Songza stations & summer styles: A fashion challenge
A good soundtrack for your favorite summer scene is essential to getting the most bang for your enjoyment buck this season. Just as you want your music to perfectly suit your surroundings, your style should equally fit into the scene. The trifecta of song, scene & style will transport you into a state of summery euphoria, as you bop along to your preferred beat, sipping your favorite bev, looking like a cinematic doll.
Here’s a series of summer scenes, along with the perfect Songza playlist and outfit. We’ve still got two months of summer left, ladies - live.it.up.
There is a big difference between 20 and 30. Naturally, your swimsuit style should reflect your maturity and lifestyle as you float through this decade. This is especially tricky in your mid-twenties. As if there isn’t enough ambiguity and flux in your life, there is the added confusion of how to dress, which includes swimwear. Are we trying to hang onto our youth (i.e early 20s) as it slips away or do we embrace our Real Adult Woman selves and try to make a statement about how classy we are? What exactly does that balance look like? So many questions? Help?
Ok. Let’s breathe. I think, very, very generally speaking:
Early 20s - College, parties, first-jobs, getting into that whole “adult thing.” We’re still young & adorable, but we’re definitely not a teenager anymore. We should live it up a little a lot.
Late 20s - Pretty much having our shit together, at least in a few facets of life. Whether we’re single, married, with child, without, there is a certain level of class that we’d like to exude.
Mid 20s - ?!?!?! So let’s just be really trendy because it reflects our tumult.
Again, I said that was very general, so please humor me and let’s just agree this is the easiest path to explore.
Onto the swimwear.
Now is the time for wild prints & bright colors. Small florals, chevron, watercolor or tie dye, and even a multiple prints in one suit - all fair game. On that same note, a solid top and printed bottom (or reversed) is super cute and allows you to mix & match a ton of pieces.
One-pieces should be bright and young, not uber revealing. A giant bow or a graphic print with a fun cut is perfect.
If you like the retro, under-wire bra style, opt for a print like polka dots in a fun color. No need to look like you’re actually swimming in your bra. A select few of your peers will take care of that task for you.
Other embellishments that are perfect for college & party days: Ruffles (both billowy and super textured), ruched fabric and side ties.
The classic triangle bikini works for your young bod, but go for a print in a trendy color, like neon.
Crochet, fringe, hints of hardware and more risque cut-outs are spot-on for your hey-I’m-pretty-much-a-woman-now phase.
Dig your heels into more mature florals (larger flowers, less bright, a little vintage) and try a retro, high cut bottom - as long as it’s in an edgy print, like aztec.
If you want a one-piece, opt for crochet in a classic color, or a deep v in a 70s print or bold color. This is the best time to push the envelope with the one-piece.
This is also a great time to get acquainted with stronger, bolder colors (black, white, red), in a basic cut (i.e no bows, extra ties, ruffles, etc) that really flatters your body type. You can pair styles like this with a giant hat or headscarf, bright lipstick, or lots of accessories.
Bra-style tops work in a deep, rich, solid color. Strapless tops are also a fantastic option; sexier than a halter or thin strap and which allows you to go for a bow or floral in a more mature way.
Move towards a collection of almost entirely mature colors, like red, white, orange, black and even a shimmery nude; in both prints & solids.
Perfect prints for your bodacious, womanly self: Leopard, retro stripes, peacock, Missoni-esque zig zags & other 70s-style prints. You can still do aztec and polka dots easily, just keep it black & white.
Fringe is still totally fair game in a timeless color like red. It’s a nice juxtaposition of trendy & classic. That’s kind of the goal with this age range. You’re still so young, but you’re definitely not 20 (and probably don’t want to harken that age, anyway). Keep it classy, lassie.
Padded, push-up tops in a bold color are an easy way to show off your curves in an adult format. Those tiny, triangle top days have passed.
One-pieces have shifted away from crazy cuts and crochet, to slyly sexy, like a deep v with coverage everywhere else and interesting details like a side tie or gathered waist. To avoid looking too mature (read: old) in this style, amp it up with wedges and eclectic accessories.
Just like the seasons, I love nothing more than getting excited about a different take on fashion at every phase. Beach it up, bitches!
Our quintessentially summer party holiday is upon us. No matter how you plan to spend the 4th of July, two things are for sure: You’re going to celebrate and you want to look cute. Am I wrong? It’s such a carefree, anything-goes holiday, which is the perfect invitation for a fun outfit to match whatever shenanigans you partake in.
I’ve put together four looks in four distinct styles, all with a nod to the classic colors of the 4th. It’s always fun to get into the spirit of a holiday with your outfit, but it doesn’t have to be childish or loud. There are a lot of ways to use pieces that you already have (or could buy & wear many times), stay within the patriotic theme in a relaxed, chic way.
Have a look!
P.S All the pieces in each look are $50 or less. Truth.
This look goes from day-to-night effortlessly. A light, white maxi will keep you cool during the day (that bun doesn’t hurt either). Pair it with a denim jacket to stay warm in the evening. Denim is a great way to incorporate blue into your 4th look in a subtle way. Plus, it’s insanely on-trend for summer. Aren’t you lucky. Try an orange-red nail and a classic red lip for depth and interest. Makeup that’s too matchy will look fussier and dressier than you want for such a chill look. Incorporating two shades of red will play up your features so you don’t get washed out in the white & light blue.
This is great for a backyard party or watching the fireworks downtown. It’s relaxed (maxi & denim) and a wee bit rustic (braided bun, crochet sandals), but it’s also very polished and put-together (red lips & nails, structured, modern clutch; gold jewelry). It’s insanely versatile.
Spending the day on the boat? Another day-to-night look that allows you to enjoy your day without a wardrobe change. The wedges and breezy blue dress are dressy enough to fit perfectly in a BBQ gathering or rooftop party; a floppy hat, trendy fishtail braid & aviators will help you get through a day of wind, water & sun without ending up disheveled.
An easy way to go red, white & blue without being too cliche is by deviating from the classic shades with cornflower blue and a hot, orange-red. A nude shoe & light straw hat take on the white role without being too literal, and balances the two bold colors nicely.
If there was ever a time to be really vintage and on-trend at the same time, it’s summer 2013. Choose this look for a dressier daytime soiree or a warm night out. White crochet shorts are cute as hell and this holiday is a great opportunity to rock ‘em. A bright, retro red is the best pair for a creamy white, so this classic chiffon blouse is perf. The bright light blue nail polish takes a huge detour from the classic 4th-of-July blue, so you can be cutely thematic and not tacky. Cat-eye sunglasses are way in right now and they also scream 1950s, so enjoy being everything all at once. I chose a white, streamlined clutch to tie in the shorts without competing and went for a popular shoe cut in a retro print. Rar. The black in the shoe ties into the glasses (sneaky, but important) so you’re coordinated head-to-toe. Lastly, finish the look with a messy bun. It’s young and not too serious; a nice balance for such a polished, pretty look.
If you’re kicking back at the cabin, going to a rock show or having a bonfire, embrace this summer’s wildly fun bohemian trend. It’s distinctly meant for ladies in their 20s, so take full advantage if you fit the criteria and feel like being a little edgy on the 4th. The late 60s/early 70s has been back for fall and winter the past few years, and now it’s made a move on the warm seasons. It’s also very Americana and super easy to do in red, white & blue, as you can see. Crop tops and cut-off denim are both in, but cover up (a little) with a roomy, crochet open cardi for texture and flair. Add a few chunky gold rings and a bangle with your long, beachy waves for a great juxtaposition of hard and soft; exactly what this style is about. Dark red nails to set off the classic flag-honoring stripes of the crop top; ivory crochet, blue denim, white sandals. Oh, the color theme is totally there, but it’s so naturally done, you’d never notice if it wasn’t the 4th. And have a beer because you look so flipping awesome.
Hopefully you’ve found a look to latch onto and inspire your summer holiday look!
I’ve waited far too long to say this, but summer is finally here. Let’s take a break from fashion appliCAITions, while I lecture you about the importance of protecting your skin and show you some pretty pictures to prove that if you’re feeling “too white” for the season, you need to check yoself.
What this annual post isn’t: Trying to show that it’s totally way more awesome to be pale over another skin tone. Because that would be silly.
And it really applies to everyone. Pale ladies are not the only ones who should embrace their natural coloring. As Jezebel so delightfully put it: Sunscreen stops time from stomping all over your face. All skin tones are susceptible to unnecessary aging and damage if we intentionally or accidentally burn or tan. Yes, even you hot mamas who are naturally bronzed. Or you olive-skinned beauties. Orrrr you sandy beige babes. You, yes. You.
Wear some damn sunscreen.
What this post is: Inspiration for the lightest ladies to stop trying to be something we’re not (super tan) and embracing who we are naturally (super pale), for the sake of our health. The imagery is meant to illustrate how gorg your fair skin is, even in the hottest months. Because I love you and don’t want you to get skin cancer. Resist the pressure to look tan! You’re bigger than that, sweet pea.
As a woman of only 26, who got two moles quite aggressively removed with two layers of fun stitches, lots of discomfort and purple scars (that’s what happens when pink skin scars, fun fact) as a beautiful memory of the event, I can now say with experience, that the effects of sun damage are SO NOT worth being the tiniest bit tan.
So, if you’re a fair maiden, this one’s for you.
Oh, side note: Rock a red lip this summer. After you see these photos, you won’t be able to resist. And I’ll join you.
Well don’t I feel special! My super-talented fellow blogger Rachel at Existation nominated me for a Liebster Award, which is an award given by bloggers with less than 200 followers, to other bloggers with less than 200 followers. I think we’ve all been cheating around the follower # BUT it’s the thought that counts, right?
Thank you Rachel!
Here are the current “official” rules for The Liebster Award:
Acknowledge the blog that nominated you in a post. Check. Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger created. I’m just going to use the same questions that Rachel did. Nominate bloggers that you believe deserve some recognition. I’d be happy to! Post 11 questions for them to answer. Answer the same questions that I did. Notify all the bloggers selected that they have been nominated. And finally, you can’t nominate the blog who nominated you. Fine. How about if I brag about her right now instead?
This lady blogger is crazy talented at photography and has her own business, Ebb & Flow Photography. If you live in the Midwest or west coast and need some head shots, engagement or wedding photos, or just some general lifestyle loveliness, contact her! She won’t let you down.
And now onto the Q&A:
1. Why did you start blogging? I’ve always been a writer. I started journaling when I was 10 and now have over 60 journals that chronicle pieces of the last 16 years of my life. I also have a degree in journalism, which lead me to some pretty fun editorial jobs & internships. My current job, however, is not exactly speaking to my soul. I describe my main motivation for blogging in my About section.
2. If a genie granted you three wishes that you could only use on yourself, what would they be and why? 1. A job that allows me to work from home (or anywhere) and fulfill my calling, see question #6. 2. A very healthy, long life. 3. A room closet. Like this:
3. What’s your favorite go-to snack? Chips, guacamole & salsa. And a margarita.
4. Where’s one place you never want to visit and why? There are just as many places that I have no desire to visit than places I dream of visiting. I hate to single out one place, so let’s just say anywhere that is over-populated and over-stimulating, or very dangerous. No thank you. What’s one place I DO want to visit more than anywhere else? PARIS.
5. Did you enjoy high school? Why or why not? Not as much as college and certainly not as much as my life right now. As nostalgic as I get for “simpler days,” I realize those days were an emotional & social rollercoaster. A time of life that must be lived & experienced to the fullest to really mature & get to a place that is much less tumultuous. So, I appreciated high school, but I have no wishes to repeat it.
6. What do you believe your “calling” in life is? Do you believe in a “calling?” I’d feel awfully high & mighty declaring that I really know what my calling is…but I do feel compelled to help others understand themselves better, to advocate for those who don’t have a voice (my journalism background, my desire to protect all animals, etc.) and to express my identity in a creative, true, emotionally-fulfilling way. Now, how exactly I go about accomplishing all those things…TBD!
7. Favorite guilty pleasure song and/or TV show? I have zero qualms admitting to all the music I listen to. As for television…I think I could make more of a confession about my TV habits than any particular shows. Fact: I just watched the entire season of House of Cards in 24 hours. #NetflixFoLyfe. I also finished all seven seasons of 24 in just a few months. That’s literally a week of TV. Also facts: I have a full-time job, friends and a husband. I clean my house, make my own meals and often see the light of day.
8. Besides blogging, what’s your favorite social media outlet and why? Instagram. For suresies. I love the streamlined simplicity and it has the ability to be more artistic than Twitter or Facebook.
9. What’s one of your proudest moments or accomplishments? Any time I hear that someone digs my blog, I get pretty jolly. I’m also really proud of all my published articles and paintings that I’ve had displayed in public.
10. What are three qualities that are mandatory that your friends have? 1. The desire for deep chats. Enjoys hours of conversation over wine or coffee. 2. An understanding of my introvertedness. Without that, you will have a very inaccurate depiction of me. 3. An enormous sense of humor; a we’re-going-to-hell-for-this brand of humor. Coupled with a knack for sarcasm.
11. You can take a 12-day, all-inclusive vacation somewhere with four other people. Who do you pick and where do you go? My husband, parents & brother. We go to the Sonora Resort in British Columbia. Because look at it. I’d choose this over a hot, tropical vacation any day. You heard me.
After a long and arduous journey of mistrials and experimentation, I have finally found it.
The best red.
I won’t get too carried away…this isn’t the best red for everyone. But it certainly is for me & I know with all my nail-polish-loving heart it will be for many of you. Insanely easy to apply; rich, glossy, fiery. It’s classic and vintage. It’s saucy and office appropriate. Hot enough for summer, but refined enough to work for winter, too. For. reals.
One of the biggest challenges with red (besides managing to be so many things at once, as previously mentioned) is skin tone. There are blue-reds, orange-reds, cool and warm reds; and even more variations in our skin tones. SO. Don’t get discouraged when you feel like a lot of red nail polishes or lipsticks look bad on you. It’s not you, it’s them, my dear.
Generally, if you have pink or blue undertones and cool skin, you’ll want the red to have that same underlying base. This is most important when you’re trying to find a classic red, but it also rings true for coral, berry reds and dark reds.
To avoid getting overwhelmed, my strategy has been to nail a few shades that definitely work with my skin tone and stay true to those. There are general categories that we all fit into: Fair, medium & dark skin; cool or warm undertones. If you think that seems overly simplified, it kind of is. But surprisingly, paying attention to cool vs. warm is really helpful.
Another factor to consider is that it’s so damn difficult to really get a sense of a color in the store without opening up the nail polish bottle or lipstick tube and discreetly sampling it. Even then, you may be so rushed about testing it without someone giving you an evil eye, that you can’t really get a feel for it. That’s why, if I’m going to be real with you, there’s a fair amount of trial and error that will have to take place. Just use your best judgement and the basic guidelines of matching cool or warm hues with your skin and eventually, you will find the most perfect shade that will make your cosmetic journey worthwhile.
If you love Mad Men…and you love fashion…I have landed on the blog moon. I couldn’t resist sharing Tom & Lorenzo’s Mad Style posts, which are a super-smart analysis of the deeply-intentional costuming for Mad Men. I’ve always enjoyed the foreshadowing, implications, complex relationships, character development and historical accuracy that this show so beautifully weaves together. But now…realizing that the wardrobes of all the characters are playing out these elements…in such a clever way…kind of blows my mind. This show has a brand new layer that I’m stoked about. Kind of addicted to this blog now.
Like most events in my life, creating the look is half the fun. This sentiment is not meant to take anything away from the moments themselves. Nay. It actually enhances and multiplies the enjoyment.
An electronic dance music (EDM) show is a prime example. My best lady friend (BLF) and I delight in the creation of our show looks. We consider this an opportunity to exercise our most creative and fun ideas. We don’t make any rules; we don’t have any expectations. We simply create.
When you’re in the right mood to create any look, the result is a mirrored reflection of your insides.
That is the ultimate achievement in styling yourself. Whether it’s for your wedding day, a solemn occasion or a night of pure shenanigans, that achievement is always the goal.
For this particular event, we were just out to have fun, dance around & enjoy the energy of the music. The result is an eclectic mix of uber trendy items and 80s or 90s aesthetic. It just kind of happens.
We are asked (incredibly often) if we’re sisters. That night, we were asked if we’re sisters from Sweden. From. Sweden. I want to believe that this person has a fantastic eye for ethnicity and characterizing features, but sadly, I think it was just blonde + braids. I had no idea that simplistic stereotype was still hanging around. Hum.
Wedding season is upon us, ladies. Just because I was only a wedding guest once this year, doesn’t mean the same is true for you! If there’s anything I learned from my wedding guest marathon last year, it’s that sinking into the mood and trend of the event is both fun and a great fashion opportunity! So embrace the chance to amp up your typical style choices and put some thought into your look.
These four looks exemplify the most common wedding settings and how best to create your look for the occasion.
If you’re attending a wedding in a modern, urban setting like a dressed-up warehouse or trendy restaurant, make sure you’re equal parts sophisticated and artsy. Look like you “get it.”
A print in a simple shape like the uber-trendy shift dress is perfectly modern chic. Pair it with classic pointed pumps and a patent clutch to stay classy and wedding-appropriate. A nice balance to the structured dress & dark accessories is long, beachy waves, fluffy eyelashes and bright, summery nails. Stay on the trend train with a set of thin, gold rings scattered throughout your fingers.
Nuptials in a very classic setting such as a golf club or ballroom call for something that cannot fail. Follow this formula to ensure you pay proper homage to the formal affair.
A timelessly-cut LBD is an easy win. Keep your hair sophisticated with a sleek, low chignon. Because the dress is so simple (in the best way possible), you can add an on-trend piece like a gold, cut-out collar necklace. Tie it together with a clean, gold clutch. Fuchsia pumps are so summer; do it in a subtle suede in a leg-lengthening pointed toe.
The super popular vintage, rustic wedding scheme shows no signs of stopping. Naturally, this wedding style seems casual, which may lead you to believe you can wear almost anything. Not so! This is still a wedding, guys, and a great chance to stretch your style muscles. You can be chic, dressy AND country, rustic in one fell swoop.
If you’ll be totally or partially outdoors, go for camel or tan accessories instead of black. Mixing materials like suede peep-toe booties and a classic leather clutch is a great way to avoid being too matchy.
This printed dress has a cute, prairie vibe and the young girl cut is a nice way to balance mature accessories. If you’re going to wear an a-line dress, especially in a short sleeve like this, make sure the rest of your look fits your age, or you’ll end up looking like a child. Avoid flats, delicate jewelry or a cardigan. A bulky, charcoal menswear blazer and glam, long earrings are an unexpected, but totally smart pair. Very reminiscent of J.Crew.
Crown braids completely pull together the rustic look and will keep your hair cute all night, no matter the weather. It’s also way on-trend and fun. Dark red nails also help solidify this eclectic look in a rich, warm way.
Maxis and the beach are a match just as perfect as the bride & groom. I’m loving the sheer panel maxis with a shorter skirt underneath. It will definitely keep your legs cool and gives you an opportunity to show off a cute pair of wedges that will show through the dress! Ankle strap wedges are a smart choice for possibly uneven terrain like sand or grass. Black with a fun, colorful floral print is both understated and fun.
Go for simple jewelry like a cute pair of rings and stud earrings. Huge, chunky jewelry might look a little high-maintenance at an affair like this. You want to look breezy, babe! Bring in some boho and tie the shoes to the bag with a straw purse. A round handle like this will fit easily around your arm, so you can hold a drink or your dates arm with no struggle. Don’t overdue the makeup either, so pick either a bright lip and nude nails, or reverse.
While it’s tempting to go with flowy, beachy waves, I suggest a wavy or looped chignon with tons of hairspray. This low, side hairstyle still looks relaxed and chic, but it will prevent you from getting a bunch of hair in your eyes or mouth while you’re trying to take a sip of wine or watch the ceremony.
Hope you have fun at any weddings you may attend this summer season!
Mmm, Cannes. You give me a hearty dose of red carpet when I’m jonesing for awards season to come back. Designers are not playing around at this southern France affair & there’s better fashion here than most of the year. I also appreciate the global collection of legitimate actors, producers, writers, etc., who show up in their chicest to give some well-deserved face time to great works in film.
And now, the classiest dames of Cannes.
Jennifer Lawrence in Christian Dior
Black and white was big at Cannes and this is a shining example. She’s really gotten accustomed to rocking the strapless throughout awards season and I appreciate her doing the dress justice with firm posture. Hair and makeup are killing it; keeping Jennifer young and bright. This dress could’ve been styled differently on someone 30 years older and still worked. It’s always about how you package a dress!
Julianne Moore in Christian Dior Couture
I went back and forth on this choice for a while, but this is just such a great dress for a woman of her personality and age, and she wears it sooo well. Jewelry, hair & shoes (except her pinky toe - what the hell?) are all great choices. It’s just really fun, formal & trendy.
Isla Fisher in Dolce & Gabbana
White is such a perfect choice at Cannes. I can hardly think of a better backdrop for Isla’s firey locks, pink skin and the warmth & luxury of southern France than a crisp, white dress. Insanely classic; love the laser cut detail.
Nicole Kidman in Dior
Hey Nicole, let’s have some tea while you let me wear those shoes. And later I will make curtains out of your ornate, pretty, midi frock.
and the hair
I’ve never seen this and it’s one of the most formal, appropriate ways to wear a ponytail on the red carpet. With Nicole’s look, it’s very chic and sleek, but this could easily work as an edgy hair choice with a more defiant, powerful look.
Carey Mulligan in Dior
So elegant. Stunning. Old Hollywood. I wouldn’t make a habit of wearing that color with such a light skin tone. Make it a moment. Like this!
Cara Delevingne in Burberry
Bam. Black lace, red lips & nails, diamonds. I don’t think this requires further explanation.
Freida Pinto in Gucci
and again in Sanchita
Twice. Because she is a red carpet stunner and can do no wrong when it comes to Cannes. Freida has an amazing track record of fantastic, on-trend, on-point looks every year. Classy, exciting, creative. Love her.
Zhang Yuqi in Ulyana Sergeenko
I’m slightly torn, only because I think this dress looses some refinement and class with the heaping serving of cleavage. It’s such an elegant gown in a gorgeous, saturated green, it’s kind of a shame. While she looks beautiful in it, I would’ve liked to see this on a very small-chested lady. I think that’s the only way you can pull off a deeeeep neckline.
This mani moment is courtesy of my new favorite pink. It’s like a glossy, fresh, frosted donut on my nails.
Essie Neo Whimsical for the win.
Between the Starbucks (which is a treat for me, not a daily thing, so I like to make a big deal about it & how happy it makes me) and this fresh mani, Friday is off to a good start. The little things, dolls.
Neo Whimsical is an opaque, cool, sweet light pink that’s darker than a blush and lighter than a medium pink. You may not realize it (because you’re likely not as nerdy about polish as me - count your blessings), but this shade of pink is extremely hard to come by.
Because of the pink undertones in my fair skin, I wear either a light blush pink or a dark, cool fuschia. Medium pink, bubblegum pink, mauve pink - completely blech on my hands. This might be a completely different scenario for you, but regardless, this pink.is.amazing. Flattering on any skin tone, it will pop without being too immature or obnoxious.
You’ll be surprised how many looks it blends into, even if you’re wearing another shade of pink. This polish color also looks killer with camel, ivory or gray. It’s super cute for spring & summer and pigmented enough to work on your toes, too.
I feel like I owe you a really solid post, considering I’ve been a bit less active lately. I blame the psychotic spring weather we’ve been having. From snow to heat advisories in a 10-day span, my head has been spinning and I’ve been in a fashion funk. Let’s just get to some consistency, please.
Now that a reliable warm season has arrived, we should chat about summer shopping. Even if you live in a climate that’s warm year-round, there are still summer-specific pieces you’re likely excited about. And if you’re anything like me, it’s easy to get caught up in the exhilaration of summer shopping. To be sure that you don’t go overboard or overspend on one piece, keep your eye on cheaper doppelgangers and implement some strategy into what you really must have.
Save vs. splurge
Summer, in my opinion, is not the best time to splurge. So a general guideline is to go for the save, every time. Warm weather pieces tend to be ultra-trendy and will last longer because they aren’t up against the harshness of a long & chilly fall/winter. Don’t you dare spend more on a pair of sandal wedges than you would on tall heel boots.
Here are a few trend pieces and proof that saving is easy this summer.
No disrespect to the higher-end pieces, but only go for a splurge if it’s exactly what you’re looking for (you’re certain nothing else will do), you need it for a special event (rehearsal dinner or another event where you’re the center of attention), and your summer wardrobe is already set. Otherwise, Savings City it is. Plus, no.one.will.know.
For a cool, spring evening downtown. Live music & drinks.
Pretty pink pleated maxi. Seasonally on-point. Bolstered by black; the color of classic, urban, un-fussiness. Tan booties for a bit of lift with tons of comfort for hours of standing & walking. Tresses are curled & easy-going.
This is a great alternative if you’re not in the mood for jeans, heels & a top and don’t want to be too dressy.
Short & sweet today, dolls. Perhaps I need more coffee…
When you want an easy color that will shine with any look, but you’re just not in the mood for a nude or pale pink…
…go for a rose gold.
Mani of the Moment brought to you by Essie Penny Talk.
I would definitely consider this a neutral. Just like your jewelry, a metallic nail color will blend into any outfit you pair it with. It doesn’t really count as an additional color in your look. And depending on how dressed up you get, Penny Talk can go from glam to playful & cute.
The difference in usability between a rose gold versus a silver or gold nail color is actually quite vast. The rose gold won’t try to mimic your white or yellow gold jewelry; it’s not overly glitzy and it won’t make you feel like it’s New Year’s Eve. The rose tint makes all the difference.
So, if a fuchsia or red just seems like too much for the moment, but you want some mystique in your mani, slather on a coat of rose gold and be on your way.
The scene out my window is lacking variation or vibrancy. Gray skies, dull earth, rain/snow that blurs everything into a chill shroud. While gray is one of my favorite colors, that’s not the point. I have spent months (and then a few more months) appreciating the sharp, dark branches, hugged with plush snow; a quiet, soft landscape of monochrome and muted tones. I love that sh*t, don’t get me wrong. But, enough is enough. I’m overdue for a soiree of color palettes. The design seeds below and their accompanying looks are a welcome escape and a sight of things to come. Sometimes, creating a look that starts with a specific set of colors is the best way to satisfy your fashion soul. Fun colors, warm weather outfits. Let’s do it.
It seems my role as a wedding guest is feast (last year) or famine (this year). Instead of a wedding guest series, this is all you get!
A lovely wedding that narrowly escaped the spring snowstorms that had been beating us senseless, like a slip of paper under the door. Thankfully, that meant we could all go along with our planned spring attire.
This dress was the perfect coverage & color balance. The bright, peachy pink is a warm nod to the season, while the long sleeve, shift cut keeps it classy and appropriate for a wedding (or even the office!). The mod 60s are all over the SS13 ready-to-wear looks, particularly shift dresses. Get ready for shift dresses to be way in for the spring & summer. Feel no remorse stocking up - they are insanely versatile.
I chose nude and gold accessories to keep it light and warm, with the focus on the dress color. I bolstered the ensemble down with a dark, dusty rose lip, so my blonde hair and fair complexion didn’t get totally lost in the light look.
You could take a bright dress like this and make it a night look with a camel blazer or faux leather jacket, dark nails, black wedges, a black clutch and a giant cocktail ring.
Convert this pink frock into an office look with neutral flats, minimal jewelry (maybe a long, simple necklace and studs), a sleek chignon and gray or taupe nails. You could also throw a gray or beige blazer over the dress to tone down the impact of color.
Mmm, the possibilities.
While there may not be another wedding guest series of posts this year, there is sure to be plenty of fashion challenges to tackle and style strategies to implement.
I’m also totally open to ideas. If there’s a style series you want to see or you have a challenge of your own that you’d like me to solve, let me know! Send me a Facebook message or Tweet me.
It wouldn’t have been a good weekend without some good vino. And a chic, pale polish.
OPI Bubble Bath
Bubble Bath is my all-time favorite, go-to, must-have pale polish for ultimate class and sophistication. It’s understated without being boring; it’s feminine, versatile, and pretty. This OPI shade is a light blush pink that really looks more like a nude on my hands because I have very fair skin with pink undertones. It goes from sheer to opaque in 3 coats, and has a very creamy, soft finish that looks great with high-gloss topcoat.
This color is truly an all-seasons pick. Perfectly delicate for spring, clean & refreshing in the summer (and a great balance with bright looks), chic & polished with tailored looks in the fall, and a soft balance to rich, dark looks in the winter.
As I described in the nail polish essentials post, your perfect shade of nude or pale pink may not be the same as mine, but every lady has one. Consider the undertones and shade of your skin and do a bit of experimenting. Some beauty supply stores will be nice enough to let you test a few shades or you can purchase mini packs of Essie or OPI (Amazon has a wide variety for slightly cheaper than stores).
If you don’t wear nail polish regularly or can’t figure out what your favorite colors are for your particular style set, start with a pale pink. In the nail polish world, a blush color is considered a neutral. It’s really easy to commit to this shade because it’s such a chameleon and isn’t too bright or trendy. It might just be your gateway drug to the gorgeous world of nail color.
A few thoughts on being a victim of trends, namely, how to prevent it.
It can be really overwhelming to see your favorite stores overloaded with new trends, things you don’t own, feel like you should be wearing, etc. So let’s chat about how to stay in control and pick trends that really flatter you & reflect your personality, whilst preventing yourself from crumbling under the pressure of trends.
There are plenty of trends that I enjoy, but haven’t participated in: Peter pan collars, neon skinny jeans, denim jackets & vests, canvas slip-ons, high-low dresses & skirts. These are trends I react positively to, but they don’t necessarily fit my natural style and probably won’t last that long. I have to constantly resist picking up these pieces.
It’s all about reminding yourself that you can’t have everything and you really don’t need to. Being fashionable is about rocking specific trends well; being stylish is about knowing which trends to rock.
The best trends to participate in are the ones that get you the most excited. Example: I love lace. Thank GOD lace is in. Now, I can wear it in new and exciting ways. When something becomes a trend, like lace, you’ll start seeing it everywhere, on everything - shoes, tanks, shorts, sweaters, the back of loose tees, etc. So, I’ll pick a few of those that don’t come off as totally silly to me, and go to town. Another example: Pastels, specifically pink and mint. I already love these colors; I loved them when I was a wee child in the 80s, so this modernized, chic take on this color scheme is a joyful experience for me. These colors also look great with my light coloring (This is important: If you love a color, but it looks bad on you, I’m sorry. Paint a bathroom that color or something, but don’t wear it.)
So, needless to say, I jumped on the trend as well. I have a few mint blouses, and a blush skirt and blazer. Thankfully, the pastel craze returned for a second spring/summer round, so last year’s purchases are safe & sound. I still have almost every type of clothing & accessory in black and that’s not going to change just because other fun colors are in.
Keep to your staples; your classics; things that you know look good on you & stand the test of time.
In my case, I shouldn’t go all out, making lace and mint the centerpiece of my wardrobe. I work it in, stirring it into my other classic staples.
Resist. You may think something is cute, but that doesn’t mean you need it in every shape and form. It might be hard to figure out what trends are worth your money and how far to go when you love something, but you’ll get a feel for it with time.
Always be mindful in your purchases of trends. Ask yourself, ‘how does this fit with pieces i have that are classic?’ ‘Does this mix well into my personal style or is it a huge deviation?’ Nothing is more transparent and unfortunate than watching someone blindly follow trends with no sense of who they really are, style-wise, through it all.
Trends will come and go, but you and your personal style must stand the test of time.
Think about how 80s you’re willing to go without actually transporting yourself back there (because remember, there were many terrifying fashion choices in that era). How much aztec or boho will you implement before you start to look like a different person?
Trends help you evolve; try new things, test your limits, and define your style spectrum. It can be a hypnotically fun world to get lost in and there’s no need to feel bad about enjoying that, but like all things in life, don’t lose sight of your style self.
Along with the cheap & easy 1980s pop culture reference, I bring you nail color inspiration with my mani-of-the-moment.
OPI Ate Berries in the Canaries
A cool, rich, fuchsia berry that is strong enough for cold weather; feminine and cute enough for spring. It’s a good adult pink that is office appropriate, but still super fun for special occasions and warm weather. I think this was my effort to coax spring out of whatever cave it’s hiding in (still.snow.help.) but still look chic while I’m bundling up and wearing dark or neutral looks.
This OPI shade has a smooth, pigmented application. You will be totally good-to-go after two thin coats. I have it on my fingers and toes, but it would also be really cute as a pedi with a pale pink or nude mani in the summer.
What do you call a set of looks that you can’t actually wear to the event you created them for? You’re just dreamin’, honey.
Coachella is not only a flight’s distance away, but as per usual, it’s sold out. The dual-weekend desert fest has such a distinct style, I couldn’t help but get inspired. Plus, there’s no good reason you couldn’t implement this aesthetic into your summer looks. Maybe you’re going to a music festival in your area, having a beach bonfire or just going out on a steamy summer night (I’ve been told that this season will occur, but where I live right now there’s still.snow.dear.god.).
Check out three looks and Coachella’s mind-blowing schedule. I circled my faves, pretending as if I’m actually going. This post is all about dreaming.
too much. so much, a perfect amount, and I don’t care who knows it. I will shout it from the roof tops. Delicate, tiny blinks of rich color, enhancing every outfit & skin tone. Feminine. Cute. It’s a way to be really on-trend or perfectly classic in a subtle, inexpensive way…unless you count Dior, YSL or Chanel. I would say that it’s not worth $20 for a bottle of nail polish, except it is totally worth it (for a bottle or two, if you’re a freak like me).
Whether you’re totally into it or just enjoy a good mani occasionally, there are colors that you should get accustomed to. Nail color is tricky because on the one hand, there are no rules and it’s a very fleeting accessory. There’s no one way to do it “right” but there are definitely ways to do it well, which is the other hand - the essentials.
If you have a stash of your own, these are the colors you must have. Add in whatever trendy, fun colors you want, but keep these staples present. If you cannot or dislike giving yourself a mani/pedi, then keep these colors locked in your memory bank for your trips to the salon.
When I say red, I mean pin-up, vintage, hothot red. Color so hot it burns. And somehow, this red goes well with any outfit. Pay attention to a cool bright red vs. a warm one (examples of both above) and pick the one that best fits your skin tone. I would reserve red for winter or summer.
All year, all day. Nude is chiiiiic and goes well with almost any look (there are just a few cases where you really need a bold nail). Of all colors, it’s most important to be mindful of your skin tone with nude. If you have pink or blue undertones like me, a very pale blush pink can actually be a nude (like Ballet Slippers). Because there are so many slight variances in skin tone and nail color, you’ll likely have to play around with a few shades until you find Your Perfect Nude Polish.
Peach and coral is amazing for spring & summer and a firey orange-red (like Tasmanian) is spot-on for a sweltering July day. If you’re bored with red & pink, this is a really fun deviation and very on-trend. If you love this color family, rock it out in the warm months because it’s a little awkward to for the winter & fall.
Sophisticated, sultry, vampy. I love a good dark nail. The best colors are the ones that are so dark they appear black in dark lighting, but there is no mistaking that there’s a rich shade of purple or burgundy. If you try a dark polish and it really just looks black, trash it. There are so many luscious shades of plum, bordeaux, navy and emerald out there, don’t mess around with a dark polish that doesn’t hit the mark. Dark polish works on toes year-round and as a fall/winter mani. If you want to slip it in between bright & light manis in the summer, it can be awesomely edgy and dramatic; just be sure to pair it with bright colors.
Think pink! Think pink when you want to feel girly, when you’ve got an outfit full of neutrals or metallic embellishments; when you need a neutral nail but want a whisper of color; whenever the hell you feel like it! Light pink nails work all year, as long as you’re mindful of the shade. Softer, cooler pinks are basically a neutral in the nail world, so fall or winter is fair game. Baby or Barbie pink or purple-pinks can be a summer staple.
Darker neutrals like taupe, mushroom and gray started to get uber popular a few years ago and they’re not going anywhere. They are just too damn classy and easy to quit. Gray is really gorg in the winter against fair skin; mushroom or a cool taupe (with almost a purple hue) work well in the fall or winter; and a latte shade (like Jacques, still kicking after 3 or 4 years) is autumn’s best friend.
Lastly, it’s fun to have one or two shades in your stash (or mani appt rotation) for the super trendy colors. Metallic and glitter is heavily popular and glam for days. Leave the colored glitter & metallics for tweens and stick to shades of gold & silver. Rose gold (like Penny Talk) is the most versatile and sophisticated of the metals. Navy is another trend that’s really classy and a nice diversion from the standard dark wine nails that can become such a habit in the cold months. The OPI example above has a nice gray sheen to it, so it’s not oppressively dark.
Hopefully you’re amped to polish your digits with a color that not only expresses the season, but your personal style & temperament.
Mani of the Moment: Ombré neutrals
L to R:Essie Ballet Slippers, Essie Penny Talk, Sally Hansen Commander in Chic
What kind of a self-proclaimed stylist would I be if I didn’t love a good fashion challenge?
Cold weather (patches of snow, blustery winds, cool temps) x Easter (spring holiday, traditionally loaded with pastel & warmth) = challenge accepted
That is the extent of my aptitude and interest in math.
Easter is totally different every year. We have everything from bright green grass and warm sun to snow and ice. This holiday skips around willy-nilly from March to April, not giving two sh*ts about anyone (who has any desire to plan around this day; events, apparel or otherwise). Yes, it has glorious religious meaning, but it’s always a fashion frenzy if you’re interested in dressing for the holiday.
SO, this is how I showed Easter who’s boss.
blouse: Forever21.skirt: BB Dakota.tights: Urban Outfitters. Very sturdy, highly recommended. shoes: Target. The most reliable, versatile, amazing pair of ballet wedges. I’m sorry, you can’t get them anymore. That’s how long we’ve been BFFs. nails: Essie Neo Whimsical.
Normally, I would scoff at black on Easter. This is coming from black’s biggest supporter/lover/defender. I have so much black in my wardrobe, I really belong in NYC. If anyone was going to wear this color on Easter, it’d be me. Regardless, I still felt a bit iffy about mixing it in with my pretty, planned pastel outfit.
But this was my logic: 1) I am 26. I’m not 6, so white tights and shoes were not an option. It was cold, so bare legs and nude shoes were also not happening. 2) I absolutely could’ve worn pants and closed toe shoes, but I was set on the blush skirt and mint blouse because not only is it an incredibly Easter-y combination, but I love both colors & they’re conveniently on-trend. It’s important to acknowledge that none of us have every piece of clothing imagineable for every event. I just didn’t have a pants/top/shoes combination that I loved for Easter as much as this skirt & blouse. 3) The blush skirt is also very thick & reminiscent of Baroque curtains in the tea room, so it’s perfect as a seasonal transition piece. 4) What’s stylish and in good taste for the North is not the same for the South, East, or West. Regional style is also something to be mindful of. When you live where I do, black tights on Easter is just not that weird.
Moral of the story (and most other style tales): It’s all about balance.
I realized this morning, when I threw on my old faithful outfit, that transitioning through seasons always takes a little more effort. I can tell that I’m just not up for a challenge when I dress in my fall-back look: skinnies or leggings, long tank, cardi, scarf, flats or a low wedge. It never fails. This outfit always looks pulled together, not too fancy, comfortable, and easy for a Friday in the office. I bet a lot of you have your own version of the old faithful - an outfit guarantee when you don’t have the time or inspiration for anything else.
Sometimes I feel lame wearing my go-to look it because I know it means that I couldn’t come up with something more creative. Other times, I just feel so classically me, that I gladly sink into the familiarity and comfort of the look. And today, I know that I’m wearing it because moving from winter to spring looks can be hard. When the calendar says spring, but there’s still snow on the ground; when you’re excited to get into your mild weather outfits, but know you’d freeze….then you need a transitional look.
This is what I’m wearing today; an example of my old faithful outfit.
And here are a few looks for winter-to-spring inspiration.
Mint and pale pink are back again this spring. Hallelujah! An ivory sweater is warm & cozy and the light color helps soften the look for spring. Black accessories keep it from looking too eagerly spring when there’s still a chill in the air. Scarves are a win all year long; adding a flower print is a subtle way to move away from your winter neckwear. A messy braided updo is cute and playful (spring), but also practical for cold winds (winter).
Gray is an awesome transitional color. It’s softer and lighter than black, but still neutral enough to use for tights, shoes & bags. Bold fuschia and green are colors that could be worn in winter or spring. Combining them, however, shouts April. And again, a floral print is a fantastic way to get away from winter. This particular print has an antique, vintage feel, which is definitely a fall or spring persona. By summer, you’ll want to lean towards more modern floral prints or aztec (another trend that’s returning). Keep the nails light and the hair flowy!
Boho is so easy for transitioning because it’s all about eclecticism; combining feminine with edgy in a relaxed way. Marry your summer floral maxi with a leather moto jacket and booties to keep covered & warm. With hair up and the option to take the jacket off, you’re ready in case the sun revs up. Pulling the peachy pink from the floral print to the nails and blush is a nice feminine touch to the more masculine jacket & shoes. Balance & boho, baby.
Here we are - the mother ship of fashion appliCAITions. Just got back from a Caribbean cruise and I’ve compiled my dinner looks for your inspiration. As I described in the packing post, these looks are the result of a fun Sunday outfit planning session. I was handsomely rewarded for my preparations by skipping the ‘what should I wear tonight?’ song & dance, and just putting on my pre-packaged look, opening a bottle of wine and enjoying the gorg waters of the Carib.
Maxis are effortlessly chic in warm weather and perfect for the evening, especially if the temp drops a bit. Gold jewelry and a bold, bright lip were key elements of each outfit. Breezy looks with warm, rich accents create a perfect sister to the seas, without being too literal.
This pic did not capture the sheerness of this dress. In fact, if it were actually this opaque, I wouldn’t have purchased it and certainly wouldn’t have worn it on a cruise. BUT, if you look very closely, you can see there’s a short skirt underneath and the overlay is sheer with slits (also not pictured). The sleeves are also sheer. I fell in love with this dress when I saw it move - it flows like the deep blue sea.
Do not fear plunging necklines if: you have a small set of tatas and fabric tape. This dress is so cozy, I might wear it to bed. With long sleeves & a maxi skirt, you really need a deep v, especially for a warm climate. You could easily add tights and a v-neck tank underneath & wear it in the fall or early spring with wedges or moto boots. It’s more versatile than you may think.
This is the most literal and overtly Caribbean look I own. It was purchased solely for trips south of Florida. Do not wear something like this in the Midwest. Too bad the wind caught the bottom of the dress because it has a fantastic shape & length.
I couldn’t go a whole week in the islands without an animal print! This was a no-brainer. Nude patent platforms lighten up the look; black heels would’ve been almost too formal and dark for this setting.
I have to tell you how comfortable these gold stilettos are. Ankle straps are paramount in creating a sturdy step and the less crazy straps & edges you have going on, the better. Simple straps in a gold hue blended with my skin and helped to elongate my short gams.
This black maxi had a plunging back. Love.
Apologies for the squinting and blowing hair; I was a victim of the elements. I couldn’t not use the ship deck as a backdrop, though; so pretty.
There was no convenient or practical time for shots of all my daytime beachwear, but I will at least share the inspiration with you:
I got so amped on the fun locations and wanted to create looks that mimicked the islands. This was my favorite one:
I returned to The North with no tan lines or sunburn and still enjoyed hours & days under the sweltering rays. For the win.
Other highlights, not fashion-related: Jet skiing & kayaking in Haiti, snorkeling off a catamaran in Grand Cayman, playing with dolphins in Cozumel, and drinking unlimited rum punch & Red Stripe on the beach in Jamaica. Irie indeed.
Outfit planning at its finest: Caribbean preparations
I’ve already mentioned a few ways to plan your outfits, but this time I’ve got a special project to really show you how I do it. When I travel anywhere for more than a few days, especially when the climate & location is vastly different from where I am now, I take some extra time to plan my outfits. It starts like this:
In this case, I’m preparing for a trip to the western Caribbean (Haiti, Jamaica, Cozumel, Grand Cayman). I took the entire warm weather chunk of my wardrobe and dropped it on the floor. I have some of those pieces in off-season storage in the guest room downstairs (the bedroom that is mostly just a train wreck of our “stuff”) and the rest of it I just pulled from my closet. Dresses, swimsuits, hats, clutches, shoes, jewelry. I didn’t think about what would go with what - I just wanted to start with all the raw materials.
Then, I got myself in the mood (because a cold, dark season that prompts me to wear snoods & leggings makes me feel awkward and scared about light, swingy dresses and tiny bikinis), with a few Songza playlists:
I started grabbing dresses, skirts, kaftans, and paired it with whatever seemed right. Not a lot of thinking, mostly just feelin’ it. Which resulted in this:
All the outfits laid out on the bed, ready for prime time. Mmm, and seven pairs of shoes. Well, eight. I chose to bring my Nikes too. BUT, the point is that I feel justified bringing that many pairs of shoes because I know which ones are meant for which outfit. I didn’t choose to bring that many shoes “just in case” I wanted them and would just “figure it out later.” They were carefully selected from a large group of Caribbean trip hopefuls.
Uber-planned, fashion-nerdy perhaps, but ultimately purposeful. It will save you lots of time on the trip, lots of room in your suitcase and lots of missed fashion opportunities. So, that’s my process and it comes highly recommended!
Because I’m not a master world traveler, I cannot impart a bunch of packing tips on you. However, my beauty arsenal is pretty well-defined and I think I have a few handy tips for a tropical vacation such as this:
Dry shampoo. You’ll get sweaty, you’ll be in the water and under the sun. That’s plenty of wear & tear on your locks; no need to scrub them with detergent every day. Your roots will probably need the most maintenance so I suggest using dry shampoo in between washings. If you’re just itching to get your hair in some fresh water, put a bit of shampoo on the roots only, lightly condition & rinse.
Also, embrace the top knot. This will buy you a day or two.
Blot papers. I’ve already sung their praises, but blot papers will be extremely helpful in the evening if your face is getting shinier than you like. Obviously, during the day, don’t sweat it (ha!) because you’ll want your face slathered in SPF 1,000 (no wrinkles for you, doll).
Lipstick. Extra points if you get one with SPF, but regardless, having your lips covered in a bright coral, fuschia or hot red is not only completely gorg (big hat, sunnies, kaftan, ugh, love) but it will actually protect your lips from burning. The skin on your lips has less melanin than anywhere else on your bod, so it’s especially prone to getting singed. Just avoid any shiny lipsticks or gloss, which is basically like pouring grease on a fire. Obviously, lip balm with SPF is another perfect option, but lipstick takes just as much effort and is way more glam. Your choice.
And the biggest beauty tip of them all = sun protection. I usually save my stay-pale preachings for the spring & summer, but because many of us are snow maidens who take warm trips, I think it really applies any time. Protect your skin, ladies!
I can promise at least a few shots of my looks on the trip. Stay tuned!
Why do people subconsciously feel obligated to wear jeans and *tennis shoes just because it’s Casual Friday?
Is that the outfit you long to wear every day of the week, and Friday is your free ticket to ride?
Or are you conforming because jeans have to be for Fridays because, just because, okay?
If jeans weren’t considered the go-to item on Casual Friday, if that precedent wasn’t set, would you just wear something **more comfortable?
Do people know there are **more comfortable things to wear than jeans, tennis shoes and a sweatshirt?
*When I say “tennis shoes,” I mean straight-up cross trainers. Not Sperrys, Toms, Nike street shoes, etc. I literally mean shoes you could wear to play tennis.
**Not referencing sweatpants. There are many fabrics for pants that are cozier than denim. There are many shoes that are just as comfortable as tennis shoes. Dresses are less constricting. Leggings and a flowy blouse; also more comfortable.
Well well well. It seems there was a fashion gem hidden inside of the Oscars, like a Russian nesting doll. The Vanity Fair after party looks were not only chic-as-hell, but they out-staged some of their Main Event Red Carpet counterparts. So. That means we’re gonna break this down because there’s a lot of fashion to uncover.
Let’s start with the Oscars red carpet.
Amy Adams in Oscar de la Renta
She pulls of the princess dress better than anyone around right now. And she does it in a mature way that is just effortless and pretty. This pale blue is goooorgeous on her, the bodice is perfect for the dreamy drama of the skirt, and her classic, simplistic jewelry & hair keeps it all in balance. Bravo.
Jennifer Lawrence in Dior Haute Couture
Even if I knew I was going to trip, I’d still agree to wear this dress. I bet J.Law would too. It’s beautiful. I’m not DYING, but I’m satisfied. She carries it really well. The delicate necklace that hung off her back was a smart choice; it helped to pull everything together, but the focus was still on the insane structure of this gown. Also, when you’re nominated for best actress, you can & should wear something that screams Bride or Princess or Hollywood Siren.
Which brings me to…
Jessica Chastain in Armani Prive
Hollywood SexPotBombSiren. Jessica has the hair, face and porcelain skin to go for the Old Hollywood glamour look and this dress is the spot-on completion. Normally, I would fear that this color would wash her out, but it’s so precise, that it works. There’s a bit of ginger glimmer and silver sparkle that actually accentuates her fiery locks and fair complexion. The ruby red lip was an absolute MUST. Love it.
Amanda Seyfried in Alexander McQueen
Depending on the light, this dress went from washed-out to really gorg. In this photo, you can see the cool lavender hue and intricate pattern. I think she could’ve gone bolder and I’m not in love with her hair (often times beachy/tousled hair helps to balance a super refined dress, but it’s just underwhelming here), BUT it’s a pretty dress and she wears it well.
Sally Field in Valentino
Ohhh that Valentino red. It’s never not richly beautiful. I hate talking about how a dress is “age appropriate” for a woman who is “older” because I think, especially at the Oscars, you gotta find a way to be classy no matter your age/body type/personality. So I’m just going to say that this gown is fantastic, I would wear it in a heartbeat and again, we’ve got a best actress nominee, so she made the right move with a bold look and a long train.
Jennifer Garner in Gucci
Ugh, she looks so great in this shade of purple. Brunettes with medium skin tone, take note! Streamlined in the front, luscious ruffles in the back (so glad it’s voluminous enough to show from the front, that totally makes the dress). I hope you got a chance to watch her move in this. Pwetty.
Alright! Those were lovely looks, but apparently everyone saved their best for the Vanity Fair after party. Seriously. It gets better.
Anne Hathway in Yves Saint Laurent
Notice her Oscars dress wasn’t in my top list? This was. Cuz it’s better.
Jennifer Lawrence in Calvin Klein
Hot. But not trashy. Another win for the Best Actress.
Amanda Seyfried in Givenchy
Remember when I said I would’ve preferred something bolder? This. Replace that red leather belt with a diamond-encrusted sash, and you’ve got yourself an Oscar winner. Why do I never like her makeup?
Diane Kruger in Giambattista Valli
What a little fashion-forward German goddess. Love you.
Amy Adams in Oscar de la Renta
Another icy, sophisticated, pretty pick. She is on a roll.
Hilary Swank in Valentino
I’m gonna be rude for a second, but Hilary Swank would not be my first pick for this dress. I’m just being selfish because I saw this on the runway, flipped my sh*t and hoped & prayed that someone would wear this to the Oscars. And someone did! Kind of. Sorry. But thissss dressss issss so gorgeoussss.
Lily Collins in Zuhair Murad
And there you have it. One of the best nights for high fashion to explode all over mainstream media. If only there were more events like this, amiright?!
I have two events to highlight for you. One is a bit crazy, the other is classy. Both were very enjoyable evenings.
For my feature on Friday’s fashion choices, I’m happy to include my best lady friend, ex-roommate, MOH (Is a lady still your maid-of-honor after your wedding? Can I have a MOH for life?) and fashion partner, Nemo a.k.a Sarah.
We dressed our outsides to match our insides, as we embarked on a night of DJ-induced dancing (Arty, have a listen). This is one of those times when we truly dressed for ourselves, for each other and for the spirit of the event.
We also ended up with matching buns (hair, not butts; we have very different butts, actually), which became much more of a spectacle than a logical, secure hair option for the night. Glow sticks were jabbed through our hair like chopsticks by others we did not know. I was also asked if I had a “donut hair thingy” inside my bun to give it shape or if it was my “real hair.” This question was asked by a random guy, who I assume has a girlfriend or sister, because the knowledge of the hair donut is not widely shared or admitted. For the record, it was my real hair, generously teased and sprayed.
This also happened:
I usually don’t let you into my life like this, blog friends. I feel vulnerable showing you that much facial hair, but I like to keep it real.
Minnesotan women are hilarious and awesome because one of them stuck this to the ladies’ room mirror and I’m sure many after her (including us), took full advantage with a silly pic. I love you all.
Saturday night, I had a lovely, long dinner at Forepaugh’s with C. Valentine’s Day Date Night. Only have the inspiration for you:
The shift dress is from ASOS and it’s craaazy comfortable. Also, insanely versatile. Expect to see this dress again. I wore the same gem statement necklace from our wedding for nostalgia and to spice up the all-black look. I also chose dark red nails and a pink lip to honor Valentine’s Day and add some color. When you’re going on a date where a meal is the main event, avoid a belted blouse or dress (which is least flattering when you’re sitting and your #1 enemy if you actually plan on eating). A shift dress will always be your best friend. Plus, since you’ll be mostly sitting, you can wear some crazy high shoes to offset the modest coverage of the dress.
Happy Friday, dolls. Here’s some inspiration for a sophisticated, wintery, color palette to get you through February. Black, white & gray is classic, chic and fits right in with nature’s stark winter coloring. Shades of green add a crisp, cool pop of color that compliments the chill.
Looking for some outfit inspiration for Vday? I’ve included a range of cozy, cute, classy & way chic ensembles, so I hope the looks below give you a few ideas to play with. The biggest (and funnest) part about Valentine’s Day looks, is the color; rich, romantic, sultry color. And there’s no one way to win with this palette! You’ve got plenty of time to dig through your closet and just enough time to shop if you’re not satisfied with your current selection.
I don’t care if you have plans with your husband, a bottle of Zin or a group of lady friends, take the time to feel gorgeous. Make your fashion moments just as much about you as anyone else.
I think a lot of people share my belief that we should make a point of appreciating our loved ones more frequently than Feb the 14th, but it’s still fun to do something special for the holiday. Take the same approach with fashion: It’s always fun to amp it up for a special occasion, but don’t forget about treating yourself to a fun outfit on a regular basis. Don’t waste your prettiness. Cheers.
On the flight to Los Cabos, I re-watched a little fashion bio-pic that I stumbled on a few years ago and really enjoyed: Coco Chanel. This poignant película focuses on Coco’s early days; her romantic misadventures, her struggling hat business & work as a seamstress, life in France during the war and how her self-assurance and fervent creativity produced one of the most iconic fashion houses, ever. It originally aired on Lifetime, so it’s not loaded with A-listers or produced on a billion-dollar budget, but such a story really doesn’t require it. It’s super enjoyable. Consider this my recommendation.
Apologies for the hiatus, dolls. I was vacationing in Los Cabos sans internet. What a deliciously warm, relaxing break it was. I had grand plans to snap shots of my resortwear and give you a little run-down of how I packed for the week, but two things prevented that from happening: 1) I was entranced by the ocean breeze, warmth, yoga and mojitos, that I completely forgot about taking pics. 2) I also forgot my camera battery. Oops.
Lucky for me, I’m going on a cruise in March, which will require the same apparel. Lucky for you, there will definitely be a vacation beachwear appliCAITion post then.
Thankfully, the SAG-AFTRAs were this past weekend (what a clunky name with the new merger, eh?), so there is plenty of fashion to fill my photo-less void.
There was definitely a wider range of dress choices this time around. No need to recap repetitive styles, so let’s jump right to the besties.
Anne Hathaway in Giambattisti Valli
This dress was 50x better when she was walking. It had fantastic movement & she totally rocked it. Annie needs to stand up a little straighter in this shot & give the dress a nice showing. Still missing her long locks.
Jessica Chastain in Alexander McQueen
Another color that looks amazing with her skin tone (like the Globes’ seafoam gown), but this one wins because it fits so much better. I think some big lashes or a bit more definition in her makeup would’ve been good, but the simple hair was a nice idea. I can tell she was trying to keep it clean & classic, but I think she held back a bit too much.
Amanda Seyfried in Zac Posen
This dress didn’t photograph as well as it looked on television and the back was ah-maz-ing. Heavy, rich, luscious. The long necklace was a cute idea, more of a personal touch. Too much eyeliner, gawd. And this is coming from a fan of heavy eye makeup. Great dress, could have been styled better.
Elizabeth Moss in Dolce & Gabbana
While it’s not the most revolutionary style, I really dig this look. She wore it like she really loved it, and the clutch & nails were a nice way to glam it up and create some interest around a “basic” LBD. For some reason, it struck me as a bit fresh, so I wanted to include it. Cools.
Freida Pinto in Roland Mouret
Well, they’re adorable and I think Freida deserves a style crush post in the future. This pink is incredible against her skin tone and the fabric is so dreamy. Her hair is a little too casual, though. Side part? Slicked back?
Katrina Bowden in Badgley Mischka
The feminine, ethereal, vintage heir of this dress is hitting a soft spot in my heart. This is the best color for this dress, no question. Intricate, glam, interesting. Also, I’m pretty sure those are studs on the belt. Win.
Man Mention: JT in Tom Ford
Dang. that. suit. Honorable mention for a man wearing a beautiful piece of menswear. Had a lot more texture & pattern on television. Sure, it’s trendy, but that is totally okay because he owned it. Justin tends to take a few more risks with his suit choices, which I can respect. I will love the classic black tie suit FoLife, but it’s nice to see some originality once in a while.
No thank you, Julianna Margulies
Ick, why. The bottom black piece looks like it’s being ripped off the rest of the dress. Shoes = too much. The tie, the cut, the slit, the confusion.
Big mistake, Kaley Cuoco
Gahhhh. This is the danger of midi skirts & dresses being trendy. This is why I never wear them. They are not for every body type (not for most, actually) and they can go so wrong, so easily. It’s a cute color & I love the fabric, but all is lost because she has acquired scary, stump legs. This cuts her body off so badly. Full length would’ve been great. It is so rare that anything in between full and knee or mini is flattering, on nearly anyone. Steer clear, friends.
In lieu of being a professional stylist, an actress who attends award shows or anyone who legitimately puts together red carpet looks, I’m funneling my creative juices into Polyvore. I get so inspired by the glamour that awards season pushes forward, I just had to put together a few looks of my own.
I’m counting on the SAGs & Oscars to really bring it, as I was not totally blown away by the Globes. Because there was such a wave of black, white and red, I steered clear of those for my sets.
The GGs produced a handful of highlights, including hosts that actually killed it (Amy & Tina should host every award show until the end of time), the funniest presenting pair I can remember (Will & Kristen. #SNL #ftw), everyone bitching about how cold it was (at 50 degrees, GEEZ.), and lastly, a lovely collection of dresses.
If you had told me that these ladies all talked beforehand and agreed on a few dress rules, I’d believe you. There were just a few distinct trends that blanketed the red carpet. In a cute, unifying, but ultimately boring way. Don’t get me wrong, there were some gems in the mix, which I will get to in a minute. But first, let’s examine the three major color themes:
When several of these ladies were interviewed, Ryan Seacrest asked them, “So, the word was that everyone was going to be wearing a color - is that why you chose black?” YEAH. Let’s be totally rebellious and wear the most classic color that, no matter the trend, someone will wear. Either “the word” was complete bullshit, or everyone & their stylist heard the same thing and had the same reaction, ‘hey, let’s do black. that’ll show ‘em.’ *Shakes head*
With such a rich color, the style of all eight of these dresses are uber appropriate. Not too many embellishments or crazy cuts, with focus on the fabric and shape. I have no qualms with any of these styles. They also each wore a shade that did well by their hair & skin, too. That is crucial if you’re going to make a color statement.
A lot of pretty styles in this group. Kind of ridiculous how rampant white/blush/ivory and black were, but they are both classic, chic, sophisticated colors; worse things could happen.
All in all, I was not spitting out my wine in shock & awe over the Globes red carpet choices. However, there were a few really solid looks. Great style, cut & color combo, accessories, and fit (both physically & the ladies’ style).
Jennifer Lawrence in Dior Haute Couture
Kate Hudson in Alexander McQueen
Jessica Alba in Oscar de la Renta
Amy Adams in Marchesa
Naomi Watts in Zac Posen
Zooey Deschanel in Oscar de la Renta
WORST. Halle Berry in Atelier Versace. I don’t like to spend a lot of time critiquing and tearing apart multiple looks. That’s what Fashion Police is for. However, I usually feel compelled to point out one or two looks that failed miserably and were a disgrace to The Carpet.
Dear Halle, you aren’t the only one on the red rug with a fit & attractive body, but you seem to be the only one (wait, Heidi Klum, too) concerned with constantly showing it off. Award shows are for the dresses; the beach can be about your bod. Also, I’m super bored with your haircut.
This is the product of a clever idea to design looks based on themes. I really had fun with the monochromatic idea, which is how I ended up with six sets devoted to six lovely cities & neighborhoods.
Creating looks like these takes a bit more artistic touch than allowing yourself the ability to mix colors or tone down an outfit with a neutral. For daily wear, there is a fine line between chic & clever and eccentric & haphazard. It’s all about using darker & lighter hues wisely to implement the same fashion concepts for a multi-color outfit, with a bit of extra consideration.
Take a look through this series & a few of my tips for how to implement a monochromatic look of your own.
It can help to use a very dark or very light shade together, so it doesn’t feel like you’re a giant orb of one single color. Mint & evergreen are a smart pair.
Think Pink! on the Upper East Side
With colors that pop like pink, sometimes it can be helpful to stick closely to one shade and implement a pattern or a metallic hue. Blush pink nails stay within the monochromatic look, but is typically considered a “neutral” on the nail because it’s so natural. Pink could get out-of-control very easily, so a formal & feminine look that has clean lines is a good strategy because pink is instinctively considered a feminine color. Try picturing this same outfit with pink jeans, pink top & jacket, gold sneakers….not happening.
Brooklyn: In Da Navy
Navy is so chic and a fun way to play around with the whole blue family because it’s nice & dark, so you can execute a pop of color with the royal blue (imagine that - a pop of color in a monochromatic color outfit!). If Blu Ivy Carter needs an outfit idea someday when she visits her father’s roots in Brooklyn, this would be a great option. Because her parents have no sense of style…
Paris avec la creme
Cream is a bit easier to work with. I couldn’t resist adding black - tres chic! An all-white look can be cute for specific occasions, but would be a little too much for an everyday look. Implementing a taupey tan (pants & nails) and a more casual top helps keep this looking cozy and approachable.
For nails & lip, go either as light or as dark within the color range as possible. In this look, I chose Oxblood red for the nails & lip. When you use two ends of the spectrum like a deep red and bright orange red (the clutch), it almost doesn’t feel like you’re using the same color family.
Try not to use the entire range of shades within a color family. Stick to two or three. With purple, I took the fuschia pink (tying together shoes & clutch with a bright color keeps things in control), a cool plum (very dark in the tights, slightly lighter in the coat), and bright royal for the sweater. I pulled those three from the skirt, which ties it all together! Same idea here, using a pattern to break up an eye-catching color.
OP is the holy grail of fashionable women. Fashionable is actually a vast understatement. Her body is constantly adorned with the most sumptuous fabrics, intricate details, beautifully considerate cuts, the cutest & chicest accessories in the world, and often times, this explosion of stylistic perfection is accompanied by a gorgeous man and/or a cute little dog.
Needless to say, she has a cult following. If you don’t even know who she is, I’m pretty sure that’s on purpose.
Olivia Palermo will simultaneously make you feel like you’re receiving a gift for being able to look upon her fantastic outfits and feel like a giant chump for the way you dress and the life you live.
Sneakers have never been this dressy or glam, ever.
Holy sh*t, he also dresses amazingly.
Yeah, she’s gonna ride a bike in those. *Bows down*
In case you were wondering, this jacket is not a figment of your imagination. It does exist in this world.
A stranger gave her a bouquet for wearing that outfit.
What could she possibly be shopping for that’s cuter than what she’s wearing?
And it ended with New Years Eve. The sparkliest of holiday apparel. I had a tough time landing on my look; there are just so many ways to do Glam Party Animal. I decided on black, mesh & sequin, and was totally happy with how it turned out.
Cheers! So, I mentioned that I spent a lot of time hemming & hawing about my look. While I just felt silly, there is probably a larger fashion lesson here. The blessing and the curse of choosing a look way early (months before the event, which I usually do with NYE; mostly because it’s fun but also because it requires lots of elements I don’t normally wear like sparkles and risque attire) is that I end up questioning it. Just because I’m already done putting together a look, doesn’t give me permission to second-guess. On the flip side, had I waited, I may have averted the ‘was this the BEST OUTFIT EVER?!’ line of self-questioning, but I hate working under pressure, as we all know, so that’s never an option.
Lesson: There are often many ways to create a successful outfit and there is usually no such thing as the absolute best option. Having an abundance of creativity is a wonderful gift and I appreciate it daily, but it includes the risk of too many ideas. Combine that with a knack for perfectionism and we have the aforementioned conundrum.
A tiny sliver in the gash of world problems, but a nice little style lesson nonetheless.
No more holiday outfits and no more weddings for a while, but that doesn’t mean it’s the end of anything. If there is a day to live, there is an outfit to be made. Onward, friends. Happy 2013!