Trend Alert: Motorcycle Jackets


The motorcycle jacket: this masculine favorite has fully made its way into the heart of womens’ closets.  Why?  There’s just something about a woman in a motorcycle jacket - the combination of hard and soft, masculine and feminine is just irresistible.  We love pairing this versatile jacket with everything from jeans and a tee (a la James Dean) to flowery dresses, for a biker gang meets garden party look.  Here’s our five favorite motorcycle jackets:

Clockwise, from top left:
Silence & Noise Faux Leather Moto Jacket | $98 at Urban Outfitters
Outfit yourself in a jacket that manages to be edgy and cooly classic, all at once.  

Wool Blend Motorcycle Jacket | $42.90 at Heritage 1981
Combine the motorcycle jacket trend with one of the biggest textile trends of the season, plaid, for a statement jacket that you won’t want to go without.

Nom De Plume YaYa Moto Jacket | $58 at Urban Outfitters
A pretty pale aqua color adds a feminine touch to a masculine favorite.

Wool Motorcycle Jacket | $150 at Martin + Osa
Motorcycle jackets don’t have to be (faux) leather.  We love the sleek, clean look of this charcoal wool jacket.  Isn’t that collar to die for?

Stella Denim Jacket | $24.80 at Forever 21
Not just another jean jacket.  This dark denim motorcycle jacket looks lovely with feminine skirts and dresses.

Posted by Trisha on November 19th, 2009 in Shopping Guide, Trend, Trendscape, Trendscape, Women | 4 comments

The Power of Jeans: Four Rules to Upgrade Your Jeans to Business Class

martin-osa-straight-leg-jean_111709Straight Leg Jean | $79.50 at Martin + Osa
Pair these impeccable dark rinse jeans with the right shoes and top, and you’ll be ready for the boardroom.

It’s not every day when the tech world starts a fashion trend - but power jeans aren’t just for Silicon Valley innovators anymore.  Though they’re still not accepted in certain industries (bankers remain wholeheartedly woolen), power jeans are becoming increasingly popular among elite business and political circles.  Even President Obama is wearing them.  But how do you elevate your jeans to business class?  We have four simple rules just for you.

Rule 1: Wear Your Jeans Dark
Generally speaking, the darker the color, the more formal the jean.  So when you’re wearing your weekend denim, only pull out your dark rinse jeans for work.  The plainer the jean, the better.  Save your acid wash, distressed, and embroidered (eek) jeans for the weekend.

Rule 2: Stick With Straight Leg Jeans
As for fit, you want to strike a balance between too loose and too tight.  Just like Goldilocks, you’re looking for something that’s just right.  Too loose, and you can be accused of wearing "dad jeans."  Too tight, and you’ll be accused of just the opposite.  Straight leg jeans work best; leave your skinny jeans and your bootleg jeans for the weekend. On a similar note, look for low-to-medium rise styles - no excessively low rise jeans for work, please.

Rule 3: Top Off Your Jeans With a Pressed Shirt
The idea here is to pair your jeans with an equivalently business-appropriate top. Button-down shirts (or cashmere turtlenecks) are de rigeur, and to ensure that the look is appropriately tailored, make sure that your woven shirts are pressed.  (But please don’t press your jeans - that’s a bit much.)  Top off the look with a fitted blazer - or a seasonally appropriate topcoat.

Rule 4: Finish Off Your Look With Good Shoes
To elevate your jeans to the boardroom, pair them with business-appropriate shoes - oxfords or other leather-soled shoes are a must.  No athletic shoes, no sandals, no flip flops.  And unless you’re working in Silicon Valley, or an equally casual culture, no sneakers.  

How do you wear your jeans to work?
  Share your style with us in the comments!

Posted by Trisha on November 18th, 2009 in Men | 4 comments

Three Versatile Shawl Collar Cardigans


It’s sweater weather, and we’re digging the shawl collar cardigan.  Why do we love it so?  Its inherent mix of casual and formal - it’s one part sweater and one part blazer.  You can wear the shawl collar cardigan with a tee and jeans, with a blouse and pearls, or even with a cocktail dress - and it’ll infuse each look a preppily polished feel.  Here’s three shawl collar cardigans to round out your sweater wardrobe:

Pictured from Left to Right:
Alpaca Long Shawl Cardigan | $98 at J Crew
We love the texture and the go-everywhere color on this nubby alpaca shawl cardigan. 

Keaton Tuxedo Cardigan | $118 at J Crew
Ditch your blazer and grab this tuxedo cardigan.  It’s the perfect day-to-night piece.

Micro Shawl Collar Cardigan | $69.50 at Martin + Osa
The fitted waistband and the micro shawl make this cardigan fully feminine.

Posted by Trisha on November 17th, 2009 in Shopping Guide, Women | 2 comments

You Said: Yes to Clutch Handbags


asos-metallic-panelled-clutch_111609We asked: Would you carry Clutch Handbags?

You said:  Yes to Clutch Handbags, with a 79% to 21% vote.

Style tip? We love the sleek look of the clutch, which works as well with pantsuits as it does with cocktail dresses and evening gowns.  The right clutch handbag can be like a piece of jewelry - a statement piece that can liven up a plain dress.  We love the drama of this metallic clutch, which adds a touch of sparkle and shine to any evening. 

Next question: Short Sleeve Coats provide a fresh outerwear silhouette, but they’re not as simple to wear as traditional long sleeved coats.  But what do you think?  Tell us, would you carry a Short Sleeve Coat?  Cast your vote on the sidebar!

Pictured: Metallic Panelled Clutch Bag | $32.90 at ASOS

Posted by Trisha on November 16th, 2009 in Trend, Trend Predictives, Trendscape, Trendscape, What's In and What's Out, Women | 3 comments

Simple Sophistication: Mix Up Your Look With Texture

Simple Sophistication: Mix Things Up With Texture
Shop the Look (clockwise, from top): Panneau Silk Cami | $118 at J Crew, AE Skinny Cord | $39.50 at American Eagle, Small Georgie Satchel | $258 at J Crew, Suedette Over the Knee Boots | $34.80 at Forever 21, Tyrian Purple Patches Sweater | $49.99 at Ruche.  See more information about this look.

You don’t have to go crazy with color in order to create a visually compelling look.  Do as the Japanese do and experiment with texture.  We love combining fabrics of different weights, feels, and sheen in order to create a look that feels like much more than the sum of its parts.  Here’s how to mix up your look with texture:

1.  Start with a top that gives you both micro and macro textures: a smooth silk cami that provides extra visual interest with a set of cascading ruffles.
2.  Slip on a pair of slim fit corduroy pants for a matte, almost nubby texture.
3.  Bring on the cable knit with a cardigan sweater in a nice neutral grey.  Added bonus?  The applique flowers and bows, which provide an extra dose of textures and fabrics.
4.  Finish off the look with a pair of foldover suedette boots (matte texture) and a creamy leather handbag.

How would you play with texture? Share your style with us in the comments!

Posted by Trisha on November 13th, 2009 in Ready Made Outfits, Women | 3 comments

Five Puffer Jackets With Panache


How to brave winter in style?  Pull out a puffer jacket, of course.  These casually chic jackets are super warm (thank you, down filling), and they can add a bit of life to more formal clothes.  Try a puffer with a dress (+ tights/leggings) and boots - it’s amazing how chic this looks.  Here’s our five favorite puffer jackets to keep you warm this winter:

Pictured Clockwise from Top Left:
Ribbed Sleeve Down Jacket | $98 at Gap
Get the best of both worlds - the warmth of a puffer with the slim, trim silhouette of a sweater on your arms.  Maybe it’s not quite slimming, but it’s as close as you’re going to get with a puffer.

AE Puffer Coat | $119.50 at American Eagle
We’re enchanted by this bright orange color.  You’ll be seen wherever you go.

Puffer Jacket | $170 at Martin + Osa
This creamy slim fit puffer manages to be sophisticated, even for casual days.

Long Belted Puffer | $235 at J Crew
Warm up this winter with this rich plum colored puffer.  We love the herringbone-esque striping on the puffer; the v-shaped lines make for a slimming effect.

Bubble Sheen Jacket | $32.80 at Forever 21
When you want to make a statement, try this shiny black puffer.  Works for day with an asymmetrical top and jeans and night with a cocktail length dress. 

How would you wear a puffer jacket?  Share your style with us in the comments!

Posted by Trisha on November 12th, 2009 in Shopping Guide, Women | 10 comments

You Said: No to Ponchos


ribbed-turtleneck-poncho_111009We asked: Would you wear Ponchos?

You said:  No to Ponchos, with a 75% to 25% vote.

Style tip? Sure, Ponchos were hot in the early 2000s, and they’ve been regarded as fashion castoffs since.   But while ponchos aren’t for everyone and for every occasion, they can still be worn in style.  How do you look sophisticated in a poncho?  Look for a poncho that drapes well.  While stiffer ponchos can create an unflatteringly large silhouette up top, drapey fabrics are much more figure friendly.

Next question: Clutch Handbags are so chic, but they don’t fit very much of your stuff.  But what do you think?  Tell us, would you carry a Clutch Handbag?  Cast your vote on the sidebar!

Pictured: Ribbed Turtleneck Poncho | $27.80 at Forever 21

Posted by Trisha on November 11th, 2009 in Trend, Trend Predictives, Trendscape, Trendscape, What's In and What's Out, Women | 5 comments

5 Universal Lessons in Style from Tokyo

Tokyo style runs the gamut from schoolgirl cute to Harajuku edgy to ladylike sophisticate.  But there are more commonalities than first meets the eye.  We’ve boiled down five lessons in style to adopt from the ever design conscious Japanese.  

Lesson 1: Dress up!
You don’t need a special occasion to look good.

Culturally, the Japanese are a formal people, with an emphasis on immaculate presentation (noted in both fashion and food).  What happens is that the mere act of leaving the house is a reason to get dressed up.  After all, you want to look your best.  Both women and men fuss about the details - the perfect turn of a cuff, the correct type of shoe, the silhouette of a jacket.  Formal attire isn’t required, but it’s artfully blended into everyday outfits, for work and for the weekend.  While this fastidious attention to detail isn’t practical for everyone, it’s worth noting that it almost never hurts to dress up - whether it’s for work or for the weekend.

Lesson 2: Mix things up. 

Experiment with texture.

Japanese clothing is dominated with neutral colors - black, white, shades of grey, khaki, and olive.  What keeps the fashion interesting isn’t really the color palette.  Rather, it’s the textures that make the outfit. We love the mix of chunky cable knit with smooth, opaque tights - or the gleam of (faux) leather paired with a tailored tweed.  Even monochromatic looks can be visually interesting when the right textures are combined.

Lesson 3: Make a Statement. 
Include a statement piece in every look.

Most great styles are actually very simple.  Think of the standard blazer/white button-down/jeans combo, for example.  But depending on the pieces chosen, this iconic fashion formula can be visually boring or interesting.  The rule of thumb here is to pick the visual center of your outfit (e.g. the blazer), and choose one that makes a statement.  Maybe it’s a collegiate crest on the breast pocket, or maybe it’s a chain detail on the pocket - these details can turn an ordinary blazer into a statement piece.  But remember that it’s not necessary to make an outfit full of statement pieces; these special garments can carry a look.

Lesson 4: Think holistically. 
Consider your whole look when getting dressed.

This guideline follows from the lesson on statement pieces.  The Japanese focus on simplicity helps to balance a look between statement pieces and ordinary garments.  The idea is to consider each piece in relation to the entire outfit so that you have an look that works holistically.  That way, you have an outfit that’s more than the sum of its individual pieces.  It’s easiest to do this when you start with an idea of what you want your outfit to say about you.  Then, add and remove pieces so that your final look reflects the concept you’re trying to achieve.

Lesson 5: Be bold. 
Try on new styles, even if you don’t think they’re for you.

As Katie in Tokyo said, the Japanese are all over new fashion trends with a passion.  They’re wearing puffer jackets, chunky knits, capes, shorts with tights, foldover boots, collarless jackets, and whatever else is hot on the fashion radar.  While Tokyo’s eclectic style isn’t directly translatable in other countries, Tokyoites’ sense of fashion adventure is.  You don’t have to buy into each trend (please don’t), but do try out new styles in store, even if you don’t think they’ll work with your figure.  You’ll be amazed at what new styles you can wear, and it’s the best way to explore your sense of personal style.

Posted by Trisha on November 8th, 2009 in Men, Women | 6 comments

Trend Alert: The Sweaterdress

cowlneck-sweater-dress_110409Pictured: Cowlneck Sweater Dress | $98 at Banana Republic.

What’s hot in Tokyo?  The sweaterdress.  Women are wearing sweaterdresses over leggings, over trousers, over tights, and under perfectly tailored overcoats.  Wherever you live, this perfectly versatile style is a key one to invest in this winter season.

What to look for in a sweaterdress?  
Fit: IMHO, the best sweaterdresses aren’t completely form fitting; rather, they drape over your figure.  
Weight: Thicker knit sweaterdresses tend to hold their shape better over time.  Another added bonus is that they tend to be more forgiving of figure flaws (e.g. a less than flat tummy).   However, thinner knit sweaterdresses have the benefit of more elegant draping.  
Color: For the most versatile look, grey is a great go-to color.  Black and navy are also good options, but don’t feel constrained to neutrals.  If you dare, try a brighter shade, like red, mustard, or green.

Our fave?  This grey cowlneck sweaterdress from Banana Republic.  Not only is the drape beautiful, but it also has half-sleeves, which helps to camouflage heavy arms.  Pair it with opaque tights, boots, and a structured coat.

Posted by Trisha on November 4th, 2009 in Trend, Trendscape, Trendscape, Women | 13 comments

Tokyo Style: Schoolgirl Chic


Strolling the streets of Ginza, this young lady is embracing the fun of schoolgirl fashion. What makes her schoolgirl look tick?  Her pigtails, the stuffed animal charms on her lanyard, her lace-trimmed bloomer-style skirt, and her knee-high socks. 

While her schoolgirl chic outfit would be difficult to pull off verbatim back in America, you could work in a single element or two.  For example, pair knee high socks and Mary Janes with a sophisticated pencil skirt and blouse.

Posted by Trisha on November 2nd, 2009 in Street Style, Women | 6 comments

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