Tip # 1: Mix novelty prints for a high-impact party outfit.
For spring and summer, you really can't go wrong with an adorable printed dress; however, we're always on the lookout for refreshing ways to style this wardrobe staple. Accordingly, we were thrilled when we spotted the outfit Emily Browning wore to the W Golden Globe Party in Los Angeles earlier this year. We particularly love the way she paired Miu Miu's Printed Silk Crepe de Chine Dress ($1195, available in Pink) with the Polka Dot Sandals ($495, available in Red). The masterful mix of prints resulted in a cheery ensemble that's sure to brighten anyone's mood. To emulate her outfit, start with a patterened dress, like ASOS' Apple Print Shift Dress ($37), and accessorize with a pair of polka-dot shoes, such as Alice + Olivia's Juliet Polka Dot Canvas Platform Sandals ($245), which bear a striking resemblance to Browning's Miu Miu pair!
Tip # 2: Pair a classic Breton-stripe top with '70s-style flare jeans.
If you're searching for a versatile outfit that's perfect for any number of occasions this season, look no further than the ensemble Dree Hemingway wore to the after-party for Scream 4 in New York last month. She opted for a vintage striped top and Chloe jeans, and finished off the look with a Topshop belt, Dries Van Noten shoes, and a Stella McCartney bag. We appreciate how she took an always-in-style classic--the Breton-stripe top--and paired it with one of this season's on-trend essentials, '70s-inspired wide-leg jeans. The mix of classic and trendy elements makes for one undeniably stylish outfit! Dying to re-create this look for yourself? We suggest picking up Gap's High Rise Wide Leg Jeans ($70) and pairing them with either J. Crew/Nili Lotan's Stripe Boyfriend Sweater ($218) or American Apparel's Unisex Sailor Stripe Long Sleeve Pullover ($48) for a similar look.
Tip # 3: Balance a bright frock and lip with neutral accessories.
In case you missed our Neons and Neutrals story earlier this month, one of this season's key trends is vibrant, look-at-me color. With that in mind, we're more than happy to bring you yet another example of how to execute this look; simply consider Emma Stone your guide. The actress looked radiant in a fuschia Lanvin Off-the-Shoulder Silk-Satin Cocktail Dress with Nipped Waist (price upon request, 310.402.0580) with equally vibrant lips at the Met Gala after-party at Crown in New York earlier this month. She smartly kept her accessories--including Lanvin's Beige Leather Platforms with Crystal and Brass Studding from the S/S 11 collection, Petrol Mother-of-Pearl Miniaudiere Clutch, and Fleur Cristal Gold and Crystal Bracelets from the F/W 11 collection--neutral in order to allow her frock and lips to take center stage. Whichever vivid color you choose to wear, take a cue from Stone and pick accents in muted colors to balance your overall look. To re-create Stone's winning ensemble, try pairing Charlie Jade's Nevah Silk Dress ($128) with Mark and James' Milly Platforms ($275) and you're sure to turn heads!
Tip # 4: Liven up your wardrobe basics with a botanical-print skirt.
If you find yourself in need of a serious pick-me-up, try reaching for a botanical-print skirt to freshen up your wardrobe staples. If you need some inspiration, simply look at the outfit Karolina Kurkova wore to the Momenti de Emporio Opening Reception in New York last month. Wearing Emporio Armani's Black Tuxedo Jacket ($895, 212.339.5950), White Blouse ($375, 212.339.5950), and Palm Print Skirt ($695, 212.339.5950), the supermodel managed to make an office-appropriate ensemble look both stylish and sophisticated--a task that's not always easy to do! If you want to emulate her look, you're in luck because we've done all the hard work for you! Start with a black blazer, such as Aqua's Fitted Girlfriend Blazer ($88) or BDG's Tara Classic Blazer ($79), and simply add a floral skirt, like Leifsdottir's Lake Reflection Mini Skirt ($278) or Rag & Bone's Tiered Harley Mini Skirt ($370), and you'll have a Kurkova-inspired outfit in no time!
Tip # 5: Combine black + white lace for an elegant ensemble.
When it comes to eveningwear, lace is always a sophisticated choice, but the classic fabric can potentially look dated if styled in the wrong way. Harley Viera Newton showed us how to avoid this pitfall with her on-the-mark outfit at a Dom Perignon-hosted dinner in New York last month. She donned Valentino's Bi Color Lace Dress ($6590) and Charlotte Olympia's Mavis Wedges in Red Velvet from the F/W 10 collection, resulting in the perfect party-ready look that's a far cry from your grandmother's lace dresses! To modernize your after-dark ensemble, take a cue from Viera Newton and blend black and white lace together, and then add a pair of bright red heels. We recommend snagging Guess by Marciano's Antonise Lace Pencil Skirt ($98) and teaming it with either Free People's Scandalous Lace Top ($48) or Urban Outfitter's Vintage '80s Double Layer Lace Top ($89). Enzo Angiolini's Mavek Heels ($110) or Guess' Aleana Shoes ($110) add the perfect finishing touch.
Tip # 6: Inject some preppy-chic into a neutral look with oxford heels.
If you haven't busted your wardrobe budget yet, we suggest picking up a pair of oxford heels to complete your look this season! Jessica Szohr showed us how to wear these menswear-inspired shoes when she attended Tommy Hilfiger's Prep World Launch Party in New York earlier this month. For the occasion, she chose a slew of pieces by the American designer, including the Ribbon Applique Skirt ($348, available in Multi), Runway Boat Shoes ($298), and Gray Cashmere Sleeveless Sweater ($88, 212.223.1824). We think the muted colors of her ensemble are perfect for spring, and we especially love how her oxfords add just the right amount of New England-inspired preppy-chic! Even if you don't find yourself strolling the streets of Nantucket this season, your outfit could still benefit from a touch of prep. Accordingly, we suggest picking up either Timberland's Earthkeepers Chauncey Oxford Pumps ($84) or Oh! Shoes' Minerva Oxford Pumps ($180) pronto!--Erin Fitzpatrick
Photos of Emily Browning and Dree Hemingway, courtesy of Getty; Photo of Harley Viera Newton, courtesy of Billy Farrell Agency