Real Girls, Real Style

Thursday, April 17th 2014

The Case for a High Waist

Wide leg Rachel Zoe jeans look super retro with a breezy, tucked in top.

Recently, I was in the fitting room of a clothing store trying on my go-to style of jeans—high-waisted—when I overheard a woman lament to a friend from over the partition, “I look like my grandmother!” She stepped out of the room to show her friend her perceived horror, and lo and behold, she is wearing the same pair of pants I am admiring on myself in the mirror. And if I may say so myself, we both looked awesome.

High-waisted jeans get a bum rap for their close ties to bad acid-wash fads and ’90s sitcom mothers, but my friends, it is a new era! There are endless perks to the updated high-waist jean. Now available in a range of styles—straight, skinny, wide, flared—there is truly a pair for every gal’s body shape.

A contrasting belt creates playful proportions on these BLK DNM jeans.

While I am an equal fan of low-rise styles, they seem more prone to fashion mishaps: the sloppy tuck, the muffin top, the coin slot (you know exactly what I mean). High-waist pants eliminate all aforementioned issues. Simultaneously modest and sexy, they keep us covered but hug our curves in all the right places.

In order to find a flattering pair, pay close attention to cut and fabrication. Look for some that come right up to your natural waist and are tailored to your frame—snug, but not suffocating. The idea is to make sure there are no geometric shapes happening in the front region and no sagging in the rear. Smaller back pockets and a wide belt will minimize the dreaded “long butt” effect, and adding pumps will keep those legs looking long and lean.

Cheap Monday skinnies pair nicely with a crop top without showing too much skin.

If you’ve never sported a high waist before, let me just say that it can be hard to adjust at first. You may feel like you’re neck-deep in denim, but I promise: you look normal to the world. Be patient with your new proportions, and pretty soon, you won’t be able to go back!

—Madeline

Shop high-waisted denim.

Tuesday, April 15th 2014

My Style Philosophy: Dokia

Dokia in an Equipment blouse and Sam Edelman booties (similar).

Our staffers are a chic bunch, each with their own unique spin on fashion. This month we chatted with stylist Dokia about her personal style philosophy.

Name: Dokiang, or as many call me, “Doks”
Position: Apparel Stylist

Go-to brand: It’s so hard to pick only one since there are different reasons to love each, but I am a total sucker for brands that are aesthetically edgy or use animal prints. Both work well in my closet and seriously scream “me.” Lately, I’ve been excited about the IRO, Emma Cook, and Rodarte collections.

How did you get into styling? I grew up with two women who really influenced my eye for fashion—my mom and my sister. My mom always made sure she was perfectly put-together from head to toe when she and my father went out to social gatherings. I remember having to buckle her high heels for her because she didn’t want to wrinkle her outfits. She had a great eye for design and made beautiful, traditional costumes for us as well. My sister, who is seven years older than I am, used to bribe me to be her fashion photographer as she changed in and out of outfits she had styled so she could give keepsake pictures to her friends. She also happened to buy me my first recognizable name brand item—Nike Air sneakers. As I got older, my eyes were always on fashion magazines, editorials, and TV specials. I remember when I was 13, I hoped to work for Contempo Casuals one day because I thought it was the coolest store. Little did I know, I had a knack for fashion. I worked my way up in retail, but never considered pursuing fashion seriously until college, when my sister suggested it was “more me” than my initial focus on interior design. So I decided to wing it, switched majors, and never looked back. What can I say—you know when you know!

What’s your style philosophy? Like I mentioned, edginess and animal prints are two things that scream “me,” so that being said, I wear what I love! Confidence is what makes style. Fashion is ever-changing, so I think it’s good to switch things up, as long as you make a look your own.

What one item in your closet could you not live without? Goodness! There are a few I could list, like my white suede IRO booties or my indigo-wash high-waist jeans, but let's be real—those items could be replaced. The one thing for sure that I could not live without would be my traditional Hmong costumes that my mom designed for me. Even though they aren’t for day-to-day wear, they’re pieces that no one else could ever make so beautifully with that much sentimental value.

Shop Dokia’s go-to brands, IRO, Emma Cook, and Rodarte.

Thursday, April 10th 2014

Why You Need a Fanny Pack. No, Really.


I’m on team fanny pack! Clare V. Supreme Fanny Pack in aqua.

Every season there’s at least one trend that divides the fashion world. Lines are drawn and opinions run strong. This spring, that trend is the return of the fanny pack. Ask either side what they think of them and you’ll get a strangely intense reaction. Pro-packers tout the hands-free ease and new modern styles, while the anti-fannies just can’t get over the ’80s stigma. So it’s with the risk of being labeled a flip-flopper that, after several months of being against them, I’m announcing that I’m solidly a friend of fanny.


The start of my journey to fanny pack fandom: Val’s Erin Dana fanny pack.

It all started, as do most major belief reversals, with someone close to me. My fellow writer Val bought a black Erin Dana fanny pack. At first I laughed at the ridiculous notion that something I associated with scrunchies and tapered-leg jeans could be cool. But she kept going on and on about how great it was—it went with everything, it was so easy, she was no longer burdened with a purse—and it started to sound... great. Perhaps that would have been it, but sensing my curiosity, she asked the age-old question: “Want to try it?”


A snake-print pack works for day or night.

Once I wrapped the chain around my waist, I knew I was switching camps. Fanny packs have always had practicality on their side. But now, they also have style. The latest renditions, like Val’s Erin Dana, are sleeker than their earlier counterparts. I decided to show my support with a single-pocket pack in bright blue from Clare V. A fringed Cleobella belt bag is also sitting in my cart, just waiting for festival season, because, as any fanny fan knows, one is never enough. I try to be respectful of everyone’s positions, I really do. But as someone who’s seeing fanny packs in a whole new light, I urge you to follow Val’s advice and just try one.

--Libby S.


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Tuesday, April 8th 2014

Seen @ Shopbop: Simply Striped


Annie looking French-girl chic in a Three Dots top.

My closet (and my Shopbop My Hearts section) is full of stripes. I lean toward the preppy—lots of navy and white and thick-banded rugby styles—but have never really met a neat set of lines I didn’t like. And I know I’m not alone. One look at these pictures from around the office and you can tell my fellow Shopboppers feel the same.

--Libby S.


An aerobatic Elise in Harvey Faircloth.


Group photo! Smile for stripes!


Team Merchandising sports varied styles—even maternity stripes.


A Ladison tee + stripes = a perfect Parisian pair.


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Monday, April 7th 2014

Advice from Elle: How to Wear the Varsity Trend

You don’t have to be a workout junkie to appreciate this season’s crop of athletic-inspired pieces. Shopbop Fashion Director Elle Strauss shares her excitement for trying out this sport-centric style.

I’m not exactly a sporty girl but that doesn’t mean I can’t root for the season’s new take on varsity jackets. Whether worn over a tee and jeans or paired with a skirt and heels, you can throw on a lightweight bomber and instantly look on-trend. The Band of Outsiders lamé version takes my obsession to a whole other level—it has the perfect balance of casual for my daytime errands with an extra edge to spruce up any date-night outfit.

--Elle

Shop Elle’s Edit.


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Tuesday, April 1st 2014

Shopbop Staffers’ Signature Accessories

It seems like every fashionable girl has a signature accessory—a trusty piece that goes with everything and oozes personal style. We snapped photos of Shopbop staffers in everyday looks, and they told us how their signature accessories #MakeTheOutfit.

Name: Bao
Signature piece: SunaharA Malibu bracelet
What makes it special: I am attracted to pieces that tell a story, and this one was a no-brainer. I love this bracelet because it looks dainty but well-traveled, antique but modern.
How it works into your everyday look: My everyday look has bohemian and feminine floral tendencies, so this bracelet does a great job of enhancing the romance of that aesthetic. If I’m wearing neutral or monochromatic colors, this bracelet injects a nice, subtle hint of color.

 

Name: Katie
Signature piece: Ray-Ban aviators
What makes them special: We’re celebrating a decade together this year—I bought them in 2004.
How they work into your everyday look: I try other, newer shapes, but I always come back to the classic gold-with-rose aviators.

 

 

 

 

Name: Elise
Signature piece: A.P.C. bag
What makes it special: Perfect size, perfect shape. The design is classic and the color matches my red lipstick perfectly.
How it works into your everyday look: I turned 30 this year and decided I needed a “lady bag” to replace (or at least occasionally stand in for) my trusty, grungy carryall. I was looking for something black to go with everything but fell in love with this baby. I just pretend it’s black and wear it with everything anyway.

 

Name: LaToya
Signature piece: Marc by Marc Jacobs sunglasses
What makes them special: I can wear them with everything year-round.
How they work into your everyday look: Typically I use them on my drive to and from work, but they also come in handy when I take a quick stroll to get some lunch.

 

 

 

Name: Monica
Signature piece: Karen Walker bag
What makes it special: I love the chic, classic shape and the pretty pastel color. 
How it works into your everyday look: This bag is the perfect size to hold everything I need throughout the day with enough room to stash a clutch for after-work cocktails.

 

 

 

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Monday, March 31st 2014

Accessories Week: Celebrating the Little Things That #MakeTheOutfit

Today, we’re kicking off a six-day celebration of all things accessories. Whether your weakness is shoes, jewelry, or handbags, this is your week. Stay tuned for exclusive content focused on the little things that make the outfit. Check out our Facebook page for daily giveaways from your favorite brands, exclusive designer interviews here on Shoptalk, and an inside look at staff style on Instagram.

You can even join in on the fun! We’ll be posting images all week using the hashtag #MakeTheOutfit. Snap a picture of your favorite accessory and tag it with #AccessorySelfie and #MakeTheOutfit on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest. We’ll pin our top picks to our #MakeTheOutfit Pinterest board, and even regram a few!

Happy Accessories Week!

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Wednesday, March 26th 2014

Ask Shopbop: How to Wear a Crop Top


Madeline is a longtime fan of crop tops, but this bold combo was new for her: “I never would have guessed to pair a striped crop with this high-waisted, printed skirt, but I love it!”
On the right: JOA crop top, Blank Denim jacket, IRO booties, Tory Burch ring. On Madeline: Alice + Olivia top, Clover Canyon skirt, Joie jacket, IRO booties, Kenneth Jay Lane necklace.

Crop tops, which continue to trend strongly for spring, can be tricky to style. After a long winter of layers, it can be intimidating to show off a sliver of stomach. But with a few smart tips, crop tops can inject a bit of unexpected playfulness into your usual repertoire.

BALANCE
A balanced silhouette is key to pulling off this look—think a flirty circle skirt with a fitted style, or a sleek pencil skirt with a looser top. In the same vein, ladylike bottoms work well to counter the naturally sexy vibe of crop tops.

COMFORT
Showing off a swath of midriff can be nerve-wracking, even for those with a perfect six-pack. To keep the show of skin to a comfortable level, try high-rise jeans or a matched set with high-waisted shorts—they have a great retro-modern feel. Throwing on a menswear-inspired blazer also ups the comfort factor. Pair it with loose trousers, snazzy flats, and a cool hat.


High-rise jeans are new for Libby, but she loves how they make her sporty  jersey work-appropriate.
On Libby: T by Alexander Wang top, BLK DNM jeans, Mc Q – Alexander McQueen booties, Giles & Brother bracelet. On the left: Lovers + Friends tee, ANINE BING pants, Rag & Bone booties, DANNIJO bracelet.

SETTING
Keeping your setting in mind will also help drive the direction of your styling. An ab-baring style is easy for girls’ night out, but crop tops for the workplace are touch and go. (Shopbop notwithstanding!) Even in a casual office, I suggest working in some professional accessories and sharp, 9-to-5 tailoring to set the right tone.

--Loni

Shop crop tops.


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Wednesday, March 12th 2014

Travel Diary: Lauren in LA

Shopbop’s editorial stylist Lauren just got back from shooting in LA, and while there was a lot of work to do, there was an equal amount of fun to be had. Here are some of the behind-the-scene photos from today’s featured lookbook, The Next Wave.

We love the classic feel of this Norma Kamali maillot (similar).

Lounging on the beach in a Zinke surf shirt, bikini bottoms, and Oliver Peoples sunglasses.

A Thayer bikini (similar) makes us want to cut loose.

Staying cool in a Norma Kamali one-piece (similar), Wildfox sunglasses, and Sam Edelman sneakers.

Double cheeseburger anyone?

These heart-shaped Wildfox sunglasses are super flirty.

California sunset.

Shop designer swimwear.
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Thursday, March 6th 2014

Exclusive Interview: Margaret Zhang

Known for her innovative approach to fashion and ability to mix pieces in a truly unique way, Margaret Zhang of Shine by Three is one stylish—and busy—girl. Since the spontaneous creation of her blog, the student, photographer, and Harper’s Bazaar Australia contributor has quickly made a name for herself in the fashion industry with her fresh and fearless interpretations of the latest trends. We spoke with Zhang about how she stays organized amidst the chaos and the inspiration behind her blog.


Margaret in a Veronica Beard blazer, DKNY x Opening Ceremony tee, GOLDSIGN jeans, 3.1 Phillip Lim sandals, and carrying a Jerome Dreyfuss bag.

Shopbop: What inspired you to start a blog?
Margaret Zhang: Growing up, I was all about the performing arts (dance, music, drama) and visual arts (painting, film, photography), so when chemistry and economics hit high school, I was pretty uninspired to say the least. Shine By Three was a late-night decision to share my artistic inspirations online. For about 6 months I thought I was the only one, but then I found all these other “fashion bloggers,” and realized I’d been living under a rock.

SB: Shine by Three is very well-rounded—the fashion is fresh, the photography is compelling, and the writing is hilarious (besides being informed). What do you love most about the process?
MZ: I love creating an experience and conversation for my readers. Over time, they’ve evolved to have strong opinions about everyday issues, fashion or otherwise. They’re not afraid to write essay-style comments to defend or oppose something I’ve photographed or written about, which I think is fantastic. I make a point of shooting almost all of my own photos, too, which makes the process very much my own. If I mess up, then I reshoot until I have exactly what I’d envisioned for the piece or editorial. Over the past year, I feel like social media has changed the blogging landscape a lot, so this year is about building different tiers and categories of content to keep myself inspired.

SB: Between blogging, writing for Harper’s Bazaar Australia, and school, we’re guessing you stay pretty busy. What is a typical day like for you?
MZ: My creative life revolves around my university schedule. Fashion is flexible at the best of times, and thankfully, hardcore collections times when I need to be overseas don’t tend to clash with exam seasons. My day starts with exercise and missing my train to uni, and then it’s on to classes with meetings in between, an evening dedicated to books, writing, photo-editing and social media, and explaining to my dad for the millionth time that I do not, in fact, run an online store.


Margaret in an O'2nd Coat, A.L.C. shorts, Rochas booties, and carrying a Loeffler Randall bag.

SB: From layering skirts over pants to wearing tucked-in blazers as shirts, you are fearless when it comes to fashion. Which rules, if any, are you careful to follow, and which do you love to break?
MZ: Rule to follow: dress for your personality, comfort, and body—in that order. Rule to break: wear pieces as the designer intended—hold on one second while I wear a jacket as a skirt and a sweater as a hat.

SB: What is unique about the fashion scene in Sydney, and how is your blog influenced by Australian culture?
MZ: I think our perfect contrasts of beach culture, city life, and the beautiful, natural landscapes that surround Sydney have worked well with our geographic isolation to breed our own inspirations and ways of approaching style. For me, spending a lot of time by the ocean definitely changes the way I look at my daily wardrobe, and not just because of our higher temperatures—it’s inspired a relaxed, even masculine way of mixing and matching across seasons.

SB: What advice do you have to offer aspiring fashion bloggers?
MZ: Do not aspire to be a fashion blogger. Aspire to something bigger, and use your website as a means of getting there.


Margaret in a Parker sweater, Clover Canyon skirt, Rag & Bone jacket, and Rachel Zoe sneakers.

Check out Margaret's blog, Shine by Three.
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