Mary-Kate Olsen is a fashion favorite despite (or perhaps because of) the fact that there is no easy way to sum up all the different elements that compose her singular style. At first glance, it doesn't seem like there's a workable formula to her look. She appears to channel an assortment of muses, ranging from a tough-chic chick to a hippie free spirit to a Savile Row sophisticate. But when you deconstruct Olsen's outfits, some simple ground rules emerge: always pick strong directional pieces, pay an extraordinary attention to accessories, and take a devil-may-care attitude about the whole thing. In the spirit of Olsen's insouciant sartorial style, we rounded up a group of pieces with the actress/designer's esteemed taste for today's What Would She Wear story. Though that query could be answered in many ways, we think our selections are perfectly current for Olsen's look now.
1. Benjamin Eyewear Maggie Sunglasses ($325)
Always ahead of the curve, Olsen started a round-frame revolution via her choice of circular sunglasses. (Though they're de rigueur now, don't forget how outré they looked last summer, especially amongst the sea of Wayfarer-wearing celebs.) Needless to say, we wanted to include a pair in today's story, and picked Benjamin Eyewear's Maggie Sunglasses ($325) as our Olsen-inspired selection. We think our tastemaker would approve wholeheartedly of their perfectly proportion shape and how the polished metal frame compliments the gradient rose lenses. If you're hard on your shades and prefer less pricey pairs, Urban Outfitters' Encircle Sunglasses ($24) have a similarly svelte look and feel.
2. Pour La Victoire Tia Platform Slide ($330)
A chameleon in her fashion choices, one thing that never changes is Olsen's commitment to wearing the season's most directional, radical, statement-making shoes. No matter if she's dressed a couture gown or clothed in a casual ensemble, you can always count on Olsen to wear a killer heel from the likes of Givenchy, Balenciaga, or Stella McCartney, as seen above. To get the look of the super-chic styles she's been sporting of late, we recommend checking out Pour La Victoire's Tia Platform Slide ($330). The platform sandal features mixed silver studs and a plethora of straps, a combo that's sure to add attitude and interest to any outfit.
3. James Perse Racerback Maxi Dress ($225)
In addition to busily making her mark as an emerging actress in independent film fare like The Wackness, Olsen is also committed to co-designing Elizabeth and James with her sister, Ashley. One of the key pieces that repeatedly appear in E&J collections is the maxi dress, so it's safe to say that the Olsens officially endorse the ultra-long frock. Accordingly, we found this modern, modest, and tie-dyed Racerback Maxi Dress ($225) from James Perse with our muse in mind. The muted gray palate and simple razorback silhouette would make the perfect backdrop for Olsen's more eclectic outfit add-ons.
4. Jacquie Aiche Amethyst Slice Hammered Ring ($1100, 323.468.9320)
When it comes to jewelry, for Ms. Olsen, more is more. The tiny titan loves to adorn her fingers with statement-making rings that often feature gorgeously oversized gems and semi-precious stones. This ridiculously lovely geode ring by Jacquie Aiche would look splendid on, especially if worn in conjunction with some modern metallic pieces. We also love the more budget-friendly but equally enthralling Geode & Silver Ring ($54) from The Jewellery People.
5. Elizabeth and James
Superfine Leather Jacket ($755)
Although it is the other Olsen, Ashley, who is known for wearing more understated, drapey, simple pieces, we thought we would include Elizabeth and James' Superfine Leather Jacket ($755) for Mary-Kate. This snug number is sensuous, thanks to its narrow arms and a body-hugging shape, plus the cropped length makes it a perfect layering piece. Though it may seem unexpectedly basic, we think that anyone who can master boudoir robe jackets, boyfriend blazers, and motorcycle jackets (covered in oversized studs, no less) would definitely look amazing in this go-to piece.
6. Guerlain Kajal Khol Stick ($35)
Though she has been known to rotate hair color and lipsticks on a fairly regular basis, one item has remained an Olsen signature: subtly sexy black eyeliner. The look is both exotic and rock'n'roll, much like Olsen herself, and is remarkably easy to achieve-if you have the right products! We suggest trying Guerlain's new, limited edition Kajal Khol Stick ($35) for three reasons: it's beautifully packaged, richly pigmented, and glides on super smoothly, making it ideal for novices and experts alike. Apply to the lower lid line and the inside rim of the eye to get the perfect Olsenesque, sultry, perfectly smudged effect.
7. Topshop Mixed Metal Indian Bangle Set ($17)
One of the most dazzling aspects of Olsen's overall look is her attention to detail and her inspired taste in accessories. Though her repertoire of decorative adornments includes body chains, knuckle rings, and headpieces, you needn't go to such lengths to get her look. Instead, try stacking Topshop's Mixed Metal Indian Bangle Set ($17) on your wrist to get an equally embellished look without veering into the extreme.
8. Alexander Wang Rico Bucket Bag ($795)
Thanks to its nineties sensibilities and low-key good looks, the bucket bag is making a thoroughly modern comeback. With tastemakers such as Alexander Wang and Miuccia Prada designing drawstrings bags for spring, we think that this shape is poised to be the next must-buy silhouette. With her preternatural ability to predict big trends before they hit, we think Olsen would love this fresh-looking Rico Bucket Bag ($795) by Alexander Wang. Adorned with grommets and studs, this piece deftly balances luxury and cutting-edge cool, much like our subject herself.
If all this Mary-Kate Olsen information wasn't enough excitement, we're also exceptionally thrilled to announce that the winner of the WhoWhatWear.com/PurseBlog.com Louis Vuitton Luggage Giveaway is Kaitlyn Thomson from New York, NY! Kaitlyn will receive four fantastic pieces from the famed fashion house, ensuring a lifestyle of stylish globetrotting.
Congratulations to Kaitlyn and thank you to everyone who entered our biggest giveaway ever! Stay tuned for the next WhoWhatWear.com contest, we promise it will be just as amazing...