Every season designers try to bring something new to the table. Sometimes it’s a mainstream hit, and sometimes, well, it’s not. (Think drop-crotch harem pants.) They’ll push a style for a few seasons and sometimes it’ll grow on people and become popular, but sometimes only a few people jump on the bandwagon leaving the rest of us to wonder, “Really? You’re really going to wear that?” I’ve noticed of few of these questionable trends lately, and I’m laying in wait to see which ones stick. I’m not opposed to new things, but at the end of the day, if it doesn’t make you look good, well, what’s the point?
Quail Duo Trench, $224
It rained again here in New York yesterday and it reminded me that I have never owned a true trench coat. Yes, I bought the Alexander Wang for Gap motorcycle trench (the one on the left) a year or so ago (which I love and wear to death), but that’s not exactly the same thing. Trenches have always felt a little too serious for me, a little too refined for my more casual style. But then I stumbled upon this while sifting through Quail’s shop. Finally, a trench that has ME written all over it!
It’s a little pricey (at least for my budget), but it can be argued that a trench coat is a good investment piece (think price per wear—that always helps me justify a purchase) and something so timeless won’t be going out of fashion any time soon (I mean, it’s already been around for 160 years). And while it is classic, I love the way this particular coat is updated with black accents, giving it a little something extra without making it too trendy and ephemeral. Ladylike, but at the same time, a little bit dark and mysterious.
So, do you own a trench coat? Is it traditional or does it have a little something extra like this one?
I know camel is the neutral that’s all the rage this season, but honestly, it’s not the most flattering color for my complexion—pale with yellowish undertones. There just isn’t enough contrast and I end up looking washed out. (Ladies with darker skin, you look gorgeous in camel. Keep it up!) Instead, I lean more towards darker tones, like caramel and, my new favorite, rust. I’m really drawn to it this season. I love it’s warm red-orangeness which really complements my coloring. In fact, I think rust looks good on everyone—light skin, dark skin, and everything in between. Not to mention there’s just something so utterly fall about it, no doubt because it’s part of the fall foliage color palette. So, if you’re a little bummed that camel isn’t quite doing it for you, or you just want to break away from the pack a little, rust is a great option.
Clockwise from top left:
Zara Woollen Jersey with Leather Elbow Patches, $90
Hidden Spectrum Peasant-Smock Dress, $315
Topshop Shawl Collar Tux Blazer, $135
Ettika Braided Bracelet, $59
Zara Buttoned Wedge Shoe, $100
RGB Cognac Nail Polish, $14
Schuler & Sons Sepia Saddlebag, $268
And if money is no object:
Madewell Cinch Sack, $198
I started wanting a bucket bag early in the summer, but then the style sort of fell off my radar. That is until I stumbled upon this little number from Madewell. It’s a good size—not too big and not too small, the two different strap lengths give you options, and the saddle brown pebbled leather looks especially nice and soft. But most of all, I love how versatile this bag is—great for now paired with dark skinny jeans, warm fall colors, and cozy sweaters, but also an ideal match for those relaxed, 70s-influenced billowy tops and gaping wide-leg pants that will be cropping up come spring.
So, needless to say, the bucket’s back on my list.
(*The sweater, not you, Reader. Not that I don’t love you too. I do. But in a different way.)
1. The in-between-ness. It’s lightness and 3/4-length sleeves would make it a terrific in-between addition to your wardrobe. You know, for those days when it’s chilly early on, warms up around lunchtime, and then gets colder again the minute the sun starts to go down. For those days when a t-shirt is not warm enough, but an ordinary sweater is too much. I don’t know about you, but I never seem to have enough in-between tops and I’ve spent many a fall morning staring blankly into my closet.
2. The shape. It’s boxy, loose, and cropped. And it has dolman sleeves. (I love dolman sleeves!) It’s relaxed without looking sloppy and the shorter-in-front cut lets more of the layer underneath peek out.
3. The color. It’s a great grayish purple and I especially love it paired with the two shades of taupe in the photo. It’s a beautiful combination and the taupe really nudges the purple—which could easily fall into little girl color territory—into a more sophisticated place.
4. The texture. I read about a study a while back that showed that women like to touch clothes before buying them more so than men, that we need the tactile experience. I couldn’t agree more; this sweater is begging me to touch it. The nubby texture reminds me of a large waffle-knit thermal, but softer. And did I mention that cute ribbing detail down the back?
So, what do you think?
P.S. Happy weekend! Stay dry.
With temperatures still in the seventies here in New York, it’s difficult to think about sweaters. But that doesn’t mean I don’t want to be prepared the instant sweater weather kicks in. Mohair is a particularly good baby step towards cold-weather dressing because, while it has all the hallmarks of a a warm, cozy knit, it’s actually quite light and airy. Yes, it will keep you warm, but it will also let you breathe. And, because mohair is generally such a loose, open knit—not to mention it can be a bit itchy on the skin—it’s ideal for layering. A simple camisole under a pullover or a sheer blouse under a cardigan give the knit added dimension.
Mohair’s fuzziness is also great for experimenting with different textures. Try pairing it with something smooth and structured, like a supple leather skirt or crisp pleated pants. Or go the opposite route and wear a cardigan with a silky, ruffled dress peeking out from underneath or a pair of skinny corduroys. The possibilities really are endless.
After all my declarations that I am not a girly girl, I bring you this?! Yes, I know, I know. Ruffles AND lace! You can’t get much more feminine than that, can you? But, in my defense, the mini length gives it a little bit of an edge that prevents it from driving right off the cliff into sugar sweetness. And I love how it teeters somewhere between grandma’s fine lace doilies and something Madonna would have worn with a bustier in the eighties. The layers of ivory lace are so pretty and delicate, but the length is sporty and playful. I’m especially fond of how they’ve styled it here, with the gray tights and over-the-knee socks—a look I’m eager to try when the temperature drops a bit more.
How would you wear this?
Much prettier than the bruise, don’t you think? Black and navy blue are one of those color combinations that can be a bit tricky because they are so similar. The main issue here is making sure it’s clear that you intended to wear the two colors together and not that, in your groggy, still-half-asleep, morning state, you accidentally grabbed something navy that you thought was black or vice versa. The best way to do this is to make sure you’re wearing more than one piece in each color. One piece could be a mistake. Two, well, either you dressed blindfolded or it’s intentional.
Since they’re both such dark colors, it’s a good idea to lighten them up with some white or ivory just to balance things out. If you want to inject a little more color, try adding a shot of something in the red-orange family—maybe a piece of jewelry or even just lipstick. Jewelry-wise, gold tones are a nice accent because they bring some warmth to an otherwise cool palette.
Obviously, these colors are preferable for cooler weather (unless you enjoy slowly roasting in the summer sun), so now is the time to start wearing them. The outfit below is perfect during these transition months when the weather wavers between comfortable and chilly. The layering of the blouse and blazer allows for adjusting to the weather’s whims and the leather shorts (oh, how I want a pair) can be worn as is or, for cooler temperatures, paired with black opaque tights.
Clockwise from top left:
Rachel Rachel Roy Batwing Blouse, $69
Club Monaco Alessia Leather Short, (price not available)
Gorjana Chloe Stud Earring, $35
Leonie Saliba Soft Leather Handbag, $85
Enzo Angiolini Rachey Boot, $79
American Apparel Passport Blue Nail Polish, $6
ASOS Boyfriend Blazer, $93
So, do you wear black and navy together?
Fashion Week is over and I’ve been looking at the collections for eight days straight. Everything is starting to blur together at this point, but I couldn’t help but notice several great trends for spring. Among the less appealing—visible nipples and translucent pants—there were lots of things to really look forward to and maybe even get a head-start on incorporating into your wardrobe now. Here are my favorites:
Maybe it’s a backlash against skinny jeans and jeggings, but there were quite a few pairs of wide leg jeans and trousers traipsing down the runways. With all those high waists and diaphanous blouses, it seems clear designers are trying to bring back the 70s (the 80s certainly have had enough time in the sun). And it wasn’t just the jeans. Derek Lam sent a chambray trench coat and skirt combo (#3) reminiscent of a polyester suit down the runway. But nicer. Much nicer.
I’m sorry vegans, but I like leather, and, much to my delight, there was a lot of it in the spring collections. Leather jackets are a given, but designers were also using leather in more creative ways. My favorite is the Zero + Maria Cornejo cardigan (#1). Gorgeous!
Crochet and Macrame
Somewhat related to the 70s trend is the crochet/macrame trend I noticed. In some instances it was just a detail, but there were also dresses and tops made entirely of crochet. The Malandrino collection was particularly stitch-heavy. Not only did most of the designs have some sort of crochet going on, but the shoes were macrame marvels.
Metallics always seem to show up here and there, but I really liked the subtlety of the metallics I was seeing. The soft shimmer of matte silvers, golds, and gunmetals are a great way to add a little glam to summer neutrals.
This is a trend that drives a perfectionist like me crazy. As I’ve mentioned before, I like things that match. I like symmetry and balance. So it takes a really special combination for me to throw those neuroses to the wind. Diane von Furstenberg did it especially well with her puzzle piece prints (#1).
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I am absolutely in love with red lately. I’m so happy to see the color that’s so on trend right now being carried into the warmer months too. It was EVERYWHERE on the runways. If it wasn’t blazing down the runway in a complete crimson ensemble or as a pair of red trousers with a light-colored top (seriously, the red pants were all over the place), then the color showed up in accent pieces that popped against muted neutrals or even just as perfectly rouge lips.
The Little (or Not So Little) White Dress
The white dress is a mainstay for spring, so there’s nothing new here. But I did like this year’s crop. There were a lot of Greek goddess styles, minis, maxis, modern, ladylike, etc. The styles ran the gamut, but all were beautifully bright and airy and perfect for lightening up one’s wardrobe after a long, dark winter.
(Photos via Style.com)
So, did you notice any trends that you can’t wait to try out?
The reality that summer is over has really set in. It’s been chilly and rainy the past few days and I’ve been sick—a sure sign the season’s turned over. The excitement about fall was beginning to wane a bit, but then New York Fashion Week hit. It’s a little difficult to get excited for spring when you’ve just started getting ramped up for fall, but then I checked out the collections.
I’ve been seeing so much gorgeous color that will no doubt be perfect for getting us out of our winter doldrums when the snow finally starts to melt. But even better than something to look forward to down the road is something we can appreciate right now. Many of the colors spotted marching down the spring runways are just as inspiring for fall and can easily be incorporated into your current wardrobe. I especially noticed all the sophisticated takes on primary colors—tomato red, golden yellow, and royal blue. And, better yet, they were often paired with camel, the neutral at top of the color charts this season. Here are a few of my favorites: