Archive for August, 2008

Q&A: How to Look Like an Adult While Wearing a Girly Blouse

Q:  I’ve been seeing a lot of blouses with various ties and bows at the neckline. They’re cute, but I have trouble with people constantly mistaking me for a teenager. Is it possible to wear this trend without looking too young and cutesy? I’m a grad student in my late 20’s who has pretty slow wardrobe turnover and dresses fairly modestly, so something I could wear for a few seasons and without major cleavage would be super.

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Tie-neck blouses and blouses with bows are a decidedly girly look, but their femininity doesn’t mean they can’t look professional.  Here’s how to wear a girly blouse while looking like an adult:

Choose a Tailored Blouse. Ties and bows are going to look the most professional on a shirt that’s already tailored.  Pick a top where structure meets style.

Wear a Masculine Bottom.  Balance out your feminine top with a masculine inspired bottom.  Man-tailored trousers will do the trick.

Finish off the look with Polished Accessories.  In order to complete the adult look, pick up a pair of professional pumps and a work-appropriate handbag. 

Have a great tip about looking like an adult while wearing a girly blouse? Share it with us in the comments!

3 comments August 22nd, 2008

Patent Croc Hinge Wallet

Patent Croc Hinge Wallet

Add a touch of style to your purse with this tiny patent crocodile wallet.

$9.80  at Forever 21.

1 comment August 22nd, 2008

Q&A: What to Wear in Florence

Q: I am studying abroad in Florence, Italy for the fall semester. I don’t want to be another "teeshirt and jeans American." Any ideas on how to look stylish while immersing myself in this beautiful city? And what trends should I splurge on while I’m there (not to mention gifts for some of my fashion forward friends back home)?

Feeling the love for these outfits?  Here’s more information about them.

by Colleen Geary, fashion stylist and image consultant

A: You mention that you don’t want to look like the typical American in jeans and tee shirts.  Agreed that worn and faded jeans with a sloppy tee is not a good look.  That said, a nice dark wash jean with a colorful, clean tee and a ballet flat is a good classic look that transcends borders and cultures.  You can go beyond this casual classic by incorporating more polished pieces into your wardrobe–tailored pants and skirts, sophisticated sweaters and dresses, and of course, a stylish coat.

What to Pack
As a foundation wardrobe, I would pack a couple of dark wash jeans, trouser pants, some basic colored tees, fitted button down shirts, and a couple of sweaters in bright colors.  Splurge on a stylish jacket and a perfectly fitted trench to keep you warm.  A couple of dresses for going out are also a must.  Don’t forget some tights and long underwear, as it will be chilly in the autumn in Florence.

Gifts in Florence
Florence is famous for its gold and leather, which will make great gifts for your close friends.  Check out Ponte Vecchio for a wide variety of gold and silver shops, but be forewarned that bargains are long gone.  As for leather goods, Il Bisonte is a shop with beautiful leather bags, agendas, and wallets. 

Should you have nieces, you may want to visit Assunta Anichini, which is the oldest childrens’ clothing store and offers beautiful hand embroidered and smocked dresses.

If you don’t already have a great leather bag, I would wait and get one in Italy.  Same goes for leather gloves.  Last style tip?  Check out the lingerie boutiques in Florence–they have some beautiful shops.  Enjoy la dolce vita!

Have a great tip about what to wear in Florence? Share it with us in the comments!

8 comments August 21st, 2008

Double Pocket Cardigan

Double Pocket Cardigan

If you’ve been on the lookout for a versatile cardigan that will go with everything from a casual tee to a more formal button down, head on over to the Gap. We love how the double pockets on this cardigan give this classic a bit of a twist.

$54  at Gap.

2 comments August 21st, 2008

Mens Ready Made Outfit: Sophisticated Shorts with a Blazer

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How do you manage to look sophisticated in shorts?  Pair them with a blazer for instant chic.  Here’s how to do it:

Mix and match fabrics for the jacket and shorts.  What makes this combination so chic is the seemingly effortless pairing of the blazer and shorts.  It’s not a shorts suit–so pick a jacket and shorts in different fabrics and colors.  A couple of easy color combinations?  Navy and grey (as pictured), and khaki and white.

Wear a button down shirt.  Maintain the somewhat formal feel of the outfit by wearing a button down shirt instead of a tee.  The shirt need not be perfectly pressed to be sophisticated; in fact, the casual feel of the blazer and shorts combo calls for a shirt that’s ever so slightly wrinkled.

Slip on a pair of closed toe shoes.  After all, you are wearing a blazer.  Now’s not the time for flip flops.

Would you wear a blazer and shorts together? Share your style with us in the comments!

4 comments August 20th, 2008

Bow Trenchcoat

Bow Trench

Looking for a trench that straddles the line between trendy and classic? Look no further. The trench shape and the check fabric ground this jacket, but the bow makes it more fun and flirty.

$121  (approx) at Topshop.

Add comment August 20th, 2008

Shopping Guide: Richard Chai for Target

In Fall 2004, Richard Chai took Fashion Week by storm with the launch of his eponymous line of gorgeously wearable garments.  Chai was by no means new to the New York fashion scene, having designed for Donna Karan, Geoffrey Beene, and Marc Jacobs (where he helped to launch the Marc by Marc Jacobs line).  And his critically acclaimed line, a favorite of both retailers and the press, earned him an Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation award a year later in 2005. 

Now, three years later, Chai is taking another leap forward by making his sophisticated style available to all of us with a line for Target.  Like the rest of Chai’s work, the Target collection is sophisticated, wearable, and decidedly feminine.  Chai’s target line has been out for over a week now, but we finally got a chance to go try it on in-store.  Here’s our five favorite pieces:

Richard Chai Rose Print Top
Richard Chai Rose Print Top | $22.99 at Target

Richard Chai Pieced Voile Shirt
Richard Chai Pieced Voile Shirt | $24.99 at Target

Richard Chai Windowpane Miniskirt
Richard Chai Windowpane Miniskirt | $26.99 at Target

Richard Chai Colorblock Tie Front Dress
Richard Chai Colorblock Tie Front Dress | $44.99 at Target

Richard Chai Printed Broken Stripe Trench Coat
Richard Chai Printed Broken Stripe Trench Coat | $44.99 at Target

6 comments August 19th, 2008

Zipper Trim Skirt

Zipper Trim Skirt

So often, it’s the details that make the garment. Look closely, and you’ll see the tiny zipper teeth adorning this gorgeous silk skirt. Bonus? Hidden pockets on the sides of the skirt.

$32  at Twelve by Twelve.

3 comments August 19th, 2008

You Said: Maybe to Mustard Yellow

You Said: Maybe to Mustard Yellow

Stretch Vintage Cord SkirtWe asked: Would you wear Mustard Yellow?

You said:  Maybe.  It was a close vote, with 53% of you saying Yes to Mustard Yellow, and the remaining 47% voting No.

Style tip? We’re fans of all things yellow, and mustard is no exception.  The muted hue looks great paired with navy blue (or even grey) for Autumn.  Until then, you can wear it with orange for a warm, earthy color combo.

Next question: We’ve been glued to the TV for the Olympics, where everyone’s gunning for Gold in Beijing.  Back at home, though, is Gold as appealing?  Tell us, would you wear Gold colored clothing?  Cast your vote on the sidebar!

Pictured:  Stretch Vintage Cord Skirt| $68 at J Crew.

7 comments August 18th, 2008

Denim Swing Jacket

Denim Swing Jacket

Dress up this denim swing jacket with a colorful top for a stylishly casual look.

$22.80  at Forever 21.

1 comment August 18th, 2008

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