Sometimes we gravitate to a particular style or way of dressing unintentionally. We pick out a blouse, pair it with a certain skirt, shoes and before we know it our style has been wholly influenced. With so much inspiration out in the world, it’s easy to be influenced by a cool subliminal style.
Currently my fashion sense has been inundated with the starkness of black and white, penny loafers and cuffed trousers. I don’t know why or when, but I am currently under the influence of the 1950′s Teddy Girlstyle. Tough, masculine and casual. Teddy Girls ruled the roost and are clearly ruling my style.
Check out more photos of Teddy Girls from the fifties.
Our fashion contributor Melissa shows us her latest obsession that’s so good she may hang up her heels.
I like a tall heel as much as the next girl. Still, there comes a time when one must accept that flats are probably more appropriate for an occasion (and more comfortable). For me, that occasion is either a) the gym or b) when I am on vacation and thus planning on walking more than a few miles (I’m a museum-type vacationer) in said shoes. Seriously – my coworkers actually comment whenever I wear flats to work.
So last year when I went to London and Paris, I knew I was going to need some seriously stylish flats. Luckily, I found a pair of gray wing-tip laceless slippers that worked perfectly. Unluckily, I walked so much that I literally wore out the soles on them. But that has caused the rise of my latest obsession: loafers and smoking slippers for women.
If y’all would like to join me on this bandwagon (I encourage it! It’s comfortable up here!), feel free to check out a few of these shoes I am currently coveting:
Before there was Rihanna, there was Kelis. A no nonsense, fearless chick who screamed on tracks and dyed her hair rainbow colors, Kelis has long been in the Stylish Thought Style Hall of Fame. Badass in her music and style, Kelis spawned a legion of fans when she chopped her long curls for a short cut. Her bossy attitude transferred to her anything goes style. Kelis knew the value of shock and to this day is dressing the way she wants!
I recently cleaned out my closet (which I try to do once a year and donate anything that I haven’t worn in the past year) and timed it so that I could give the clothes to my little sister, who was in town visiting me from Chicago.
Well, it turns out, I needn’t have done that. My sister pointed out to me that pretty much all of my clothes are full of color. And she really only wears anything in the black-gray-brown/earth tones range. She’s right. From brights to pastels, I love me some color. I would much rather buy a shirt with an interesting shape in a solid color to let the design stand out.
My love of color has led me to some interesting color combinations that, if I hadn’t picked them out myself, I probably wouldn’t have agreed with in theory. Let me share (and hopefully inspire):
Any good graphic designer will tell you that you should never pair colors like teal and red together; they seem to “vibrate” to the naked eye. But that’s part of the fun! It’s certainly eye-popping and can work well when you put them together in the right combination. Check out this top - wear it under a navy suit to make your work outfit snappier, or, go crazy and pair it with red jeans to really amp it up. If you want something subtler to wear around the house, here’s something that looks cute and comfy.
I don’t just mean for bridesmaids and weddings. When you pair two shades that are awfully close together, it can hurt the eyes which naturally try to delineate the colors. This is particularly true for warmer colors (we don’t have this problem with blue and green, for instance). But this bright combo can add some cheer to any outfit, and it works best when you pick a blue-ish pink and a deeper orange. I have an unabashed love of everything Alexander McQueen, so you can bet your butt that I was excited when this dress went on sale. Here’s a less expensive option that is equally vibrant. And this shoe is sure to add a touch of sweetness to any outfit.
(Fun fact: did you know that “navy” is actually more of a gray? It’s different than “navy blue.”) See above on why colors that are similar can be problematic. But, this is a sophisticated way to add a bit of color in an otherwise funereal (ok, fine, or “sophisticated” for you New Yorkers wearing all black) outfit. Throw on a black t-shirt with this skirt and you’re set to go – see, not a fashion faux pas. Throw this jacket (for a sophisticated look) or this jacket (in blue for an edgier look) over your LBD. Or, skip the LBD altogether and go with an LNBABD (little navy-blue-and-black dress...doesn’t roll of the tongue quite the same way).
Pro Tip: To hopefully inspire you to add some more color to your wardrobe, check out the blog plentyofcolour.com. She is able to look at the world through the lens of color and find beauty in unexpected places!
How do you mix color? What color combinations are you dying to try?
The 4th of July is one of those rare holidays where you can sport your patriotism proudly! You know we love an occasion to dress in theme and much like rabble rousing teens Michelle Williams and Kirsten Dunst in Dick, showing your love for your country includes rocking stars and stripes. If you’re not keen on dressing as an American flag head to toe, here are 6 pieces you can wear to show just how proud you are to be an American!
Stars & Stripes Cropped Top and Mini Skirt, Mali Romeo
For many of us, inspiration comes from the supermodels on the pages of Vogue or the celebrities on the red carpet. For me, I’ve always been intriqed with how “real” people dress. I know models and celebrities are “real” people, but I’m referring to people who don’t work or get paid to be professional hangers. Women who love style from an authentic place and take care to dress amazingly even when no one is looking.
Thanks to the blogsophere, I get the opportunity to peruse the style of “real” women and when I happen upon a blogger’s whose style I can’t get enough of, I stalk their blogs and style for dear life. For my first edition of Style Stalking, I introduce to you Ioana Liliana of Fashezine. Ioana has a regal style that effortlessly mixes vintage with ladylike femininity. Her winged eyeliner, red hair and signature red lips add an essence of quiet bombshell and she has a killer vintage shoes and accessories collection. Ioana’s style is equal parts whimsical, retro and baroque.
Playing dress up is by far one of my favorite past-times with dancing my ass off a close second. So what do you get when you put getting ready and dancing together? A DRESS UP DANCE PARTY! Putting on some Prince, Vanity 6 and RuPaul, pulling out all my makeup and dancing around my apartment works me into a frenzy. Grabbing a hairbrush microphone, I lip-sync for my LIFE and QUEEN out voguing all over the damn place; all while tearing my closet to pieces. It’s great cardio and you’ll have a helluva good time.
He stood in the Purple Rain and under the Cherry Moon, bathed in the waters of Lake Winnatonaka and partied like it was 1999 (never gets old). In the movie of my life (starring Sanaa Lathan as moi) Prince’s music provides the bass pumping, sex-infused soundtrack. Besides being a living musical legend (and bonafide F-O-X) Prince Rogers Nelson is a fashion GAWD! He’s the pioneer of 80’s glam and a champion for male heels and what’s not to love about a man who wraps his hair before bed. Talk about swagger.
With the recent Prince tribute at the BET awards, I’ve been reflecting on the things Prince, in all his splendor, has taught me about style.
Bell bottom flares never go out of style
Prince knows his proportions and flared bell bottoms seem to work for a man of his stature, go figure. He’s worn them for over 3 decades, now that’s commitment. In crafting a signature style, knowing what works and sticking with it is key. The lesson: The Brady Bunch may be gone, but bell bottoms are here to stay
Your facial expressions are the ultimate accessory
Prince is notorious for his shifting eyes and sexual expressions, like he’s undressing you with mind control. Whether you adopt some kooky eyewear or lip pout, your face should be a shinning beacon to your inner moist most thoughts. The lesson: Face, face, face give them FACE!
Lake Minnetonka is the fountain of youth
And speaking of face, Prince’s skin is like supple buttermilk. The man doesn’t age. Maybe it’s bathing in the waters of Lake Minnetonka or Pond’s cold cream but flawless skin is the ultimate in poised presentation.The lesson: If Prince says get naked and jump in lake, I’ll be the first one in line
Imitation is the sincerest form of Imitation
Prince is an original and while there’s an army of imitators (Rihanna, Keri Hilson, Me) there’s only one Prince Rogers. But do you think he’s sweating these imitators, hell naw. He loves it and even cleverly crafted the personae of Vanity 6 to be a female likeness of himself. The lesson: Imitate and interpret away
You can never have enough ruffles
This is a no-brainer. A ruffled blouse is a go-to staple for any burgeoning sex gawd and it takes a real man to wear an Edwardian blouse to rival Henry VII. The lesson:Ruffles=Style
Heels are mandatory
A champion for male heels (or lifts as they’re referred to in the orthopedic community) Prince defied convention long before Gaga had her male stiletto army. Can you imagine Prince asking for a higher heel on his boots and the female clerk looking perplexed? The lesson: We all need a little Lift in life.
Assless pants, yes please!
I remember watching the 1991 MTV music awards when Prince did an about-face to the camera bearing his ASSests. Talk about balls, which thankfully were concealed. For better (or worse) the image is etched in my brain and while Gaga is raising flags with blurred crotch, Prince is the originator in this thing called Shock, no censorship needed. The lesson: “Showing your ass” can be a good thing
Let your clothes do the talking, so you don’t have to
When not shrieking on a track, Prince’s speaking voice is particularly soft-spoken. His style speaks volumes so he doesn’t have to. The lesson: A crushed velvet onesie doesn’t need much explaining
Consistency is key
From the early 80s to today, not much as changed in the way of Prince’s style. He’ll always been the Glam King and guess what: it works! Sure he’s traded his lace for matching two-piece bell bottom suits, but his ensembles are always indelibly Prince. The lesson: Be consistent in your kookiness
Be Yourself but if you can’t, be Prince
And that brings me to the biggest lesson the Artist Formerly known as Prince has taught me. True style comes from being yourself or referencing someone much cooler and stylish like him and calling it inspiration. Whatever works. The lesson: Be yourself, but borrow heavily from Prince’s repertoire.
Do you love Prince’s style? What off-the-wall star inspires your style?