Archive for October, 2008

Ready Made Outfit: Simple, Chic, and All American

Feeling the love for this set?  Here’s more information about it.

Simple and chic go hand in hand with this purposefully plain outfit.  Here’s how to get the look:

1. Start with a pair of dark rinse jeans (the Switzerland of clothes - always neutral, and goes with everything). 
2. Add a white button-down shirt.  Choose one with a twist–this tuxedo shirt features pintucked ruffles down the front.
3. Layer on a well-tailored plaid jacket.  Extra style points for a bright color, such as red or yellow.
4. Finish off the outfit with a pair of tall boots and a striking handbag in a bright color.

Do you have a simple chic go-to outfit? Share your style with us in the comments

4 comments October 10th, 2008

Pencil Perfect Skirt

Pencil Perfect Skirt

We’re loving the patch pockets on this perfectly tailored button-up pencil skirt. Goes great with a looser-fitting, feminine blouse for a chic work outfit.

$39.95 (sale) at Martin + Osa.

2 comments October 10th, 2008

Q&A: Adding Personality to a Wardrobe of Basics

Q: I’m really not that stylish at all, but I want to learn to be. I want to expand my wardrobe, but I don’t want to fill it with fashion trends that are short lived. How do I go about building a wardrobe that’s young (I’m 23), eclectic, but not typical looking? I do have some basic necessities such as a good white shirt, good black trousers, skinny jeans, and a little black dress.

Feeling the love for this outfit?  Here’s more information about it.

by Colleen Geary, fashion stylist and image consultant

A: Smart move.  You’re never too young to start building a wardrobe that has style and staying power.  Sounds like you’re off to a good start with your wardrobe foundations, but that it’s time to add some personality.

Adding personality to an outfit can be done in two main ways: (1) what you wear, and (2) how you choose to wear it.

With regards to what you wear, you can easily add personality with color and pattern.  Maybe it’s adding a bright green tunic, maybe it’s adding a skirt in a dramatic oversized print.  Or adding classics-with-a-twist: the clothes that you reach for over and over again in your closet, but with an extra special touch.  Items like a perfectly cut polka dotted pencil skirt, a great peacoat with 3/4 sleeves, or a bright yellow pair of heels.

But even a pop of color from a set of bracelets, a cascading set of necklaces, or a statement handbag adds interest to the basics without overwhelming you.

How you choose to wear your clothes is where it gets more interesting.  You mention that you want to build a wardrobe that’s not typical looking.  You can do this, even building on the basics that you already have.  Your good white shirt, for example, can be transformed from a wardrobe basic to something special simply by how you wear it.  Try artfully rolling up the sleeves for a relaxed-yet-polished look.  Or leaving an extra button unbuttoned and layering it over a lacy undershirt for a playful after-work look.  Or go glamorous and add a statement brooch (think Carrie Bradshaw from SATC) – or a gorgeous set of layered necklaces. 

Pictured is an example of an outfit that is composed of basics with a twist.  The sleek black pencil skirt is a pure basic, but the boatneck top features sailor stripes, the peacoat in bright green has 3/4 sleeves, the cardigan sweater sports two small front pockets, the herringbone scarf is a bright yellow, the heels are not only yellow but also feature a ladylike rosette, and the black handbag is purposely strappy.  If you push up the sleeves on the cardigan, you’ll allow the sailor stripes to peek out from under the shorter jacket sleeves.  And the bright scarf picks up the yellow in the shoes, adding a touch of lightness to a very city chic outfit.

By building outfits like this, you’ll save your closet from being filled with short lived fashion trends – and you’ll be building a wardrobe that you can count on for years to come.

In the end, dressing is the art of expressing yourself.  I encourage you to be playful with your clothes.  Go out to the mall and try on a bunch of clothes, even ones that you think that you’d never wear.  The results may very well surprise you.

Have a great tip about how to add personality to your wardrobe? Share it with us in the comments!

3 comments October 9th, 2008

Puff Sleeve Dress

Puff Sleeve Dress

Purple plus puff sleeves puts this dress perfectly on trend for Fall.

$34 at Forever 21.

Add comment October 9th, 2008

Shopping Guide: 4 Essential Bags for Men

I think guys have this impression that bags are for utility; you put all your stuff in there and you’re done.  And while I don’t think a guy should obsess over bags, there are decidedly different types of bags for different occasions.  And because they’re everyday accessories, they’re something worth splurging on.   Here’s the rundown of the 4 essential bags:


Ridge Backpack
Ridge Backpack | $108 at LeSportsac Guys

Yes, guys, you CAN wear a backpack without looking like a fifth grader.  The trick, though, is to a) not have “Jansport” written anywhere on it and b) keep it less than huge.  Keep your backpack simple and refined: I’d suggest monochromatic, something dark or neutral.  If you’re a luxe kind of guy, fear not: there are plenty of leather backpacks out there (Hogan offers one for $1,165).

Who should wear it
: Schoolchildren, outdoorsy type, people who work in very casual environments.
Who shouldn’t wear it: Those with a desk job.  

Messenger Bag
Nylon Canvas Field Bag
Nylon Canvas Field Bag | $150 at Jack Spade

In recent years, one-strap bags (“messenger” bags) have become the craze, if not the cliché.  I can see why: they’re practical, more refined than most backpacks and not unstylish.

Who should wear it:
College students, IT guys.
Who shouldn’t wear it: White-collar types (unless you’re traveling).


Transatlantic Leather Lexington Brief
Transatlantic Leather Lexington Brief | $448 at Coach
Photo courtesy of Men’s Vogue

The briefcase is the most refined “bag” a man can have – and accordingly, it’s usually the most expensive.  A briefcase is a statement that you’ve made something out of your life (career wise at least).  Formal and usually made out of luxe materials such as high-grade leather and precious metals (think 24k gold metal locks), briefcases mean business.  But keep in mind there are two types: soft and hard.  Both are pretty much office standards, but the soft ones are a bit more informal.  Keep your briefcase simple and traditional: get one in black or dark brown.  Skip the high tech ones like the $16,000 carbon fiber piece from Hermes.

Who should wear it: White-collar types.
Who shouldn’t wear it: Anyone that’s not a white-collar type – you’ll come off as pretentious.

Duffel (Weekend) Bag
Waxed Cotton Medium Travel Explorer
Waxed Cotton Medium Travel Explorer | $259 at Barbour
Photo courtesy of

Michael BastianI don’t know if there is technically a difference between a duffel and weekend bag, but I tend to think of a weekend bag as a more refined version of the traditional rugged duffel.  Weekend bags are really for those guys in New York who want that 3 day trip to the Hamptons or Maine and need something to put clothes, shoes, bottles of wine, and whatever else you want to put in there.  And that’s the beauty of it; it really is a holdall bag – just throw you’re stuff in there. One of my favorite pictures on The Sartorialist is of Michael Bastian wearing a wrinkled dress shirt, Nantucket reds and loafers, while trying to hail a cab carrying a weekend bag (ok it’s a duffel bag…I guess Mr. Bastian can make even duffels look cool).

The downside of weekend bags is that they are a luxury: you don’t really need them.  As a result, most good ones are expensive.  If you do get a weekend bag, though, pay a little more and get one that’s well made.  I like the motto, “Beat up the pretty things;” it describes exactly how I’d treat a beautiful weekend bag.

Style Tip:  Jack Spade is my default for bags; I implicitly recommend Jack Spade for any of the above types of bags.  I have a messenger bag and a briefcase, and if I were to get a backpack, I’d get one from Jack Spade.  You can pretty much find any kind of bag you’d need at Jack Spade.  They aren’t the cheapest, but in terms of style (simple) and durability (high), I give it my full endorsement.  See more styles at Jack Spade, 56 Greene St., New York, NY. 212 625-1820.

4 comments October 8th, 2008

AE Belted Peacoat

AE Belted Peacoat

Fall weather may be dreary, but this bright yellow peacoat is sure to brighten up the darkest of days.

$119.50 at American Eagle.

3 comments October 8th, 2008

Shopping Guide: Jonathan Saunders for Target

Jonathan Saunders is the latest designer to join Target for its Go International program.  The Scottish designer, recently named the Creative Director at Pollini, is coming stateside with a collection full of his signature prints, clean lines, and slim, body-hugging cuts.  Saunders’ collection is fashion-forward, yet somewhat difficult to wear.  We’ve pared Jonathan Saunders’ collection down to our five favorite (and wearable) pieces:  

Jonathan Saunders Ponte Mini Dress
Jonathan Saunders Ponte Mini Dress | $32.99 at Target

Jonathan Saunders Colorblock Top
Jonathan Saunders Colorblock Top | $24.99 at Target

JNSDS Sleeveless Sweater Dress Cilantro
JNSDS Sleeveless Sweater Dress Cilantro | $34.99 at Target

Jonathan Saunders Knit Ponte Skirt
Jonathan Saunders Knit Ponte Skirt | $26.99 at Target

JNSDS Woven Top in Grey
JNSDS Woven Top in Grey | $22.99 at Target

6 comments October 7th, 2008

Ruffle Sandals

Ruffle Sandals

Aren’t these sandals completely gorgeous? They’re the perfect feminine foil for Fall’s masculine tailoring. And they’ll float right into your Spring shoe wardrobe!

$29.50 at Gap.

2 comments October 7th, 2008

You Said: Yes to Oxford Flats

Omiru Poll Result: Yes to Oxford Flats

Issac Mizrahi Polly Oxford SkimersWe asked: Would you wear Oxford Flats?

You said:  Yes to Oxford Flats, with a full 64% of the vote.

Style tip? Oxford Flats are a classic that’s right on trend with tailored menswear-as-womenswear styles
.  And they’re getting a bit of a makeover with Oxford Heels (perfect for those of us who could use a few extra inches of height).  You can wear your Oxfords with tailored classics, but we’d recommend having them serve as a foundation for an outfit that’s a bit more edgy.  Say, wide-leg pants, an artsy blouse, and a statement belt.

Next question: Prep-school style has been dominating Fall Fashion - crested blazers, plaid, and sweater vests.  But what do you think about sweater vests?   Tell us, would you wear a Sweater Vest?  Cast your vote on the sidebar!

Pictured:  Isaac Mizrahi Polly Oxford Skimmers | $20.99 (sale) at Target.

Add comment October 6th, 2008

Belted Plaid Blazer

Belted Plaid Blazer

Pair this smart plaid blazer with a crisp white ruffled blouse, dark denim, and tall boots. Very chic - and perfect for Autumn.

$29.80 at Forever 21.

3 comments October 6th, 2008

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