Thursday, December 30, 2010

From Another Time

It's as if she took a look at a pic from the 20's or 30's and decided to see what she could do with what she owned and recreate the look for herself. I mean how cool is that? There's something so retro and old school about her look but then again she makes it totally modern. She doesn't look like she's playing dress up, but it looks like it's completely her own style (something to strive for). Love the layered look, the maxi skirt, the coverage and the hint of skin through her chiffon skirt. It's all perfect. Strive for a time that's a stretch and look what you can come up with. Totally inspired style.

(photo: courtesy of The Coveted)

Totally Inspiring Gal

One of my fave things to do is learn about cool new people (who were completely beyond my radar) who have the coolest style and become the biggest inspiration. Watch this vid to see this uber-cool gal (and a journalist no less) talk about her style secrets and her experiences in the biz. Maybe it's because she's a writer too but I find it so cool to get an inside look at her and my god, look at all those rings! Too cool.

(photo: courtesy of StyleLikeU)

Bundling Up

Ok, I know this isn't exactly new news, but looking at this pic of a bundled up young lady (ready for the snow perhaps) and I remembered how important the right proportions are. I strangely have fallen in love with my American Apparel leggings over the past few weeks and it's important to remember that they really should only be worn with a certain kind of shirt (the longer the better). Seeing how it's done right is reminder enough of how cute it can look--even when you're wearing leggings. So as it goes, just like super skinny jeans), keep the tops looser and longer and the silhouette will make you slimmer every time.

(photo: courtesy of StyleCaster)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Against the Grain

Of course the saying goes that black is slimming, so every woman owns tons of black pants and dark (hopefully slenderizing) jeans. But red may just be wear it's at. It's not really too "pants on fire" and as my grandmother says, when you wear red it says "I'm here!". So taking a cue from possibly my new fave blogger, I'm thinking that a pair of cropped red jeans may be the perf bottom to all of my striped shirts, and I'm even thinking would pair quite well with some chambray. I literally would have never considered wearing it, but seeing it done (and done so well), it's making me re-consider, and want to try something new. Forget that old style rule, do something out of your comfort zone and you're sure to be an individual.

(photo: courtesy of Style Scrap Book)

Line to Watch: Pendleton

Last week I posted a pic of a Navajo-print jacket I found in a street style photo that I loved. Turns out it was from tres affordable line BB Dakota. Literally not even a day later I see tons of images of the jacket all over the web (let's call it a coincidence). And that's not the only case of this print making it big. Older generations prob think of Pendleton as that boring, 100+ year old brand that hasn't really got anything to offer. But coming off of an uber-successful collab with Opening Ceremony, they're launching another contemporary brand to pick up where that one left one. Think some of their signature navajo prints on jackets, dresses, and other unexpected designs. It looks totally fresh here paired with some leather and winter basics. Mark your calendars for Jan 2011 (um, next month) to see what's in store. Guaranteed to be fresh. 

(photo: courtesy of Mr. Newton)

Style Spotlight on Alexa Chung

You know how it goes. Celebrities are probably the least practical place to look at for style advice. Their budgets are bigger, their hemlines are shorter, and what they wear doesn't usually fit our lifestyles. But I'm going to give Alexa Chung a pass since I've been told she doesn't have a stylist and one of her fave past times is thrifting (which let's be honest, we could all use some guidance on). So watch on to see how this cool lady does it (and does it so well) and maybe pick up a tip or two for yourself along the way.

(photo: courtesy of

Monday, December 27, 2010

Are Polkadots the new Leopard?

This fall I kind of went crazy for leopard. I got a leopard purse, lusted after a leopard scarf, wear a leopard I really have to go on? I even love wearing it together, pairing different colored prints together. Mismatched=cool. But as much as I love my leopard, which clearly I do, I am starting to think that polkadots may be the new leopard. Like I've said before I love taking a peek at the outfit pics that Vogue posts of their fashionable editors. Of course I'm not saying that any of what they're wearing is accessible. But just because she's wearing Dolce & Gabbana head to toe doesn't mean that I can't get a spotted idea from her that I can interpret in my own way. Forget her big name designer label, I am going to see what vintage steals I can find that have a retro, polka-dotted feel to them. Maybe a chiffon button-down tucked into my high-waisted jeans or a polka dot scarf would be a great way to get myself accustomed to the trend. You heard it here first, i'm seeing spots.

(photo: courtesy of

A New Button Trick

Walking past the Petit Bateau store windows yesterday and I saw my favorite striped shirt embellished with big gold buttons on the sleeve. Now, since I know I've already maxed out my button trend, I thought it was a good idea but that I'd let it slide for the time being. That is until I came across this pic of a uber-stylish editor wearing a vest with deliberately mismatched buttons. Now, of course, I want to visit the button store again. Sure you can swap out the buttons for something more "you," or you can add buttons to a sleeve or lapel for a nautical or embellished look. But by adding mismatched buttons it gives it a vintage feel and makes it entirely your own. I happen to love the look and how authentic it looks. You can take the most generic or designer piece and make it entirely your own with just a quick stitch (or for me, trip to the tailor).

(photo: courtesy of

Helmut Lang goes Online

I've always kind of had a thing for Helmut Lang. As said, the brand "delivers downtown cool in dependably novel ways." So are you really that surprised that I'm obsessed? This year I may have eyed their shearling jacket that made its way into every single editorial, but I settled for a more wallet-friendly sweater coat number that has been getting its fair share of wear. Now that it's been announced that they've launched their own blog, I can keep up with their brand of downtown cool on a daily basis. They're like your cool, hip friend that you want to hang out with all the time but still think you're not cool enough. The best part is that Helmut Lang makes us feel like we're as cool as we want to be and they help us look the stylish part, too.

(photo: courtesy of Helmut Lang Journal)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Jewelry Line to Watch

So I figure at this point I'd be kind of remiss to not talk about the uber-cool gems from LA local designer Amanda Thomas. Her Luv AJ line has these dope two-finger rings with chunky stones and cool handmade detail like wire-wrapping and other things that remind you that each piece was lovingly hand made and totally unique to you. Major editors are atwitter (ha, get it) about the line and I'd thought it'd be a shame if you all didn't at least get to feast your eyes on what is undoubtedly going to be the next big thing. Paired with her equally bold layered necklaces, the look is nothing short of flawless fashion.

(photo: courtesy of Luv AJ)

Going Global (one look at a time)

I've always said that one of the easiest ways to find inspiration is to look to other cultures and the way they dress. They're stylish in ways we can't even imagine and simple people watching can give you so many ideas to incorporate into your own look. And apparently I'm not the only one with the same idea. This cool blogger who I just discovered made it her life's mission (well, at least for a year) to go around the globe and snap shots of people in different cities. It's like she's done all the work for us! The images speak for themselves and I'm sure there's at least one photo in there that will give you an idea or two--plus, it's always available to come back and reference when you're in a style rut (aka, every Monday).

(photo: courtesy of Pattern Recognition)

Street Style Inspiration of the Day

Now that I've been effectively lounging around Los Angeles, it's been getting kind of hard to get motivated to look cute. This street style pic may just do the trick though. Dressing for the confusing weather (sometimes cool, sometimes torrential, sometimes hot in the sun), this layered look gives me exactly what I need to stay comfy. I am very into this look though I'm not quite sure the hat is for me. I love the denim shirt sneaking out from underneath the cape, and the unexpected look of colored pants--let's call them persimmon. Pulled together with some wedge boots and she looks just about ready to brave the cold, stroll through a museum, or pick up some coffee--a day to night look I can certainly get behind.

(photo: courtesy of Late Afternoon)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Zoomin' in on Zadig & Voltaire

Of course I love finding pieces that set me apart, but come winter (and bundling up), I really do think that you can't get away without having at least a few staples in your closet. A wool or cashmere sweater is one of them and you can find one that suits your taste and shape and budget. I happen to love oversized cashmere v-necks that are kind of slouchy and beyond comfy. I know back in college I loved a cable-knit crewneck and still think they look pretty cute (just not on me). Stopping into French store Zadig & Voltaire (in NY and LA) and they have a great collection of knits that would satisfy anyone's needs. Stripes and pretty button details update these pulls as they're called and I kind of love them, great for collecting. Just try and walk into that store without wanting anything else. I seriously dare you.

(photo: courtesy of Zadig & Voltaire)

All Wrapped Up

In the spirit of Christmas (and me not blogging until next Monday), I'd thought I'd leave you with a sweet treat. Perusing a new blog fave, I came across this cute little idea to use when tying my scarf. Usually I wrap it up tight around my neck, but this is a fun little alternative to play with. I'm thinking it'll look best with one that's long and thin to hold the bow better. Try it out next time you wrap yourself up or just practice in front of the mirror. I love nothing more than stumbling across new, fun ideas. Totally inspiring!

(photo: courtesy of Chictopia)

A New Take on a Classic

So far this week I've worn by clunky biker boots every single day. Sure they're functional, but I kind of wish the had a little bit of pizazz (and yes, I really did just use that word). And of course, I'm not the only one with these exact boots. I've seen versions from Barneys and Easy Spirit and god knows how many in between. That's why I got slightly jealous when I saw these bejeweled updates. They have an amazingly worn in look to them and a some sweet jewels that look uber cool paired up against the rough boot. They have just the right amount of sparkle and would definitely set my look apart from the rest. I LOVE that these are so different than what everyone else is wearing. See, it just takes a little looking...

(photo: courtesy of Shoe Box)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Old Photo, New Ideas

So everyone loves a sexy librarian and I am pretty sure that even though this photo from Madewell is old, their way of satisfying the trend is still just right. They're the kind of store that I really love but never manage to put the items together in the same cute way that they can. This outfit is pulled together from a ton of separates (jumper, button-down, belt, tie, oversized nerd-chic glasses), and yet i am pretty sure that none of them would look quite as good if worn separately. Dying to recreate the look, even if it's not with Madewell clothes. I know I have a button-down or two (or ten) and a jumper probably hiding somewhere in my closet. I never would have considered belting it, but I like the look, particularly with a tie peeking out from underneath. It's a great alternative to how I usually wear those separates and giving me a ton of cool new ideas. Since it's bearing down on the end of the year it's a great time to revisit some of the old classics and photos that made you stop and take notice. Old or new, it can all be tres inspiring!

(photo: courtesy of Madewell)

What We Learned from Pre-Fall

Now that the pre-fall collections have come and gone--and we wait with baited breath for the fall '11 presentations in the beginning of Feb--I think it's time to take a moment to see what we all learned. Now, as a disclaimer, just because we learned something doesn't mean you have to do it or wear it. I like to think of it all as just a jumping off point from which you can adjust your own style and get inspired. Ok, now moving on...Camel was a HUGE color for fall, and that doesn't mean you shouldn't keep wearing it, but primary colors are WAY in and I am loving the pairing of two bold colors (pinks and oranges together, you get the drift). Skinny pant legs are gone and making way for boot cut trousers and flared-leg styles. Hallelujah. The list goes on but here are some of my fave photos that deliver the message of what we have in store. Take a look and get inspired--or start planning your outfits just like me!

(photos: courtesy of

All Weather Boots

So we all know I'm not exactly skilled at walking through snow or slick surfaces. That said, being a Cali girl, I don't exactly know how to combat winter's harsh elements. I know I need sturdy shoes, but is it too much to ask to look the least bit stylish, too? I am beyond over uggs (unless I am in the comfort of my own apt), and so I need a chic alternative that will keep me low and slow on the ice, and keep my little tootsies warm. I'm kind of crushing on these LL Bean alternatives. The shearling lining means I'll stay warm and the grooved sole means I hopefully won't slip and slide. I love the look of wellies but I also like that these are something different and will take me from rain to snow in one chic (and unfaltering) step.

(photo: courtesy of LL Bean)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Design Ideas from Dallas Shaw

I discovered her uber-cool sketches on Shopbop (obvi, that's where cool happens), and ever since I can't get her cutesy sketches out of my head. Doing a little more research on Dallas Shaw (let's call her Dilly) and I realize she's a totally established artiste who's sharing what she does best on Etsy (and on her blog). After pouring over her drawings, I've realized that  Dilly has just my sort of sensibility (aka, the adorable kind). Her sketches would make the perfect wall art for a whimsical gal like me and I think the contrast between a watercolor sketch and the other modern prints on my walls would be tres dramatic (and cool). Anyhoo, I'm crushing her and you should too. Just browsing her blog and dreaming of the pieces of art she's done that I wish were on my walls is giving me a TON of ideas, style and otherwise! 

(photo: courtesy of Dallas Shaw)

A Cool Cover-up Idea

As I listen to the pitter patter of raindrops, I literally feel like the only person who stayed back in LA over the holidays while everyone else is enjoying a tropical, beachside vacay. But, LA freeways aside, it doesn't mean I'm not dreaming about what I would wear if I stumble upon a white sandy stretch of beach. This poncho type thing brings to mind Dylan McKay in his summer storm era (any takers here?) and I love that Baja meets beach vibe. I'd pair this over a colorful bikini for a cover-up that would send all of those Juicy tube dresses packing. Seems pretty inspired to me.

(photo: courtesy of Tory Burch)

New Line to Watch: Flutter NYC

I know, I know. You're thinking, but Alexis, you're so loyal to J. Crew (and Fenton Fallon for that matter). But guys, here's the thing. There's plenty of room for everyone and the more bracelets you  layer on one wrist, the better (at least in my opinion). Enter this cool new line, Flutter NY, that was brought to my attention by some of my stylish friends in the Big Apple. This square shaped bracelet would look pretty rad piled high, I'm thinking three would be ideal. The shape is pretty unique and is different than a lot of what I already have (which is what I'm thinking to justify the purchase). Sure many of my friends may be showing their age with pretty engagement rings and simple eternity bands, but I think I may stay loyal to big, bad statement jewelry for a while longer.

(photo: courtesy of Fluttery NY)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Keepin' Warm: Navajo Style

I guess you've noticed that these posts have a "staying warm" theme which goes with the frigid temps in NYC and the torrential downpours in LA. Staying warm and staying stylish don't always go together though, which can put a bit of a damper on how you look and feel during the winter months. Back when I first started college I ignored convention and got a cool shearling jacket to wear instead of the boring black peacoats that everyone else had. It had this cool Penny Lane vibe to it and set me apart from everyone else. I got compliments everywhere I went and I convinced myself that I was that cool girl with the even cooler coat. Fast forward a few too many years later and I hate when I have to zip up my still boring black puffy jacket. I look exactly like everyone else. This patterned navajo-inspired jacket would certainly set you apart from the crowd, with a vibrant print that strangely goes with everything (I swear). You would certainly be the cool girl in a pattern like this and set yourself apart from the crowd in a way that anyone would envy.

(photo: courtesy of Refinery29)

Textured Tights

Seeing as the temperatures are officially hovering around freezing, everyone is using the holiday season as an excuse to break out their favorite tights. Except where I own 5 pairs of the same black super opaque ones, I am seeing more and more textured tights--and done quite well, I might add. Just today I saw some beautiful printed tights (from the Gap, no less) and this weekend was all about wool ribbed tights and even fishnets (which didn't look the least bit hookery). All of these patterns were beyond unexpected but made me feel utterly boring in my plain black pair. I think a texture is a fun variation to add to your look, particularly around the holidays when you're looking for a little something extra (and special). I even think those polka dot tights are pretty damn cute right now too with something uber-feminine. The texture looks best when paired against something simple, but dare I say, the more complex the pairing the better. Keep it interesting.

(photo: courtesy of Hue)

Hands Warm, Fingers Free

I think it's pretty impossible today to see a girl walking down the street without a blackberry, iphone or whatever the hell a droid is in her hand. But come winter--and snow--and freezing cold--it's next to impossible to stay in touch with all of those chunky mittens and gloves on. DKNY (the brills brainchild of Donna Karan) has just the thing. Their texting gloves are just about genius. They can keep you warm when you need them to, but with a quick little flip and a cute little button to keep the flap back, you can text away safely and soundly. It's a cutesy design that you won't know what you did without for so long--and an amazing last-minute gift idea.

(photo: courtesy of DKNY)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Making it Work from Urban Outfitters

Urban Outfitter is tough. For me, it's either totally hit or totally miss. I used to live and die by it in college but then i realized that so many of the pieces were too crappy to actually last more than a few wears. But browsing online (my favorite pasttime) and I came across something that looks a bit Oscar de la Renta (translations: tres expensive). This is perfectly fun and festive for the holidays. Instead of blinding red, this print is offset by a pretty turquoise and you could dress it down with a worn in brown belt.  I'd pair it with a jean jacket or leather motorcycle one to give the feminine shape a bit of a rough edge. Sure heels work, but booties or flat boots could look super cool too. With a dress like this, UO has def found a hit.

 (photo: courtesy of Urban Outfitters)

The Jacket as Dress Debate

I know what you're thinking. Isn't this look reserved for those women who wear a trenchcoat and only a trenchcoat with nothing underneath? Well, sure they may be famous for rocking the jacket-as-dress style of dressing, but I think there may be something to it. There are more and more dresses now that actually look like jackets (note the grey Rag & Bone below) and I think some of my fave oversized jackets could make it out with something as simple as a pair of dark tights and booties. It obviously depends on the length and the fabric (and for the love of god, do the sit-down test for safety), but I think if you're going out and you need a quick fix, this could do the trick. Peruse your closet for longer jackets and coats and see what you can come up with. I was certainly inspired by the rich burgundy parka imagined by L.A. designer Kelly Bergin.

 (photo: courtesy of Shopbop)

How to Wear It: All Black

Sometimes it's easy to fall into the habit of wearing black and only black all winter long. It's easy, it's flattering (or so they say), and it blends together in a way that lets you wear nearly the same thing day in and day out without anyone ever noticing. But I think there are a few traps to keep in mind so that when you're buried in black you don't look like a bag lady (which for the record, I dont necessarily think is a bad thing). If you're going go with black from head to toe I think it's important to show some skin or draw some attention to the shape of your body. Even if you're wrapped in layers up top, opt for a shorter skirt with black opaque tights that remind people you have legs. Floating around in a big, voluminous maxi skirt, cinch it with a black belt so that it draws attention to your waist. Do something to add definition and shape to what you're wearing and you'll be sure to stand out even if you were hoping to blend in.

 (photo: courtesy of Elle)