Whether she's on set at the ELLE offices shooting the latest installment of The City, sitting front-row at a fashion show, or socializing with the industry's key players at cocktail parties, Olivia Palermo never fails to impress with her perfectly polished ensembles. Impeccably turned out wherever she goes, this brunette beauty has mastered the ability to combine patterns, textures, colors and trends with professional flair. In addition to admiring her mix-master styling techniques, we also truly appreciate the way she seamlessly combines designer pieces with high-street finds to create flashbulb-ready ensembles with a truly personal touch. The combination of all these sartorial attributes adds up to one highly covetable, surprisingly accessible wardrobe, which is why Palermo's the perfect candidate for this month's Style Spotlight.
One of the things we like best about Palermo's personal style is the way she routinely incorporates a pop of color into her ensembles, which infuses her ladylike look with youthful energy. Take, for example, the ensemble she was snapped wearing at the after-party for the Duplass brothers' comedy Cyrus earlier this summer. Palermo opted for a neutral foundation for this look via a nude Ports 1961's Dress ($1495), brown Christian Louboutin heels, and a lust-worthy vintage Hermes clutch in a gorgeous caramel hue. Then, to add extra verve to her ensemble, she threw on her favorite scarf¬--Rachel Rachel Roy's Damask Pop Scarf ($38)¬--in canary yellow, included a dose of graphic intrigue with Lia Sophia's Fan Bracelet ($425), and added a hint of sparkle with CC Skye's Starburst Bangle ($125) in silver. Another tidbit of insider knowledge regarding this well-constructed ensemble: Palermo's dress was originally a floor-length gown she cut off and bubbled herself!
Palermo continued to display this stealthy knack for breathing new life into pieces at a Dior Beauty event in April. On this occasion, she started with Topshop's Lace Bodycon Dress ($80), and then accessorized with a vintage red kimono top that she cinched with DVF's Micro Snake Belt ($165). Her Asian-Fusion top lends an upscale gypset vibe to her whole ensemble, and also highlights her ability to seamlessly blend multiple of-the-moment trends without looking like a fashion faux pas. Palermo further exhibited this aesthetic artistry when she was photographed at Bryant Park this past spring wearing a Rebecca Taylor Gold Waterfall Skirt ($225, 212.966.0406) as the focus of an all-noir ensemble. Her metallic skirt is spot-on with the lam√© dresses we saw march down the fall runways, plus it looks amazing with her editor-in-training worthy, velvety Giorgio Armani coat from the F/W 09 Collection. The addition of key accessories in the form of Calvin Klein sunglasses, a chunky gold bangle, and of course, a wide black patent belt complete her masthead-worthy outfit.
Yet, while Palermo does often gravitate toward a styling equation that includes a belted waist as her divisor, she proved that's not the only silhouette up her sleeve when she attended the Institute for Civil Leadership's Spring Benefit last month. On this occasion she selected a summery ensemble comprised of DVF's Soleil Top ($398), Tibi's Brazilia Beading Shorts ($190, 212.226.5852), a sparkly Topshop cardigan, and Aldo's Starace Shoes ($80). While there are quite a few elements at play¬--a little glitz, a splash of color, a high-waisted silhouette¬--Palermo manages to pull it off with panache and leave us dying to recreate her look!
Palermo once again illustrated mastery for styling seemingly discordant pieces when she attended a party for German designer Michalsky during Berlin's Fashion Week earlier this month. For this event, she chose a diaphanous polka dot Evening Tunic ($505) from the designer's eponymous line, then corralled the semi-sheer fabric with Ann Taylor's Skinny Woven Belt ($48) in Cognac. The earthiness of the leather belt balances the ethereal nature of the dress, and echoes the texture of her Michalsky Sunburst Sandals ($1230) in Python. All of these pieces¬--plus the sparkly addition of her Lulu Frost Gold and Silver Delicate Necklace ($340, 212.965.0075) and the neon hue of her ruffled clutch (a gift from mom!)¬--work in harmony to create a complex look that is rich with Palermo's sartorial je ne sais quoi.
While attempting to approximate Palermo's flawless style might seem daunting, we're here to help get you on your way! One of the best ways to do this is to start with a really strong frock as the base of your outfit. We like Alice and Olivia's Drapey Panel Dress ($275) or ASOS's Tailored Twist Skirt Dress ($68) to echo her Port's 1961 pick, Halston Heritage's Black Shirred Neck Silk Chiffon Dress ($452) to mimic Michalsky's polka dot number, or Warehouse's All Over Lace Bodycon Dress ($35) and Iska's Metallic Lace Open Back Dress ($60) if you're in the market for a white-lace iteration. To recreate Palermo's more separates-centric ensembles, don't miss Karen Walker's Lily Skirt ($130) in gold; it's a truly stellar find that can be worn with all-black items √† la Palermo for a Bryant Park (now Lincoln Center!) appropriate look. To pull together a summery shorts-and-tunic outfit, we'd opt for Genetic Denim's Jayden Bloomer Shorts ($154) or Kimchi Blue's Cummerbund Shorts ($48) and add a floaty top like Patterson J. Kincaid's Soto Tank ($98).
Now that you've got your basics covered, it's time for Palermo tip number two: accessories, accessories, accessories! As you might have gathered by now, the top must-have accent piece is clearly a waist-cinching belt. Our ideas? Try Urban Outfitters' Macrame Belt ($24) with a floaty floral or polka dot dress, ASOS's Woven Leather Belt ($26) with your warm-weather whites, or ASOS's Double Wrap Super Skinny Waist Belt ($21) to secure your eye-catching outerwear. Next, pile on the pretty pieces! We'd recommend Topshop's Circles Link Cuff ($28) or Lulu Frost's Secret Agent Bracelet ($212) for Palermo-inspired wrist-wear, and Sequin's Braided Chain and Pearl Ribbon-Tie Necklace ($195), Suzanna Dai's Sedona Necklace ($395), or Forever 21's Bijou Bib Necklace ($15) for collar-skimming bling. Finish everything off with a clutch¬--we like Dan W.'s Woven Snake Print Clutch ($170) if you're working with a neutral palette or Betsey Johnson's Betsey's Night Out Frame Clutch ($118) for a perky pop of color¬--and your expertly-crafted wardrobe is nearly complete!
We realize snagging Palermo's fantastic style does take a lot of moving parts; however, with these last few items in your mix-and-match arsenal you'll be well on your way to looking poised and polished wherever you go! The finishing touches we recommend are by way of outerwear, without which an outfit is never complete. We like Winter Kate's The Opy Jacket ($216) or The Himalaya Jacket ($215) in Ivory to add a dose of Asian-Fusion panache your look. Alternatively, if you're looking to your outer layer to give you that Palermo-esque sheen, we like Haute Hippie's Junk Sequin Cardigan ($416) or J. Crew's Ombre Paillette Cardigan ($118). Throw either over your aforementioned Palermo-inspired staples, and you'll look just as red-carpet ready as our lovely style subject for the day!¬--Liza Kaplan