Styling, Wardrobing

Is It Spring Yet?!

Sometimes I wish I lived in California, or Florida, where it’s 70 and sunny like 24/7. Growing up in Raleigh I’ve become use to, and sometimes fond of, our unpredictable weather patterns. We have a saying; “If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes.” and it’s pretty true: two weeks ago I got sunburned and the next it snowed. But as charming as it can be, our bipolar weather really confuses my wardrobe! As soon as I change over to Spring we have a week of cool 40’s. Over the years I’ve come to transition slowly, mixing bits of winter with the inevitable spring season. Oh, and always bring a jacket wherever you go.

Last September I shot with one of my favorite photographers, Terrence Jones. It was a similar situation – technically Fall but with temperatures hovering around 75 degrees. For my styling inspiration, I decided to mix “winter” fabrics and colors with “spring” prints and silhouettes.

One of my favorite combinations is contrasting a cheery floral print with dark colors. This sheer vintage dress (not for the shy) has a petite scattered floral print to keep the look from becoming too bright. Black & white accessories give the feminine frock some edge.

“Florals? For Spring? Groundbreaking.” Sure, florals for spring isn’t new, but the color palette can be unexpected. Also, leather! I love this look – a little bit schoolgirl, a little bit wallpaper in an opulent home. Together these textures and colors can transition from hot to cold, work to drinks, and everything in-between.

For those less print friendly, try rocking a pastel knit. Personally, I’m obsessed with this vintage 1930’s dickie from Raleigh Vintage. It’s a great layering piece that can be styled jazzy or classy. Throw a leather jacket over your shoulders and hit the bar (like C. Grace) without feeling out of place.

Pastels not your thing? Just show some skin. Not in a slutty way, but in a “I’ve already got my beach bod so bring it!” confidence way. Plus, a fabulous scarf can help cover up should you feel the need (or just get a chill). Also, I’m a firm believer that a fabulous hat can elevate any look, no mater how technically simple it may be. This is one of those situations where less is more. Choose your pieces wisely.

How are you dealing with the sporadic weather? Need help dressing for the seasons? Let me know! I’m here to answer any and all of your fashion questions.

 

Look 1: Vintage everything – except shoes from Art of Style
Look 2: Vintage hat, Ray Ban shades, Topshop top, J. Crew skirt, Marc Jacobs heels
Look 3: Vintage hat, thrifted bralette, Raleigh Vintage knit, Art of Style trousers, Nasty Gal platform heels
Look 4: Vintage hat, Alexander McQueen scarf, thrifted bralette, Art of Style skirt

Big thanks to Melissa G. S. for creating my face and assisting me with my curls 🙂

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Styling

Black & Blue

Season after season, I find myself turning to a tried & true color combo: black & blue. No matter the variation (light blue, cobalt blue, navy blue) this match made in heaven always works for me. Whoever said you can’t wear these two hues together needs to go see an eye doctor.

Keep scrolling to see some of my favorite black & blue ensembles…

Light Blue/Black as an Accent

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You may think light blue & black is too much contrast, but it is actually a softer take on black & white. This works best if there is already some black worked into a print, but if you feel like wearing black shoes with your blue outfit then do it! The first look puts the print trick into action; there is a subtle outline of black around each flower, thus tying in the skirt which is totally appropriate for a spring day. The second ensemble is a visual trick; the print on print (yes, that is a cardigan & skirt) consists of a white background with dark blue design, but your eyes blur the colors to read “light blue.” The bit of black up top & in the shoes gives your eyes a break, keeping the ensemble from looking like tacky wallpaper. In the third outfit black plays a bigger role and all shades of blue are present. I chose white as the accent color to lighten everything up for summer. Lastly, we have an all blue look with only a hint of black in the loafers. Black CAN be a neutral to blue!

Cobalt & Black

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Cobalt & black has to be my #1 Fave version of this theme. The first two images depict ensembles consisting of mostly black & white with a POP of vibrant blue. This technique can be very effective and give off an artsy vibe. The third & fourth looks allow cobalt blue to be the star of the outfit. With these looks, black is simply used to cover the skin (because I freeze in winter) and accentuate this bold hue. You may notice that I went a little edgy with the last looks, but really this can be done with any style.

Midnight

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This is possibly the most controversial color combo in the fashion world: navy & black. I know people who loath the pairing and others that work it on a regular basis; I fall into the latter group. This first ensemble exhibits the color scheme by way of color blocking; no prints, just solid-color pieces. The second ensemble uses a subtle print as the centerpiece of the outfit. If you look closely, the shirt is a navy floral brocade against a black jersey background. I completed the outfit with a black skirt, tights, and heels so that the navy stands out. The last two looks are variations on the same dress, styled for winter & summer. The winter ensemble toughens up the geometric print shift dress, while the sheer tights add a little sass. Ditch the tights & jacket, trade the booties for strappy wedges, add some fabulous sunglasses and you have a simple summer ensemble that will not disappoint. It just goes to show that even a dark color scheme can be appropriate in warmer weather. Blue & black is so versatile, why don’t you try?!

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Styling

New American Goth

The goth kids from high school, with their excess makeup and zippers to nowhere, are not the goth kids of today. This underground style has evolved into something so chic, so now, that everyone is doing it.

The goth kids of today are it-girls, tattooed photographers, and that chick on the treadmill sporting all black. They covet Rick Owens’ latest collection, spend the weekend shopping local, and their iTunes library contains The Cure as well as Lorde.

This new variety of goth is not limited to black. Take collections from Rick Owens, where he incorporates all-white ensembles that are just as spooky as his all-black looks. The concept is a minimal, neutral color palette with luxe textiles (think brushed silk, chunky cable knits, and skintight soft leather). The focus on detail has shifted from studs and buckles to textures and contrast.

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The 90’s revival has influenced the new goth aesthetic, but not as much as one would think. Instead of being kitschy, the New Goth is toned down and void of stretchy tattoo choker necklaces. The cross-over is seen more so in the make-up decisions: redish hues around the eyes, dark (almost black) lip colors, and not a trace of blush. Fashion wise, the 90’s influence is more Wednesday Addams than Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Take a cue from American Horror Story: The Coven for a modern pop culture interpretation.

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Goth has even become sporty: you don’t have to hate yourself to hate the world, thus goth kids have ventured to the gym in their black Lululemon leggings and Nike sneakers. They prefer Samurai buns over ballet buns and would rather listen to The Distillers during Boot Camp instead of Top 40 remixes. They are health conscious, eco friendly, and slightly more social than their predecessors. The new goth kids embrace life with the same enthusiasm they have for the macabre.

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I remember when I painted my nails black and my mother thought I was joining a cult. Until recently, all-black everything was considered too strange for every day. Now you see professionals draped in dark layers, models leaving fashion shows in combat boots and black leather jackets, and people of all ages embracing the New Goth. The aesthetic can even be a little bit feminine, à la Alexander McQueen.

The New Goth is elegant in a Morticia Addams kind of way. Long black dresses elongate and slim the figure, while eclectic accessories help to differentiate you from the masses. Sheer tights and mesh sleeves are wonderful ways to stay dark and mysterious without being too revealing: keep the sex appeal subtle for this new aesthetic. A sleek hair style featuring a center part hasn’t always been en vogue, but Nicole Riche has perfected the look and inspired others to try the “wet hair,” which happens to pair perfectly with the goth philosophy.

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Do not be afraid of goth, as it is a part of us all. When the season changes and the temperature drops, when leaves fall from trees and the sky turns grey is the time of year when Goth feels “right,” but in reality it is a look that can be pulled off year-round. You don’t need to live near a cemetery or drive a vintage car to feel at home with this style. Try incorporating a little edge into your daily ensemble or experiment with a black monochromatic #ootd. Next time you see a 30-year old soccer mom with dark plum nail polish, remember that anyone can do goth with the right attitude.

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