Runway to Your Way: A White Shirt – 9 Ways

One of my favorite online spots for great ideas is Shopbop. Not only do they carry great lines but they also pull together great looks to showcase these pieces in action, separated by different themes and storylines. So when I was that the feature of the week was a white shirt 8 ways, I was in.

They asked four different stylists to come up with two different looks that used a classic white tunic as the base. Now, you know that I love a crisp white shirt, so I thought I’d share a look I’d create using that fab white shirt.

First, the shirt. A BB Dakota tunic at $80. I love the classic sleeveless look with the straight hem – very polished – and the versatility of its length – wear it in, wear it out, lots of options.

BB Dakota Tunic

Next, off to one of my other favorite resources, Polyvore, to scout out some items to wear with the white shirt. But since I love a bargain, I had to do a quick search for other options. Found two great alternatives – a DKNY for $63 or a RVCA Tribeca for $44 – both available at lovely Zappos.

DKNY

RVCA Tribeca

And guess what, lo and behold I had a white tunic by LA Made in my closet that I purchased at the magical price of $24.99 from TJ Maxx. You never know what’s lurking in your wardrobe already! And it has a cowl neck – very cute, indeed.

My look?

The new Gap 1969 jean leggings underneath with an oldie – my Allison Taylor beige cotton cropped jacket – nestled under the cowl. Paired with bejeweled Nine West sandals and my fave Kaenon sunglasses (amazing sunglasses, my friend owns the company).

What would you pair with your tunic?

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July 25, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Runway to Your Way. 4 comments.

Runway to Your Way: So SATC

Okay, the reviews aren’t good, but that’s okay – I’m still lining up in my best high heels to see Sex and the City 2, because it’s not about the onscreen conversation, it’s about the couture. Just from seeing the commercials, you can tell that it’s going to be an absolute visual feast. Thank you Patricia Field!

Similar to haute couture, Sex and the City has always featured fashion that the average woman would probably not wear on a daily basis, but that’s part of the fun! Like runway , SATC outfits help inform fashion. And if you are like me, helped informed the viewer. For someone who gravitates to shoes first when putting together an outfit, I found that SATC and its homage to fine footwear was right up my alley. From Manolos to Jimmy Choos and, now in this movie, to Brian Atwoods, SATC unlocked a whole new world of coveted coverings for the feet. Though I haven’t made a similar investment myself quite yet, I like to think that a pair of Louboutins are in my future.

SATC 2 Movie Still

So knowing that this bit of pop culture will be one of the greatest fashion influences of the summer, I wanted to cover ways to incorporate this high level of fabulousness in your every day wardrobe, without emptying your wallet. Let’s look at the leading ladies and how to be haute like them.

Channeling Charlotte: Prim, proper and very Park Avenue, Charlotte always looks polished. She’s tailored. She’s groomed. And this summer, she’s perfect in flowing tops ideal for the season.

A mom to two young girls, Charlotte has her hands full but she still wants to look fashionable. To keep the ease in her wardrobe, it’s all about separates that mix and match easily. For a great summer look, think easy tops that go from work to play as simply as removing your cardie. How about a $91 BCBG tie-front halter in a stunning purple? Charlotte would certainly like the ruffle detail at the neckline that can dress up her overall outfit.

BCBG

Or the $38 Ann Taylor top with trompe l’oeil necklace? You don’t need your pearls with this applique’ design.

Ann Taylor

And Charlotte is all about the hat. Think Jackie O white straw hat with big round sunglasses and you will have the look.

Mirroring Miranda: Legal eagle Miranda finds comfort in dresses that do dual duty. Though buttoned up during the day with knee length skirts and structured jackets, Miranda lets her personality come out through the color that she tucks under those tops. Remember, just because you are at work, it doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun through fashion.

Looking to recreate this great mustard in a summer style? How about Robert Rodriguez’s golden top for $125 that would look great with a skirt or a skinny pair of jeans.

Robert Rodriguez

Simulating Samatha: The sexy siren of the group, Samantha prefers eye-catching outfits that showcase her confidence and charisma. She loves glitz and sparkle, adding metallics to just about every look, including her bathing suit. Want to emulate her style?

How about a gold bathing suit by ModCloth? For $90, this suit harkens back to the Harlow days, giving you a bit more cover but every inch of the glam.

ModCloth

Or ready for a night out with the girls? Sam is all about the one-shoulder dress, so how about this $51 dress from Missguided, with its sparkling touches at the shoulder and waist.

Missguided

Carbon Copy Carrie: The ultimate mixer of kitsch and couture, you never know what Carrie might wear, which it is such a surprise to see her in a clean, white dress. Perfect for summer, this dress is totally fresh. Carrie’s version is a Halston Heritage (of which Sarah Jessica Parker is the creative director, natch), available at $325.

Halston Heritage

My search for suitable substitutes included this cotton voile kaftan by Philip Lim that would perfect on the beach, boardwalk or in the bars – just ditch your flips for strappy brown leather platform wedges and you are good to go.

3.1 Philip Lim Voile Kaftan

I also found a cute dress, inspired by the movie, on Fashion Junkee – a great color against tanned skin and a steal at $45.

FashionJunkee.com

Since all of the ladies make a trip to Abu Dhabi, where they awash themselves in glorious color and fabric, expect to see a slew of patterns and prints on more than just towels this summer. Think animal prints, floral, interesting shapes and colors, all mixed up and layered in sheer fabrics. Want to join in the fun? How about swapping that short beach cover-up for a longer version? This floor length Tory Burch (just $49 at Twice The Style) will look smart on the sand or elegant walking around town.

Tory Burch

And thank you for the tip from NY Times writer Stephanie Rosenbloom on the new Sex and the City closet webpage, where you ogle all of the characters’ costumes and find similar options for sale. Enjoy!

May 30, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Runway to Your Way. Leave a comment.

Runway to Your Way: Adding Some Edge

For the record, I do not have a good singing voice. Now, that has not stopped me from belting out a powerful rendition of “Kiss On My List” in the shower or “A View to a Kill” in the car, but just be thankful that I’ve always chosen to contain my voice within the confines of glass walls. In fact, I usually just mouth the words when singing in chorus, like during office Happy Birthday celebrations, just to make sure that I do not offend. What can I say, I’m a conscientious friend.

So it’s a bit surprising that I do have rock n’ roll fantasies, but not surprising that those fantasies all revolve around fashion. I’m definitely not into the grit and grim rock n’ roll (couldn’t even manage the big hair in the ’80s) or glam rock a la The Runaways (not everything should be tight in my mind), but more than of the glamour edge of artists like Gwen Stefani, who take pretty pieces and turning them on their heads a bit.

Adding some edge is definitely in the air this season, with harder looking elements like metal studs on particularly everything. I love how I can now easily edge up my outfits a bit, mixing some more masculine pieces with feminine to create whole new exciting looks.

Brace Yourself. An easy edgy entry point is the bracelet. By starting with the wrist, you can still make a statement, but it will be more subtle. I love leather cuffs with metal embellishment, stacks of thin, wiry bracelets and large unique shapes. Go big, bold and weighty with a piece like the Loft chain bracelet I just purchased – the large chain links add the hardness I’m looking for, but the more feminine shape makes the design look sophisticated. Remember, the goal is to add edge without being overtly edgy, so think adornments like studs and not spikes.

Loft bracelet

Rock Around. The neckline provides the perfect showcase for elegant edge. I love the idea of a statement necklace – a piece that truly makes the whole outfit. Because a necklace is more in the forefront, think more daring and less dog collar. Soften metal chains by picking pieces with cotton, muslin or satin ribbons woven through the links or complemented by softer shapes like round baubles.

J Crew Necklace

Edge It Out. Add some roll n’ rock to your everyday look by selecting pieces that have a little edge in unexpected places. A couple of recent additions to my closet include a short-sleeved white jacket with studded trim, subtlely layered under sheer netting.

Dalia Collection jacket

….a white boyfriend blazer, with small studded trim just at the pockets….

Free People blazer

….and black Kenneth Cole pumps topped mini studs and gunmetal leather trim ….

Kenneth Cole heels

Want to work a little edge to your wardrobe? Here are some other options:

How about a sharp cinch?

New Pyramids Leather Belt

….Or a cool clutch?

Chateau Studded Wallet

…. Or a little leather from your limbs?

Linea Pelle bracelets

….Or a sick sandal?

Madden Girls Maliboo Stud Sandal

I’ll channeling Gwen Stefani this summer. Whose style do you admire the most?

May 8, 2010. Tags: , , , . Runway to Your Way. 1 comment.

Faux Fashion Faux Pas

In celebration of a glorious weekend, I attended a few parties this weekend where the ladies were awash in color. It was so fun to see all of the rich jewel tones, different patterns and flowing fabrics after the cold snap we’ve had (well, it is California, so the term “cold” is relative). Seeing a number of graphic tees and bold prints offset by crisp white pants, I thought how great it was to see the white pant back out in full force. White pants just signal summer.

But it also started me thinking about how sad it is for those white pants to languish in the closet until we approach Memorial Day Weekend. So today I thought I’d dispel some fashion myths so we can get those long-forlorn, misunderstood pieces in a more permanent rotation.

White’s All Right. That’s right, white is all right – any time of the year. The old adage of “you can’t wear white after Labor Day” is really only true for shoes, and I’d suggest that is mainly for practical purposes – obviously white can’t stand up to rain or snow. But white is a wonderful year-around color – you just need to select the right fabrics for each season.

  • Summer – White is absolutely ethereal in the summertime. You want to go light on your fabrics to withstand humidity and heat, so go light cotton or linen. Avoid any fabric that doesn’t breathe. This summer, go for A-line dresses, blouson shirts and anything with smocking, swiss dot or eyelet. It’s all about looking as free and casual as a summer day.
  • Fall – As the cooler days of fall creep in, we start to gravitate towards deeper colors – chocolate browns, burnt oranges, richer greens – and away from our friend, the color white. But nothing says fall more than a crisp white turtleneck under those darker colors, or a crisp white shirt layered under thick cardigan or a sweater coat. Remember, these touches of white – in more substantial cottons or silks – to help offset the darkness of deep colors.
  • Winter – White in winter offers great juxtaposition to the feeling of the season, especially on particularly gray days. Try some sturdy white stovepipe pants, tucked into short black boots, paired with a white tunic-style sweater and a black pea coat thrown over it all. No way you can feel winter blah with an outfit like this one!
  • Spring –  Spring is all about white, but we tend to hold onto our winter blacks way too long. I particularly love a white suit in the waning days of March. I recently went to a fundraiser cocktail party where every woman was channeling winter with their black dress suits, minus myself and one other woman who both came in white. She did a white skirt suit with a black cami and great black heels, while I did a white pant suit with a wide, dusky purple belt cinching in the waist. We gave each other a conspiratorial wink from across the room.

Match Set. Next up – the old saw that you have to match your bag to your shoes to your belt. Not true! You can absolutely go this way – this is no crime in being fabulously matched – but I think it’s much more fun to change up your look through accessories. Here are some thoughts for spring:

  • White Hot. White eyelet wrap dress, navy ribbon belt, open-toed red sling-backs and, pale pink, wide-stripped canvas tote
  • Play Day. Black peasant blouse, light blue seersucker shorts, skinny beige braided belt, orange leather and cork wedges, pale orange envelope clutch
  • Working It. Tan suit, white ruffled blouse, black crocodile belt at the waist, black strappy heels, straw bag

Stock Up. For years, I held firm to my belief in this myth – stockings were for closed-toed shoes only. But despite a love for boots, last year I got tired of always having to shelves my sweet stilettos for the season. I began my experiment slowly with opaque trouser socks and then I boldly graduated to ankle socks. The result? More looks in the winter and equally toasty tootsies!  Next year, I’m going for broke and adding in some colored sock versions!

Fit to Print. Mixing different prints and patterns is okay – you just need to have a light hand. To try out this trend, match one of the colors between the two prints and keep the patterns in a similar size. An easy way to start is to mix a printed blouse with a printed scarf, which you then anchor with a neutral top and pair of pants or jeans. If you want to go for the full effect, try a printed top and different print skirt. The shorter length of a skirt keeps the prints from being too much. One of my faves – my Diane Von Furstenberg wrap dress in psychedelic brown, pink, black and cream with black herringbone patterned tights.

Back in Black…and Brown. As discussed in the Case of the Tricky Tunic, brown and black do indeed match, and if you pick a rich brown, they can look fabulous together. My current favorite match? The brown with black pinstripe tights that my mom gave me for Christmas – gorgeous!

What’s your favorite fashion myth to debunk?

May 3, 2010. Tags: , , , , . Runway to Your Way. 7 comments.

Runway to Your Way: Wedges

As most people who know me would say, it is surprising that it has taken me this long to write about shoes. It’s surprising even to me! I just adore shoes. I know, oh so cliche’ for a woman to love shoes, but it is true. I can’t tell you how many times I start with the shoes first and then build the outfit around them!

This season, there are a ton of great options in style – the ballet flat, embellished heels, the gladiator sandal, kitten heels – and a few not so great options – hello, strappy clogs? But the one I’m most excited about is the wedge. The wedge is great for so many reasons.

  • At great heights. New to heels? The wedge eases you in, providing a more stable platform so you have less wobble and more wow.
  • Stand Tall. Big day out? The wedge gives you the benefits of a heel (more length to the leg), but provides more support for your arch, so you can tromp around without tiring out.
  • Nighty night! The wedge is not just for your day looks. Just keep the cork for your casual day wear and introduce leather at night. Wood works well at any time.
  • Standing the test of time. The wedge is a classic! The fabric may change, but the shape is timeless for spring and summer. If you are investing in a pricier wedge, took for a great neutral that can be paired with any color in your closet, such as a rich brown, tawny taupe or your favorite metallic.

Here are a few of my different looks this year, plus what to pair with them.

Digging Denim. Denim is big for the spring, so how about incorporating it into your footwear? Just like with jeans, a darker wash will look great on the foot.  And don’t forget some colorful toes (I’m going coral myself!). The wood base of this pair allows you to go from day to night without a footwear switch, so try with some skinny, cropped pants and tank during the day, and throw on a fitted cardigan for a casual dinner or a sparkly, skinny scarf for a night out with the gals.

Tory Burch Denim Wedges

Colorful Kicks. For those uncomfortable with color, adding it through your footwear is an easy way to get used to the idea. Plus adding color at the foot is another great way to see what colors complement your skin tone the best. I love this pair of coral wedges, whose rope detailing makes them a great day option. Top with boot cut white pants or white shorts, and add a navy striped shirt or polka dot gypsy blouse. Complete with a long beaded necklace to keep the look casual but crisp.

Christian Louboutin Almeria Leather Espadrille

Work It. Don’t forget your wedge on the weekday! Wedges aren’t just great weekend wear, they are also great for the work day. I like the metal detail on this pair, which makes the wedge more dressy. Try with an A-line skirt and belted cardigan for a polished day look.

Nine West Tarmatic Wedge

Slip and Glide. You tend to see most wedge options with an ankle strap, but I love a slip-on wedge as well. This type is just as stylish and even a bit more playful than your average wedge. I love this pair – the braided brown leather paired with the espadrille bottom offers a fun juxtaposition. Pair with some blue seersucker pants and white long-sleeved tee.

Michael Kors Espadrille Wedges

Well, time to dig my favorite wedges out of the closet!

What does your favorite pair look like?

April 10, 2010. Tags: , , , . Runway to Your Way, Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

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