Happy Monday! How was everyone’s weekend?
Let’s get this week started on a fashionable note with some great outfits that I’ve tracked down, and I’ll start with my absolute favorite look that I discovered.
I love the striped skirt (obviously) and I’ve been wearing my own polka dotted blouse to death so this gives me some great inspiration and ideas. Love it!
Do these pictures motivate you to be more creative with your fashion choices?
Welcome to my first post in connection with Definitely RA‘s 2012 fashion challenge, which is called Mission: Put Together - 2012. I really, really enjoyed the difficulty of the first fashion challenge that I participated in earlier this year – Freckles In April’s’ 10 Day Style Challenge - it was fun and a great reminder to keep things interesting.
As you can see from the diagram above, this challenge is pretty well-rounded and includes some great categories to try out during May. Due to time constraints I didn’t get a chance to submit a daily look, but I was able to participate at least a few times each week.
So stay tuned, this will be post number one of five relating to Mission: Put Together – 2012!
When I first looked at this – fine, when I printed a copy and stuck it to the wall in my closet – I realized something unexpected. A large chunk of the pieces in my closet that I would label as “colored” are patterned as well.
Truth is, very little of the clothing in my closet is completely monochromatic, outside of the black family that is. I have lots of solid black.
I originally ordered this dress when I was still in my ‘all black all the time’ phase. I was always really ambitious about colors but frequently the things I ordered/bought sat in my closet with the tags firmly in tact until one of my famous closet cleaning parties (I’ll video the next one, my friends are hysterical!) This dress however, I bravely put on and immediately fell in love with. Red, white, and black animal print sounds much more intense than this dress ends up being, and given the length and cut I’ve even deemed it work-appropriate (see What NOT to Wear to Work).
One color that I do have a few solid colored pieces of is bright coral – I actually have three different dresses in virtually the exact same shade.
I got my colors done when I was a teenager and at the time I was told that coral and blue were the ideal colors for me to wear. However, I was surprised to find this past week that this bright coral shade looks just as good with my new red hair color as it always does with my natural strawberry blonde shade. Maybe its my skin tone not my hair color?
This is a great summer outfit, the thin t-shirt dress is perfect for warm days and the color is really fun.
As exhausted as I am by the phrase “pop of color” already this season, I do like this trend very much. I think it’s fun and fresh, and give you a chance to really be creative. Below are two of my favorite splashes during this first week of the challenge. And both – surprise – are kind of patterned as well!
I’ll use any excuse to ditch my giant Mary Poppins purse and carry a day clutch – and adding this much-needed splash of coral to a jeans and t-shirt look was just such an excuse!
How pretty is this pattern? Ruby & Bloom are one of my favorite brands of flats, as I’ve mentioned before, and these are incredibly comfortable shoes. I wore these with rolled up dark denim jeans and they looked adorable.
As we all know, I love stripes. In fact, I’m so smitten by them that I chose this heavy knit, knee-length Victoria’s Secret dress for a friend’s wedding two weeks ago.
Who wears stripes to a wedding?
I told you I had a stripe problem. My favorite part of the look, as per usual, were the accessories. I’ve had this black floral necklace for ages and I think I’ve only worn it once before.
Then of course there’s the bag I insisted on carrying…
And as nervous as I was, the dress ended up being a big hit, everyone loved it including my mom who is usually my toughest critic!
Prints were sort of my sartorial gateway drug. When I decided that I was going to wear less black on a daily basis the first thing I turned to were prints. I’d collected dozens of striped and printed pieces way before ever touching a solidly colored frock.
Is there anything easier to wear than a jersey wrap dress? They’re just so effortlessly chic. Must be the Diane Von Furstenberg factor.
I love love love black & white outfits with bright accessories or shoes, and while I adore this new necklace, I have to say that I wouldn’t have enjoyed the look nearly as much if I hadn’t decided to also add the yellow flower and jade rings.
What do you think? Are you interested joining the challenge and spicing up your Spring & Summer wardrobes?
The time has finally come and Spring is upon us and it’s time, ladies and gentlemen, to rearrange your closets so that your warm weather clothes are more easily accessible. Spring and Fall are my favorite, I love the transitioning seasons when it’s slightly warm but still crisp and the skies are bright blue and cloudless. I adore going for walks at night when it’s still light out, going to the Farmer’s Market and making huge, brightly colored salads, and of course, bearing some skin after months of being hiding under layers and layers of fabric.
So what’s on tap for Spring? As usual every magazine and fashion blog has a helpful list of what the New York, London, Milan and Paris collections showed for Spring 2012 - Fashionologie, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar & Elle to name a few. They go to the runway shows and examine them look by look to determine what the upcoming season will be all about. And this season we have: rounded shoulders, lace, 20′s art deco, ladylike silhouettes, florals, tribal prints, peplum tops & dresses, exaggerated & padded hips, wide belts, minimalism, head-to-toe white, mesh, sporty, cropped tops, bra tops…
As adorable as these models look, this isn’t a what I would call a real trend for real people. Truth be told, pretty much only Carrie Bradshaw can wear a bra top in public. So my goal here today is to give you some ideas for great Spring dressing that are more suited to our non-Sex In The City day-to-day lives.
Pastels are usually a Spring staple and this year is no different. However, rather than putting together solid candy colored looks, try mixing various soft, sherbet shades together for a colorful but subtle look.
Lindsey Wixson & Frida Gustavsson’s ad for Mulberry highlights the beautiful pastel trend perfectly. Why not try pairing pastel pieces with neutrals or even black for a tasteful work-appropriate look?
See FabSugar’s ideas on how to integrate pastels into your wardrobe in 5 Ways to Wear Spring’s Pretty Pastels or WhoWhatWear’s How They Wear Pastels featuring Sarah Jessica Parker, Hanneli Mustaparta & Lily Collins.
You may already be sick of the phrase “pop of color” (right Holly?) but this trend isn’t going anywhere anytime soon…
Why settle for one splash of color when you can have two like Judith Bedard does below? I love that she didn’t try to match her tights and oh-so-French scarf. They’re both beautiful, bright colors, and they’re both utterly different.
This is an ideal style for those - like me – who wear mostly black, since adding a bright scarf, pair of shoes, or purse is incredibly easy. Yet those quick touches immediately update your look, make it fresh and take it to a new level. So what did I do to ensure that I could pop pop pop all Spring long?
I bought myself a new best friend!
A scarf, hat, bag or piece of jewelry are all great choices for bringing this trend to life. But you can get even more creative and find other ways to flash some color. How about a bright hairpiece or headband? What about throwing on some brilliantly colored nail polish?
Similar to the splash of color trend is the modern style of adding a colorful blazer to your outfit to give it a bit of flash.
Above model Josephine Skriver shows just how to pair a bright blazer with a warmer look – slim pants, booties & long sleeves will all keep the chill away as we wait impatiently for the weather to heat up. Already warm enough to lose the pants in your neck of the woods, you luck duck? Try pairing a brightly colored blazer with shorts for a more Summery look like Liz Cherkasova from Late Afternoon does below. She even mixed multiple trends by adding metallic shorts & accessories as well as a floral printed blouse to her look. Quite the Mix Master!
For more tips on finding the perfect blazer, see Rachel Bilson‘s Spring blazer recommendations or Frugal Fashionista‘s great celebrity-inspired choices featuring fashion stars like Kirstin Dunst, Beyonce and Olivia Palermo.
While florals are always a Spring staple, this year you should also invest in some other types of prints as well – from tribal prints to chevron zig zags to typical florals to geometric patterns – there’s something to suit everyone’s style. Whether you want to add a printed bag or belt to a monochromatic look or bravely don head-to-toe print, you should definitely give this trend a try.
Hanne Gaby Odiele & Elisa Nalin were both ahead of the curve and showing off gorgeous prints during the Fall 2012 shows this past month. I like that while they’re both wearing florals their looks couldn’t be more different, they’re both quite creative with their personal styling.
Even if you’re still working up the courage to flaunt the all-over 70′s style print you’ve always admired, you can try something a bit more subtle to work your way closer to your goal.
A faint pattern like the two dresses above is a good stepping stone. It gives you a fun pattern to play with but isn’t quite as bold or dramatic as Hanne and Elisa’s looks at the top of this section.
Ashley Madekwe’s crisp Armani Exchange dress is light and summery, she paired it with black sandals and layered jewelry for a fun daytime look. While Natalia Vodianova’s dress shows the other end of the white dress spectrum, something fitted and more formal, with dramatic, nighttime accessories – bold purple heels and a crimson clutch.
Whether you’re planning to attend a garden party or have a hot summer night out on the town in mind a white dress is a great choice to show your tan off to perfection. Try adding colorful accessories to keep it fun during the day, chic black & white in the evening or even try out an all-white look if you’re not prone to spilling things…
In the mood for some more inspiration, check out the Native Fox’s white & red look on Lookbook.nu.
I love shirtdresses! They always look crisp and fresh, and a little more of a formal feel to them than most sundresses so they’re acceptable in a number of social situations. Versatility is key!
A shirtdress can be worn casually during the day with sandals, a floppy hat and a cute tote bag, but it can easily be dressed up at night with heels, a cinched waist and some serious costume jewelry. It’s all about the accessorizing ladies!
If you need a tutorial on this subject head over to The Stylist’s and read their latest series Lessons For A Modern-Day Lady and their most recent piece How To Wear A Shirtdress.
This is one of my favorite looks for Spring, cropped pants are universally flattering and whatever your personal style, there’s the perfect pair for you. From bright colors to basic denim to harem style to classic Jackie O inspired black.
Want to take your crops to a new level? Try them in something textured or an interesting new fabric. Miranda was downtown chic in brown leather Capri pants and a basic denim button down. FabSugar as a great breakdown on the best cropped trousers for Spring - from J.Crew and Zara to Thakoon, Diane Von Furstenberg and Tibi.
Finding yourself inspired for Spring? Don’t forget to enter the Spring Giveaway for a chance to win a $50 gift certificate from Bloomingdale’s!
One of my favorite parts of the Italian shows are the photographs of the Italian men in the streets before and after the collections. Their style is just amazing. Obviously the women do a fantastic job of putting their outfits together as well, I adore female Italian style, it’s just that on average Italian men are much better dressed than – say – American men. But I digress…