Top: Collective Concepts Swiss Dots ($48)
From Left, Earrings: Pim + Larkin Faceted Stud ($11) Bracelets: Sparkly Black Bracelet ($15) Belt: McQueen Bow Belt ($455) Bag: Marc Jacobs Too Hot to Handle Tote ($428) Shoes: J.CREW Miri Pumps ($198) Skirt: Reiss Fishtail Skirt ($170)
From Right, Earrings: Berry Mixed Stud Earring ($28) Ring: Medina Onyx Ring ($99) Belt: Reiss Klara Belt $75) Bag: Coach Candace Carryall ($398) Shoes: Charles David Sway Pump ($185) Pants: Sonia Rykiel Wide Leg Trouser ($415)
All Black. I mentioned this morning that a black sheer blouse fits into most wardrobes. The reason is that the sheerness of the blouse lightens all black looks in a very feminine way. For this outfit, I paired the top with black separates and black accessories for a bit of monochromatic elegance.
This Reiss skirt looks like a plain pencil from the front, but in the back, it has the most adorable fishtail. I have one fishtail skirt in my closet, and I love the way it balances the proportions of my pear shape and gives me a little vintage flare. If you want to give a fishtail skirt a try, this $40 Victoria’s Secret ruffle back skirt is a good option. But if you’re just looking for a skirt with something extra, this Dorothy Perkins skirt with a side ruffle at the waist is $35.
I added the belt because I wanted a little something extra at the waist to pull the look together, but you could skip it. If you like the idea of a bow belt, but not the price tag on this one, this Vince Camuto belt is $27 and this skinny Forever 21 belt is $5.
These Miri pumps from J.CREW are what I recently purchased for myself. The heel is the perfect height at not-quite-3″, and the round toe and vamp are just right. My one complaint is that there is exactly zero padding in the front of the shoe. As in, none. As in, you tap it and it sounds like a hollow log. Luckily, a ball of foot insole can be purchased for a nominal fee. Need something less expensive? These Banana Republic shoes have a round toe, a 2.75″ heel and come in some great neutral colors.
The earrings and bracelets are all round black and gold accents. I like the continuity of pairing them together. And since the bracelets are just $15 a piece, you can easily buy a few for stacking. The bag I added is black, ivory and greige colorblock. I wanted to have a little bit more lightness in the look, so there it is. This London Fog tote and this Carlos Santana tote are good options for colorblock bags that cost under-$100.
For the hair, I would wear it down with a bit of curl at the ends. For the makeup, I would wear a colored nail polish, maybe a red, with lightly winged black eyeliner and lots of mascara.
With Color. Most women wear black on the bottom and color on top, but why not switch it up a bit? This black blouse would look smashing with a pair of bold, bright, wide-leg trousers.
These pants are from Sonia Rykiel, and the price is simply heart-stopping. If you’d like to give colored trousers a try without performing CPR on your bank account, there are lots of other options. If cobalt is what you are after, Shoshanna has a pair of wide legs for $99. Vince Camuto also has a pair of black tuxedo stripe skinny cobalt pants for $99. If you want berry or pink like above for under-$100, these Victoria’s Secret pants come in burgundy and these Express bootcut pants come in every color imaginable for $56.
To play up the berry color in the pants, I added the berry, pink and black cluster earrings. I just love these for $28. And I paired those with a large, faceted black-stone statement ring. Need a cheaper one? Try this gorgeous filigree cabochon ring from K. Amato for $36.
As for the rest of the accessories, I chose pointed toe shoes to lengthen the leg line. These Charles David’s are a bit of an investment, but they come in some really smashing colors. I love the bold lipstick red. If you need a pair for less, these Anne Klein pumps are a good alternative at $65. I added the belt just because I loved the details in the metalwork. And this Candace Carryall has been on my wishlist for awhile in the cognac, but the black is a nice option too.
For the hair, I would wear it up. I would lightly tease it at the crown for live and then pin it in the back. Here is a good tutorial. And for the makeup, I would wear a berry shade on my lips, gold shimmer on my lids and some pink blush on my cheeks.
I own those Banana Republic Jenna pumps, and while they're pretty comfortable, they're cheaply made. I had to get the heel tips replaced after only wearing them 3 or 4 times.