Friday, June 22, 2012

le stripe

The calendar says summertime is here but I am still thinking back to my time in Paris this past March and waiting for my friend Monica to give me the latest report from there with what is new on the streets this summer.  Its sounds like Paris is similar to us right now, as we in the Pacific Northwest are still in the days of summer sun one day, and clouds the next.  Can you say layers?
In the meantime, layers aside, I have to say I always love to introduce stripes into my wardrobe as the weather warms up.  There is something so classic, so cool, so optimistic about the stripe.  It can take on a nautical feel, a Parisian girl look, an update your closet needs as desperately as new white tees every year.
I know that the striped shirts are a must, but lets get to those in a minute.  I want to talk striped skirt here, and I know those words can invoke nearly as much fear as "swim suit", especially among those with a curvier figure.  Be brave and adventurous my friend, and go beyond the t-shirt with a fun skirt.  The 10 Crosby Derek Lam Striped Pencil Skirt is an incredibly cool way to do the 8 to 5 day, and I would pair the Raquel Allegra Pencil Tie Dye Skirt with a beautiful square cut blouse to offset the fit of the skirt.  And this one by Nanette Lepore is my favorite--its perfection, especially with the open back top.  For a more casual look, you can find beach maxi skirts, flirty minis, and casual circle skirts in vertical and horizontals.  This Free People Rugby Column Skirt is exactly what I am talking about.  It rocks.
This C&C California top has a 3/4 sleeve and a cool cutout at the shoulder and looked great paired with my red suede wedges and cropped denim at the first summer soiree I attended last week.  You could also dress it down with a pair of shorts for a daytime look.  Zadig and Voltaire do it right with their knits--this Striped Boxy T-Shirt is spot on with its modern cut.  And what kind of Parisian girl wannabe would I be without speaking of Petit Bateau and their fantastic t-shirt collection and its cult like following. They are the gold standard for fit & fabric...the Boatneck Milleraies Tee--need I say more...?

Thursday, June 7, 2012

to dye for

Tie dye has come a long way from the t-shirt in your kitchen using the Rit dye method of 1970's fame.  Today it can be called dip dyeing, tie dye, or ombre in its many patterns & forms.  Ombre is a French word meaning "to shade" and is used to describe something where a color or colors progress from light to dark.  The progression of color is quite beautiful, giving garments a uniqueness to them that is soft & summery, different than the color block trend, where you have a distinct beginning and end to each section of color on the garment. You can do dyeing methods like these yourself if you'd like, there are YouTube videos with great instructions, but I'd rather go shopping. ;)
Michael Stars, Joie Soft, and many others have great tshirts that I think are sexy yet comfortable, a perfect match with white jeans or shorts. Young, Fabulous & Broke has it down perfect, my three favorites so far are the  Leilani Sunset Ombre Maxi Dress -- perfect for day or night this summer- the Tegan Ombre Halter Maxi is a bit dressier for an evening event--the halter style is fantastic, and the Printed Maxi, with its more tie dye effect.  Its hard to, one more....the Jill Strapless Jumpsuit...LOVE!  (although ombre pants in general...on the fence...)  Skirts are definitely a favorite of mine as well, they are easy & comfortable--this Bailey 44 Gazelle skirt comes in two colors and would be perfect with a square off the shoulder tee.
Add an accessory like a scarf or earrings if you want a little something that pops without wearing the trend on a larger scale--it is such a cool way to say hello summer.  Even if its 50 and raining.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

here comes the sun

I have had the worst case of writers block ever.  I have been looking for inspiration everywhere, and usually I don't have to look far, an idea pops into my head in the middle of the night or other random times.  But for the past month I have been watching the spring/summer fashion roll out with, well, a whole bunch of nothing.  Not usually one to lack for words, I have been silent.
Today I decided to venture away from the glamour of the laundry pile and head downtown to tick off a to do list.  Recently, a new wave of grief over my mother's death has reared its ugly head unexpectedly, sending me down the black hole.  But I am climbing out, damn it.  My strength, after all, is inherited partly from my mother, and she would have told me to get a move on.  So off I went.
I drug out the bins with my summer wardrobe, time to pack away the super wintery sweaters and pull out some color.  I actually do have a few loves for summer and so here is my list for what I think will inspire me once again....
1.  Cap toe ballet flats.  A bit of spin off of the color blocking trend, these are great new twist on a classic shoe--you can go classic, like the Alberto Fermani pair or be a little funkier, like this pair Kate Spade cork & neon pair.
2.  Denim Maxi Skirt. Maxi skirts in general are hot this season.  I am a fan of this one from (oddly) CJ by Cookie Johnson at Neimans but also LOVE this tie dye one with the fun leopard waist band by XCVI Drape Cocoon Skirt from Zappos, which means if you like it today, you can wear it out tomorrow night.  :)
3.  Tshirts with a little cutout.  Big fan of the tulip back tee--I have a solid black one I have worn a ton from Stylemint and this Anthropologie has several in this style, including the Graduated Dip-Dyed Tee.
4.  Black lace on white.  This top from Nicole Miller is the perfect combo of classy & cool.
5.  Neon shoe detail.  A little neon goes a long way, and I think that neon and neutral combinations are fantastic.  This Juicy Couture wedge is the perfect summer shoe.
6.  Cropped denim.  J Brand Gigi is my absolutely favorite fit, whether you opt for classic blue denim or a colored pair, my Habitual Alice Skinny in Spanish Moss has been my go to colored jean this year.  Patterned denim also dominates, so if you like your legs to rock leopard, polka dots, or florals, you go girl.
7.  Cropped jackets.  Twill, leather, denim.  I love them layered over a floaty dress or a your favorite tshirt.  My favorite one is a soft pleather one in a nude/peach that I got at Target last year, so you can find them in every price point.
Have fun adding some newness to your summer wardrobe this season.  Finally, here comes the sun.