How-to Tuesdays | How to Wear Pastels & Not Look Like an Easter Egg

It sounds simple enough, but all too often, mixing pastels can go very wrong very quickly. So, how do you pull off those pale pastels and make them look modern on holidays that don't involve talking white bunnies and egg hunts? Before I get to that answer, I have another question for you:

Do you remember paint-by-number? Right, well this is Style-by-Number. There's no paint brush involved, but it is the simplest, step-by-step formula to getting the look you want (for your body type). You won't even miss the brush, promise. It's the exact same premise as the fail-proof canvases you remember so well. Everything is laid out for you, all you have to do is connect the dots.

So, on to the answer, here's one way to wear pastels for an easy, polished daytime look:

4_hourglass

sources: 1. Vince Camuto Mixed Media Button Up Shirt (www.vincecamuto.com), 2. Isabel Marant Leon High-rise Flared Jeans (www.matchesfashion.com), 3. Bond Girl Pump (www.nastygal.com), 4. Rebecca Minkoff Skylar Large Studded Leather Crossbody (www.forzieri.com), 5. Kelly Wearstler Sonya Ring (www.kellywearstler.com), 6. Rebecca Minkoff Multi Feather Necklace (www.shopbop.com)

Looks used as inspiration are a fabulous thing. I've used them to help my personal styling clients see new ways to wear what they have in their closets time and time again. You've got your glossy mags, catalogs, and let's not even get started on the Pinterest boards. Inspiration is not scarce, this we know. What IS missing from the equation is how to actually pull off these looks for YOUR personal BODY TYPE.

Knowing what to wear is one thing. Knowing how to wear it is a fundamental part of building one's wardrobe and updating your personal style. You can't have one without the other. Scratch that, you can have one without the other but it tends to leave you with a full closet and nothing to wear. Sound familiar?

Today's How-to Tuesday look is perfect for a couple of the body types. I'll break it down for you and give you a snippet of what you can expect to receive in your monthly Body Type Lookbooks (more to come on that very soon).

For now, Hourglass ladies, this one is for you, and I'll tell you why:

The blouse offers some coverage while the v-neck elongates. The neckline is also where you can show off your assets without going too far. It's a family-show kind of look with a little edge after all. The neutral beige on top is your best friend when pairing it back to a pastel. Balance out the colors out a bit so you don't go overboard with brights.

The flare leg, Isabel Marant jean works well for several body types actually. Not only does the silhouette work for Hourglasses, but Apples and Rectangles can play here too. If you fear the flare, by all means, go for a toned down version in a boot cut. No harm done. The goal is to balance out the proportions on top with the bottom half of the look. Pears can pass due to the color. Go with something in a darker wash.

Tip: If the top hits too far below the waist of the jean, this look is out for you Hourglasses. With this look you want to highlight the narrowest part of your frame, your waist, and if the shirt goes on forever, you're defeating the whole point.

If you have a longer torso you can always tuck it in. If you're short-waisted, then make sure you leave it out, or just switch to a classic, clean v-neck tee. The fit of the top should be close to the body at the bust-line and then stay streamlined from there, but not too body-hugging (i.e. it shouldn't make you feel like a stuffed sausage). The jeans follow suit with those fit guidelines.

The shoes (love, love, love, obsessed, adore...) are perfect to pair with the look because they're subtle and neutral. You will also be able to put them with a ton of other spring/summer looks you have. The focus is not on the shoes, plus the flare leg will cover them up so don't waist your time there. The cross-body bag is probably, along with the jean, one of the more trend-forward pieces in this style-by-number equation. I fell in love with the lavender. A 'cooler' hue works well back to the warm pink on the jeans so if lavender isn't your thing, go for a pale, dusty blue or just put everything back to a butterscotch brown satchel and pass on the pastel all together.

This look is for you to use as inspiration, so mix-and-match as you choose. Like I mentioned earlier, style-by-number was inspired by paint-by-number, but this time around, you're definitely allowed to pick what colors you want to go where. And if you're anything like me, this will be nothing new to you (visual: paint-by-number canvases of my 10 year old past self showing scenes of lake houses that had magenta roofs, coral waters, and robin's egg blue trees; following directions have never been my thing).

On to more inspiration on everything from what to wear to how to wear it for your body type, all right here.

Style Tutorial #5 | 1 T by Alexander Wang Red Button Front Shirt, 5 Ways to Wear It

Style Tutorial #5 started at the sight of T by Alexander Wang's, tomato-red, button front, crepe shirt. It's simple, clean, colorful, and classic which means, editing down the tutorial to just five looks was a challenge. This video could have gone on for days people...Days.

t by alexander wang shirt img

Often times, whether I'm doing a one-on-one consultation or group Styling Session, guests and clients ask me what 'essentials' they need to have in their closets for the season. It's kind of the million dollar question.
I've found that this 'core closet' as I call it, is really the key to every, single, wardrobe. Having the perfect basics for your body type (and knowing where to shop for them) as a fashion foundation allows you to tap into and wear one hundred (not just twenty) percent of what's in your closet.
This shirt from T by Alexander Wang is one of those basics. Sure, it's in a bold color, but it's not magenta, it's not highlighter-lime, it's a rich, tomato red which to me, can be as neutral as navy, olive, grey, or even taupe. It's just a more exciting way to wear a classic silhouette. Equally as versatile.
Don't see it yet? Good. The point is to show you something you may not have thought of, but your part of this is to remain a bit open to the possibilities. You've got nothing to lose.
That's what the Style Tutorials are all about: showing you new ways to wear pieces you see out in the shopping stratosphere so you can take the inspiration and incorporate it inside the walls of your own closet. Should you need a helping hand, a style translator to help you fine-tune your fashion language, I'm always here.
For now, it's video time. Take a peek at the latest, the five ways to wear this one sophisticated shirt:

Ta-dah:

HTW T by Alexander Wangs Silk Shirt 5 Ways to Wear
SHOP THE VIDEO HEADER
(Click the images to shop)

T by Alexander Wang Button-Front Crepe Shirt
theoutnet.com

River Island Blazer (sold out, already! I know. Shop more blazers in the Closet below) riverisland.com

Rachel Zoe 'Jett' Tuxedo Stripe Wide Leg Pants nordstrom.com

Roberto Cavalli Ivory Pleated Floral Skirt stylebop.com

Helmut Lang Denim Pants thecorner.com

Rag & Bone Skinny Jean farfethc.com

See by Chloe Crepe Shorts net-a-porter.com

Sergio Rossi Kalhari Woven Sandal modaoperandi.com

Zara Sandals zara.com

Zara Pumps zara.com

Givenchy Cuff Sandals harveynichols.com

Nude clutch newlook.com

BCBG Runway Madison Portfolio Clutch bcbg.com

Clare Vivier Foldover Clutch shopbop.com

Claudia Satchel nastygal.com

Maiyet Small Como Satchel barneys.com

Rosa Collar Necklace guessbymarciano.guess.com

Hervé Van der Straeten Pastilles Earrings net-a-porter.com

Adia Kibur Cuff shopbop.com

House of Harlow 1960 Double Sunburst Pendant Necklace shopbop.com

J Crew Tassel Necklace jcrew.com

Wild Soul Elephant Black/Blue Sunglasses metroparkusa.com

 

Love something and it's sold out? Or, love a pick from the video but are looking for more options? Not a problem. Keep shopping by category in our Happy Place, the StyleShaker Closet, updated weekly with the latest fashion finds: closetfeature

Here's the breakdown, look by look, so you can get up close and personal when it comes to the details. If you love a look and are going to try to pull it off, but you're unsure as to whether it's the right look for your body type, send me a quick note with your question and I'll get back to you.

look 1:

look1

look 2:

look2

look 3:

look2b

look 4:

look4

look 5:

look5

See more when it comes to what to wear, how to wear it, and where to shop.

get inspired

What To Wear | Get 10 Crosby Derek Lam’s Spring 2012 Runway Look, For Less. Round 2

The question: what to wear? The answer: mixed stripes in a look inspired by 10 Crosby Derek Lam's Spring 2012 runway collection. It's all about how to get the runway look for less, and it starts with me using the runway as a catalog. Speaking of that, here's the look:

(source: www.style.com)

I love the color and the slightly kamikaze use of stripes on this one. Somehow, when you think the combination would never work, Derek Lam pulls off just the opposite, and it all coordinates in it's own, original way. Now, it's time to find this look, months after the collection was sent down the catwalk, and for a lot less than what you would have spent when it first hit the floors in the stores and the web:

1. 10 Crosby Derek Lam Shirt - Multi Stripe (shop online: www.bloomingdales.com)  2. 10 Crosby Derek Lam Straight Leg Cuffed Combo Pants (shop online: www.shopbop.com)  3. Christian Louboutin Summerissima Platform Sandals (shop online: www.mytheresa.com)

The multi-stripe top is still out there, for now, and marked down with the rest of Spring merch. The pants are following suit, and above are the links for you to shop. I will say, knowing after about a decade in luxury retail that it's all about timing, I wouldn't wait around on these picks. They will sell out sooner than later. Again, it's all about knowing when to look and taking the opportunity to get the designer runway look for a little, or a lot in this case, less.

I threw in a perfect platform sandal that just happens to be completely on-point with the color-blocking trend, and also happens to be from Louboutin. If you're not all about throwing down on a pair of 'Loubie's,' (neither am I, but I do love them for the inspiration element), shop more sandal picks that will fit into the ensemble and budget here.

My fellow retailers are most likely cringing while reading this, if they'd ever read something like this to begin with, and for that, I am in no way sorry. It is what it is and I happen to love finding these picks at a more reasonable price, and then sharing my finds with you.

See more runway looks to get your hands on for less, more what to wear picks, how to wear them, reviews of my shopping picks, and the list goes on here.