Tuesday, November 30, 2010

New Book Club Pick

Coming home from my very own book club tonight and I got to thinking about what goes into a lively debate. For us it's mainly cheese, crackers, and hummus, but for others it's an educated moderator, a New York Times bestseller, and people who want to debate the topics with a highlighter and red pen in tow. But considering my affinity for nonfiction and coffee table books (many of which have to do with fashion and/or style), I'm practically giddy at this new cyber book club that Fashionista is offering. For those of you who don't visit Fashionista daily, it's a who, what, where is going on in the fashion industry. They're offering their avid readers the chance to take party in a real-time discussion online about some fash-related books, the first of which is Blow by Blow (the moving story of legendary editrix Isabella Blow). Not that my book club girls are lacking, but I think it's an awesome way to hear opinions from all over the country, challenge yourself to start thinking of new books and ideas, and a great way to connect with others who share your same undying passion for all things fashion. Sold yet? I think I am.

(photo: courtesy of Fashionista)

What to Wear: New Years Eve

If you're anything like me, even though I haven't the faintest clue what I'm doing, I've already developed a deep sense of anxiety about what I am going to wear come New Year's eve. Will it be short and sparkly? Maybe that sequined skirt that went off without a hitch this weekend? A little black dress, or my little red option that I've been counting on lately. This is one MAJOR decision. So I came across this picture and I thought wow. Maybe it's one of those outfits that girls love and guys hate (those are my specialty), but I happen to think she looks damn adorable. I think if you paired the button-up shirt (and bowtie) with something thigh grazing you'd keep things feminine (and interesting) while still staying true to the cause. I love the thought of borrowing one from the boys, and I think this cute little number is deliciously unexpected and the perfect antidote to the sequin overload that new years promises to be.

(photo: courtesy of Lookbook.nu)

SPOTTED: NEW I Heart Ronson

Over the years I've developed a soft spot for Charlotte Ronson. First it was her delightfully feminine store in Soho (girly in the best possible way) and then it was her lower-priced line with JCPenney that made me love her even more. Her rocker chic meets spunky teenager look has never been more accessible (or affordable) thanks to her lower priced line. Taking a look at the latest offerings (due out in Feb) and I'm positively stoked at what's in store. Yes, she does the whole grunge thing, but she does it in a way that I could still actually wear. With CR, it may actually look good on me! And maybe even cute! People collect her leather jackets and I heart her printed skirts and to-die-for booties. This plaid shirt is very "me" and I love the unexpected way they pair it layered over a lace shirt. And don't get me started on the higher rise of the jeans. That red belt looks just about perfect and despite the nose ring (which I'm fairly certain you'll never see on me) I can see myself pulling this look off. I just have to wait until Feb! 

(photo: courtesy of Nylon)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Inspired By: The Series

When I first moved back to L.A., one of my first freelance gigs was interviewing Aussie stunner Sophia Coloma and her terminally cool design partner Marissa Ribisi of Whitley Kros. A few hours over coffee and I was hooked. These designers just understood what girls like me wanted (and needed) out of clothes--not to mention the fact that I wanted to be their best friends. Fast forward a few years and I can still count Sophia (and Marissa) as two of the coolest girls L.A. has to offer. I've amassed more than a few of their designs for Whitley Kros and I wait each season to see what new design they're going to have--and I'm going to want. They're just that good. So I caught up with Sophia to see what this stylista has in her closet, what she's lusting after, and how she's developed her line into a must-have.

(photo: courtesy of Sophia Coloma)

Q) What's your official role/job?
A) I am the head designer with Marissa Ribisi of Whitley Kros. I am also a freelance fashion consultant and stylist.

Q) Your favorite designers?
A) Rick Owens,  Comme des garçon, Givenchy, Roland Mouret, rue de mail, the row, Obakki, Celine, Yigal Azrouel, Manning Cartel, Elise Overland, and Carven. (I'll admit most of these are eye candy, but def worth taking a look at.)

Q) Your favorite trends/pieces of the season?
A) My Rick owens black jacket with my Whitley Kros tshirt and jeans. Wearing The Row pants and tshirts. 
Yigal tops
Tonal colors
Carven dresses - I have a few 
This Obakki leather sweater mix thing (check this cool line out)
A Dana Rebecca tiny necklace
The three Celine bags I bought in Paris (swoon!)
Anything Vanessa Bruno (goes without saying, she's French!)
Thakoon tux
Stella McCartney resort white tux with black collar 
Wearing one color head to toe- I have literally been dying things at home to match 

Q) How did you start designing? How did you come up with the idea for Whitley Kros?
A) I started designing in Australia and then for a company called Mcginn when I moved here.
Then Marissa and I got together and created this fictional character called Whitley Kros - Whitley is the name of a street in Sydney and Kros a street in Australia and we decided to mesh our to worlds.

Q) How do you find inspiration for Whitley Kros?
A) Firstly from music, just because that is the company roots--with Beck (as in the singer and Marissa's husband) doing some of the artwork and with Whitley kros really that urban girl whose life had a soundtrack to it.  Then whatever we are feeling - we do the artwork ourselves so we use whatever inspires us - art, music, people, life and travel. We then decide where Whitley Kros is traveling and what she is listening to and that's where we end up. 

Q) What goes into the collection each season?
A) Lots and lots of research. I am always researching trends and looking at art, music, and the street. So we start with that and then we just meet. Beck and Marissa will paint and draw for days in Malibu. It is truly a very artistic evolution. Beck will show us new music and then Marissa and I will collect our own ideas and it sort of evolves from there.

Q) How do you bring parts of your own personal style into the line?
A) I bring a lot of Sydney with me. I have always been a wild dresser. At 17 I remember wearing a full length white fur coat to a party- I mean really out there. And Marissa is very indie, avant guard and also rocks a bit of the Japanese style thing.

Q) Your most definitive fashion moment?
A) Oh god so many, maybe my wedding dress just because I dreamt of it for so long and it was so beautiful.

Q) What would you consider your signature "look"?
A) I don't have one - I love changing. For years I would never buy anything that did not have print and color, and then all of a sudden I am into wearing black red and white , preferably only one color at once. I love trying something different. If I feel to fashionable I feel manufactured - I like my style to be my own, not something I took of a runway. (Are you listening ladies?)

Q) And advice for young women trying to develop their own sense of style?
A) Have fun and take risks. After all it's only clothes!! 

Street Style Inspiration of the Day

I'm not embarrassed by the fact that I LOVE Teen Vogue. Obsessed is more like it. When asked what my dream job is, I usually say Editor in Chief of that saucy glossy. So it should come as no surprise that I am envious of each and every employee and their incredible sense of style. I thought I'd seen--and style stalked--them all, until I came across this pic in one of my daily blog strolls. She looks like she could be my new bestie. She's done up in the best possible way, ready for appointments, chic coffee dates, and a night out with girlfriends. You'd think that blazer was too much (or too trendy) but when paired with classic separates it helps take the whole look up a notch. Those booties, my god, they're just about perfect. I love the white blouse tucked in, the simple skirt cinched with a belt and that elegantly framed bag that you'd think is for older ladies but that she makes young. This Teen Vogue employee is my new obsession and style star all at once. Keep the pics coming!

(photo: courtesy of All the Pretty Birds)

Look I Love: Fair Isle Sweaters

The temperature has officially dropped in LA (FINALLY!) and my "look" has taken a beating. I've forgotten how to layer appropriately and I always look slightly windswept with a scarf haphazardly wrapped around me in no official way. But since I know the cool climes are here to stay, I've got to get my act together and I'm wondering how to master the art of layering. I've been wearing thin cardigans under my new Theory jacket, but what about those days when I need something a bit warmer--and then cooler when I walk into my melting pot of an office? I decided I want something authentic and what could be better and more offish than something from L.L. Bean. This lambswool sweater may seem a bit Christmas-y but I think with some cute cuffed jeans and chunky boots, it could look plenty cute for the holidays. I know tons of designers are doing the same kind of print in their own collections and what's better than getting the real thing. Honestly, what could be better snuggled up to that warm, crackling fire?

(photo: courtesy of L.L. Bean)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

HEARD: Alexa Chung coming to PBS

So, I usually place celebs on a whole different level. They have stylists who dress them in all these pretty clothes and they fill their closets with things that are totally out of our price range. But reading about Alexa Chung in the NYTimes' Style section and I kind of dig that she doesn't use a stylist. She dresses how she feels, not how someone else thinks she should dress. That, I can relate to. And now she's going to be even more relatable since she's going to be starring in a new show that is set to air on PBS this summer. I'll admit the only thing I've watched on PBS with any regularity was the Gwyneth Paltrow eating in Spain show so maybe just maybe I can actually find the channel again. She's teamed up with a Style.com editor to crisscross the country looking for hidden treasures at estate sales, consignment shops, and other second-hand stores. Considering we all know how patience and thrifting are not exactly two of my stronger virtues, I may learn a thing or two from Alexa. And considering her style is so original, cool, and accessible, she may just be worth listening to. Let's keep our ears peeled for when the show debuts. I know my DVR is waiting with baited breath!

(photo: courtesy of Style.com)

New Website: If Pockets Talked

You've heard me gripe before about the challenges of vintage shopping. If we're talking online shopping, I'd consider myself a pro. But vintage shopping? Forget it. Every store I manage to walk into smells all creepily musty and the stuff looks so gross. I can't quite wrap my head around how some dumpy dress could be fabulous if I tweaked it just so, wore just the right belt, and paired it with the perfect blazer. I'm still trying to get my imagination to be inventive like that. So here comes this amazing new site, If Pockets Talked, that I'm hoping takes all that dirty work out of the equation. It's basically liked a souped up version of ebay without all of the time consuming bidding. It brings together the best vintage finds from shoes to handbags and jackets and lets you sort by size, color, and price. It sifts through that old dusty pile for you and finds that hidden treasure--you know, the one I'm always jealous I couldn't manage to find. It's definitely a cool new resource to have when you're looking for something new (well kind of new), with a great story. Find a piece that sets your style apart from the rest.

(photo: courtesy of If Pockets Talked)

Line EVERYONE is talking about: ISSA

So ever since a one Prince William of Wales proposed to the commoner Kate Middleton everyone has been aflutter with what miss Kate may wear on her royal day. The Today show has literally dedicated a segment each day since the announcement to the royal engagement. But while the attention is focusing on what she may wear on April 29th (the day of the wedding if you haven't been paying attention), I'm more concerned with that knockout navy dress she wore to the press bonanza right after it was announced. The dress is just my type. It has long sleeves which I've come to love and a deep neckline that makes it anything but conservative. My favorite part is the flattering ruching that gives her such a slim figure and that royal blue color is just about my favorite shade (just consult my closet for proof). I'm totally impressed by what she's already chosen to wear and apparently ever since Issa (the line that made the dress) has been literally flying off shelves. I think I managed to find the exact one she wore, so here's to hoping I'll snag me another royal now that Wills is officially off the market

(photo: courtesy of Net-a-Porter)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Spring's Hottest Sandals...NOW

Now I don't exactly have a warm weather vacay planned for this year. But that doesn't mean I can't dream about what I WOULD wear should a destination retreat miraculously appear on my calendar. The white jeans would definitely come off their hangar and I'm pretty sure I would do everything in my power to track down these amazing shoes that were a result of cool prints brand SUNO joining forces with Loeffler Randall. Now even though I complain about how expensive Loeffler's shoes have become (no joke), they do make a nice shoe that lasts years. So let's just say for the sake of argument such shoes would be an investment. The prints make them the perfect addition to that colorful maxi dress that I'd wear to the beach and beyond. The wedges are pretty extreme and the flats look like you could wear them just about anywhere and everywhere. A girl can dream, can't she? And if you're not into dreaming, I'm pretty sure you'll be able to find some pretty similar versions from the Nine West's and Steve Maddens of the world shortly.

(photo: courtesy of Nitrolicious)

Pairing Prints

Without realizing it, I've managed to acquire quite a few prints over the last year. I guess I realized that what I already owned was a bit boring (aka, all black) and so I needed something to spruce it up. I ended up buying every print blouse I could find and managed to walk away with a few print skirts and dresses along the way too. But now I feel kind of stuck because I feel like I can only wear those print shirts with black pants, and those patterned dresses with a dark blazer or cardigan. But isn't there some other way? Another way to wear what I have in an unusual way that lets me gets the best (and most) use out of what I already own. So I've taken to pairing prints. I without fail always get compliments, which is I think because it always catches people's eyes. I think it adds depth and textures and isn't what you--or other people--would expect. I highly recommend trying it if only because it lets you get a little extra mileage out of what you already own. And instead of thinking of prints as "busy" (being a negative), think of them as fun and spirited (and something positive). Everyone has room for prints (and more than just one) in their life--and all at once!

(photo: courtesy of Refinery29)

SPOTTED: Valentino for Gap

So just as an FYI, one of my favorite movies of the past few years is without a doubt "The Last Emporer" about Valentino. I've seen it about five times now and every time I walk away appreciating something new.  I originally went to see the movie because it seemed fashion-y and that's what I'm into, but I didn't know too much about Valentino other than the fact that he designs some rad clothes that mainly celebs wear on the red carpet. Bottom line? Fun to look out but out of my reach. So seeing as the Valentino brand is doing a collab with the Gap, I may not have to read the pages of Us Weekly to get my Valentino fix. I dig that this collection seems to be using the designer's signature embellishments (think ruffles, bows, and more) on things that Gap is well-known for. The result? A decadent take on my already favorite designs. It seems just about perfect. Keep your ears and eyes peeled, more info is still pouring in, but something fun to look forward to--and an amazing opportunity to get a designer fix...for less!

(photo: courtesy of Style Bistro)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

LOOK I LOVE: House Slippers

For some reason I have always loved Stubbs & Wootton. They're this insanely old New York brand and they make these cool velvet house slipper type things that old ladies wear around the Upper East Side just like they're loafers. (And annoying men wear them without socks all over the Hamptons.) A few years back some people started wearing some with cool new graphics (think skulls and cross bones) and even though they were so out there, I kind of loved them. Fast forward to this week when Marc Jacobs announced that he's doing a collab with the storied shoe designer. Score! Now MJ is doing styles for men, but if I were prancing around Park Avenue I would prob be tempted to splurge on the real thing. I'm daydreaming about some with my initials maybe, or something a bit edgier if I feel like going out on a limb. If you know me but at all you know that this is just a daydream but I am definitely feeling those preppy loafer hybrids as something that will one day make their way into my closet. Only time will tell, my friends!

(photo: Courtesy of T Magazine)

The New LBD...in RED!

You've probably heard it too. Every girl needs an LBD. Little black dress, that is. Whether it's strapless, with cap sleeves or a long-sleeved mini, I guarantee each and every one of you has at least one in your closet, and it's come at the suggestion of someone (whether it's InStyle or Tim Gunn). But it's kind of boring if everyone is wearing the same black dress, even if they're in different cuts. So I'm telling you to try something new. Instead of finding a new LBD for all those holiday parties, try a little red dress. This beautiful one from ASOS is absolutely dreamy. The ruching on the bodice means that it will be uber-flattering and the color will make you stand out from the crowd and get you noticed. I think this dress screams festive but obvi works year round. It's unexpected and most probably wouldn't go for it at first, but try something new and challenge yourself. You may just be surprised what you come up with!

(photo: courtesy of Asos)

Street Style Inspiration of the Day

All those sequins and denim in the J. Crew catalog that I've been dreaming about for months? Well this weekend may be the time when I finally get it to try it out. So stumbling across this cute blog and it gave me the little bit of a push I need to step outside of my comfort zone and try something new. I've been wearing opaque black tights for a while now, but may step out in sheer ones this weekend, paired with a sequined skirt with a denim shirt tucked in (any other button down would work just as well). Seeing it played out in real life (and stepping out of the pages of a catalog) is a real-life way to see those trends and look make their ways from runway to real-way--which just happens to be my favorite thing ever. The concensus? It's beyond do-able and pretty damn cute too. So if you see me this weekend, you know what I'll be wearing. It's appropriate but still a bit edgy and infused with a little kick!

(photo: Courtesy of Saucy Glossie)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Inspired By: The Series

It should probably come as no surprise that there are a few choice ladies who are my style gurus. I usually end up copying their every fashion move because they're just that chic. One of my absolute faves is my old co-worker Marina. Considering we started our careers seated next to eachother in a back office at Conde Nast, I can honestly say "I knew her when..." Now she's one of the most well-liked and respected fashion editors in the biz. Not only has she taught me the value of an investment piece and how to wear oversized accessories (among countless other rules of dressing), but I'm pretty sure her adorable daughter Gloria is even more stylish than I am. I've watched her with envy and now she's opening up to you dear readers about what gets her fashion juices flowing, what she's dying to wear, and her tips on how you can be as stylish as she is.

(photo: courtesy of Vogue UK)

Q) Your title at Style.com?
A) I'm a Senior Market Editor at Style.com. I cover the Accessories and ready-to-wear markets.

Q) Your favorite designers?
A) Lately I'm a little obsessed with Christopher Kane's work, his own label and Versus (we're talking Versace, here). I'm also in love with Mary Katrantzou's work...and of course my evergreen favorites: Miu Miu, Phillip Lim and Alex Wang. 

Q) Your favorite purchase ever made? 
A) I'm sure I'm forgetting something that I got years ago that I still have and wear. But I recently got a jumpsuit at Joseph that I've been obsessed over, I've been wearing it so often that my colleagues must be sick of it. The Celine Boston tote is also one of my favorite purchases, has such a classic shape and fits everything in it. (She's even toting the oversized bag in the pic!)

Q) Your favorite trend of the season?
A) For fall, I'm loving Isabel Marant's 60's look: cropped skinny pants, pumps and leather jacket. For Spring 2011, I cannot wait to put my hands on any colorful super bright item, from neon bags to Mary Katrantzou's crazy printed dresses. (Haven't heard Mary's name? Check her out!)

Q) How do you mix high and low? 
A) I tend to shop the cool designer items I want from season to season and mix them into my daily wardrobe. Since I cant afford to have everything be designer, I mix in the designer items with my Club Monaco and J. Crew's favorites. (Totally practical!)

Q) Tips for getting great style on a budget? 
A) Be smart about your shopping: only purchase something that you are absolutely in love with and are 100% sure you'll wear it a lot. That way you'll only have in your wardrobe things you are excited about it and you won't waste any money on things you will never wear. If you care about fashion, be aware of the trends before making any purchase, read fashion websites (style.com) and magazines. Getting to know what you want before you start spending also helps. Have in mind the items you already own and try not to purchase similar things (you can keep lists on your iPhone or jot them down in a notepad), otherwise it'll look you are wearing the same things over and over again.

Q) How do you know what to buy each season? 
A) I just purchase what I'm totally in love with and by now I already know my lifestyle and the type of items I'll get the most use of. Although I tend to like similar things, each season I push myself out of my comfort zone to try something new (new silhouette/color or shape). I'm not really a party girl, so even if I love a party dress, what would I purchase it for? I just get items that I can wear for work and then straight to dinner with my friends/husband. I make a practical decision before each purchase and since I work on all the shopping stories for Style.com, I already have in mind my favorite items months before it hits stores (JEALZ!). So when it finally becomes available I already know if I've grown tired of it, or if I really want it in my wardrobe.

Q) How do you set your style apart from all the other fashionistas in NYC? 
A) I don't really dress myself in the morning thinking of what other people might be wearing. One of the things that I love about NYC is the freedom that we have to dress the way we want. You can be totally dressed up one day and totally dressed down the other. I tend to dress for the day I have ahead of me, meeting with designers, appointments all over town, work followed by dinner with friends…that's what I think about when I'm dressing in the morning.

Even though she may have access to more designers than most, her tips and know-how can apply to anyone on any budget. Take some tips from Marina and stay tuned for even more Q&A's to come!

It's SO me!

Signing onto gchat yesterday and I immediately get a link from a friend. She said "this is so you." Now while at first I was glad she was reading Shopbop's blog (maybe a trick she picked up while reading Fits of Fashion?), I started laughing when I saw the picture. It was a blog entry about what to wear for Thanksgiving and as you can see the picture takes a pretty trendy twist on the American classic. But she was right. I could totally see myself in that exact outfit. Actually, I'm pretty sure that's what I wore on Sunday (right on down to the boots). So at first I was kind of annoyed, thinking to myself, my god, how predictable have I become? But then I realized that it just means that I've nailed my signature style. I think over time (and many trials and even many more errors), I've figured out what works for me. The answer? Probably skinny jeans, some boots that pretend to be motorcycle boots but really aren't. And obviously, some form of stripes. I layer everyday, starting with my favorite tees and tanks, since I'm not quite ready to store them away for winter, and looking at my closet I am pretty into the draped cardigan look. That army green jacket? Well I got it last May but it's still working for me all those months later. So actually, I'll take that as a compliment, Andrea. I've finally figured out what works for me...my budget, my lifestyle, and my everyday sched. These pieces make sense, people think of me when they see them, and I happen to think they look pretty damn chic.

(photo: courtesy of Shopbop Blog)

SPOTTED: New Ray Bans at last!

Sitting down for an afternoon of tea on Sunday (I know, but it's not as snooty as it sounds, I swear), and I spied a girl who was so cute. Maybe it was because I love her outfit of skinny jeans, an oversized draped cardigan, a leather jacket and flats, but it was something that wasn't clothing that actually made her stick out to me the most. She was wearing a pair of Ray Bans but in a new style I'd never seen and they had a retro vibe to them that was totally spot on. Now aside from my affinity for Freeway Eyewear, I've been pretty loyal to my Wayfarers for some time. Even after a sneaky employee from Rosti stole my one pair, I caved and bought the identical pair again. They just suit my face so well, I think the tortoise shell is uber-flattering against my brown hair and fair skin, and they're reasonable (enough) for when I absent-mindedly leave them on random take out counters. But, I am also pretty sure I can name at least 10 people I know who have the exact same pair. Literally. So how do I stand apart when I really love them but want to be a tad more original? These rounded wayfarers are new to the game and I think they have a vintage feel to them. They're just as flattering as the pair I already own and come with an equally enticing price tag. A wonderfully unexpected new take on my old classic fave.

(photo: courtesy of Saks Fifth Avenue)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

In the Trenches

I've always wanted a trench coat. I've never had one, but I've always wanted one. They just look so sharp. I love that Gryphon has updated the regular, ordinary (and boring) design with cool detailing and embellishments to make it more modern for young women. That, I dig. And watching Emma Watson prowl the globe on her Harry Potter press tour, you're able to see the new line of made-to-order custom Burberry trenches that let you customize with studs, leather details, and other cool tricks. But since a one-of-a-kind Burberry trench probably isn't in the cards for most of us, I am thinking of another way to take the classic trench coat and make it young--you know, for us! I think most fashion "experts" would probably say a trench coat is a classic piece that all women should have in their wardrobe (I'm talking to you, Nina Garcia), but I don't think one size fits all and I think we're in need of something a bit more youthful and modern. The one I'm into lately is the sleeveless trench. I think it adds a bit of an edge (the one that Burberry's studs give) and makes it pretty modern. Of course it doesn't entirely serve the same function but I'd argue that fashion is more important. It's a cool new look that I think people are going to start getting into. At least I'd encourage you to give it another look.

(photo: courtesy of Man Repeller)

Seeing Stripes

You know me, I love something preppy. A popped collar? Sure! Stripes? Yes, please. But I got to thinking yesterday that stripes are a funny thing. I remember once hearing one of those "golden rules" of fashion and I believe it went something like "never wear horizontal stripes." But honestly, when was the last time you saw vertical stripes? Horizontal stripes and "sailor" shirts are just about everywhere these days and I've accumulated quite a collection. I think the original Saint James sailor shirt has become quite a classic and I've seen people wearing it in really modern ways lately. But that's the thing. I think preppy is really coolest when you modernize it in a certain way or give it a certain spin (think Band of Outsiders' hipster-prep cool vibe). So I've got to thinking about ways to wear the shirts I already own in a really modern way. I think I am going to start out with a leather jacket of sorts for day and with a great big bad statement necklace for night. Skinny jeans may do the trick, but tucked into high-waisted jeans with towering heels for night may be the perfect contrast. It's all about using what's already out there (or what's already in your closet) and reinterpreting in a really modern way that's right for you.

(photo: courtesy of Hype Beast)

Learning to love Leggings

Ok, let's talk leggings. There was a point in college where I was so phobic of them that if I ever went to work out in them, I had to call my friend Brooke and tell her. It became a joke because I hated leggings that much. I think every girl probably doesn't feel their best in leggings. Most comfortable, of course. But most flattering, probably not. But I think we're all probably guilty of having a pair or two in our closet. (I mean they look just about perfect with boots during winter). So how can we wear them (since we already have them) in a way that makes us feel good? I think the solution is pairing them with longer tees and sweatshirts. I even have a few longer tanks that I can wear them with and then layer any length shirt over and it works every time. Whether I'm wearing them with knee-high riding boots or short booties or even some loafers, when I'm wearing the right shirt, I ALWAYS feel comfortable in the leggings. I think leggings are a hard piece of clothing to master, but the key is really finding something to wear them with that makes you feel good. From there, the rest is cake!

(photo: courtesy of American Apparel)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Street Style Inspiration for the Weekend

I HATE matching outfits. Whenever I go shopping with my mom she always insists on getting a whole "outfit" so that I have something that matches. And my answer is always no. I've been pretty into the whole "mismatched" look that J. Crew has been perfecting for some time now. But looking at this pic and I realize that maybe I've been wrong about matching all along. The best part about breaking up those two dark olive brown colors is that they actually work when worn together. The black skinnies elongate her and the the worn-in brown leather belt isn't what I'd choose but she makes it work. Mixing black and brown is unconventional, but I've realized more and more lately that it looks so so good. I love that the blazer is belted because it turns a jacket into a whole other piece when you belt it. It's as if you're working with two different looks altogether. And those wedges look just about identical to the ones I haven't been able to tear off my feet lately, so obviously they make me smile. This is accessible style at its best, with real-world options just about any of us could incorporate into our own everyday looks! Challenge yourself and see what you can do over the weekend!

(photo: coutesy of Vanessa Jackman)

SEEN: New from Tumblr

Stumbling upon a cool new designer is always the best feeling. You feel like you've won the lottery since you're cool enough to find something new and stylish enough to get it before anyone else. Well now Tumblr is giving us even more chances to find those uber-talented emerging designers who have just about the coolest designs out there. Not only will you have something that very few others have but you'll be getting in at the very beginning. If these designers make it big, you'll have something that's a total collector's item. Tumblr, the site that tons of peeps use to blog, has just launched Of a Kind which has features on new and emerging designers that are worth watching. It's still in the process of getting up and runnign but I suggest continuing to check back. It's pretty rad that it finds all of these new designers for us and gives us cool images, tips, and know-how from these soon-to-be style stars!

(photo: courtesy of Of a Kind)

We're all Just Kids

As an homage to my fellow Book Clubbers, I thought I'd point out that Just Kids (our designated read a few months back) just won the National Book Award. So even though the book was highly divisive (some officially hated it), I think at the very least it's good for some sartorial inspiration. Patti's chic feathered do definitely launched as many haircuts as "The Rachel" but her masculine look is something that I can get some ideas from. An oversized men's blazer for fall, belted with a cute double wrapped belt? Sounds tres chic. An oversized men's button down with the sleeves rolled up paired with a big bad necklace and some skinny pants? Sounds perfect. This pic is a particular favorite because I can recreate it with everything I have in my closet (especially those new high-waisted jeans). Instead of suspsenders, I may make it more "my own" by wrapping a scarf around my neck instead. Adding a few of Patti's touches to mine to turn it into something special--and totally noteworthy.

(photo: by Robert Mapplethorpe)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Refinery 29's Street Style Star

I love me a street style blog. I love looking at real people who are straight off the streets and wearing really cool clothes or who have really innovative style. I also love looking at pictures of editors (magazine or digital) because they get access to designer fashions before the rest of us common folk and they always mix eye candy with real world style in a way that makes me green with envy. That's why I'm super stoked that Refinery (one of my daily go-tos) just launched a feature where they'll track what their Global Editor Connie Wang (who I must admit is a total trendsetter) wears every day. This type of feature is my favorite part of LuckyMag.com (their chicest Lucky mag staffer feature is worth checking out), so it's pretty predictable that I'd like it from Refinery, too. Connie is just as stylish as you'd expect. She pairs colors, textures, and patterns in just about the coolest ways possible and does it with that "who me?" sensibility. Tres chic. She's the one who paired a buttoned all the way up denim shirt with a necklace last year and made me swoon. I expect to get some major inspiration and ideas from checking Connie out, I'll hopefully slowly become as fashionable as she is, one petite step at a time.

(photo: courtesy of Refinery29)

Line I Love: Patterson J. Kincaid

This has happened to me like ten times in the past week. I see something on Shopbop that I love and as I squint to see what brand it is, it always ends up being Patterson J. Kincaid. And without fail, I am always pleasantly surprised at how affordable it is. Their loose button-downs are giving Equipment a run for their money and they seem to have mastered the loosey goosey blousey tops that I can't get enough of. Considering the first words on their website are "Slouchy, slouchy, slouchy," it's no surprise it's a match made in heaven. It's especially refreshing that not only do they come in some fresh colors (which will look fierce paired with my grey and black new jackets) but with prices hovering at just $100, they are (how sad is this) way more affordable than their competitors. I suggest checking them out. They look perfect to wear to work, tucked into a chic pencil skirt or paired with some skinnies and heels for a night out. Loving this line. 

(photo: courtesy of Shopbop)

SPOTTED: Boutiques.com

Without even noticing, I probably visit Shopstyle.com at least once a day. If I'm looking for something specific, it's a great aggregator of everything out there. Now, you're probably thinking, what on earth is an aggregator? Well, it pools together all the info out there so you can display it all in one small window. Want that new pair of Sam Edelman boots? It will show you all the sites that feature the boots and you can easily compare prices to see where you'll get the best deal. Now there's an even bigger, badder aggregator that may just sweep in and change the game. Google just launched Boutiques.com and considering they're pretty major at search, I'm guessing that they'll prowl the internet for the best of the best and then present it to you in one neat little package. The best part about Boutiques.com is that it has gotten some pretty stylish celebs (Carey Mulligan, Rashida Jones, The Olsens) to curate their own "boutiques" full of the items they're most likely the purchase. It's like taking a super sneak peek into their closets and seeing everything you're not really supposed to. Definitely bookmark this page, it's probably just going to get better with age and time. I spy some pretty cute clothes that Carey Mulligan's been crushing on and it's giving me endless ideas!

(photo: courtesy of Boutiques.com)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Cutoff shorts + Tights

I've always been kind of terrified of jean cutoffs. First off, they're shorts, and it just seems like a bit too much leg for me. But seeing as it's cooling down, paired with a thick pair of knits or tights, they just may be actually wearable. They're definitely more relaxed than a skirt, and for those who thought their shorts were out of rotation until Spring, think again. I think a great charcoal or heather grey knit tight looks awesome when paired with a a lighter denim. Not only does it keep you warm, but it elongates your legs and makes you look so cute. I've seen this look for a while now and think ballet flats would look chic during the day and some booties or wedges would look fierce at night. Dress it up with a pretty blouse and you're good to go. Just another way to extend the life of your wardrobe and stay stylish even when you think all you can wear are shapeless sweaters and sweats. I know, totally guilty. 

(photo: courtesy of Mr. Newton)

An Unexpected Nail Color

Yes, winter's most talked about nail shades are all deep, dark, and ominous. They're splattered with shimmer and confetti for the holidays and just downright dark for the rest of the time. I love me a dark nail but the other day, I caught myself still dreaming about that bright poppy orange lipstick that the J. Crew models were wearing (for those wondering, it was Nars in Funny Face). Clearly, I can't seem to get the refreshing color out of my mind. Since I'm not likely to really wear the color any other way (though a bright cardi could work), I am thinking a new nail color does the trick. This weekend I opted for Essie's Geranium. Sure, it's usually a summertime hue, but paired against my new black jacket and dark dreary winter ensembles, it's such a refreshing change of pace. Highly recommended if only because it's unexpected and different than what everyone else is doing. 

(photo: courtesy of Refinery29)

Interpreting Trends the Right Way

I've always had very mixed feelings about Vogue. Sure, I flip through it while getting a pedi because the eye candy is just that good. BUT, that said, it can be oh-so-unrelatable for young women like me. I'll give them an A for effort for including H&M and picks from Topshop into the mix. But it's still chock full of things that no one could ever afford on an average day and fashions that are a bit too "Forward" to ever really pull of. So what's a girl to do? Well, Vogue.com has started a new feature that I happen to love. It acknowledges that so much of what comes down the runway is just unwearable the way it is. Their answer? You've got to tweak it to make it your own. Split up the head-to-toe looks. Pair bold tops with jeans. Wear a killer dress with converse. You get the drift. So the latest is how to transform the punk look (which can be a bit much) into something that you actually can wear. How to incorporate what you see and love in a way that still stays true to your style. I think the easy solution is that you've got to pick it apart. Take one aspect of a look you like and start off by using just that in your look. A great studded jacket with the pants you already wear daily. Or a cool tartan plaid worn with a simple white tee. Make it your own but do it gradually, that way you'll still be stylish--but true to you.

(photo: courtesy of Vogue)

Monday, November 15, 2010

A New Silhouette: High-waisted Jeans

I've become pretty comfortable in my standard uniform. Some brand of skinny jeans (Gap are my new fave), and some sort of button-down or billowy blouse. The looser the better. I'm comfortable, the skinny bottoms give me at least some shape, and I think it looks pretty damn cute. Plus, bottom line (and most importantly), it works for me. But I'm smart enough to know that a fitted blouse will not work with those skinny jeans. As much as I may love them, it's a bit too much tightness. So what to do with all the blouses and shirts that aren't so blousy in my closet? I'm considering a new alternative to my current safe silhouette. I'm going to try out high-waisted flare jeans instead of my skinnies, and wear those other tops tucked in to accentuate the denim's higher rise. Instead of complaining about what I don't like about my body, I am going to say that I do like how a pair of high-rise flares make me look long (especially with a pair of towering heels). They even make my waist look way smaller than it actually is by tucking a shirt in and accentuating it. It's something that I am def not used to but am going to try anyway. After all it's time for a change and I'm ready for something new to make me feel good.

(photo: courtesy of Shopbop)

Lovin' Le Fashion

I always think I know so much and then I come across something that makes me realize I don't know anything at all. The best part though is that I'm learning it right along with you! This weekend I followed a link from one friend's blog to Le Fashion, a cool girl's guide to everything stylish. She's a bit more bad ass than I am, so I love her clothing picks and live vicariously when I resort to my conservative uniform of button downs and skinny jeans. Not only does she post pics of high fashion spreads but she infuses her own kind of edgy style into the things she decides to write about. I think this is why I love blogs so much (and especially hers). Anyone can have a blog about fashion (ain't that the truth?). But what makes them all worth reading is that each person's unique sense of style shapes the way each blog is written and read. Mine may be a bit less serious than Le Fashion's but I hope you all get the same inspiration that I get from these savvy ladies.

(photo: courtesy of Le Fashion)

Easy Gift Giving Ideas

Now that the holidays are upon us, I'm trying to figure out some ways to kill a few birds with one stone. The easier the errand running, the quicker the trip, the better. I think this year's foolproof gift choice will be a coffee table book. I mean are you really that surprised? I just think they're so chic and flipping through them gives me so many ideas on a regular basis. I can flip through that same Sartorialist book day after day and find news ideas each time. So Amazon aside, there are some cute places where you can get some chic books and other miscellany. I happened into Anthropologie over the weekend, a store I used to LOVE but hadn't been into in years. They've scattered some of their favorite books around the store and each one is more stylish than the next. (Plus I got a gorge ikat porcelain bowl that I'm storing my bracelets in!) Topped with a beautiful bow and it makes the perfect gift for the girl who has everything. I got some books for my birthday this year and they're proudly displayed on my bookshelf. A great idea for an easy holiday--and inspired--holiday season.

(photo: courtesy of Apartment Therapy)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Coating up in Theory

Ok, the cat's out of the bag. The shopping hiatus is officially over. Maybe it was this Indian summer, but I wasn't quite feeling "fall-y" enough. I was feeling like I needed a new jacket or at least something to give me just the faintest feeling like fall may actually be here. (Plus there have been way too many nights out with friends where I felt like everyone else looked way cuter than I did.) As much as I wanted a crazy-cool leather bomber jacket, I knew that it just wasn't me. And what's the point of spending money on something you know you're not going to wear (or feel comfortable in)? So I stuck with the silhouette I feel best in: the blazer. This mixed-material version updates my favorite over-worn black blazer with leather sleeves and a wool bodice. Plus it's just sharp enough to make it stand out from the crowd. The best part? The black color and classic materials means I'll be wearing it for years to come. Mission accomplished and I'm one step closer to cooler climes. Now if only the weather would cooperate!

(photo: courtesy of Neiman Marcus)