Some say that before you plunk down cash for a piece of clothing, you should be able to envision it paired with at least three items already hanging in your closet. Yes, it’s a good way to keep from buying things you don’t need. But we say, why not just build your wardrobe to create three different ways to wear something? Less budget-healthy, perhaps, but WAY more fun.
With that in mind: Maybe you already own one of the omnipresent and oh-so-flattering peplum tops. Or maybe you’re just entertaining the thought of springing for one. Either way, today is your lucky day, because we’ve already done the outfit imagining for you. Here are three ways to work the peplum top—here in perfectly on-trend black leather.
Leather peplum, $295 at the Outnet.
Soften the edgy vibe of black leather by pairing it with delicate, feminine pieces and work-perfect silhouettes, such as a floral pencil skirt and a sharp fitted blazer. Finish things off with a spectator-inspired heel and a structured satchel, all in hazy hues of blush and cream.
Paul Smith pencil skirt, $350 at Farfetch; textured-panel jacket, $119.99 at Mango; Pour La Victoire Darla pumps, $250 at Shopbop; ombré stone statement necklace, $78 at Capwell; canvas-and-vachetta satchel, $140 at Kate Spade Saturday.
We’re not going to tell you to buy a white tee and a pair of perfectly fitted skinny jeans, because: duh. Why is every “essentials” list stocked with boring basics you already have? We don’t know, but we’re here to remedy that: Here are the eight style musts to mix in for the ultimate so-right-now spring wardrobe. Get one of each, and give your style an instant upgrade. You’re welcome.
1. A Sharp, Structured Jacket
This is a way chicer approach to battling overzealous AC than a ho-hum cardi. Look for a jacket with a sleek, futuristic silhouette—that means shoulder pads, some killer draping, and a slim-yet-sculpted shape.
Helmut Lang Sugar Combo jacket, $575 at Intermix.
2. A Chambray Shirt
Ok, this one isn’t so new, exactly. But still, this is an über-versatile piece every style-savvy girl should have sitting in her closet. The laid-back workhorse pairs with everything from a pleated chiffon maxi skirt to sleek leather short-shorts. It’s a must.
Perfect chambray ex-boyfriend shirt in Ferrous Wash, $69.50 at Madewell.
3. Leather Shorts
And speaking of leather shorts: Get yourself a pair. Wear them with everything, just like you would jean shorts. Lather, rinse, repeat.
Premium leather shorts, $130 at Topshop.
4. The Statement Collar Necklace
We love the dramatic punch of a major statement necklace, and the latest versions sit right at the collarbone for face-framing perfection. Mix yours with this year’s florals and stripes for a modern take.
Dannijo Zinnia necklace, $612 at Shopbop.
In 2009, Jason Wu was just baby-stepping into the fashion world when Michelle Obama put his designs on global display, wearing his ivory one-shoulder gown with appliqué to President Obama’s first inaugural ball. In January, when Mrs. Obama opted once again for a Wu inaugural dress, this time a red velvet and chiffon number, it was clear the Taiwanese-born, New York-based fashion designer was one of the First Lady’s favorites—and now a bona fide star in the industry. (FLOTUS also wore a red and black Wu dress to February’s State of the Union address.) Wu will be in Chevy Chase on April 11 for a trunk show and appearance at Saks Fifth Avenue, as well as to host his fall 2013 ready-to-wear collection on the runway at the third annual Great Ladies’ Luncheon, which will take place in a New York Fashion Week-inspired tent being constructed in the parking area adjacent to the store. Prior to his visit, we had the opportunity to chat with Wu about inspiration for his new collection and why no one ever tells the First Lady what to wear.
For the April issue of The Washingtonian—on newsstands now!—we asked 14 of Washington’s most influential fashion bloggers to model spring’s hottest trends. Photographer Trevor Dixon joined us at Joshua Cogan Studios for a two-day photo session featuring the duo behind Necessary and Proper, E from District of Chic, Carla of The President Wears Prada, and more of the District’s fashion darlings. Read on for the exclusive behind-the-scenes photos.
We love us a good collab—and doubly so when it involves a veritable legion of Washington’s creative souls. So we were pretty psyched to get a glimpse of the spring lookbook for the adorable Adams Morgan shop Violet Boutique, which teamed up Panda Head Magazine founder Morgan Hungerford West, Kate Greene, and Nilay Lawson with photog Lexie Moreland at Native Danger Studio. The result? A fusion of homegrown talent, joining forces to bring us killer images of super-cute clothes. Scroll on for more images from the just-launched lookbook, then peep the very cool making-of video, produced by Raul Zahir De Leon (of the music blog All Our Noise).
It’s true: We may not always devote quite as much attention to men’s style as we do women’s. That’s why we turned to the menswear pros at the prep-perfect sportswear line Gant—whose store opened in Georgetown last fall—to get their take on the must-haves for men this spring. The takeaway? Go for punchy colors and playful patterns. And as always, guys: Fit comes first.
Here’s the scoop from Gant CEO David Arbuthnot:
1) The Patterned Shirt
Why wear a boring solid when you can pick a pattern? Arbuthnot loves the colorful look of madras, but we say pick any pattern that pleases you (clearly alliteration pleases us). Go for checks, stripes, maybe a plaid . . . consider the fashion world your oyster.
Pastels are having a big moment this season, and not just for women. “It’s all about pastel cable sweaters,” says Arbuthnot. Try these soft shades to springify a thin sweater, or pair a pastel shirt with a dark suit for the perfect dose of contrast.
3) The Lightweight Blazer
Keep up the tailored, pulled-together look by swapping your heavier jackets for easy blazers in lightweight fabrics such as linen and cotton. Wear them to add a polished finish to just about any ensemble.
4) Colored Chinos
Why should shirts have all the fun? Pants mustn’t be limited to neutrals—infuse your wardrobe with a little color, and suddenly everything seems so much more spring-ready. Arbuthnot suggests going for “bright, optimistic, coastal colors.”
5) The Pocket Square
Our favorite men’s accessory! Use these little fabric swatches to add a dash of color or a playful pattern. “It’s a great way for a guy to dress up his wardrobe,” says Arbuthnot. He advises stocking up on a wide variety of hues and patterns, and looking for special detailing and trims.
Let’s be honest: As far as color palettes go, black and white isn’t exactly revolutionary. Just ask pandas. Or zebras. It’s a no-brainer pairing.
But when designer after designer (Alexander Wang, Michael Kors, and Marc Jacobs, to name just a few) started marching sharp, highly visual black-and-white ensembles down their spring runways, this classic combo suddenly started looking entirely fresh. Optic circus stripes, playfully mod dots, ultra-crisp contrast blocking? We’ll take one of each, please.
Let’s be real: The much-anticipated Neiman Marcus for Target collection last month was on the underwhelming side (so much so, in fact, that the retailer is actually struggling to get some of the items—now discounted 70 percent—off its shelves). Somehow, Oscar de la Renta and dog bowls don’t mix well.
So we have ultra-high hopes for the next designer in Target’s collaboration lineup: Prabal Gurung. The designer is relatively young to the industry—his label is just three years old—but his edgy-chic designs have already scored some major clients, including Lady Gaga and Michelle Obama.
The massive collection contains more than 80 ready-to-wear clothing items and accessories—think mixed-media dresses, floral blouses, and strappy sandals in spring-appropriate shades such as Calypso Coral. The designs are as thoughtful as those in Prabal Gurung’s actual line, and with nothing over $50, we’re thinking this collab could be one of Target’s best yet.
Click through the slideshow for our favorite looks from the upcoming collection, which debuts February 10 at all Target stores and online. This one has the potential to attract Missoni-level crowds, so plan to shop early on the 10th.
Jeans are a staple of pretty much every wardrobe—and we want to know how and where you shop for yours. Help us out with an upcoming story by filling out a short survey on your denim-buying habits.
As 2012 draws to a close, we’re spending a lot of time reflecting here at the Washingtonian offices. For the fashion team, which consists of the associate fashion editor (yours truly) and our fashion editor with a capital F, Kate Bennett, that means a lot of time strolling down Instagram memory lane, sussing out the highs and lows of each product pull, fashion shoot, and regular days investigating the style scene here in Washington. We love what we do on a day-to-day basis, and we thought it’d be fun to share with you. Scroll down for a behind-the-scenes look at the sparkles, stilettos, and stylish folks that make our jobs so great. (Captions run left to right, top to bottom.)
1. Prop stylist Marcie Dawkins arranging scarves for an October Great Finds story.
2. Nectar Skin Bar makeup artist Adrian Avila works his magic on makeover subject Amy Markopoulos before she goes in front of the camera to show off her new hair. (Check out the full story.)
3. Becca Thorsen at our September Style Setters shoot. This lace romper was awesome, but ultimately didn’t end up making it into the final story.
4. Six full inches of September fashion magazines stacked on Sarah’s desk, all in the name of trend and story inspiration.
5. Sometimes the floor is the best place to start piecing a spread together.
6. One major perk of the job: It allows for a pretty creative interpretation of “office-appropriate” attire, like these printed silk pants.
1. A close-up of a fun Halloween story we worked on with Meeps (you can see the full outfit in our earlier post).
2. Another awesome perk of the job: finding out about super cool fashion events (like this Jezabelle shoes flash fashion mob) and sharing them with you.
3. Sometimes it takes an awfully big light to shoot a small necklace. Here, Washingtonian photographer Andrew Propp and photo editor Kelci House set up a makeshift studio in our art department.
4. Photographer Sebastian Marin gets down low to score a close-up shot of Annie Evan’s killer work party shoes (see the full story).
5. How we plan for our annual gift guide: old-school Pinterest, a.k.a. foam boards and thumbtacks.