January 31, 2009

Unlikely Style Icon: Barbie

Barbie, (full name Barbara Millicent Roberts), has always represented different things to different people. To some, she is a silly childhood toy. To others, a representation of Western culture’s warped body image. But to me, Barbie has always been synonymous with glamour. As a child I dreamed of being an adult, not so that I could live alone or stay up as late as I wanted, but so I could dress like Barbie.
And it seems that my dreams might soon become a reality, with the fashion world quickly catching on to Barbie’s style. Not only was everyone’s favourite 11 ½ ‘ superstar the subject of a recent M.A.C. line, but is the inspiration behind Jeremy Scott’s next collection, and will even have her own show at fashion week.

Barbie Inspiration Board:


Embracing Your Inner Barbie:
1. Wear Pink:
Though pink is perhaps the most popular colour among the 2-10 year old girl set, we tend to wear less of it as we get older. While I’m not advocating that you buy a fuchsia Juicy tracksuit (PLEASE, PLEASE don’t buy a fuchsia Juicy tracksuit!), take a cue from Barbie and integrate some pink into your wardrobe. As she shows us, there is a pink item out there for everyone, be it a beautiful pale pink gown or a pair of bold magenta leggings.
(Top: on the Chloe Spring 09 runway, Below: from LF Markey's Spring 09 collection (at Fashion Fringe), both photos from style.com)

2. Be Overdressed: The first Barbie doll wore a striped one-piece swimsuit, paired with white, cat-eye sunglasses, high heels, and hoop earrings. Her hair was perfectly coiffed, and her eyeliner bold. Red lipstick topped the look off. The first impression that she gave the world was one of a glamour girl. (Seriously, how often do you wear red lipstick and heels to the beach?). Busy Morning Barbie wore a peach and white striped day dress with a matching broad-brimmed hat, heels, and woven purse. This is quite different than most people’s real-life errand running outfit of jeans, T-shirt, and ballet flats!

Try wearing some big sunglasses the next time you go pick up groceries, or a faux-pearl necklace to class. Overdressing just a bit will make you feel like an old-Hollywood star.

3. Keep it Classy: While those Bratz skanks wear their nano-skirts and belly tops, Barbie remains ladylike. Yes, she has been known to rock the occasional cropped tee or mini skirt, but she is more likely to accessorize it with delicate earrings or a cute cardigan than platform knee-high boots. Remember to pair your more risqué ensembles with these lady-like touches in order to give off the right vibe.

4. Find Your Thing: The first thing that comes to mind for many people when they hear “Barbie” is blonde hair, high heels, and the colour pink. And no matter what the mini- style icon wears, at least two of these seem to feature in.

Now, you may find Barbie’s style disgusting. You may be a punky, Alice Dellal-esque girl who would rather die than wear a pink sparkly gown (at least un-ironically, anyway). But you’ll notice that most other style icons have their “thing”, too. For Anna Wintour it’s the bob and sunglasses, for Mary Kate Olsen the Starbucks cup and layers, and for Agyness Dean the androgynous haircut and leggings. So find your thing, be it chipped metallic nail polish or tailored cuts and try to combine it with this season’s trends.

January 24, 2009

Fashion Rules, Debunked

It startles me, in this day and age of avant-gard, rule-breaking fashion, that I still have friends who refuse to pair a tan purse with black shoes. While some faux-pas will always hold true (VPL=bad, dressing for your shape=good), I think that the majority of them are just rules that have been drilled into people's heads and bear little relevance to what actually looks good together.

Here are some of the most common "fashion rules", and how to break them with panache.

Fashion Rule #1: Lame (I can't figure out how to put an accent over the e so imagine that there is one there!) leggings will make you look like a ho-ish ho-bag.

Though this is a relatively new issue (thanks, American Apparel!), I felt that it was important to address. There is a (logical) misconception among some that clingy, shiny leggings will give off that not-sought-after prostitute vibe. However, if worn right they can be absolutely chic.

Avoid wearing them with shirts that fail to cover your butt, high heels, or anything else shiny.

Try a look like this:


A soft sweaterdress creates an interesting textural contrast and downplays the harsh-ness of the leggings. Make sure that it's baggy and not clingy. Girly accessories like the necklace above soften the look, while flat leather boots look surprisingly good with the combo.

Fashion Rule #2: If you mix patterns you will clash and look horrible and everyone will hate you.

This is the mother of all fashion rules, repeated over and over again by people whom are likely fashion wimps. Mixing patterns can look amazing. Here's an example of how to not look like a clown:


Stripes and plaid and polka-dots, oh my! However, it works because the clothes stay in the same colour scheme, the general feel of the outfit is playful and fun, and not all of the patterns are bold. If you're going to mix patterns, make sure that one dominates while the others stay low-key.

Fashion Rule #3: Socks and sandals should never, ever be paired together.


This is a rule that I personally took it upon myself to enforce as a child, by whispering about the socks & sandals wearer loudly and in a horrified manner to whoever I was with. I'm still not saying that your father's black socks and Birkenstocks combo is on trend. However, peep-toe heels with bright coloured tights, over-the-knee socks, or ankle socks can be surprisingly cute. Try if possible to get a pair of socks where the seam is not at the toe.

Fashion Rule #4: Wearing denim on denim screams "hick".

I still can't claim to be a fan of denim on denim, simply because I'm not really a jeans person to begin with. However, if you're going to do it you might as well do it right.


Make sure that the washes of the denim are really, really far apart. If they are similar shades it will look like you tried to match, and if they're the same shade, you are wearing what some refer to as a "Canadian tuxedo" (never a good look). Wear a long tank or tee under the jacket to create space between the denim. Top the look off with a pair of killer heels, simply because they are awesome.

Fashion Rule #5: Black and brown look terrible together (as do black and navy blue).

I don't even know how this rule came about. All of these colours are neutrals, and neutrals can be paired with anything, including each other. Make sure that the shades look nice together and that the feel of each piece works with the outfit that you have selected, and that's that. For instance, a tan satchel, black boots, and dark navy jeans look great together.

Remember, by no means do I intend for my tips to become the "new" fashion rules. If you want to rock your medium-wash denim jacket with your medium-wash jeans, more power to you. (Just don't expect me to follow suit!) Fashion should be fun! Enjoy it!

January 21, 2009


How to rock the ongoing grunge trend without looking like you put no effort into your appearance? Chances are you'd rather look like an Olsen or Chloe Sevigny than a homeless person! Here's how.

The Style Classicist:


Pair one grunge-inspired item (like the ubiquitous flannel shirt) with more structured items like fitted skinny jeans and a dressy black heel. Add feminine details, like the locket above, to avoid grunge overload.

The Trend-Spotter:


Wear one extremely bold grunge piece (like acid-washed jeans) with simple, casual items for a laid-back look that isn't sloppy.

The Fashion Risk-Taker:


Piece together lacey, overtly feminine items with more distressed pieces. Torn shorts and an oversized flannel shirt look amazing with black tights and lacey open-toed ankle boots.

back to the future

Channel your inner Judy Jetson with metallics, interesting angles, and other intergalactic fashions.

back to the future

January 16, 2009


Fringe, in all of its flappery, cowboyish, hippie glory, has been making a huge comeback, on both the runways and the high street. But how to wear it?


The Style Classicist:


The Style Classicist should try an unexpected accessory, like the above fringed change purse, with a simple but cute outfit, allowing the fringed piece to shine.

The Trend-Spotter:


The Trend-Spotter can try a pretty fringed dress for a special occasion. Pair it with simple, sophisticated accessories along with one special extra, like the decadent charm bracelet above. Take care not to over-accessorise though!

The Fashion Risk-Taker:


Wearing two or more pieces influenced by the same trend at once can be risky. However, the Fashion Risk-Taker is always up for a challenge. As long as the fringes are different from each other in texture, colour, and material you won’t look like a Dolly-Parton wannabe.

Party Photo Land: Gold Belts, Polka Dots, and Love Children

A couple of years ago, my favourite, favourite source of entertainment was Blue States Lose on Gawker. The column consisted of its author mocking the photos posted on party photo sites such as The Cobra Snake and Last Night’s Party, especially the outfits featured in some of the photos. But the thing is, some of the hipster-y outfits were actually kind of fashion-forward. Ergo, I’ve decided to pay homage to Blue States Lose by doing the exact opposite, and praising the best outfits featured on party photo blogs.

Welcome to Party Photo Land.

So I’ll ignore the fact that this girl, who looks all of fifteen, is hanging out with the thirty-something Cobra Snake, and say that I love her dress and belt. The floral pattern makes it look really 90’s in a good way. I hope that she is wearing this with gladiator sandals or Doc Martens. Because that would be dope.

So ugly it’s beautiful.

I am loving the sheer polka-dot sleeves!

Her shirt is like the jolie-laide love child of a power suit and an American Apparel store. Like it should be really, really unfortunate looking but then you see it and you’re like... “Oh... that kind of works.”

First three photos courtesy of thecobrasnake.com, last photo from lastnightsparty.com

January 15, 2009

An Inspiration Board for...The Gym

Because you don't want to be another girl in gym shorts and her brother's T-shirt.

gym wear

gym wear by morefashionplease

January 13, 2009

Polka Dots

Have you ever fallen in love with a trend on the runway but had no idea how to make it work in real life? Although, sadly, giant sailor hats and wigs worn at the front of the face don't seem to translate in real life (but if you could somehow prove that wrong that would be awesome), some trends do. Whether you're a Style Classicist, a Trend-Spotter, or a Fashion Risk-Taker, you can pull off next season's polka-dots like a pro.

First, a rundown of those terms as they'll be used on this blog.

The Style Classicist dresses simply, and, though often very stylish, she is not the first to jump on board for a new trend. Maybe she's just getting interested in fashion, or, contrastly, she is incredibly chic but knows what works for her and sticks with it. Perhaps she is scared to try a new look, or she may simply like to see if a trend has longevity before blowing her budget on more than a few accessories.

The Trend-Spotter is a bit more experimental with her clothing. She likes to try new looks, but likes to work them slowly into her wardrobe. She would never want to look like everyone else but she doesn't automatically want all eyes on her either.

The Fashion Risk-Taker wears the trends she loves without shame. She layers and accessorizes and dresses outrageously, often taking looks directly from the runways.

These labels are absolutely flexible. You may be in between a Trend-Spotter and a Fashion Risk-Taker, or you may be a Style Classicist when it comes to shoulder pads (you love them, but are kind of scared to wear some) and a Fashion Risk-Taker when it comes to colors.

Anyway... on to the polka-dots.

The Style Classicist:

Polka Dots 3

While polka-dots are pretty easy to pull off, if they're not your style you may want to start off with an accessorie, such as the bangle above, paired with classic pieces such as a simple dress or heels in colors that coordinate with the accessory.

The Trend-Spotter

Polka Dots 2

The Trend-Spotter might try one especially bold piece, such as a bright polka-dotted vintage coat, and pair it with more basic items, such as pointy-toed boots and classic Jackie O sunglasses.

The Fashion Risk-Taker:
Polka Dots

The Fashion Risk-Taker might try wearing multiple polka-dot items, a la this season's Marni. Just make sure that the polka dots are in basic colors and different enough that it doesn't look like you're trying to match. Pair with some clashing floral tights to make the look even more fun.

Runway photo from style.com.

Other photos found on polyvore.com, click on collages to see where items are from.

January 12, 2009

Gossip Girl Fashion: Episode 2.14

The best outfit of the episode, hands down, was the outfit Queen B wore for her interview with the ladies from the club.
Does she not look completely Audrey Hepburn-esque?
I love it! I think I love all of the outfits below individually but together they look a tad Gap ad-ish. I understand that the stylist went for the matching thing in order to establish them as a clique or whatever, but i'm not a fan...

I love, love, love Jenny's shirt. It looks a little CDG, no?

Whenever I think that the oversized glasses thing is becoming passe, I see a pair like Nelly's and I want to buy some.

Here we get the matching again. Isabel's coat is clearly the cutest. You can tell that she's sort of looking a Hazel's ruffles in disgust.

And let's finish off the post with some more Blairyfull awesomeness.