After all the daytime grilling and lounging, it’s time go out and really celebrate summer! People will be out and about feeling rested, energized, and amped up about the holiday weekend! Time to ditch the denim and get on with your glam!
Whether your style is sparkly, bohemian, or classic, there are ways to look your finest. Maxi dresses always add a touch of drama, and heeled gladiator booties are perfect for summer nights out. Adding a little gold will go great with that glow you garnered after sitting outside all day, and this is the only season where you can really rock your sleeveless dresses sans cover-up.
Dress: Guess Jeans (size M) $25 / Necklace: $18 / Sandals: Stuart Weitzman (size 9) $89
Dress: Notice (size S) $49 / Wood & Leather Necklace: $16 / Rope & Shell Belt: $15 / Clutch: Vintage Gucci $79 / Shoes: LF, size 8 $29
Dress: Zara Woman (size L) $29 / Elastic & Velour Belt: $15 / Patent Leather Bag: Etienne Aigner $25 / Shoes: Dana Buchman (size 8.5) $49
Dress: Dharma Imports (size M) $38 — NWT! / Leather & Grommet Tote: Carlos Falchi $89 / Sandals: Miz Mooz (size 7.5) $25
~Kim, FashioniSTA/Store Manager – Harvard Square
Every urbanite knows that a designer ID case holds the keys (sometimes literally) to her life. Subway pass, credit card, ID and some cash for a cab fare back home. The basic necessities for a perfect night (or afternoon) out. Such a vital accessory can’t be less-than-perfect. I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect ID case for months – as my patent leather Kate Spade New York case finally bit the dust. I was browsing through STA 219 Newbury Street and there I saw it.
Supple black leather. Embossed with a swirled floral design. A hint of a pink leather lining. Interlocking silver C’s. I died and went to accessory heaven. It was love at first sight.
The price tag was reasonable, especially since it was Chanel. But as a twentysomething on a budget, I hesitated. (I do have to eat more than just Ramen noodles.) I handed it back to the manager, still a bit overbudget, I told her I needed to justify it to myself.
It took three steps down Newbury Street. It hit me that nowhere else would ever have taken such a vested interest in me and my purchases, and that I would never find this piece for under $175 again. (It also hit me that I should never turn my back on Chanel. Ever.)
I’ve never been happier with an accessory before. A complete match made in couture heaven – thanks to STA 219 Newbury.
~Meredith, fashioniSTA shopper, Second Time Around
No matter how large your family gatherings may be, there’s always at least one person present that you need to “dress your best” for. Picky grandparents, that cousin with whom you’re always competing, mother-in-law… time with the extended family should never be taken for granted, but who wants the added stress of dressing for the occasion? No one, so here’s how you can make it a breeze! Learn how to incorporate your taste into outfits that are coordinated and pulled together. Keep your outfit consistent in textures and patterns so as not to clash; it helps you come across as pulled together, not to mention make you appear as if you made an effort to dress well. Some simple fashion rules to keep in mind…
– Dress comfortably, both physically and emotionally. Don’t take a risk with a color / print / style if you don’t feel 100% confident in it; if you feel self-conscious all day about your choice, you won’t be able to relax, and people pick up on that. The same goes for wearing something too structured; if you’re physically uncomfortable in something after only an hour of wearing it, you won’t be able to stop thinking about your discomfort all day. And who wants that?
– Dress your size. Don’t squeeze into something because you reeeeeeally wanted to wear it, and don’t wear anything too oversized (unless it’s intentionally sized that way) — you’ll come across as if you’re hiding (or hiding a baby bump).
– When in doubt, dress up instead of down. Many fashion icons have stated that it’s better to be overdressed for an occasion than under. You can be noticed for looking too fabulous or for looking too boring. You choose.
– Never sacrifice your own personal style for the sake of someone’s expectations. Just temporarily tailor it to put your best face forward for the situation!
Check out some outfit choices from our Harvard Square location:
Tank: Dharma Imports (size S) $28 — NWT! / Jersey Knit Scarf: American Apparel $9 / Skirt: Chip & Pepper (size 6) $35 / Bag: Dooney & Bourke $49 / Flats: Enzo Angiolini (size 8.5) $29
Dress: Dharma Imports (size M) $34 — NWT! / Wooden Bead & Rope Necklace: $8 / Bag: Isabella Fiore $59 / Sandals: Prada (size 8.5) $119
Top: Dharma Imports (size S) $24 — NWT! / Jean Skirt: Theory (size $35 / Suede Belt: $15 / Wooden Bead Necklace: $14 / Bag: The Limited $25 / Sandals: Frye (size 10) $59
~Kim, Store Manager-Harvard Square/FashioniSTA
Cape Cod (or, as it’s affectionately referred to by Bostonians, “The Cape”) has a very specific look — think J. McLaughlin, Lilly Pulitzer, SATC’s Charlotte York. “Preppy-Casual,” if you will. Fashionistas frolicking along the Massachusetts coastline (including its’ sister islands, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket) have long appreciated the great style classics of prints and patterns with modest-yet-cultured cuts and shapes. If you’re heading to Cape Cod this summer – or if you just want to look like you are – focus on coordinating your colors and textures, and don’t forget to pack a sweater for those cool waterfront nights.
Dress: Calypso (size M) $49 / Necklace: $12 / Rope Belt: $15 / Straw Fedora: $1
Jacket: Club Monaco (size XS) $39 / Dress: J. McLaughlin (size 12) $59 / Necklace: $14 / Sandals: Frye (size 10) $59 / Bag: Coach $89
Cardigan: Salvatore Ferragamo (size S) $59 / Dress: Lilly Pulitzer (size 10) $59 / Hat: Eric Javitz $39 / Necklace: $8
Even if you couldn’t care less about celebrity nuptials, everyone cares about the engagement ring. I know I’m not the only one who Facebook-stalks for ring photos as soon as I see someone’s status change to “Engaged.” But other than the ability to distinguish Tiffany from Crack Jack, sometimes the diamond details can allude even the best fashioniSTA. So we’re breaking down the dish on the left-handed bling.
Unless your ring is a J. Lo-inspired pink diamond or a canary stone, the color difference is generally unnoticeable to the untrained eye. The general rule is the clearer, the better, with the whitest stone reflecting the most light. Diamonds are rated on an alphabetical scale from D through Z, with D being colorless and Z having a light yellow hue. However, unless you have a trained eye, a single spectrum difference – like that between a D rating and an E rating – will not make a big impact.
Although the diamond experts refer to cut as how someone cuts the stone to reflect the light, I think I speak for us all when I say that the cut we all care about is the shape. I don’t have a light reflector instrument on me at all times, but I have eyes, so you can guess what I’m focusing on. The eleven general shapes you have to choose from are: round, princess (square), emerald, radiant, oval, pear, marquise, heart, trilliant, cushion and asscher. Round is the most popular, making up more than half of all engagement ring selections, with the newer princess cut coming in second. Going for a solitaire is always a classic choice, and many engagement rings now consist of a solitaire with a pave band. Should you be a more ornate bride, you can also go with a floral theme, constructing a diamond flower from a center stone with a ring of smaller diamonds around it.
Much like color, clarity is something you can only distinguish when there is a vast difference. Diamonds are rated on a scale from Flawless (FI), to Internally Flawless (IF), to Very, Very Small Inclusions (VVS), to Very Small Inclusions (VS), to Small Inclusions (SI), to Imperfect (I). While it’s great to go flawless, it will exponentially increase the price of the ring. You can always pass off the imperfections as a trendy “leopard” diamond.
This is the biggie. Let’s be honest, the clarity of Kim Kardashian’s ring never made headlines, it was the fact that it was 20.5 carats and covered her entire lower finger. Rings that big are even expensive at Forever 21. While all categories increase the price as you get fancier, upping the carat weight is the quickest way to drain your future children’s college fund on a piece of jewelry. Worth it? Probably, but the average size of an engagement ring is 1.18 carats, worth anywhere from around $1,500 and up depending on other bling factors. So don’t be afraid to be understated, you don’t want people to think your ring is fake.
Engagement Ring Hall of Fame
When you live the life of the rich and fabulous, some men ask their significant others to marry them in the most extravagant way possible.
Jennifer Lopez – cleaning up in both of her high-profile (recent) engagements, J. Lo first scored a $1.2 million, 6.1-carat pink diamond from Ben Affleck in 2002, then received an 8.5-carat, $1 million sparkler from hubby Marc Anthony.
Kim Kardashian – in true keeping-up form, Kim was able to outshine her sister’s impressive Cartier engagement ring with a $2 million, 20.5-carat emerald shape stunner (photo above).
Beyonce – this diva turned up the heat when she received an 18-carat emerald-cut flawless diamond set in platinum from Jay-Z, coming in at an astounding $5 million.
Kate Middleton – making her the envy of every young woman on the planet, Kate sealed the deal with her prince with Princess Diana’s sapphire engagement ring.
Heidi Klum – the woman who has it all also struck gold (literally) with her engagement ring from Seal: a 12-carat canary yellow diamond from Lorraine Schwartz.
We all expect to see teen idols on the MTV red carpet, but this trendy event this year has brought out the fashion elite, showcasing some serious style power. Whether a teen fashion icon in training or a red carpet veteran, this year’s awards show was definitely not boring. From the best to the worst, here are the looks that caught our fashioniSTA eye.
Straddling the leopard line is always a dangerous feat. Let’s remember the golden rule: Going subtle is always best, lest you look like a Jersey Shore castoff. Tonight we saw some hints of exotic prints, on Lily Collins (right) and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (center), both donning D&G, as well as the ever-stylish Reese Witherspoon (left). While Lily and Reese’s outfits are cool and understatedly sexy, Rose’s look is a little too eye of the tiger for me. Although she’s a Victoria’s Secret model, this look screamed VS catalogue rather than high fashion.
Let’s all think back to the Met Gala. Ok, now let’s rack our brains for what Kristen Stewart wore. Need some help? Try remembering the outfit that looks like your angsty friend wore it to your freshman semi formal (left). To say that her MTV look is an improvement is a clear understatement. While she’s still working within the red and black color palette, she has drastically stepped up her game in this Balmain mini (right). The detail is stunning and the easy hairstyle is the perfect complement, love it!
Rompers, Jumpsuits, Pants, Oh My!
Some of the stars opted for an alternative to a dress, going with pants and shorts. While this is a great way to break out of the cocktail dress rut, if done wrong it can be a huge miss. Elle Fanning (in D&G) and Jessica Szohr (left, in Alice + Olivia) both went for printed jumpsuits – Elle in a romper version – but both were out-shined by Hailee Steinfeld in a Louis Vuitton pantsuit (right). Her feminine version of a tux was sleek and event-appropriate, while the printed jumpsuits missed the mark. It looks like this 14-year-old fashioniSTA has a definite style instinct!
Memorial Day means one thing to fashioniSTAs: BREAK OUT THE WHITE! Whether it’s eyelet, summer cotton, a lightweight knit, or even leather, the warmer weather is the perfect opportunity to lighten things up. Take on this light hue by incorporating it into your wardrobe in place of other neutrals – such as black and navy. Brighten up your current outfits by adding a dose of white, guaranteed to make you look and feel summer chic in no time.
White Dresses For the Everyday
I used to only think you needed a white dress if you were graduating from prep school or getting married. While when I was graduating it was nearly impossible for me to find a white dress I liked, they have really taken over in the past few years, giving all of us a great alternative to a little black dress. For a casual daytime look, throw on a white jersey dress with a denim jacket and metallic flat sandals. To spice up your nighttime, go with a white minidress, and don’t be afraid to add embellishments, the lighter hue will keep your outfit from looking too formal. Whether it is a bauble necklace or dramatic earrings or completely embellished pumps, take white to the next level when the sun goes down by adding a little sparkle.
Also, white, lace dresses have been popping up everywhere on a variety of celebrities. Try out this look during the day with a pair of ballet flats and a low bun for a feminine ensemble. Take this into your nightlife by going with a shorter hemline and adding platform pumps and soft waves to complement the girlie lace detail.
For a summer getaway-ready look, take this trend to the maxi – maxi dress that is. A long, white maxi dress paired with oversized sunglasses and a large, bright-colored chunky necklace reads more boho than bride. Or take a cue from Nicole Richie (right) and play up the dress with gold accessories for a truly Grecian-inspired look.
Neutrals on Neutrals
Head-to-toe white in the same hue will read a little “hospital,” but you can make it all work if you add in complementary accents of tan, beige, yellow, gray, or even blush pink. Make a white, cotton sundress work at the office with a wider, beige belt and tan wedges. This would also work with white pants or skirt with a white top, for those of you not hyped up on the white dress trend.
Should you want to go further than just tiny touches of other neutrals mixed with white, try color-blocking your outfit using white plus another similar neutral. Trying a tan pencil skirt with a white flowy top and gold accessories will give you a timeless look with a modern flair, and with pure white on top, it won’t wash you out if you happen to have fair skin. You can also go with white jeans and a gray top (a la Kate Middleton) for a posh and preppy ensemble, pairing them with flats and a long string of pearls. Go for the girlie with a blush pink A-line skirt matched with a fitted, white tank and ballet flats. Or go with khaki safari shorts and a white tank for a casual look with an African twist. The result of all this similar matching? An effortlessly chic ensemble that transcends any age group and any style decade.
White + Bright = Summer Done Right
Wearing white to work can sometimes read a little bridal if it’s not done the right way.
Adding a pop of color to an all-white ensemble ensures that you’ll ease into this trend without feeling too overwhelmed with white. For an easy formula, take your white sundress and pair it with a long cardigan in a bold, summer shade such as royal blue or orange. Top off the look with a neutral color belt and pumps, and accent with simple gold jewelry. Should you want to mix it up more, feel free to use the white dress as your canvas and experiment with blazers, pashminas, clutches, boots, etc, all in bold hues. The contrast between the bright color and the crisp white will read as clean and streamlined no matter how little effort you actually had to exert.
Going with a stark black-and-white ensemble is also a one-way ticket to chic town. Try a black pencil skirt with a white peplum jacket for a classy corporate look, or mix textures by trying a white eyelet skirt with a sharp, constructed black top.
Pairing white with bold, summer colors is also a great way to get that instant getaway look. For a truly Saint Tropez ensemble, go with a pair of white shorts with tan, canvas espadrilles and a vibrant coral or azure top, perfect for vacation, or for bringing the vacay vibe to you. Channel Amanda Seyfried’s cool and casual look (below) to also incorporate this idea into your everyday weekend pieces, making your weekends your own mini vacations.
Now it’s up to you, fashioniSTAs, to take white from bland to bold, just use these easy steps and you’ll be white hot in no time!
Unless you were one of the three people internationally not at least somewhat following the royal wedding or the Kentucky Derby this year, you’re probably still recovering from headpiece overdose. This is a common ailment this time of year, as a collective group – fashioniSTAs and not – Americans tend to only dip a toe in the head ornamentation pool, stopping just past the point of embellished headbands. But while you may feel awkward at first with something perched atop your head, push yourself past that point, because your outfits are about to get a whole lot more interesting. (Disclaimer: Should you hate attention or cower in the face of fashion, you might not be ready for this.)
Go Derby Pretty Anywhere
The Kentucky Derby is single-handedly the best place to soak up all of what hats have to offer. At an event like this, there really is a perfect hat size. A larger, wide-brimmed option is ideal, the bigger the hat, the thinner you look, it’s science. Going too small makes it look like you’re balancing a potholder on your head (see Brooke Shields at the 2009 event). Keep in mind that the bigger the hat, the smaller you will look. It’s science. So take a cue from this event and break out the heavy head artillery the right way for your next event, whether it’s a backyard party or the social event of the season.
For a look that is streamlined yet envy-worthy, go for a structured-brimmed hat, and with this trend you can really go with any color palette. While louder colors are harder to pull off at normal events (we can’t all attend the Derby), going with the right trim will make your hat read springtime rather than crazytime (see Kate Gosselin’s feather disaster at this year’s event). Keep the added accoutrements to a minimum, and my advice would be to avoid feathers altogether. Nothing says cheap like your hat looking like a bird crashed into it. Go with a soft organza bow or a tasteful group of a couple of flowers in complementary shades so that they blend in with the overall look, and this will also give you the option to try out bolder colors should the mood strike.
Should you want to try this out for a slightly less formal occasion than a society horse race – such as a graduation or garden party – you can definitely make it work. Going with flats and a straw or cork clutch creates a somewhat more casual feel to your ensemble, giving you the opportunity to don your Derby-esque headwear. Just throw on a Lilly Pulitzer sundress and your carefully-selected accessories and you’re good to go!
Want some celebrity inspiration? Look to Miranda Lambert (right), who used the Kentucky Derby as an opportunity to throw the best bachelorette party ever, complete with a cream, wide-brimmed hat with a cream, organza bow. This is a perfect look to emulate for any event that you attend this summer!
Wedding Hats for the Royal in All of Us
Even for those of you who zoned out at the royal wedding, you probably witnessed the outrageous fashion show consisting primarily of extravagant headpieces. While not many of us are receiving invite to aristocratic British weddings, we can still take this trend to the streets. Even if you’re a bolder personality-type, the Princess Beatrice hat route (which sold on eBay for over $30,000) might be too much, but a wide-brimmed, structured hat with subtle embellishment would definitely work.
Choose a single organza flower or bow in a color no more than one shade darker or lighter than the rest of the hat to ensure you don’t take away attention from the bride. Or to incorporate more color, you can go with just a simple, thick ribbon at the base of the hat in a complementary pastel. A light cream or pale yellow hat option is perfect for this type of occasion, just pair with a simple sheath dress to avoid people thinking you’re making a persecuted ‘50s housewife political statement. A fitted cotton or wool crepe dress and matching jacket are the perfect compliments to wearing a hat at a wedding, and if you keep your other accessories to a minimum, you’ll look like you just stepped out of Westminster Abbey.
If you’re not totally comfortable with the full-hat trend, you can always tone it down and go with a large, ornate headband. In fact, at both the royal wedding and the Kentucky Derby, there were several examples of women going simpler on top. Since a headband is definitely more subtle, you can try out feathers, netting, flowers (or all three!) and you won’t end up looking like a circus freak as long as they are somewhat proportionate to your head. While the detail should be statement-making size, make sure that the overall detail height from top to bottom does not exceed the actual size of your head. As long as the rest of your ensemble is simple, you’ll be Blair Waldorf wedding-chic in no time!
You can also get in on this look if you’re the bride and going for a more casual wedding. A wide-brimmed white or ivory structured hat would look great with a complementary-colored cotton dress, perfect for a summer outdoor wedding. Look to Oscar de la Renta’s wedding look from 2009 (right) for inspiration, especially if you’re planning on wearing a shorter hemline on your big day. You can still work this trend with a more traditional dress length, and your hat can always just make an appearance during the reception as a way to further distinguish yourself as the queen of the day.
Summer Sun Hats, Boho to Preppy
The summer weather will be here before we know it (we hope). While I’m usually the last one to put on a hat everyday, this is a great trend to try while on vacation. Go for a big, slightly floppy sun hat and pair with oversized sunglasses for a truly celeb-worthy look, completing the look with a maxi dress and flat sandals. This look is perfect for a day scouring the best getaway shopping, and can easily go from daytime chic to nighttime cool without having to add or change any articles of clothing or accessories. This is key since when you’re on vacation, you want as little time as possible between you and specialty island cocktails. Marc Jacobs (right), the Gap, and Shiraleah all carry great options at every price point, and as always, check out your nearest STA for the best bargain!
If you’re looking for something to incorporate into your everyday weekend look, you can also go with a floppy hat, or try something a little more structured. For that fresh-off-the-Martha’s-Vineyard-ferry look, go with a classic choice from Peter Beaton. Last summer one of our stores was fortunate enough to have a consignor bring in two hats by this designer (new in the box), let’s all keep our fingers crossed for a repeat this summer! Should the natural straw look not float your preppy boat, go with a smaller-brimmed white option with a navy and white striped sash tied around the base of the hat for a new take on the nautical trend.
Remember fashioniSTAs, it’s always best to take a risk with this trend, you can always take the hat off mid-event if the mood strikes!
The Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala is the high fashion event where the style elite can push the envelope in the hautest way possible. Unlike the Grammys where celebs show up wearing cans of tuna or weird disco sunglasses, the Met Gala showcases the true potential of designers, fashion-forward celebs and ingenious stylists. Join us as we break down the top trends, the fashion elite and the style disasters that graced the Met Gala red carpet.
While this is a great event to showcase haute gowns and bold picks, it is also refreshing to see a group of ladies strutting their stuff in simple, streamlined ensembles by American designers. Michael Kors must have worked overtime, dressing Diana Agron (below, right), Brooklyn Decker (below, left), Emma Roberts, and model Caroline Trentini. From Brooklyn’s hot pink, high slit fierceness to Caroline’s nude, textured concoction, Kors got it right, sending out the perfect amount of American minimalism with the Met Gala-required wow-factor.
Always the American minimalist, Claire Danes showed up in a metallic Calvin Klein Collection gown, while Zoe Saldana (below, center) also donned the designer wearing a strapless pale lemon dress. Both were low-key looks, yet they managed to not underwhelm us with their fresh choices in color.
Got Something Up My Sleeve
One of the biggest trends of the night was sleeves. These stars must have finally been affected by the raging winter the rest of the country experienced, because you could not take a step without bumping into a not-bare arm. However, this trend seemed to work only on the stars who were able to keep it simple. The stand-outs of the night got this trend exactly right, including Renee Zellweger in a nude Carolina Herrera gown with just the right amount of sparkly detail on each hip. Naomi Watts also must have gotten dressed with Renee, because she too showed up in a nude gown with sparkle accents (by Stella McCartney), however hers created this ethereal feel with the illusion sleeves and light, translucent material. Gwyneth Paltrow brought the classy element back to gold in a stunning Stella McCartney, open-back, fitted gown, along with Sarah Jessica Parker in a silver, high-neck Alexander McQueen creation with the perfect silver-on-silver pattern detail. Going for a bit of a fashion risk, Ashley Olsen (below, right) encompassed the overall image of the evening in a vintage Christian Dior black gown with full, ivory, off-the-shoulder sleeves.
However, her sister, Mary Kate (below, left), missed the mark with her oversized Givenchy dress that looked like it was fit more for a trip to an Amish 1970s beach rather than a costume gala. Iman also looked like she was out of another decade a Stella McCartney gold, belted jumpsuit, and in the bad, 1980s type of way. But the biggest trend offender of the night? Christina Ricci in Zac Posen, evoking a morbid, just-raised-from-the-dead-in-a-Tim-Burton movie motif.
Surprise Designer: Topshop
When I think of the Met Ball, I think of haute couture gowns with feathers, studs, sequins and an expensive designer label attached. This year, however, three stunning starlets graced the gala in a label even we frugal fashionistas can afford. Jessica Szohr (below, center) edged things up a bit in a black velvet and tinsel minidress, while Maggie Grace (below, left) hit the red carpet in a limited-edition black gown by the mainstream label. Finally, Ginnifer Goodwin (below, right) wowed in a knotted green dress with a deep v front, which was ever so slightly overworked with the matching green eye makeup.
FashioniSTA Best Dressed: Diane Kruger in Jason Wu (left). Between her use of the illusion, sleeves and bedazzled trends, you’d think this would be a complete miss. But she managed to make it all work, evoking an old Hollywood glamour rather than a trashy mash-up of trends, which is definitely not easy to do.
FashioniSTA Worst Dressed: Fergie in Marchesa. Not only is this dress an atrocious bridal nightmare from 1982, but the overly bronzed makeup and borderline frosted hair just added to the disaster. Bring back Grammy 2010 Fergie please!
Most Improved: Rather than give this to an actual person, this award goes to Valentino’s daisies, making their big comeback as appliqués on Dakota Fanning’s tulle dress. After seeing Michelle Williams in these daisies at the Golden Globes, we thought that this trend would die a slow, painful death, but they have come back at the right event, on the right starlet, and in exactly the right way.
~Ashley, FashioniSTA, Second Time Around