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Now that the fashion weeks have wrapped up, we can now step back and take a more objective look at the collections to see what will be filling our closets come springtime.

Layering with sheers; Stella McCartney Spring 2013

Sheer, webbed inset, Celine Spring 2013

Sheer Play: The trend that was so prevalent in Resort has come back even stronger for spring.  You can catch up on Resort sheers here.  If you completely missed Resort, no worries, check this out.  There were sheers in the traditional sense, floaty and flowing, concealing all or a portion of a garment.  Yet some nontraditional sheers began to surface for spring, as well, acting as a webbing material.  Often appearing as an inset in a garment, although it was also found covering the entire piece of clothing, like its more flowy counterpart, as well.  Of course the aforementioned, flowy sheer is easiest to do, layering a chiffon piece with another top or dress.  Incorporating the more structured sheer is best done in tasteful insets, revealing just the right amount.

Subtle sheer; Calvin Klein Collection Spring 2013

Sheer webbed overlay; Calvin Klein Collection Spring 2013

Bright Whites: I’m dreaming of a white . . . spring?  White is the chosen color—or lack thereof—of designers for spring.  Many looks took the hue head-to-toe either in separates or a single piece for a stunning statement.  If you are not ready to channel Bianca Jagger in an all-white pantsuit at the office, then try rocking one of spring’s easier shapes on the weekend.  Column maxi dresses were a hit for spring, and rendered in white, they can go casual or dress, with a quick change of accessories.

Layers of white; Celine Spring 2013

White column maxi; Valentino Spring 2013

Monochrome: If white is not your thing, do not fret, there were plenty of colorful ensembles in the mix for spring.  Like the whites, the colored pieces were shown as a complete, monochrome look.  It is easy to incorporate monochrome into your everyday wear without looking like a giant (insert name of fruit or vegetable here.)  The key is to do it in small doses.  Pick one half of your body to dress in monochrome at a time.  A blazer, layered with a tee in the same color, looks very modern with a contrasting pair of cropped skinny jeans.  Although, if you want to go for that bold, allover colorful statement, simply pick a subdued hue.  Head-to-toe, bright, lipstick red is pretty alarming, but an allover, rusty red ensemble is a much more successful spring look.

A monochrome look with subtle detailing on the pants; A.L.C. Spring 2013

An easier way to do monochrome: short and sweet, with a hint of shine; Akris Spring 2013

Patterned Separates: Pinstripes and plaids are not the only patterns allowed on separates anymore.  Blazers and bottoms with florals and other graphic patterns appeared all over the spring runways.  And paired together, they made a bold statement.  If you shy away from wearing bold, allover patterns, try wearing the pieces separately.  Or, if you opt to wear them together, tone down the rest of your outfit.  Go with a simple pump and leave your statement jewelry at home.

Show some skin to downplay an allover pattern; Tory Burch Spring 2013

The crisp, white button-down breaks up the bold, paisley separates; Sea Spring 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bold Stripes: Also a Resort revival, big, bold, graphic prints, especially stripes, dominated this season.  Although there were plenty rendered in bright colors, black and white was clearly the preferred method in which to execute these prints.  Wear graphic prints up top or on bottom, or even show them off in your accessories, as Marc Jacobs did in his extra-pointy-toed heels at Louis Vuitton.  However, the most popular use of the bold, graphic prints this season was in full-body adornment.  Try a nod to ‘60s mod and don a checkered black and white mini dress.

Black and white stripes on a column maxi; Marc Jacobs Spring 2013

A colorful, casual spin on spring’s graphic stripes; Dolce & Gabbana Spring 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So while you are bundling up for fall, bear in mind: still brighter and bolder days lie ahead for our wardrobes.

Much love and good shoes,

e

 

 

 

 

 

Images courtesy of Style.com

We can do better than this! Image courtesy of Gymboree.com

It is the proverbial question that we have all heard standing in the fitting room, waiting on a friend, (mother, lover, acquaintance—hey, I don’t judge,) “do these match?”  It is 2012; can we eliminate that phrase from our repertoire?  I know it is hard to break the habit of putting together matching outfits and accessories the way our mothers did for us, but that was at least twenty years ago—or longer.  So, sorry, but I am finally kicking mom out of your closet and your shopping trips.  Welcome to the world of contrasting.

Mix up your accessories: One simple thing you can do is stop matching your accessories.  Think of it as the gateway drug to contrasting.  Once you do this, your accessory options will multiply.  No more lugging those hot new turquoise pumps around the mall to find the perfect belt to match.  Gold or any jewel tone will look amazing with such a rich hue.  Plus, if all else fails there are always neutrals . . .

Neutrals: Another way to ease yourself off of matching and onto contrasting is to throw some neutrals into the mix.  Pair anything with a brown, black, white, gray or navy and you can never go wrong.  I also consider metallics neutrals, just make sure you are keeping the occasion in mind.  A little shine can go a long way.  Try a metallic flat or pump with your usual tee and jeans or work separates for an updated look.

Lookin' good, Mother Nature! Image courtesy of Carillon-beach.com

Think green: Take your contrast cues from nature.  If the color combination occurs naturally, say on a flower or in the ocean, you are good to go!  Mother Nature has great style, she will never fail you.  Pairing sea-foam sandals with an ivory strapless sheath and navy clutch?  Sounds like a day at the beach.

Brights: There is something about bright colors that make it acceptable to contrast them in ways we would not usually mix their more muted cousins.  Just keep it to one or two pieces per outfit and stay away from neon if you are over twenty and it is after 1989.  Bright red skinny jeans would look fantastic with a black and white striped tee and topped off with a bright blue scarf.

Color Wheel, Image courtesy of Paintdrawpaint.com

Know your color wheel: So your school cut funding for art classes?  No biggie, I will review anyway.  Analogous color schemes, with colors next to each other on the color wheel, are great for muted outfits.  Complementary color schemes, with colors opposite from each other on the color wheel, will make your outfit pop.  Carry a wheel around with you when you shop, if you have to.  Who cares if people stare, you will look amazing in your new duds.

Tory Burch, Spring 2012, Image courtesy of Style.com

Pattern mixing: If you have made it this far in the contrasting crash course, you deserve a special treat.  Pattern mixing is by far the most enjoyable—once you master it.  Take what you have learned from mixing your solids and now apply it to your patterns.  It can be done!  There are a few guidelines.  Stay away from like patterns in the same outfit, (stripe on stripe, plaid on plaid, etc.) unless there is a major size difference.  It helps to break them up with a solid neutral or bright in between if you are a little unsure about the pairing.  Feel free to pull the colors from the pattern itself.  Easy ways to start pattern mixing are with a floral blouse over neutral, muted plaid trousers; or with a printed scarf over a color blocked tee, jeans and bright crocodile flats (faux, if you wish.)

Now that we are all ready for a little contrasting, I am looking forward to a brighter and more patterned spring.  Happy contrasting!

Much love and good shoes,

e

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