Archive for May, 2008
Q: I love white jackets/blazers, especially in the summer, but I always feel like I look like a doctor or a vet! Any advice? I’, 5′4" I usually wear a size 2-4P on top, but I am pretty curvy (32D), so I usually avoid cropped styles and jackets with more than 2 front buttons.
by Colleen Geary, fashion stylist and image consultant
A: Sounds like you’re already on the right track. Since you’re curvy and have a full bust, you want to keep your neckline very open by wearing single breasted jackets in semi-fitted shapes. Like you already know, jackets with a single or double button closure are going to be your best bets. (Bonus points for jackets that button right under your bustline.)
And cheers for you for embracing the White Jacket. White jackets and blazers look fresh for summer, especially given this season’s focus on white. But how do you wear these white jackets without looking like an extra on Grey’s Anatomy? Here’s three ways to avoid the doctor look with a white jacket:
Go Feminine and Flirty with a Brightly Colored Top and a Pretty Skirt
To best flatter your figure, look for moderately low cut blouses and camisoles. The light fabric and open neckline will help to visually lengthen your torso and balance out your bustline. They’ll show enough skin to keep your chest from looking too top heavy, but they’ll also provide enough cover to avoid revealing too much. A splash of bright color peeking out from underneath your jacket will elevate your outfit while keeping the look flirty and playful (and non-doctor-like).
As for skirts, navy looks especially fetching with a crisp white jacket (for the same reason why dark blue jeans and a white shirt are an American classic).
Go Classic (with a Twist) with Black and White
Pair your white jacket with a black and white striped tank top. Narrow stripes are going to be best here; stripes that are too wide will overly accentuate your bustline. Add a skirt in medium grey, dark enough to provide contrast to the white jacket, but light enough to complement the white.
Go Casual-Yet-Tailored Look with a Sexy Top and Dark Jeans
Create a look that’s one part tailored and one part relaxed by mixing casual and formal elements. You can try toeing the line between casual and formal with a crisp white blazer, a sexy top, and a dark wash jean with a lean leg line. Be sure to add a very sexy, strappy black heel for added interest.
Have a great tip about how to wear a white jacket? Share it with us in the comments!
May 22nd, 2008
Go nautical without having to reveal your true stripes. Modern Amusement’s Regatta Hoodie lets you embrace this popular seafaring trend without being common.
$125 at Modern Amusement.
May 22nd, 2008
Q: I just bought a Valentino linen jacket in bitter chocolate. I intended to wear it with jeans and the perfect brown shoes to a swank party. My wife says no jeans! Now what? What pants and what color? Help please.
A: First of all, your wife is right. Even when she is wrong, she is right.
Secondly, in this case, she really is right. Jeans and a well cut jacket looks awkward; it’s something about the formality of a well cut blazer and the casualness of jeans that causes this clash. Just because every other guy wears a blazer and jeans doesn’t make it right. You can do better.
Linen is tricky; I have seen a few great linen suits, but I don’t often see a linen blazer without matching pants. I’m assuming you can’t go back and buy a pair of pants to make it a suit; if you can, I’d highly suggest wearing that suit without a tie to the party. A word to the wise: most of the price of a suit comes from the jacket. As a result, buying matching pants is often not expensive relative to the price of the jacket. It often makes sense to buy an entire suit, especially in the case of more uncommon pieces in a man’s wardrobe, under which that linen blazer certainly falls.
If you can’t get the matching linen pants, that doesn’t mean you should wear jeans. Instead, try some summer lightweight chinos in an olive or a light khaki color (more slate than beige khaki), as the gentleman shown above does (though don’t follow his lead on the sleeve length. And, of course, you could try finding some blue pants. I’ve said it before, but you will see men in Milan wearing blue pants in lieu of blue jeans. Any of these colors would complement your shoes as well. The trick is to get a pair with the right cut, so as to not make yourself look like you just finished 18 holes of golf. Try looking into Mason’s or Save Khaki; they make slim-but-not-too slim trousers in fantastic colors.
Style Tip? People often say that certain colors never go well together. Don’t listen to them. Certain colors are hard to pull off together, but just about every color combination can be done. Below, a couple of well-dressed gentlemen show how to do brown/black and brown/gray color combos the right way.
Have a great tip about how to wear a linen jacket? Share it with us in the comments!
May 21st, 2008
Layers, ruffles, and texture–what more can you ask for in one of the most elegant (and might we say versatile) miniskirts we’ve seen all season?
$69 (approx) at Topshop.
May 21st, 2008
Q: I’ve been reading your site forever and have come to a conclusion: My wardrobe is BORING. I thought I was going for the "classic" look but I dress like a banker… and I’m not! I have a lot of plain slacks that I pair with plain "safe" sweaters. (The husband and I went dancing last night and I wore pinstripe slacks and a white sweater- yawn!) What can I do to jazz me up a bit? I’d like to look a bit more flirty and feminine.
A: Here’s three easy ways to add some pizazz to your wardrobe and look more flirty and feminine:
Get Creative with Layering by Mixing Casual and Formal Pieces
You don’t have to pair casual tops with casual bottoms and formal tops with formal bottoms. Part of the fun of creating an outfit is mixing and matching items that are casual and formal–and for that matter, cheap chic with more expensive pieces.
Take, for example, this casual black and white racerback knit top, whose All-American style would pair perfectly with a pair of dark blue jeans. Nix the jeans, and instead pair it with a gorgeously elegant black skirt. I love how the formality of the skirt elevates the look of the simple black and white striped top.
Play with Color
The easiest way to add more pizazz to your plain tops and bottoms is to inject a shot of color into your wardrobe. How do you do this? (1) Figure out what colors look the best on you. (You can do this in an afternoon at the mall by trying on lots of different colors and taking note of which ones make you look radiant–and which ones make you look washed out.) (2) Expand your wardrobe to include the colors that look great on you.
You don’t have to buy a bunch of color all at once. Building a wardrobe is like breaking in a new pair of heels–it’s best done in small steps. Add a few pieces a season, and your wardrobe will evolve with your ever changing sense of personal style.
If you’re hesitant about large splashes of color, you can try out color by layering it under more neutral colors, as seen in the outfit at right.
Anchor your Wardrobe with Statement Pieces
Statement pieces are, by definition, meant to turn heads. Maybe it’s your favorite slinky sweater, maybe it’s the dress that fits you to a T, maybe it’s your goes-with-everything satchel bag. These are the pieces that you can always count on to anchor an outfit. You only need a few of these statement pieces in your closet to start, but you can also never have enough of them.
For your classic style, try classics-with-a-twist. Instead of the plain white sweater, try one in bright yellow (which would be lovely with your menswear slacks). Or instead of plain flat-front pants, try a pair of navy blue sailor pants (which would look great with your white sweaters).
Pictured: Outfits from Club Monaco Collection and Cotton Cashmere Primrose Cardigan | $98 at J Crew.
Have a great tip about adding pizazz to a classic wardrobe? Share it with us in the comments!
May 20th, 2008
Black on black makes for a sophisticated lighting statement. This elegant table lamp will look perfect sitting on top of your modernist side table. 20.75″ high by 11.25″ wide.
$39.50 at CB2.
May 20th, 2008
We asked: Would you wear Floral Prints?
You said: Yes to Floral Prints, which got a full 84% of the vote.
Style tip? Floral prints are best worn in Bright Colors–so go bold with pinks, oranges, yellows, and even purples.
Next question: Bright Colors like Orange are reigning supreme this year. But what do you think? Tell us, would you wear Orange? Cast your vote on the sidebar!
Pictured: Muse Watercolor Silk Print Dress | $156 at Nordstrom.
May 19th, 2008
Escape to Hawaii (at least sartorially) in this cheerfully tropical tank dress. Added bonus? Pockets on the dress!
$39.50 at Nordstrom.
May 19th, 2008
Temperatures may be rising, but that doesn’t mean your style quotient needs to drop. You can beat the heat and still dress professionally with Omiru’s Beat the Heat at Work style tips:
Why does this outfit work?
Layering: The key to any hot-weather outfit is to wear layers. Sure, it may be 100 degrees outside, but when you head into the office, it can get pretty chilly. (Especially if you sit under the AC vent. If you do, sweaters are your friend.) The cropped box jacket gives you an extra layer, and it helps for your personal temperature regulation as you go from the chilly office to the sunny outdoors and back again.
Color Coordination: This outfit is built around the striped tank top, which features shades of yellow and brown on neutrals. The bright yellow skirt picks up on the yellow from the tank top, while the shoes and handbag echo the brown tones of the shirt. The white box jacket grounds the outfit with a neutral color. This kind of color coordination helps to make you look put together, even when you’re wearing a tank top and short sleeves to the office.
Coordinated Accessories: Look at how the chocolate brown of the bag is echoed in the brown heels. The turquoise necklace pairs beautifully with the browns, and it provides a nice contrast to the dominant color in the outfit, yellow. Note that while the accessories are definitely coordinated, they don’t match perfectly. Coordinated is good, matchy-matchy is not.
Breathable Fabrics: Last but not least, we’d be remiss if we didn’t talk about fabric choices. Natural fabrics (with a loose weave) are going to be your best bets for temperature control. I like looking for garments that are 100% cotton–or even linen for a more casual look. The beauty of these natural fabrics is that they allow air to pass through them. That way, you won’t trap hot air in between you and your clothes.
What do you wear to work to beat the heat? Share your style with us in the comments!
May 16th, 2008
These elegant thong sandals are the perfect way to complete your poolside outfit. Plus they’re chic enough to wear around town afterwards!
$14.99 at Target.
May 16th, 2008