Monday, November 30th 2009

Haute for the Holidays: Dolce Vita & Myne

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With a spate of holiday parties on the way, not to mention a long list of gifts to buy for friends and family, I’m looking for a holiday ensemble that’s as easy on the wallet as it is on the eyes. I’ve already taken a couple spins through the Shopbop sale section, but I keep coming back to two covetable yet affordable brands: Myne and Dolce Vita.

A few chic pieces that’ll make sure I won’t give short shrift to gifts? Myne’s Annie Dress (pictured) is vibrant against patterned black tights and a metallic clutch (see our jewel tone lookbook for inspiration on wearing bold shades), and the open back on the Riley Dress (also pictured) ensure I’ll be wearing it on nights out long after the holidays have come and gone. On the other hand, I could forget about frocks and pair this festive metallic skirt with an embellished tank, or dip into disco fashion with a silk jumpsuit and shoulder-grazing earrings.

Whichever party look I choose, Dolce Vita shoes are the perfect punctuation mark. From edgy chain booties to classic-meets-modern studded heels to elegantly draped suede booties, a new pair might be the guilt-free gift I end up giving to myself.

--Tonya
Shopbop

Monday, November 30th 2009

First Fashion: Post Thanksgiving Comfort Clothes

Over the long holiday weekend, I basically ate my weight in turkey and pumpkin pie, which means for the next few days I’ll be steering clear of anything that could be described as body-con. But rather than resort to sweats, I’ll keep it chic (and forgivingly comfy) with jersey.

A classic in the making, this looks like a shirtdress but feels like your favorite tee. Patterson J. Kincaid - Long Sleeve LA Belted Zip Dress

The city-cool side of comfort, this tank has edgy urbanite written all over it. Vince - Degrade Burnout Tank

The chic answer to sweatpants, I’ll pair these soft bottoms with an oversized tee and cardigan for effortless chic with a dollop of cozy. Marc by Marc Jacobs - Leggings with Side Studs

Settle in to cyber Monday and find a few new ways to use our GIFT4U code (ends tonight!) in What’s New.

--Amie

Friday, November 27th 2009

Shopbop Black Friday Sale! Save Up to $225

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Maybe you’re at work today (like me), or had your fill of humanity yesterday at Thanksgiving. Whatever your reason for steering clear of the Black Friday crush, you can still get in on the holiday shopping-n-saving fun (without fending off the masses) thanks to our Shopbop promo code. The details? Spend $300 and get $50 off, spend $500 and get $100 off, spend $700 and get $150 off, and spend $1000+ and get a whopping $225 off. Just enter code GIFT4U at checkout.

Perhaps you’re thinking: “Surely the code can’t include Shopbop sale items.” Oh yes it does. And, since I’m pretty much constantly on the site, allow me to direct your attention to some designer sale highlights. Definitely put CFDA darlings Diane von Furstenberg sale, Alexander Wang sale, and Marc by Marc Jacobs sale on your bargain hunting itinerary, and check out Alice + Olivia sale for NYE dress contenders. And don’t forget denim: shop boot-cuts and boyfriends in the 7 For All Mankind sale section, then find knits and tops to go with them in Juicy Couture sale. (You know Juicy's not just about velour anymore, right? If not, you owe it to yourself to revisit this line.) Happy Black Friday!

--Maureen

Thursday, November 26th 2009

Turkey Comas, Football & Family Obligation

We’re taking a little break to visit our family (Grandma’s been laying the why-don’t-you-visit guilt trip on thick), eat some turkey, and watch some football, dear readers, and while we know you’ll miss our clever fashion insights (at least that’s what we tell ourselves), console yourselves with a dip into our archives. A few recent favorites you may have missed:

* We talked to some of our favorite female bloggers, including Garance Doré, Jane from Sea of Shoes, and Emily from Cupcakes and Cashmere. Read all the Q&As here.
* Ever wonder what the story is behind our trends? Fashion Director Kate lets you in on what inspired our winter trends, and Senior Stylist Morgan offers tips on how to wear them.
* Speaking of inside Shopbop, Kate answers some burning Qs about our first short film.
* The hottest holiday accessories? Elle Senior Accessories Editor Kyle Anderson picks his favorites.
* In the world of how-to’s, Morgan offers tips on how to wear the tuxedo trend, and Maureen has a few ideas for styling dramatic vests.
* Vintage sunnies guarantee you’ll have a totally unique pair. Suzanne talked to Retrosun founder Nicole Miller about her delectable collection of vintage shades.
* From NYC to Boston to the Roaring ’20s. Joyann hit Beantown for a Bootleggers and Babes party.

Wednesday, November 25th 2009

Fashion Investments Elevate Everyday Essentials

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We all love a fashion bargain (my current fave is an abstract-print Patterson J. Kincaid dress that someone mistook for Marni), but I would argue that a serious investment from an award-winning designer is something that brings your appreciation of fashion to a whole new level. Truly great design is timeless and, like a blue-chip stock, holds its value over the years, but what’s more, supporting artisanal clothing lines enables fashion talents to keep making beautiful things, a hard fact I hadn’t given much consideration until I saw Seamless. Previously I assumed that once the CFDA waved its magic wand over a designer’s head he or she lived in the lap of luxury, or at least comfortably in a floor-though loft or four-story brownstone. Apparently not. This documentary shows one top designer toiling away in the basement of her parents’ dry cleaning business. But I digress. Suffice to say, it’s a must-see.

Still, I appreciate all too well how pesky financial realities like grad school loans and car payments can keep even the most passionate fashion connoisseur from filling her closet with Kimberly Ovitz and Giuseppe Zanotti. So how do those of us without a trust fund or a Goldman Sachs bonus at our disposal do it? Limit yourself to two love-at-first-sight splurges a season. (In case you’re curious, my big ticket items were a Thakoon Addition dress and a Mulberry bag. And I may be hitting Santa up for a Herve Leger.) Distinctive but never gimmicky, these pedigreed pieces have the power to elevate the more pedestrian basics that make up the majority of most of our wardrobes. Python Sergio Rossi sandals bring instant fashion cred to a basic tee and baggy trousers, while Balmain gladiators make Monrow sweatpants worthy of Paris Fashion Week.

(See more ways to mix fashion’s blue-chip investments with affordable pieces in our Go High/Low lookbook.)

--Maureen

Wednesday, November 25th 2009

First Fashion: Wearing the Resort Collections Now

The resort collections have started to trickle into Shopbop, and as is the case every year, they’ve set me thinking more about spring-wear and less about the (very necessary) cozy duds of fall/winter. So today, I’ve found a look I can wear right now, comprised entirely of the latest resort offerings.

I’ll start with a bright, vintage-inflected print mini dress from Nanette Lepore. (On a side note, have you checked out her Oonagh by Nanette Lepore line? Charming.) Nanette Lepore - Sandy Beach Dress

Layered on top of that, a buttery-soft, ultra-luxe Chris Benz leather jacket. This is a classic for the ages to be sure. Chris Benz - Sunrise Leather Jacket

And I’ll finish off the look with some tights and these suede booties. The closed toe and cutouts mean I won’t freeze now, nor roast when the temperature rises. Pelle Moda - Tammie Lace Up Suede Booties

Forget that we’re entering the year’s darkest months and let the sun shine on your wardrobe, with resort finds in What’s New.

--Amie

Tuesday, November 24th 2009

How to Be Geek Chic

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There are It girls and then there are anti-It girls. The second variety is arguably more interesting. They’re the cerebral, wry, quirky types, the Ellen Pages, Zooey Deschanels, Chloë Sevignys, and other indie heroines of the world who possess an enviable knack for mixed prints, bold color combos, and eccentric accessories. Here’s how to crib their geek-chic panache.   

Statement Tees
Ripped jeans and graphic tees are the foundation of this style. A well-rounded collection should consist of a few vintage concert T-shirts, an edgy sass & bide specimen, and something that expresses a subversive wit. Sauce clothing and Marc by Marc Jacobs have you covered when it comes to clever crew-necks: try Sauce’s Skeleton Tunic, Heart Eyes Tank, or Marc’s You Set Me on Fire Tee under a tattered cardigan.

Funky Sunnies
Where would geeks be without their fabulous eyewear? This is a prime opportunity to play with unique color and a retro silhouette: a round, ivory pair of Chloé Sunglasses or a rad ’80s print on the underside of a classic pair of Ray-Ban Wayfarers, for example.

Outré Accessories
While a geek-chic how-to article on Wikihow.com suggests “a Star Wars light saber clipped on your jeans” as a creative bling option, at Shopbop we feel you can do better than Yoda for your accessories designer. Jewelry designer Karen Walker cooks up delicious sci-fi whimsy with her line of robot necklaces, and Marc Jacobs embraces woodland creatures with his line of rings and watch necklaces. Finish the look with the pop of a strawberry-hued leopard clutch and ballet flats in electric blue suede.

--Suzanne

Tuesday, November 24th 2009

First Fashion: Holiday Ornaments

Holiday party season is the time to break out the big baubles, and today’s What’s New is a veritable treasure trove of possibilities.
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Hand-carved lucite discs and finely wrought ivy details make this attention-getting necklace from Shopbop newcomer Alexis Bittar more art than accessory. Frame it with a strapless frock. Alexis Bittar – Ivy Bib Necklace

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I love the look of knuckle rings, but they aren’t exactly everyday wearable. (Like heavy bangles, they’re a little unwieldy if, like me, you spend your day typing.) But the delicate, earthy feather on this ring would beautifully complement a romantic maxi dress, and it’s edgy enough for an average night out. Elizabeth and James – Feather Across the Hand Ring

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Fallon Jewelry must have had New Year’s in mind when it named these the Crystal Ball Drop Earrings. Just the adornment to wear with an LBD during the countdown. Fallon Jewelry – Crystal Ball Drop Earrings

Deck your ensemble with boughs of bijoux from What’s New.

--Tonya

Monday, November 23rd 2009

Winter Must-Have: Velvet Jackets

Though the jacket story of the year has been the boyfriend blazer, the onset of winter is seeing a new top layer coming to the forefront: the velvet jacket. Miles away from the buttoned-up look of, say, a Masterpiece Theater host or the comfy-casual feel of Juicy Couture velour, the latest styles borrow from the swanky swagger of Hugh Hefner in his heyday, with a feminine, city-cool update.

Adding a tactile taste to the season’s go-to slouchy tee and distressed jeans, Elizabeth and James’s Loveworn blazer is effortlessness with a plush edge. The Leyendecker Motley jacket’s rich hue only adds to the natural decadence of velvet. Take it out on the town with a body-con tank, layered chain necklaces, and leather pants. Gryphon’s smoking jacket comes in fashion’s current color obsession, grey, and while it works with the daytime look, this one lends a unique sense of luxury to a strapless mini dress and heels—a perfect holiday party ensemble.

The options are endless this season (see also Alexander Wang’s velvet vest and motorcycle jacket), and the look is totally new. How will you wear velvet this winter?

--Amie
Shopbop

Monday, November 23rd 2009

First Fashion: Cut It Out

When it comes to art and fashion, a little negative space can make a major impact. The cutout trend shows no signs of slowing down, as designers get more and more creative with what exactly to reveal—elbows, hourglass curves, dangerously low backs—and these unique slicings.
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If we were to start a “drop-dead” sub-category in our dresses assortment, this would make a fine specimen. It’s got a brazen back zip and feverish cutouts, but the strong shoulders catapult it to another level. camilla and marc - Caralette Dress

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METALSKIN practically wrote the rock chick’s accessories bible. Thou shall stack this perforated wrap bracelet with snakeskin and patent leather styles. METALSKIN – Perforated Pewter Wrap Bracelet

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Yay for sooties! (A fun hybrid of sandals and booties.) This design also warrants a new fashion mash-up: casual-chic crossed with killer cutouts. Cocobelle - Safari Thong Sandals with Cutout Cuff

Make your style a cut above the rest with fresh looks from What’s New.

--Suzanne
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