I've come to love the simplicity of one-piece dressing, especially during the warmer months and, although I've never been a head-over-stilettos-for-prints kind of girl, I finally was seduced by the florals trend :). I've loved the addition of some non-solid pieces in my wardrobe; they bring depth and character...and they're soooo pretty! Because who doesn't want to feel like a walking garden? Even so, I can never escape my need to temper their vibe in some way, to add some more or less subtle shading to the statement my outfit makes. Completing the outfit with suede or leather ankle boots adds an edge to the sweetness of the florals. Take into boho territory with fringed pairs or Western-themed pieces. Give the look some rocker attitude with studded, buckled or other hardware-infused pieces. Add a backpack or crossbody bag in a coordinating material to reinforce the statement. Alternatively, bring a sporty twist to the styling by adding sneakers. I love the idea of pulling one of the colors in the print for a bright, fun look. Neutrals will do nicely as well! Add a baseball cap and/or oversized watch to complete the chill vibes. One of my favorite – and super simple! – options is to balance florals’ dressier vibe with casual block-heeled mules or wedge espadrilles in a classic neutral. The less formal shoe choice grounds the look, compared to the polished vibe of pumps or the sultry beauty of heeled sandals. Enhance that vibe with a coordinating belt – breezy tasseled or braided pieces, or sleek solid leather –or laidback statement earrings (think simple metal geometrics or matte beaded pieces, more than crystal or gemstones). And voila – done! Can’t get any easier than that :). And now is the time to enjoy easy…because layering season is right around the corner! Happy styling!
So much of fashion is about getting the balance in a mix of pieces just right! It can be about colors, it can be about textures and it can be about formality. The last is one of my favorite themes to play with! I've been loving wearing skirts all through the humid weather, but this morning I needed to make a stop before heading into work which made a skirt an impossible choice. My original thought was go simple and, since I was picking up product, practical: jeans and tee. I chose a more refined knit tee with a slim silhouette instead of a super-relaxed, broken-in version. The pairing still had to be spiced up a bit, though, even for my casual office. Heels were my first choice. They immediately raise the bar of an outfit. I wanted something summery - I'm trying to make the most of this last, glorious month! - so I was leaning toward denim ankle strap wedges with a cork heel. A mirror check made me realize that even with the heels, the look was a little shy of coming off breezily pulled together. My next thought was “add a necklace!”. I have tons of them, but a fair few are heavy on the sparkle (what can I say? #ShinyObjects #Magpie) and that felt kind of extra with the casual vibe of my shoes. I wasn't keen on doing the 'contrasting color' vibe either, as I'd done that just last week and I like to change things up. Bracelets seemed like not enough, a jacket like a layer too many. I finally settled on a scarf knotted loosely at chest-height, first discarding a floral one as more pattern than I wanted, and then selecting a simple linen piece in a more pastel version of my tee color. I could have left things there, with the very color-blocked feel of having all blue denim below and purple on top, but I gravitate fiercely toward carrying color throughout an outfit, especially with un-complex two-tone stylings. I ended up swapping the denim cork heels for another touch of purple: patent leather pumps in a clean lilac hue. I love the dimension created by mixing shades of the same color family in this way! While not having quite the summer feeling of the denim ankle-straps, the pumps elevated the look a bit more, something I found appealing due to the casual nature of my scarf. (Had I gone with a more formal scarf (e.g. printed silk) I would likely have stayed with the denim shoes or leaned toward the lesser formality of light neutral espadrilles as a counterpoint. The layering of these subtly contrasting graduations of formality brings a lot more punch to what initially seems like a very basic look. The interplay between high and low – despite the differences being within a very few degrees of each other - conveys intention and prevents the ensemble from coming off haphazard, giving the look the je ne se quoi I always crave. It's so fascinating to me how slight alterations in the pieces selected affect the qualities of a look so greatly!
I've mentioned previously how much I enjoy wearing skirts in the summer, especially longer ones that I can throw a pair of capri leggings underneath and feel both comfortable and feminine at the same time. Lately, I've settled into a particular combination that's become both a favorite and almost a uniform: a maxi skirt paired with a plain, basic tee. It's an easy combination that offers plenty of room for variety and is fun to wear - there's just something about the flow and movement of a long skirt :). Pair a blue top with a lilac skirt for a symphony of blues. Try a laidback, sporty gray heather piece with sweet textured lace. Contrast bright stripes with classic black for a moodier take on summer. I've especially been attracted to combinations involving less refined, slightly boxy tees with broad, ribbed trim. The key to the look (and keeping it casual-office appropriate, if, like me, you choose to wear it to work) is to pair those super-casual tops with a more formal skirt: pleated pieces, ones with a sheen to the fabric (or even sequins :), eyelet or tulle confections). Save the super-beachy knits and crinkle-fabrics and for another day. A fully tucked tee works perfectly for skirts with a structured material and/or non-elastic waistbands. Or, try my favorite styling method: knotting the tee at the side-center of your waist (approximately below where my shoulder and collar bone meet). (PS this looks fabulous on elastic-waist pieces, since it ups their formality by camouflaging the elastic). Center-front and back knots work quite nicely too! Use the knot to dictate where the waist of the tee falls: at the same height as the skirt’s waistband for a classic look, lower for a slouchier and slightly blouson effect, higher if you’re in a situation where you can show off some skin (or throw a cami underneath and get that color-block thing working for you). The cami layered below is also your friend if you’re giving this a try with one of those infamous see-through tees. One last styling note: if you're a fan of cap sleeves (or just need them shorter for reasons), def consider rolling your sleeves - it s great way to add casual polish and create more visual curve by accenting your shoulders. And now, to shoes! Shoes are crucial for this styling. The look sets up a dynamic of equally weighted formality-informality and your footwear should walk a similar line. Chunky-heeled sandals are my top choice with wedge espadrilles hot on their heels (har har :)). Mules are an on-trend way to capture that chill-meets-polished vibe. Other options include boots of nearly any variety and, if your skirt isn't super formal, sneakers (yes to sneaks with stripes, less yes to sneaks with lace - not saying it's c'est impossible, just a bit trickier to make cohesive. Flat sandals are 100% acceptable as well - think more "leather slide" than "flip-flop". Happy styling, loves!
I tend to fall into a red, white and blue palette around Fourth of July; it just seems like the right way to pay tribute to the holiday. I had a plan to wear my new navy cotton skirt, but when I put it on, i hated the way the waist fit. So, basically, it fit fine when I first tried it on and it doesn't now. I'm convinced my body sometimes switches out parts in the night for a joke. Switching smoothly into plan number two (and skipping over the amazement that it even exists considering the desperate state of my current laundry pile), I reach for an 80's pleated denim skirt with a dropped waist, stolen from my Mom some years ago (sorry, Mom :)). Fabulous…with a few issues (naturally). I need to wear a longer top with it because 1: otherwise, the drop-waist gives it an odd bell shape and 2) I have to camouflage the fact that I leave the top button un-done because the waist is a pinch too small for me (waist issues seem to be the order of the day - *cue goofy waist/waste pun, like 'I'll be joining the Campaign To End Waist shortly'*). Happily the one *clean*, slim, blue cotton tee I have left in my life is of the longer variety. Unhappily, when paired with this skirt, it gives me a look that is a significantly less stylish version of this Audrey Hepburn's cleaning-lady vibe in How To Steal A Million. Of course, she was intended to look nondescript in that scene and my intention was to …not. Cue screeching halt. Basically, I need to tuck the tee in to define the waist but also leave it out for the reasons described above. After a few muffled curses, a glance at my phone to check the time, followed by eye-roll, a frantic/panicked closet search begins, guided by the crucial need for a higher visual waist. The answer? A belt over the tee, which creates a slight blouson/peplum effect. Totally game changing. I go from "WHAT am I wearing?" to "I like my outfit" (*heart eyes*). It's amazing what one right accessory can do! Add coordinating strappy heels and I'm off to hone my skills of Slightly Manic Traffic Navigation For the Excessively Late.
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!
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.