Friday, September 4, 2015

Indian Summer


There's something about this time of year. Yes, it's September, yes, it's almost fall,  but summer just refuses to release us from its grasp. And it becomes so oppressive, so intense, that we can't help but feel its presence all the time. Everyone is chomping at the bit to get out their new moto jackets and chunky knit sweaters for fall, but the simmering heat waves and 97% humidity are refusing to let us. To that we say...if you can't beat 'em, join 'em! Let's celebrate these dog days. It seems we spend the other three seasons waiting for summer; let's throw it a killer going away party. Get out that dress you never wore. Find the brightest, most obnoxious shade of lipstick you own. Squeeze into those white jeans one last time, because girl, you know you look amazing. You can wait another couple of weeks for fall lattes and knee socks. This is Indian Summer.

Tips & Tricks

Accessorizing Neons: 
The color palettes in both of these dresses are pretty intense (C's more so than J's, but J's got a mean streak of neon going on). Neutral accessories are an option, but you can also go just as bold as your dress in selecting jewelry, shoes, and bags. C stays within the same color family of pink and orange to play up the blue hues in the dress. J goes glam with a metallic clutch and huge statement earrings. Pop the lipstick like C or go dark as an homage to fall, like J. With makeup, just make sure that you balance a statement look with neutrals everywhere else on the face. For example, don't wear a drastic smoky eye with crazy lipstick. 

Finding the Right Cut:
When wearing a bodycon dress, it's important to be con-scious (see what we did there) of the cut if you're a grown ass woman. You must strike a balance between sexy and mysterious, between classic and original. Since J is small chested, this razor sharp, low cut neckline looks incredible on her and emphasizes her assets. The tailored look and length of the rest of the dress balance out this plunging choice. C's got a racer back, athletic look going on, which makes for an edgy statement when paired with the super girly and busy print of this dress. The short length is flirty, as is the material, neoprene. Since bodycon is already a sexy look, be wary of too many other alterations: cutouts, backless, super deep Vs, panels, and short hems can be alluring and chic, but only if understated and balanced.

Shoes to be Happy: 
Get out your party shoes. If accessorizing with a bright or neon color, it is best if the shoe is a solid color and not patterned. Accessorizing with pastels or muted colors, if you can pull it off, might present the opportunity for pattern. With close-toed heels, we always recommend a pointy toe rather than round for a sophisticated look. A strappy or caged sandal or a wedge would also look awesome with a bold, bright look such as these.

What We Wore: 

On J: 
Dress: French Connection: Runway Inspo / More from FC here and here / Similar / Similar
Shoes: Aldo: Runway Inspo / Similar from Aldo, on sale / Steal
Clutch: Street Level: also from Street Level / also awesome graphic clutch / Splurge metallic clutch
Earrings: J. Crew: Similar from J. Crew / Similar @ $10! / Similar Colors
Necklace: LUCA Jewelry
Shades: Ray-Ban

On C:
Dress: Laundry: Runway Inspo /More from Laundry here  / Splurge / Similar / Sale version
Shoes: Mossimo for Target: Runway Inspo / Similar on sale / Similar, with capped toe!
Bangle: Kate Spade: more from Kate / Similar / Steal
Earrings: Boutique: Similar, steal! / Similar
Shades: Cole Haan: Similar from CH / Similar

Keep it Classy, 
J & C

Friday, August 14, 2015

Graphic Content


Back in high school, we used to rock the graphic tee constantly. That being said, we also used to wear yoga pants and Crocs. In college, due to some hearty doses of socialization, we learned quickly that this look was not acceptable for a grown woman. We shamed the graphic tee and sent it to a dark place, along with those other poor fashion choices. In the past two years, however, this wardrobe staple has come out of hiding and recreated its image. Celebrities, stylists, and really cool people whom we stalk on Instagram have explored this new graphic tee frontier. We followed suit and created these two fun but elevated looks from what we had on hand. We've also rocked an Einstein shirt paired with a mini skirt, a Cheeseburger shirt with leather leggings, and old jerseys with boyfriend jeans. We are totally on board with the graphic tee revolution, and you should be too.

Tips & Tricks: 
How to Find the Perfect Graphic Tee: 

The best gems can be found from either your own collection (bring back those high school staples!) or from thrifting and borrowing. J's Transformers tee in this post came from a thrift store, while C's shirt was left at her house by a friend, who had in turn borrowed it from a male friend. Men's shirts work really well for this trend, though most major retailers carry women's options as well. The design should be in some way striking, whether it be vintage, crazy, minimalist, or personally meaningful to you. The new graphics are an entirely different beast than those of the old days, when a trip to Abercrombie & Fitch was considered sufficient. Now you've got to hunt down something unique that you love, because people (read: unworthy dudes and jealous Basics) will definitely use messages that are broadcast across your chest as a conversation starter.

How to Make it Flattering: 

J has, per usual, opted for a crop top design. She cut the hem of this boyish shirt into a loose fitting crop, and then rolled up the sleeves. She's now made the shirt look flirty, but not too sexy for this design. C's muscle shirt cut is also in right now, and has the added benefit of letting a cute bralette peek through the arm holes. To accomplish this style, simply cut off the sleeves in large, oval cuts. If the shirt is loose fitting, pair it with a tight pant or tie it up in a knot as C has done. 

How to Amp Up the Chic Factor: 

Sorry ladies, gone are the days when one may wear a graphic tee with jeans and flip-flops in public. That is way too 2004 Britney and we don't want to hear another word about it. (Side note, if you're going for comfort, try the chic athletic trend. Designer sneakers, skinny sweats, and a top with an athletic cut can accomplish a comfortable yet put together look. Alternately, don a stretchy cotton jumpsuit. Feels like pajamas, looks like Gabbana). 

The solution? Pair the tee with the perfect balance of formal, structured pieces and casual pieces that enhance the laidback vibe of the shirt. For example, J has paired her tee with distressed jean shorts, but also elevates the look with a boyfriend blazer and gold clutch. She then adds some edge with a tall black boot, keeping it flat to avoid looking too vampy.  Similarly, C has included a mix of formal and informal, wearing her muscle shirt with sporty but tailored pants  (cinched ankle joggers in a crepe fabric), paired with edgy shoes and clutch. The cat-eye sunglasses and statement necklace add a ladylike vibe, but she still pays homage to the tomboy look with a classic Calvin Klein bra. Mixing aesthetics is not only permissible with this type of shirt, it is necessary in order to create a chic look. 

What We Wore: 

On J:

Top: FCUK Transformers tee here /  Other throwback graphics here and here 
Blazer: Banana Republic Similar from BR, on sale / F21 Option
Boots: Dolce Vita Similar / Runway Inspo
Sunglasses: Boutique Runway Inspo / Splurge / Similar for $12!
Clutch: 7CHI / Also awesome 
Watch: Michael Kors

On C:

Shirt: Borrowed, originally from Spiritual Gangster / Similar style (also yum that model) / Muscle tees here and here / Throwback brand repping here and here 
Pants: Calvin Klein Runway Inspo / Similar, different colors / Affordable options here and here
Bra: Calvin Klein / Also, yes please to these two
Shades: Cole Haan Splurge / Similar
Clutch: J Crew Splurge / Steal / Similar from J Crew

Keep it Classy,
J & C

Monday, August 3, 2015

Party of Two


In spite of our relatively small current readership (tell your friends about us!), we usually invest hours in developing and planning the aesthetic, style, backdrop, and mood for a blog shoot. We like to showcase our own individual styles while creating quality content that is on trend, and that process takes time for us. This shoot is really the exception to the rule.  We were in C's room getting ready for dinner at the end of an exhausting day when we both reluctantly agreed we could maybe do one more shoot, on the fly. The result was this post: two simple, classic, wearable outfits and a few great shots of us doing what we love best...making each other laugh while enjoying a good white wine. The colors and mood of the photos came together naturally with the fashion as we reveled in a stunning summer evening.

Tips & Tricks:
The Fit & Flare:
This cut is extremely popular at the moment. Essentially, "Fit & Flare" refers to a dress with a fitted bodice and a fuller or looser skirt. This style is hundreds of years old, referencing the dresses of every type of woman from a Puritan housewife to a French courtesan (sorry, we're nerds). The modern iteration of this look usually comes in the form of a short sundress. If you like a strapless look, we recommend a sweetheart neckline like J's. This neckline is flattering on everyone (she is actually borrowing C's dress in this shoot, and their bust lines are pretty drastically different), and enhances the flirty fit of the rest of the dress. For you women who don't love yanking your dress up all the time, try a simple tank version like C's or an off-the-shoulder cut, linked below.

Colorblocking with Style:
Colorblocking has been a popular trend for several years now, and the novelty has (almost) worn off. We think that monochrome colorblocking is a little more current than the traditional version, so go for a dress like J's that features different shades or tones from the same color family. It also allows you to accessorize more boldly, such as J's choice of the magenta heel. Her thick cat eye sunglasses, Jackie O earrings, and hot pink lip also add an appealing retro vibe to this classic dress.

Tone it Down:
C's dress makes her feel like a four-year-old at a birthday party (which is awesome, don't get us wrong). This dress brings in the two current trends of blush pink and full tulle skirts. However, over-accessorizing or styling with girly pieces will make this dress look too over the top. C brings it down a notch with earth-toned accessories and a short boot. A legitimate cowboy boot or a gladiator sandal would also look awesome with a frou-frou dress like this.

What We Wore:

On J:
Dress: Eliza J  (Runway inspo / Splurge option / Affordable Option (same cut) / Off-the-shoulder version here  / More from this designer here and here)
Shoes: Aldo  (Less expensive version)
Belt: Banana Republic
Shades: Cole Haan (similar here)
Earrings: Banana Republic (very similar)
Necklace: LUCA Jewelry
Watch: Michael Kors

On C:
Dress: Pinky  (Runway inspo / Splurge (but good sale) / Affordable options herehere, and here / Fancier look but is this sale price for real?)
Boots: Franco Sarto (Same designer / Similar here)
Sunglasses: Forever21
Earrings: A gift (similar here)

Keep it Classy,
J & C

Monday, July 27, 2015

Stripes & Denim


The inspiration for this look came after a lot of reflection as to what type of looks we have been featuring.  After reviewing our past posts, we realized that all of them were a little, well, dressy.  This week we wanted to remind you that, yes, we do wear flat shoes, denim is a staple in our wardrobe, and no, we do not go everywhere duplicating the latest Marc Jacobs ads.  While we do tend to over-dress for everything (if the Basics ask, always use the excuse that you just came from a local fashion show, magazine party, gallery showing, every time), we also enjoy more elevated casual looks that can easily transition from the afternoon to a night out with friends.  These looks are easy, comfortable and always in style. We were channeling retro style icons when constructing these looks, but you can sport a similar outfit in any type of style.  In short, there is nothing really revolutionary about a classic stripped shirt and jeans...unless you make it look that way. 

Tips & Tricks: 

High-waisted Denim vs. Low-rise:

High-waisted denim is a chic and flattering trend that helps make cropped tops and sweaters look classy instead of trampy or 90s-esque.  Having said this, high-waisted denim is not for every body type.  J has a small waist, could still buy bras from the tween section of Target, and has baby-got-back hips. If you are built like her, this look would be very slimming for you. Also if your body type is "Kate Moss," you will look great in a pair of these babies.  

If you love the idea of tying up an oversized shirt but hate the idea of squeezing into a pair of high-waisted jeans, don’t fret!  Simply use your favorite skinny or straight denim and tie the shirt at the base of your hips where the shirt meets the jeans (just make sure you get a longer shirt so you have extra fabric to tie. Tunic shirts work best).

If you prefer low-rise denim and don't love the man shirt, try a feminine peplum top like C is wearing. A peplum should be a staple in every woman’s wardrobe because it simply looks good on everyone.  The cinched waist is flattering while the skirt-like bottom half of the shirt hides imperfections (plus you can definitely go for that piece of cheesecake without worrying about the inevitable food baby). Plus, if you are bigger-chested like C, the top will make you look proportioned and balanced while still flirty and lady-like.

Colorful Accessories vs. Simple Classics

Just because J loves navy blue lipstick doesn’t mean we all do. Not everyone loves and craves bold accessorizing, but don't forget that color can give an outfit life.

Thus, if you want to spice up an earthy-toned look, add some bright colored staple pieces. J's outfit would certainly be complete without colorful accessories, but the incorporation of bright pink and yellow colors reflects J's crazy personality and individual style. The pink pumps and lipstick make this retro look more modern and funky.  Additionally, the neon yellow bag and bangle pair well with the magenta shoes and the basic canvas of the outfit. Strike a balance between matching and contrasting.

On the other hand, keeping the look classic and clean with minimal and simple accessories proves just as stunning and eye-catching.  C keeps her look simple with black and metallic accessories, as is her preference, and still looks just as fashionable.

Pumps vs. Flats

Ah, the dilemma of heels vs. flats.  Often this question boils down to practicality and comfort. Luckily, you can pair almost any type of shoe with a good pair of jeans.  

If you are going with a chic, elevated, and lady-like look, a classic pointed or peep toe heel is a must.  With high-waisted denim, heels also have the added benefit of elongating the legs.  So if you are shorter, we definitely recommend a heel or even a wedge.

C is wearing the classic and functional Jack Rogers Navajo sandal. She loves this preppy shoe as a more stylish alternative to the flip flop. J wouldn't usually be caught dead in a pair of Jacks, but everyone has their own style (also C is working on converting her). 

What We Wore: 
On J:
Shirt: Banana Republic 
Jeans: H&M
Purse: Rebecca Minkoff (similar inexpensive neon crossbody)
Watch: Michael Kors Showstopper Horn-Acetate-Strap Chronograph Watch, Blonde (MK-5217) similar look/style 
Bracelet: Kate Spade similar style
Earrings: Kate Spade similar style different color
Sunglasses: Ray Ban 

On C:
Top: Odille from Anthropologie (similar hereinexpensive crop top version here)
Jeans: Forever21
Shoes: Jack Rogers
Clutch: Gigi New York
Bracelets: Kate Spade and Brooks Brothers (similar)
Earrings: House of Harlow
Necklace: Vintage: Grandmother's wedding ring (but similar styles available)
Sunglasses: Cole Haan (similar)

Keep it classy,
J & C