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Polished but not Precious.

Fashion News Roundup: Week 15, 2014

by Inge
British retailer Harrods organizes its first ever Digital Style Summit, Clare Vivier is branching out into men’s accessories, Raf Simons gets his own documentary, and more fashion news from around the globe this week.

Fun Fashion Fact

Did you know that actress and model Marisa Berenson is the granddaughter of iconic Italian fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli, contemporary and rival of Coco Chanel?

Ensemble: Pencil Midi and Bomber Jacket

by Angie

This ensemble is for Team Skirt. It combines the ladylike and bombshell vibe of a tight midi pencil skirt with the casual and sporty ease of a bomber jacket. The juxtaposition is fun and a little unexpected. Note that a midi pencil skirt is knee-covering, and looks best when tapered quite severely at the hem. The outfit will not have the same dramatic and elegant effect if you wear an above-the-knee pencil skirt. 

Choose any colour palette, and feel free to create a column of colour under the bomber. I’ve chosen high contrast pieces with brights and patterns, but a neutral look in solids is just as fab. The renditions on the left and in the middle are pretty, while the rendition on the right adds a little hard edge. Go with whichever vibe tickles your fancy. 

Here are the components:

Skirt: Choose a midi length pencil skirt that is tightly tapered at the side seams. That way you’ll create adequate structure when wearing roomier tops and flats. And your skirt will stay put as you stride. Lengths can vary from just over the knee to further down the calf. Knitted pencil midis are best, because they stretch as you stride. Tight woven midi pencils skirts are quite hard to walk in, so I vote knitted all the way. 

Top: Think fluid tees, tanks, high-low blouses or peplum tops. A crew neck, V-neck, or scoop neck works best with a bomber jacket. A tee creates a more casual look. A blouse creates a refined and dressier vibe. A black leather peplum adds some edge. Wear the top untucked or partially tucked. 

Bomber Jacket: You’re after a sporty bomber jacket in a woven or knit. Lace works too. Scrunch the sleeves and wear the front open to create a slimming vertical line down the front of the body. 

Footwear: Your choice of footwear seals the deal. Pumps, ankle strap pumps and caged sandals are pretty and office appropriate in some environments. Slipper flats and d’Orsay flats are trendy and super for Team Flats, and particularly elongating with a pointy toe. Cut-out and peep-toe booties add a harder edge, especially in black. 

Accessories: Choose any bag. A fashionable backpack is a fun option and amps up the sporty vibe of the outfit. Finish off the look with jewellery, watch and eyewear as desired. 

It’s an easy outfit to pull together and you might be able to shop your closet for the look right away. Nice for some office settings, or for a casual night out. No jeans required. 

I passed on my woven midi pencil skirt a few years ago because it was too hard to walk in. Now I’m in the mood for a knitted pencil midi so that I can pull together the look with my lace bomber and pointy toe ankle strap pumps.

Pencil Midi and Bomber Jacket

Link Love: The Vintage Years

by Inge

In anticipation of journalist Dawn O’Porter’s upcoming book and series (This Old Thing), The Invisible Woman wrote an article on how vintage fashion can help us fall back in love with clothes. I especially loved these two quotes: “She describes a vintage shop as being a shop where she felt herself ‘surrounded by stories’.” And: “The stories in ‘new’ vintage clothes may not be your stories but you can make them your own.”

If you could use some help with unearthing vintage treasures, then check out Mary Kincaid’s Weekly Roundup of eBay Vintage Clothing Finds over at The Huffington Post. For those who prefer to really dig in at car booth sales or vintage fairs, Mary of We Heart Vintage, has recently started compiling a directory of vintage events in both the UK and US.

I also enjoyed browsing a selection of photos from the tumblr blog Vintage Black Glamour, these 23 Impossibly Stylish 1930s Photos, and 16 iconic vintage hairstyles. Mia Farrow’s pixie and Louise Brooks’ flapper bob are my personal favourites.

Fab Links from Our Members

Rabbit found an awesome and occasionally funny tumblr site that compares outfits from Game of Thrones season 3 to runway collections.

Sylvia from 40 Plus Style, who likes to wear bold costume jewellery, pairs a bib necklace with asymmetric top, pencil skirt and fashionable backpack. Angie thinks it’s a fun combination against the backdrop of the fabulous Boat Quay in Singapore. 

Suzanne came across this NYTimes article explaining that whether people believe normcore is real or a joke, it has taken on a life of its own.

If you’re hesitant to post outfits in the YLF forum because you don’t like the photos, then here are some tips on how to look better in pics. MaryK says the one about tilting your head forward has been a game changer for her.

Caro found The Coveted’s post on What I Learned About Style From a Man very interesting.

Imogen’s post on What to Team with Olive has come in handy for Laurinda as she is thinking about adding an olive skirt to her Summer wardrobe. She adds that How to Create a Co-ordinated Wardrobe, Imogen’s system for colour pairing, is also very useful to her.

Jeanne-Aurore Colleuille, who has written two books on style, recently did a “massive icons detox“. Vildy doesn’t see how you can completely remove yourself from all style influences, but wonders: can you remove yourself, as the author is trying to do, from the effect that images of the “perfect style icons” (like Jackie Kennedy, for example) have on our everyday life?


Not So Basic Tees

A little extra design detail means stylish sans topper.

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Boyfriend Jeans

Here are my top picks of boyfriend jeans from Nordstrom.

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Skirts with Flair

Beyond the pencil. Flair, pizzazz, and lots of twirling ability.

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Spring Sweaters

Spring's nod to the bumper knitwear trend.

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Casual Toppers

Now is a good time to purchase Summer toppers.

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The Mom Jeans Trend

by Angie

Wikipedia calls “Mom jeans” a “humorously pejorative term for a specific type of fit of women’s jeans, considered to be both unfashionable, and unflattering to the wearer’s body shape. This style usually consists of a high waist (rising above the belly button), making the buttocks appear disproportionately longer, larger, and flatter than they otherwise might. It also tends to have excess space in the zipper/crotch and leg areas”. 

Well, Mom jeans are a fringe trend right now and considered a fashion forward item. The pictures below are a good representation of the look. Like I’ve said before, items are frumpy right up until they become fashionable. It’s hip to be square in 2014

Actually, Mom jeans are much like the oh-so-trendy and mainstream boyfriend jeans, but with a much higher rise and a fitted waist. It’s when tops are tucked or partially tucked into Mom jeans that they look completely different to regular hip and cool boyfriend jeans. There is very little visual difference between the two styles when tops are worn untucked. And since we’ve grown accustomed to the look of masculine, hip hugging and straight-waisted boyfriend jeans, we probably don’t mind the look of these Mom jeans with untucked tops. 

The ultra fashionable way to wear Mom jeans is with midriff baring cropped tops, which work well with high-waisted bottoms. Pair the bottoms with trendy footwear, like cut-out booties, peep-toe booties, pointy toe pumps, slip-on sneakers, loafers and Birkenstocks. Top off the look with an open moto, boxy cropped jacket, bomber or long lightweight coat. 

This is not a mainstream look and is certainly a challenge to wear at any age. Matching Mom jeans with untucked upscale sweatshirts, welted knitwear, and high-low blouses, tees or pullovers is a more manageable execution of the trend. However, you might as well wear regular boyfriend jeans if you’re going to cover the high waist and rise of Mom jeans. That said, if you enjoy the comfort and girdling integrity of high rises, don’t like to wear belts, and prefer to wear tops untucked, Mom jeans are a practical alternative to boyfriend jeans. Wear them with an on trend support act and no one will know you are wearing Mom jeans. 

I have no desire to wear Mom jeans with either an untucked or untucked top. I don’t like high rises at the best of times, so I’ll be sticking to low slung slouchy boyfriend jeans. I do like the outfit with the cropped top and moto jacket, and fully support it on those who pull it off with style. And if Mom jeans are a more comfy fit for you than boyfriend jeans with untucked tops, I fully support that too. 

Over to you. What’s your take on the Mom jeans trend?

Topshop Tall Moto Washed Black Mom Jean

BDG Seamed Mom JeanBDG Seamed Mom Jean Slate

Jena. Theo Mom Jeans with High Waist

Daisy Street Mom Jean in Acid Wash

Rebel Chic

Jean Druesedow

The Sartorialist: Closer

Scott Schuman

The Truth About Style

Stacy London

kate spade new york

Deborah Lloyd

You Are What You Wear

Jennifer Baumgartner

Weekly Roundup: Crisp Jackets

by Angie

These jackets were favourites among the forum members who attended our shopping day in Boston last week. I’ve seen them all in person across a variety of body types and sizes. They are fabulous paired with trousers for business casual, or with jeans for smart casual. Some of the shorter styles work particularly well with dresses and skirts. Be sure to look through all the colour options. 

  • Elie Tahari Kristina Jacket: It’s a pity that the photo of this jacket on the model does not do the jacket justice at all. It’s a lot more tailored in person and very flattering. The colour is a rich shade of mushroom or taupe. The entire edge of the jacket is tipped with a zipper that does not irritate the skin. The collar also folds down into a narrow shawl collar style. The welted side pockets are ever so daintily tipped with leather. Refined, polished, minimal, interesting and beautifully made. 
  • Reiss Belmonte Dark Navy Tuxedo Jacket: The fit of this gorgeous ink blue jacket is suited to a rectangular body type with a small or regular sized bust. It’s more of a low stance modern blazer with extra waist-defining seaming than a true tuxedo jacket. Stunningly tailored and looks as good open as it does closed. 
  • Reiss Fenley Ice Blue Jacket: The fit is similar to the Belmonte and again, well suited to a rectangular body type with a small or regular size bust. It’s a cool toned light blue and awfully fresh for Spring and Summer. Impeccable quality. 
  • BCBG Lloyd Easy Layered Jacket: A drapey darling in a soft blush. I love the pointed tips of the front lapels and the high back hem. Fabulously boxy, forgiving and lightweight.  
  • BCBG Noah Floral Lace Jacket: The starkness of the white blazer is effectively offset by the textural and romantic lace insets on the sleeves. I see it matched with faded jeans and slip-on sneakers or flat oxfords to create a fun juxtaposition. Or wear it with oatmeal or light grey trousers and citron shell top. 
  • BCBG Candice Jacket: This style is for Team Avant-Garde and available in a variety of fabrics and colours. There’s black, blush and dove grey. The high back and low front provide an architectural and arty integrity, while the clean lines from the torso up are crisp. Its boxy fit is on trend. The folded back flaps at the hem in front are an interesting detail that swing as you stride. The side view is a little widening so consider yourself warned. The style works particularly well on a taller lass because of the position of the front flaps. They hang on the crotch when you’re petite, which can look a little odd. 
  • BCBG Duke Jacket: A cropped zip-front jacket that’s great for a shorter waist. Good for petites. Clean lines and refined back detailing. 
  • BCBG Brent Jacket: A rock ’n’ roll blazer with neatly slashed sleeves. Looks fab layered over a high contrast long-sleeved shirt or blouse because the colour peeks through the open insets on the sleeves. This warm shade of grey reminds me of a pearlized oyster because of its hint of lilac. It’s also available in black
  • BCBG Tess Striped Jacket: A black non-leather moto with a floral stripe makes me smile. Hard edge that’s laced with feminine fabness. Pretty, fitted and unique. 
  • Club Monaco Jami Seersucker Moto Jacket: A lightweight moto in a seersucker stripe. Fun and different. Runs small. 
  • Club Monaco Marcy Chambray Blazer: A bright light blue in a clean-cut blazer style that has no fastenings despite the low stance. It’s cut straight like a tuxedo with bracelet length sleeves. It’s linen, which means you have to be at peace with the crease. Runs small. 
  • Zara Printed Blazer With Faux Leather Piping: Here’s a fluid jacket for Team Floral that screams Spring and Summer. The simple zip front style with bracelet length sleeves allows the pattern to do all the talking. Runs small and works quite well on petites. 

Bonus Bag

  • L.K.Bennett Rosie Leather Small Bag: Not a jacket, but an ultra crisp bag. It’s stunningly structured and quite small for a satchel. Impeccable quality, dressy, and simple in design. It looks as modern as it does retro. It launched me into orbit when I saw it in Boston on the day of the gathering, pairing it with my new dressy white loafers in my head. It followed me back to Seattle as a way to remember our fun time in Boston. The name of the style is “Rosie”, which I didn’t know when purchasing the bag. That makes my new little wardrobe pet even more perfect.

Belmonte Tuxedo Jacket Dark Navy

Zara Printed Blazer with Faux Leather Piping

BCBGMaxazria Noah Floral-Lace JacketBCBGMaxazria Candice Jacket

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