Trendspotting | The Oxford Shirt

oxford cover

Paris, photographed by Tommy Ton for Jak & Jil.

This spring, the quintessential dress shirt is making a comeback. While the Oxford shirt has always been a classic, the reworked dress shirt — in whites and blues, with unconventional tailoring and accents — will be cropping up everywhere in the coming few months. At least in my book, this comes pretty close to perfection — white shirt worn casually, a chic skirt, and pointy pumps:

whites plaid pointy shoes hbz copenhagen street

Copenhagen Street Style by Diego Zuko for Harper’s Bazaar.

Although I don’t really “do” trends, this one I’m kind of excited about — mainly because I already wear Oxford shirts on a pretty regular basis. (You know, because I’m classy like that.) There are also so many ways to wear a dress shirt beyond the conventional norms — wear a stark white shirt alone, play with a contrast collar, or go for some jeweled accenting (all of which can be found at jcrew.com, it should be mentioned). I also like this trend (if you can even call it that) because its not going out of style anytime soon — so you know anything you purchase will be a worthwhile investment.

oxford shirts

Top row: photographed by Patrick Demarchelier for Vogue Japan. Second row, left to right: Dior s/s 14 (via Harper’s Bazaar), Tod’s s/s 14 (via Harper’s Bazaar), Alexander Wang s/s 14 (via style.com). Third row: Altuzarra s/s 14 (via style.com), Balenciaga s/s 14 (via Harper’s Bazaar), Giovanna Battaglia by Diego Zuko for Harper’s Bazaar. Fourth row: New York by Tommy Ton for Jak & Jil. Fifth row: Leandra Medine by Diego Zuko for Harper’s Bazaar, Kel Markey by Diego Zuko for Harper’s Bazaar.  

The return of the Oxford, contrary to its functionality as a dress shirt, marks a decided shift towards a more relaxed approach to style. While the shirt can be styled up or down, it is chic even in its most basic and unfussy incarnations (especially as it is worn in most of the above images). The dress shirt — whether starched and pressed, or crumpled and thrown casually over a skirt (or nothing at all) is part of a larger transition to a looser structural style that many designers appeared to favor for the spring season: slouchy blazers, a more casual approach to menswear for women, and large, floaty pants were also all on trend. The Oxford, however, is truly a wardrobe classic, and super accessible — which is why I’m such a big fan of its spring comeback.

Thoughts on this trend for spring?

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Spring 2011 Series | Nail Polish for Spring

As someone who has been reading this blog for a while already knows, I’m addicted to nail polish. (Usually expensive nail polish, unfortunately…my new favorites include Butter London and Illamasqua.) Nail polish trends fluctuate so frequently, it’s difficult to keep track of them. And honestly, there are few people who care enough to realize whether or not your nail polish is on-trend. However, there are undoubtedly some tried-and-true favorite shades that look great in the spring.

This year, spring fashion is both bold and neutral in color, with plenty of whites and nudes to balance out pops of bold pinks and oranges. Compliment bright colorblocking with muted, pastel shades for spring, or make a neutral outfit pop with fuchsia or aquamarine nails.

Some colors I’ve been craving this season: nude, light peach, lavender, muted gray, tiffany blue, jade, and bright pinks, oranges, and blues — all most definitely very sunny and chic shades that look great with spring’s clothing color palette.

  1. Model’s Own Nail Polish in “Sophie’s Pink,” $8, urbanoutfitters.com.
  2. Rescue Beauty Lounge in “Bikini Bottom,” $18, rescuebeauty.com.
  3. Illamasqua Nail Varnish in “Stagnate,” $14, sephora.com.
  4. Chanel Nail Colour in “Lilac Sky,” $25, chanel.com.
  5. POP Beauty Nail Glam Polish in “Brave,” $10, urbanoutfitters.com.
  6. Butter London 3 Free Lacquer in “Primrose Hill Picnic,” $14, butterlondon.com.
  7. Rescue Beauty Lounge in “Lulu,” $18, rescuebeauty.com.
  8. Anna Sui Shimmer Nail Polish in “Turquoise,” $15, urbanoutfitters.com.
  9. Illamasqua Nail Varnish in “Gamma,” $14, sephora.com.
  10. Essie for J. Crew Nail Polish in “Milky Way,” $8, jcrew.com.
  11. Chanel Nail Colour in “Pêche Nacrée,” $25, chanel.com.
  12. Illamasqua Nail Varnish in “Milf,” $14, sephora.com.
  13. Butter London 3 Free Lacquer in “Cream Tea,” $14, butterlondon.com.

What are going to be your go-to nail polish shades this spring?

{Sources: Nail polish photos via urbanoutfitters.com, rescuebeauty.com, butterlondon.com, sephora.com, jcrew.com, selfridges.com, be.com, vickyloves.wordpress.com, beautywoome.com. Collage background images via gardenpictures.com, susangage.com, thezippitybookshelf.wordpress.com (all accessed via Google Images).}

Spring 2011 Series | Runway Review, Part III

In this installment: Chloé, Helmut Lang, and Lanvin. All three had stunning collections with some truly beautiful pieces that showcased the minimalist trend for Spring with an unparalleled elegance. From perfect tailoring to beautiful color palettes to wispy fabrics, these collections were among some of my favorites.

Chloé

The Chloé show was full of simple, beautifully crafted pieces in a very muted color palette. I personally found the looks very refreshing, and they all still carried the Chloé je ne sais quoi: that spark of casual elegance that makes their pieces seem light and wearable, while still remaining within the realm of classic cuts.

The dresses and skirts were particularly striking. I loved the length — just below the knee is always ladylike. The full skirts are playful and chic, and the lightly pleated sheer fabric is absolutely heavenly.

Chloé also took on white for spring in its usual classic fashion. I loved both the looks on the right and left — the crisp, fitted silhouette with small draped details is gorgeous in its simplicity. I also really like the idea of making an all-white ensemble pop with an unexpected bright red flat.

Helmut Lang

The silhouettes at Helmut Lang were just as divine as those at Chloé, but with slightly looser and more casual fits. I found this collection to be very wearable. There were some great tailored pieces and chic blazers, but there were also some very simple dresses pulled together with careful draping. Again, I loved the colors — basic white and gray, with a light peach and a pop of red. Perfect for spring.

Lanvin

Lanvin took on a darker color palette than Chloé and Helmut Lang, but still showcased pieces that were wearable in warmer weather. The details were a bit richer and more extravagant (although not overly so), but the silhouettes and cuts of the clothes remained similar to those from the other two collections.

I loved the pops of deep pink on the runway — the dress on the left was one of my favorite pieces for spring. The colorblock trend is back this year with plenty of bold hues, and the pairing of raspberry and fuchsia on a one-shoulder dress looked amazing.

There was plenty more pink left in the show, too! It’s a great color for spring — something not as heavy as red, but still fun and flirty nonetheless. (Kind of like honeysuckle pink, which is, incidentally, Pantone’s “Color of the Year” for 2011…). Side note: doesn’t Karlie Kloss look absolutely stunning?

So, to recap: Crisp, beautiful tailoring. Fitted silhouettes. Full, flowing skirts. Sheer and silky fabrics. Natural colors with pops of bright pink and red.

What did you think of the Chloé, Helmut Lang, and Lanvin spring ready-to-wear collections?

{Sources: Chloé show photographed by Monica Feudi/GoRunway.com, accessed via style.com. Helmut Lang show photographed by Dusan Reljin/Management Artists, accessed via style.com. Lanvin show photographed by Yannis Vlamos/GoRunway.com, accessed via style.com}

Spring 2011 Series | Runway Review, Part II

I started this series a while ago (in January, to be precise) to showcase looks from the Spring/Summer 2011 ready-to-wear shows. And spring is coming up fast now! The goal from these posts is to draw inspiration from these looks, not necessarily try to replicate them exactly. Ashley from 2 Eyes In The Mirror mentioned in a comment on the first runway post that Hermès was her favorite show “hands-down,” so I’ve made sure to include it here! I’ve paired it with Ralph Lauren and Emilio Pucci to keep up the Western theme for spring.

Ralph Lauren

The Ralph Lauren show made very good use of the color white. It was similar to that at Dolce & Gabbana but with a Western twist. Swap out the floaty blouses and shorts for more structured shirts and high-collared dresses and throw in some leather belts and you’re good to go.

I found a lot of the clothes at Ralph Lauren to be pretty wearable, or at least easy to translate into everyday wear. I really liked the light floral prints for dresses, classic button-downs, and wide belts, although, granted, a lot of the basic silhouettes were exaggerated on the runway (read: pouffy sleeves).

Emilio Pucci

I loved the really rich and vibrant colors on the Emilio Pucci runway, as well as the many gorgeous and flowing dress shapes. The hair and makeup was beautiful and perfect for spring, with hair a little messy and undone, but still shiny and healthy, and a natural, bronzed face. (More beauty shots can be found in the details here.)

My favorite look from the entire show was the orange dress on the left. I’m usually not a big fan of orange, but it looked fantastic with the leather boots turquoise bracelets. The soft pleats on the fabric were also a big plus! I can’t see myself ever wearing something like this in real life, but I do love the color combination of leather/warm brown and turquoise, as well as the slightly sheer fabric for blouses.

I thought the look above left most easily translated into everyday — the leather jacket over the floaty spring dress is a classic combination for transitioning into the hotter weather if toned down a bit from the runway version.

Hermès

This show was incredible and I can see why it was Ashley’s favorite. I loved the sharp tailoring, color scheme, leather details, and the entire runway set. While some of the looks are not something I could ever see myself wearing, the riding pants are Hermès were perfect. We’ve seen riding pants a lot this year in fashion, and it’s great to see that Hermès is continuing the trend in the spring.

I also thought that Hermès was able to pull off the monochromatic trend quite subtly in some of its looks. Top left, Abbey Lee Kershaw looks very ladylike in high-waisted paper bag trousers and a tucked in tee. The black-on-black ensembles that popped up every so often on the runway made great use of different textures (sheer, leather, silk…) to differentiate between individual pieces (we also see this concept bottom right with the light cream outfit worn by Jac).

What do you think of the Western-style ready-to-wear looks at Ralph Lauren, Emilio Pucci, and Hermès?

{Sources: Ralph Lauren and Emilio Pucci runway photos photographed by Monica Feudi/GoRunway.com, accessed via Style.com. Hermès runway photos by Yannis Vlamos/GoRunway.com, accessed via Style.com.}

 

Spring 2011 Series | Runway Review, Part I

Before I begin this post, I want to share a comment that the lovely Ari from The Path Before Forever left on my post that introduced this series:

I’m honestly not a big fashion person but that’s actually something I want to work on — I’m still trying to find my own style. I can’t stand blogs that try to tell you what you can and can’t wear, or only showcase runway styles that are impossible to even try to imitate in the real world, but I love what you have here. Nice job, I’m looking forward to it!

First of all, thank you for your wonderful comment, Ari!

Secondly, I agree completely. I like to look to the runways for inspiration, but in my opinion, runway shows are almost an art form — something to be appreciated and admired, but not fully imitated on a day-to-day basis. If I ever incorporate runway looks (in terms of inspiration, not buying YSL trench coats) into my wardrobe, its because I’ve found a component of the show that I liked and that appealed to my style, an idea that I wanted to try and pull off myself. You may have your own opinions on runway shows, but mine is thus: take it for what it is — fashion inspiration and appreciation.

So in this series, I will have some “Runway Review” posts featuring a handful of my favorite shows and looks. Let me know what your take on the looks are, and if you see any ideas that appeal to you for spring!

Yves Saint Laurent

I really enjoying the beautiful tailoring and simplicity of the YSL show. Many of the Spring 2011 ready-to-wear runway shows were all about classic, dramatic tailoring and the reinterpretation of minimalism. Bold colors were also a key component of the shows, and the clothes at YSL embodied both aspects for spring. One of my favorite pieces was the sleeveless trench coat in the center (above). It looks so simple, yet completely chic, just thrown on by itself with a pair of metallic gladiators and some bold lipstick.

The center look (above) is a great example of sleek, chic tailoring. I also love the choice of navy blue – it’s a little unexpected, but it looks very classic. And Abbey Lee is rocking that jacket!

Yves Saint Laurent nailed the outwear, in my opinion. The white trench is chic without looking like a hospital gown, thanks to the wide, floppy collar. The navy coat also takes on the exaggerated color for a dramatic silhouette. With the new minimalism, the shape of garments becomes so much more critical and I think that YSL had some great pieces that were a perfect example of good tailoring.

Dolce & Gabbana

The Dolce & Gabbana Spring 2011 ready-to-wear show was one of my favorites of the season. Everything was floaty, feminine, and beautiful — nothing short of what we would expect for Dolce & Gabbana, of course. I loved the lace and references to classic lingerie silhouettes. Overall, it was a stunning show with pieces that were simple in color but intricate in design.

There were also some beautiful dresses on the runway. I loved the longer dresses, especially the form-fitting ones. And the shorts, too! The white bloomer shorts were a great addition to the show, and very flirty and playful for Spring. Dolce & Gabbana did white right for this show and, without making it seem too bridal-like, they created some excellent pieces that are the perfect inspiration for a light and pretty Spring wardrobe.

Givenchy

I have always liked Givenchy, especially after its standout couture collection for Fall 2010 (that had plenty of lace and intricate detailing without being too over-the-top). The clothes at this show were simple, following Spring’s minimalist trend. I especially loved the oversized blazers (including the sleeveless version, top right). And look, plenty of sheer skirts!

What do you think of the Spring 2011 ready-to-wear looks at YSL, Dolce & Gabbana, and Givenchy?

{Source: Yves Saint Laurent and Givenchy runway images by Monica Feudi/GoRunway.com, accessed via Style.com. Dolce & Gabbana runway images by Yannis Vlamos/GoRunway.com, accessed via Style.com.}

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