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.

Drapey Sequin Tee - by J. Crew

Drapey sequin tee
Sequin everything (from belts to shirts) may be on trend right now, but everything about this top screams "classic"! No concerns about this one going out of style next season, or beyond. It's hard to get this sequin top wrong. Casual get-together? Pair it with J. Crew's Lived in wash jeans, black pumps, and – to keep things understated and not too flashy – a fluffy beige cardigan on top. Night out on the town? Black pleather/leather pants, sleek black booties, cascading sparkly earrings in grey or charcoal, and a sparkly turquoise clutch.

Pink Plaid Boy Shirt - by J. Crew

Pink plaid boy shirt
I don't quite fancy how this shirt is presented on the vendor's website, as it really hides it's potential as a great addition to your wardrobe. Anytime you have a piece that swings in the bland direction as readily as it does in the trendy direction, you want to avoid pairing it with something that is equally ambidextrous. First and foremost, you want to make sure a boy shirt like this fits well and is not too frumpy. Second, you want to pair it with a more blatantly trendy piece so that it tends to look more like a mild fashion statement than a total lack of effort. Most importantly, you need the right shoes to offset any potential frumpiness! No white sneakers with this shirt. Try it buttoned up three quarters of the way, a few antique gold chains cascading over, sleeves rolled up, skinny cargos (such as J. Crew's titanium Trouper Pant), and sleek brown booties.

Cashmere V-neck Henley - by J. Crew

Cashmere V-neck henley
J. Crew has been putting this cashmere sweater out for a couple of seasons now, and the look is timeless, so long as you pick the right color. Some of the pastel colors, as well as some of the more vibrant ones, tend to lend this look more to around-the-house-cozy than running-errands-looking-sleek. The heather saddle and acorn are neutral and classic colors. Pair either with the Lived-in wash jeans (also by J.Crew), tall chocolate brown boots, and a green and navy scarf for a pop of color. A brown leather blazer in a similar shade to your boots will work well on cooler days.

Skinny Ultra Lounge Pant - by J. Crew

Skinny ultra-lounge pant
There couldn't be a softer, cozier legging. But how do you pull this style off without needing a teddy bear and bunny slippers to complete the look? Your number one rule should be: Do not pear with gym shoes! They already have a sweat pant / PJ look about them that you're trying to overshadow. Try them with chunky black booties, an oversized cream colored sweater, and a rich multi-colored scarf (rich browns and plums, and some black, perhaps). Messy hair will accentuate the PJ vibe and luxurious locks will look overdone with this look. A sleek high bun and gold hoop earrings seem to do the trick.

Buffalo Check Jacket - by J. Crew

Buffalo check jacket
Buffalo Check Jacket - by J. Crew

The plaid check jacket is an intriguing piece. At first glance, it
came across as a little lumberjack, but the combination of bold
colors and an understated style kept bringing me back for a peak.
It's the kind of piece you assume you're not supposed to like, and yet
I  just get it - it's the perfect throw-on that makes a chic fashion
statement while at the same time conveying a message of casual

How you wear this piece will make or break it. Throw it on over
baggy jeans and a green baseball cap and you're sure to look
more ready to milk the cow than run errands around town. Pair it with
with fitted medium wash jeans, brown chunky buckle boots, a brass cuff
bracelet and a chocolate brown newsboy cap, and you've captured the vibe of this
laid back, fashion forward look. For an evening look - try black
skinny jeans, black suede booties, a gold skinny belt that wraps
around the jacket 2-3 times, and lots of gold, sparkly necklaces to finish off
the look. A sleek updo would compliment this look perfectly and would
allow matching gold studs to top off the outfit.