Category Archives: trend to try

trend to try: mad for mod

Versace, via / Marni, via / Dsquared², via

Erin ~ I’ll admit it: I’m mad for mod. It’s such a fun, carefree style, and it’s absolutely impossible to be in a bad mood while wearing gogo boots. Originally “mod” just meant an unconventionally modern style of dress during the 1960s in England. Today, mod style is characterized by graphic patterns, primary colors, and clean streamlined shapes as inspired by Twiggy, Andy Warhol and pop art. If you’re loving ’60s mod, I’ve put together a few looks that will help you bring mod into the modern world.

This first look would be perfect for a night out. A graphic striped tunic paired with bright tights for a pop of color. Heeled Chelsea boots are more flattering (and leg-lengthening) than the flat variety, which are a ‘60s staple. Add a little mod shine with a silver clutch and Twiggy’s favorite accessory: long drop earrings. Pixie cut optional.

Opaque Tights, Express, $15 / Ritz Bootie, Kelly & Katie, $80 / Cassie Striped Dress, Lilly Pulitzer, $98 / Crystal Five Ball Drop Earrings, Adriana Orsini, $125 / Glam Clutch, Urban Expressions, $40

To wear a mod style for an afternoon about town or to a casual office, it’s all about color and print. Plaid pants and a short sleeve turtleneck create clean modern lines. White pumps give the vibe of white go-go boots, but the classic shape keeps it from looking like a costume. A ‘60s-style swing coat in a bright color is a great layering piece, and the circle framed sunglasses are a fun nod to the time period in modern lucite.

Eton Plaid Pant, Juicy Couture, $69 / Ruched Short Sleeve Turtleneck Sweater, Ann Taylor, $58 / Round the Bend Sunglasses, Modcloth, $12 / Ponte Knit Swing Jacket, Tahari, $129 / Fravel, Aldo, $49

The first two outfits are mainly neutrals, since I find it easier to pull off mod-influenced styles in a more subdued color palette. However, color-blocking and loud primary colors are major trends from the ‘60s, so feel free to let loose. A fuchsia mini skirt (which screams ’60s), can be swingin’ with an orange silk blouse. Ground the look with black opaque tights and flat riding boots, and add a newsboy cap in herringbone print and a geometric bracelet for a fun finishing touch.

Classic Mini in Felted Wool, J. Crew, $98 / Elsa Top, Lilly Pulitzer, $97 / Arturo Chiang Shadow Riding Boot, DSW, $110 / Helimo Herringbone Newsboy, Rugby, $60 / Jersey Opaque Tights , Calvin Klein, $24 for 2 / On the Dot Scatter Bracelet , Kate Spade, $98

Mod fashion is an easy trend to incorporate into most styles since the pieces are so simple and have clean lines. Also, many pieces that originated during the 1960s are still staples today, such as the Chelsea boot, swing jackets, flat knee-high boots, mini-skirts, peter pan collars, geometric accessories and opaque tights. Even if you aren’t a fan of the bolder looks from the ‘60s, these classics are a great addition to any wardrobe.

Share 'trend to try: mad for mod' on Facebook Share 'trend to try: mad for mod' on Google+ Share 'trend to try: mad for mod' on Pinterest Share 'trend to try: mad for mod' on Twitter Share 'trend to try: mad for mod' on Email

trend to try: modern menswear

Miu Miu, via / Ralph Lauren, via / Giorgio Armani, via

Erin ~ Menswear is the trend of the season for all you career women out there. Office dress-codes can be incredibly strict, which can make staying stylish difficult, but menswear is one trend that will almost always get HR’s stamp of approval. It’s an incredibly classic look, and there’s something undeniably chic about the contrast between masculine and feminine.

While I applaud anyone who will pick up a patterned suit this season (there are a plethora of cute options at Topshop and ASOS), I’m going to focus on how the rest of us can wear this trend, starting with a classic two piece suit. If you don’t already own one, this season is a great time to invest. Look for classic black, charcoal or navy, preferably in tropical wool so it will work for a variety of seasons. The jacket should be a two button style with slim lapels and a trim fit. It should come with a pencil skirt and slim pants with either a straight leg or a very slight boot-cut. My favorite suit on the market right now is the Gabrielle Tailor Blazer and Ines Tailor Pant at Theory, but Ann Taylor and Banana Republic always have great options on a budget.

The obvious way to wear a suit is to wear both the jacket and pants with just a crisp white shirt underneath, a pair of pumps and your favorite accessories. However, the more modern way to wear a suit is to mix and match the pieces, so let’s split that suit up!

Gabrielle Tailor Blazer, Theory, $395 / Café Capri, J. Crew, $138 / Helen Patent Pump, Audrey Brooke, $70 / Button Down Shirt, Maison Scotch, $70 / Skinny Patent Belt, American Apparel, $17 / Gold Initial & Pearl Necklace, Danielle Stevens, $80

First we have the jacket paired with herringbone ankle pants. The ankle length silhouette is right on trend for fall and the herringbone adds to the menswear feel. A white button down tucked in and buttoned up with a black belt keeps the look classic menswear. However, the gold tipped heels, delicate chevron pattern, cream silk, black patent leather and gold initials necklace keep the look from being too harsh.

Perfect Oxford Shirt, Gap, $50 / Drifter Sweater Vest, Land’s End, $30 / Skinny Silk Tie, Express, $50 / Romelia, Aldo, $90 / Color Lip Last “All You Need is Red”, Sephora, $12 / Ines Tailor Pant, Theory, $255

Suit pants worn with a blue oxford is your basic boring office-wear uniform. Add a shrunken sweater vest for some quirk and make sure to roll up the sleeves and leave the button down un-tucked to keep it from looking too fussy. Try a black silk skinny tie tucked into the sweater vest. I personally love the look of a woman in a tie. The look is very geek chic and not everyone’s taste, but the outfit will look just fine without a tie as well. Heels and a bright lip add a dash of femininity.

Perfect Oxford Shirt, Gap, $50 / Cambridge Cable V-neck Sweater, J. Crew, $88 / Sweet with Pleats Skirt, Modcloth, $45 / Polka Dot Tights, Hue, $14 / Ruffle Flat, Pink & Pepper, $40 / Rose Bangle, Jules Smith, $75

For those who just want to add a touch of menswear to their look but aren’t ready to go full-on androgynous, here’s a much more loosely inspired casual look. A full skirt, polka dot tights and rose gold bracelet are quintessentially girly and contrast nicely with boyish layers. An oxford under a cable knit sweater and patent leather smoking slippers create a look that’s just a little bit preppy menswear and still very feminine.

What do you say? Will you be taking menswear from 9 to 5 this fall?

Share 'trend to try: modern menswear' on Facebook Share 'trend to try: modern menswear' on Google+ Share 'trend to try: modern menswear' on Pinterest Share 'trend to try: modern menswear' on Twitter Share 'trend to try: modern menswear' on Email

trend to try: printed pants

{Editor’s Note: Our intrepid Trends expert, Ms. Kim Brandt is back to talk about a trend I’m seriously feeling this season: the printed pant. Having just nabbed this pair (from Talbots, of all places), I can hardly wait to see her suggestions for successfully pulling off the look. Sadly, Kim is going to be taking a little hiatus from her post here while she settles in at a fabulous new job, but I’m crossing my fingers she’ll be back soon!}


We’re getting to the point where y’all are getting to know me a bit. So, I’m sure this post comes as a shock (not)…we’re talking all about prints today.  I am a big fan of the patterned pants trend happening right now. It takes a bit of confidence to pull off, but styled right, it can really work for you. I’m definitely (ahem) bottom heavy, so because of my body type I need to be really careful how I wear this one.

If you’re super tall and lean (read: model), you really don’t need my advice; you can wear anything. But if you’re anything else, this look is all about balance. Particularly if the pant is a skinny style, this look is best worn with a long, loose top, statement jewelry, and heels, though a funky loafer may work if you’re blessed with extra-long gams.

{Images c/o Anthropologie / Madewell / Whitney Eve / Natalia Vodianova, via}

If you’re especially lower-half-conscious, pair the printed pant with a sleek, loose fitting top, a long jacket, a heavy piece of metallic jewelry (think chunky watch or vintage chain necklace), and heeled booties or gladiator sandals.

{Images c/o Tory Burch, via / Vanessa Hudgens (we think), via Style / Olivia Palermo, via Mr.Newton}

For those that are blessed up top, pair the print with a shirt that has a bit of defined shape.  A tailored blazer or belted blouse is a great solution. Depending on the cut of the blazer, pair with some great drop earrings and then, as always, heels on the bottom. Be careful not to pick too narrow a heel; it’s all about balancing the shape from head to toe!

{Images c/o Dries Van Noten, via / Beyoncé, via People / Chanel, via}

So, tell us: Are you going to be rocking the patterned pant this Spring? ~Kim B.

Share 'trend to try: printed pants' on Facebook Share 'trend to try: printed pants' on Google+ Share 'trend to try: printed pants' on Pinterest Share 'trend to try: printed pants' on Twitter Share 'trend to try: printed pants' on Email

trend to try: the head scarf

{Editor’s Note: A big welcome back to our intrepid Trends Columnist, Ms. Kimberly Brandt! I have always wanted to be that girl that could effortlessly wear a head scarf, but have known in my heart it just wasn’t my look. Kim, as usual, is making me rethink that. Perhaps I’ll dust off one of my vintage silk scarves this weekend…}


Head scarves are all over the place right now.  There are about a million different ways to rock them, and I’m telling you, just about anyone can pull one off.  Seriously.  It’s really the perfect accessory to throw on while on vacation or after a yoga class.  They are fun, and a tiny bit flirty, but hide messy hair.  What more could a girl ask for?  Keep in mind this trend has been around off and on since the 30’s, so you’re not reinventing the wheel…just upping your style ante a bit.

Personally, my favorite way to wear a head scarf is like a super-wide headband with an off center bow or knot.  The trick to pulling this look off is to have a lot of hair.  Seriously.  The bigger and messier, the better.  I like to leave mine tousled and wavy (sometimes I don’t even brush it!), or piled on top of my head in a messy bun.  No fear if you don’t have a lot of hair!!  We have options for you too!

{Image credits: Valentine / Keiko / / molto}

If you’re more daring, the classic turban is a perfect way to hide away all of your hair.  This is a great option for those of you with a short ‘do.  Since I have just the opposite issue (too much hair!) I like to twist in the turban and then braid my hair loosely and pull it to the side.  100 Layer Cake and Framboise Fashion both have great tutorials on how to tie up one of these on your own!

{Image credits: Urban Outfitters / Hanneli/Karla’s Closet / Karen Walker}

Or maybe, if you’re like me, and a bit clumsy with all the twisting and knotting it takes to create a turban, you can cheat a little, and opt for one of these easy knitted pieces.

Free People/Late Afternoon/ASOS

A few final tips to get you on the road to this trend:

  • Keep the hair messy.  Pretty, but messy – looking too “done” kills the spontaneity of this style.
  • Keep the outfit easy and breezy.  Lots of attention is going straight to your head (err, literally) so keep everything else simple.
  • If you have bangs or shorter hair, pull a few pieces in front of the scarf.  If not, pull the scarf down low, so it hits just a bit above the brow line.
  • And above all, don’t overthink it!  A little imperfection never hurt anyone, and a too-perfect scarf just doesn’t work.

Happy scarf-tying!!  ~ Kim B.

Share 'trend to try: the head scarf' on Facebook Share 'trend to try: the head scarf' on Google+ Share 'trend to try: the head scarf' on Pinterest Share 'trend to try: the head scarf' on Twitter Share 'trend to try: the head scarf' on Email

trend to try: the bold manicure

Editor’s Note: Welcome back, Kim! I have to admit, today’s trend might be a bit beyond my ken, but Kim’s here to help us push our style boundaries a bit. And there’s no question that I’ve been seeing this look absolutely everywhere this season. As always, our trusty Trends columnist has her (very well-polished) finger on the pulse.

Okay, I confess…now I’m contemplating a bit of glitter. Baby steps…


So, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not too quick on picking up manicure trends. I think I was the last person in the world to discover the power of a great nude polish. And I definitely rocked the acrylic French manicure well beyond the appropriate high school years. All of this to say that, while this may not be news to you, bold manicures are absolutely everywhere lately.

To get me started on the road to a more modern mani, my lovely friend Molly recommended that I pick up a bottle of Butter London’s matte finish top coat.  You add a coat to any color and it instantly becomes matte, and almost chalky in appearance.  I picked up a bottle at the Adorn fire sale this weekend and tried it out last night.  Pictures do not do it justice.  You’re just going to have to take my word and go try it out.  Seriously, I will never look at polish the same way again!  High-gloss solid shades suddenly feel so 2011.

Now that I’m in the mood to update my look, I thought I’d see what I could find to maximize my efforts. To scout out a few fun, bold trends, I started out on my niece’s Pinterest page, where I quickly discovered Prima Creative. Not only does this girl have mad nail painting skills, some of her designs are created based on runway trends and paired accordingly. It’s pretty amazing – check it out.

All images via Prima Creative

Some of these are clearly not for a beginner, but I love the idea of taking this photo to my favorite manicurist and seeing what magic she can work.

On the slightly more attainable side of things…

Images c/o Prima Creative / PinterestNails via Xfinity / Sweet Talk on the Spot

I just might attempt these ones on my own…rumor has it to get the ‘ombre’ french tip effect, you use a sponge eyeshadow application brush.  If you get there first, let me know if you try this and it works!

Cupcakes and Cashmere recently offered up a great tutorial to get your own mod mani, and I loved the look she came up with using glitter and paint pens (below left). You can see part way through the process all the nails are a solid color with a single sparkle finger.  I like that look too. But really, it’s all about the amazing final, graphic result.

Images c/o Cupcakes and Cashmere / Little Chief Honeybee / Hey Nice Nails

I LOVE these stripes and roses. And the stained-glass effect?? Pretty bold, but also pretty fun!

So, let’s be honest. Unless you’re crazy talented in the hand-eye coordination department, chances are you can’t do most of these manicures yourself (I know I couldn’t). Luckily, I’ve come prepared with a few tips to make these looks more attainable:

  • Adding dots is easy – just take the head of a straight pin, dip it lightly in polish, and apply the dot to your nail.
  • Stripes are a bit trickier, but there’s a new wave of nail polish paint pens on the market that would be invaluable here. Just paint on your base color, then draw the lines on with the pen. Done!
  • To get those half moons, use the stickers that come with a DIY French mani kit – they’ll give you the pefect guidelines. Just be sure to start with the lighter color, as it’s easier to cover mistakes.
  • Simplest of all, you can find all sorts of ready-made bold mani options these days. Check out the options from Sally Hansen or Butter London, or go even bolder with a site called Nail Fraud – it’s the ultimate bold mani cheat. Order a set of high impact nail decals and stick away!

Good luck…let us know how you do!

~ Kim B.

Share 'trend to try: the bold manicure' on Facebook Share 'trend to try: the bold manicure' on Google+ Share 'trend to try: the bold manicure' on Pinterest Share 'trend to try: the bold manicure' on Twitter Share 'trend to try: the bold manicure' on Email

trend to try: sexy loungewear

Editor’s Note: Welcome back, Kim! I just finished reading this post (in my ratty white bathrobe, if I’m being honest)…and am now thoroughly inspired. At the very least, I’m hoping my bra and underwear will match today…and I owe it all to you, Kim.

If you’ve missed Kim’s earlier posts, you can catch up on all of her stylish Trends to Try right here.


Ah, love is in the air – Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! While there are countless options out there when it comes to spicing up the day for a special someone, I wanted to talk a bit about loungewear today. The line between lingerie and loungewear can be fairly fuzzy and thin. I think much of it is all about attitude.  A pair of sweats can be just as sexy as a teddy when worn right.

When I first started freelancing (and thus, spending most of my time working from home) I pictured myself investing all of my former ‘office clothing budget’ into subtly sexy loungewear. That I would just lay around the house in super comfy, beautifully made rompers, camis, and robes. Something I could step out my back door to take the dog out and not be mortified if I ran into the neighbors, but would still feel pretty in.

It was those beautiful Toast images that initially got me thinking this way…

In reality, this doesn’t usually happen.  I typically grab a pair of worn sweats, and head for the couch. But a girl can dream, right? I still hope that maybe someday I’ll become the kind of girl who effortlessly throws on one of these goodies and doesn’t even think twice. Since sometimes a little inspiration is all it takes, I thought I’d show off a few of my favorite finds of late.

I’ve been spotting more and more vintage-inspired loungewear pieces lately, and couldn’t be happier.  The whole Downton Abbey old-fashioned sexy thing can be done well when it comes to loungewear.

Pieces from Anthropologie, Aerie and Lille / top image via Karen Collins, Vogue UK 01.2003

Young, bright, flirty picks like these are always great for a sunny day…or maybe a rainy day that you want to feel sunny!

DKNY / H&M / Betsy Johnson

Of course, no loungewear post could be complete without a little shout out to the Mall Queen herself, Victoria’s Secret. If only we all could be Angels

Our wonderful editor, Becki, introduced me to byLangley when I was starting this round up, and I am in LOVE with so many pieces from their collection…

I don’t know about you, but I’m definitely feeling it’s time to put the sweatpants back in the drawer for a while. If you are a girl who casually lounges around with effortless sex appeal (or who’s at least trying hard), I’m looking forward to your tips and trick in the comments!  ~Kim B.

Share 'trend to try: sexy loungewear' on Facebook Share 'trend to try: sexy loungewear' on Google+ Share 'trend to try: sexy loungewear' on Pinterest Share 'trend to try: sexy loungewear' on Twitter Share 'trend to try: sexy loungewear' on Email

trend to try: brights + stripes

A big welcome back to my favorite stylist, Kim of Billede Design. I so look forward to her “Trend to Try” columns – she always manages to make me look at my closet in a new way, which is something I think we can all use. I’m thrilled to say Kim will now be here every second and fourth Friday of the month, so mark your calendars!


If you want to give yourself away as a non-native Pacific Northwesterner (or, for that matter, a non-New Yorker), just wear color. Any bright color. Even though I’ve lived in Portland for over a decade now, I just can’t give up color! And this season, brights are here in a really big way. From color blocking to pattern mixing, it’s everywhere. I especially am fond of brights paired with stripes (and not just because it sort of rhymes!). Because stripes are such an easy staple to wear, they’re a great starting point to help you ease into bolder color.

This Christmas, my hubby got me an item that was at the very top of my wish list.  The Kate Spade Prize Ball Thermos. It takes me forever to finish my morning cup (or 3) of coffee and I am so excited to have this bright thermos to keep it toasty warm!

Image via Kate Spade

Pulling off brights from head to toe can be a bit tricky. The key is to always start with a neutral base and build from there. I especially love using stripes as my neutral, and building from there, but it’s not the only way to go. These looks from Christian Siriano’s Spring 2012 line are a great example.  You can see he used blush as a neutral, as well as coordinating stripes to get the look.

Images via New York Magazine

I’m not a huge fan of the cut of this Jil Sander jacket, but the color combo is another stellar example. To neutralize the tomato, fuschia, and green, the black jacket was layered over the top.

Image via Style

In this look from Loewe, the neutral is the model.  This hot pink and red combo works because the model’s hair and make up are sleek and fuss-free. The short skirt with the nude leg and neutral flat ground the look. If this was paired with a sky high bright heel, heavy make up, and over-styled hair, it would totally loose any aspect of savvy and sophistication.

Image via Style

Of course, any post about brights and stripes just wouldn’t be complete without a look from Kate Spade. In this example, you can see the neutral element is the white cardigan, white purse, and simple flats.

Image via Kate Spade

 J.Crew is another great reference source for both bold color and stripes, so they work the combo as brilliantly as you’d expect. The look at left is certainly one of the boldest we are looking at today – think of it as “brights for the advanced student”. The colors are bit off-kilter from your typical primary brights, which totally makes this look work for me. Contrasting that is a great “beginner’s” option for mixing stripes and brights – you can see that a classic navy stripe is just the thing to neutralize a bright hue.

Images via jcrew

These last three images are some of my favorite street style examples (originally found via Pinterest). Notice how each of these looks are bold, but the hair, make up, and shoe is kept simple and neutral. I especially love that bold mustard mini-dress toned down with the navy blue blazer. And I just can’t say enough about the necessity of a good nude heel – it can tie together even the boldest look seamlessly.


Images via Sterling Style & The Glamourai

What do you think? Are you ready to give bold brights and stripes a try?

Share 'trend to try: brights + stripes' on Facebook Share 'trend to try: brights + stripes' on Google+ Share 'trend to try: brights + stripes' on Pinterest Share 'trend to try: brights + stripes' on Twitter Share 'trend to try: brights + stripes' on Email