Style Guide

Thursday, July 3rd 2014

5 Prints Every Women Needs in her Wardrobe

A great wardrobe has a balance of solids and prints, but, one look at my own closet—So. Much. Navy.—leads me to assume that some of us aren’t venturing into the world of patterns as much as we should. Now stripes are a gimmy, so I took a look into some of the more adventurous prints you need now.

A Tibi patchwork skirt puts a modern twist on a classic American print.

Don’t worry, I’m not talking Raggedy Anne here. Modern renditions of patchwork are much more subdued, with a subtle feel of Americana. Wear an A-line style with a tied button-up for an easy summer look with a retro twist.

Rachel Zoe gives exotic snake print a bohemian feel.

Animal prints have come a long way since the skin-tight legging days of Peg Bundy (hopefully I didn’t just date myself here). The latest renditions of leopard and snake are so easy to wear, they’re almost a neutral. The next time you feel yourself reaching for black, swap it out an animal print.

Dare to wear floral bottoms, like these from Free People.

Most people have one floral print in their closet, like a dress or a blouse. But to really stretch your fashion limits, try something more unexpected like a floral pant. Going bold with bottoms takes a certain amount of confidence—just what you want to project in summer. Pair them back to a lacy top and wide-brim hat for a free-spirited look.

Power prints! A Thakoon Addition top stands out against an equally graphic skirt.

Summer plaids are more bold and electric than the tartans of fall. An asymmetrical top can be a striking statement piece with of-the-moment white pants. But, if you really want to embrace prints, try styling a plaid top with a contrasting plaid skirt.

Mara Hoffman is the queen of eye-catching prints.

Everyone needs at least one wild print—something that defies categorization—to rely on in their wardrobe. Examples are tie-dye, an exclusive artisan print (like the Born Free collection), or something futuristic. Go-to brands for this style of print are Mara Hoffman and Clover Canyon. The only guidelines here are to find a bold print you love and wear it!

--Libby S.

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Wednesday, July 2nd 2014

Summer 2014 Shoes: The Thrill of the Unexpected

There is a good reason for the universal footwear obsession among fashion lovers: The shoe is easily the most powerful statement maker, whether on its own or as an unexpected pairing with other pieces. This summer is as good a time as any to get away from the obvious choices, and here are some good places to start:

The addition of printed slip-ons to a strapless top and culottes turns a formal look into a flirty, more functional ensemble¬¬—perfect for a summer date night.

There’s no need to save your best heels for that LBD, or even nighttime. Strappy red-hot sandals inject a soft, feminine look with serious sex-appeal.

White sneakers put a playful spin on a pant suit without drawing too much attention to themselves. This casual addition still looks super sharp in a monochrome outfit.

Elevate a grunge look with a simple heeled sandal. The added element transforms a laidback daytime outfit into a chic, party-ready ensemble.

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Monday, June 30th 2014

Your July Fashion Horoscope

Delicate zodiac necklaces from Samantha Wills.

There are big fashion plans in your future! See what July has in store for you.

ARIES (March 21-April 19)
July is full of new adventures for you, and you’ll need to look the part. Versatile dressing—think layers, skirt/dress combos, and dress-up-or-down shoes—will have you ready for any opportunity that comes your way. Say yes when the chance comes and the next six months will be your best ever.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)
Your closet is set, but your tech life is seriously lacking style. Update your phone with a new case—it’s with you 24/7, doesn’t it deserve a fresh look? With a jam-packed social schedule, a phone-friendly wristlet is the perfect solve. With no big bag to hold you down, you’ll be ready to jump at an exciting new proposition that pops up around the 18th.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)
This may be your most innovative month of all. Get the most out of it with an inspired wardrobe. Go bold with prints and patterns, mix bright colors, layer on accessories—anything to stimulate your mind and get the creative juices flowing. Embrace your wild side and you’ll be amazed at what you can do.

CANCER (June 21-July 22)
This is your month. Take it on by trying the fashion risk you’ve been putting off—turban-style headband, boxy crop top, sexy romper— you’ll pull it off with grace and confidence. Now’s the time to change it up and play with different looks.

LEO (July 23-August 22)
The beginning of July is busy for you. Stick to your tried and true classics to get through the chaos. Once things die down a bit, it’s time to break out something new. Swap out your neutral work bag for a summer-ready tote or trade your pendant necklace for a statement choker. Even small changes will have an effect on your mood.

VIRGO (August 23-September 22)
A full moon on July 12 signifies a joyous time for you. Wear what makes you happy and makes you feel beautiful. Laughter and a big smile will be your greatest accessories this month. But, if you need something a little extra, reach for anything with a bit of sparkle.

Unique zodiac necklaces from Monserat De Lucca.

LIBRA (September 23-October 22)
Comfort is key for you right now. Luckily, sporty styles like sneakers and jogging pants are having a moment. Take advantage and ditch the pumps and pencil skirts. Another easy route is maxi dresses—they’re the perfect one and done piece. Plus, you can sit, stand, bend, and squat with no risk of wardrobe malfunction.

SCORPIO (October 23-November 21)
Your energy is surging in July! Fiery reds and oranges suit your state of mind and electric spirit. Work in neon accessories if your career requires more muted attire. Dress for movement, as you’re likely to get an active invitation around the 25th.

SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21)
All your hard work is starting to pay off. Treat yourself with the investment piece you’ve been eying. A nice watch, new work bag, or leather jacket tells the world you’ve made it, and you’re going to continue to kill it in style.

CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19)
In late July, the new moon will heighten your senses. Get the most out of this time by wearing fabrics with a luxurious feel. A silk robe, super-soft cotton cardigan, or satin pajamas will feel extra rich. You might have to shelve any rougher textured items for a bit, rely on broken-in denim and boyfriend-style cuts.

AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18)
Love is in the air this month—single or not—and your wardrobe should reflect that. Loose, cascading curls in your hair worn with off- shoulder tops feel especially romantic. Wearing your heart on your sleeve, literally, isn’t a bad idea either. Heart bracelets or earrings help spread the love to everyone in your life.

PISCES (February 19-March 20)
This is the season of enjoyment, and now is the best time to showcase your sense of humor. Cheeky graphic tees worn with cutoffs and sneakers have both style and sass. Use an eye-catching item, like an interesting necklace charm, to invite conversations. Around the 23rd, you’ll be looking for change—this could be the way to meet a new type of person.

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Friday, June 27th 2014

Sunglasses for Every Occasion

The perfect pairings. Shop designer sunglasses.

Happy Sunglasses Day! As if we needed a reason to celebrate our favorite summer accessory. No matter the style, a pair of sunnies will instantly amp up any look. Here are the four must-have frames for every girl’s collection.

Nothing says off-duty model like a cool pair of aviators. A little bit sporty and super laid-back, this universally flattering frame will never go out of style.

Reach for a pair of round glasses on a sundress day. This frame will put a vintage spin on any outfit, whether it be boho, mod, or rocker. Just pop on a pair and you’re in a ’70s dream.

Rectangular frames, like the Wayfarer, should be a girl’s daily go-to pair. Neither particularly feminine nor masculine, they exude a kind of cool that goes with everything, from cutoffs and sneakers to more polished looks.

Whether they’re cat-eye, oversized, or uniquely shaped, every girl needs a pair of statement shades—because every girl should get to feel like a celebrity from time to time. Look to Karen Walker for her unique, chic-meets-street frames.

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Wednesday, June 25th 2014

The Modern Pearl Necklace

Mix pearl strands with chain necklaces for an edgy take on formal accessorizing.

Pearls are making a comeback, and the new way to wear them is anything but prim and proper.  Try a layered look to add interest to any outfit, especially when worn over the collar of a crisp button-down or turtleneck. If you still can’t shake the memory of your grandmother’s dainty, single-strand pearl collar, try a pearl set in silver hardware. Be it sleek and modern or tarnished and organic, the unexpected twist on a classic will keep it feeling fresh.

—Elise & Phoebe

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Wear pearls with a graphic tee for unexpected everyday elegance.

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Tuesday, June 24th 2014

Beach Packing List: 6 Essentials

The ultimate suitcase: L*Space bikini top and bottom, Elizabeth and James sunglasses, Marc by Marc Jacobs bracelet, BB Dakota shorts, Elkin tank, K. Jacques sandals.

The only unfortunate thing about vacationing is limited packing space, which is why we’ve boiled it down to only the essentials for your next trip to the beach.

A versatile swimsuit is key, as you will likely spend most of your vacation in it. We are loving all the reversible styles showing up in What’s New—they instantly double your options without taking up precious luggage space. Choose a cute, not-too-skimpy style that can be worn as a bra top in a pinch but still allows for optimal tanning. A loose-fitting graphic tank acts as both cover-up and easy everyday statement piece. Now throw in a pair of flat sandals and cutoff shorts, and you have an outfit that will take you from breakfast to the beach. Complete the ensemble with a delicate chain bracelet that never has to leave your wrist and of course, sunglasses—a perfectly round pair will add just the right touch of 1970s cool to your beach look.

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Thursday, June 19th 2014

The Rise of Oversize

After years of buying nothing but spandex tops and second-skin jeans, I’ve finally succumbed to the comfort of loose clothing. Now it’s oversized everything: boyfriend jeans, shirts to my knees, and arm-swallowing sleeves. When we think “oversized” in regards to fashion, our minds usually jump to the same fool-proof pairings—a long sweater over skinny jeans or wide pants with a fitted button-down. But I recently wondered (on a rainy morning, in which I was particularly exhausted) if I could drown in my clothes, head-to-toe, and still look put-together. So I tried it. Attempt one, sans styling, I looked nothing short of slovenly. Not exactly office appropriate.

I secured the cuffed sleeves of an oversized RAILS flannel with two Kristen Elspeth cuffs for some unexpected glam.

When looking for the perfect oversized piece, first keep in mind that whatever’s on the size tag is just a number, and it shouldn’t deter you from buying something that looks amazing. A shirt that fits normally in one size could be sized up to become a sexy, off-shoulder piece. Seriously. If a stranger peeked into my closet, they wouldn’t know if it belonged to a child, or a working woman, or a lumberjack.

This T by Alexander Wang T-shirt fits loosely enough to knot the hem and show a little shoulder. Add a Kenneth Jay Lane necklace to dress it up for a night out.

Once you’ve found your sack of a shirt (T by Alexander Wang has drool-worthy basics), here’s what to do when a simple tuck doesn’t cut it. Knot the hem of a shirt to take off some of that length—a knot on the side for a casual slouchy look, or a high center knot for those looking to bare some belly. Button-downs are even more versatile, and I say the bigger the better. Tie up the bottom for an impromptu crop. Belt it over a dress as an edgy alternative to a cardigan—or wear it, at an appropriate length, as a dress itself! And a recent discovery of mine: if it’s big enough, you can undo the top several buttons and wear the neck opening around your waist, tie the two loose arms in front, and voilà, it’s a skirt! I could go on and on.

Taper a wide-leg jean with a pin roll: Make a vertical fold along the outside seam of the pant leg so the bottom of the jean is tight against your ankle. Then, holding the fold in place, cuff the jean leg two or three times. Above: Citizens of Humanity jeans and Sam Edelman sandals.

Then there are boyfriend jeans, which, in my opinion, are the best thing to come out of this oversized era. They are comfortable, chic, and easy to style. You can never go wrong with a pin roll (instructions above) and a strappy heel. So go ahead, size up one or two sizes, or head to the men’s department on your next shopping trip. You’ll probably see me there.


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Wednesday, June 18th 2014

The Slip Dress: A Fresh Take on the ‘90s Trend

Slip dresses are having a real moment here in the studio–they’re a fresh, sexy take on the ’90s revival. Since a slip dress can easily be mistaken for, well, a slip, styling it can be a little tricky. Pull together the right layering pieces and a dose of attitude, and you can rock your little slip dress from the daylight to the dance floor. Look for one that is cut on the bias—it is guaranteed to cling to every curve without the constrictiveness of its cousin, the body-con.

Nili Lotan dress, Mes Demoiselles sweater, Stuart Weitzman sandals.

A full-length slip has the cooling, breezy feeling of a maxi dress during the warmer months without too much volume. The sleek silhouette makes it a perfect counterpoint to summer’s power trend, the boxy crop top. No exposed skin (or six-pack abs) required! Just remember to ground the look with a comfortable flat. A full-length slip can begin to look formal if worn with a heel during daylight hours. Gladiator sandals are a great option.

Mes Demoiselles dress, Jason Wu sweater, Stella McCartney glasses, Stuart Weitzman sandals.

A boyfriend sweater adds a casual air for a daytime look. Consider a see-through or off-shoulder style for a sexy peek of lace. Keep the jewelry tough and the specs quirky, and you’ll be the poster girl of ’90s cool without a scrap of flannel in sight.

T by Alexander Wang dress, MM6 cardigan, Eddie Borgo choker.

Nineties club kids were just as cool as their grunge counterparts, so don’t be afraid to take your slip dress to a more fashion-forward place, especially for evening. Its minimalist vibe and slim design play well with voluminous, quirky accent pieces, especially all the fur toppers (real and faux) that are returning for pre-fall. Keep the look adult with sleek, polished jewelry. The chain on this Eddie Borgo choker offers just the tiniest wink to ’90s clubwear while remaining thoroughly modern.

Haute Hippie dress, By Malene Birger coat, Rag & Bone booties, Eugenia Kim headwrap, By Malene Birger bracelet set, SKYWATCH watch.

We took a note from the Winona camp for this one. This girl doesn’t know what’s going to happen next, but she knows it’s going to be major—and she’s going to have an impossibly beautiful and disheveled Ethan or Christian or Johnny by her side, of course. The slip dress is the feminine first layer beneath textured sweaters, socks, beanies, and boots. This is the perfect look for the sensitive soul with the tough-as-nails exterior who wants to, like, open up that heart-shaped box and take a bite out of reality.

—Elise & Phoebe

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Tuesday, June 17th 2014

White on White Dressing for the Win

Golf, tennis, or just a walk in the park: you can’t go wrong in a sporty white-on-white look. Lily Aldridge for Velvet jacket, Madewell tank, Current / Elliott shorts, Sam Edelman sandals, Bop Basics fedora.

White is my favorite color (or lack of color, for you science types) so you’d think I would be a master at white-on-white dressing. You would be wrong. Sadly, my skills have been limited to matching all white accessories—cringe, I know. But, since it’s no longer 1999, I’ve decided to branch out and try a head-to-toe look.

Putting on a white dress is the simplest way to start, paired with crisp sneakers or strappy slide sandals—there’s little room for misstep since it’s all one piece. For a more involved take on the trend, however, go for separates. Flowing, flirty styles feel more feminine, while structured denim and canvas have a sporty feel. But either way, the key to pulling this look off is varied textures. Contrasting fabrics give depth to the monochromatic color palette, breaking up the different silhouettes for a perfectly paired (but not too matched) look.

--Libby S.

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Flirty white-on-white works for day or night! A.L.C. sweater, Torn by Ronny Kobo skirt, Rebecca Minkoff bag (similar), Vince sandals.

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Thursday, June 12th 2014

4 Things You Must Wear This Summer—Seriously

My summer uniform is pretty standard: jean shorts, V-neck tee, cute sneakers. However, summer is the ideal time to experiment with new fashion—the warm weather gives the season an ease that fall just doesn’t have. In an effort to expand my style horizons, I’m taking the opportunity to try a few new styles. You should too.

A Eugenia Kim turban-style headband is easier to pull off than you think.

The turban-style headbands hitting What’s New lately keep catching my eye. They’re very different than the sparkly, messy-bun toppers that I’m used to. After stalking our hair and makeup department, I think I’ve figured it out: day-old, loose beachy waves. The salt spray/slightly frizzed combo gives your hair a bit of texture for the cloth band to hold on to. Add a playful maxi and some stacked bracelets, and you’re set.

Current/Elliott is the king of well-fitting shorteralls.

I’m well-versed in regular overalls, but shorteralls are a whole new ballgame. In the past, I was afraid they could look childish too easily. The key here is fit and styling (kinda obvious, but some things take me awhile!). A too-loose fit is what takes shorteralls into middle school territory—slightly slouchy is what you want. Footwear is also important. My natural inclination is to go very adult with shoes, but this would be a mistake. Lace-ups or ballet flats are age-appropriate without being too “lady of the night.”

Mes Demoiselles off-shoulder tops, no mall bags required!

I grew up watching Kelly Kapowski rock off-shoulder tops, but being about 8 years old, it wasn’t a trend I could wear at the time. Now that I can, I’m glad to see more wearable styles in lightweight fabrics like cotton and linen—far more forgiving than the spandex styles of the ’80s. I’ll get to the point where I’ll wear my hair up to really showcase the neckline, but for my first go, I think I’ll keep my style safety blanket—er, my hair—down.

A retro Michael Kors Collection swimsuit has never been more modern.

Having a pool (humble brag) means that my closet is stocked with swimsuits. The issue is that they are all the same. Bright, solid colors and bandeau tops. Considering how much time I spend in my bikini, I really need to branch out. A high-waisted, halter-style suit is far out of my comfort zone, but they are just too cute to pass up. Same with cutout one-pieces. I’ve avoided them in the past for fear of crazy tan lines, but in addition to changing up my style, I’ve resolved to keep out of the sun as much as possible this summer. Here’s to newfound shady style!

--Libby S.

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