Archive for March, 2009

Q&A: Four Winter to Spring Coats

Q: My black wool winter coat looks much too heavy and "dead of winter"-like now.  It’s nearly spring but still very chilly.  Besides a trench, what are some ideas for a full or longer-length coat to get me through these chilly evenings?  I’d like something about knee-length  to wear over dresses. Any cheerful, lighter options?

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Clockwise, from left: 3/4 Sleeve Zip Anorak, Bustle Back Trench Coat, Dahlia Loose Cropped Sleeve Tailored Jacket, Karen Millen Casual Funnel Neck Lightweight Coat.

Since it’s nearly Spring, it’s hard to find good chilly weather coats in stores.  Here’s four suggestions for coats that bridge the gap between Winter and Spring:

3/4 Sleeve Zip Anorak | $74.99 (sale) at Banana Republic
The light color and collarless neckline allow this anorak to transition between casual and formal.  And I love the look of this crisp white jacket over a printed dress.

Bustle Back Trench Coat | $97.41 at ASOS
I know you don’t want a trench, but would you consider an unconventional take on the classic style?  The ruffled bustle on the back of this coat makes it flirty and feminine–perfect for bridging the gap between Winter and Spring.

Dahlia Loose Cropped Sleeve Tailored Jacket | $115.57 at ASOS
For a more unconventional look, you can try an oversized blazer.  The cropped sleeves on this tailored jacket are singing Spring.

Karen Millen Casual Funnel Neck Lightweight Coat | $328.55 at ASOS
The military style of this crisp cotton coat will elevate your Spring dresses.  It’s not a lighter style - but it will pair well with your cheerful, bright dresses.

Have a great tip about a perfect Winter to Spring coat? Share it with us in the comments!

6 comments March 17th, 2009

Zip Detail Belted Tunic

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Unleash your inner rocker goddess with this edgy belted tunic and a pair of tall boots. Or pair it with a striped t-shirt for a hip take on a well-worn classic.

$24.80 at Forever 21.

Add comment March 17th, 2009

You Said: Yes to Nude Colors

nude-colors-poll-result_031509

gestuz-ruffle-waist-skirt_031509We asked: Would you wear Nude Colors?

You said:  Yes to Nude Colors, with a 56% to 44% vote.

Style tip? While they look positively delicious on dark skin tones, Nude colors, like Pastel Colors, have a tendency to wash out fair skin tones.  If you’re fair skinned and still love the look, try wearing a nude colored skirt (instead of a blouse) to minimize the wash-out effect on your face. 

Next question: Florals are replacing Feathers as the embellishment of choice this Spring.  But would you wear them?  Cast your vote on the sidebar!

Pictured: Gestuz Ruffle Waist Skirt | $65.21 at ASOS

Editor’s Note (3/17/09): Our apologies, dear readers, for conflating "nude" with vanilla colored skin.  You’re completely right - "nude" isn’t a single color and can be anything from dark espresso to a light vanilla cream.  The style advice above is for beige colored clothing, but it also applies to chocolate colored clothing on women with dark skin.  If you have dark skin but love wearing a mocha brown, it’s best worn as a skirt.  Pair it with a pretty pastel colored top (a robin’s egg blue, perhaps) for a sophisticated and color coordinated look.

7 comments March 16th, 2009

Parisian Polo

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We’re loving the extra-long, super skinny placket on this fitted version of the classic polo.

$19.50 (sale) at J Crew.

2 comments March 16th, 2009

Fall Winter Fashion Formula #12: Tough Girl Chic

Fall Winter Fashion Formula #12
Feeling the love for this set?  Here’s more information about it.


Mix the soft and the hard to create a look that mixes masculine and feminine elements.  Perfect for the tomboy–or any woman who aspires for a bit of adventure.  Here’s how to get the tough girl chic look:

1.  Start with a feminine knit blouse–note the drapey neckline and the ever-so-slight gathers at the sleeves.
2. Slip on a pair of rugged pants; a pair of jeans works, as would a pair of military pants.
3. Add a tough jacket–a peacoat with hardware detailing or a bomber jacket would work equally well.
4.  Mix the soft and the hard with your accessories: a cozy knit hat contrasts with a chain draped belt, a buckled bootie, and a purse with heavy hardware.

How would you mix masculine and feminine elements?  Share your style with us in the comments!

2 comments March 13th, 2009

Ribbed Dolman Cardigan

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Three quarter dolman sleeves allow this Winter cardigan to bridge the seasons to Spring.

$27.80 at Forever 21.

2 comments March 13th, 2009

Q&A: Three Fresh Ways to Wear a Trenchcoat

Q: I’m a 20-year-old college student who just got a calf-length London Fog trench coat for a smokin’ deal.  I love it and know I’m going to have this forever, but I was wondering if you had any ideas as to how to wear this without looking like the Queen Mum.

A: Even though you’re sporting a classic piece like a trenchcoat, you don’t have to keep your entire look classic.  Just pair your trenchcoat with appropriately youthful looking pieces.  Here’s three ideas to keep your look young while wearing your sophisticated trenchcoat:

Tip 1: Wear Knits, Not Wovens

Youthful Looks with a Trenchcoat #1

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


Wear your trenchcoat with a sweaterdress.  Tailored, woven dresses will keep the look formal, but a sweaterdress will give the outfit a more youthful look.  Edgy details like lace-up boots and a zipper-encrusted handbag also give the look a young feel.

Tip 2: Say Hello to Bright Colors

Youthful Looks with a Trenchcoat #2

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


Dark colors and neutral colors give a more sophisticated air to any look, but bright colors would help liven up those looks.  A shot of gold doesn’t hurt as well.

Tip 3: Embrace Unstructured Fabrics and Silhouettes

Youthful Looks with a Trenchcoat #3

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


Tailored cuts and structured fabrics are natural pairings for a classic trench.  But they also can make the look more stodgy.  Unstructured fabrics, like knits, and blousy silhouettes do just the opposite–they give the look a breath of fresh air.

Have a great tip about fresh ways to wear a trenchcoat? Share it with us in the comments!

9 comments March 12th, 2009

Cortina Hat

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Stock up for next Winter (or ride out the chilly early days of Spring) with this cozy cashmere hat. It’s the perfect way to brighten up an otherwise grey outfit on a cloudy day.

$9.99 (sale) at J Crew.

Add comment March 12th, 2009

Q&A: Great Details for a Bespoke Suit

Q:  I’m getting a bespoke suit.  Looking forward to it.  What sorts of interesting details are possible on a men’s suit?  I’ve heard about the working button holes and such, but perhaps you have heard of some totally awesome details?

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Pictured: Duncan Quinn Bespoke Suits.

A: I’m not entirely sure what you mean by “totally awesome.” If you mean “totally awesome fit,” then yes, most good bespoke tailors will fit you a suit that wears better than anything else you have (except for another high quality bespoke suit, of course).

Bespoke is more about personal style and quality than fashion.  Translation: avoid a loud, statement-making suit that may be in fashion right now but will go out tomorrow.  I trust you know how to find a good tailor and how to tell him what you want, so I’ll skip right ahead to the details that are available out there.

The bottom line is that bespoke is expensive.  And that’s kind of the point.  It’s not for everything, and the exorbitant price is largely why it stays that way.  If you’re going to go bespoke, you might as well go all out.  At least, don’t skimp on things to try to save a few dollars here and there.

With bespoke, you can indulge yourself in details ranging from patterned jacket linings to exotic materials.  Duncan Quinn, highly regarded in the bespoke world, for example, offers a suit made out of guanaco.  If you can pull it off, feel free to go bold with pinstripes or checks in whatever color you’d like.  Of course with details like these, you’re talking about a suit ranging well into the thousands (Duncan Quinn starts at $4,000 per suit), perhaps even into the tens of thousands. 

But given the sinking economy, a bespoke suit feels even more extravagant than it does in normal times.  You don’t need to go all out with a suit to go bespoke.  Try a bespoke shirt (try Charvet, Tom Ford, or Borelli for the best) or shoes (try Barker Black).  Ties can be made just for you as well.  Just keep in mind that designers may require you to order multiple items at once; especially smaller items like ties and shirts.

Have a great tip about what to look for in a bespoke suit? Share it with us in the comments!

5 comments March 11th, 2009

Braided Wheat Ruched Top

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Pair this romantically ruched top with a tough military pant for a feminine look that’s not too sweet.

$29.99 at Ruche.

2 comments March 11th, 2009

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