Wednesday, July 15th 2009

buttoned-down style


Lately, Fashion Forwards have been giving a lot of love to their boyfriends (at least in the sartorial sense). The androgynous sensibility that has let our wardrobes relax with boyfriend jeans, shorts, and blazers now offers up another masculine-meets-feminine iteration: the boyfriend shirt. But how to wear it without looking like one of the guys? Balance the volume on top with something fitted below.

A pic of Rihanna on Who What Wear caught my eye for how she works an oversized shirt into a decidedly body-con ensemble: she layers a sheer button-down over a bright tank, and tucks it into a pair of cutoff shorts. This sexy-not-sloppy look can be achieved with a white Elizabeth and James shirt or an off-shoulder Alexander Wang button-down layered over a bright bra. Also, in this pic, shopbop stylist Natalie shows us how to work a plaid bf shirt with cutoffs while avoiding the just-off-the-farm look (hint: it involves a tailored blazer and statement jewelry).

If you’re the type of gal (like me) who gravitates towards waist-defining styles, cinch a bf shirt with a belt – wide or skinny – and pair with leggings. (Agyness Deyn has inspired me to throw a tough moto jacket over the whole ensemble.) And for a tomboyish counterpoint to a skin-baring bikini, throw on an unbuttoned bf shirt and flat sandals for a day at the beach – try something in nautical navy, like this style by Rag & Bone.

Shopbop Shoptalk

Tuesday, July 14th 2009

Never Underestimate the Power of Accessories


It’s an ongoing challenge to make a closet full of cookie-cutter summer basics (jersey dresses have become my mainstay) look cutting-edge. That’s why this article from last Sunday’s NYT about Sheena Matheiken—founder of the Uniform Project, “which involves wearing the same dress every day for a year, and seeing just how aesthetically creative she could be despite that limitation”—was particularly inspiring. Perusing Matheiken’s myriad variations on a little black dress put me back in touch with the simple fact that style is about creativity, not quantity.

In her quest to personalize this basic piece, Matheiken makes good use of vests, layered necklaces, bright handbags, and artsy scarves, and I followed suit. Switching out my usual clutch for a slouchy hobo and adding stacked bracelets made my go-to James Perse maxi dress feel new, while a bright blue Jerome Dreyfuss bag (definitely splurge-worthy) and a skinny belt gave a simple tank style some street cred. Lesson learned? (Again.) Rarely is it about the clothes themselves, but rather, it’s how they’re put together.

Want to see more inspired accessorizing? Check out our Blank Canvas feature, where we style a simple tank dress 5 ways.

Monday, July 13th 2009

iron maiden: jewelry as beautifully wicked body armor

Jewelry_blog_07_13_09 (2)

I was perusing Couture Week snaps on Pipeline the other day when the intensity of the Givenchy jewelry nearly caused my PC to crash. Lethally spiked rings and cuffs recalling medieval torture devices somehow meshed seamlessly with the show’s Matrix-by-way-of-Morocco theme. The adornments on this catwalk were a bit over-the-top for the sidewalk, but slightly less brutal versions of the industrial, body armor look are all the rage, giving new meaning to building a jewelry arsenal.

Dynamic doesn’t even scratch the surface when it comes to describing Fallon Jewelry. The forceful Slater Mixed Choker (pictured) has all the makings of an ultimate tangled necklace: heavy-duty mixed chains, dripping fringe, and a few polite crystal strands thrown in for a feminine touch. The Mixed Deadly Pearls Necklace also plays up the pretty/sinister paradox, fusing ladylike pearls and crystals with enslaving chains and faux barbwire. Either would be electric with a body-con strapless dress.

Here’s a haute Molotov cocktail: B&W striped jersey top + destroyed black jeans + the Givenchy Platform Cuff Sandals + a Giles & Brother and/or DANNIJO cuff. For a more modest expression of heavy metal angst, incorporate the flutter by Jill Golden Odeon Ring (pictured) or the Made Her Think Knuckle Buster Ring into your repertoire.


Friday, July 10th 2009

Fall Shoes to Start Wearing Now


It’s a fashion conundrum many of us face come this time of year: we’re dying to start working some fall into our look, but don’t want to seem like we’ve lost touch with the reality that it’s still summer outside. How to be weather-appropriate and get your next-season fix? Bring some fall shoes into the mix.

With their sandal-like appearance, peep-toe and cutout booties from the likes of Sergio Rossi and Sigerson Morrison are poised to be the heirs-apparent to everyone’s beloved gladiator sandals. (I’ve had gladiators from Tory Burch shoes and Dolce Vita shoes in heavy rotation for two months straight: they definitely deserve a break.) The bootie’s summery-yet-substantive look is great now with little frocks and boyfriend shorts, and later with all those leggings and leather pants I’ve started bookmarking.

I’m not bold enough to start wearing next season’s big boots story, over-the-knee, just yet, but broken-in styles from Frye are a great way to give easy jersey dresses some edge. Just throw on a cardigan and you’ve got a look that feels pulled-together, not pedestrian.

And speaking of looks: got a great one going? Enter the Most Fashionable Fan contest on shopbop’s Facebook page and you could win a $500 gift certificate.

Shopbop Shoptalk

Friday, July 10th 2009

first fashion

Our Favorites from What's New
Now is a great time to assess the inventory in your closet. Trust me, you want to start planning your fall needs now, or risk those lust-worthy boots being sold out in your size come September.

Speaking of boots, a new pair (or three) is at the top of my shopping list. What’s sizzlin’ for fall? Over-the-knee boots, distressed flat boots, and suede peep-toe booties like these. Boutique 9 – Dorie Wrap Slouch Booties


You can never have too many scarves. Heck, at the shopbop offices, you’d think they were part of the company dress code. They magically make a basic top exponentially more chic, and at 2 for $120, this classic Love Quotes style practically demands to be bought in multiples. Love Quotes – Hand Knotted Fringe Scarf


Serious fashion collectors will want to have something—anything—from Alexander Wang’s fall line. I say “collector” because this wunderkind is quickly becoming one of our generation’s most influential designers. My little slice of fashion history? This body-con, man-eating frock. Alexander Wang – Long Sleeve Goddess Dress

Motorcycle jacket, entangled necklace, tie-dye denim. Find your closet’s latest crushes in What’s New.


Thursday, July 9th 2009

get yours now! alexander wang handbags have arrived

Think back to more innocent times, specifically childhood: the night before Christmas/your birthday/some major event that had you lying in your bed tingly with excitement. Now imagine that sensation spanning five long months. It’s a feeling that’s been in the air of the shopbop offices ever since accessories buyer Kassidy brought back photos of the fall Alexander Wang handbags in February. And this week, the tension finally broke.

These bags are more than leather to be stuffed with everyday necessities and slung over a shoulder. They’re a phenomenon. The Coco Duffel Kassidy mentioned in her Fashion Week report, the one spotted on Mary-Kate Olsen long before we mere fashion mortals could get our hands on it? Sold out. In a day. Sorry to dangle that in front of your nose only to snatch it away, ladies, but you see my point. These are bigger than It bags. They’re carry-for-the-rest-of-your-life-and-love-it bags.

So pick your buttery-soft, brilliantly designed, absolutely undeniable poison while it’s still there for the choosing. I, for one, will make short order of deciding between the Eniko Gunny Sack, Jess Small Tote, and Donna Hobo (I especially love it in the black denim leather). Or maybe it’ll be the Dorothy Shopper (the last time it was in it sold out before I could nab it, and I spent the weeks following daydreaming about it).

Am I overdramatizing the urgency here? Maybe, but I think these beautiful creations are worth the commotion.


Wednesday, July 8th 2009

a fashion tribute to mj – r.i.p.

The Latest by Kate, Fashion Director

I have a very vivid memory of being two, lying on the living room floor and looking at my parents’ records. I LOVED Michael Jackson and was so enamored with the Thriller album. I guess because adorable MJ was hanging out with a baby tiger?! Who knows. But like many, I have loved—and I mean LOVED—Michael's music from as young as I can remember. His songs have a potency that inevitably leads to letting loose, dancing, and just having fun.

As fashion loops back around to elements of the ’80s (get ready for fierce shoulders, girls, they’re coming), images of Michael Jackson’s sensational stage costumes pop in my mind. What's not to love about taking an amazing musical talent and enhancing it with badass style? A few pieces he would no doubt have loved, and that you could be rocking too!

* Brian Reyes Gaucho Jacket
* Current/Elliott Sleeveless Snap Jacket
* Robert Rodriguez Sequin Jacket
* Alexander Wang Velvet & Leather Jacket

Also check out:
* Alice + Olivia Sequin Leggings
* Diane von Furstenberg River Suede Jacket
* Pour La Victoure Charlie Oxford Flats
* See by Chloé Hooded Leather Vest


Wednesday, July 8th 2009

express yourself: cheeky accessories make for a memorable statement

Even the most hardcore fashionistas need a good sense of humor injected into their style every once in a while. Fashion should be fun after all, and these quirky, clever, and wry-witted accessories come loaded with cheeky charm.

Judging from the ’Stache Bash photos on the American Mustache Institute website, accessorize with a mustache and you’re instantly the life of the party. Although the Dalí (Salvador) and the Waters (John) are tempting stick-on ’stache silhouettes, I prefer these tiny Giles & Brother earrings.


Cupcakes, Cash, Cocktails, and Carats: a girl’s gotta have her priorities. Designer Jessica Kagan Cushman has made a name for herself translating pop culture expressions into wearable art. Pair the 4 Cs Crest Tote with her Skull Cuff and you’re ready to Conquer.


Rebecca Minkoff may be known for her structured handbags gilded with studs, but she’s recently come out with a line of leather pouches branded with priceless bons mots. The Trust Fund Pouch is a personal fave.


No study in accessory irreverence would be complete without a look at punk jewelry couturier TOM BINNS whose line caters to intelligentsia with a penchant for sparkle and the Sex Pistols. Safety pins, skulls, zippers, and f*#$ the establishment bravado mingled with fine crystals are collection trademarks. Bring a dose of nonconformist ’80s glam to a prim LBD via the Dumont Neon Bracelet.


Tuesday, July 7th 2009

The U.S. Open—And It’s Pronounced “BOW-GEE” Not “BOOGIE”

News from Our NY Editor at Large

Hi dolls, I have been practicing my golf clap since the last time we spoke, and I’m convinced there is nothing more elegant than the game of golf. To be honest, I have never shown any interest in the game. In fact, when my dad suggested I join the golf team in high school, I looked at him with horror, but leave it to my mom to suggest that a golf tournament could be a nice way to meet a boy. Enter the U.S. Open. Held in Bethpage, New York, a mere train ride away from Manhattan, I put on my khaki shorts (don’t worry, they were studded), left my cell phone at home (to our dismay they were not allowed), and headed to the greens with Marsha Welcher, the talented and adventurous designer of Thayer.

We had been planning our outfits weeks in advance, but our ideas quickly became bigger than the event—long, flowing white dress, denim romper, harem pants and backless tank. We were politely reminded that maybe, just maybe, we should tone it down—this is a sporting event after all, not a runway show. We were escorted by my parents and spent the entire train ride becoming quick studies in the language and players (the young, good-looking ones, to be exact). I got a big laugh from the man behind me when I asked innocently, “What is a Bogey?” It’s pronounced “BOW-GEE” and I said “BOOGIE.” Oops. Marsha, the consummate researcher, made us a study guide of the top ten players to know, and according to the rest of the travelers on our train she got an A-plus for effort!

Tuesday, July 7th 2009

jackets: an instant wardrobe update


I’m always looking to get more mileage out of my wardrobe. I love to mix and match the contents of my closet to find new ideas, and to figure out just what it’s lacking. The discovery from one of my latest sessions? I need to stop looking for that one jacket that goes with everything, and embrace the countless looks that different jackets can offer. A wardrobe gets an instant breath of fresh air (and easily transitions into cooler weather) with three easy pieces.

1) Try a Tailored Blazer
The blazer just might win the title of wardrobe MVP: it finesses a tee and jeans, lends a classic counterbalance to trends like destroyed slouchy skinnies or harem pants, gives personality to a night-out dress, and of course, impresses at that job interview or power lunch. Also, blazers in seersucker, pastels, navy, or stripes (like styles from Elizabeth and James) prep-up a summer look.

2) Let Loose with Leather
Leather isn’t just for for tough girls anymore. A light leather jacket is feminine and polished paired with mixed neutrals and gold accessories, and that favorite ruffled party dress gets the punk treatment paired with a black moto style.

3) Don a Denim Jacket
This may sound like a daunting prospect if you tend to wear jeans or cutoff shorts on a daily basis (I do), but denim jackets are doable if you keep these rules in mind: make sure each piece is a different wash, and balance a distressed jacket with clean-lined jeans, or vice versa. The result is a casual, tomboyish look (especially paired with boyfriend shorts), but modern details like studs (as in the above style by Pencey) and updated hoodie silhouettes (like this one from Mike & Chris) keep this look from mirroring the one you sported back in grade school.


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