Daily Cookie

April 28, 2008, 7:46 pm
Filed under: My Cookie Jar

Spring and summer dressing always means effortless chic.  Personally, I feel it is easier now to get the look you want with only a few great pieces or accents.  Many of which will work with the staples you already have in your wardrobes, but when mixed in, will immediately update your entire outfit.

Today’s Cookie Jar lists spring essentials that will make you instantly chic.     

Caramel leather – right now I love wearing my caramel high boots with shorter dresses.  Try a pair with a  printed dress for day or with a darker solid (navy or black) dress and some great jewelry for a fun dinner ensemble.  I also love tucking my dark skinny jeans into these boots with a longer top and fun jacket and/or spring weight scarf.  Act quickly though there is only about another month left for this look.   

Chunky necklaces – forget all the layering.  Find one or two great statement necklaces and wear them with everything from a crisp white blouse and pencil skirt (so Lipstick Jungle) or with jeans and a simple tank. Marni, Chloe, Mawi, Trubman and Lanvin all have some super cool pieces right now.  I also spotted some fierce estate (think rhinestone and Grandmother) chunky necklaces at Barneys.  But you can get the same look and spend less.  I recently saw a great turquoise and gold choker (its called the Bubble necklace)at J. Crew.  This with a white tank, white  “boyfriend” pants, gold wedges and a tan will be one of your favorite outfits all summer.  

Brown wooden platform heels – and no wimpy heels here please.  4 or 5 inches plus the platform translates to “Hello Glamazon.”  I ran around NYC all last week in my new Henry Beguelins.  I wore them with all black one day – black pants and black tank and then out that night with dark jeans and a gray and gold top.  They will also look great with just about any dress and white pants. I could spend the entire summer in these, my gold wedges and flip flops. 

White pants – an absolute staple for me after Memorial Day.  For work and or night, look for a wider leg and a smart cut.  I just got a pair from Helmut Lang.  Always love the fit of his pants.  Also love to buy one size bigger for a more relaxed, sexy look.  I will wear them with a simple black tank or a darker color frilly blouse and can go to just about any client meeting or function.  At night, slip on a super thin leather jacket and you have an instant rock and roll look.  For a more casual look, find some that are lighter in texture and an easier fit.  James Pearse always makes a good casual pant.  Any with a drawstring waist are great to throw on, but save them for the weekend.  Pair with a tank and flip flops to you are good to go to your summer destination spot via foot, ferry, or plane.    

Metallics – make any outfit modern and memorable.  Gold is the metal of the moment both on your back and in your bank!  Find a great pair of shoes and a cuff or two and that is really all you need to update any look.  I wore my gold wedges everday in Jamaica.  And I do mean everyday.  I wore them with white silk hot pants and a black halter one night to dinner and then the next day with a long tribal print maxi dress for lunch by the pool.  They are that versatile.  Bags and earrings are also great accent gold pieces.  Find a pair of fun gold disc earrings and wear them with your hair up or in a tried and true ponytail for a chic casual look.  Or if your hair is down and straight, wear them with a simple dress and no other accessories and you are effortlessy fierce. Or invest in a great gold bag and wear it with everything from a LBD to your jeans.  Don’t apologize for the indulgence and don’t  make the excuse you forgot to switch bags.  These pieces are intentional. 

Detailed blouses – ruffles, prints, bejeweled, bedazzled, florals.  The details are what set these apart from the button downs.  Wear them with tailored pants, under a suit or with a great pencil skirt.  But save your tees, layered tanks and dressy halters etc for your jeans.   Personally, I love the smart menswear look.  A classic pair of black or white trousers and a great blouse always looks smart and fresh.  And I will mix it up – sexy powerhouse or hopeless romantic – depending on my mood.  Rachel Bilson was photographed not too long ago wearing a classic pair of almost black pants and a silk blouse with a sunglass print.  Killer outfit.  I just bought a great Hugo Boss black and white print blouse that I intend to copy the look.  I bet you can also find some oldies but goodies in your closet.  I know I have a “suddenly new again” blush color (another trend for spring) blouse that has both ruffled sleeves and metal studded floral applique sleeves (more spring ’08 trends) that I will wear yet another season with a great pencil skirt or those white pants and brown platforms. 

Wedges – I am forever grateful to the person who created these saviors.  And luckily, they are here to stay.  Gold metallic to canvas espadrille – wear them with absolutely anything.  And you can find them at every price level.  Cost per wear, my gold Prada’s are worth their weight, well, in gold.   But I am also open to cuter, cheaper ones for the beach.  If you are under 5′ 6″, buy as many as you can.     

Belts – I have always adored belts but really only for jeans.  However, my friend Maria has got me wearing them with just about anything these days.  A great belt can enhance or change any look.  RIght now, both skinny and big bold belts are in.  Try them over a slouchy (not chunky) thin longer cashmere cardigan, with an empire waist dress or over a long shirt.  I have two new belts this season.  The first is a dark gray super thick waist corset from Gary Graham.  I wear it with a navy blue goddess short dress that honestly looks like nothing until you cinch that puppy in as much as you can with the belt and slip on a pair of high boots or chunky platforms.  The other is a brown patent leather medium width Marni.  I bought this at Louis to wear over a black sheath dress that looked a little too proper until Maria added it to the dress.  Entirely different attitude now. 

The Trench – another staple in my opinion.  But sadly to say I have yet to find the perfect one for me.  I am on the prowl for either a great classic khaki one or a somewhat dressier black little number.  I met Tim Gunn last week.  He met my friend Sarah and I for lunch on the upper East Side (so Gossp Girl I know).  Sarah’s boyfriend bough her this treat at an auction at one of my client’s events.  I just happened to be in town the day she redeemed it and had the pleasure of meeting him too.  Love love love him by the way.  Anyway, part of her stylist experience was for him to take her shopping.  First thing they bought was a black trench.  Enough said!    

The Dress – summer dresses are my all time favorite.  This season there are a variety of styles and lengths to choose from and I suggest you embrace them all.  Long maxi print dresses are hot right now and can be worn day or night.  Bold prints look fierce with patent leather platforms or simple flats (did I really just write that?).  Floral frocks are also huge right now.  Try them with a belted cardigan or thin leather jacket to not look so girly.  Need to run some errands during the day and then grab a cocktail with your hubby or a BFF a bit later?  Try a simple tee shirt dress.  Either short and swingy with some metallic flips or gladiators or a sleek (but not clingy) tank with your wedges.  Clu,  Splendid and Ella Moss have some cute, wallet friendly ones right now.  Add one of those statement necklaces from above and you are instantly chic’er for cocktails.  And the classic shirt dress is also an easy number to dress up or down.  Again try with a belt and bold necklace to help really make your mark.  And that being said, you might want to think about how many buttons you button or unbutton here too!  Dresses can highlight our assets and our unleash our womanly powers.  Why you ask?  Simply because guys can not pull off the look. 

Bold accents – I saved this one for last because it is the trend I am struggling with the most.  Open up my closet and you see a sea of black, brown, charcoal, denim and white.  I do have some color – some red tops, a blue dress,  some prints and florals but that is truly it.    Bold colors are everywhere this season.  Yellow shoes, green bags, enamel jewel colored bangles, 80’s inspired chartreuse dresses and rainbow colored jeans.  There is an entire palette out there that I have not even begun to explore.    I think the best advice is to dress your age and to know what looks best on you.  I don’t see myself investing in any lime green numbers, but I do plan on sporting this great bright purple stoned chunky bracelet as an accent to black and white and may even try stacking a few colored bangles as well.   

See how easy it is to build your outfits.  Now go have some fun in your closet and in the stores.  Instant chic is in your spring forecast.