter 2010. Leather jackets have been around for a long time. But perhaps that's why they are such a great trend, they just keep coming back, and therefore it is a decent investment to buy a leather jacket. The three options I present are hardly the most expensive out there, if you want to go for a more expensive jacket, you won't have trouble finding one.

2. Victoria's Secret Washed Leather Motorcycle Jacket 198.
3. Anthropologie Biker Melange Jacket 248.

Leather jackets are wonderful because they can be integrated into a variety of styles. Here are three very different ways to wear leather jackets. First, a traditional "Bad Sandy" look, second, a leather jacket outfit to wear to the office, and third, a feminine leather jacket look.

For a modern update of the "Bad Sandy" look, wear a bomber jacket with dark wash skinny jeans and an oversize striped tee. Keeping the look baggy on top and tight on bottom makes the look sexy but classy. Wear it with black wedge ankle booties, and wear silver bracelets - I love the mix of this classic chain wrapped bangle with the silver studded leather bracelet. Make the look a little more 1950s by layering on a printed silk scarf.

For an office appropriate look, wear a leather jacket with a pair of wide leg camel colored pants. Wear a printed top in modest colors and pair with pumps in a complimenting color, in this case, pebble gray pumps with this blouse, camel pants and a leather jacket make for the perfect professional ensemble. Throw on a thick chain link bracelet to complete the look. With a different blouse, a draping necklace would look lovely, but since this blouse has a bow, a necklace doesn't make a lot of sense.

Leather jackets don't have to look tough. So for fall, pair it with a ruffled winter white dress in a light material like chiffon, opaque black tights, and a black wedge. Pair it with a full feminine scarf in a pretty color, like this ombre purple one. Finish it off with some thick bangles, for example, this braided chain-mail bracelet

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Go West Young Woman

Don't you want to look like this fresh and happy 1970s woman in her pre-washed denim? No? Me neither. That's why I am very excited about denim's fresh new perspective for fall. My favorite way to wear this trend is the denim button down blouse. Which bears no resemblance to that lovely denim blouse in the above ad, don't worry. This trend can go very wrong if paired with say, more denim. Now add some cowboy boots, or maybe a long flower skirt and you're starting to look like you're ready to wrangle some cattle or head straight to Woodstock - neither of which are spectacular looks. However, if you keep it simple and elegant, denim shirts look modern and fresh.

Here are three great denim blouses on the market right now

3. Goldsign Camicia Denim Top 216.

Wear this outfit with blouse number one. Tuck in the denim shirt just in the front of these blouse-y shorts for a relaxed day look. Pair it with black suede ankle boots for some glam, and wear gold accessories. I love this rope braided necklace and stack of gold bangles.

Pair shirt number two by tucking it into this ikat skirt in sublte colors.Accessorize with a thick brown belt and these two-tone brown platforms. I also love the idea of this light scarf in a subtle print that is different from the ikat. Since it's the scarf, the double print isn't too overwhelming.

Finally, here is a wonderful look for denim shirt number three. I love the idea of the denim shirt over leggings with dark cognac over the knee boots. Throw on a slouchy gray sweater over the shirt, then accessorize with a red scarf and gold bangles with white glass embellishments.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Horse Play

Yep, that's me. I rode horses for fifteen years. That's why, whenever the equestrian trend becomes popular, I almost want to laugh. For me, the only thing I can think about is excruciatingly hot days and being forced to wear jodhpurs, tall boots, a long sleeve shirt, and a wool jacket. I hardly think of effortless blouses tucked into skinny jodhpur pants with ankle booties and an oversized scarf. But, the equestrian trend is back in full force. Therefore, I think it is worthwhile to explore how I could take my riding clothes out of my utilitarian mindset, and bring them into my wardrobe as stylish pieces. First, here are some splurge versus save options for equestrian inspired jackets, boots, and jodphurs.

1. DKNY Stretch Wool Riding Jacket 345. 2. Silence and Noise Velvet Trim Riding Jacket 88.
2. Volatile Women’s Jockey Boot 49.

1. Steffen Schraut Leather Trimmed Pant 230.

Here's what I would wear with equestrian inspired jackets. Obviously, I would wear my favorite jeans, the Stilt by AG. But any skinny jean you like would work. A long olive blouse will nicely compliment the structured blazer. I also love these Nine West open-toe ankle booties with perforated leather. Finish the outfit with a chunky necklace in a neutral color, I like this silver chain braided necklace.

To wear with riding boots, I would wear skinny black pants, or leggings, tucked into the boots. Over the black pants, I would wear this lovely DKNY cashmere tunic which hits mid-thigh. Underneath this sweater I would wear a dark gray v-neck. And to top it off with a pop of color, wear a knit cranberry eternity scarf, or any other scarf in a fall color. 

Finally, toothpick riding pants look great with an oversized sweater, especially in a fun print like this fair isle knit. Pair it with a white v-neck for a neutral underpiece and a cream colored scarf, this one with pom-poms is especially fun. With dark brown ankle boots this look is perfect for fall while also embracing the trend.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Hot Socks

I'm not sure if this trend has stemmed from Gossip Girl, but over-the-knee socks are all over magazines for this season, as well as all over our favorite Constance Billard students. It's one thing to be Blake Lively, or a size 0 model and wear this trend, but trust me, it can be done even on an everyday girl. One caveat is that it does help to have long legs with over-the-knee socks, there's just more to work with. That being said, here are some of my favorite socks for the season.

1. Madewell Over-the-Knee 1937 Sock 16.50.

The best way to pull off over-the-knee socks if you don't feel confident wearing them with a dress, skirt, or shorts is to layer them over jeans while wearing a striped tee, a boyfriend blazer, and caramel colored boots. 

1. JCrew Saint James Naval II Tee 115.
2. Madewell Borrowed From the Boys Blazer 178.
3. AG Jeans The Jegging 115.

4. BDG Tall Leather Boot 128.

5. Madewell Over-the-Knee 1937 Sock 16.50.

A wonderful look with over-the-knee socks is a belted white shirt dress. Paired with a boyfriend sweater and brown ankle boots, this outfit is spot on for fall.

1. under.ligne by Doo.Ri Shirt Dress with Scarf 163.

2. American Apparel Skinny Feathered Edge Leather Belt 34.

3. ASOS Ribbed Two-Tone Over-the-Knee Sock 9.

4. Boden Boyfriend Cardigan 88.

5. Adrienne Vittadini Adam Boot 129.

Over-the-knee socks also pair wonderfully with shorts. I love these scallop edge shorts from TopShop. Paired with an equally girly top tucked in to the shorts just in front and black equestrian boots, these shorts and socks perfectly hit the trend.

1. Anthropologie Sleeve Pitch Blouse 128.

2. DKNY Intimates Rib Over-the-Knee Socks 15.

3. TopShop Premium Scallop Hem Short 60.

4. Ciao Bella Thabbata Riding Boot 100.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Camel is the New Black

A color that is undeniably hard to miss this season is camel. From Chloe to Michael Kors, the color popped up everywhere. As camel is a neutral, there is a fine line between bold and bland, so it really makes a difference what you pair it with. Lots of designers showed monochromatic looks of camel, but there are plenty of ways to incorporate camel into your wardrobe. Here are four ideas to get you on the fall colorwheel.
1. The camel trenchcoat
2. The camel sweater
3. The camel skirt
4. The camel tee

A camel trenchcoat is a classic, and looks good with a million things. But make it edgy with an embellished top, leggings, and strappy wedges.

3. Dolce Vita Strappy Wedge Sandal 175.

4. Express Sexy Stretch Legging 25.
Camel looks lovely with other neutrals such as gray and black, but it also looks amazing with crimson. This camel sweater paired with a marled gray eternity scarf, a crimson coat, skinny jeans and black flats is a perfect fall look.

1. GANT Long Sleeve Sweater 150.

2. Portolano Chunky Marled Loop Scarf 68.

3. American Apparel Wool Peacoat 180.

4. AG Jeans The Stilt 168.

5. BP Ramona Flat 50.

A camel skirt pairs wonderfully with a classic white silk blouse, and this neutral back drop provides a wonderful opportunity to tap into another fall trend: leopard accessories. So throw on some leopard flats and a thick belt in a slightly different shade of brown to complete this classic look. 

2. Forever 21 Faux Leather Belt 11.

3. Tory Burch Leopard Reva Flat 225.

4. SEE by Chloe Mini Skirt 145.

A camel tee, while instinct may tell you that it's a casual piece, makes you appear at first glance as if you are nude on top - hello sexy! It is the perfect subtle pair to a complex textured skirt such as this petal skirt. Paired with a thick belt and camel lace up platforms, this camel tee heads straight to a nighttime look. 

1. TopShop Slubby Jersey Tee 40.

2. Piazza Sempione Belt 85.

4. Steve Madden Anton Lace-Up Wedge Bootie 129.