TREND: Invest in Denim

In previous posts I have focused in on the denim shirt and the jean skirt, but today I want to report on the edgier side of the denim family: the jean vest. Layering on a jean vest automatically results in a tougher aesthetic to the outfit. Take a look at this week’s Fashionista, without the vest the outfit may not be as noteworthy, and adds just a bit of a western bohemian edge. Alexander Wang incorporates the vest style into his pre-fall collection, one look he shows denim vest layered on top of leather sleeves. The denim vest is one of those pieces that can be styled so differently that you can definitely get your moneys worth out of it.

How To: Finding a denim vest is easy; it’s the way you style that makes all the difference. A few options for the vest, J.Crew for a classic fit and wash, rag & bone in a longer fitted silhouette, or Helmut Lang in a motorcycle style. Take a look at this blog for some street style inspiration on how to style the vest. For the rest of summer, try and layer with a chiffon or silk maxi dress to offset the girlish style with a tougher piece. Another summer option is the jean on jean look, but make sure to choose a few shades darker on either top or bottom. To transition for fall you can easily layer the vest with a thermal long sleeve, a leather jacket, or even a zip up hoodie. On the bottom for fall pair with bold colored pants, a leather skirt or cargo skinnies. Finish out the summer pairing your favorite pieces with a jean vest, then simply swap for fall clothes and layer under the vest.

TREND: A Punch of Floral

Bright pops of color and floral prints are not only on trend this season, but are both the easiest way to incorporate summertime into your wardrobe. When gorgeous weather is here, your mood often reflects that, and bold colors represent a confident Fashionista. Banana Republic was one of many to send bright florals down the runway for spring 2011. Florals can easily be taken from runway to real way due to the affordable options available. Bright floral patterns were also a popular pant style for the season and look edgy with a different pattern on top or casual-chic with a plain T-shirt. This week’s Fashionista chose to pair her vibrant floral dress with a retro pair of oxford sandals. The bright floral option for summertime allows for playful styling and optimistic dressing.

Hint: There are many options to incorporate punchy florals into your summer wardrobe. If dresses are your preference, some choices are this maxi style or this girly drop waist frock. For a Fashionista who prefers shorts, these floral mini shorts are the perfect choice. The shorts look edgy with a motorcycle boot or casual with a flat sandal or converse sneaker. For bold floral print in a top, a chic button down is the way to go. For the remainder of the summer season be sure to step outside your floral comfort zone and choose a bold style for the print.

TREND: According to the Bell-Bottom

During my lunch break, I spotted this trendy Fashionista out of the corner of my eye, and knew I had to feature her outfit this week. The accordion pleated bell-bottom is a retro-chic piece that is extremely eye-catching, too. I especially loved how she styled the bottoms with a ballerina bun and very few accessories. Her metallic pink sandals added just enough spark to the muted nude colors. To find inspiration on the runway, look to Derek Lam’s spring 2011 collection for a retro, relaxed pant style. The ‘70s high-waisted flare style is also incorporated into the pant trend as seen on the Tory Burch runway. While the dramatic bell-bottom has been seen in the form of denim and tailored styles, this Fashionista points out that a silky, accordion pleated version should definitely be tried.

Hint: The most important aspect to dressing is to make sure you wear the clothes and the clothes don’t wear you. With this in mind, choose the length and style that best fits your body type. This week’s Fashionista was petite, so the elastic waistband and tucked in shirt worked well with her figure. American Apparel offers the accordion-pleat pant in a variety of colors. For the taller Fashionista, try breaking up the high-waisted style by wearing a crop top, and show just a little skin. For the shorter Fashionista, opt for a cropped style to lengthen your silhouette while still having a flare at the bottom. If pleats or trouser style bells are not your cup of tea, try a shear patterned pant. The bell-bottom pant may first have been seen in the ‘70s, but the variations and interpretations of today make the style a fun and sophisticated choice.

TREND: Pop of Neon

“Anything goes” is the saying I abide by when it comes to fashion. This was very apparent on the spring 2011 runways where neutrals and neons were both popular and even seen together from the same designer. Jill Sander, and Prada both used neon colors for their runway shows, and it is a trend that can be easily translated for the college customer. Neon brights represent a more optimistic feel and automatically make your outfit pop a little more. Take this week’s Fashionista as an example. She simply added a neon green cardigan to her simple jean dress and brown wedges. The cardigan is a thoughtful choice to bring out a major trend this season without trying too hard. Some Fashionistas choose to express the trend with a color blocking technique that allows for more color use and an overall eye-catching outfit. Whether you chose to accent your outfit with neon, whether it be a cardigan, piece of jewelry or a funky pair of shoes, the neon trend is a fun and optimistic approach to dressing.

Hint: If you tend to stick to neutrals and neon’s are a farfetched idea for your style, start simple. A structured trouser pant in a bright green would look great with a simple white blouse or a bold colored top. Another option for a neon kick is to accessorize with a bright handbag. WhoWhatWear did a great feature of neons with neutrals to give more examples of how to add neon brights into your wardrobe. Neon colors do not need to be overwhelming. They can be weaved into your wardrobe for an optimistic, bold feel. For the remainder of summer, dare to be bold, and play with different neon pieces to break away from the overseen neutrals.

TREND: The Simple Look

Instead of looking to magazines for my daily style inspirations, I simply take in my surroundings of all the Fashionista’s on my daily walk to work. I featured this Fashionista for her simple pieces that show the season’s most popular trends in just a top and bottom. Knits, maxi lengths, neutral tones and an overall minimalistic style are what make up this Fashionista’s trend of simplicity.

In the past, I used to think of a skirt as being a more fancy or dressy option to wear. Now, I constantly am turning to them as staple pieces that are easy to wear and to mix and match. This Fashionista chose a trendy yet classic blush tone skirt in a chiffon fabric, which is just right for a hot summer day. The color can be paired with a variety of neutrals like the Fashionista models here, or you can choose a louder color like this blue tank. The maxi can also be styled very casual with a basic white T-shirt, or a dressier sheer button-down. Both are perfect and simple options, but allow for a dressy or causal option with the choice of fabrics and styling. The basic cream colored knit that this Fashionista is wearing is so casual yet adds some texture to the chiffon skirt. After examining the trends present in the details of the ensemble, the overall look is still simple. This week’s Fashionista shows us how simplicity is bliss.

Hint: To mimic the simple ensemble shown here, try an American Apparel maxi skirt. Pick a few different colors of the skirt, and a few basic tops in a variety of colors. This is how mixing and matching is fun. For example, take this lemon yellow maxi and mix with a bright red button-up one day, or the same top with the blush tone a different day. The key to the simplicity factor is playing with basics in solid colors.

TREND: Beach Chic

When the workweek ends on Friday, New Yorkers flee from the city for their weekend getaway destinations. This is a trend that I have come to notice during my summer stay; getting away from the city heat is a cool weekend escape. This past weekend I traded in my heavily used metro card in exchange for my untouched sunscreen. Beach weekends are a popular choice for the short vacation, but fashion and trends still follow the New York City Fashionistas no matter the setting.

This Fashionista’s outfit worked perfectly as an easy beach cover up as well as a casual barbeque ensemble. A crisp white maxi dress is not only effortless, but also quite flattering to a new sun kissed glow. A practical and trendy accessory for the beach is the woven hat that this Fashionista is wearing. There is something so retro about her hat that makes the outfit that much more chic. A beach hat will not only protect your face from the harsh rays, but also provide another accessory for the little bikini sported on the beach.

Hint: For trendy summertime beach attire like this Fashionista’s, try this Club Monaco maxi dress. Another option is a looser '70s peasant style, like this Ella Moss maxi. For a retro hat similar to the one seen here, try this Urban Outfitters floppy canvas style. If you are looking for another accessory to amp up your beach attire, experiment with a funky pair of sunglasses like this Karen Walker two-toned style. While weekend getaways are relaxing and fun, take this opportunity to be creative and express your inner beach goddess.

TREND: Knit Picks

Summer in New York can be quite hot and humid which is why lightweight knit tops are a smart trend to invest in. This Fashionista’s outfit drew me in because I thought it was very relatable, and it is a simple outfit for any Fashionista to replicate. Also to note about this outfit is how the Fashionista demonstrates that two loose pieces worn together can look tailored without being tucked in. While her outfit is pretty simple, she adds some spark with metallic gladiator sandals and funky sunglasses. To transform the outfit from day to night, the knit can be worn tucked in with a pleated midi skirt or with bright colored jeans and heels. This summer, there are endless shopping and styling options for the perfect knit top.

Hint: Knit tops can be worn in so many ways that you really only need to invest in a few, and play with styling options. Following this Fashionista’s lead, you can easily make a simple outfit stand out by accessorizing with jewelry, shoes or sunglasses. For a metallic knit, this Zara option would look great layered over a black maxi dress or eyelet white shorts. For a cropped style, this 3.1 Phillip Lim splurge can be worn layered with a patterned tank underneath or with just a bra for a sexier appeal. My advice is to purchase a few knits in different styles in neutral colors and a fun metallic style. While summer knits are light and breezy for the hot weather, the styles can be layered and easily transitioned for those colder months. Purchase knitwear this summer, and you will be able to wear and style it differently for plenty seasons to come.

TREND: The New and Improved Legging

Leggings have made up plenty of my outfit choices throughout the years. As a little girl, I was dressed in the bright colored or patterned texture kind for warmth underneath garments. In middle school, I followed the legging trend with UGGs and frayed jean skirts (not one of my best outfit choices). In college, leggings came with a multipurpose use for either comfort or a night out. This Fashionista shows us the legging trend in a summery pattern. The floral print and bright colors make the legging more appropriate for the summer season instead of the typical black shade. Especially when in a lazy dressing mood, the legging is an easy go-to option. While feeling comfortable and effortless, a fun print makes the casual garment look well thought out and put together.

Hint: Most important to styling the legging is making it look flattering. An oversized silk blouse will balance out the tight bottom, and with a pair of wedges make for a perfect nighttime ensemble. These leggings from ASOS have the perfect pop of color for summertime, and can easily be worn with a lightweight denim shirt as shown or a cotton tank for really hot days. If you feel at ease with the patterned legging, try mixing and matching prints. For example, try a floral legging and a leopard top, or a tribal print legging and floral top. When mixing patterns, I would try to keep a consistent color somewhere in both the top and bottom. To tackle this trend, simply find a colorful pattern or print that you feel comfortable in and style to your desire!

TREND: Making the Past Relevant

This Fashionista caught my eye with her mod yet conservative floral print dress. Trends are about recognizing what is being worn around you and being able to interpret and execute them to your own liking. This particular long sleeve dress is a composite of trends from the ‘60s and ‘70s. The feminine floral print mixed with the high neckline reminds me of the mod ‘60s style. On the other hand, the bell of the sleeve and flare of the dress has more of a ‘70s style. While the style of the dress has both ‘60s and ‘70s influence, the trend of the long sleeve and floral print are commonly seen today. The meshing of decades into one piece of clothing, and making them relevant to today’s trends, is what this Fashionista successfully shows us.

One way to capture past trends and styles is vintage or thrift shopping. This option allows for cheap finds and authentic styles. One thing to keep in mind when thrift shopping is to have patience and the right eye for unique pieces. If mainstream shopping is more up your alley, then hone in on one aspect of the decade, and make it related to today’s style. For example, the ‘70s tie on this dress is exaggerated, but the sheerness of the sleeves and neutral color palette are trends that are in line with today’s fashion. A dress similar to this Fashionista is this feminine Free People dress. In order to make this dress more modern, try mixing the girly frock with motorcycle boots for an edgy look. A major part of a trend today is being able to not only mix decade styles, but to be able to mix opposites of each other and make them work.

TREND: Going Au Neutral

Summer is finally here and what better way to bring on the season with a light, carefree ensemble? Layered neutrals in a masculine, structured style was a major trend on the spring 2011 Calvin Klein runway. This Fashionista takes the runway neutrals to the streets. While white pieces tend to remind me of beach cover-ups and eyelet dresses, this Fashionista styles the pieces for a masculine look. Each piece in the outfit can stand alone and be styled in a multitude of ways, but all three together make for a more powerful combination. This season, making a statement can be done in the most understated color palette.

Hint: White pants can be a little intimidating for some people, but the key is to find a pair that flatters your body type. This Fashionista chose to wear her white bottoms in a trouser pant style. ASOS offers a white trouser similar to the one modeled here. If skirts are more flattering for you, than try a light colored maxi with a different material on top. An important thing to remember when going all neutral is to either mix in a different shade or texture for tops and bottoms so you can add some dimension to the outfit. Another way to break up an all white ensemble is to add accessories in accent colors. I really liked how this Fashionista brought in classic black sunglasses and flats, but my attention was still focused on the overall neutral theme. To tackle this trend, simply mix and match all neutral colors and styles, and take a Tide to Go stain remover with you!