Category Archives: trends

off the rack: the spring styles that actually made it into my closet

spring-buys-preview

As I think you know by now, I’m a big believer in finding ways to make trends work for me, instead of having to change my wardrobe and comfort level to suit the trend. The truth is that I’m at that point in my life where I know what I’ll wear, what flatters me, and what belongs in my closet. And I worked hard to get here! Sure, I find a piece or two to push the envelope just a bit every season, but overall, running blindly after every trend that struts by just isn’t my thing.

To wit, I thought you’d like to take a peek at what I’ve actually been buying so far for spring. Ready for a little stroll through my closet? Read on

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trend to try: oversized outerwear

runway inspiration trend to try: oversized outerwear

 Chloé, via Style.com / Proenza Schouler, via Style.com / Céline, via Style.com

Erin ~ Winter is not my season. As soon as that cold weather blows in, you can barely see me under the layers of sweaters, coats, hats, gloves, and scarves. So a trend that is both stylish and warm? Sign me up. The oversized trend from Fall 2012’s runways can look architectural and very “model off-duty”, while allowing you to layer a few extra sweaters underneath to combat the cold.

Of course, the runway looks are incredibly theatrical and larger than life. So how do you wear this trend without looking like you just bought the wrong size or are impersonating the Michelin Man?

Read on

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trend to try: mad for mod

runway inspiration trend to try: mad for mod

Versace, via Style.com / Marni, via Style.com / Dsquared², via Style.com

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.

outfit1 trend to try: mad for mod

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.

outfit2 trend to try: mad for mod

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.

outfit3 trend to try: mad for mod

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.

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fall’s must-haves (and a word on trends)

Happy Tuesday, friends! And more importantly, Happy Fashion Week! If I’m honest, I get a little exhausted by all the coverage out there – and I’m never ready to think about spring when I’m just getting excited to pull my sweaters and boots out of storage.

That said, there are some advantages to checking out the shows from a few of your favorite brands. I use this time to get an idea of what trends from fall have staying power. It makes it so much easier to figure out whether buying those jacquard ankle pants is a good decision. Colors are always completely different in spring, but watch silhouettes – are pants still slim and ankle-grazing? Are jackets still clean, simple and structured? Get an idea of what you’ll be coveting come April, and you’ll have a much better feel for what to splurge on now.

Speaking of, I thought I’d show you a few things on my list for the fall season. I never embrace every trend – it’s exhausting, unflattering, and makes for a disjointed closet. But if there’s a piece or two that fits in seamlessly, and won’t be hopelessly awful in a year or two? Well worth it. And on the flip slide, if something’s on trend that is just perfectly you, stock up. Those smoking slippers are going to be really hard to track down in a year or two.

If there’s a piece that’s just too fun to say no to, sometimes I’ll throw that in for good measure…though that’ll be the piece I buy at Zara, not at Barneys. Splurge on the styles that feel like an organic addition to your closet, add in a piece or two that feels fun, and skip anything that doesn’t make you look and feel amazing.

fall1 falls must haves (and a word on trends)

Eveline top, Allsaints, $130 / French hen sweater, J.Crew, $95 / Floral brocade skirt, J.Crew Collection, $119

Oxblood: Or “burgundy” to the rest of us. I picked up a silk Vince tunic in oxblood at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, and I can already tell it’ll be a workhorse this season. Great with neutrals, but also try it with cobalt, red, mustard yellow or even pink.
Character count: Fall has a sense of humor this season, so treat yourself to a few things to make you happy – like the ’80s-era character sweaters that every brand’s releasing. Yes, I know I’m going to see J.Crew’s French hen sweater on 85 different people before the season’s out. But I bought it anyway. It made me smile, and I know it will keep on doing that right through the winter.
Go baroque: Jacquard, embroidery, brocade…make like you’re fresh from King Henry’s court and you’ll be right on trend for fall. I have a great brocade pencil skirt from Rachel Mara I’ll be taking out of hiding, and I can’t wait to bust out some of my vintage cameos and my grandmother’s old brooches to pile onto my classic flannel blazers.

fall2 falls must haves (and a word on trends)Jacquard trousers, Zara, $60 / Pixel pants, Helmut Lang, $370 (or Banana Republic for a steal) / Pea Coat, Gerald & Stewart, $300 / Tabitha smoking flat, Kelsi Dagger, $92 / Kitty flats, Charlotte Olympia, $660

Ankle pants: I kind of love them. They eliminate the issue of whether to hem for flats or heels, and they’re surprisingly flattering on a lot of figures. If you buy: remember they should graze the ankle. These are not capris. I repeat, these are not capris. Also, as with any slim pant, beware of saggy butt syndrome. A good tailor can install darts to eliminate the problem. I tried on this version from Zara over the weekend, and they’d be amazing with an ankle-strap heel.
The winter coat question: Those oversized, cocoon-like shapes that are the silhouette of the season are tough to pull off and have zero longevity. Instead, if you want an investment piece this season, go classic and buy the best navy pea coat you can afford. You’ll never, ever regret it.
Smoking slippers: If you haven’t already, buy a pair. They’re fun, practical, and a great way to update your fall look.

Now, more importantly…styles to skip: I’d steer clear of those wild geometric patterns and the psychedelic suits. But I might take advantage of the return of the Power Suit to find a classic one to hold onto. Also, camouflage. Unless you’re under 25 and are completely confident you can wear it with the appropriate amount of irony, please don’t. And while I adore leather on all those It Girls, I think it’s dicey territory for mere mortals like me. If you’re an edgy girl with an anything-goes sense of style (and I know a few!), I’d love to see what you do with it. As for me, I’m sticking with my classic moto jacket and calling it good. Last, but certainly not least, I’m skipping the peplum. One of our fantastic columnists is going to try to talk me (and you) out of it next week, but for now…it’s fashion ground I’m just not willing to break. (Also, I saw Betty White wearing one on a Golden Girls re-run recently, which didn’t help.)

What are you excited about for fall? Any trends you have questions about? As always, I’m here to help!

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a few feathered finds

Post-Portlandia, the very, very last thing I want to do is put a bird on it. And yet, I’m finding myself inexplicably drawn to a few feathered finds lately. Particularly those of the tropical variety…which I’m telling myself is an entirely different (and infinitely more stylish) option than, say, slapping a sparrow silhouette on every tote bag in sight (cough, cough).

While Mother’s Day shopping a few weeks ago, I nabbed a small brass feather tray a few weeks ago from one of my favorite shops in town (one for Mom, one for me), and honestly, that mini-splurge has paid massive dividends in organizational bliss. Finally all of those necklaces and earplugs rolling around on my nightstand have a home! Then I stopped by Anthropologie and couldn’t tear my eyes from that fantastic flamingo tee…so it came home with me as well. And those parrot boyshorts? I was $8 away from free shipping at Topshop, so I basically had no choice but to buy them.

bird 2012 a few feathered finds

Parrot bangle, $118 / Athena feather tray, $32 / Elnoris top, $78 /
Feather pouch
, $68 / Parrot cheeky boyshorts, $8 /Isabel Marant feather tee, $198

What can I say? They put a smile on my face. It’s the little things, friends.

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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!}

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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.

printed pants 1 trend to try: printed pants

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

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.

printed pants 2 trend to try: printed pants

{Images c/o Tory Burch, via Style.com / 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!

printed pants 3 trend to try: printed pants

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

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

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in the mood for march

I’ve been playing with a little mood/inspiration board of late – really just something to do with all of those pages in magazines I tear out and shove into a pile on my desk. Instead, they’re on a magnetic board in my dining room office. There’s never a goal, or a particular theme, in mind, yet trends always seem to emerge. It helps me figure out where to spend my money every season by showing me what it is I’m really in love with. And, when I’m feeling particularly uninspired, it gives me ideas for how to get dressed in the morning.

So, I thought I’d start taking a moment every now and then to show you what’s new on my board. Sound good?

in the mood mar12 552x1024 in the mood for march

{Click the image to enlarge, in case you want to see something absurdly up close and out of focus}

This month, it appears I’m all about bright color and color-blocking, blazers, printed pants, and anything inspired by Downton Abbey. And apparently, a bright blue handbag.

Have you ever tried out a mood board? Any luck?

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