Real Girls, Real Style

Thursday, May 8th 2014

Here’s the Clutch

A white Moschino clutch adds cool edge to a feminine dress.

The first time I saw a clutch handbag, I scoffed, taking pride in my practical nature. But as I began to see more and more of these dainty bags on many lovely ladies, something changed. Now, I’m buying leather envelopes in every color and stuffing straps into cross-body bags so I can carry them shoulder-free. Here are my findings on my newest favorite trend.

First, the clutch never leaves you. It’s always there, front and center. It completes the outfit, moves with you, and gestures with you. When you find one you love, you may shamelessly wave it in the faces of others and chalk it up to being “animated.” It simultaneously showcases itself, the manicure, and the arm candy (ahem, the silver and gold kind).

This Kate Spade wicker clutch is the perfect pop of color in a summery look.

Contrary to popular belief, the clutch is harder to misplace than the cross-body. I would venture to say I’m not the only girl who’s draped a bag over something other than my shoulder. Surely many of us are familiar with the panicked run back into a restaurant to find our bags still thrown over the back of a chair, or left hanging on a bathroom stall door. Clutches, however, either wait in one’s lap or sit like a trophy on the table—your own little show-and-tell (and isn’t that why we buy nice things?).

Since its compact size forces one to stick with the essentials, the clutch encourages deliberate packing choices. So I can’t carry my phone charger, flask, and special-edition copy of Moby Dick with me, but did I really need these things at a dinner party anyway? Face it, ladies, there is no way to elegantly “rummage.” The woman with a clutch knows where she’s going, and what she’ll need once she’s there.

This tough-girl look is only elevated with the addition of an Oliveve leopard print clutch.

The clutch is chic and extravagant all at once, perfect for day-to-night transitions and look-at-me entrances. Now, it’s time to grab a clutch and never let go.

—Madeline

Shop clutch handbags.

Wednesday, April 30th 2014

Ask Shopbop: The Sporty Trend

This season’s sporty trend lends itself well to unpredictable weather and cool summer nights. A girl can wear sneakers without running and sweats without sweating. It’s truly the best way to look chic—day or night—without sacrificing comfort. We turned to merchandiser Holly for her advice on rocking the style.

A feminine take on the trend: a McQ-Alexander McQueen top, a Torn by Ronny Kobo skirt, a Bop Basics hat, Vince sneakers, and an Elizabeth and James bag.

I love the versatility of the sporty trend. A graphic tee and sneakers paired back to a full skirt is a fun way to give the look a feminine touch.

The perfect weekend outfit: a Generation Love top, Club Monaco pants, Rachel Zoe sandals, a 3.1 Phillip Lim bag, and Ray-Ban sunglasses.

Slouchy trousers and slides are an easy, casual way to wear the trend – perfect for bumming around on the weekends.

Casual meets classy: a Band of Outsiders jacket, a Ladision tee, a BB Dakota skirt, IRO sandals, and a Clare V. clutch.

The sporty look can so easily be dressed up or down. I like the idea of pairing a varsity jacket with a chic pencil skirt and fun accessories.

—Holly

Tuesday, April 29th 2014

We Play Favorites: Monica & IRO

With as much time as our staffers spend living and breathing fashion, it shouldn’t be surprising that favorite brands start to rise to the top of our individual must-have lists. In this feature, we’re talking about those favorite designers and how they fit into our personal style. This month: Monica, who loves IRO.

Name: Monica
Position: Online Merchandiser
Brand: IRO

Why you love the brand in 6 words or less.
Chic French design + edgy street style.

What’s your favorite piece from the brand right now?
The Sherie Cone Heel Booties. I love the unique silhouette and the sleek colorblocking. I would happily welcome these babies into my shoe collection.

How would you describe your personal style?
I’m a bit of a style chameleon. Each day, my look can change depending on everything from the weather to my current nail polish to which side of the bed I rolled out of. Generally speaking though, I tend to mix basic apparel pieces with statement accessories.

Do you have a style icon?
Alexa Chung for her tomboy-meets-girly style and Kate Moss for her ability to effortlessly mix and match.

If you could only wear one outfit for the rest of your life, what pieces would it consist of?
Perfectly worn-in skinny jeans, a white tee, a chambray button-down, a leather jacket, booties, and a scarf.

What is your earliest fashion-related memory?
Flipping through my babysitter’s fashion magazines. She would always bring me her old issues, and I would spend hours devouring them.

Wednesday, April 23rd 2014

Introducing the Exclusive Born Free Collection + 3 Questions for Our Cover Girl, Lily Aldridge


Model Lily Aldridge in the Shopbop + Born Free lookbook.

Today marks the beginning of a collaboration we at Shopbop are so very proud to be a part of. Along with Amazon Fashion, Vogue, and 22 leading designers, we’re joining in Born Free’s charge to end mother-to-child transmission of HIV by December 31, 2015. The exclusive Shopbop + Born Free collection features designs by brands such as Céline, Prada, Isabel Marant, Tory Burch, and J. Crew, and 100% of the profits will benefit Born Free. On top of that, the MAC AIDS Fund will match all donations and the total purchase price of all products sold, up to $500,000.

Notable names across the fashion industry—including our homepage cover girl, Lily Aldridge—have signed on to support this worthy cause. We took a few minutes of Lily’s time during our shoot to ask her about her support of Born Free, as well as what it means to be a mother.

SHOPBOP: What made you most excited to join Born Free?
LILY ALDRIDGE: I feel so passionately about any organization that wants to help children, and Born Free is paving the way to end mother-to-child transmission of HIV. One pill a day can prevent that. Together we can help children be born with the healthy start they deserve!

SB: What piece from the collection will you wear the most and why?
LA: I love the J. Crew trousers. I think they are a great shape and perfect for spring/summer! The Isabel Marant top and the Stella McCartney tee are fabulous too. I honestly can’t wait for everything to come out. I also love that the adult clothes match the kid’s clothes—Dixie and I will be matching all summer.

SB: The mother-child bond is a huge part of this campaign. What has been the most rewarding part of motherhood for you?
LA: Being a mother is the greatest joy I've ever known in my life. There is nothing I wouldn't do for my daughter. Watching her grow and learn is so magical. I’m so proud to be her mother!

Shop the Shopbop + Born Free collection.
Join the conversation on social channels: #im4zero #joinbornfree


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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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