Style Fix | Le Pencil Skirt

I have recently developed a love of pencil skirts. In part, I blame J. Crew, which seems to be responsible for the majority of my style and color palette fixations (my goodness, but seriously, Jenna Lyons knows what she’s doing!). They’re simple. Classic. Elegant. Feminine. Versatile. And so incredibly chic, when done right.

Clockwise, from top right: Acne, $390, net-a-porter.com; J. Crew, $90, jcrew.com; Karl, $310, net-a-porter.com; J. Crew, $98, jcrew.com; Kelly Bergin leather skirt, $460, net-a-porter.com; J. Crew, $98, jcrew.com.

I used to avoid them, thinking they were too serious or just so drab and unflattering. But with the right cut, a punch of color, and the perfect pairings, they can function as chic, dressed-down pieces for everyday as well as being staples of any work wardrobe. These are just a few that I love — although in the past year or so, the pencil skirt craze has resulted in tons of options for every possible price point and palette, whether you’re into colors, prints, tweed, leather, or just classic black cotton.

What’s your style fixation this week?

Sources: Images via net-a-porter.com and jcrew.com.

New Year’s Eve Dressing, J. Crew Style

New Year’s Eve is the time to flaunt your chicest and sparkliest outfits to ring in the New Year. Unlike Christmas, where tradition takes center stage, NYE is all about change and redefining your sense of style, so feel free to try out new looks! I quite like J. Crew’s take on NYE dressing, shown above. (Disclaimer: I have a growing addiction to J. Crew which may or may not lead to bias toward my favorite retail store.)

And what better way to relax and enjoy the New Year, late into the morning of January 1st? Stay comfy in a cool, laid-back chic look instead of fidgeting with a cocktail dress all night. Of course, you’ll still want a little sparkle — go for a blazer (like above), a gemstone necklace, or even a sequined skirt (paired with your favorite tights and leather boots).

So take a cue from J. Crew this New Year’s Eve and break free from the expected cocktail dress. (The exception to this is, of course, a dressier event, where it would be somewhat rude to show up in corduroy pants.) Above are a few pieces I like for NYE…see if you can guess how many are from J. Crew!

Shopping List:

  1. J. Crew Matchstick Jean, $98.
  2. BCBGeneration “Melo”, $149.
  3. ASOS Premium Silk Velvet Blazer, $103.
  4. J. Crew Vintage Matchstick Cord, $40.
  5. Ann Taylor LOFT Button Down Blouse, $20 (using code SALE50).
  6. ASOS Black Pearl Shoulder Waterfall Blazer, $95.
  7. Enzo Angiolini “Subra”, $110.
  8. Forever 21 Faceted Bead Ring, $4.
  9. J. Crew Deco Clasp Mesh Bracelet, $58.
  10. Kookai All Over Sequin Jacket, $66.
  11. J. Crew Paillette Mirage Tweed Mini, $150.
  12. Lipsy Pearl Detail Hair Band, $17.
  13. J. Crew Knotted Twist Necklace, $98.
  14. J. Crew Linley Chino, $40.

Happy New Year’s!

{Source: Images via jcrew.com, asos.com, piperlime.com, anntaylorloft.com, and forever21.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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alexa chung + madewell

When you hear the name “Alexa Chung,” what words immediately come to mind? Stylish, chic, iconic, and slightly androgynous perhaps? Indeed, she is making waves in the fashion world with her original look — even inspiring the incredibly successful (and completely gorgeous) Mulberry “Alexa.”

The British icon’s new line for Madewell looks as though it will have plenty of classic pieces in true Alexa style. I can’t wait for this line to come out — while Mulberry is definitely outside my price range, Madewell is quite reasonable. And while these looks are nothing incredibly groundbreaking, they are most certainly classic fall staples for every girl’s wardrobe. I’m especially looking forward to the shoe collection (!!) and lots of pretty blouses.

The collection will be available to shop online starting September 9th and in stores starting September 11th.

In the meantime, here are some snapshots from the Alexa Chung for Madewell fall 2010 presentation.

I adore the dotted blouse in the right hand photo. It’s simultaneously visually intriguing and versatile.


What are your thoughts on the line? Will you be queueing up to snag some of Alexa’s pieces as soon as they hit the stores?

{ Source: Photographs by Nick Wolf from refinery29.com. }

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