Tip #1: Personalize a LBD with lots of accessories.
When we were in New York last week, we noticed that loads of editors were wearing floaty spring dresses with winter staples and loads of accessories, but it's a London iteration of this look that really delighted us. Who could resists stylist Hannah Bhuiya, seen here at the Wallpaper Design Awards last month, wearing the most personalized LBD ever? In this case, Bhuiya layered a Christopher Kane for Topshop lace dress over a flesh-colored high-necked bodysuit from Gandolfi Dance Shop, Topshop lace tights, and a brown pair of vintage leather boots. Additional pizazz came from a Pauric Sweeney bag, vintage Yves Saint Laurent belt, and a studded cuff from Portobello Market. To emulate her look, just start with your favorite noir frock or something like David Lerner's One Shoulder Dress ($195), Black Halo's Jane Sheath ($390), or ASOS' Twisted Slinky One Shoulder Dress ($65); all are excellent, simple options. Then add a body-con top, like Topshop's Long Sleeve Lace Bodysuit ($50) or American Apparel's Baby Rib Long Sleeve T ($21) in cr√®me. Finally, add fun accents like Urban Outfitters' Ecote O-Ring Belt ($34) or Free People's Cleo Belt ($48), a statement bracelet like Fuzz Black's Acrylic Studded Cuff ($95) or House of Harlow 1960's Riveted Gladiator Cuff ($65), and some cool stockings like Jonathan Aston's Net Pattern Tights ($9) or Urban Outfitters' Annie Open Work Tights ($24) for a Bhuiya-inspired, editor-endorsed outfit.
Tip #2: Start mixing your favorite print pieces.
This spring, it's practically imperative to break out an ensemble that involves multiple (but different) patterned pieces. Now, we know that not everyone feels comfortable trying the most outrageous examples of this look (see: Dries van Noten), but there is a way to subtly dip your toe into trend, as Amanda Hearst demonstrated at a party for Banana Republic's Summer 10 collection at Indochine. Wearing a mixed-print outfit comprised of Jason Wu's Rorschach-Print Blouse ($655) and Pleated Tulle-Trim Skirt ($1460)¬--the latter is a black-and-white metallic tweed that Team Wu refers to as "laser tweed"¬--Hearst offers a low-key chic way to wear this key look. For a non-designer recreation of Hearst's outfit, we suggest starting with a simple skirt like Nom de Plume's Yaya Puff Skirt ($58) in Squiggly Stripe or Reiss' Tammy Tiered Frill Skirt ($190), then simply add a print blouse! For a similar hue we like Sparkle & Fade's Ruched Shoulder Frock ($58) and Girls from Savoy's Blue Bird Blouse ($128) in a contrasting cream color is another great choice.
Tip #3: Pair a bold clutch with a pastel frock.
Ever impeccable and toujours in style, Diane Kruger never fails to create an incomparable red carpet look. While we love her most formal gowns (like that marvelous marigold Jason Wu situation at the SAG awards), we were just as excited to see the slightly more casual ensemble she wore to a BAFTA tea party. Kruger's pale pink Miu Miu dress from the Resort 10 collection was perfectly punctuated by her choice of an electric fuchsia clutch! Add a little boldness to your pastel dresses¬--we like Acne's Strappy Dress ($350) and Elizabeth and James' Luna Dress ($375)¬--with a bag like Jimmy Choo's Candy Acrylic Clutch ($495). Marc by Marc Jacobs' Linda Bow-Embellished Clutch ($250) would also work with a pastel dress; the subtler grape color is quite nice. Also check out J.Crew's Lolly Mini Clutch ($68) in Cantaloupe, which would look sweet with a pale peach or blush dress.
Tip #4: Mix glam beauty with boho accents.
As major Old Hollywood enthusiasts, we adore that era's signature beauty style (perfectly bright red lips and polished curls) but sometimes these traditional trends can be a bit expected¬--especially when paired with a classic strapless gown. Yawn-a-rama! Accordingly, we were truly delighted to see Whitney Port's unexpected spin on the classic when she mixed a glam beauty look with more bohemian accents. While her white vintage dress and simple nude Giuseppe Zanotti shoes are lovely, we truly appreciate the contrast of her groomed curls and gorgeous red lipstick with a tassel belt and wrists covered in a variety of metallic bracelets. If you would like to enliven an understated frock with some hippie-chic accents, definitely check out the Streets Ahead Chain Belt with Leather Tassels ($215) and Topshop's Chain Detail Tassel Belt ($40), as well as House of Harlow 1960's Peacock Bangle ($73), JADEtribe's Bracelet Set ($99), and Lavish Jewelry's Floral Crochet Cuff ($148). Pair these accessories with a sleek and chic dress for a party-perfect look √† la Port!
Tip #5: Spice up all-black with a bold jacket.
While we never turn up our noses at an all-black outfit, sometimes even the most beloved basics need a little boost. In moments like these, we're going to take a tip from Ally Hilfiger and reach for a statement jacket. Seen here attending Sophmore's Spring 10 lookbook party at The Box in Manhattan, Hilfiger spiced up her noir ensemble by adding a gorgeous red vintage jacket. Perk up your favorite black pieces by picking up something like Warehouse's Cropped Boucle Mix Jacket ($112) in a lovely pink-purple or Robert Rodriguez's Relaxed Slit Back Blazer ($297) in an intensely beautiful cobalt. Also, though it has a totally different shape than Hilfiger's selection, you might like Diane von Furstenberg's Draped Silk Blazer ($385), which comes in a rich raspberry hue.
Tip #6: Try a little tie-dye via a cool tee.
Wrapping up today's Tips we have a final thought from the always fashionable Vanessa Traina. Also spotted at Sophmore's Spring 10 Lookbook party (quite the stylish fete, no?), Traina showed off a black and blue tie-dye tee from Raquel Allegra, paired with a Balenciaga jacket and skirt. We love the sober shades in her top; it's like an under-the-radar version of the Proenza Schouler shirts we showed in our D.I.Y. story earlier this month. If you'd like to emulate Traina's look, please note that in addition to the bright tees, Proenza Schouler also created a Tie-Dyed Long-Sleeve Shirt ($375) in black and white that you might like, as well as a short-sleeve Tie Dye Cotton T-Shirt ($325) in blues. For additional options at a much lower price points, check out American Apparel's Unisex Tie Dye Viscose Tank ($32) in Dark Grey + Tie Dye V and Roxy's Circling In Top ($34.50) in Steel Grey: both are super darling and on the dark/neutral side of things, so you're sure to wear either option often!
Photos of Hannah Bhuiya, Whitney Port, Ally Hilfiger, Vanessa Traina, from Getty Images.