Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Starry Night Cardigan - by J. Crew

starry night cardigan
Starry night indeed – both because it mirrors a clear night sky, and because you're sure to exude star quality style in this piece. There is a catch – it doesn't quite lay as neatly / compactly as it does on the model. It has a jersey like drape which weighs it down a little and allows the corners at the collarbones to flip over. In my opinion, this cardigan would have been much more functional (and stylish) in a more structured fabric that holds its shape. Otherwise, it should have been cut in more of an open V shape to blend more naturally with the drape. That said, it's a classic piece that can be worn many ways. For a casual dinner with the ladies, try it over a fitted white tank, light wash boyfriend jeans, rolled up, patent blue pumps, loose up-do, and sparkly studs. For a formal occasion, wear it over a fitted mini white dress, classic black pumps, and lots of silver cuffs and bangles.

Perfect-fit Ruffle Henley - by J. crew

Perfect-fit ruffle henley
This cotton henley is a more feminine take on the classic. In spite of the silky ruffles, it tends to look a little loungey untucked. Your best bet would be to wear one of the richer colors, such as dark rosewood, dark seaweed, or bronzed twig, tucked into dark fitted denim or a black pencil skirt, with a classic black cardigan and an intricate  gold necklace for a chic look.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Crinkled Tier Mini - by J. Crew

Crinkled tier mini
The fact is, this skirt is young and flirty - there's no way around it. How to pull it off at 16+? Grey ribbed tights, black vintage lace-up boots, loose fitting white scoop neck tee – tucked in, long grey cardigan, silver cuff bracelet or stacked bangles. Minimal or no neck jewelry on this one; the bells and whistles are already incorporated into the skirt. In warmer weather for a night out – black sequin tank cinched at the waist with a skinny patent belt, black platform pumps, black pashmina.

Belted Satin Pant - by J. Crew

Belted satin pant
I tend to think billowy pants, satin or not, are better off paired with fitted tops. Unless you're a slinky model with a freakishly lanky frame, roomy shirt on billowy pants is a pretty hard look to pull off outside of the operating room. Kudos to the vendor's design team for adding delicate satin pumps, but I would go for a significant contrast on top - a fitted white cotton tank tucked in, so that one can see that there was a nicely shaped waist that was delicately placed inside the sack before it was tied shut. A brassy, crystal embellished statement necklace akin to what those in the fashion industry are calling a "bib" necklace will be the white tank's salvation, elevating it from basic to bravo!

Knit Houndstooh Pant - by J. Crew

Knit houndstooth pant
How to avoid looking like a chef in these pants? #3 Accessorise, accessorise!; #2 Pair with high heels only; #1 DO NOT pair with white top! While we're on the subject of tops, avoid red as well, unless you're going for a bona fide 80's look! Although black pumps are fool proof with these pants, you can try a rich emerald or royal blue suede pump as well. A black silk button down, "down" being the operative word (leave a few buttons undone on top to allow for a statement brass or antique gold necklace), tucked in, and a sequin black clutch.

Merino Ruffled Strata Cardigan - by J. Crew

Merino ruffled strata cardigan
Although ruffles can get tiresome after a while (as in, you feel the urge to shew them off as you would a fly), the ruffles on this number qualify as perfectly tolerable. The Weathered Wood color is especially charming. You can dress it down with a cream scoop neck and light wash jeans, or dress it up with sleek black pants, a silver sequin tank, and crystal studs. For a snowqueen-esque look, try the latter with white skinnies instead of black.

Dulphine Sequin V-neck Sweater - by J. Crew

Dulphine sequin V-neck sweater
Great holiday piece - but what to do with it come Jan. 1? This airy sweater is light enough that it can be worn under a black or navy blazer to work. It can also be paired with light wash jeans and pumps for a casual dinner, or dark rinse skinny jeans, a small black clutch, and a sleek updo to attend a friend's art exhibition.