April 27, 2012

Smart Girl's Guide for Unpredictable Weather

My mind has gradually been brewing ideas for a summer footwear post, both for my benefit and yours: my closet's warm weather shoe department has never been more bare. In the midst of beginning such a post, I realized that perhaps this isn't the most rational decision.
If you live in the United States like me, or perhaps even in select other countries (I do admit that I rarely pay attention to the climate outside America), you surely will have noticed that temperatures are experiencing severe spasms of indecisiveness. It seems that civilization's guide to the seasons of the year is no longer relevant. Though there are certainly other issues to worry about in relation to such a pattern, one of the most common questions during these unpredictable time periods is what to wear. One day you may see neighbors in shorts and flip-flops, and the next day street style transforms into a collage of cozy sweaters.
The easy solution is utilizing the art of layering. Tricky as it may seem, there really are a few simple ways that can become your go-tos in times like these. Below you will find three ways to ensure a comfortable body temperature at all times, even when nature goes haywire. In the process, you'll be surprisingly chic and just a little bit colorful.

Lesson One: Layering 101


3.1 Phillip Lim cardigan, Topshop dress, Erickson Beamon bracelet, Hansel from Basel socks, Fiorentini and Baker boots.

This outfit is pretty simple. The dress is the focal point, and the cardigan adds texture and warmth. The combination of the boots and socks with the rest of the outfit feels rugged, adding contrast to the dress and bracelet. If extra warmth is needed, add black tights of the thickness you desire. On a breezy day, this outfit can go without a jacket. Take off the cardigan when it gets too hot.
You may be wondering why I combined this stunning multicolored bracelet with a dress that is already a statement piece. I had an instinct to add more color, and I acted on it. The combination is a bit crazy, but anyone with confidence can pull it off.

Lesson Two: The Joys of Oversized Sweaters


VPL sweater, Rag & Bone t-shirt, J Brand skinny jeans, Roberto Cavalli scarf, AllSaints earrings, Ash studded boots.

This is my favorite layering trick of all time, because everywhere I go is a different temperature, sometimes even within the same building.
Start with your favorite pair of jeans of any wash and cut (except jeans that flare at the ankle). Add a comfortable cotton or cotton-blend t-shirt in a bright hue or interesting print. One or two pieces of neutral jewelry, such as the metallic dangles above, will suffice for accessorizing.
The key to the look is the perfect, thick-knit oversized sweater. The best varieties come from the male side of the spectrum (i.e. dig through the closets of any male friends, relatives, or significant others). It may take some time to find one that fits you with the perfect amount of slouch that doesn't drown you in fabric, but you'll know it when you see it. Wear said sweater over your tee and add a brightly printed lightweight scarf. Footwear is negotiable; I would recommend a versatile pair of boots.
Put these pieces together, and you've got two great outfits in one. Chillier temperatures call for sweater + scarf + jeans, while warmer temperatures enable you to relinquish sweater and scarf for a comfortable t-shirt and jeans pairing. (Keep the scarf on provided it doesn't clash with your top.)

Lesson Three: Don't Worry, I Have Something Under This


ALC open-knit sweater, J Crew denim shirt, Tucker tank top, J Brand jeans, rings by House of Harlow and Topshop, H&M ballet flats.

All collages made using polyvore.com

Layering doesn't get any more extreme than this: three outfits in one (or perhaps more, if you shed the middle or bottom layer).
This is actually pretty simple, however. Start with a pretty tank top and a pair of jeans in a dainty hue. Add a denim shirt and button it up (another option is leaving it open, in which case it serves as a complement to the tank); these salmon colored jeans serve as a wonderful foundation for double denim. If you aren't warm enough, a cozy open-knit sweater thrown on top of the denim is casually chic but practical, and the open knit allows some of the denim shirt to peek through. Sure, there's a lot going on, but it all works.
Accessories must be kept to the bare minimum. Dainty gold flats are fitting without being distracting. Slightly subtle rings with a tough vibe contrast the feminine ensemble.

It's impossible to say whether the temperature will choose a range of degrees and stick with it. Regardless, you're now prepared for anything. Layering is a good skill to master, because especially in this day and age, it comes in handy. Think of me and remember to add a pop of color.


April 12, 2012

Printed Matter

After a brief but relatively unpleasant battle with the common cold, it seems that the resurgence of my health has aided in the satisfying return of fashionable inspiration. Mostly it seems that the searing sinus headaches I've been experiencing have aroused a total comprehension that it is indeed springtime, although the unpredictable weather seems to have other ideas.
Obviously I've been discussing spring for some time now, whether in a more central format or perhaps brief implications, but after spending three lonely days cooped up inside and then walking home with the fresh air caressing my forehead it seems much more like a negotiable reality. Along these lines, despite the fact that it is already practically mid-April, today I've spent some time dwelling on the idea of the new spring staples. In our modern era where the entire fashion industry is being redefined by the Internet, we are exposed to much more. Consequently many of our practical ideals have changed, and the fashion crowd are obsessed with reinvention or rather the idea that everything needs an update. For every trend there is a countertrend (i.e. opposites are "in" at the same time, it just depends on the source), so of course we also have those that are looking back to the classics, attempting to inject that timelessness into a fashion world that appears to be all about right now. For the most part, I've seen an absolutely rewritten guide to the woman's closet staples that seems to be abandoning the longtime fashion canon: little black dress, black blazer, white button-down, blue jeans, pearls, black leather handbag, black pumps. I assume that you can easily recognize what these items have in common.
I'm not criticizing this common list of wardrobe staples, because I know that the majority of fashion savvy women do adhere to them, and the versatility and practicality of such items is undeniable. But I believe that there is so much more to the foundation of a wardrobe than these choices.

Let's imagine that our wardrobe has three levels:

  • The Foundation. Here is where we put our classics, those pieces that are relatively boring and not so much fun to shop for yet the possession of such things comes in handy. (See list in above paragraph.)
  • The Skeleton. This is the second level, comprising of versatile pieces (though not necessarily blatantly so) that are capable of portraying more personality. This is where color and print come into play, though silhouettes stay relatively simple. For most people, I would say that this level is the bulk of one's collection.
  • The Body. The third level contains the unique items that are probably some of the most treasured. Think clothing and accessories more focused on design rather than functionality. These pieces are more fun than practical.
I'm sure I could write a wonderful book about this subject, but I'll spare you from overexerting your eyes reading bountiful text. I've been into analytical fashion writing recently, if you haven't noticed.

In my next few posts, I'm hoping to focus on "The Skeleton" rather than "The Foundation," because it relates to the theme of Girl Loves Color and it's more fun to talk about. If you're dying for some foundational advice, my e-mail inbox is always open (see link on top left).

One of the key aspects of "The Skeleton" is print. Prints add depth and personality to any outfit and though you may believe yourself unable to pull them off or perhaps they aren't your thing, I hope to convince you otherwise. I believe that prints are essential to a well-rounded wardrobe. They don't have to be ridiculously bold - save that for the third level of your wardrobe. We're thinking about versatility here, and prints can always be versatile.

Floral Scarf

I can't say anything bad about floral prints. I'm a huge fan of florals, and when I say that I do actually intend to say that I'm literally so obsessed that I could have a wardrobe containing only floral printed pieces. Maybe this makes me a bit biased, but I honestly am quite serious when I say florals are a must in anyone's wardrobe.
I suggest starting small with a floral scarf. They're practically timeless and look good with almost anything.

H by Henry Holland scarve

H by Henry Holland scarf ($24)

Etro scarveKenzo scarveKate Spade scarveFranco Ferrari scarve

Clockwise (from top left): Etro, Kenzo, Franco Ferrari, Kate Spade.

Printed T-Shirt

On one of those days when you just want to throw on a comfortable cotton tee and your favorite pair of jeans, you'll be so thankful you bought a printed t-shirt. It's the best way to epitomize casual chic.

Carven t shirt

Carven t-shirt ($198)

Thakoon Addition t shirtTop

Stella McCartney t shirtPeter Pilotto tunic

Clockwise (from top left): Thakoon Addition, Marni, Peter Pilotto, Stella McCartney

All images from polyvore.com

I could go on for ages about a subject matter like this, but I'm in a time crunch and I do believe I've provided you with quite a bit of material for today. I'm hoping to get back into a regular blogging schedule soon, which will mean briefer posts but way more often. Sounds good to me!

Let me know what you think of this post/topic. I'd love to hear your opinion.


April 06, 2012

Another Year Older

Although the last week has succeeded in absorbing the majority of my energy, I summoned the remainder of my energy for a fantastic birthday celebration yesterday. I was quite caught up in festivities, so this post shall serve as my birthday post, only a day late.
Unsurprisingly, I spent the day shopping in SoHo, which every savvy New Yorker knows is the best place for such an activity. Much of the time consisted of me drooling over Opening Ceremony's jaw-dropping selection of Mary Katrantzou (maybe next year, mom and dad?) and deciding between off-white or black platform wedges at just-opened Dolce Vita. The hours in between were comprised of visits to Topshop, Madewell, Sephora, the brand new Zimmermann store, Roni, Babel Fair, Condor, and Kate's Paperie for some much-needed card-making supplies. My appetite was quenched with a midday snack at Georgetown Cupcake and a satisfying dinner at Epistrophy, my current favorite restaurant.
(For the many who ask me about my favorite spots in the city, you now have an idea.)

Most may agree that the epitome of a birthday is the presents. I tend to favor the time I get to spend with the people I love most, but I have to admit that I always look forward to unveiling the products of my parents' plotting. I'm pleased to say that my finds are certainly worth blogging about.
I'd like to take a second to applaud my parents for knowing exactly what I want, although I should mention that I did unashamedly drop a multitude of hints throughout the past few weeks.
My first gift, a neon yellow-green Cambridge Satchel Co. bag, has been a constant source of unadulterated happiness for two whole days now. And my second gift, a Polaroid SX-70 land camera, literally makes me feel like the coolest (and luckiest!) person ever.

It's natural that one wants to use new acquisitions immediately, and I am no exception, as you shall see with today's outfit.

Minkpink top, Madewell jeans, Cambridge Satchel Co. satchel, Dolce Vita platform wedges, necklaces by Ariel Gordon and Poupette.

Images taken with my iPhone 4S

Both the Minkpink top and the platform wedges are from Dolce Vita's new SoHo location on Elizabeth Street.

I had an unbelievable amount of fun on my birthday, and it's all thanks to the wonderful people I was able to spend it with. I am so thankful for my friends and family, and I love them unconditionally. Thank you for making my day so special.

Here's to another colorful year.