Style – Perennial Prints

7 ESSENTIAL PRINTS EVERY WARDROBE NEEDS – 4 all ages.

So you’ve stocked up on solid T-shirts, dark wash jeans and other wardrobe basics —now it’s time to talk about prints! prints1

All these prints can be incorporated into your wardrobe all year long depending on the fabric and how you wear them.

1) Flirty FloralsFloralBuds are showing up on everything from dresses to shoes to purses. And you don’t have to be a teenager to wear this playful pattern. Today’s florals come in a wide variety of age-friendly colors, sizes and prints, from artsy brushstroke buds to abstract blooms in black and white. To translate this trend from runway to real-way, start by choosing separates. Hone in on one piece or detail.

2) Houndstooth – HoundstoothFrom masculine styling to minis, from large and bold to small and subtle, houndstooth was the woven pattern of the 2013 season. Designers presented more iterations than previously thought possible — and you can change your mind about what you considered old-school textile.  How do you get in on the good looks? Search for traditional houndstooth patterns in vintage shops which are ideal if you’re not into spending thousands on high fashion (or can’t).

 3)  The Power of Plaid:

PLAIDThis bold, rugged print is a perpetual fall/winter favorite. Some automatically associate it with lumberjacks, Scotsmen, and farmers but these girls don’t look like either. The pattern can be surprisingly versatile once you know how to wear it – the trick is to limit the amount.  Avoid overwhelming your look with too much of it. Either stick with one prominent plaid piece or several small plaid accessories.

bbbbbbbbbbbb

Above: Arielle, Danielle, and Michaela Nachmani, the sisters behind the online shopping destination Shop Grl. You may recognize Arielle from the hit street-style fashion blog Something Navy. Danielle, the site’s creative director, is a celebrity fashion stylist. And Michaela, the youngest sister, is the muse for the site. They’re pros at styling trends to fit their own unique vibes.  I have the shirt on the left.

4) Legendary Leopard –

leopardA  beginner’s guide to wearing Leopard:  When it comes to leopard print, you prefer a purr to a roar – a little of this bold look can go a long way. One way to ease yourself into wearing the print is to simply throw on a lightweight leopard scarf or gloves.

The always chic, Alexa Chung elevates a simple black and gray outfit by carrying an oversized leopard tote -essentially, the easiest way to spice up an otherwise basic look.

5) Pretty in Polka Dots Polka Dots– bold 1950’s-inspired prints like polka dots help to bring a retro vibe to your wardrobe. This is a traditional print so while polka dots may seem like a juvenile trend (Minnie Mouse, anyone?) the truth is that they can be done in a playful, yet grown-up way that’s perfect for work or the weekend.

Not sure? In the same way that animal prints are best kept in small doses, polka dots are a fashion treat that can work best as an accessory to your look.  Pick one signature piece and work your look around that. Or just wear a dotty lingerie set even if you’re the only one who sees it.

6) Stripes stripes– When paired with the right pieces, stripes can really enhance your figure and keep you looking up-to-date. The horizontal stripes always reminds me of St-Tropez or French style in general. On the runways this season, designers were mixing wide and thin stripes or pairing stripes with florals; such matchups generally don’t work for day-to-day looks. The key to wearing stripes in the real world is to always wear just one print matched with a solid. For example, a vertically striped blouse looks great with white trousers or jeans. Vertically striped pants or skirts can make you look taller and styish when worn with a solid-colored tee.

 7) Wildcard

A Bold Wildcard Option – think of it as your weapon

when faced with a wardrobe crisis, this statement piece (you choose) will make an outfit of basics seem more special. Even if you aren’t a “print person,” it’s good to have at least one. I like lips, birds and other animal prints.

Which print do you tend to wear the most?

style & substance – wardrobe staples worth the splurge

Falling for FALL

  As much as we want to hang on to Summer, Fall is just around the corner and with these 10 investment pieces you can’t go wrong.

In every woman’s wardrobe, there are places one should splurge and places one should save.  Unlike fleeting trends, closet classics—things you’ll love for years to come, regardless of ever-changing fashion fads—are the obvious best place to sink your shopping dollars. Here are 10 splurge-worthy staples that, while guaranteed to take a bigger chunk out of your budget, chances are they’ll be sticking around for awhile.

Black or Camel Coat

COAT
COAT

Outerwear trends come and go every autumn, but there are a few coat classics that never change—and two timeless hues in particular, black and camel. A Burberry duffel coat’s casual enough that you won’t have to save it only for special occasions, while a chic peacoat infuses any look with instant prep appeal. As for Max Mara’s beautiful self-belted topper, it’s the sort of piece you could pass down to your daughter or niece one day.

from left: wool-felt duffle coat, $995, burberry brit, net-a-porter.com; gaila coat in roanoke wool blend, $695, theory.com; manuela coat, $1,456, max mara, matchesfashion.com

Classic Watch

WATCH
WATCH

More practical than nearly any other piece of jewelry, a watch adds instant polish and professionalism to any look, and is something you’ll keep for years to come. Why shouldn’t yours be an absolute knockout?

from left: chronograph watch in rose gold/navy, $275, michaelkors.com; medor, $4,050, hermes.com; tank française watch, medium model, $4,700, cartier.us

Patent Pumps

PUMPS
PUMPS

A simple, classic pump works for everything from job interviews to first dates to black-tie weddings to girls’ night out. Find a pair that’s comfy (OK, relatively so) and take the plunge. (Side note: while I love a smooth calfskin heel too, I think there’s something about glossy patent that just adds that extra somethin’ somethin’.)

from left: decollete 868 100 mm, $625, christianlouboutin.com; aimee patent platform pump, $675, jimmy choo, bergdorfgoodman.com; tayler patent leather d’orsay pumps, $735, manolo blahnik, saksfifthavenue.com

Ballet Flats

Though less overtly sexy than the aforementioned stilettos, ballet flats are (or should be, at least) the day-in-day-out workhorses of a modern girl’s footwear wardrobe. Chances are you’ll likely clock more miles in these babies than in your heels,

BALLET
BALLET

so take care when shopping for them. Porselli and Repetto make beautiful, ballerina-approved versions, and many editors swear by Lanvin’s flattering hidden-wedge take on this sleek staple.

from left: porselli ballet flats, $190, apc.fr; leather ballet flats, $560, lanvin, net-a-porter.com; the cendrillon textured-leather ballet flats, $285, repetto, net-a-porter.com

Little Black Dress

LBD
LBD

Audrey wore them. Carine Roitfeld lives in them. Kate Moss accessorizes hers to the hilt. A simple black fit-and-flare dress, body-con number or sleek sheath works for pretty much any scenario imaginable and is guaranteed to make you look your absolute best, so it’s a sound item to spend a little extra on.

from left: sleeveless dress, $2,367.50, lanvin vault, farfetch.com; ripple stretch-crepe dress, $1,150, preen by thornton bregazzi, net-a-porter.com; arabesque metallic embroidered dress, $3,351, azzedine alaïa, matchesfashion.com

Printed Cocktail Dress

PCD
PCD

That said, when you’re in the mood to make even more of a statement, there’s nothing like a boldly patterned party frock. The trick here is to choose one in a relatively classic print—think florals, polka dots or easy geometric graphics.

from left: ruby printed silk crepe de chine and cotton-blend lace dress, $3,220, erdem, net-a-porter.com; garden-print dress, $895, red valentino, saksfifthavenue.com; embellished lace and silk-faille dress, $6,990, oscar de la renta, net-a-porter.com

Perfectly-Fitting Denim

PFD
PFD

There’s absolutely nothing—nothing—like finding that amazing pair of derrière-perfecting, leg-lengthening, hip-slimming jeans. Sink a little extra cash into your blues, and they’ll pay for themselves in compliments.

from left: 811 mid-rise skinny leg, $191, jbrandjeans.com; the marrakesh, $168.30, mih-jeans.com; stretch cotton-blend leggings-style jeans, $187, rag & bone jean, net-a-porter.com

Gray Cardigan

GREY CARDIGAN
GREY CARDIGAN

Yes, black cardigans are great too, but hear me out: when you’re already dressed in head-to-toe noir, sometimes you need another, slightly lighter neutral to keep the look from veering into Morticia Addams territory. In such cases, gray’s your go-to. Heather-colored cardis look equally great with little white dresses, too—as well as pretty much everything in one’s closet.

from left: cashmere and silk-blend cardigan, $640, miu miu, net-a-porter.com; asymmetric hem cardigan, $595, alexander wang, barneys.com; collection cashmere boyfriend cardigan, $238, jcrew.com

Oversized Cashmere or Wool Wrap

WRAP
WRAP

How do we love our enormous cashmere throws? Let us count the ways: they’re the perfect way to stay warm in snowy weather (when you live in a windy city, a coat alone just doesn’t cut it), they double as blankets (and pillows!) on long plane or car trips and they sort of make us feel like Stevie Nicks. Solid.

from left: cashmere travel wrap, $295, whiteandwarren.com; striped wool-blend wrap, $600, missoni, net-a-porter.com; cashmere ruana, $498, brooksbrothers.com

Timeless Handbag

BAG
BAG

If you’re looking for the absolute most reliable place to sink those wardrobe dollars, a classic carryall’s your best bet. Whether you opt for a classic flap-front 2.55 shoulder bag, a quilted tote or even a tiny crossbody carryall, there’s just no going wrong with anything double-C-adorned. Proenza Schouler’s cult-forming PS1, meanwhile, has made the tricky transition from trend to cool classic with ease. And of course, few can resist the heritage-steeped house of Hermès. While Birkins and Kellys may yield the longest waitlists, we’re currently smitten with the smaller Constance crossbody.

clockwise from left: vintage constance bag, $6,700, hermès, portero.com; ps1 medium leather, $1,695, proenzaschouler.com; classic flap bag, $4,400, chanel.com for locations

In my INbox: From Lucky Magazine by Elana Fishman.

So….how did you score?  Are you a perfect 10?