Styling Tips

Styling Tips
Monday, June, 20, 2011 There's something about being stuck in a hot city in the summer that makes our minds wander. We might be pounding the sweltering concrete streets, but our imaginations are off in heavenly, tropical locales where your cares miraculously drift away and the coconut-shell cocktails are always full. Although our daydreams might not be practical or feasible--we blame "Kokomo" for fueling that fantasy--we do appreciate this time of year, even if we're not island hopping. No matter where you're spending the summer, the season has an easygoing, carefree vibe, and that can easily be applied to your wardrobe! After all, complicated, fussy ensembles simply don't seem right when temperatures reach scorching levels, which is why today's edition of WWW: Styling Tips is chock-full of easy-to-execute outfits. From Olivia Palermo's smart use of accessories to Harley Viera Newton's creative, party-perfect ensemble, today's looks are sure to be a smash! Read on for all the details of their outfits and be prepared to get inspired!

Tip # 1: Combine lace and prints for an after-hours outfit.
We never stop searching for fresh ways to style an evening ensemble, so when we came across the outfit Selita Ebanks wore to a screening of The Hangover Part II in New York late last month, we were definitely excited! What set her look apart was the way she mixed two distinctive prints (a Tucker polka dot skirt and a floral Zara bed jacket) with a lace top by Foley to add dimension and interest to her after-hours ensemble. For a contemporary take on cocktail elegance, take a page from Ebanks' style book and don't be shy to mix and match! For starters, we think ASOS' Irregular Striped Midi Skirt ($60) would look great paired with Winter Kate's Condor Wrap ($195). Then simply add NastyGal's Lily Crochet Top ($48) and you'll have yourself a fashionable party look!

Tip # 2: Pair an army shirt with a pretty floral dress.
A feminine, floral dress is the perfect choice for so many summer occasions, but why not spice up this classic piece a bit? An army jacket is the perfect way to add interest to your ensemble; just look to Irina Lazareanu for guidance. Snapped at an event for Rika magazine in London last month, the model opted for a bottle green Maison Michelle brimmed hat, a pastel vintage dress, and an army green Rika jacket. We especially love the juxtaposition of her utilitarian topper paired with a floaty frock; it makes for one stellar outfit! Dying to assemble a similar look for yourself? Simply start with a pretty dress, such as Robbi & Nikki's Liberty Print Handkerchief Dress ($198) or Dahlia's Rose Print Dip Hem Sundress ($65), and add a sturdy jacket, like Forever 21's Cotton Blend Utility Jacket ($32) or Madewell's Over & Out Jacket ($135), for a true Lazareanu-inspired outfit!

Tip # 3: Elevate an all-noir look with statement pieces.
Wearing an all-black ensemble is certainly timeless, but that doesn't mean you have to play it safe! Strategic accessories will take your outfit from simple to show-stopping, as Olivia Palermo showed us how with the look she wore to a Hugo Boss event in New York last month. Palermo opted for a Dolce & Gabbana lace top paired with Tibi harem pants, and enlivened these black pieces with wisely chosen accents, including a Lulu Frost necklace, CC Skye bracelets, and Charlotte Olympia's Paloma Shoes in Purple Satin ($963). We're especially drawn to the unexpected pop of purple and her head-turning jewelry, which energized her black separates and made for an intriguing--and easy to re-create--outfit. For high-octane glamour a la Palermo, go for standout accents, such as Donatella Lucchi's Closed-Toe Slip Ons ($170), which look just like her pair, but at a fraction of the cost. We also think R.J. Graziano's Dirty Diamonds Mesh Cain Bib Necklace ($165) and Juicy Couture's Leather and Semi Precious Bracelet ($67) have Palermo-worthy cachet, especially when worn together!

Tip # 4: Style boho separates with round frames.
With so many styles of sunglasses to choose from--aviators, cat-eyes, '70s-style frames--picking the right pair to go with your ensemble can seem like quite a challenge. However, Zoe Kravtiz offered us an easy formula to follow with her outfit at the Derek Lam + eBay party in New York last month. Simply start with boho pieces, like a flowy midi skirt and crop top, and add John Lennon-esque round frames to achieve the perfect modern-day hippie vibe. Kravtiz executed this look with head-to-toe vintage (with the exception of her Chanel booties), but that doesn't mean you can't get the same style too! To channel your inner grooviness, we suggest snagging Nasty Gal's Lace Crop Tank ($28) and pairing it with either Holy Tee's Owen Seamed Long Skirt ($155) or T by Alexander Wang's Silk-Charmeuse Maxi Skirt ($195). We also think either ASOS' Orange Round Sunglasses ($21) or Matt Finish Keyhole Sunglasses ($26) will make for a fantastic finishing touch.

Tip # 5: Mix pastels and neons for a high-impact look.
Summer days call for easy, casual outfits, but that doesn't mean you should reach for just any old t-shirt and flip-flops! Instead, take a cue from the chic-yet-comfortable outfit Alex Wek created for the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in New York earlier this month. Her preppy outfit included a Lacoste Long Sleeve Extra Fine Cotton V-Neck Sweater ($67), light blue Rugby Ralph Lauren shorts, and a slew of accessories, including a vintage hat, Diane von Furstenberg scarf, handmade bangle from South Africa, and Emanuel Ungaro sandals. What we especially love about this look was how Wek punctuated her pastel separates with bright accessories, resulting in a high-impact contrast you can't ignore! To re-create her outfit, we suggest picking up a pair of tailored shorts, such as Forever 21's High Waist Denim Shorts ($16), and teaming them with Wek's exact sweater. For accessories, we recommend a bold scarf and think that River Island's Balloon Swallow Print Scarf ($26) is a great find. Last, but not least, add a colorful pair of sandals, like Tibi's Garden Sandals ($337), to guarantee that you step out in style.

Tip # 6: Balance a bare midriff with a midi skirt and cardi.
When compiling a new batch of Styling Tips each month for you, dear readers, there's one trendsetter who always makes our jobs easier: Harley Viera Newton. She routinely catches our attention with her expertly styled ensembles and today's featured look was yet another home run. For a Madewell store opening in New York back in April, Viera Newton wore a skirt and cardigan by said brand (which are no longer available) paired with a vintage crop top. Donning a midriff-baring shirt is no easy feat to pull off, but Viera Newton did so with aplomb! We love how she tempered the revealing top with more modest pieces, resulting in an undeniably fashionable ensemble! To mimic her savvy look, we suggest picking up American Apparel's Racerback Crop Tank ($22) and pairing it with either Topshop's Ginger Waterfall Midi Skirt ($80) or Madewell's Silk Canyon Skirt ($158). To finish off your look, reach for a long cardigan like Gap's Ribbed Cardigan ($55), which is definitely a smart choice!

Tip # 7: Try a slim, striped dress for a nautical night look.
Whether you plan on hopping aboard a sailboat this season or not, summer is the perfect time to break out your nautical-inspired pieces! Model Laura Bailey showed us how to wear a sailor-esque look the right way: via a sleek, striped dress. Late last month, the blonde beauty donned a Henrietta Ludgate Bodycon Dress ($404) paired with Lanvin shoes at an event in London celebrating the eco initiative Estethica. We suggest making a bold entrance at your next cocktail party with a striped dress a la Bailey--both Torn by Ronny Kobo's Barbara Striped Dress ($215) and Lauren Jeans Co.'s Three Quarter Sleeve Striped Dress ($119) are ship-shape options.

Tip # 8: Temper a lacey frock with a cropped vest.
For warm-weather months, a lacey, short white dress is guaranteed to keep you both cool and chic--the perfect combo, if you ask us! We particularly adore the way Bianca Brandolini D'Adda styled her LWD at a dinner hosted by Missoni in Venice, Italy late last month. For the event, the brunette stunner wore a frock and vest by Dolce & Gabbana and accessorized with an Azzedine Alaia leopard print clutch. Her well-calculated decision to add a cropped topper makes perfect sense for two reasons: it makes the mini dress a little less revealing and keeps the nighttime breezes at bay. A vest is your ticket to easy party dressing, so consider buying Topshop's Moto White Denim Crop Gilet ($66) to wear with either Forever 21's Strapless Lace Overlay Dress ($23) or NastyGal's Lula Scalloped Lace Dress ($48) for a seriously stylish look.--Erin Fitzpatrick

Photos of Bianca Brandolini D'Adda, Irina Lazareanu, and Laura Bailey, courtesy of Getty; Photos of Harley Viera Newton and Zoe Kravitz, courtesy of Billy Farrell Agency; Photo of Selita Ebanks, courtesy of Splash
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