Dapper looks ruled the runway for F/W 12. Miu Miu offered a clever play on patterns, pairing the matching Jacquard Jacket ($1950) and Jacquard Pants ($1050) with the contrasting prints of the Jacquard Dicky ($290) and Silk Jacquard Tie ($245). The Silk Gazar Shirt ($830) and Spazzalato Leather Belt ($350) break up the clashing motifs. Over at Ralph Lauren, layering was key. A brown tie peeked out from underneath the Green Multicolored Crewneck Sweater ($1598) and Ocelot Jacket ($5998), while a purple tie brightened up the Lavender Striped Shirt ($998) and Brown Plaid Wool Coat With Shearling Collar ($6498).
On The Red Carpet/Street
WHO: Laura Bailey
WHAT: At the Chanel Resort 13 show in Paris earlier this year.
WEAR: Look 13 from Chanel's Pre-Fall 12 collection; Chanel pink sunglasses; black pumps.
WHY: A crisp button-down and tie combo feels elegant paired with a feminine, ankle-length skirt.
WHO: Street style
WEAR: A white pantsuit; oxford blue button-down shirt; printed navy tie.
WHY: Accessories--like dangling earrings, mirrored sunglasses, and stacks of bracelets--jazz up a masculine pantsuit.
WHO: Jessica Alba
WHAT: Attending a Lucky Magazine fashion and beauty blog conference in Los Angeles in April.
WEAR: Alice + Olivia by Stacey Bendet Delray Tie Embellished Crewneck ($297, available September 3rd); Topshop pants.
WHY: A sweater with an embellished sequin tie is a quirky alternative to the basic shirt-and-tie combo.
WHO: Emmy Rossum
WHAT: At Comic-Con International in San Diego last month.
WEAR: Ralph Lauren Collection Gabardine Suit in Robin's Egg Blue and Python Sandald in Robin's Egg Blue from the S/S 12 collection; Ralph Lauren Vintage Collection Art Deco diamond drop earrings (c. 1930) and aquamarine, ruby, and diamond cocktail ring (c. 1940).
WHY: A tailored short suit is still alluring with bare legs and strappy peep-toe sandals.
Get The Look/Ties
If you need to liven up a solid button-down blouse, go for a bright printed tie like Stefania Bartoni's Vintage Chain Print Tie ($354) or Thomas Pink's Elephant Daisy Printed Tie ($115). The hill-side's Polka-Dot Tie ($83) is a more understated version, but the spotted motif still adds a dose of charm to any outfit. A solid-colored tie is essential, too; just choose a pretty, pastel hue over somber blacks and browns. We suggest Reiss' Brooker Plain Silk Tie ($75) in Ice Blue or J.Crew's Chino Suiting Tie ($60) in Stone.
Get The Look/Shirts
Don't feel tied down to neckwear! You can channel Alba's playful look with a number of printed shirts. Sonia by Sonia Rykiel's Cotton Short Sleeve Tie Sweater ($375) or Moschino Cheap & Chic's Colonial Rose Printed Silk Top ($375) would look sassy with cropped, tailored pants and pointy-toe pumps. ASOS' Playsuit With Sequin Tie ($68) is a great going-out option. A sparkly short tie glams up the cute one-piece and lets everyone know you can hang with the boys!--Tiffany Tse
Photos of Laura Bailey, Jessica Alba, Emmy Rossum, and Diane Keaton, courtesy of Getty Images; street style photo, courtesy of Stockholm StreetStyle; Ralph Lauren backstage photo, courtesy of First View; Miu Miu runway photo, courtesy of Miu Miu.