Some style equations just add up without a lot of fuss, and this would be one of those times. Today, we have a key investment piece — the Gucci double-breasted jacquard coat — to thank you for it, and five holiday-perfect ways to wear it out the door. First order of business: don't be deterred by the coat's moody floral jacquard finish and romantic-print appeal. We promise you this coat can be worn with and over virtually anything (need proof? stop reading and click through). To give you a starting point, we've mapped out our favorite looks, which include a coat-turned-sexy cocktail dress ensemble and a classic take on prepster polish, to inspire your own whimsy. And our best advice to you? Embrace the power of print on print, the value of textural indulgence, and the infallibility of a cool neutral palette. Listen, if you're going to make a worthy outerwear splurge, you should know the dressing options that lie ahead. Inside, find your first five styling ideas at the ready.
We'll tell you this right now: this is as close as you'll get to wearing your sweats to a party. Seriously. In the same vein as other punched-up loungewear, you get the best of both worlds. Let's be clear, though: this is kind of a harvest-moon situation. Yes, you can don these dressy sweatshirts year-round, but we find that these ultraembellished, lace-covered, bejeweled, and feathered iterations make the best statement during the holidays. Instead of opting for a festive cocktail dress, go with something that's fun, eye-catching, and that basically solves all your styling problems in one go. There's a 3.1 Phillip Lim sequined, colorblocked top (pictured here) that we're betting even the sportiest styler will fall for, but if you're not one for the sparkle, don't sweat it. We've got more subtle metallic foiling and houndstooth print where that came from. Ten, to be exact. Now, all that's left to do is add a slick pair of black trousers and pumps — or a pencil skirt, if you're feeling sexy — and you're ready to hit the holiday party circuit.
Let's be honest: if there's one color you should be wearing this season, it's burgundy. In redder shades, it's oxblood, in brighter purple tinges, it's a sultry merlot, but this deeper purple-red iteration perfectly indulges our love of moodier hues. To offset the sensuous tone, we're styling (read: expertly coordinating) our favorite burgundy staples with equally cool camel-colored pieces. It's a matchup that works, no matter the occasion or the person wearing it. If you're a classicist, pair a camel peacoat with coated burgundy skinny jeans. If you're more of a bohemian girl, go for the combo of a chunky knitted sweater dress and lace-up boots. If you're a polished professional through and through, then chances are you'll love our duo of a slick burgundy pencil skirt and oversize knit sweater. Bottom line: this color combo deserves a test drive; inside, find five ways to wear it now.
The investment: $825
Why it's worth it: Think about how much you're willing to spend on a great dress — then how much you'll actually wear that dress more than once. While it's hard to get away with wearing the same dress again and again, a beautiful top (that you can pair with a hundred different pieces) is a lot easier to repeat again and again. It's a piece that's as practical as it's just downright pretty. Everything from the subtle silvery hue to the beautiful shimmer is just perfect for wearing through the whole holiday season ahead — it seems practically designed for the festive season of office get-togethers and cocktail parties. And, while it was made to be the complement to your lacy skirts or metallic trousers, we have a feeling it will make even your skinny jeans the life of the party.
Launched in 2012, Jeunesse (which translates to "youth") is a conceptual collection that recognizes the art of working together for common goal. The line, which is available online at Shopbop, Intermix, Saks, and more, focuses on the art of collaboration, and each season it partners up with emerging artists and industry tastemakers to bring a fresh twist to the classics. For Spring 2013, creative director Cynthia Mittweg teamed up with two LA-based artists to create a collection of silk blouses in eye-catching prints and billowy button-down silhouettes.
The prints for next season are the work of Emily Factor, great-granddaughter of legendary cosmetician Max Factor, and Grant Shumate, an up-and-coming print artist who is currently managing the Saint Laurent studio for Hedi Slimane. Emily created the painterly floral patterns in the collection, ranging from Poison Flower, Blocked Peony, and a large-scale feather design in contrasting Spring hues, while Grant pinpointed the Aztec trend by offering up vivid geometric prints in rich purples and reds. While the idea — a spin on the silk shirt — doesn't seem overly innovative, the outcome is remarkable. By combining an iconic silhouette with original prints from cutting-edge artists, Jeunesse is introducing a new way of creative clothing that everyone will love — and we'll be snapping up these lovely, light-as-air pieces as soon as possible. Click through to see some of our favorite tops from the Spring '13 lookbook now.
Polka-dot prints generally evoke a playful quality that's both retro-inspired (think Sandra Dee as Gidget) and youthful. And while that's certainly still the case with Taylor Swift, we can't help but notice that the singer has put an undeniably sophisticated spin on the look. If you're thinking her classic strand of pearls is behind the enhanced grown-up appeal, you're right and on the right track. See, it's more than just her timeless jewelry statement that has us convinced. Taylor smartly styled the quirky black and white, cat-embroidered French Connection sweater with fitted burgundy-hued ankle-cut trousers, a pairing that proved more serious in tone and execution. To finish, she opted for a structured bow-tie ballet flat that, while girlie, actually rounded out her ensemble on a sleek, feminine note. As the record shows, polka dots are no longer a print meant purely for Summer rompers and cute bikinis, it's a print for all seasons with a lot of polished promise. We've picked our favorites to shop below, and each sweater — topped off with the proper outerwear — is fit to be worn now.
Happy Election Day! We can't stress enough how important it is to cast your vote today and if you're not sure where to go, here's an easy way to find out. Political leanings aside, this is a presidential race that lives and breathes by the saying, "every vote counts." Thus, to give our current electoral spirit a very stylish discourse, we've found 11 pieces that appeal to both the preppy Americana-inspired sensibility and the more toned-down patriotic style setter. Things we approve of: wearing your heart on your sleeve with a literal approach to t-shirt messaging, going the subtle red, white, and blue route (translation: this isn't a Fourth of July fashion redux), and opting for a star-spangled printed blouse that's polished and a Miranda Kerr favorite. In short, we wholeheartedly believe the most fashionable thing you can do today is vote, but while you're at it, why not go the distance with some added flair too? Click through to shop our editors' picks now.
Throwback fashion is a fickle thing. In the case of Clueless's '90s-inspired resurgence, we welcomed plaid minis, knee-high socks, and Alaïa references with open arms. While, with other nuanced trends (like jellies, Lisa Frank imagery, and Hammer pants), you've got to be a little more selective on real-life styling execution. So, when we started to notice a certain iconic Disney character popping up on street stylers in New York, Milan, and Paris during Fashion Month, we had to wonder — was Mickey Mouse the "new" must-have print or could this merely be chalked up to a nostalgic coincidence? In our opinion (and as these chic snaps prove), it's definitely the former.
For us, those recognizable mouse ears have largely signified childhood trips to Disneyland and Saturday morning cartoon-watching sessions. But now, it's actually conceivable to think that Mickey might not just be for the younger set. Tucked into a soft red leather pencil skirt, and accented with a crystal-encrusted statement necklace, we'd say that souvenir t-shirt you got so many years ago looks pretty darn cool now. If you're not much of a formfitting skirt wearer, go the opposite route with slouchy boyfriend jeans, borrowed-from-the-boys loafers, and an even slouchier beanie. This undone, ultrarelaxed look will offset the built-in cheekiness of Mickey Mouse without taking away its youthful appeal. The bottom line: don't call it a comeback — this mouse has been around since 1928. Instead, we're touting this particular mouse-branded resurgence as a vintage-inspired one. Just dig a little deeper in your clothing archives, and we're sure you'll be able to evoke the same kind of retro cartoon chic with the right au courant complements.
The cardigan-and-blouse combo is a tried-and-true favorite, and this season, we're looking to inject a fresh twist to this styling trick with pretty color combinations, textural intrigue, and fun prints. First up? Try pairing an oversize cable-knit, grandpa-inspired cardigan with a silk plaid top for a look that can easily be worn to the cabin (with cords and fur-lined boots), or with leather leggings and metallic oxfords for an effortless downtown aesthetic. Cute, right? Keep clicking for four more cardi-and-blouse combos we promise you'll want to wear all season long.
Before we get into why we're all for Fall's current intarsia sweater obsession, let's talk about what intarsia is first. "Intarsia" refers to a knitting technique — not a fabric or a print — used to create multicolored patterns. And while it looks like the colors are interwoven, they are actually all separate pieces that just happen to fit together perfectly, like a jigsaw puzzle. It requires some skilled handcrafting, and as you can see, it manifests itself in bold colorways and quirky prints. Now, it should be obvious why the intarsia sweater craze is right up our alley. Sure, everyone — and we mean everyone — from Stella McCartney, Altuzarra, and Kenzo to Markus Lupfer, Marc Jacobs, and Mary Katrantzou is adding their own personal spin on the look, but the number one reason we're backing this trend? It's sweater season, and there's no better way to layer up than with a sweater that provides a much-needed burst of brightness and textural intrigue. Plus, these sweaters happen to make a pretty vibrant statement all on their own. Click through our editors' picks below and fall in love with your next (intarsia) purchase.
Clockwise, from top left: Mary Katrantzou Fall 2012 runway, 3.1 Phillip Lim Kill the Night comic featuring the designer's intarsia sweaters, Kenzo Intarsia Angora-Blend Sweater ($640), and Paris Fashion Week street style.