A special welcome to top NY fashion stylist Kendall Farr! Kendall has dressed many celebrities and has also served as a design consultant for a number of fashion labels. She’s the author of The Pocket Stylist and Style Evolution. I had the pleasure of interviewing fabulous Kendall about ageless style, which was utterly delightful. It’s high time we brought back her style wisdom to YLF. If you’re not a frock gal you’re going to especially love this post.
It’s no style secret that we are living in a very casual age. Looking effortlessly put together and individually stylish makes dressing up a tricky business. How much sparkle does one wear without going right over the top?
Here is a fashion truth: The best cocktail looks will always pair something za za with something decidedly lower key. Enter The Little Black Pant (LBP). The perfect LBP is every bit as important to have in your wardrobe as the LBD because it is the kind of essential anchor piece that keeps a cocktail look from appearing labored over.
Cropped and pleated, tuxedo inspired (like this pair from Alexander Wang), dead classic with a flat front and a lean, stove-piped leg, truly cigarette-slim or wide-legged, your pant should be your cut. Talbots offers a range of styles priced and sized for reality.
Enhance the leg lengthening line with a pair of black evening pumps. Then think about the ease of dressing for the evening with your LBP (and pumps) in place and ready to take on different combinations such as:
A Trophy Jacket
While the tux jacket is always a chic option, it was the cropped and embellished statement jacket that made an impact on Fall runways. The look is very of-the-moment especially when layered over a sheer blouse. This look needn’t cost a fortune. Fast fashion mecca H&M has statement-making jackets with gold embroidery on black velvet, rhinestones on black rayon, and a red number with a ruffled front all priced around $39.99.
You can’t swing your purse in any store without hitting something covered in sequins. But when it comes to tailoring like jackets or pants cheap can be telling. Tees cut in all-over sequins work for casual cocktails or lower the sight line altogether with an affordable sequined clutch or a pair of pumps worn with a silk or sheer blouse and your LBP.
Dress Over Pants
If you are over 25 you have undoubtedly experienced the frisson of spotting a dress that looks promising only to discover that it is crotch length. If the cut is a simple A-line or tunic shape and embellished, cut in an evening fabric, sheer, or possessed of an interesting sleeve treatment then wear it over your pants.
Let’s not forget about the LBP cut in black brocade, shot with metallic thread or styled in sequins or shiny satin like this belted style from J. Crew. Time to temper the bottom flash with a bit of low key on top. One of my favorite pairings is a slouchy black V-neck sweater (don’t overlook the men’s department) paired with a glamorous pant and some serious jewelry. The key is to wear a V-neck that is low enough to elongate your neck. Pass on any V that sits above mid-chest. This is a great place to sling the Swarovski crystals. I like the combination of big cuffs at the wrists and a pair of drop earrings. And the forever appeal of the crisp white cotton shirt with French cuffs adds a classic juxtaposition to sequins, brocade or sheen. Again, if you are tall or voluptuous, the men’s department is the ticket for shirts with a tapered fit that offer just the right amount of oversized to look current.
And one more thought…unless you are a kid, leave the LBS (Little Black Shorts) in the store.
Be sure to visit Kendall’s blog for more stylish wisdom.