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Sock Styles for Boyfriend Jeans with Booties

by Angie

Boyfriend jeans are often worn rolled at the hem, which shortens their length and showcases a little ankle skin when you wear them with booties. More skin is exposed when you sit down. Here are great examples of the look.

Citizens of Humanity Premium Emerson Distressed JeansPaige Denim Jimmy Jimmy Jeans with Patches

AG Adriano Goldschmied The Beau Slouchy Skinny JeansRag & Bone/JEAN The Dre Skinny Boyfriend Jeans

I don’t want my socks to be visible when I wear my boyfriend jeans this way. Unless I go bare feet, which I do when it’s sufficiently warm, I have three options:

  1. Nude Knee-Highs: I love wearing nude knee-highs because they keep my lower leg warm and comfortable in mild Autumn, Winter and Spring weather. Sometimes I’ll wear full length nude hose to stay extra warm under my jeans. 
  2. Footies: These are trickier because they can slide off your feet as you stride. I wear children’s size footies to create a snug fit. I might try Calvin Klein’s ballet liner sock because the criss-cross straps should keep the footie in place. 
  3. No-Show Ankle Socks: Finding socks that are sufficiently short on the ankle so that your booties cover them works quite well. Extremely short knee-highs that look like no-show ankle socks are another way go. 

Although I don’t personally want to showcase my socks with this look, doing so can be a fashion statement in itself. The scrunched socks peaking out from under the booties remind me of leg warmers. Fun, cuddly and fabulously ’80s. A low contrast between the booties and the socks is the safe way to go, but higher contrast options can be fun too. The visual effect is very casual and probably not the best idea if you’re after a dressier vibe. 

Of course, sometimes the rolls of the jeans are low enough (or the shafts of the booties high enough) that the socks are covered when standing and mostly covered when seated. In this case the choice of socks is more about comfort than anything else.

I have focused on boyfriend jeans, but these options apply to any ankle pant and bootie combinations that expose your leg. If you have sock style recommendations for this look, please share them in the comments below.

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Fab Finds: Layering Tops for Jackets

by Angie

One common wardrobe essential is a layering piece that you can wear under fitted blazers and jackets. And as the weather cools down, you’re looking for something that is warmer than a shell top, tank top, button-down shirt or blouse. Here are three great options from Banana Republic that aren’t scratchy. They all have lower necklines, which work well if you have a larger bust, or if you don’t have a long neck. They look equally great layered and worn on their own, which comes in handy when removing your jacket indoors. 

  • Banana Republic Extra-Fine Merino Wool Vee Pullover: The fluid fit is excellent, and so is the super soft texture and high-low hemline. It does not cling, but is sufficiently tailored to wear under a jacket. Fashionable and comfortable.
  • Banana Republic Draped Jersey Top: This drapey and ruched style is brilliant on a larger bust and/or broad shoulder line. It also camouflages muffin top. It's elegant and dressy, and works particularly well under a tailored blazer. You have to be able to fill out this top to prevent the drape from looking sloppy.
  • Banana Republic Draped Tee: A more tailored top in a thinner material that drapes on the shoulder and side seams. It's not clingy because of the drape, which also adds interest to the top.

When writing this I noticed that Banana Republic is offering a 30% discount on full price items until the end of today. With reasonable prices and quality, I find BR is a good destination for the wardrobe essentials that support statement pieces and take them from items to outfits.

Layering Shirts Under Knitwear

by Angie

Layering pullovers over shirts is so much more comfortable and easy to pull together in our current fashion era of fluid and oversized fits. The concept of creating a look that is just flattering enough, instead of one that is strictly conventionally flattering, further solidifies the combination as a stylish option. You actually want the layers to be somewhat boxy as opposed to formfitting. 

Pullovers

Layering button-down shirts under roomy pullovers is especially popular this season, and the photos here represent the look well. You do not need a tailored fit for the shirt. Wear it boxy all over for a more current vibe. Layer over a roomy pullover, and allow the tails of the untucked shirt and the cuffs of the sleeves to peek out. Leave the sleeves down or scrunched. Pullovers with neck and side seam zipper detailing look extra fun unzipped because more of the shirt peeks through. It’s also less constricting and therefore more comfortable. 

Roomy cowl neck pullovers and cropped sweaters also look great layered over shirts. Feel free to wear a patterned or denim shirt instead of a solid one. Create a low or high contrast between the layers. Dark solid shirts in black, grey and ink work well too. Wear jeans, trousers, pencil skirts, tweed shorts or even flared skirts on the bottom.

J.Crew Boiled Wool Zip SweaterJ.Crew Merino Wool Asymmetrical Zip Sweater in ColorblockJ.Crew Demylee Giselle Sweater

Banana Republic Chunky Cowl PulloverBanana Republic Textured Zip Neck Pullover

City Chic Sweater

Cardigans

If pullovers aren’t your thing, layer roomy current cardigans over roomy button-down shirts. The photos show both long and short lengths thrown over solid and patterned shirts. Leave the cardigan open to create a vertical line down the front of the body. Pop the collar, leave it lying flat, or tuck it under the neckline of the cardigan. Or button the shirt right up to the top.

Halogen CardiganVelvet Moto Sweater Jacket

Zara Long Cardigan with PocketsC by Bloomingdales Basic Cashmere Cardigan

Soft blouses can be used instead of boxy button-down shirts for a more feminine vibe, and a softer feeling against the skin. Feel free to use collarless blouses and shirts as layers under knitwear if you’re uncomfortable wearing collars. But if you’re after a more boyish integrity, a stiff and crisp cotton shirt in a solid, stripe or plaid is the way to go. 

Here are some street style shots of the layered combination: 

Some of my clients will not wear a boxy button-down shirt on its own, but they will wear one layered under a roomy piece of knitwear because it creates a little more outfit interest. The combination also stretches the outfit possibilities in their wardrobe, and in some instances — if the shirt is very crisp — can add a more polished vibe to the outfit. 

Over to you. Do you layer crisp shirts or soft blouses under knitwear? If this is a combination that you would like to wear, but are struggling to pull together, let’s get you sorted in the comments section.

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Current Cardigans

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Team Long or Team Short Cardigan

by Angie

Fashionable cardigans are gaining momentum, and are one way to wrap up on a chilly day. I’d like to know what your preferences are for their length. Note that a length that finishes on or above the crotch point is “short”, and that any style of cardigan and gauge of knitwear counts. 

My clients tend to prefer longer cardigans with a good amount of drape, although the occasional short cardigan is handy to wear as a very light cover-up over a sleeveless dress. I don’t own any cardigans because I tend to prefer the simplicity of a pullover and the woven crispness of a jacket or coat as a topper. So I’m sitting this one out on the bench with caramelized sweet onion tart and rocket salad. 

Over to you. Do you bat for Team Long or Team Short Cardigan? Tell us why, and no batting for both teams.

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10 Big Trends for Spring & Summer 2015

by Angie

I’ve worked through the runway shows in New York, London, Milan and Paris for Spring 2015, and pinned directional and trending outfits onto my board for the season. Having seen all the shows, there are ten big trends that stand out. Some of these are a continuation of existing trends and others are completely new. 

I will write about each of these trends in more detail at some point, but for now here is the overview:

1. Fluid and Oversized Fits

You’ve been hearing me say this for three seasons. Wearing your clothes a little, or a lot, looser all over is THE way to create a current look. Quite remarkably, fashion is finally reflecting our need for comfort in this age of casualization. It’s hard to believe that body con reigned supreme as recently as five years ago, but now it’s the least fashionable of fits. Tailored fits are always in style. 

I often read in the comments section that petites, and ladies with large bustlines cannot wear fluid or oversized fits. This simply isn’t true. Pick a more fluid piece as opposed to an oversized one. Pay attention to the shape of the neckline, the taper of the sleeves, and drape of the garment, and add structure to the outfit.

2. Defining the Waist

Surprising as it may seem, defining the waist was almost as popular as surrendering the waistline. A completely refreshing look to my eye. But it’s NOT a body con silhouette. It’s all about belting fluid and oversized tops and toppers to define the waist, or tucking them into bottoms that are structured on the waist. So you’re defining the waist without the extra tight silhouette. You’re allowing the top or bottom (or both), to move so that you can move along with it. 

3. White-Out

Wearing shades of white from head to toe is still extremely fashionable, and one of my very favourite trends. Think optical white, off-white, cream, bone and stone, and remix these shades of white in one outfit. There is a way to wear white-out for everyone. If you have dark hair, wear white-out with dark footwear to effectively bookend the outfit.

4. Cropped Pants

Cropped lengths are still the biggest trend in trousers and jeans. They are cropped at different lengths — on the ankle or shorter — across both fitted and baggy silhouettes in all sorts of fabrications, colours and patterns. High-vamped footwear, whether it’s booties, loafers, oxfords or ankle straps, complement this look. 

5. Skirts and Dresses

There were lots of skirts and dresses on the runways for Spring, so it’s not looking like a pants season. The shirtdress was particularly strong because it’s belted at the waist, which fits well into the defined waist trend of #2. Unlike the classic stiff shirtdress though, the ones on the runway were soft. They blousoned at the waist for movement.

The skirt of the moment is the knee-length pencil skirt with asymmetrical front V-shaped vent. 

6. Midis

We keep seeing ample knee-lengh and tea-length skirts and dresses on the catwalks, yet the length stays fringe at retail level. Hopefully this is changing because most of my clients are looking for longer skirts and dresses that they can wear to the office. 

There were many flared midis and tubular midis, worn with both waist surrendering and waist defining tops. Tubular midi skirts are particularly easy to wear because they do not create the stumpy feeling that some of us feel wearing midi lengths. 

7. Bottoms With Movement

Slouchy pants and jeans, with tapered and wide hems, are still very fashionable. Baggy bottoms with a more structured crotch point and tapered hems are just as fashionable, as are culottes, upscale track pants, soft wide-leg pants, and baggy long shorts. Tailored bootcuts and flared legs with structured fits on the thighs were aplenty, and looked fresh and very polished.

Bottoms were all about movement, with barely a skinny in sight. 

8. All shades of Blue 

The runway shows looked very blue. From the softest pale blue to the darkest ink. Muted, bright and in between. Blue was combined with just about any colour, so it is likely to become very versatile. 

9. All shades of Orange

Although most colours were represented on the runways, shades of orange were particularly strong. From tomato red and Dutch orange, to tangerine, mango, peach and shades of coral. All looking particularly complementary with shades of blue

10. Flat Footwear

Flat footwear (including heels up to one inch) made an even stronger statement than heels for the third year in a row. Laced sneakers, slip-on sneakers, flat sandals, mules, Beatle booties, cut-out flat booties, loafers, slipper flats, oxfords, pointy toe flats, ankle strap flats, Birkenstocks, flat forms and gladiators. It is the era of the comfortable shoe.

Also Notable

Toffee hues looked fresh worn for Spring and Summer in lightweight fabrications. High-low hemlines, dropped shoulder seams, rounder shoulders, boxy jackets, moto styles, sheer fabrics, boxy short sleeves, torn denim, sporty luxe, pastels and cropped tops are still going strong. Short shorts took a back seat in favour of longer shorts. 

I particularly enjoyed the glam ‘70s vibe of bootcuts with a fluid, tucked and blousoned shirt topped off with a fluid blazer because the outfits looked polished and fresh against a see of oversized slouch. I love the look of fashionable slouch, but do enjoy a mixture of refined tailoring along with it. And I’m happy to see that the era of body con is behind us for now. 

Karen Millen
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