When it comes to formal looks, lingerie pairings can make or break an ensemble. With the right pieces, you can say no to visible panty lines, exposed straps, and the classic flash photography-induced exposure of a white bra under a black dress. Since underpinnings come in all shapes, colors, and fabrications these days, even the tiniest of strapless minis can be outfitted with a figure flattering foundation. Below are three things to keep in mind.
Consider fabric. Thin textiles tend to appear sheer and lay closer than their thicker relatives. Try smoothing lingerie and pieces that boast “no panty lines.” Slips are also a wonderful way to add a layer and a bit of opacity to sheer apparel. Note that bias-cut pieces tend to cling to the body regardless of fabric, although these shapes are usually constructed of slinkier materials. High waisted, no-line thongs are your best option there.
Think about the cut of your garment, looking at necklines and hiplines to see what’s required. When you think you have a match (i.e.: halter dress, meet halter bra), move around in your look for at least 30 minutes. Be free with your movement and consider arm position when you're eating, drinking, and holding your handbag. Do the bra straps reveal themselves? If so, reach for Low Beams or a NuBra—no straps, no problem.
Lastly, color is key. In most cases, I reach for nudes or a color that matches my look. If you can safely match a red dress with red lingerie, go for it. If color is off, nude is a good option. You won't run into any embarrassing photos since flashes tend to only expose contrasting lingerie. Otherwise, if you're feeling adventurous, lingerie can be a statement. Exposing colorful bra straps or showing a panty under a sheer skirt can be interesting to say the least. To ensure the look is fab and not a flop, I recommend proceeding with extreme caution and consulting a professional if possible!
Button-down blouses hit the runway in a big way for resort 2014. From menswear-inspired cuts to bold prints, the classic oxford is taking an unexpected turn for spring. We turned to our styling team to get a few tips on how to work the tried-and-true staple into your look in some new ways.
Rachel suggests trying a tailored top under a chic strapless dress. Weary of bunching? “Tuck your shirt into your tights to keep everything smooth and in place,” she says. Elise is keen on oversized styles in sheer or semi-sheer fabrics. “I like to button them up all the way to the top,” she says. “When in doubt, go sassy schoolmarm all the way.” Dokia is also veering to oversized silhouettes, saying, “I’m an un-tucker when it comes to button-downs.” She suggests throwing an oxford over a leather crop top—or bikini in the right locales—unbuttoned down to the hip with cutoff shorts and animal-print pumps.
Jewelry designer Melinda Maria has a profound passion for jewelry. It’s evident in the incredible detail and quality of each one of her pieces. The Goddess Collection specifically uses semi-precious stones and 14k gold plating as a tribute to the inner beauty and power of women. They also happen to make a fantastic gift! We spoke to Melinda about her creative start, perfect presents, and her inspirations.
SHOPBOP: Your start in design came at the expense of your mother’s jewelry box. What drew you to re-crafting her pieces?
MELINDA MARIA: I have always suffered from what I like to call "Shiny Objects Syndrome." As long as I can remember, jewelry has been my passion and my obsession. I found that I was drawn to the warmth of gold, the sparkle of diamonds, and the rich color of gemstones in my mother's jewelry box. I often took it upon myself to modernize some of her pieces by pulling them apart and recreating them. The process always brought me such joy!
SB: The Goddess Collection is truly a celebration of women. Where did the inspiration for this line come from?
MM: My aim was to create a beautiful keepsake charm collection that was centered around the strength of women. I wanted each necklace to tell a story and to remind us all of some of the special qualities that women inherently possess. I have always surrounded myself with amazing women who I consider to be true goddesses.
SB: The detail and craftsmanship of designs are incredible. How do you achieve such a high quality?
MM: As a jewelry designer, ultimate craftsmanship and design is something that I strive for with each new collection. Our quality control after the collections are completed is rigorous, with the utmost attention to detail. Since the start of my line, one of my main goals has been to have customers who become collectors of Melinda Maria. In my experience, I've found that this is only possible if each and every piece is well-made and wears well.
SB: The Goddess necklaces make a perfect gift. Who would you give each one to?
MM: The Goddess of Sisterhood pendant is for every woman in your life. To me, sisterhood means developing meaningful relationships with one another. I believe that all women are connected, and we need to be supportive of each other. It's truly amazing what a room full of women working together can achieve! Nothing can replace the relationship between two women who want the best for each other. The Goddess of Love pendant is the perfect gift for that special someone you just want to wrap your arms around. It's for mothers, daughters, sisters, and best friends who have been there for you through thick and thin. The Goddess of Power pendant is a great way to remind someone of the strength they have within themselves. This necklace is the ideal piece to give to someone who needs support, providing a reminder for her to be fearless in her journey.
SB: If you could give one of the necklaces to any woman in history, who would it be and why?
MM: Oprah has had an enormous impact on my life. I would give her the Goddess of Power pendant. The tagline for this goddess is, "No one can diminish your personal power." Coming from a small town in Washington state, I always had big dreams. Whenever I would set goals for myself, I aimed higher and higher, thinking, "Why not me?" Oprah is the perfect example of that. She had all the odds against her, but never gave up. She built a global brand and network from nothing! Her story is beyond inspiring to me. Because of her, I realized that everyone has a past, but it's the future that you can write for yourself.
What it is: Garbe Luxe Chloe Cardigan
Why we love it: Dressier than the classic sweatshirt, but just as comfortable.
Wear it with: Rag & Bone skinny jeans and a Monrow tee for a perfect casual weekend look.
What it is: Morning Warrior LA to NY Cropped Tee
Why we love it: Cuffed sleeves and unfinished hems add a casual vibe to the rock-inspired silhouette.
Wear it with: High-waisted Alice + Olivia pants and suede Pedro Garcia sandals.
This weekend will mark the seventh installment of Pop Up Flea, a unique menswear event founded by Michael Williams and Randy Goldberg. The event will take place at 82 Mercer St. in NYC, as well as online at Eastdane.com. We took a minute of the guys’ time to ask them about PUF.
EAST DANE: For the uninitiated, tell us a little about the Pop Up Flea.
RANDY GOLDBERG: It’s a one-weekend-at-a-time menswear store full of interesting items and staffed by good people. It's like a pop-up shop in the sense that it only lasts for three days. It's like a flea market in the sense that vendors rent a space and man their own mini-storefront.
EAST DANE: Where did the idea come from?
MICHAEL WILLIAMS: The Pop Up Flea was born, like many good things, over cocktails in Manhattan. We wanted to have a store, but we also wanted people to have a chance to meet and talk to the designers that make the stuff they love and wear.
EAST DANE: This weekend (December 6-8) marks the seventh installment of PUF, and it’s your biggest yet. Who can people expect to find there?
MICHAEL WILLIAMS: We have a lineup of over sixty different brands and vendors. Everyone from accessories designer Alexander Olch to Billykirk, plus bigger brands like Filson and Levi's Vintage Clothing.
EAST DANE: Any vendors you’re extra excited about this time around?
RANDY GOLDBERG: We're excited about everyone that is coming. We only invite great brands to participate. The litmus test is: Would we want to wear these clothes? All killer, no filler.
EAST DANE: We signed on as your online partner for the event, a first. How do you think East Dane fits with the PUF feel?
RANDY GOLDBERG: There's a lot of common ground between us and East Dane in terms of what we care about—well-made things, a great shopping experience, unique finds—so it's a natural partnership. Plus, we never thought in a million years PUF product would get the Amazon Prime treatment. That’s next level.
EAST DANE: How'd you choose the product that you selected for East Dane? Was there a guiding principle?
MICHAEL WILLIAMS: We have a supercomputer that computes a unique Pop Up Flea handsomeness algorithm that we had developed for this special East Dane shop. It chooses the most mathematically handsome selection of garments. Just kidding. We choose the stuff that we want to personally have in our closets. No computers, no robots, just good old-fashioned menswear.