Entries Tagged as 'Spring 2011'
Polyvore Set Found Here.
If you’re wearing the same sundresses summer after summer, it’s time for an upgrade. This season, several lovely trends are trickling into every price point. And these dresses are guaranteed to give your wardrobe a boost.
Florals: A long term summer staple, florals are being reimagined in all shapes, sizes and colors this season. From vibrant prints, like this dress from Reiss, to this tonal, white print from Marc Jacobs. So if you haven’t jumped into the floral thing yet, now is the time.
Colorblock: For the mod, 60s girl in all of us, this colorblock shift dress from Topshop is a great find. Belt it to emphasize your waist or wear it with a long, chunky necklace or stacked bangles, but not both.
Chambray: No, it’s not denim. Do I seem like the kind of girl who advocates the wearing of denim dresses? While it may be dyed blue, chambray or cambric is lightweight cotton long used in men’s work shirts (hence the term blue collar). This dress has a modern shape in a classic fabric. However, unless you plan to wear a cardigan over it all day, it is not work appropriate. And if you do wear a dress like this, please, no bra straps. You’ll just ruin it.
Stripes: Like florals, stripes have been at the top of the trend list for a few years now, but some of you are still afraid of them. The truth about horizontal stripes is this, if you’re afraid of looking fat in them, stick with a boatneck or v-neck blouse. If you’re pear shaped, make sure you buy an A-line shift. And if you have an hour glass figure, buy the dress a little bigger than you need and belt it.
Stripes are nothing to be afraid of, but if you aren’t proportional (who is?), it might take a few trips to the mall before you find a dress that you like.
Lace: For some reason, a lot of women are afraid of lace. It’s too girly, too frilly, too delicate. But it’s easy to make a lace dress, even one as prim as the dress about a little less so.
Add a strong belt like this wide, cognac one by Linea Pelle. You can also wear it with a leather jacket. Or add black tights and black booties in the winter months.
Basically, if you’ve been sporting the same cotton, jersey dresses for more than one year, it’s time to branch out. So pick a trend, and if you’re not willing to spend the big bucks on it, go to Zara/H&M/Topshop/Forever21 and embrace it!
When the warm weather arrives, the summer prints appear: seersucker, critter prints, madras and florals. But sadly, some of you are wearing these prints in ways that are neither flattering or stylish.
For the men, pairing your anchor-printed critter pants with your seersucker blazer, your madras bow tie, your boat shoes and a pocket square looks more like a bad costume than work attire. And when I see a woman in a pink seersucker skirt with embroidered pineapples on it (like I did last Tuesday), I wonder what made her think that that was a good idea. The trick with these prints is to wade into the pool without drowning yourself in it.
Seersucker. As we’ll talk about in the afternoon post, seersucker looks best when worn sparingly. A seersucker pencil skirt with a chambray shirt or chiffon blouse embraces the summer print without drowning in it. Seersucker slacks with a tee and a cardigan or a seersucker blazer with navy and white separates would both be office appropriate. But wearing seersucker both top and bottom is overwhelming on even the preppiest of people.
Basically, if you’re wearing seersucker, you shouldn’t be wearing it top and bottom. And you definitely shouldn’t be wearing a three-piece seersucker suit.
Critter Prints. I deplore critter prints. In fact, just last week, I was entering the building and visibly cringed when I saw a young woman in a dragonfly embroidered miniskirt walking beside a man with sailboats stitched onto his trousers. They looked like they’d been shopping in the children’s section at J.CREW.
Once you graduate sixth grade, your clothes should be blissfully free of embroidered decorative print. It’s not preppy, it’s juvenile. And if I can’t stop you, I’d at least caution you to steer clear of the crabby critter pants. I’d hate for your attire to lead to confusion about your STD status.
Madras. While I wouldn’t wear it myself, unlike critter pants, madras doesn’t make my retinas bleed. Much.
This brightly-colored plaid is purely casual, outdoor, non-office wear. It is best worn at the beach, the pool or the golf course. I would also accept it’s presence at a backyard BBQ or casual outdoor event.
You might even be able to wear a madras shirt with navy slacks on casual Friday, but beyond that, madras is not work attire. So leave your patchwork plaid blazer at home, you’re scaring the tourists.
Florals. If you’re looking for a timeless, classic, summer print, then you’re in search of florals. Whether you like a big print or a small print, a floral pattern will never go out of style. However, you should use good judgement when purchasing florals.
Daisies on a black field? No. Large blooms on pleated ankle pants? Also no. As for floral-printed ties, most of them look like the curtains at my Grandmother’s house and should be avoided.
I find that it’s best to stick to florals in a green, blue, purple, red or pink print. They look best on tan, navy, white or pastel fields. Basically, if flowers don’t grow naturally in that color, skip it. And when you try on the item, be sure to consider whether you are wearing the floral print or whether it is wearing you.
The Banned List. There are many other summer prints besides the ones mentioned above: bamboo prints, palm leaves, basically anything by Tommy Bahama. These garish monstrosities are permanently on the banned list. As are Hawaiian prints and anything with birds, fish or any other of God’s creatures.
The summer is a time for vibrant colors and bold prints, however, there’s a fine, but distinct, line between bold and gawdy. So unless you want your clothes screaming louder than a newborn with colic, I suggest you wear prints in moderation. In other words, choose, but choose wisely.
Can it really be Memorial Day already? It seems like just yesterday that I was walking to work in a snowstorm, grumbling to myself about the dreary winter. But here it is, the start of Summer, and the opening salvo of beach season. So I suppose I should at least give you some outfit ideas for the occasion.
Polyvore Set Here.
Why not indulge in a little whimsy with a itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny, yellow, polka-dot bikini? As for a cover up, I like a men’s shirt. It’s functional, classic and effortlessly chic when belted. And if you steal it from your boyfriend’s closet, it’s free. Why shop when you can borrow with no definite return date.
Add a simple thong sandal (high enough on the arch to provide support), a beach tote and a great pair of cat’s eye sunnies, and you’re ready for the beach. But is the beach ready for you?
You might also want to add a chic sun hat like this one. The UV rays can be brutal.
Polyvore Set Here.
If the surf and sand isn’t your thing, take a stroll down the boardwalk in this breezy sundress. Mix in some nautical-inspired pieces, like a striped cardi and a robe belt, to complete the Summer by the sea theme.
I also threw in an orange huarache for a bit of color and a cool pair of aviators. All you need now is some bronzer and a summer share in the Hamptons.
Polyvore Set Here.
After a long day on the sand, who doesn’t love to sit on the restaurant patio and sip a cocktail? Well, this outfit is perfect for that.
Here, I paired a patterned, gauzy tunic blouse with some simple white trousers and coordinating accessories. I love these pants because a) they’re under $100 and b) they’re tab front. God bless the person who invented the tab front pant, it’s so much more forgiving than a button or clasp front pant when you indulge a bit too much at dinner.
I also think the sandals are adorably chic, and those sunnies are on my Summer hot list. Look for them on my face, circa Saturday. Thank you, birthday gift cards.
I hate flip flops. Smacking. Slapping. Clopping like the hoofbeats of an apocalypse-heralding horseman. I hate them.
I detest when I see a woman in a $400 suit and flip flops. I cringe when I see a Staffer meeting with constituents during session (or recess) while wearing flip flops. And I want to throw things–heavy, sharp things–when I go to a formal or cocktail event and see women wearing flip flops with their satin party dresses.
Certainly, there are a handful of places where flip flops are allowed: at the beach, pool side, at a resort, in your garden and in the privacy of your own home. Because flip flops are not shoes, they are foot covers for places where shoes are not required. Unfortunately, they have moved far beyond their assigned realm.
Even if you own them, even if you wear them with everything (shudder), there is not a person out there who can argue that affixing a piece of shaped plastic to the bottom of your foot is fashionable, sanitary, or good for your musculoskeletal structure.
To keep flip flops on, you have to grip the front of the sandal with your toes. As a result, as Dr. John Whyte explains, you shorten your stride and force your ankles, knees, hips and back to pick up the slack. This can lead to injury, wear and tear on the joints and stress on the tendons.
Flip flops can also make you flat footed (not sexy). Add that to the fact that they provide no meaningful traction, support, or protection for the feet and you are just asking for a busted toe, an infection, or a sprained ankle.
Oh, and for the environmentally and socially conscious folks out there, your beloved, flapping footwear is made with polyurethene, in foreign countries (usually) using discount labor. Something to think about.
Now, I know that there are some among you who will be royally ticked about this post. There are certainly places in this country where flip flops are considered a wardrobe basic. But the angriest commenters (if history is any indicator) will be those of you who use flip flops as commuter footwear during the summer months. Don’t worry, I brought alternatives.
For the past two summers, my walk to work shoes were a pair of simple, gold Steve Madden flats. They were perfection. I wore them every day for two seasons and they just wore out. Unfortunately, he’s not making them in that shade any longer, so I must find new shoes for this season. (I knew I should have purchased a stockpile, a strategic ballet flat reserve, if you will.)
Last week, I bought this D’Orsay, pewter Huarache from Seychelles ($90). It’s going to take me awhile to break them in, but so far, I can walk 2.5 miles in them comfortably. But in case they don’t work out as an every day shoe, I have some other options in mind.
Geox makes a great walking shoe. They have a rubber sole (my favorite), a padded footbed and small perforations to they’re breathable. These mocha and black cap-toe flats are lovely ($135), as are these light snakeskin flats ($105).
Finally, these gold Michael Kors flats are the closest thing I’ve found to my beloved Steve Madden’s. They’re a bit pricey at $165, but if you wear them every day for an entire season, I think they’re worth it. If you like a gold flat but need something less expensive, these gold, ankle strap basket weave flats from LuLu’s are $39. You can also buy these Kenneth Cole Reaction flats for $70, and Steve Madden has the same pair I used to buy but in gold glitter for $60.
There are plenty of chic commuter shoes available if you’re willing to look for them. You do not need to settle for a pair of disgusting, offensive, noisy flip flops that cost 45 cents to make.
If nothing else, I encourage you to, at the very least, stop wearing these shoes to work. Even if you’re just walking in the door wearing them and changing immediately upon arrival, these shoes are not appropriate for a working professional. There is no valid argument to the contrary, unless you work at a company that makes flip flops and in that case, I have a serious bone to pick with you. I don’t care if you’re wearing a Vivienne Westwood business suit, all anyone will see is a woman in a suit and flip flops.
Next week, we’re going to talk about summer sandals that don’t flip or flop. Because, yes, Virginia, they do exist. See you then.
Polyvore Set Found Here.
As soon as we get this government shutdown business resolved, and I can stop hoarding cash like my life depends on it, I will get to do a little shopping. And when I step out for some retail therapy, I plan to buy a lot of color.
I know that color is scary for some women, but really, there’s nothing to be afraid of. Women (and men) look gorgeous in bright, bold, flashy color. You want to turn heads?
Walk down the street in a bright red or hot pink or chartreuse dress. If you’re feeling tired, dull or blah, color will boost you out of your rut.
This week, I am obsessed with orange and so is the entire fashion world. If you want to kick this citrusy hue up a notch, pair it with other colors. Orange looks chic with navy, regal with purple, pretty with pink and sophisticated with green. You can also pair it with grey, cobalt, and if you’re really brave, citron.
I stuck with solids here because a) I like solids (Deep breaths, Miss M) and because I think it’s easier to mix and match solids. But you could also pair an orange and white dress with a navy cardigan.
Orange is bright, cheery and on trend. No matter your skin color, there is a shade for you (citrus, vermillion, peach, rust, etc.), so get out there and find it.