After raving over Naomi's recent photoshoot in this dress, I realized it would make a super-cute look to re-create for heading back to school (or back to work ;)..or both!). The basic part of the look is as easy as it gets: grab your nearest little black dress. If it has a special detail, like the sheer panel in Naomi's piece, fabulous. If not, nbd - it will work just as well as a backdrop anyway. It's the accessories and additions that make this styling special; this is where you get to inject all the personality. First item for consideration: baubles! Naomi accessorized her look with that insanely adorable pom pom ring a pair of golden cuff bracelets. If you have a furry ring, totally go for it - this is about being quirky and playful! Alternatively, reach for a statement ring that's not too formal, a flower in a gorgeous color, a crystal animal, anything that's not super-traditional and that you happen to love. Or, skip the ring entirely and go with a playful pair of statement earrings in a saturated shade. For bracelets, you can definitely capture the spirit of this look with just one - try a bright leather cuff or a neon bangle in one o Naomi's signature shades: lime, sherbet orange, hot pink or aqua.. Any colorful piece that's laidback and funky will work nicely. (Hint: if you don't have a bright bangle, wrap a bright belt, necklace or small scarf around your wrist instead). Next order of business: shoes! Naomi went with strappy, gold heels which elevated the outfit. Echo that concept in a more casual way with metallic sneakers or simple flats -think breezy loafers or chic pointed ballets. If you're off to school, finish this off with a whimsical backpack that riffs on the spirit of Naomi's "Vroom" clutch. If your back is firmly parked in the un-whimsical lot, you can whims it up by safety-pinning on faux flowers, adding brooches or attaching bag charms to the zippers. For a more professional variation, go with a classic black bag and let your jewelry do the talking. Oh...and your nails! We must not forget the nails! Naomi added an extra shot of color via her sunflower yellow nails that was abso maje. Pick your fave bright shade (metallic and glitter 100% allowed!) and paint away. It may seem like a lot of color, but with the black dress as the look's centerpiece and focal point, all the little touches of color come off joyous and spunky, so be fearless! Note: fearless nail shades completely encouraged for school ensembles as well. Happy styling!
If you've been craving the palette-cleansing effect of an all (or mostly all) white ensemble, now's the time! Draw some inspiration from Cathy's look and start with a simple piece: a sheath dress with a cutout, a breezy denim mini dress, or a ruffled knit frock. White monochrome combos like a tee and flared jeans or a feminine blouse and pencil skirt are 100% workable starting points as well. The key to a super-clean, blank canvas look like this is the accessories. Theprimary trend for this summer is white everything, including shoes and bags, which keeps the styling really brisk and refreshing. If you're going that route, make sure to add visual interest to the look with a contrasting texture - think eyelet or lace espadrilles with denim, or a sheer/semi-sheer blouse (and suitable underlayer ;)) with knit track pants. Add a pure white bag, or bring in tiny hints of soft color by choosing one with embroidery or appliqué. This one happens to be Fendi, but if dropping nearly three grand on a bag isn't something you feel like doing (I mean, geez, why not? ;)), get a plain white one and add your own flowers by pinning on silk flower heads (most will pop right off the step, but wire cutters work too). It'll look just as fab and it'll be the colors and styles you choose. (Hint: flatter flowers, like sunflowers, dahlias, anemones and zinnias will translate most easily. Stay away from rose *buds*. Fully open roses can work, though - the less upwardly poofy and more open, the better.
As fall approaches, adding touches of black to the predominantly white outfit has become a stronger trend. Consider incorporating a piece which includes black in the design (black shoulder ties or neck bows, for example), or add a black belt or bag and shoes. No need to get crazy with the complements - just one or two pieces are all you need to create the iconic contrast.
Alternatively, bring more colors to the look by choosing two coordinating hues and doing an accessory in each. I love the idea of using one pastel and one stronger shade: blush with bright aqua, powder blue with azalea, butter with grape, mint with cobalt. The softer color recedes somewhat compared to the bolder one, so the overall effect is softer, but very summer-ready. Work with a bag and shoes, shoes and jewels, a scarf and bracelet, a belt and a hat -pretty much any two accessories are all you need to create the vibe. Tie is all together with a multicolored third piece if that appeals to you ...or don't! The look works either way, so pick your passion :) Happy styling!
How do you make the sophisticated venom of an editorial work for actual life? These are the kind of style perplexities that occupy the fashionista in my brain. Barbie's incredible python-printed wrap dress with its charmeuse accents is an incredible mix of color and pattern with a rippling undercurrent of luxury and danger. Barbie plays against the purple-tinged black shades of the print with her flame lipstick, giving the whole look a hypnotic easy sophistication. It's a complex, intense concept to translate from page and screen to the real world. The trick is to smudge certain elements, while retaining the punch. If you're the brilliant and stylish owner of a python wrap dress, this would be the time to dig it out :). Add red heels and lips - and maybe a black satin sash :) - and you're good to go. But, if not, well...there's more than one way to skin a snake (metaphorical comment - no snakes were harmed by this phrasing. Promise!). Color swapping opens up a lot more options: try a red dress of any simple iteration. You're looking for a plain-canvas type of piece which relies on its vibrant color for effect. A wrap piece will do, as will an unembellished sheath or A-line. Avoid frills (ruffles, lace, etc). The more edited the silhouette, the more powerful a backdrop it will be for the coup de grace: your snake-print heels. The black and white combo makes a big statement and serves as a bold, fresh twist on standard black, white or nude. No snake-print pumps? Try a snake belt, or snake-printed scarf as a sash or choker. Finish with edgy black sandal booties. None of the above? Recreate the vibe with another black-and-white pattern, like chic stripes, racy zebra, dramatic harlequin checks - almost any daring and/or strident black-and-white pattern will do. Or, go with a warmer but equally fierce variation using leopard accessories. Alternatively, choose a black, charcoal or white dress based on the above-outlined principles. Red lip. Red sash or belt, printed shoes (or vice versa!). Super-sleek hair please: pin-straight and face-framing, slicked back, chignon. This is also a flawless spot to play with a smoky eye or deep plum nails (or both! ;)). I hope this inspires you to inject a bit of venom into one of your upcoming looks :) Happy fashioning !
The maxi dress is such a great summer outfit - so easy, work appropriate or play appropriate, simple to change from day to night and cray comfy. Prints just make it that much more fun. Florals, dots, toiles: they all add a different vibe to
the standard monochrome look. They also open up some new ground for throwing in that twist that creates the stylish je ne se quoi that makes a look stand out. The way Charlotte took this semi-floral print dress and made it work overtime by dressing down with flat sandals is a look I can totally get behind! Don't you just get so tired of pants sometimes? A maxi makes a great way to change things up. Char went with a simple metallic thong, which works perfectly with the femme, floaty vibe of her cap-sleeve, full-length piece. It's easy to gravitate to certain neutrals; I reach for metallics plenty often myself. And here, their shine hits just the right balance of fancy and carefree. On the other hand, you can easily branch out into more unusual pairings. While a neutral is a safe choice with a multi-colored floral, you can make a bigger splash by choosing one of the colors in the print for your shoe shade. Don't fear a tangential tone, either. The red in this dress is quite muted, but a vibrant cherry tone looks fab and makes a distinctive statement. So, fire things up: accent soft spring green with bright lime, pale aqua with neon turquoise, light mauve with magenta.
The obvious choice for this black and blue print would be a black sandal. Chic, but who hasn't done it? And it takes the look in a more somber direction. For a lighter, summery twist, consider a so-hot-right-now bright white sandal instead. Go with a fierce, strappy style that brings some attitude, or a try carefree espadrille. The contrast of the white against the blue and black gives the look a big pop. A standout color (think orange, bright pink, yellow) would work similarly.
Or, do a neutral... but an unexpected one! Instead of pairing this polka dot dress with classic navy or white, go with a jute-toned shoe. Give it a vintage beach-resort vibe with sandals, or a modern cool-girl feel via sneakers.
Whatever you choose, try making a shoe change-up part of it. Think of what you usually do and wear anything but. Surprise yourself. Experiment! And have fun :) Happy styling, loves!
Any time I get a chance to involve yellow in anything, I'm probably going to do so :). Therefore, it's no surprise that Emma's printed dress had me salivating over recreating some variations of it. It's my fashion philosophy that yellow goes with anything and everything, but if you're a bit more leery of the color (heeeyy..it's ok...you can come out of the farthest-possible-place-from-the-yellowness-in-the-closet now), blue is a great complementary shade to begin with for mixing. There's a subliminal sun-and-sky comfort level with the pairing that just makes it accessible and easy to play with. One option for doing this is the throw-and-go way by donning a printed dress a la Emma that contains said color combo. You don't have to do the yellow shoes (but you totally can if you want to :)). Go for full-on summer brightness by finishing the look with cobalt heels, or go with a bright bag instead. For neutrals on your feet, consider trendy white, classic navy (pulls out the blue in the print in subtler way) or the ubiquitous but still scalding hot nude tones. Similar principles apply if you're working with a skirt. Don't forget about yellow stripes or dots - breaking up the hue with this kind of print is a nice way to break into using the shade. Hint: if yellow on top feels like too much, go with blue or a classic neutral from within the print and add a yellow belt or wide bangle. You still get the sunshine-y effect of the color, but it's subtler. You don't need a ton of yellow to spark a look - a little goes a long way :). You can achieve something similar by doing yellow on the bottom via a skirt or colored denim...or wide-leg pants. That gives you aaaaaaalllll the attention-getting brilliancy without any worries about it clashing with your coloring. Along those lines, I will note that I find clean yellows (i.e., those created through being mixed with white, ivory or orange) are much easier and more forgiving to wear than the generally more common dusty/vintage-looking shades with brown or green as an undertone. (Olive-y yellows I find to be especially troublesome). Tip: the "clean" shades are usually brights, but can include pastels , for example, the color of butter. One last combo I'm a huge fan of is yellow with blue denim of any variation. It feels like a neutral so it can simplify pairings and styling choices, but still has that bedrock blue-yellow synergy. I hope this inspires you to try mixing blue and yellow sometime soon :) Happy styling!
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Brie: shoe-lover :) fashion-lover and generally glamorous semi-dork
Photos used for criticism and comment under US Copyright Act Section 107.