Our Fashion Editor-At-Large, Sissy Sainte-Marie, shares her current obsessions.
DANNY DUNCOMBE CERAMICS
The series of one-of-a-kind pieces by self-taught ceramic sculptor Danny Duncombe is aptly named As Above So Below to reflect “the link between exterior appearance and interior experience”. I do wish I could live inside of one of them. Maybe someday he’ll do large scale series, such a subdivision of homes, based on his sculptures. dannyduncombe.com
Not planning to try it. Just curious to see how this new trend for treating anxiety and depression pans out.
CARLY JO MORGAN STUDIO
Speaking of psychedelics, Carly Jo Morgan, is one person who seems to have been born microdosing. In addition to having the world’s cutest haircut at the moment, she also has an amazing mind that comes up with the dopest furniture of this century. carlyjomorgan.com
I’m a skeptic when it comes to beauty products and a champ at resisting pretty packaging and promises of miracles, but I’m a sucker for science, technology and proven lab results. So last month, when I was desperate for some real-deal anti-aging help, I went to Los Feliz Med Spa to try Thermage, a non-invasive cosmetic procedure which uses radio frequency energy to improve skin elasticity and firmness by stimulating new collagen production over a period of four to six months. So by my 43rd birthday this September, I expect to be a dead ringer for Elvira Hancock.
Thanks to The Gentlewoman for putting her on their cover last year, I discovered my new favorite writer. During fall I read White Teeth and Swing Time back to back and now I’m on to NW. This spring, I look forward to making my way through every word she’s ever written.
I’m rediscovering another oft-turbaned totem of mine whose LIVE cassette I once listened to exclusively, on repeat, nonstop, for an entire summer, pre-Y2K. Twenty years later and still no other pop star has come close to her wokeness, her songwriting, her delivery, her inimitable style, or her ability to lead with her brains and courage rather than her sexuality, even when she’s buck naked. Well, except Solange of course.
Photo courtesy of Everett Collection
THE RULES OF MAGIC: SOMEDAY SERMONS
Alan Phillips’ “Someday Sermons” are newletter nirvana. These quick reads “combining real world experience, philosophy, creativity, and spirituality to assist and inspire individuals and organizations on their journey of manifesting their magic and achieving sustainable fulfillment” keep it trill and keep me going. therulesofmagic.com
I love when people follow through on ideas I’d never have the gumption to put the blood, sweat, tears, and hours into. Big ups to Lauren Coleman, Sarah Kissell and Tiff Horn for manifesting Dunes Magazine. “Dunes celebrates Palm Springs, capturing the women who continue to live the elegance of a bygone age.” dunes.online
Yes, I’m a sets addicts and last year I wore a summer suit in the form of an Olderbrother blazemono and matching trousers every chance I had. Judging by the looks of the Spring/Summer 2017 runways and street style cognoscenti, the summer suit is still in full effect and I’m looking to add some slouchy linen and smart silk hook-ups in earthy tones to my wardrobe repertoire.
Looking for a way to break the rules with a few new ones to live by, we teamed up with Sissy Sainte-Marie last year for a series that broke us free of skin-tight jeans and body con, and made us appreciate coat season a whole lot more. If you’ve been following along, you’ve probably already met Sissy and taken a few notes. So we are beyond excited to announce this rad lady is now our Fashion Editor-at-Large. She will be penning a column every month and sharing her sage style advice, and signature deadpan. Man, we love her.
To kick things off, we compiled a few of your frequently asked questions and outfit woes for her to answer.
Q. I’VE READ A LOT THIS PAST YEAR ABOUT THE CAPSULE WARDROBE. WHAT CLOSET STAPLES SHOULD I REALLY BE INVESTING IN? – Christine, Washington, DC
A. I am a person who dreams night and day of the ease of a daily uniform and a capsule wardrobe. But, I love clothing and tend to lack impulse control in acquiring more and more of it. In my line of work I get offered a lot of gifts, store credits and trade. Sometimes I end up impulsively choosing things I never end up wearing more than once. Or I pounce feverishly on one item that goes with nothing I own and end up buying four more things to build an outfit around that thing I didn’t need in the first place. An overflowing closet paired with a depleted bank account is never a good look.
I know I’m not the only one going through this cycle of absurdity. I think the renewed focus on a capsule wardrobe is a reaction to the relentless flow of trends we are bombarded with ad nauseam. It can get to a point where we feel suffocated by our stuff and begin to radically reject the constant pressures of consumerism in order to protect our mental health, our savings and our planet. It is only natural to see an interest in buying less, choosing versatility and practicality over ephemera.
The particular items for your capsule wardrobe should be determined by your individual lifestyle, tastes, and day-to-day needs, but I can give you some guidelines for investing. I have actually been devising a point system for smarter shopping because I’m a geek like that.
– IS IT A STAPLE? CAN IT BE WORN ON A REGULAR BASIS / EVERYDAY?
– IS IT APPROPRIATE FOR A VARIETY OF OCCASIONS AND SETTINGS?
– DO YOU NEED IT RIGHT NOW?
– IS IT VERSATILE / ABLE TO BE WORN WITH AT LEAST THREE THINGS YOU CURRENTLY OWN?
– IS IT WEATHER APPROPRIATE RIGHT NOW?
Scoring: 1 point for each yes answer. Prioritize purchases accordingly.
TIER 1: 4-5 points (Example: a black turtleneck, canvas sailor pants, black ankle boots, a trench coat)
TIER 2: 3-4 points (Example: a warm coat, a white cotton shirt or blouse, vintage jeans)
TIER 3: 1-2 points (Example: low heel pump, suede sandals, a black dress)
Buy now or later? Determine what to buy now and what to save for later. I know I will need some new sandals soon, but today I’ll buy black ankle boots to replace the ones I wore to oblivion over the last two years.
Buy this one or that one? Determine what’s the most practical and durable. I had my eye on four white prairie-style blouses. I opted for the one with the least embellished neckline and I chose cotton over silk. Avoid items that require dry cleaning and feel fussy on your body or too fancy to wear in your daily life.
Is it too similar to something I already have?
Unless it’s a second black turtleneck that you need for rotation due to frequency of wear, avoid buying redundant items. Instead, purchase something that fills a gap in your wardrobe rather than say, a fourth leather bucket bag. Maybe a camel sweater, but not a forest green one, or Kamm pants in a new neutral color, if that’s what will round out your capsule wardrobe.
Is it a safeguard? Sometimes we must make precautionary purchases that will provide peace of mind when the inevitable day comes. Rain boots, sure, but more importantly heels. You’ll no doubt need a pair of heels for more formal events and occasions. Invest in a simple closed-toe pump in black. Whether or not you end up wearing them as often as loafers or boots, they will be essential in a pinch and you’ll be glad you have them handy when you get that last minute invitation. Same goes for a party-ready black dress or jumpsuit.
Is this right for my lifestyle? Can you wear beautiful flowing wide leg trousers on the daily or is a fine cotton twill more your bag? What’s the dress code at your place of employment? Do you attend a lot of meetings and events for which you need to look spiffy? Or do you need to get down and dirty at work? Be careful to not buy clothing that doesn’t suit your needs. It will end up unworn and wasting space. Buy what you’ll get the most use out of.
But…but… Do I just like it and want it despite it being completely impractical and something I’ll only wear fewer times than I can count on one hand? Sometimes a “yes” answer to this question trumps the point system, moving an item to the top of the cart. You gotta have a little fun! But these purchases are only advisable once you have your capsule wardrobe firmly in place. Without starting the cycle of suffocating consumption all over again, strive for 90% practical and 10% trophy items–or whatever ratio brings you the most peace of mind. So, if you really want that tassel choker, honey, you go and get it!
Try it now. Go fill up your Garmentory cart with anything that strikes your fancy and follow the steps outlined above. I can’t wait to see what you choose!
Q. HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN A TREND IS RIGHT FOR YOU? IT’S FUN TO TRY SOMETHING NEW BUT HOW DO YOU KNOW IF IT WORKS OR IF IT REALLY DOESN’T? – Laura, Toronto, ON
A. Well, I think it simply comes down to how you feel in it. I never thought I’d be a jeans person until I tried on the right pair. I wish I could be a sneaker person, but I’m just not feeling it, or any sportswear for that matter. But I sure love seeing it on other people who wear it well. Somewhere between being in a style rut and being a try-hard, there’s a world where comfort meets courage at the heavenly axis of our own truth. I do advise looking to runways, street style photos, print magazines and Instagram influencers for inspiration and fresh ideas. You may want to try a small fraction of them. But when you’re in front of the mirror, search for an honest feeling inside. You should always feel at ease, and unapologetically fabulous in what you’re wearing. Weather you are walking on Bic lighter heels or cushy Air Max soles, you should feel like you are walking your in your own lane. Always keep in mind this quote from Iris Apfel: “The worst fashion faux pas is to look in the mirror and not see yourself.”
Knowing who you are style-wise may take years to master through trial and error. That is why I advise trying things on just for the hell of it. How else are you supposed to know? Avoid trips to anxiety-inducing, big brick and mortar stores with their overly crammed racks, tiny dressing rooms, bad lighting, and pushy salespeople. Impulse buys under these circumstances will be a set-back on your journey. Take advantage of the sweet return policies of online retailers and order up a storm of trends so you can try whatever you want in the privacy of your own home at your leisure. Do this alone. Don’t go taking polls from your friends, family, roommates or social media followers. It needs to look and feel right to you and you alone.
What you find may surprise you. A beige linen suit that you imagined would be so conservative and mumsy on you, might feel radically fresh and unexpectedly rebellious in it’s smart simplicity once you give it a whirl. A modest, oversized dress may make you feel more dignified than dowdy. You may feel more tough and empowered in a waist cinching sundress than a borrowed-from-the-boys ensemble. That Issey Miyake that looks all crazy on the hanger might touch you in all the right ways and be your magic portal into a new style dimension. Or, you might try a bra top over a button down shirt and say, “I look like a frumpy dumb dumb.” Ah-ha moments abound with an adventurous spirit and free returns.
Q. I LOVE LOOKING AT ALL THE BRIGHT HUES DURING FASHION WEEK, BUT I HAVE A PRETTY SEVER PHOBIA OF COLOR IN MY OWN WARDROBE. HOW CAN I TRY IT AND FIND WHICH COLORS WORK FOR ME? – Shannon, Minneapolis, MN
A. Funny you should ask because I was on a similar journey in 2016. My go-to palette mostly runs the gamut from cream to beige, but like you I’ve been thinking a lot about trying to get outside the box, even dedicating a Pinterest board to colors and combos.
When I was a kid, all the moms and grandmas went to these Color Me Beautiful parties to determine their “season” which would act as a guide to which colors looked best on them. (Peach and turquoise if you were lucky in 1985.) Since you’ve already admitted to being color-phobic, taking Carole Jackson’s season analysis quiz may only serve to induce a panic attack if periwinkle and magenta show up on your swatch of advisable colors.
To start, ease into color by opting for garments and accessories in muted tones like sage green, mustard, plum, garnet and amber. These tones can act as new neutrals, pairing well with black, brown, beige and ecru currently in your closet. Evolve into brighter colors starting with accessories such as lime green sandals or an egg-yolk-yellow bag. These colors will also pair well with more traditional colors like charcoal, navy or olive, likely already in your wardrobe.
Once you’re ready to take a further plunge into bright colors, don’t start mixing it up right away. First opt for a dress or jumpsuit in a bright color that looks good on you. Remember all the chic ladies who were photographed wearing the tangerine-colored Rejina Pyo dress during fashion week? You can do it, too. Get yourself a brightly colored dress or jumpsuit to wear to an event or occasion this spring. Feel good? Feel powerful? If so, start wearing dresses and jumpsuits in similar colors for everyday. Then try pairing it with with statement footwear.
After you feel a sense of mastery with dress/shoe combinations, you’re ready to move onto separates. Try pumpkin-orange pants with a sky blue top and fire engine red shoes. (But please don’t wear khaki pants with a red top unless you work at Target.) If you’ve found your calling, you’ll soon be playing sartorial-jazz like you’re on Alessandro Michele’s Gucci catwalk, piling on prints, textiles and accessories of every hue. If, on the other hand, you felt like a Teletubby in that chartreuse pant suit you wore to your cousin’s wedding, let yourself off the hook and run back to those ride-or-die neutrals. Bright colors aren’t for everyone and that’s okay. We can’t all be as fly as Miss Frizzle. True style is about knowing what works best for you. But, at least you can say you tried.
Velvet has come in and out of our lives at about the same rate as Winona Ryder. But this year our velvet crush has finally crossed the line into timeless, and screen-stealing, territory. It’s not going anywhere and, thankfully, neither is Winona. We saw velvet take over the FW16 runways (via Marc Jacobs, Opening Ceremony, 3.1 Philip Lim and many more) and now it’s blending in IRL more than ever. This luxe fabric features on everything from slip dresses to bomber jackets to ankle boots. With so many options, we’re loving this shimmery soft fabric more than ever as it can truly give any outfit a little extra something. We’ve pulled together four of our favorite ways to wear it and we suggest you try them all seeing that this trend isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
WEAR IT SOLO
Of course velvet is the perfect fabric for a statement dress. For full wow power during the holiday party season, wear it full length with a draped dress like this Upstate Amalfi Dress.
If you aren’t really a dress girl try a matching two piece outfit. It’s still a totally polished look for the holidays, plus it can be worn as separate pieces creating endless outfit options.
WEAR IT AS A LAYER
Bring the fancy down a notch by layering a velvet dress over everyday pieces like your fave white tee. Layering this luxe fabric with a more casual texture gives it a serious chill-girl vibe.
Try it as a top layer over a more casual outfit. We love this velvet Stine Goya coat, for example. It’s the perfect way to add a touch of luxe velvet to your outfit without feeling overdressed.
WEAR IT TEXTURED
Velvet is already such a unique texture so why not up the ante and add more? We love this quilted skirt. It elevates the fabric to a whole new level.
Pleated velvet couldn’t be more beautiful. This preppy vibe is even better when paired with casual pieces like sneakers and a sweatshirt.
WEAR IT IN UNEXPECTED COLORS
Instead of the usual black, eggplant or merlot, try velvet in a bold, bright shade. It’s an unexpected way to wear the popular trend, plus it’s an easy way to brighten up those gloomy winter days.
Blush pink is another punchy, fresh color for velvet. The feminine shade creates a super soft look, which is great for all seasons.
For Finefolk founder Leslie Fray, she can’t get enough of Horses Atelier’s outerwear offerings. “Just as they do every season, the gorgeous ladies at Horses Atelier deliver timeless impeccably designed classic pieces made with the most exquisitely sourced fabrics. This season’s Alchemical Coatis no exception.”
“I love our Ilana Kohn Gary Jumpsuit because it’s a no brainer all-in-one outfit that’s effortless, comfortable, and makes a statement,” says Sunchild founder Christina Sun. “You can wear it with white sneakers during the day or with heels at night – it’s so versatile!”
“We love the versatility of a slip dress (similar here) this season; from day to night and elevated with unique, textural pieces,” says In Support Of’s Tanya Sheikh and Ivan Gilkes. Top it off with the CF. Goldman Faux Fur Mini Jacket (similar here) for texture.
For Gabby Klingman of Washington, DC’s Lynn Louisa, it’s the gold Rachel Comey Coppa heel. “Love it because: 1. It’s gold. 2. The block heel – makes it easier to walk down Georgetown’s old streets and sidewalks. 3. The style easily pairs with a variety of looks. Also excited to wear them with socks and tights as it gets colder too.”
Los Angeles in the Fall is all about layers for Myrtle’s Whitney Bickers. “We love fall as an excuse to layer up and layer on the color!” she says. “This Kindah Khalidy painted patternis such a great jumping off point and the combination of a tank and a sweater cape works for LA’s ‘fall’ temps.”
“The perfect, perfect pair of vintage Levi’s (similar here) reworked to perfection by Re/Done,” the Toronto boutique’s Sydney Wills divulges on her essential item. “I will be wearing these every single day until forever.”
For Karyna Schultz of Vancouver boutique Neighbour/Woman, it’s all about outwear with a bit of history stitched in. “I love the Trademark Star Quilt coat,” she says. “I’m a sucker for a good coat, but none are as special as this one. The Burch sisters were inspired by American Arts + Crafts, and it comes through in this piece, where they lifted the quilting pattern from a book about the subject and enlarged it enough to be almost abstract. Plus, it feels almost like a bathrobe, which is always a good thing!”
Olivia Perez, from LA boutique NONNA, has a few must-haves this season. “I chose these particular pieces because there is a uniform sort-of quality to the outfit,” she explains. “I feel like if I could, I would wear this outfit everyday of my life. I like the Victorian-era feeling of the high-collar on the Horses Atelier blouseand the Wolcott : Takemoto skirt fits like a glove. The A Détacher Cara Pumps are a shoe that I had at NONNA last year and I loved them so much I brought them back for this Fall/Winter as well.”
The Delfina Balda Delia Dress (similar here) is the ultimate in versatility for Laura Uhlir of the Austin, Texas boutique Olive. “I’m digging this piece for its ease and flexibility,” she says. “Wear it snapped and cinched as a dress, or open and layered as a jacket. It’s tough to overload on denim because it’s so durable and easy to dress up or down. Bonus points for the cool horn buckle belt this beaut comes with.”
“Obviously, as is with every season, choosing only one single item that is the key piece for the season is almost impossible,” says Michelle Rizzando, from Vancouver’s One Of A Few. “We have so many loved items. We recently did a photo shoot with some of our fall arrivals and two key pieces stood out. We all want them and can’t wait to add them to our wardrobes. First pictured with a Horses Atelier pullover (similar here) is the petite Alistair from Clare V. (similar here). The green color is really neutral, the design is impeccable and the shape is playful and wearable.”
“Second the MNZ Penelope heelis a need for all outfits this fall,” Michelle continues. “We’ve shown it with a Jesse Kammdress but you can easily wear these with denim, shorts, skirts and jumpsuits. They are incredibly comfortable and easy to walk in for a whole day of work and straight out for dinner. We pictured the warm white color here but a pop of color is always fun!!”
Reality Studios’ Roger Coat makes an appearance on the list for Parc’s Megan Jensen. “A statement coat is our favorite piece for Fall/Winter,” she says. “We’re loving the structural and timeless styles from Reality Studios. The Roger Coat (in yellow or black) is seasonless – pull it out next year and it will still feel interesting, yet classic.”
“For fall the whole staff is OBSESSED with our new line 7115 by Szeki,” gushes Cecilia Marquez from Houston boutique Saint Cloud. “Many of her pieces are designed to be worn a variety of ways and give you a completely different look depending on how you chose to style them. We <3 versatility, plus her fabrics and draping are exceptional. These are the pieces we are living in this season.”
Leslie Hamilton, client service associate for Brooklyn boutique Swords-Smith, has a few things on her radar.”I love the tonality of this look. The Kowtow Koeing pants are this amazing rich chocolate/cinnamon (yum) color that feels very unique and pairs so well with the clay-rose color of the Pari Desai top,” she says. “The cut of the armhole and neckline on the Leila mock neck tank are really flattering on almost everyone and have a slimming effect. The Koeing pants sit perfectly just above the natural waist, accentuating the smallest part of you and then go straight out from there. Both pieces are extremely comfortable and easy to wear! The Reinhard Plank Nana hat adds the finishing touch.”
“The Rib Roll Neck dress from Kowtow is such a strong piece,” she continues. “Worn on its own it can be totally fancy or completely casual – its all up to you. I also love the straight fit of it. Paired with the amazing green Xiong puffer cocoon coat adds some edge to the look. I love the bright orange lining and the little bit that peeks out around the sleeve openings, really highlighting the shape. It also has the deepest pockets, which we all love. Completing the look is the metallic silver Cylinder One bag from Welcome Companions. Her theme this season was outer space and this sort of feels like a time capsule. It totally appeals to my inner alien.”
“Comfort is really key here with this all-Rodebjer look,” she adds. “The Dalia sweater is such a wearable, everyday piece but has this especially amazing shape to it that drapes perfectly. Not to mention its made of 100% the softest cotton. I love the crop of the Mina jeans here as well. As a girl with curves, I find that jeans can sometimes be the most difficult item in your wardrobe to find. These have an elevated feel with a wide leg and dart details on the front. The Valentine sunnies by Sunday Somewherehave this amazing reflective lens that sort of make you the headlights as opposed to the deer in them – in the best way possible, of course! They’re a strong and powerful style.”
“We have so many great pieces in already it was hard to choose one!” exclaims Sami Barker, from Vancouver’s Umeboshi. “I love the weight and feel of this necklace (similar here), a super light and soft linen and boucle braid is weighed down by a stunning brass bell. There are little hammer details on the bell which has a wonderful look. Casual but so elegant. The Eloise bag is a classic shape from The Stowe (similar here). Her new Italian aniline leathers in these stunning jewel tones step it up a few notches – so luxurious! I’m holding it as a clutch to accentuate it’s beautiful shape. The Elfin loafers from Coclico (similar here) are an update to her classic crepe soled loafer. Square off the toe, and give it an XL crepe platform and it’s the ultimate Vancouver errand shoe. Feels like walking on clouds.”
The Roger Coat is also this season’s must-have for West End Select Shop’s Andi Bakos. “I can’t wait until it gets all cold and dark here in Portland so I can wear my bright yellow Roger Coat by Reality Studio and really pop out against my city surroundings. I’m going to be a walking spot of sunshine and people everywhere will flock to warm their hands on me.”
Philly-based boutique Fashionkind takes its name from the phrase “fashion for humankind,” so it only makes sense that their picks are totally thoughtful. Their model, Vivien, wears an Ace & Jig Hot Cross Romper in Black Sampler, a Lemlem Kal Coatand Veja Tennis Shoes in White. Founder Nina Farran explains, “I love this combination because it shows the power of luxury fashion from all over the world; in this outfit alone, India, Kenya and Brazil are all represented. Talk about power dressing.”
It’s that time again. Coat and closed-toe shoes weather. Fall is one of our fave times of the year, simply for the wardrobe. We have a few new pieces tucked up our long sleeves this season, though — rad silhouettes and styles we’re obsessing over that are giving our wardrobes a fashion-forward update — so we thought we’d let you in on the secrets.
1. THE UTILITY JUMPSUIT
The jumpsuit has quickly become our new wardrobe staple. We love them because they’re super easy to wear and everyone from Ilana Kohn to Horses Atelier have made them stars in all their collections, adding subtle details and classic cuts to keep them timeless. Buy it in a neutral, go-with-anything color like black, gray or navy. And layer to your heart’s desire.
This ‘90s throwback trend is way better this time around (less sparkle, more shine) and a small way to make a big statement. Metallic shoes were all over the runways and we obsessed over the styles from Maryam Nassir Zadeh during NYFW. Right now, we can’t take our Rachel Comeys off. Wear them with a neutral palette to make them stand out even more.
This trend might be menswear inspired, but the MO here is all about the ladies. Two-pieced, tailored but not too structured, and with subtle draping to maintain movement, the women’s two-piece suit feels just as powerful as it looks. There’s more than one reason to join the Sisterhood of the Travelling Pantsuit this Fall. We love the way Raquel Allegra does the blazer and pant combo.
These guys are keeping our necks warms again this season, so make sure you get one in every color. Turtlenecks are not only cute, but seriously versatile — wear them on their own with high waisted pants or layer under a dress or overalls for extra warmth. Objects Without Meaningmakes a mean one.
Continuing on from having their moment in Spring, statement earrings are putting earlobes at fashion’s front and center for Fall. Dangly ones are the best (like the bold shapes Modern Weaving does) and we even love a single earring with a cool updo.
Chokers have been gaining traction for a while now and this ‘90s-inspired trend is showing no signs of slowing down. We love keeping ours simple and with a glint of metal (a la Elise Ballegeerand Baleen), which keeps things subdued for a cool everyday look.
Bold, saturated hues are often big for Fall but can be tricky to master in a sea of neutrals. This season we’re putting them on our feet in every style from boots and loafers to sandals and Mary Janes. Plus, it gives an on-point pop to just about any outfit. Check out the way MariGiuidicelliand Loq do it.
Plaid hasn’t been just for your grandpa for a minute now, but this season it focused on a menswear-inspired direction and we love it. Riff off the old man’s style in taupes, camels, grays and neutrals. We’re into 323’s Mock Neck Smock Dress, which looks just like his oversized work shirt.
This shape has officially become one of our closet staples. Comfortable and stylish (hell yes), the wide leg pant comes in so many different variations that you’re guaranteed to find one that fits you just right. Our advice is to find a color you will wear with everything, keep them high waisted, then buy five pairs. Both Sunja Link and Caron Callahanknow how to make a good pair.
This season, keep things interesting on top with a ton of texture. Finding its way to everything from coats and robes to cardigans and sweaters, this trend is as much fun to look at as it is to wear. We like to balance it out by pairing it with something simple on the bottom, layered underneath or even get matchy-matchy like Ryan Roche does.
This classic wardrobe staple is timeless, but worn in so many ways this Fall — just pick your pleasure — and we love how versatile it’s become. Style Mafia does a great one with a wide sash and bell sleeves and Elise Ballegeer’s, with a hidden button placket and set-apart collar detail, adds a sweet minimalistic touch. Our advice? Wear with literally anything whenever a situation demands a bit of polish.
Bigger is better when it comes to this ‘80s-inspired trend. We love the outsized proportions on an oversized jacket — dropped shoulders, roomy pockets, low-hanging hems — and the way they add a low key, yet pulled together finish on an outfit. Horses Atelier and Lacausa know what’s up this season.
Madonna may have set the scene for bedroom dressing in the ’80s with her vintage lace underthings on her outer layer, but it wasn’t until Supers Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss and Christy Turlington rocked the minimalist spaghetti strap that the slip dress officially became a thing we all wanted. Just look at all that sparkly goodness above. This Spring it’s officially the dress we can’t wait to wear. Designers on the runway and off have been spinning their versions of the notoriously ’90s style for a year or so. But for the general public, the notion of a spaghetti strap is where a great divide begins. So here’s the thing: today’s iteration of the spaghetti strap isn’t the tight Gap cami from the ’90s. Or the club kid metallic dresses. Or even the floral dresses paired with white baby tees. It’s a little flimsy, sure, but it’s easy, breezy and totally chill. It’s the kind of dress that will make you feel like you’re walking on a beach in Sayulita when you’re running errands on the city streets. Plus, you can wear a bra. Just pick some nice looking straps. And take a note from slip dress muses Zoe Kravitz, Rihanna and Jessa from Girls: forget the demure lingerie take and wear it with an attitude.
“They’re the most comfortable pants I own,” Amee Kim muses. “I think style has evolved away from the super tight and form-fitting. We have more options than just skinny jeans, and trousers and culottes are definitely trending.” The Los Angeles-based Instagram star is just one culotte advocate you’ll see scrolling through your feed this season. Originally made to help Victorian-era women ride horses without having to risk their lives side saddling alongside the guys, the pant style comes from a pretty traditional and stuffy sartorial heritage. But when they made their first fashionable return in the ’70s, the idea of showing off your boots and shoes with a crop was immediately appealing to everyone. “They’re so dang easy to wear!” Andi Bakos, owner of West End Select Shop, chimes in. “They can take on many shapes and forms, they can be masculine or feminine, casual or dressy. And depending on the fabric, they can be styled and worn year round.”
Let’s be clear: dressing like a lady never goes out of style. But after watching Todd Hayne’s masterpiece Carol, starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara (both style stars in their own right IRL), we started to look at a nipped-in waist and a sweater set in a new, refreshing light. The movie is nominated for six Oscars, including the award for Best Costume Design led by Sandy Powell. From the rich furs and sumptuous silks worn by Blanchett’s Carol, to the sweater sets and pencil skirts worn by Mara’s Therese, the film strikes the balance of demure yet sultry perfectly. With designers also favoring the feminine in their collections recently, we found four rules to live by that will add the modern take on ladylike dressing to any wardrobe.
1. It’s all about the hourglass. Focus on creating that defined waist with a shirtdress, pleated skirt or a pair of high-waisted wide leg pants.
2. A pair of demure heels goes a long way. A classic round-toe pump with a low heel will even take a pair of boyfriend jeans and a t-shirt straight into ladylike territory.
3. Keep it covered. Leave it all to the imagination with a ribbed turtleneck or buttoned-up jacket.
4. When it comes to accessories, always go retro. A hat, for example, can be a throwback to when it was always proper to top off an outfit. So wear one all the time. Then try a top handle bag or clasp clutch for that final piece of polish.