Come holiday time, we could all use some outfit inspiration. So, be they for New Year's Eve or a boozy brunch or a quiet dinner party at home, the 10 looks ahead will help you end 2013 on a sartorial high note — and offer you tons of helpful winter-dressing advice, too.
Photo: Gregory Pace/BEImages.
1. How To Do Biker-Chic Like Behati Prinsloo
Faux-fur jacket, slim leather pants, badass biker boots — now, that’s what we call a going-out ensemble! Behati Prinsloo (a.k.a. the future Mrs. Adam Levine) brought a little '70s charm to the NYC premiere of American Hustle, shelling out a whole lot of look and those mile-long gams, of course. While the rest of the red carpet opted for more formal attire, Prinsloo's carefree, cool-girl attitude reigned supreme in our books. And, her slightly bohemian-meets-deconstructed-biker-glam outfit is just itching for an R29 recreation (or, at least, that's where we're going with this). Fringed collar necklace; fuzzy, colorblocked topper; maroon skinnies — add a plain, white tee, and you've got a decidedly daring style of your own. Maybe we will opt for a similar, less conventional ensemble this New Year's Eve, too. LBDs, begone!
Ainea 'Ermite' Faux Fur Jacket, $582.73, available at Farfetch; Madewell Slub V-Neck Pocket Tee, $25, available at Madewell; Scotch & Soda Slim Fit Biker Inspired Leather Pants, $277, available at Scotch & Soda; Free People Ombre Fringe Collar, $38, available at Free People; AllSaints Jules Heeled Biker Boot, $308, available at AllSaints; Pieces Diw Snake Print Super Slim Jeans Belt, $16.33, available at ASOS.
2. Jenni Kayne Shows Us How To Do Cali-Girl Cool (Even During Winter!)
You might be wondering how to encapsulate that California, cool-girl style into an outfit. Well, we're pretty sure designer Jenni Kayne has the answer. Branching out way beyond her best-selling d'Orsay flats, Kayne's pre-fall 2014 collection provides an approach to casual elegance that's utterly refreshing, understated, and easy to wear. A billowy, white maxi-skirt paired with a soft camel sweater, faux-fur snood, and a pair of shades — we're in sartorial heaven. And, the slightly oversized silhouette is everything we love about fashion this season, not to mention the comfort level, which is simply off the charts for this look. So, as the temperatures dip into their seasonal norms in the coming days, you can bet we'll be slipping into this Cali-goddess outfit, stat. All we ask? Don't judge if we "accidentally" wear this ensemble to work twice in one week.
Photo: Courtesy of Jenni Kayne.
Zara Sweater with Side Detail, $49.90, available at Zara; Etienne Deroeux White Node Maxi Skirt, $315, available at Avenue 32; Jenni Kayne Leather d'Orsay Flats, $495, available at Shopbop; Urban Outfitters Retro Round Metal Sunglasses, $16, available at Urban Outfitters; John Lewis Faux Fur Snood, $49.05, available at John Lewis; Catbird Dark & Stormy Earrings, $49, available at Catbird.
3. Pile On The Layers! How To Kick Winter's Butt
After a brr-tastic December of subzero wind chills and heaps of snow and ice, we'd be perfectly happy to stay snuggled up in our cozy comforters all day long today. Alas, we came to work and braved winter's frigid temperatures — all in the name of fashion. But, not without ample layers à la Thakoon Addition's pre-fall 2014 collection. And, seriously, an oversized scarf does wonders for days like these. So, we recreated a look from the line that not only maxes out on toastiness but is also incredibly put-together for those days when comfort and warmth are key. A ginormous neck sheath layered over a chunky sweater coat, over a denim shirtdress, over velvet leggings — let's just say that Thakoon Panichgul is totally speaking our language. For a finished, commuter-ready ensemble, throw on a big puffer jacket for the ultimate winter-weather buffer.
Photo: Courtesy of Thakoon Addition.
Uniqlo Heavy Gauge Sweater Coat, $39.90, available at Uniqlo; Steven Alan New Classic Shirtdress, $107, available at Steven Alan; Zara Velvet Leggings, $35.90, available at Zara; Wool And The Gang Foxy Roxy Scarf, $189, available at Wool And The Gang; Vagabond Dion Platform Boot, $125, available at Urban Outfitters; Time’s Arrow Black Metallic Triology Leather Shoulder Bag, $550, available at SSENSE.
4. Elizabeth Olsen's Chic Way To Elevate A Simple, White Tee
Imagine your basic, white tee as a painter's blank canvas. It may not look like much on its own, but with some clever styling, your unadorned, ol' crewneck won’t look so plain anymore. Case in point: Elizabeth Olsen's sleek, minimalist approach to party attire. Yes, unsurprisingly, when you're swimming in the same gene pool as Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, good looks and enviable style are pretty much a given. Sigh.
To recreate Olsen's simple, nighttime attire, we’re dressing up J.Crew’s Perfect-Fit Tee with a blue-tweed blazer, open-toed booties, and drape-y, black pant for a dinner-and-drinks look with heaps of personality. Instead of mixing and matching colors, contrast the textures in your outfit — here, we focused on tweed, jacquard, and leather — for a look that is refined, smart, and unfussy. Top it off with metallic accessories like delicate gold jewelry and a silver crossbody for a perfectly understated ensemble.
Photo: Patrick McMullan.
Rebecca Taylor Stripe Tweed Jacket, $297, available at Rebecca Taylor; Scotch & Soda Drapy Party Pants, $64, available at Scotch & Soda; J.Crew Perfect-Fit Tee, $24.50, available at J.Crew; Elizabeth and James Cynnie Metallic Lizard-Effect Leather Shoulder Bag, $645, available at Net-A-Porter; Maison Martin Margiela Open Toe Curved Heel Boot, $894, available at Totokaelo; Natasha Couture Thin Collar Necklace, $24, available at Nordstrom.
5. A Plaid-On-Plaid Outfit You'll Love — Promise!
Sporting mismatched plaids may not be an obvious choice for your work outfit, but trust us when we say that it's a total wardrobe game changer. Usually, we decide between a patterned top or bottom, but really, why not both? Mixed prints have been featured all over the runway the past few seasons, and clearly the trend isn't losing steam. It's exactly what Belstaff's pre-fall 2014 collection is serving up best.
The trick to nailing the plaid-on-plaid look is in focusing on coordinating color schemes so that neither print overpowers the other. Here, we opted for a black-and-white palette, accenting the ensemble with a deep, oxblood tone for added depth. Pull-on ankle boots (paired with fuzzy socks!), an olive satchel, and a funky watch turn this into an essential cool-girl outfit to wear this winter. And, if you're really daring, you'll top it off with a matching statement coat, too!
Photo: Courtesy of Belstaff.
Joie Jenette Sweater, $218, available at Joie; 3.1 Phillip Lim Sculpted Flare Skirt, $375, available at Forward; Anne Klein Bunty Casual Booties, $71.40, available at Macy’s; Belstaff Dorchester Small Handbag in Olive, $1,170, available at Belstaff; Topshop Black Fluffy Boot Socks, $12, available at Topshop; Nixon x Kate Spade Saturday Time Teller Watch, $85, available at Kate Spade Saturday.
6. Olivia Palermo Shows Us Three Ways To Upgrade An Outfit In A Flash
Pant, shirt, vest. A rather simple outfit, but with a few easy accessory upgrades, it could be a total style home run. Take Olivia Palermo's understated black-and-white look that she donned for an event earlier this month. Enhanced with a playful pair of heels, a jeweled clutch, and a crystal brooch, Palermo's got herself a bona fide, red-carpet-worthy ensemble. It highlights her neutral pieces without even a hint of boring.
And, you, too, can embrace colorful accoutrements in a way that won't seem like you're trying too hard. Start with a blank canvas: Pair a silky, black blouse and cropped trousers with a sleek, white waistcoat. Then, here's where the fun comes in: Accent your vest with a sparkly brooch for some unexpected glimmer. Choose an embellished or metallic clutch for extra character, and swap your go-to black pumps for a python print or something equally eye-catching. Remember, it's all in the details.
Photo: Leandro Justen/BFANYC.com.
Stuart Weitzman The Gemma Clutch, $695, available at Stuart Weitzman; Haider Ackermann Layered Waistcoat, $1,801, available at Farfetch; Babaton Beau Blouse, $120, available at Aritzia; Jean-Michel Cazabat Emma Suede Pumps, $206.50, available at Shopbop; Givenchy Crystal Cluster Brooch, $68, available at Nordstrom; Zara Two-Ply Trousers, $59.90, available at Zara.
7. How To Wear All Red Without Looking Like A Post-Christmas Santa
When the holidays arrive, we typically find ourselves shamelessly swiping a cookie or two from Santa's milk-and-cookie platter. After all, is "he" really going to eat all of those sugary confections? Impossible. But, even though we share similar appetites, that doesn't mean we'd ever want to don jolly ol' St. Nick's festive suit ourselves — well, save for costume parties. Even though the holidays are a time to experiment with bold colors, sparkly embellishments, and outfits we don't necessarily have an opportunity to wear otherwise, there's a fine line between holiday-chic and Kris Kringle. So, we sourced some inspiration from Akris for a cocktail-ready look that's the perfect balance of festive and fashionable. Introducing: the all-red ensemble. Feel free to ditch the black-on-black for a monochrome tone like berry or oxblood that reflects your holiday spirit without the aggressiveness of a fire-engine-red hue. Keep your makeup natural and your accessories neutral for a finished style that's not the least bit overdone.
Photo: Courtesy of Akris.
Babaton Finley Blouse, $115, available at Aritzia; 3.1 Phillip Lim CDC Drape Pocket Pants, $452, available at Boutique 1; Undercover Twisted Collar Bike Jacket, $2,670.60, available at Farfetch; Akris Ai Little Messenger Cervocalf Bag, $1,560, available at Akris; Rachel Zoe Love Me Knot Long Single Knot Necklace, $122.50, available at Shopbop; Charles by Charles David 'Pact' Pump, $66.29, available at Nordstorm.
8. A Classy Take On Sheer That's Unexpectedly Ladylike
Looking for a cheeky way to add a little sheer to your holiday-party repertoire? But, concerned about overexposing yourself at the company's annual shindig? Don't be an HR nightmare. Lela Rose dreamed up an utterly sophisticated, ladylike iteration of the see-through trend — and there's not a side-boob in sight!
First things first: Choose a classic bandeau and fancy, high-waisted briefs for full coverage of all your lady bits. So, even if you do flash a li'l skin, you're wearing underpinnings that are meant to be seen. For your top layer, stick to pieces with strong details like the lace midi-skirt-and-striped-sweater pairing below — people will focus on the patterns, not necessarily the translucent nature of the clothes. If you're still wary about the work-appropriateness of the look, opt for a thin lining (like in the Tibi skirt we selected) for extra peace of mind. Finish with sassy bobby pins, a bright pump, and a red lip for a next-level party frock. Now, that's a whole lot of oomph!
Photo: Courtesy of Lela Rose.
Tibi Lace Midi Skirt, $495, available at Saks Fifth Avenue; Zara Sweater with Sheer Stripe, $49.90, available at Zara; Cosabella Never Say Never Flirtie Bandeau Bra, $52.50, available at Cosabella; Lonely Hearts Sabel High Waisted Brief, $70, available at Lonely Hearts; Lauren Ralph Lauren Adena Pumps, $59.99, available at Macy’s; ban.do Smoke & Kisses Bobby Pin, $65, available at Catbird.
9. Elizabeth and James Shows Us How To Do A Sophisticated-Shopper Uniform
December 25 came and went, and we're already on top of those post-Christmas sales (of which there are many). Which means that this weekend will consist of trekking from store to store until we've shopped our way to a brand-new closet (we wish!). So, in preparation for the laborious Saturday and Sunday ahead, we've created our fashionable version of battle attire with a little inspiration from Elizabeth and James. This outfit can handle all of those pushy shoppers, pesky sales assistants, and whatever the elements have in store, too. So, keep it comfy: A cropped pant and cowl-neck sweater read casual yet polished. Finish with an oversize coat and leopard-print satchel for a cool-girl touch. And, don't forget a trusty pair of loafers! Your arches will thank you later. Ready, set, shop!
Topshop Oversized Textured Throw Coat, $240, available at Topshop; Elizabeth and James Print Haircalf Satchel $625, available at Walin & Wolff; American Eagle Factory Cowl Neck Sweater, $49.95, available at American Eagle; Friends & Associates Carys Pintuck Trousers, $295, available at Friends & Associates; Maria Francesca Pepe Stacking Bangles, $261.50, available at Wolf & Badger; Cole Haan Women's Laurel Mocs, $149.99, available at Macy’s.
10. Alexa Chung Turns Up The Dial On LWDs
When doesn't Alexa Chung kill it on the red carpet? Oh, that's right — she's a walking street-style snap just waiting to happen. And, we're especially loving the simple, sophisticated ensemble (à la Stella McCartney) the model donned for the British Fashion Awards this month. Chicness and effortlessness seamlessly integrated into this LWD look — and we're positively itching to recreate Chung's glam factor for our next holiday cocktail party. A flirty, white minidress paired with ankle-strap stilettos and an oversized coat is the perfect union of ladylike staples and menswear-inspired pieces. Accented with romantic, red lips and a printed clutch, this neutral outfit shows us that even an understated palette can still pack a very fashionable punch.
Photo: Jonathan Hordle/REX USA.
Stella McCartney Eloise Bi-Colour Double Breasted Coat, $1,556, available at Matches Fashion; Topshop Animal Jacquard Swing Slip Dress, $70, available at Topshop; Henri Bendel Petite Deb Pearl Drop Earrings, $58, available at Henri Bendel; Loeffler Randall Lock Clutch, $395, available at Loeffler Randall; Nine West Camelle, $89, available at Zappos; Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick in Grenadine, $20, available at Sephora.