July 27, 2009

Summer Style: Mixing & Matching Neutrals

Summer Style: Mixing & Matching Neutrals

Liking this set? This is how we would mix neutrals for a casual-chic summer outfit. Here's how you can get the look:

  1. First of all, choose a basic long v-neck cardigan. We like a plain cream colored one (for its versatility), but a light stone/gray would work just fine.
  2. Pair it with a simple chino short (we suggest keeping it just a couple of inches above the knee). We prefer a classic tan, or something like a brown-ish gray, or taupe-- as long as it's darker than the cardigan. If you try to match the cardigan and shorts, you could look too bland, and that's definitely not our approach.
  3. Add some glamour to your casual ensemble by wearing a not-too-fitted metallic/ textured tank underneath the cardigan. Try to get one that isn't a basic white or gray; a hint of coral, peach, or orange would be a more fresh and summery choice. To pull the whole look together, tuck it into the shorts and leave your cardigan unbuttoned.
  4. Last thing to remember: accessorize simply. Just slip on metallic flat sandals in a light color (of course), and a long pendant necklace in black/dark brown (just to pull away from the soft color scheme).

What would go perfect with this? We love a low, loosely-braided ponytail at the side with barely-there make-up for a laid-back California girl vibe. Have any other style suggestions? Share with us in your comments!

Splurge or Save: Floral Bubble Dress

Splurge: Abstract Flower Bubble Dress $80 at Topshop
Save: Flower Field Dress $12.50 at Forever 21

We love their delicate capsleeve tops, bright floral prints, and flirty bubble hems, but what about the price tags? Topshop's dress isn't double, isn't triple, but nearly seven times the cost of Forever 21's super affordable version. What a deal!

July 24, 2009

Aisha High-Heel Gladiator Sandal

We love this genius blend of sandals and booties, which can work for both summer and fall. Just add dark tights to keep you warm (and looking sophisticated) plus a long, chic jacket, then you're ready to go.

$160 at Banana Republic

July 21, 2009

Trend Watch: Desert Hippie

Desert hippie is sort of a blend of boho and tribal, and we're loving it. With its rich colors, intricate detailing, and laid-back yet biker-chick feel, it's a trend showing up all over Hollywood. This look isn't as hard to pull off as you might think; here are some essentials you'll need if you want to rock the "desert hippie" vibe (and you can easily take these pieces from summer to fall with simple accessorizing):

The Structured Leather Jacket
1. Cafe Leather Biker Jacket $2598.00 at Ralph Lauren
2. Leather Zip Jacket $298.00 at Gap

The Peasant Top
1. Climbing Frond Blouse $98.00 at Anthropologie
2. Embroidered Peasant Top $19.99 at Charlotte Russe

The Soft Plaid Shirt
1. Check Shirt $68.00 at Boden
2. Tracy Plaid Shirt $39.50 at Delia's

The Vintage Messenger Bag
1. Cory E/W Messenger $148.00 at Fossil
2. Kimchi Blue Double Pocket Messenger $48.00 at Urban Outfitters

July 18, 2009

Summer Sale at Boden: Our Favorite Pieces

Although summer isn't over yet, an all-new autumn collection has arrived at Boden USA. That means there's a huge sale on their old summer products: up to 60% off! We love the casual-chic clothing and accessories, with their fun nautical touches and retro patterns, so we've rounded up our favorites in Boden's Sale section for your viewing pleasure. They're still a bit pricey, but the style is great, and they're at the lowest they've ever been! If you like these, be sure to visit their site and buy them before it's too late! Here are some of our fave pieces (on sale now):

Chic Cashmere Jumper SALE $62.00 at Boden (originally $158.00)

Fine Stripe Henley SALE $44.00 at Boden (originally $88.00)

Merino Henley SALE $37-39.00 at Boden (originally $74-78.00)

Hotchpotch Swimsuit SALE $44.00 at Boden (originally $74.00)

Fabulous Espadrilles SALE $73.00 at Boden (originally $98.00)

Pretty Pinspot Shirt SALE $39.00 at Boden (originally $98.00, cami included) <<<Great Deal!

Crinkle Jersey Dress SALE $39.00 at Boden (originally $78.00)

Photographer Jacket SALE $73.00 at Boden (originally $98.00)

July 17, 2009

Fine Line Blouse

This shirt is the perfect summer top, and it can easily be layered to work for every season of the year. Pair it with absolutely everything, from trendy boyfriend shorts to chinos to bright skirts, or classic jeans. We have to admit, the price is pretty high, but this is probably the most versatile and comfortable shirt you'll ever own.

$78 at Anthropologie

July 14, 2009

Five Work-Appropriate Bags That Can Do It All

What do we mean? We believe the ultimate work bag is super versatile, spacious (enough to fit your laptop), and of course, looks good. It should be sturdy and durable (or affordable enough to be replaced), and in a classic shape that will stay stylish for seasons to come (that means no big logos and patterns). So when we say "a bag that can do it all", we mean a bag that is functional, full of storage, and has the ability to stay chic no matter what the latest trend is. Here are our five favorite do-it-all bags, all for under $100:

Vintage Faux Leather Handbag $29.80 at Forever 21

Reptile Leather Doctor's Tote $32.80 at Forever 21

Barumini Tote $45.00 at Aldo
Nine West Justine Tote SALE $74.25 (originally $99.00) at Macy's
Melie Bianco Patent Bowler $95.00 at Piperlime

July 13, 2009

What to Wear for Summer Work in Arizona

Q: I'm 19 years old, and I'm planning on becoming a paleontologist. I have a three-week long summer internship in Arizona where we'll be digging up fossils and studying them, and I need help on what to wear. I need something that'll keep me cool at the site, and something else that's stylish for going out with friends. Help!

Outfit Idea #1-- Relaxing After Work

Arizona Outfit Idea #1

Tops: You'll want to pack lots of white shirts to keep you cool under the scorching sun, and make sure they're lightweight and made of a soft/thin fabric such as cotton. You can accessorize a simple white top in so many ways, the possibilities are endless. Try to get ones with 1/2 or 3/4 sleeves and a clean, simple shape. Tuck in your shirts whenever possible (unless they're a flowy blouse/ tunic) for a more casual chic look.

Bottoms: Cropped pants or shorts are your best choice, but make sure they're not too long and not too short. Bermudas are classic, so choose a simple one that's about knee-length, and shorts should not come close to exposing those little white pockets. Mid-thigh is probably the highest you want to go. Remember, you want to look stylish, not trashy. Like tops, your pants should be made of a lightweight fabric that's comfortable. If you choose denim, go for a lighter wash.

Shoes: It's all about comfort (and looks, of course). We recommend packing tons of flats and flat sandals for your walking pleasure. Flats, to us, are the most comfortable shoe, so wear one that's versatile and in a solid color (just about any color is fine). When it comes to sandals, everything is in the details. What's "in" now? Lots of straps, braids, embellishments, jewels, etc. A neutral color (like brown, tan, or beige) would work great because it adds to the casual, laid-back style-- plus, it makes your legs look longer.

Accessories: When roaming around town, your bag should be small and easy to carry, but also versatile and functional. Shoulderbags with long straps are a great choice. Make sure it's not too bulky, and that it can carry your essentials (such as your cell phone, wallet, make-up, and maybe a bottle of water). A neutral would be best because they go with almost anything. But, a pop of color doesn't hurt. Belt your bottoms with a bright hue (we chose a sophisticated red) to make your whole outfit look more polished. Another tip? Always keep a pair of sunglasses in hand when you're in a hot, sunny area.

Outfit Idea #2-- Having Fun With Friends

Arizona Outfit Idea #2

A cute and casual way to hang out with friends after long hours of work is in a young and fresh sundress. We love the crisp white with the multi-colored floral details-- that way, your accessories can be almost any color and not look strange. Pair it with a light denim jacket in a classic shape to contrast the femininity of the dress (denim jackets are actually back in style). As for footwear, keep it comfy with a pair of bright yellow ballet flats (yellow is the 'it' color of the season!), and we love shades of blue with yellow, so we chose a nice teal handbag to finish off the outfit. You don't want to carry a huge bag after a whole day of digging, so choose a small one. With all this simplicity, you can even add some bold statement earrings to draw attention to your face.

Outfit Idea #3-- On the Job

Arizona Outfit Idea #3: Excavation Site

Last but not least, here are some tips on what to wear when you're actually working at the excavation site. We suggest some comfy cropped cargo pants in a light color like cream, tan, khaki, or brown. Please avoid the ones with dozens of pockets all over and bunches of unneccesary tie straps. Wear your pants with a simple fitted white tee (tucked in), then throw on a bold scarf in a thin fabric (e.g. chiffon). Don't go too bright (no hot pink and neon yellow), but feel free to go for exotic patterns and cool colors like coral, navy, teal, or red. If you like, you can also add a chic neutral colored belt to pull everything together. About bags, you should probably get a backpack style so that you won't have an annoying handbag on your shoulder the whole time. It's not the smartest choice to bring an expensive leather piece to the desert, so choose one made of a durable fabric, and check to see if it'll fit all of your tools, snacks, etc. Now, your work group will probably tell you what type of shoes to wear while working, and even though they may not be very fashionable, remember to follow all rules and instructions!

Oh, here's a little hair advice for your whole trip: loose ponytails and slightly messy chignons are always a DO for sunny places like Arizona. And another easy hair trend is small braids. Wrap one around your head with a simple updo for a goddess-like glamour, or let one hang loose at the side. These will make any outfit look even better. Best of luck on your internship!

July 11, 2009

How to Wear a Peasant Top

How to Wear a Peasant Top

Peasant shirts were popular in early 2000, but then they failed to impress and became a fashion don't. This season, though, they're everywhere and are becoming a huge trend. Here's how to make a peasant top look chic with modern touches and special little details:

  1. Instead of reaching for an embroidered, beaded, completely bohemian-style shirt, try one that has a fun all over floral print like the one above. The short sleeves lend a more casual feel and the self-tie closure keyhole is a nice detail on an otherwise simple silhouette.
  2. Pair it with slim-fitting jeans, to counterbalance the loose top. We suggest a darker wash to keep the outfit a little sophisticated.
  3. Pick a bag that's simple in shape, but big on details. We love the braided straps on the shoulderbag above. As for shoes, make sure they don't take attention away from the shirt and bag. We chose the ankle boot for its minimalist design and color (matching the bag). The foldover 'cuff' at the top is just enough detail to pull everything together.
  4. Don't over load on the accessories. It isn't neccesary to have any, but you can add a charming gold bracelet for a touch of femininity.

Tell us, would you wear a peasant top? If so, how would you wear it? Share in your comments?

July 10, 2009

Family Reunion: Dresses for Petites Over 40

Q: My family is having another reunion, and I don't know what to wear. I've lost 30 lbs. since the last one, so I would like to show off my new look, but I'm a petite woman, and it's hard to find flattering dresses. What can I wear to an outdoor family get-together? By the way, I'm over 40, so this is a challenge.

A: Congratulations on your weight loss! You're right, this is a challenge, but not something we can't handle. As a petite, you should look for dresses that hit at or right above the knee; anything lower than that will "cut your legs in half" and make you look even shorter. Tapered/straight skirts or A-line skirts will flatter you most, and be sure they are high-waisted or have an empire waist, because they will elongate your legs. Wrap dresses would also work well. Another tip? It's best to wear a dress with a higher neckline for a taller look (no plunging tops for you). As for your age, you should stay away from strapless dresses, and ones that are way too short (think 5 inches above your knee).

Remember to pay attention to details. Vertical buttons, seam lines, pleats, etc. will definitely flatter your body. Also, when it comes to patterns, keep them simple or small-- don't wear loud, oversized prints, because they'll overwhelm your petite frame. Stay away from big horizontal lines, too-loose or stiff pieces, and too many embellishments and details. Another thing to remember when choosing your dress: make sure the bottom hem isn't too busy and the skirt isn't extremely full. And when belting a dress, make it a neutral color (brown, black, cream) and wear it above your natural waistline for a more flattering style.

If it gets a little chilly outside, pick a jacket/coat that's simple and above the knee, just like the dress. Try to get one that's cropped or has an empire waist. Any lapels should be narrow and short (ending above your natural waistline). Same with belts on the jacket-- they should be above the waistline. This keeps you looking taller. So just remember: keep things simple and short. Here are 7 of our favorite age-appropriate dresses for petites, whatever your budget (and you don't have to wear these just once):

Our Under $50 Choices:

Ruffle Woven Wrap Dress $27.80 at Forever 21

Women's Tie-Waist Shirtdress $29.50 at Old Navy

Sleeveless Pocket Front Dress $42.75 at ASOS

Our Over $50 Choices:
Petite Silk/Cotton Floral Dress SALE $84.99 at Banana Republic

Suzi Chin Maggy Boutique Stretch Satin Dress $118.00 at Nordstrom

Suzi Chin Maggy Boutique Sleeveless Ruffle Wrap Dress $148.00 at Nordstrom

Donna Ricco Ruffle Neck Silk Dress $158.00 at Nordstrom

Tory Burch Patricia Silk Twill Dress $475.00 at Nordstrom

July 7, 2009

Retro Floral Peasant Top

Peasant shirts are in style once again! Wear this cute top with a pair of jeans for a cute and casual bohemian vibe. Nothing beats this easy, breezy look.

$19.80 at Forever 21

July 6, 2009

Splurge or Save: Strapless Pleated Party Dress

These hot pink numbers are perfect for partying. But why spend $70 on a new Nordstrom dress when you can get a practically identical one for a fraction of the price?

Effortless Summer Style in a Cardigan + Chambray Shirt

Effortless Summer Style

How to get this look:

  1. Choose a comfortable chambray button-down shirt that isn't too fitted or too loose; a 'boyfriend fit' would work just right. It should be easy to move around in so that you can wear it anywhere. Layer it over a soft, white tee.
  2. Throw on a long, v-neck cardigan in a neutral color over the chambray shirt and roll/fold up the sleeves a bit for a more relaxed, summery feel. The cardigan should not fit tightly over the shirt, but comfortably. Leave them both unbuttoned.
  3. Pair your tops with a lightweight pair of white shorts (white shorts make everything look more put-together), to contrast the length of the cardigan. Your shorts shouldn't be too short; they should have between a 3-4 inch inseam.
  4. Pick casual flat sandals that are easy to walk in. Try a white pair, or one that matches the color of your cardigan.
  5. As for accessories, keep it simple. After all, this is an 'effortless summer outfit'. Just add a couple of feminine touches, such as pearl bracelets.
  6. Finally, wear a bag in a bright almost complementary color (like the yellow handbag above) to keep the ensemble from looking completely boring.

How do you wear a cardigan in the summer? Share ideas in your comments!

July 5, 2009

5 Chic & Versatile Work Dresses

Over the years, looks have become more and more important to women. Why shouldn't they matter at the workplace? Here are 5 stylish options that can be worn inside the office, or out.

Dressy Jersey Cinched Dress $78.00 at J Crew

Cotton Sheath Dress SALE $79.99 at Banana Republic

Long-Sleeve Faux-Wrap Dress $98.00 at Banana Republic

Donna Ricco Sleeveless Sheath Dress $118.00 at Nordstrom

Super 120s Papillion Dress $195 at J Crew

$100 and Under: Hot Party Dresses

With summer heating up so quickly, there are many more chances to go out and party. This means it's time to buy gorgeous new dresses! Here are 4 of our favorites for those warm sunny days, all for under $100:
One-Shoulder Colorblock Dress $24.99 at Charlotte Russe

Feather Print Chiffon Maxi Dress $27.80 at Forever 21

Twist Strap Babydoll Dress SALE $29.00 at Arden B

Chiffon Halter Ruffle Dress $78.00 at Arden B

July 3, 2009

The 80s Are Back for Summer 2009 With: Jelly Sandals

The 80s favorite is making a comeback, and they're stylish as ever. These plastic shoes are given bold colors and fun details, making them a huge trend this season. Still unsure about them? Give one of these pairs a try; they're a great way to beat the summer heat.

Stone Accented Jelly Sandal SALE $14.99 at Avon

Ralph Lauren Collection Women's Karly Jelly Sandals SALE $136.50 at Bloomingdale's

Tod's Jelly Thong Sandal SALE $117.00 at Neiman Marcus

Josefina Short in Vintage Nakita

The hottest shorts this summer are clean-cut, cuffed, and much longer than your average daisy dukes, and these bermudas are just that. Pair it with anything, from a comfy button-down shirt to a casual fitted tee. No matter what, you'll look stylish.

$169 at 7 For All Mankind
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