A wise cab driver once told us that a good example has twice the value of good advice (though the exact phrasing was a bit more colorful, if memory serves). We have no idea what provoked this unsolicited opinion, but we've never forgotten the random wisdom of his words. The spirit of his sentiment is particularly strong in today's Styling Tips story, as it shows off a few of our favorite looks, illustrated by a wonderful range of fashion-forward women. Between their outfits and our reporting, you get examples and advice: it's value galore!Tip # 1: Cuff your pants to show off killer shoes.
As Dree Hemingway so artfully demonstrates, the freshest way to wear your semi-slouchy trousers is with casual cuffs and statement shoes. Our former GOTM modeled this look to great effect at the Matthew Williamson for H&M summer collection launch party in New York last month. She rolled the hems of her dove gray, vintage Dior pants to accentuate her Alexander Wang booties, and we think the results are terrific. Try Elizabeth and James' Kingstone Trousers ($275) or Maje's Kiev Silk Cropped Pants ($195) worn with Sweet Life by Dolce Vita's Lace Heels ($128) for a similarly chic style.
Tip # 2: Break out a simple white suit for summer.
In our Manhattan salad days, we never dreamed of rocking a white blazer and pants. The required dry-cleaning made it fiscally inappropriate, not to mention it felt like an awfully tropical (read: casual) for the concrete jungle. If only we'd seen how crisp and cutting-edge one can look in a snowy suit! Rihanna showed us exactly how to pull it off at the Derek Lam boutique opening in New York earlier this month. Ms. R. cut a sleek silhouette in a white suit from the designer's Spring 09 collection, which she accessorized with a Dolce & Gabanna leopard blouse, vintage Dior sunglasses, Christian Louboutin Rolando Pumps ($695), Jimmy Choo Ceclie Clutch ($2595, 212.319.1111), and a stunning pearl-and-diamond chain necklace by Yvel ($37302, 866.983.55). Pick up your own sharp white suit at Banana Republic: the brand's White Blazer ($150) and 718 Martin Sleek Straight Pant ($79) will keep you looking cool all summer long.
Tip #3: Substitute black tights for thigh-high boots.
As runway enthusiasts know, next season is all about the thigh-high boot, so why not take inspiration from Byrdie Bell and get a jump on this envelope-pushing trend now? The fashion-fanatic looked divine at a party for Clark's Botanicals in New York earlier this month, when she skipped the black opaques and pulled on a pair of Brian Atwood's New Davis Boots ($1495, 212.206.3928) instead. The brown suede boots give an unexpected edge to Bell's vintage Levi's cutoffs, Urban Outfitters silk top, and Nina Ricci leather jacket, making this outfit truly memorable. If you're not quite ready to invest in the Atwood pair, you might like Report Signature's Fairfax Boots ($450) in the meantime.
Tip #4: Style your boyfriend blazer with short shorts.
We're always looking for ways to maximize our favorite pieces, so we were thrilled to see how Chloe Sevigny recently wore her oversized blazer. The actress attended the Chloe boutique opening party in Los Angeles in the fashion house's Scalloped Blazer ($1675), Scalloped Short ($1115), and a pair of Bow Sandals ($795). It's an inspired combo: the boxy cut of the blazer tones down the inherent sexiness of the short shorts, resulting in a great evening look. Try your own favorite boyfriend blazer with a flirty pair of shorts; our favorite styles include Barneys New York's Little Shorts ($395), Loeffler Randall's Slouch Shorts ($225), and Leyendecker's Harrison Shorts ($130).
Tip # 5: Toughen up a sweetheart dress with a black tee.
MTV might have just discovered Alexa Chung (her much-anticipated afternoon show starts in mid-June), but we've followed this British trendsetter for ages. Chung always intrigues us with her red carpet choices; we particularly liked the Luella Olivia Mini Dress ($877), paired with the Luella Mavis Frill Top ($576), she wore to the British Academy Television Awards in London in late April. The outfit, which was worn by Chung's pal Pixie Geldof in Luella's Fall 09 runway show, won't be available until July, but you can easily achieve a similar look this spring. All you have to do is pick a pretty dress-extra points for flower-prints-like MinkPink's Donna Bustier Dress ($108) or Floral Strapless Dress ($88), then de-sweeten it by throwing it on over your favorite black t-shirt.
Tip # 6: Work a wedge-clog into your wardrobe.
When it comes to accessories, Mary-Kate Olsen always knows which way the wind blows. If her recent outfit to the Women of Distinction Awards Luncheon in New York is any indication, the weather vane indicates that wedge-clogs are poised to be the next go-buy-now shoe style! Olsen used a simple pair of Chloe shoes to punctuate her outfit, which was comprised of an H&M Bandage Skirt ($39.90), The Row Cropped Jacket ($2900), and a vintage clutch. We found a few pairs of sturdy shoes that have the same spirit as Olsen's footwear choice, like Steve Madden's Pointter Wedge ($90), as well as her own Elizabeth and James Haley Wedge Sandals ($325). Rick Owens' Wedge Mule Pumps($788) also fit the bill, albeit a pricier one!
Photos of Alexa Chung and Chloe Sevigny, from Splash.