The great poet Emily Dickenson once said that hope is a thing with feathers. But here at Who What Wear, we think dreams are made of chunky accessories, bateau stripes, and peaked shoulders! After all, it's our style stalkees and their fashion-forward ensembles that spark our desire to test-drive new pieces (or wear coveted wardrobe staples in inventive ways), reassuring us that even while we are muddling through this shortened month, the opportunities for chic are endless! A bright shirtdress tempered with black accessories gives us the license to look toward sunnier days. Our faith in the stylish power of denim shorts is quickly restored when we note to pair them with polka dot tights and platform booties. And the promise of a directional silhouette is easily fulfilled with the perfect pair of harem pants. Because while hope may be ephemeral to the poet, we optimistically feel that the sartorial static of mid-February is too, and that a spring of inspiring outfits is just around the corner. If our six stylish ladies featured today are any example, then rest assured a change is coming through!
Black accents make a classic shirtdress cool again.
While a shirtdress has been a wardrobe essential for sometime, we love how Hannah, 22, from Perth has given it renewed life by breaking it up with black accents. Her fitted blazer and intriguing accessories add edge to this bright hue rendering a chicly bold look. Snag some of Hannah's style by starting with a cotton shirtdress in a vibrant shade like American Apparel's Chambray Henley Shirtdress ($62) in red. Next layer on your statement accessories; we like Urban Outfitters Metal O-Ring Statement Belt ($34) and Forever 21's Twist of Fate Charm Necklace ($7.80) with its Hannah-worthy bow. Finally, throw on Silence & Noise's Strong Shouldered Blazer ($78) and you'll have an equally stylish and intriguing ensemble.
Chunky accessories toughen up a laid-back ensemble.
We have a weakness for great off-duty ensembles, so we were thrilled when we came across Caylee, 23, from Indiana, and her casual, cool look. Her semi-sheer, oversized white button-down and dark skinny jeans look effortlessly chic, while the addition of bold bangles add a glam factor that finishes her look with polish. Snag some of Caylee's cool by starting with some dark skinny jeans; we like James Jeans' Twiggy 5 Pocket Legging Jean ($115) or run with the jegging trend and opt for Goldsign's Zebra Long Leggings ($154). Then slink into a boyfriend-inspired button-down for that casually undone look. We love the sexy ease of Victorialand's Basic Oversized Men\'s Shirt ($130) or ASOS's Oversized ($49.70) version. Finally, pile on the hardware! Our favorites are anything with spiky studding like Alexis Bittar's Scaled Cuff ($250), Kettle Black's Studded Snap Bracelet ($44), and Noir Jewelry's Pyramid Bangle Set ($132)
Denim shorts look fresh paired with patterned tights and booties.
Lately due to the runway resurgence of Americana, we've seen an international resurgence of denim shorts making appearances all over town. We love how Ricarda, 22, from Germany, conquered this still-key spring piece and integrated cuffed denim shorts into her winter wardrobe by pairing them with cold-weather staples like patterned tights and black booties. The trick to choosing a great pair of bottoms? Start with a more high-waisted version in a light wash; we recommend Topshop's Vintage Boyshorts ($60) or hit the vintage stores for a great pair of Levi's 501 to cut to your own desired length. Like our style stalkee, we've always gone ga-ga for polka dot tights and have found that Urban Outfitters' Sheer Dot Full Foot Tights ($14) are a highly reliable pair. Lastly, finish your outfit off with a great pair of platform booties. We still swoon for Sam Edelman's Zoe Covered Platform Booties ($345), or you can dip your toe in something new with the lovely suede Zeus Boots ($146) from Charles David.
Bateau stripes get an update with shaggy faux fur.
Our love for bateau stripes is definitely a life-long affair, so we were excited to stumble across Annemiek, 19, from the Netherlands and her personal interpretation of this perpetual trend. She added texture to her long-sleeve tee by styling it under a shaggy vest, while also making a directional choice with black, belted paper bag pants. Take a note from Annemiek's fashion file by starting with a must-have striped tee. We recommend J. Crew's Vintage Bateau Top ($36) or the Striped Boatneck Tee ($48) from Aqua¬--both of which are serious essentials! Layer on the luxe with some plush white outerwear like Young Fabulous & Broke's Faux Fur Vest ($319) or The Battalion's Munro Veggie ($250) version, which has the added bonus of being all veggie-friendly and leather optional (it's reversible)!
Silk harem pants and a cropped jacket still looks directional.
Sartorially speaking, we're always striving to make a good impression, so when we came across Liz, 22, from San Francisco, we were easily won over by her directional silhouette. Her choice of a fitted, cropped jacket with voluminous pants is still on-trend, while the textural combination of leather and silk is undeniably glamorous. Opt for high shine like Liz by starting with a billowy base in a springy palette of khaki-beige. We like Catherine Malandrino's Draped Pants ($365) for their sexy sheen, or Stella McCartney's Wrapped Silk Harem Pants ($745). While the latter may seem like quite an investment, we promise it's a good one as we know you'll turn to them in lieu of your ripped skinnies all spring long. Finally, finish off your Liz-like ensemble by snatching up a cropped leather jacket. We'd opt for the B Hip By Me Jane Jacket ($60), ASOS's Wire Collar Belted Funnel Neck Jacket ($187), or For Joseph's Cicletta Biker Jacket ($450) for a beautiful piece with serious staying power!
A sharp blazer and lace details make a great combo.
Although lace biker shorts can be difficult to pull off, Aleksa, 22, from San Francisco, does it with personal panache. Her nineties-inspired outfit is emblematic of interesting, individual style and reminds us that fashion risks can really pay off! To recreate Aleksa's edgy ensemble pick up a pair of lace biker shorts like Sparkle & Fade's Bike Shorts ($28)¬--which can also be worn peeping out under a floral dress for an additional Benny and Joon inspired look. Or, if you'd prefer a more conservative take on the lingerie trend, try ASOS's Vila Lace Pencil Skirt ($30), which is just as flirty albeit slightly more demure. Next, pick up a very current blazer to keep your outfit focused and on-trend. We like Elizabeth and James Wool-blend Tuxedo Jacket ($425) with evening appropriate satin lapels, or Victoria's Secret Two Button Jacket ($128) which also boasts a current bold shoulder.¬--Liza Kaplan