Tuesday, August 18th 2009

How to Wear Fall’s Favorite Jeans


No longer just something to wear on I-don’t-care days, jeans have come far from their workwear roots to become a staple, if not the main focus, of a fashionista’s wardrobe. With a unique ability to completely change up an outfit–witness how a white tee goes glam with dark-wash skinnies and gold jewelry, or edgy with a tangled necklace and distressed jeans–a pair of on-trend jeans goes a long way to freshen up a closetful of basics.

Nonetheless, it can be intimidating to step out of your denim comfort zone. (For those stuck in a boot-cut rut, check out Shopbop’s denim fit videos for tips on how to branch into new silhouettes.) I asked Shopbop Assistant Stylist Pa Lor to lend her sartorial savvy to our favorite fall denim trends, showing us how to make today’s most fashion-forward styles everyday-wearable.

Marbled Denim
Whether you call them marbled, bleached, or tie-dye, this sexy style was a celeb favorite this summer (spotted on the likes of Rihanna and Victoria Beckham), and will continue to scorch into fall. But how to don bold bleach? Pa says, “When wearing marbled denim, keep the look easy and casual. Throw on an oversized, stretched-out tee and add a sloppy tuck.” (For more tips on how to wear tie-dye jeans, check out this advice from Shopbop Senior Stylist Morgan.)

Moto Denim
The seams and quilted patches popular on leather jackets and moto boots lend their hard-as-nails sensibility to denim this season (see The Moto Skinny Jeans by Current/Elliott). How to wear these tough-edged jeans without going over the top? “With this edgy style, balance it with an unexpected touch of femme,” says Pa. “Girly ruffled blouses or silky camis complete the hard-meets-soft look.”

Faded Black Denim
Just as stylish as mixing feminine with masculine is mixing casual with dressy: “Worn-in, faded black jeans look great balanced with more classic pieces. Try a structured blazer for a polished twist.” I’ll take Pa’s advice by pairing these faded AG jeans with a tailored Elizabeth and James blazer.

Studded/Zipped Denim
Studs and zippers are elevating everything from booties to bags to baubles this fall, so it’s no wonder the trend has found its way to denim. “These embellished jeans are the perfect opportunity to have fun with layers of textures and patterns,” says Pa. “And if you’re bold enough to work with the jeans’ edgy details and go for the rocker look, throw a leather jacket on top.”


Tuesday, August 18th 2009

First Fashion: Shop by Style

I’m in love with Shopbop’s Shop Your Style section, but I’ve noticed that I tend to pigeonhole myself in the Classic category, repeatedly returning to its timeless selections when making my shopping decisions. Well, today I’m shaking off the shopping crutch and mixing myself a cocktail to match my personality: Classic and Casual Chic, with a splash of Girly.
I love that the boyfriend blazer is getting its time in the spotlight, but when something that’s this classic and perfectly suited to the feminine form comes around, I can’t help but shift my focus. Elizabeth and James - Edwardian Blazer
A lazy Saturday that starts with a trip to the farmer’s market and ends with splitting a bottle of wine with my BFF is my idea of a perfect day. This cozy-casual topper will take me from morning to night. Vince - Wrap Front Cashmere Sweater
When it comes to doing the girly look, I limit myself to small doses. This mingles a feminine print with a so-subtle ruffle without going over the top. Velvet - Fionna Dress
Mix a little Edgy with Bohemian, Girly with Classic to concoct a style that’s uniquely you, in What’s New.


Monday, August 17th 2009

Fall for Velvet

08_17_09_Velvet (2)

Most girls have this shared fashion memory: Christmas-red velvet dress, black patent Mary Janes, white tights, hair coiffed like a cherub, front tooth conspicuously absent. But velvet isn’t just for age-five holiday photo cards. Just like you, this fabric grew up, took an interest in designer catwalks, and started to explore its sexy side. And from adding another rich layer to Anna Sui’s boho goddess to offering a sumptuous new accent for Alexander Wang’s leather-clad man-eater, velvet’s got a feel for your personal style.
I asked Senior Stylist Morgan Wendelborn for her thoughts on making the look fashion-forward, and she promptly directed me to this pic: velvet leggings (along with velvet shoes and velvet motorcycle jackets) are one of the many unexpected ways designers are interpreting the tactile textile this season. Morgan suggested subtly working velvet in with lighter fabrics, like pairing lush leggings with a tuxedo-style button-down shirt. A slouchy T-shirt mixed with a velour miniskirt by Thayer (pictured) is a cool way to do casual-plush. And if you want to radiate like Diane von Furstenburg herself (and who doesn’t?), match her Wilma Joon Dress with semi-sheer tights—it’s what the designer wore while doing a victory dance on her fall ’09 runway.


Friday, August 14th 2009

Who What Wear: Celebrity and Runway Style for Real Life

Wwear2000010917In their first foray into print, the cofounders of WhoWhatWear.com, Hillary Kerr and Katherine Power, offer a condensed tome filled with solid fashion and beauty advice and insight. Who What Wear: Celebrity and Runway Style for Real Life takes Kerr and Power’s combined style know-how and distills it in a way that sheds light on an oft-elusive industry.

Particularly clever is Kerr and Power’s introduction of the “celebrity doppelganger” in chapter 2, “Not Every Trend is for Every Body.” Here, the duo breaks down body types in a digestible, recognizable way, pointing to favorite stars and encouraging readers to find their celebrity body double. Short and slim girls, for example, should take their style cues from Sienna Miller and Nicole Richie, while ladies with an athletic build might channel Jessica Biel and Cameron Diaz.

In chapter 3, “Runway to Real Way,” Kerr and Power teach the reader how to decode runway looks, outlining a five-step process that this writer has used to interpret and review many a runway. And, in the same chapter, they put the process to work, offering real-life looks inspired by runway shots.

There are tips on dressing for occasions (everything from plane travel to meeting the boyfriend’s parents to going out with the girls), how to play with the latest beauty trends, when to sideline a trend (when the mass-market chains start selling it, set it aside), and when/why to invest in fashion. Basically, in 160 pages Kerr and Power have managed to write the ultimate style handbook. And we’re not the only ones taking notice. Twitter is abuzz with posts from celebrities (Nicole Richie, Joel Madden, Lauren Conrad, to name a few), as well as less-famous fashion lovers.

The book is specific when it needs to be (using very tangible examples) and generic when it should be (speaking in general, yet always helpful terms), but most importantly, the Who What Wear book has succeeded in making the lofty world of fashion accessible.


Friday, August 14th 2009

How to Wear Fall’s Bold Shoulder

Admittedly, when I think strong shoulders, visions of Dynasty and Designing Women flash through my head. But, the trend has piqued my interested, so I solicited the input of Shopbop Fashion Director Kate Ciepluch to walk me through this favorite in fall avant-garde.

“The look was extremely prominent on the fall ’09 runways,” says Kate. “It exemplifies power dressing, an aesthetic that will make women feel chic and confident.”

Okay, so there’s definitely a little ’80s fashion in there, but the empowerment notion is a nice one. And, the pieces that have come through Shopbop look less linebacker, more quietly confident. Says Kate, “Yes, this trend is inspired by the ’80s, but it’s completely reinvented. Jackets are sleek with sharp shoulders. Dresses with strong shoulders are body-con—a direct contrast to the boxy silhouettes of twenty years ago.”

So how to wear the strong shoulders trend? “This look is severe, so keep it classic,” says Kate. “Pair your strong-shoulder blazers (like this one by Helmut Lang) with cropped skinny jeans. If you have a dress with detailed shoulders (like this or this by Rachel Roy), pick a pair of classic pumps (something with a subtle edge, like Barbara Bui, is a good choice). Just make sure you’re careful not to pile on the trends!”

The strong shoulder look is one worth wading into slowly. Dip your toe in with something less severe (the Hanii Y top pictured is a good start), and then get ready for sculptural wonders like this Alice + Olivia dress or this Wink jacket to arrive.


Friday, August 14th 2009

First Fashion: Loving Leather

Summer’s swell (I say with a mild burn on my always-pale skin), but my favorite season by a long shot is fall. The cashmere, the boots, the outerwear—everything is chicer (and, I wager, more comfortable) in fall temperatures. And then there’s leather. Cast aside for cooler fabrics in the scalding months, it proudly takes center stage when the mercury drops. Here are a few buttery pieces I’m looking to add to my wardrobe:
Quite possibly the perfect leather jacket, this has the proportions all right, and the color is some kind of gorgeousness. Madewell - Leather Biker Jacket
I’m crushing hard on the latest addition to Shopbop’s roster of designers. BE & D bags manage to be simultaneously luxe and practical. BE & D - Woodstock Hobo
All the cool I want from a bootie without the foot-flaying five-inch height. These will play well with our exclusive Elizabeth and James neon collection. Elizabeth and James - Stunt Draped Flat Booties
Show a different kind of skin with styles from What’s New.


Thursday, August 13th 2009

4 Hotties + 2 Dogs + 1 Duffel o’ Thayer + 1 Montauk Share = 1 Seriously Fashionable Weekend

News from Our NY Editor at Large

Summer’s in full swing and that means we New Yorkers are heading “east” for weekend escapes from the concrete jungle. And just like you saw in Sex and the City, we opt for share houses, where beds are questionable and you pray your weekend roommates aren’t serial killers. This year my crew (shopbop’s Kate, Thayer’s Marsha Welcher, and my little sister, Rachel) opted for the far east, the tip of Long Island, where flip-flops and beers are more prevalent than popped collars and vino: Montauk. A surfer’s paradise and a single girl’s dream, we packed up our pups and hit the highway while visions of beergaritas and freckle-faced tans danced in our heads.

It’s the first road trip for Vivian, the King Charles, and Luca, the Whippet!

Our share house was a pleasant surprise. Except for the blast-from-the-past ’80s decor, the whitewashed digs were right on Long Island Sound and boasted hammocks and sunsets to die for. We headed straight for Ditch Plains Beach, where surfboards outnumber sunbathers. Kate wore her favorite Nightcap Clothing vest for the perfect cover-up that covers up, well, nothing! And I rocked the Siwy cutoffs that I have been wearing to death all summer long! Thanks to several events happening at Montauk hotspots Sole East and Surf Lodge, the beach looked much like a Manhattan brunch spot chock-full of editors and fashionistas—just replace their skinny jeans and mimosas with bikinis and beer.

Thursday, August 13th 2009

First Fashion: Who What Wear Book

Move over Vogue, a new fashion bible is perched on my nightstand. The anticipated Who What Wear book has arrived at shopbop! One of my favorite chapters so far is “What to Wear Where,” a handy shop by occasion guide with pictures of head-to-toe outfits, advice for what to try, and tips on what to steer clear of. Basically, it’s a failsafe fashion cheat-sheet you whip out next time you’ve got a high school reunion or you’re not sure what’s appropriate dress for a creative vs. corporate job interview. Below, a few looks informed by Hillary and Katherine’s clever clothes-mindedness.

Art opening. An avant-garde top or artsy print is a must, just make sure it’s not too revealing (as the WWW girls point out, the blinding lights at a gallery hide nothing). Pair this Jackson Pollock-inflected cami with a fraying scarf, cropped jacket, grey skinnies, and sculptural heels. Son of John - Georgie Camisole


Meeting your BF’s parents. While we all know this is not the time for dominatrix platforms and leather pants, that doesn’t mean trying to be something you’re not. Err on the conservative side when it comes to neckline, hemline, and heel height without sacrificing your personal élan. This top is feminine yet fashion-forward with a pencil skirt, signature pendant, and flat boots. Loeffler Randall - Draped Side Blouse


Ladies’ lunch. When brunching Audrey Hepburn-style be sure to invite Milly. Try this vibrant sheath with vintage-inspired sunglasses and a textured clutch (extra-long cigarette holder optional). Milly – High Collar Dress

First date or black-tie fête, you’re covered in What’s New.


Wednesday, August 12th 2009

Fall’s Muse Is the Globetrotting Nomad


Some of the season’s biggest fashion trends can be traced back to a specific runway moment. Such is the case with fall’s eclectic, globetrotting nomad look, a trend we here at Shopbop have christened The Wanderer. Though this inspired mix of knits, prints, patterns, and layers was evident in a number of designers’ collections (Mara Hoffman among them), no one defined the trend quite so succinctly as fashion’s original bohemian glamour girl herself: Diane von Furstenberg.

Take your cues from DVF’s show at Bryant Park and pack your overly pulled-together Type A fashion personality away this fall. (Or at least give the impression you have.) The point here is to make it look like you threw together an outfit comprised solely of treasured pieces that fell out of your suitcase after a year-long sojourn around the world. Think print maxi dresses or paisley leggings paired with chunky intarsia sweaters and finished with suede boots and slouchy beanie hats. But that’s only meant to be an example. Indeed, to provide a prescription for this look is counterintuitive. Ultimately it’s a free-spirited, personal expression of one’s journeys (even if they’re largely limited to the twenty-block radius surrounding your apartment) done in your inimitable style.

Ready to mix it up this season? See all sorts of ways to wear The Wanderer and fall’s other top fashion stories in Shopbop’s trends lookbook.

Shopbop Shoptalk

Wednesday, August 12th 2009

First Fashion: Unique Prints

No one wants to be caught wearing the same thing as the next girl on the street. How to avoid sartorial déjà vu? Pick one-of-a-kind prints packed with personality.

A moody motif brings the maxi dress squarely into autumn territory, and a clean-lined Grecian silhouette keeps it from looking busy. Rachel Pally – Long Sleeveless Caftan


Tiny geometric rabbits, birds, and cats give new meaning to the term “animal print.” Dolce Vita – Claudia Tank


Parker offers a passel of pretty patterns, and this serpentine specimen is best complemented with gold earrings and a metallic clutch. Parker – Snake Cami Dress

From plaid to polka dots, flora to fauna, find a print that fits in What’s New.

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