This month's MySpace Muse features a particularly inspiring crop of individuals who remind us that basics don't have to be boring. These fashion architects know that when constructing an excellent outfit, a solid foundation¬--think: denim, cutoffs, or the all-important use of black¬--is essential to the final outcome. Once the infrastructure is sorted, they add finishing flourishes with brightly colored scarves, layered necklaces, and boldly boisterous boots. These accessory choices create statement looks that bear the wearer's fashion signature, much like the way clean, modern lines convey the Bauhaus brand. Study these pillars of personal style and hopefully you'll pick up some new ideas about how to build a chic ensemble from scratch!
A graphic tee and bright accessory personalize an all-black outfit.
Our first muse, Filippa, 20, from Stockholm, put a distinctive, vivid stamp on her dark, leggy look¬--and we're not alluding to her fiery locks! She punched up her all-black outfit by styling it with a graphic tee and colorful cap: two small, yet transformative, tweaks. You can recreate her look by pairing your favorite noir bottoms with Alexander McQueen's Hummingbird Print T-Shirt ($485). If the insouciant style of a neon skull is not exactly your speed, try a more bohemian approach with Delia's Peacock Feather Tee ($25). Top it all off with Tilly's Linen 3 Button Military Hat ($10) and you're ready to flaunt your own version of Filippa's fashionable flair.
Graduated necklaces and a cuffed blazer make basics look better.
Maybe it's the innate style that comes from living near the Seine, but Adeline, 19, from Paris, surely has a certain je ne sais quoi. We love how she uses the calculated casualness of graduated necklaces and an ivory blazer to capitalize on a simple t-shirt and jeans¬--c'est chic, non? For a look √† la Adeline that's equally worthy of a march through the Marais, try Tuleste Market's Extended Multi-Strand Necklace ($125) and Elizabeth and James' Jackson Blazer ($395). Or, create a completely cost-free custom-jewelry creation by layering a few of your own necklaces in a cascading way!
Tie-dye prints can be chic when mixed with neutral layers.
Sometimes tie-dye can overpower an outfit, but Karen, 28, from New York, knows how to pull it off in the perfect way. She kept the rest of her outfit from competing with the print by wearing it with a simple oversized tee, cropped moto jacket, and unadorned platform pumps¬--all in basic black. Against these stark pieces, the tie-dye leggings add an element of bohemian raver chic surprise to her look. Take a page from Karen's stylebook and trade in your basic leggings for something with patterned panache, like Target's Xhiliration Tie-Dye Leggings ($13) in Fishbone or American Apparel's Cotton Spandex Jersey ($34) version. If for some reason, you don't have a similar staple t-shirt in your repertoire, we've got a few suggestions to remedy your situation. We like the Harlow-Monrow Vintage Black Oversized Tee ($77) or the Urban Renewal Asymmetrical Jersey Tunic ($48); either one will give you the necessary coverage needed when wearing skin-skimming tights!
Bright accent pieces give you a spring look in a weather-appropriate way.
Moving on to our next style guru, we have Zanita, 20, from Sydney, who teaches us that transitional wear can be bold and seasonally correct. Her thick multi-colored scarf is a great selection¬--perfect for throwing over your shoulders when you run around in windy weather¬--while her forest green, bowler-inspired, brimmed hat is an unexpectedly festive choice. We found a couple of pieces that have Zanita's down-under vibe, such as Barja's Yellow Stole Scarf Shawl ($215), which will to keep you cozy until summer. Also check out Christys' Crown Series' Basix Hat ($38); the verdant felt fedora is sure to spruce up your ensemble without breaking the bank.
A body-con top and combat boots balance casual cutoffs.
We love how Jenna, 22, from Los Angeles, puts her own spin on some good ol' fashioned nineties style! By combining a classic pair of cutoffs with a leotard and don't-mess-with-me-boots, Jenna channels life on the stylish edge and MSCL's Rayanne Graff. Recreate her chicly defiant stance with Dr. Martens Patent Zip 9733 Boots ($105) in the same striking crimson hue. And for an equally era-correct bodysuit-and-shorts duo, try American Apparel's Cotton Spandex Leotard ($28) and Anlo's Cammie Cutoff Denim Shorts ($167).
A denim jacket is the perfect casual cover-up this spring.
Our final MySpace Muse, Shelly, 17, from Sweden, showcases an excellently unfussy night-out-with-friends ensemble. By mixing her light-wash denim jacket with a body-con skirt, she's created a look that's sexy without being too overt. We'd like to give her additional kudos for picking an interesting skirt; the high-waisted silhouette and asymmetrical zipper-detail turn up the volume on the otherwise basic piece. Summon Shelly's signature style with Opening Ceremony's Corset Skirt ($265), or, for a smaller investment, American Apparel's Interlock Pencil Skirt ($32). Grab Delia's Harlow Denim Jacket ($55) and you're ready for wherever the night may take you!¬--Liza Kaplan