This is sentiment is always good to keep in mind, but its especially important now, with wedding season in full swing. The reasoning is simple: it can be disrespectful to arrive under-dressed, but it is never disrespectful or inappropriate to be tastefully overdressed.
In a dramatic reversal of the predominantly dark and urban aesthetic of Reputation, Taylor has peppered in several rainbow sequined looks – a modern update of the feminine, glamorous Old Taylor. They make for welcome moments of lightheartedness, a reflection of the brighter outlook that infuses a significant portion of the album. And they’re seriously fun to try out! ;)
This look lends itself to a variety of iterations. To replicate Taylor’s look most precisely, start with a sequined, rainbow-striped dress…because who doesn’t have one of those handy? ;) (*raises hand*). If you do though, I advocate slaying this look for days rn; it’s trendy, gorgeous and a jazz. Finish it with Taylor-approved fierce ankle booties: think military, biker, lug soles, chunky heels, plenty of attitude. If you are not currently the possessor of a rainbow sequined dress, a multi-colored striped dress sand sequins is a more accessible way to try out this look. I’ve gone with a maxi here, but midis and mini will also do nicely. All three lengths can work with Taylor-approved booties (as described above) with the caveat that the maxi should not fully cover the boot shaft. If you’re maxi is to the longer side of the genre or you just feel like skipping the booties today, consider finishing the look with on-trend slides. They’re easy, laidback and on-trend and their chill aesthetic fits superbly into the vibes of the Rep era. If your closet is both sequin-rainbow stripe-free and multi-color stripe-free, you can make a simpler striped dress work. The key here is to subtly add in several of the rainbow shades the piece is without – accessories are your friends! With this sporty yellow fit-and-flare dress, I’ve envisioned riffing on Tay’s look by adding bracelets in green, orange, red and blue. Rings or delicate necklaces could be used in a similar way. Don’t freak over adding every missing color back – note that I skipped purple; just make sure there are two or three other shades in the mix – just enough to convey that rainbow-y concept. I imagined reinforcing the athletic feel by completing the look with sneakers and while I chose black because of the way it echoed the narrow stripes in the dress, you could easily swap them out for colored sneakers and use it as a way to get one more color into the palette (purple anyone? :). If you’re sitting there with your hand up about to mention that you have no striped dresses of any kind, fear not. I hear your wish. All you really need is a suitably Rep-ish canvas to build your rainbow on. Start with a t-shirt dress, a casual sheath, a tee paired with a denim pencil skirt or distressed shorts. Keep the whole shebang neutral (blue denim totally counts as a neutral). Add Taylor-approved booties as per ^ there. And as with the simple striped dress, complete the look with rainbow accessories: glittering rainbow belts work, multi-hued earrings work, rainbow scarves work. Alternatively, grab a rainbow’s worth of mono-hued scarves and twist them together to create a rainbow piece. Use it in place of a belt, or add knots all along the twist and tie the ends together to create a DIY infinity scarf. I hope this inspires you to get your rainbow on sometime soon and experiment with the lighter, brighter side of Reputation. Happy styling, loves!
Taylor’s End Game mv is jam-packed with great looks. This combination is a twist on one of my favorites: a sparkling oversized hoodie paired with fierce moto boots. Like, yaaaaaas, girl! Doing the look irl probably is going to call for pants in most situations. If you’re re-creating it with Taylor’s casual street vibe, reach for an interesting legging (think one with paneling, track stripes, leather accents – anything that’s a touch beyond standard, plain knits (although, those can do in a pinch. Stick with solid black if you go that route)). If you’re taking this look somewhere a bit more formal (say, the office or a night event), consider slim, cropped suit pants instead. They’ll create the right silhouette while looking a bit more polished. Swap Taylor’s plain black bandeau for a sequin tank: all the power of the glitter, lots more versatility. Use a jacket to create the cool, slouchy feel of Tay’s look. For chill versions, try a solid, sporty or patched bomber (a floral one will give a softer, more feminine effect, but is totally doable!), or a boxy denim jacket (boxy canvas pieces are fab, as well!). The key here is “oversized” – that’s what gives the look it’s effortlessness. You want something that hangs past your waist and doesn’t hug your curves. If need be, borrow one from your bf/brother/not-sure-whose-but-it-was-in-the-closet-so :). Finish this version off with ankle booties that exude toughness: biker, military, lug-soled and chunky-heeled styles are just the ticket. If you’re doing the more refined riff on the look, you’ll still want a boxier, squarer cut: think double-breasted blazer or boxy tuxedo jackets. A knit blazer is another option that can strike the right balance of refined and relaxed. Alternatively, play up the tougher attitude that defines Reputation by going with a military-style jacket. Finish this rendition with pointy-toed ankle booties (hardware welcome!). Make sure your pants end an inch or two above the top of the boot shaft, unless you’re using a mid-calf pair that you can tuck you pants into. For both versions, stay minimal with the baubletry; let your sequins do the talking. Messy-curled Taylor-hair and a couple of famous friends joining you for your own carpool karaoke = optional :). Happy styling!
Taylor Swift is one of my darlings, both for her lyrics and her fashion sense. Not only does she use fashion to express her individuality, but also each individual album. I love the way Taylor uses her clothes not only to communicate her persona as a whole, but also her current, transient moods and outlook. Girly, but glamorous dresses reflected the fresh, ladylike optimism of Speak Now, vintage fashion expressed the bittersweet intensity of Red. Coord sets were the trademark of the cool modernism and slightly acidic sagacity of 1989. Reputation is a cataclysm of bliss meeting darkness, anger and pain and her fashion reflects that, ranging from urban, punk-tinged oversized jackets, boots and camo to rainbow sequins. The breadth of the influences makes this a super fun era to be inspired by even if it’s dragging me toward some uncharted territory as a style fan. If you’re heading to one of the shows, if you’re feeling that dark-warrior vibe or if you just need a shot of that Taylor feeling in your wardrobe, stick around. We’ll be exploring ways to create several Reputation-themed looks in a series of Inspiration Boards.
One of the most eye-catching looks from the Look What You Made Me Do video featured Taylor on a throne in a stunning red maxi dress. Hers happens to be designer – if ya got one of those, by all means rock it! If not, np. Obviously, the basis for this look is a red dress, but the fabric choice is crucial. You’re looking for something drapey, flowing, fluid. Think chiffon, georgette, even jersey in a silhouette that’s to the more formal side. Avoid poplins, faille, anything stiff. Also skip collared pieces and anything that looks crisp and polished. Curve-hugging is a probably not, curve-kissing is a yes, as are blouson styles. The tone here is one of woke-up-like-this ease and movement. If you are fluid-red-dress-free, try DIYing the look of one with a maxi or midi skirt and a blouse (same fabric and silhouette rules apply. Don’t be afraid to do a color-block version with a black blouse and red skirt or vice versa, or even all black; the color adds intensity to this look, but it’s the way the fabric moves that is the essence of the styling). While the cutout/nude fabric sections of Taylor’s gown give it fierceness and luxe attitude, you don’t need that precise vibe in the dress; your shoe choice will create that effect. Metallic gold heels are the order of the day and straps are fabulous, be they minimal (like these ankle straps) or multitudinous, like Tay’s. Slides will work, sandal-booties will work, even pointy pumps can be swung (def stick with pointies; round won’t carry the same forceful vibe). If you’re fresh out of fierce metallic heels, consider fierceness in copper or bff black instead. Go gold for jewels as well (feel free to mix in rose gold, black or black-and-gold pieces if you’ve gone with those options for shoes). Anything snake should be the first thing you reach for. In lieu of that, any piece with a little edge will create the right feel for this look: spikes, studs, chains, long and slim pieces with sharpness in the design. Add a sleek hairstyle – brushed flat and side-swept like Taylors or a very un-messy low pony: the almost-harsh vibe contrasts with the softness of the clothing fabric and amps up the look. Finish the styling with a fiery red lip. And you’re… ready for it! (Whatever “it” it may be that you’re headed to :)). Happy Styling (by Reputation)!
Summer officially kicks off this holiday weekend…woohoo! Picnic season is upon us and that always makes me ridiculously happy, partly because this is when I switch my closet over from winter and transitional looks to summer clothes and it feels like getting a whole new wardrobe. (I ttly recommend doing this even if you love in a place that doesn’t have drastic seasonal changes. Take about half your clothing and set it aside for six months (give or take) and don’t wear it at all. Then, switch out what you’ve been working with and use primarily the items you put aside. It’s such a great perspective-refresher.) And speaking of refreshers ..and refreshments (does that actually make a segue? I’m not sure, but I’m going with it :)), who’s headed to a picnic this weekend? I’ve got a fancier-than-usual event on my calendar this year, so while I often go with denim for casual, al fresco meals, this year I’m leaning toward a dress. I love clean, classic colors to kick off the summer, so red, ivory, navy and cobalt are first in my thoughts for color stories. With the strength of the athleisure trend, a sport-inspired number like this knit piece with its stripe-embellished bottom walks the perfect current-classic line. Any knee-length knit piece will give you a similar vibe: think cotton terry sheaths, polo dresses or ….. Stay impromptu tennis-match-ready by putting your hair in a pony of any height and adding statement earrings or leave it loose and go jewelry-free. Keep the look semi-fancy by completing it with flat sandals or wedge espadrilles. If you’re dreaming of denim for the weekend (and I can’t blame you ;)), consider going with an on-trend denim skirt instead of jeans. Pencil, pleated or A-line: it’s all good, so pick your passion. Get the summer vibe going by topping it with a striped tee or polka dot blouse. Put your hair in a messy bun for a casually polished vibe and finish the look with of-the-moment mules or block-heeled sandals. Thinking you might get drafted to the wiffle-ball team? Got ya covered! Stay competition-ready (or at least look like you are ;)) with track pants. I love going with brights on the bottom, but neutrals will 100% work too. Keep them from being too laidback by adding a polo shirt on top (leave the top button or two undone for an unstudied air). Alternatively, consider a minimalist bodysuit or a polished tank with a sporty detail (think halter-necks or racerbacks). If yours is a close-fitting silhouette, tuck it in. For a looser-fitting piece, style it with a half-tuck. Finish the look with sneakers. Cute baseball cap (either your own, or stolen…erm “borrowed”) optional. If you’re craving a dash of shine, go for an oversize metal watch. If you’re not feeling sporty at the moment, get inspired by festival vibes instead: top beige (or any other light neutral) chino shorts with a light-wash denim button-down (chambray and blue oxford-cloth will create similar vibes). Wear it half-tucked for a slouchy look, or knot it high or low for a sexier, 70’s feel. Alternatively, tuck it in with only the lowest-showing button done up and layer a lace (or crochet-detailed) cami underneath. Complete the look with neutral ankle booties and add earthy jewelry: tigers’ eye pieces, pendant necklaces set on silk or leather cords, a leather cuff. Let your hair blow in the wind. I hope this gets your summer-fashion inspiration flowing and that you have a fabulous time at whatever event(s) you’re heading to this weekend. Happy Memorial Day!
Thank you to all those who have served or are currently doing so; we honor you!
The 90’s staple t-shirt dress is back and everywhere lately. And why not? It’s hard to top as a warm-weather go-to. Not only is it easy and comfy, it carries a laidback je ne se quoi that lends itself to a wide variety of genres making it a hyper-functional style chameleon. Reach for it for brunch dates, girls' day, picnics, shopping, casual work days...and the list goes on. Add bright sneakers and a baseball cap for athleisure vibes. Alternatively, go full-on 90’s with black converse and a choker ;). The piece swings easily boho territory with the addition of suede ankle booties, statement earrings and a long pendant necklace. Consider a porkpie hat and a fringed vest for a deeper foray into the genre. Or, take your look in a classic chic direction with a waist belt and ballet flats; the minimalist dress silhouette gives a breezy vibe to sophisticated accessories for a perfect pairing of high and low.
It has been raining a lot…as in LOT around here lately and, as much as I love my stilettos, perpetual puddle jumping does eventually make me begin to question the wisdom of them. Ditto sneakers…nothing worse than running around with squelchy, wet feet all day. What I usually do is wear something practical (slightly hideous? :)), but waterproof and then carry my heels in a tote so I can change at my destination. Still, some days are crazy enough where ya just don’t feel like doing the big shoe reveal. That is when you need a pair of cute rain boots that you can just be warm and fairly stylish in all day.
Enter, the classic: Hunters. They are a staple in the closet of every fashionista and fashion blogger and for good reason. They’re durable, do their job and come a range of fun colors. The higher shaft on the tall boot (16”, compared to most other brands’ 14-15”) gives them a more stylish vibe than most. A couple notes: if you’re in between sizes, size down, as they run a tad large. Also, over time, the boots can develop a powdery finish, which is characteristic of quality, natural rubber. Hunter makes a buffer and a shine that can restore the original finish. Hunter makes a shorter version as well if tall shafts aren’t your thing or boot-weight is crucial for you. Equally awesome brand UGG makes a short boot as well in an array of fabulous colors (coral, lilac, aqua, oh my!). In the ankle boot category comes in the most fab rain boot I’ve ever seen: the Hurricane from Jeffrey Campbell with a slightly squared toe and block heel. Like omg..an actual, fashion boot done in rain material! #Bliss If the multi-silver glitter doesn’t have you drooling, there is also cobalt blue, apple red, orange, lemon yellow (yum!) and clear. Are you running for your credit card yet? :). Note: the edge of the ankle on this pair has a tendency to rub if you go bare in these; plan to add socks below. On a more classic front is the Tally from Ralph Lauren. I love the red gusset though –what a super-fun bit of spice that is! Last up is the Tinsley from Sam Edelman, which bridges fun and practical with a low heel, pull-on style and dark but cute colors: this sangria shade as well as navy and olive. There’s also one light shade: a pretty dove gray.
1. Hunter Tall, Hunter Tall Floral (cuz who doesn't need flowers on a rainy day?!),Hunter Tall in Starcloud (multi-glitter on black. Glitter = heart eyes ) via Zappos
2. Hunter Tall, Refined: a slimmer silhouette which I love! There are fewer colors, but they include this pretty pink and a gorge pastel powder blue
3. UGG Sienna via Zappos
4. Hurricane by Jeffrey Campbell (is it raining again or am I salivating that much? :))
5. Tally by Ralph Lauren via Zappos
6. Tinsley by Sam Edelman via 6pm
With spring comes new trends, new looks, new fashion! It’s super exciting and if you love fashion, it’s hard to step out of the cycle. Sometimes, though, circumstances are such that investments in new clothing just can’t be a priority. I was in that situation several years ago when I was very sick for a long period of time and unable to work a steady job. I just didn’t have the money to spend on fashion. One of the hardest things for me was the negativity that came from seeing things I loved and but couldn’t afford. If you’re in one of those economic periods, don’t succumb to the negativity – it’s the path to the dark side! ;) I found that instead, I needed to focus on what I did have and the things I could do. For example…
-Work with the classic pieces that are in your wardrobe. Separate out the iconic items you already own and think of it as creating a capsule collection. Pieces that never go out of style give you a solid base to work from when building looks.
-Use accessories to change up your look and keep an eye out for them in unexpected places (I ransacked my childhood dress-up jewelry box and found some surprisingly awesome pieces that worked really well). Excavate pieces you haven’t worn in awhile; an old item rediscovered can feel like something new and helps to keep you feeling creative.
-DIY where you can. I made a fun (and super simple!) pendant necklace from an old belt buckle and black cording by adding a couple of knots in appropriate places. It’s not fancy, but it’s unique and very personal. I get compliments on it every time I wear it.
-Keep your footwear clean and polished. Polish can cover scuffs and reinvigorate well-worn pairs. I found I always felt better wearing shoes that looked fresh and presentable – a lesson I’ve made use of even now that I’ve been back working for a few years.
-Treat yourself to some inexpensive new item now and again. Stick with pieces that are likely to have lower price points: tops, jewelry, scarves, shoes as opposed to investment items like overcoats or suits . Make it an “unbirthday” gift to yourself, or a treat for accomplishing something worthwhile (finishing a project, getting to the gym every day for a week, sending out ten resumes). It doesn’t have to cost a lot to have something new to enjoy that satisfies the desire for freshness and helps release that feeling of being trapped by not having a lot of money. Think of it as buying really well instead of being on a limited budget. Having a positive concept associated with what you’re doing makes it feel completely different than looking at it negatively.
-When you do that, have a spend-limit in mind and shop for new additions only in particular places, curated to help you stay within budget. I would only let myself look at sale items, nothing new. I would sort items by price and stop looking at anything over my spend-limit.
-Don’t give up on style – keep challenging yourself. If you have pieces you find difficult or rarely wear, try to find ways to make them work. I figured out so much about layering during this time in my life because I was so desperate for something different that I kept playing with pieces I never had time to figure out how to use before. Also, stop saving pieces for special occasions and work them into your wardrobe; it can feel like a massive option-expansion when they’re suddenly on the table. Toss a jacket over a formal dress and add boots to dress it down. Grab those gorgeous satin evening sandals and pair them with jeans. Also, be aware of your go-tos and consciously try something different. If you wear a lot of jewelry habitually, try going bauble-free. If you rarely wear it, try layering it up. Try color combinations you ordinarily wouldn’t – if you live in neutrals, create a look entirely without them. If you’re always all about color, try wearing monochromatic black. Also, try layering in unexpected ways: a sweater under a sleeveless dress, a cropped piece over something longer. Or, give your accessories new jobs: wear a scarf around your wrist or waist instead of at your neck, use a brooch as the closure for a cardigan or jacket.
-To help with all of that, keep yourself inspired. Don’t tune fashion out, but look for places that offer inspiration for using what you already have. Instead of retailer blogs or magazines that tend to be about the latest everything, look to fashion bloggers (insert shameless plug for Diva-Fierce here, if you choose :)…Sea of Shoes would be one of my top choices as well) and style icons. The right bloggers connect you to wearable, functional street fashion and the icons connect you to classic style.
Please don’t let a lack of funds make you feel like you can’t be stylish. Creativity, experimentation and a real love for and appreciation of fashion are all free! Keep trying things and having fun. Style isn’t about expenditure; it’s about what you put together and how you wear it; you can do that at any budget.
One of Givenchy’s trademark looks was tailored skirt suits. Audrey Hepburn wore a slew of them in How To Steal A Million; her sophisticated character, Nicole Bonnet, seems to have closet full, ranging from a gorgeous citron set to a lemon yellow ensemble to a patterned tan wool pairing to a chic navy number. It’s that fabulous navy that caught me this time around, especially styled as it is with bright white accessories – so perfect for right now! Givenchy’s suits generally incorporated pencil skirts, so definitely feel free to go that refined, sophisticated route with this look. I can totally see Kate Middleton or Meghan Markle doing exactly that! I chose to re-imagine the styling with a bit of a twist – the idea of a skirt suit rather than precisely a skirt suit. I love the concept of adding a contrast to the pulled-together polish of a blazer: a dash of femininity via a tulle skirt, a touch of laidback Americana with denim midi or some extra movement with a pleated piece. All three stay chic, while bringing an unexpected element to the classic blazer that makes it feel softer and freer. This double breasted version has a powerful and somewhat masculine vibe due to its nautical beginnings. It’s major on-trend at the moment and definitely worth giving some air time to. On the other hand, all of these variants work wonderfully with a single-breasted blazer as well. Echo Audrey’s white collar by layering a button-down below it. Add simple earrings in the metal tone that matches your blazer’s buttons – think round studs, minimalist geometric pieces or rope knots that enhance the nautical vibe . (If your blazer has non-metallic buttons, just pick your favorite metal, or go with pearls). Finish the look with white pointy-toe flats or kitten-heeled pumps. (Chic white hat optional :)) If you haven’t yet added white shoes to your wardrobe, nbd – consider navy, metallic, nude or never-fail-you black as alternatives. Also, if you're navy-blazer-free or navy-skirt-free, try this with any closely-matched neutrals. I hope this inspires you to give a skirt-suit(ish) look a try sometime soon! I can’t promise you’ll meet an attractive, art-fraud investigator when you do…but looking insanely sophisticated definitely can’t hurt your chances ;). Happy styling!
Brie (Hi!) More re: me under About. I'm the moving spirit behind this little life-meets-fashion fairy tale world, the home of my non-wrestling-related style musings and loves.