Elizabeth & James by Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen
The Elizabeth and James aesthetic marries masculine and feminine design aspects in a clean, well-edited way (example: a trim, cropped tuxedo jacket, complete with tails, paired with silk hot shorts). The Olsens' enthusiasm for vintage apparel shows through as well. The dramatic collar on a leopard print coat reminds us of something a Hitchcock heroine would wear and the Sequined Dress (shown above) was literally inspired by one of Mary Kate's thrifty finds.
We particularly adore how each piece is impeccably constructed and could stylishly slip into anyone's closet. The little silk dresses, smartly cut jackets, and slim-fitting pants are better than basic-they're wardrobe workhorses. The cropped length, three-quarter sleeves, and snug shape of the gray Shrunken Blazer (shown above) would be equally lovely when worn casually with jeans, with tailored pieces for work, or over a little frock at night. The Elizabeth and James collection also incorporates thoughtful details into the garments, from an Edwardian row of little buttons up the back of the plaid Bonfire Shirt (shown above) to neat-o zippers on the outside of the Button Leggings (shown above).
All of these points-plus mid-range prices-makes Elizabeth and James a Line We Love. Now if only we could get the sisters Olsen to collaborate with H&M...
The Elizabeth and James collection is available online at neimanmarcus.com. The line is also currently in the following stores: Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, and Intermix.
Bonfire Shirt ($225, neimanmarcus.com)
Available in red/black plaid, as seen here, as well as tan/cream/brown plaid.
Shrunken Blazer ($375, neimanmarcus.com)
Don't fear the shorter sleeves come cool weather, just wear a long-sleeved shirt or a pair of gloves!
Button Leggings ($145, neimanmarcus.com)
These pants are too soft to explain, you must feel to believe. A similar pant is also available in a stirrup cut.
Sequined Dress ($495, neimanmarcus.com)
The bateau neckline and olive/purple/blue/navy sequin stripes makes this dress party perfect.