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).}

Trendspotting | Sheer Genius

On the Shoulder | Caroline’s Mode

Slightly see-through tops, skirts, and the like are not the most original of trends, but stylish nonetheless and trending big time for Spring 2011. Sheer, floaty layers were seen at the likes of Prada, Miu Miu, and Chanel, and have been appearing on the street for quite some time. I love looking at the street style photos — they give you real-life interpretations of the looks seen on the runway, and they are, in my opinion, far more creative and wearable than anything seen in a fashion show. Here are a few variations on the sheer trend, showcased by some seriously stylish girls.

The Skirt. A sheer skirt can add interest to your look and add pretty, swirling layers. Just be sure to wear something underneath and make sure your skirt is longer, because, well, we all know a see-through miniskirt is bound for trouble. I really like these variations shown above. Although more geared towards winter than the upcoming spring season, they still look fabulous – come spring, just swap in a tucked-in blouse (and/or change the black for a lighter color), and you’re golden.

  1. I love the soft pleats on this skirt, seen over at Caroline’s Mode.
  2. The always-fabulous Ashley from Two Eyes in the Mirror – be sure to check out her blog for more fabulous outfits.
  3. A quick street style shot from Fashion Toast. Not a see-through skirt, but the layers of sheer tulle do the trick and I love the volume, à la Black Swan.
  4. Another sheer black skirt — a bit longer than the others, with a long coat to mask some of the sheerness, photographed by the talented Scott Schuman over at The Satorialist.

The Dress. Sheer dresses can be used perfectly for event dressing (obviously you wouldn’t want to wear one grocery shopping) — the key is to keep the look classic and a little glamorous. If baring your lingerie (like Elena Perminova, left) isn’t really your style, don’t worry! You can always go for a minidress with lots of sequin detailing (like Diana, right) or a solid dress with a few sheer insets.

  1. Definitely the boldest of the ensembles here, and not exactly practical for everyday wear. However, I think Elena — snapped for Caroline’s Mode — does an incredible job of pulling off this tough-to-master look in a very classy and elegant fashion.
  2. I like Rumi’s look from Fashion Toast because it’s very simple and the details on the dress are beautiful. Still a little see-through for everyday wear, but it could pair fabulously with some black tights and ankle boots.
  3. The gorgeous Diana from Dressed Up Alligators — in my opinion, the most wearable way to get away with a sheer dress. It has sheer details up at the top, but towards the bottom of the dress, the gold sequins cover the skirt section completely, giving you full coverage while still rocking the sheer trend.

The Blouse. In my opinion, the easiest way to wear the trend. A sheer blouse (not necessarily a completely see-through one, either) can add a level of sophistication to an outfit when tucked into, say, a simple black skirt. It’s chic and gorgeous, and the slightly sheer blouse will always be in style (making it a great closet investment piece)!

  1. Try wearing a nude tank top under a very sheer blouse, like this woman, photographed for Street Peeper.
  2. I love the length of this blouse, worn by the fabulous Tracy of The Closet Shopper. It’s not super-sheer, just the tiniest bit see-through. The tunic length is also perfect for pairing with leggings. You can also check out her working a sheer, black blouse at this post on her blog.
  3. Another semi-sheer blouse from Karla of Karla’s Closet. Bows are a great detail for sheer blouses because they help cover you up a bit (and look super-cute!).
  4. A sheer blouse worn by Kirsi Pyrhönen on Caroline’s Mode. I like the solid sleeves, shrunken fit, and beaded details on the fabric that makes this blouse perfect to wear open or buttoned up, with a black tank top underneath.

Hope this post gave you some ideas for working the sheer trend into your look this Spring! Remember, style is all about taking fashions and trends and making them your own — wearing them so you feel comfortable in them. Also be sure to check out the stylish bloggers featured (Ashley, Diana, and Tracy) in this post for more inspiration!

{Source: All images in this post via carolinesmode.com, streetpeeper.com, karlascloset.com, fashiontoast.com, 2eyesinthemirror.blogspot.com, thesartorialist.com, dressedupallligators.blogspot.com, and theclosetshopper.blogspot.com}

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Style Guide | Equestrian

There is something so wonderfully basic about a good riding-inspired ensemble. Classic, preppy and perfectly polished with lots of leather, slim pants, and chic structured blazers: the equestrian look is a uniform as well as a fashion statement. It’s refreshing to be able to take on such a classic set of style laws, while still being able to break a few rules of your own, of course. What’s not to love?

In this style guide: You’ll find essentials for creating the classic equestrian look, as well as options for making the trend your very own and corresponding shopping lists with plenty of items at a variety of price points. You’ll also find the “extras,” cute riding-inspired goodies that are optional, but never hurt to throw on if you’re feeling up to the challenge.

Essential #1: Riding Boots

Good leather riding boots (whether authentic or not) are imperative for pulling the equestrian look together — without them, you might as well forget channelling the equestrian style altogether. While a great pair of leather boots can truly be an investment, there are less expensive options out there (both real and faux leather) to help you complete your look. Just make sure your boots are a classic shape and color and have a taller shaft (but not over-the-knee).

  1. Bandolino, $90-$130.
  2. Clarks, $130.
  3. Chooka, $90.
  4. Frye, $348.
  5. Lauren by Ralph Lauren, $135.

Essential #2: The Structured Blazer

A blazer, like good boots, is one of the most critical parts to the equestrian style. While navy (with gold buttons!) is the classic color for this look, feel free to experiment with different styles, like gray tweed with elbow patches, velvet, or even a more relaxed blazer in a striped pattern. The possibilities for chic blazers are endless, although there are some tried-and-true classics that provide the perfect base for mastering the look.

  1. J. Crew, $188.
  2. Urban Outfitters, $48.
  3. Ralph Lauren Rugby, $200.
  4. Anthropologie, $98.
  5. J. Crew, $198.
  6. BDG, $78.

Essential #3: Riding Pants

Riding pants — perhaps the comfiest pants you will ever own that are still, well, pants — can be worn regardless of whether or not you intend to emulate the equestrian look. (Read: important investment for your wardrobe.) Look for them in a classic tan or olive color, or go black for an ultra-slimming and streamlined silhouette. You don’t even need all-out stretchy pants — there are versions of fitted cargos that can work just as well for this look.

  1. Milly, $188.
  2. J. Crew, $88.
  3. Gap, $60.
  4. Lauren by Ralph Lauren, $63.
  5. Daughters of the Liberation, $88.
  6. Joe’s, $158.
  7. Free People, $88.
  8. J. Crew, $75.

Essential #4: The Collared Shirt

No riding-inspired ensemble is complete without a crisp, collared shirt. For a more classic and polished look, opt for a freshly pressed version in a structured cut in white or light blue. For a more relaxed spin on the equestrian trend, try out stripes and plaids, fun colors, and looser fits.

  1. J. Crew, $70.
  2. Burberry Brit, $95.
  3. Ralph Lauren Rugby, $25.
  4. Vineyard Vines, $88.
  5. J. Crew, $70.
  6. Tory Burch, $95.

Extras!

Complete your equestrian look, or simply just add a little riding twist to a regular outfit, with these inspired extras. Be on the lookout especially for classic leather gloves and belts.

  1. J. Crew Camp Socks, $12.
  2. Ralph Lauren Rugby Plaid Tote, $110.
  3. Vineyard Vines Skinny Belt, $38.
  4. J. Crew Cashmere-lined Leather Gloves, $70-$98.
  5. Urban Outfitters Bow Tie Necklace, $28.
  6. J. Crew Classic Leather Belt, $32.
  7. Jill Stuart Plaid Belted Coat, $134.
  8. UGG Australia Equestrian Leather Hobo, $298.
  9. Ralph Lauren Rugby Gloves, $30.
  10. Anthropologie Bangle, $38.
  11. Vineyard Vines Hooded Toggle Sweater, $165.

Hope you’re feeling inspired to try out the equestrian trend! Let me know what you think of this style guide.

{Sources: Images via piperlime.com, jcrew.com, urbanoutfitters.com, rugby.com, anthropologie.com, gap.com, bloomingdales.com, freepeople.com, vineyardvines.com. All equestrian photography by me – please ask before using.}

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No more pastels! Honeysuckle Pink is Pantone’s Color of the Year 2011

For 2010, Pantone selected Turquoise 15-5519 as its “Color of the Year.” A beautiful shade – calming and appealing to all color palettes, flattering in the home as well as on brightly colored accessories, and evocative of little blue boxes from Tiffany & Co.

Honeysuckle Pink 18-2120, the color of choice for 2011, could not be more different. Bright and poppy, it takes some serious confidence to pull off this shade. And despite what the Pantone press release claims (“Honeysuckle is guaranteed to produce a healthy glow when worn by both men and women”) I don’t make it out to be a very gender-neutral color (except maybe in a tie, as the press release mentions, but no shirts please).

However, despite the aversion I know many are going to have to this color, I’m definitely on board with this shade for 2011. I think it’s time that people embrace pink again — it’s a happy, invigorating and playful color that, for once, needs to be taken seriously.

Predictably enough, I went pink-hunting online and found some great Honeysuckle-inspired goodies to spice up your home and wardrobe for the new year. Try accessorizing your home/apartment/dorm room with pink accents, your wallet with a shiny new Pantone Visa card, or your closet with a bright new sweater or bag. [Click image to enlarge]

Pantone, which selects its Color of the Year based on its predictions about fashion and home trends, makes an excellent point in its press release about Honeysuckle Pink:

“In times of stress, we need something to lift our spirits. Honeysuckle is a captivating, stimulating color that gets the adrenaline going – perfect to ward off the blues,” explains Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®.

With the current state of the economy, it is all but fitting that we should have a little fun despite the pressure. We need to take things more lightly and refresh our wardrobes and homes as well as our minds. So this is my proposition: let’s not be against bright pink in 2011. Let’s relax and learn to live a little even if conditions aren’t ideal.

As Audrey Hepburn once said, “I believe in pink.”

Shopping Information:

  1. Lemlem® Tarara Wrap. $90, jcrew.com.
  2. Cashmere crewneck cardigan. $80, jcrew.com.
  3. Bodum® Chambord thermal jug. $20, crateandbarrel.com.
  4. Blazing Birthstone pillow. $78, anthropologie.com.
  5. Jewel-tone tiered dress. $110, madewell.com.
  6. Wayfarer reader. $14, urbanoutfitters.com.
  7. Dior Addict lip polish in “Fresh Expert”. $30, sephora.com.
  8. Harper Sangria 4’x6′ rug. $40, crateandbarrel.com.
  9. BDG corduroy ankle cigarette pant. $29, urbanoutfitters.com.
  10. Sparkle & Fade tank. $13, urbanoutfitters.com.
  11. Tamerlane pillow. $118, anthropologie.com.
  12. Madera weekender. $488, freepeople.com.

{Source: Images via pantone.com, jcrew.com, crateandbarrel.com, anthropologie.com, madewell.com, urbanoutfitters.com, sephora.com, and freepeople.com. }

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Trendspotting | Pleated to Perfection

Giovanna Battagalia in Alaia | Jak & Jil

As I briefly mentioned in a previous post reviewing the new Vena Cava for Aqua line, I’m loving the pleat trend for fall. Although not as prominent or obvious as the leopard prints, faux furs, and red hues that took the runways by storm this season, pleating is a trend that has been popping up on the streets, in new fall lines, and in little details on the runways. For some, the words “pleated skirt” bring on nightmares of hideous middle school uniforms or crazy kilts. However, if done right, this trend can be pulled off beautifully. The key is to look for smaller and more numerous pleats in a gauzy fabric, or look for very subtle pleating on dresses and skirts. Some runways showcased macro draping that mimicked the look of pleats (see Burberry Prorsum) without the actual folding of the fabric. Even well-placed horizontal and vertical lines recalled the pattern of pleats.

In the center is my favorite take on the trend — a beautiful pleated dress worn by Miroslava Duma. Her dress has just the right spacing for the pleats and the light fabric keeps the look from being too stiff. In addition, the color of the fabric is a beautiful combination of slate and mauve, and it is accessorized perfectly with a leather belt, a croco-embossed bag and aviators. Chic and summery without being stuffy or overly girly.

Miroslava Duma | Stockhom Street Style

As it is, Miroslava has been working this look all summer — above is another perfect way in which she has pulled off the trend. I love the navy color of the dress, but the little peek of white at the top over one of the shoulders has kept her look from becoming overwhelming and dark. And again, a leather belt and a not-so-girly accessory (in this case the fedora) keeps the look fresh and classic. {Update: Check out Tracy from The Closet Shopper‘s spin on the look … It’s similar and quite fabulous! }

Click to enlarge.

Personally, I think that the pleats rocked on the streets were the freshest embodiment of the trend (or maybe it was just Miroslava), but I’ve included a few runway looks as well. I particularly liked the pleats at Alberta Ferretti (row 2, look 1) — they were subtle and soft and reminded me of Miroslava’s chic dresses. (It might be hard to see in the photo because of the coloring, click to enlarge.) Alexander McQueen did an excellent job with the soft pleating as well, using it as a detail on a gorgeous gown.

I also think Burberry Prorsum (row 3, middle) deserved a mention here — while he did not go all out with true pleats, Christopher Bailey sent a few looks down the runway that showcased careful, tiny draped details that were incredibly similar to the gauzy pleating at Alberta Ferretti. Still just as gorgeous and just as chic! No school uniforms here.

What do you think of the pleat trend? Will you be looking to stock up on some pleated looks for your fall wardrobe?

{ Source: Images from jakandjil.com, thesartorialist.com, stockholmstreetstyle.com, and style.com }

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