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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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.

Last Minute Style Ideas for New Year’s Eve

Hello readers! (And sorry for the terrible delays in posting. It’s atrocious, I know. Please feel free to email me and complain.)

I have always been somewhat ambivalent about New Year’s Eve/New Year’s as “holidays.” What’s the big deal? It’s just a date change on a calendar. We don’t celebrate the first of every month, do we?

Rant aside, NYE is usually filled with glamorous parties and bucketloads of sequins. As much as I am confused by the concept of New Year’s as a holiday, I will never pass up a chance to throw on a fabulous new party look. Here, in no particular order, are some of the chicest ways to ring in the new year — with inspiration shamelessly stolen from all corners of the blogosphere, of course.

1. Layering sequins. Anything sparkling and fabulous is always perfect for NYE, but it’s also possible to avoid looking like every other girl on the planet, in a plain sequined tank dress and pumps. Tracy from The Closet Shopper (one of my favorite bloggers — she is absolutely fabulous!) gave us a preview of her holiday party looks in a guest post at Tinfoil Tiaras. She smartly layered a shimmering jacket over a (slightly) more subdued black sequined dress and cinched it with a simple belt for a look that has just as much shine, but is so much more unique. Look for sparkly separates to layer and ground them with simple black accessories.

2. Ponytail cuffs. My older sister emailed me this DIY post from Oh the Lovely Things the other day, knowing I would love it. I’ve always been a fan of glammed up ponytails, and find them so much chicer than wearing one’s hair down. (My problem is that I have very fine hair, and my ponytails tend to lack volume and texture. Any tips to remedy this would be greatly appreciated.) And aren’t these ponytail cuffs just so gorgeous? Definitely one of the easiest ways to add instant glam to your NYE look.

3. Punches of color. As much as a strict palette of gold, silver, and black is observed during New Year’s, stand out from the crowd with a few bright pops of color: think bold lips, a red shoe, or colorful stacked bangles. Harper’s Bazaar offers up a few tips on getting the perfect red lip at every age.

4. …Or, just break out of the mold altogether. Who needs punches of color when you can rock a fabulous jewel-toned frock? Definitely a fantastic option for New Year’s Eve; just be sure to use sequins wisely (if at all) and accessories with some sparkly oversized jewels instead. P.S. I Made This has an awesome DIY for a totally over-the-top jeweled necklace.

5. Glitter-dipped nails. I’ve been seeing these around quite a bit lately, and, well, they are one manicure trend that I actually like. (I’m not so much a fan of crackle or magnetic nail polish.) Also one of the easiest manicures to maintain because chipping is barely noticeable. Try this simple tutorial from MaieDae and substitute your favorite colors!

6. Comfy (but chic) heels. If you’re going to be wearing heels for NYE, and you know you’re going to be standing in them all night, why would you wear a pair that is unbearably painful after half an hour? Wear your comfiest single-hued pair of heels for New Year’s (aka, your investment shoes) instead of the crazy sequined ones and you’ll be much happier. (On another note, I highly recommend the Mona pumps from J. Crew. So comfortable yet timeless, they go with everything, and they come in leather, suede, patent, and satin!)

Most importantly, though: experiment with fashion and have fun! Although it is a bit clichéd (and I will refrain from bitterness here), New Year’s is all about welcoming the new you (and all resolutions you’ll be breaking within the next week). Enjoy!

{Source: Images courtesy of Tracy at The Closet Shopper; 5 Inch and Up; Sephora; J. Crew (crystal Venus flytrap necklace, $85); J. Crew (Mona leather pumps, $198); MaieDae.}

Designer Spotlight: Katie Ermilio

Katie Ermilio is my new favorite up-and-coming designer. Her clothes are incredibly simple, but beautifully made and insanely chic. I love the feminine but still conservative cuts and little details, like unexpected pleating and cut-out backs. The bright bursts of colors don’t hurt much, either, and she works almost exclusively with black, whites, navy, hot pink, red, and bright blue. Indeed a very bold but chic color palette.

Katie Ermilio

My favorite thing about Katie’s designs is that you can see the care and craftsmanship that went into every single piece. They are as simple and bare as can be, yet they still manage to be totally original and fashion-forward. Her clothing is like modern art. It also really speaks to my style — I love sequins and pretty add-ons as much as the next girl, but my favorite pieces are all super simple and versatile. But they still stand out.

I think there’s a quote floating around somewhere about how clothes don’t wear the woman, the woman must wear the clothes. (I might be making this up, but it still works nonetheless…I think.) I feel like this rings especially true for Katie Ermilio’s clothing. The styles are minimal and the attitude of the wearer really shines through. Confidence makes these clothes (or rather, the wearer) beautiful.

Some looks from her fall 2011 ready-to-wear collection:

I have heard some fantastic things and some not-so-fantastic things about Katie’s work, but I suppose beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I, for one, am very attracted to her clothing and find it very chic and beautiful. As I briefly mentioned in this post, I rarely wear prints or patterns — much of my wardrobe is full of solid basics that I layer and combine in different ways. So I find her take on ready-to-wear very appealing: a simple color palette (with some fun colors to add a playful touch…can you imagine how boring these clothes would be if they were all black, white, and gray?) and plenty of chic but flirty silhouettes.

Katie Ermilio, only 25 years old and already on the fast track to becoming the next big designer, was originally hoping for a position editing a fashion magazine, with internships at both Teen Vogue and Vogue under her belt. But she began sewing dresses to wear to work and soon was accepting custom orders from colleagues who wanted chic frocks of their own. She also sold many of her dresses in her father’s storefront for extra money. Before she knew it, she had become a self-professed “accidental designer.” You can read the rest of her interview with fashionista.com here!

Who are some of your favorite fashion up-and-comers?

{Sources: Images via katieermilio.com, fashionista.com, and style.com}

Trendspotting | Sixties Style

Sixties street style | Jak & Jil Blog

I don’t think I’ve done a real fashion post in quite some time! But I did want to discuss one of the bigger trends for Fall this year: sixties fashion.

It seems that each year, some new decade is revived for Fall — and for 2011, it’s the 1960s (with a few elements from the ’50s thrown in). I’m actually pretty excited about this trend, as much of my current wardrobe features classic sixties shapes while still being more modern and current. (The other trends for this year are a different story…I am not a huge fan of bright colors, seeing as I can never quite figure out how to wear them well. They do look fabulous on most people though!)

History

So, a little history first (mostly thanks to Wikipedia, there’s no way I would know all this off the top of my head): the 1960s were a decade of change in fashion, when focus shifted more to the modern, teenaged consumer (and mini dresses and skirts were popularized). The early and mid-sixties saw style inspired by fashion greats such as Audrey Hepburn and first lady Jacqueline Kennedy, who was responsible for the craze surrounding the iconic pillbox hat. Her personal style reflected fashion trends from the beginning of the decade: shift dresses and boxy, geometric shapes, with big buttons and straight, simple tailoring. The “space look” also came into vogue in 1964, taking Jackie O’s classic style one step further with sleek boots and accents like PVC and sequins.

Later, the Mod look (iconized by Twiggy) surfaced in Britain, and women began opting for clean, slim fits and simple hairstyles. The “Mods” also paved the way for a slightly different approach to the sixties fashion that had defined the beginning of the decade: richer fabrics like velvet, psychedelic prints, and more relaxed silhouettes became more common. By the time the sixties were over, popular fashion had transitioned into the hippie style that marked the 1970s, with loose blouses and bell-bottom jeans.

1960s supermodel Coleen Corby. The hair and makeup = absolute perfection.

Kudos to you if you actually read all that — but hopefully it gives you some basic idea of the incredible amount of fashion that emerged throughout the decade. I also wanted to note how much I love the beauty trends from the 1960s — the flippy Bridgitte Bardot-style hair and smudged smokey eye were also common during the decade, along with more futuristic beauty trends.

Runway

History lesson aside, the Fall 2011 ready-to-wear runways were replete with 1960s-inspired fashion. With so many key styles having emerged from that decade, it was almost difficult to find a show without any clothing or accessories designed in the sixties style. Here are some of my favorites:

I loved how Alberta Ferreti and Carolina Herrera showcased classic sixties cuts in an array of fresh, bright colors. The tailoring was absolutely stunning, and the patterned details and fun boots at Alberta Ferreti also helped bring key elements of 1960s fashion to the runway. Dolce & Gabbana and D&G played with a basic dress silhouette, experimenting with sequins, prints, and bold hues. The low neckline in the center Dolce & Gabbana image is especially sixties-inspired.

The great thing about sixties-inspired fashion is that it is incredibly wearable, not to mention versatile, for fall. You won’t be finding too many outrageous pieces that would be impossible to pull off. Calvin Klein and Balenciaga both featured very simple silhouettes that are perfect basics and all-around wardrobe staples, sixties-inspired or not. Chloé and Banana Republic followed suit, with pieces that were chic and cozy for fall. Miu Miu, however, had to be my favorite show of the bunch. With absolutely gorgeous shapes and simple but luxurious touches, all the pieces on the runway were stunning.

Although all bright colors have been making a comeback this fall, orange seemed especially popular on the runways this year and was used by many designers. The Aquascutum show featured the color in many of its looks, and Burberry Prorsum also played with the hue. Although orange has never been my favorite color (indeed, I do not own a single piece of orange clothing), it looked decidedly chic on the runways, especially when paired with neutrals. I also had to featured J. Crew here because it’s one of my favorite stores on the planet. The fall collection seemed to have a bit more of a vintage feel than the other sixties-inspired ones, but the pieces all featured careful tailoring and rich colors nonetheless.

Editorial

There are some fantastic editorials out this fall that showcase clean silhouettes and bright colors. Just as a little inspiration, here are some of my favorites!

Karlie Kloss by Arthur Elgort for Vogue Nippon | via Fashion Screen | see more >>

Tiiu Kuik by Koray Birand for Harper’s Bazaar Turkey | via Fashion Gone Rogue | see more >>

Fei Fei Sun & Ming Xi by Stockton Johnson for Vogue China | via Fashion Gone Rogue | see more >>

Natalia Vodianova by Mert & Marcus for Vogue | via Fashion Gone Rogue | see more >>

I absolutely LOVE the last editorial with Natalia — she always looks so stunning, and the styling (by Grace Coddington) and beauty could not be more perfect. The mood of the photographs is wonderful, do check out the rest of the editorial if you have the chance!

And the question remains: what do you think of the 1960s fashion trend for fall? Hopefully I’ll get a shopping and styling guide for this trend up soon!

P.S. Who’s been keeping up with this season of Project Runway??

{Sources: Street style photo by Tommy Ton for Jak & Jil; Coleen Corby image via Wikipedia; all runway photos via style.com; Karlie Kloss photographed by Arthurt Elgort via Fashion Screen; Tiiu Kuik photographed by Koray Birand via Fashion Gone Rogue; Natalia Vodianova photographed by Mert & Marcus via Fashion Gone Rogue}