Nude shoes are the perfect accompaniment to a modest black frock.
After viewing Coco Avant Chanel, what piqued our interest most about the iconic designer was something we already knew well: we love her simple, elegant designs, especially in the face of all the frou-frou popular in that era. Erin, 26, from Oakland, quietly channels that tasteful glamour in her uncomplicated, yet chic, arrangement of nude shoes and a black frock. The vintage-inspired silhouette of her daytime dress is quite ladylike, but looks fresh when personalized with a shorter hemline and bow-bedecked flats. You can capture Erin's quirky-prim look by pairing RVCA's Long Sleeve Boat Neck Button Front Dress ($72) with Charlotte Russe's Ruffle Button Flats ($19).
Red lips and a big braid spice up simple neutral pieces.
While the Fall 09 runways were focused on bold lip statements, the Spring 10 runways spotlighted thick plaits (most notably those at Miu Miu and Alexander Wang). We like how Caroline, 27, from New York City, has melded both these of-the-moment beauty trends, using them to elevate her basic look. You can easily snag Caroline's base of a gray tank and white skirt combo by picking up BDG's PE Tank Top ($24) and Free People's Downtown Ruffle Mini Skirt ($62), which echoes the layered look of this muse's selection. As for her must-have pout, we recommend Are You Red-dy ($7.50), the magical offering from Maybelline's Color Sensational Lip Color line, which literally looks amazing on every face. Or, if you prefer a brighter orange-red (as opposed to a true red), pick up Giorgio Armani's Rouge d'Armani Lipstick ($30) in 401, which Rihanna recently paired with an all-black ensemble during Fashion's Night Out in New York!
A boyfriend blazer looks chic over a girly mini dress.
While we are slowly accumulating faux furs, strong-shouldered jackets, and sequined outerwear, Caroline, 20, from Indonesia, shows us there is still a place in our closets for that seasonal stapleÂ--the boyfriend blazer. Her neutral blazer contrasts nicely with her floral-print mini dress, offering a chic dialogue between masculine/feminine. Get Caroline's look by starting with a comparable outfit foundation, like the cool-hued Forever 21 Floral Garden Dress ($20), then add a little polish with Silence & Noise's Boyfriend Blazer ($78), a year-round essential. Finally, give this pulled-together ensemble a little bit of edge by trying a sexier shoe. We like bebe's Lanie Studded Heel Booties ($179) for their slit-front silhouette and studded spike heels.
Intricate and patterned tights are a key accent for all this fall.
Although they may technically qualify as "bottoms," patterned tights are "topping" our trend list for fall. That's why we were immediately taken with the lovely lace version worn by Jaimee, 25, from New York. Jamiee's fashion-forward legwear is the exciting, personal touch that instantly adds pizzazz to her dress-and-blazer ensemble. Jazz up your winter basics by snagging a pair of Pencey's Stirrup Leggings ($88), which grabbed our attention with their edgy, lacey design, and adding a daytime cotton dress. We recommend American Apparel's Baby Rib Tube Bubble Dress ($26) in a similarly striking olive hue.
An oversized daytime clutch is still a fresh accessory choice.
Niki, 19, from Arkansas, takes an evening standardÂ--the clutch purseÂ--and reinvents it for day. By opting for an oversized iteration in a light color and pairing it with a crÃ¨me sweater and shorts, she gave her neutral-toned ensemble an unexpected, yet sophisticated, twist. Steal a note from Niki by opting for London Fog's Camden Clutch ($95); the retro-style envelope is fashion-forward because of its exaggerated size, while the plaid pattern is across-the-pond chic. Pair your fantastic clutch with a cozy camel sweater like laurie b.'s Tart Cardy ($171), to fully recreate Niki's brand of casual chic.
Patterned minis mix well with basic black and bold jewelry.
We selected our final muse, Lindsay, 25, from Los Angeles, for her creative approach to basic black. Her sculptural necklace is a bold choice that complements the exaggerated scoop neck of her black tee, while her graphic mini-skirt further serves the artistic aesthetic of her ensemble. For a look that's just as day-at-the-museum worthy, try pairing Forever 21's Painted Twill Skirt ($16) with a fantastic black t-shirt that you can keep in your closet all year-round. We recommend LNA's Deep Scoop Short Sleeve Tee ($60), which is equally ideal for displaying your statement necklace; either Blue Bijoux's Mixed Spikes Necklace ($38) or Rachel Leigh's Geometric Fringe Necklace ($168) is an excellent pick.Â--Liza Kaplan
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As always, our search for new muses is ongoing, so don't hesitate to recommend yourself or a friend. Just email us (email@example.com) your name, age, email address, and the best full-length shots that convey your personal style! (Photos must be full-length and will not be considered if blurry or poorly lit.) Thank you!