Whether it's the newest iPad or the latest flat-screen TV to hit the market, people are always eager to upgrade their favorite products. The same can be said in the fashion realm--who doesn't appreciate a great improvement on a beloved piece? With a little help from today's eight tastemakers, April's Styling Tips will show you how to elevate a slew of styles you already adore to create totally fresh looks. Mad for floral prints? This season, try out the motif on a pair of pants a la Minka Kelly or test out a supersized version of the pattern as seen on Rachel Roy. Are you a die-hard fan of black leather skirts? For the warm-weather months ahead, take a cue from Ashley Greene and consider swapping it for a tan iteration. Of course, our ideas don't end there-read on for the rest of our savvy suggestions!
Tip #1: Try a pencil skirt with an oversized print.
Botanical prints never fail to make an appearance this time of year, so we're always on the lookout for fresh, interesting ways to wear the timeless motif. Luckily, Rachel Roy gave us a fantastic idea: don supersized versions of our favorite florals! At the New York premiere of HBO'S new show Girls earlier this month, the designer wore pieces from her own line, including the Black and White Washed Silk Pin Tuck Blouse ($298) and Iced Lemon Floral Duchess Satin Ikat Placement Pencil Skirt ($298), along with Givenchy heels. We think oversized blooms are totally chic and definitely an au courant interpretation of a classic spring trend. To channel Roy's savvy styling, we suggest buying Dolce & Gabbana's Floral Pencil Skirt ($745), Banana Republic's Linda Floral Pencil Skirt ($90), or Milly's Violet Print Pencil Skirt ($225), all of which are A+ alternatives!
Tip #2: Make a statement in floral-print pants.
Neutral pants will always have a place in our closets, but this season we're excited to try bold floral-print renditions instead! Minka Kelly executed the look perfectly at a nightclub opening in Sydney, Australia late last month. We instantly fell in love with her vivid Dolce & Gabbana Floral Print Trouser Pants ($400) and appreciated how she juxtaposed the feminine pattern with the tough-girl vibe of J Brand's Baez Leather Top ($795). Additionally, we thought her choice of colorful accessories--namely a Jimmy Choo clutch and Crown Snakeskin Platform Pumps ($795)--made the energetic ensemble even more memorable. To make a Kelly-inspired statement this season, pick up Zara's Floral Print Trousers ($60), 7 For All Mankind's Kauai Floral-Print Skinny Jeans ($189), Paige Denim's Skyline Ankle Peg Jeans in Floral Print ($189), or Sandro's Pressage Tapered Floral-Print Twill Pants ($285), and you'll surely turn heads!
Tip #3: Mix neutrals for a chic evening ensemble.
Creating an intriguing outfit with just neutrals is no easy task, but Nora Zehetner proved it's possible indeed! At a celebration for John Pawson's new photography book, A Visual Inventory, earlier this month, she smartly teamed a tan Wren jacket and blush-colored Calvin Klein sheath with Edmundo Castillo sandals. We love how she combined various hues in the same color family, creating a masterfully mixed look that is quite chic and sophisticated. To get a Zehetner-esque ensemble for yourself, start with a simple frock, such as Rory Beca's Dahan Low Waisted Dress ($209) or Sandro's Resonance Crepe Peplum Dress ($320), then simply add a great jacket, like J Brand's Nicks Bomber Jacket ($995) or Trouve's Channel Quilted Leather Jacket ($298) to complete your look.
Tip #4: Chanel the '90s with a flannel tied around your waist.
Does Taylor Tomasi Hill ever get it wrong when it comes to personal style? We think not, and her look at the Sigerson Morrison F/W 12 presentation in New York last month was certainly no exception. We love the rock 'n' roll spirit of her outfit, which consisted of a vintage graphic t-shirt and Isabel Marant F/W 11 jeans, especially the way she tied a plaid flannel shirt around her waist for a grunge-inspired look. We also approve of how she elevated her casual combo with a tuxedo-style Phi blazer and Sigerson Morrison pumps, which gave the outfit an unexpectedly polished finish. Feeling inspired? Simply reach for your favorite tee and pair of jeans, then grab a flannel shirt-we like Free People's Vintage Plaid Flannel ($98), James Perse's Slim-Fit Flannel Button-Down Shirt ($74), or American Apparel's Unisex Flannel Long Sleeve Button-Up Shirt ($31)-and tie it nonchalantly around your waist!
Tip #5: Create a polished spring look with a tan leather skirt.
Leather isn't exactly synonymous with summer style, but there is a seasonally appropriate way to wear the chic material-just look to Ashley Greene's outfit to see what we mean! Last month, the actress attended a DKNY event at Macy's in New York wearing a ruffled red blouse and leather A-line skirt from the brand's Pre-Fall 12 collection. We love how the tan hue and short hemline make the skirt totally warm-weather-ready, resulting in a splendid ensemble we're dying to recreate. To do so, simply pick up spot-on alternatives like ASOS' Kookai Leather Miniskirt ($195), Vince's Leather Miniskirt ($495), Dallin Chase's Flynn Washed Leather Skirt($354), or Organic by John Patrick's Mini Skirt ($685)!
Tip #6: Add interest to your outfit with a removable collar.
Everyone has their go-to ways of spicing up a classic LBD, but have you tried adding a removable collar? We're dying to test out this unexpected accent seen here on Kate Mara! The actress was snapped at Juicy Couture's F/W 12 presentation in New York last month wearing a noir frock by the brand, which she punched up with gold accessories, including Danijo's Precious Metals Necklace ($458), Edie Parker's Edie Oval Clutch ($1095), and Brian Atwood's statement-making Raffia-Heel d'Orsay Sandals ($1452, available here in Colorblock). The pseudo-collar necklace especially stood out to us, as it transformed a simple dress into a completely adorable look! Dying for a similarly cute outfit? We recommend updating an LBD with Miss Selfridge's Gold Chain Peter Pan Collar ($32), Need Supply Co.'s Hammered Collar Necklace ($124), or Karl's Sequined Poplin Collar ($175) for a Mara-inspired ensemble in no time.
Tip #7: Pair a Victorian blouse with a flirty skirt.
Nothing screams warm weather like an all-white ensemble. If you're dying to bust out your white pieces this season but need a bit of advice, simply consider Liya Kebede as your guide. The supermodel stepped out at the premiere of the film Sur La Piste Du Marsupilami in Paris last month wearing a high-collared blouse with a tiered mini skirt, both from the Isabel Marant F/W 12 collection. We love how the blouse gives off a chic Victorian vibe, while the ultra-short skirt lends a youthful flair to the look, resulting in an undeniably stylish outfit. Anxious to sport this fresh hue too? Start with the perfect blouse, such as Pepe Jeans' Ruffle Front Sheer Blouse ($107), Ralph Lauren's Faith Blouse ($215), or Les Aperizes' Pleated Collar Blouse ($695), then add a flirty skirt like Rachel Zoe's Shirley Ruffled Layered Skirt ($369) or Paul & Joe Sister's Mini Skirt ($125), and you'll be ready to paint the town white!
Tip #8: Elevate wardrobe basics with strappy sandals.
When it comes to finding inspiring outfits for our Styling Tips every month, Into The Gloss' Emily Weiss is one trendsetter who makes our job easy! To no one's surprise, Weiss compiled a to-die-for ensemble for an event celebrating the latest issue of the bi-annual magazine Acne Paper in New York last month. We appreciate how she started with basic pieces-namely American Apparel's Unisex Denim Long Sleeve Button-Up ($64) in Light Wash Indigo, Rag & Bone's Skinny Jeans ($176) in Coal, and Jil Sander for Uniqlo's F/W 11 belt-and added strappy sandals by Azzedine Alaia, which effectively elevated her otherwise pared-down look. To emulate Weiss, we recommend snagging Forever 21's Long-Sleeve Button Up ($16) and pairing it with either Cheap Monday's Narrow Jeans ($65) in Tonki Used Black or Current/Elliott's The Roller Jeans ($178) in Black Beauty. Finally, add a pair of strappy sandals a la Weiss to give your look a chic finish- Zara's Stretch Sandals ($90) or ASOS' Helios Leather Gladiator Sandals ($98) will do the trick!--Erin Fitzpatrick
Photos of Minka Kelly and Liya Kebede, courtesy of Getty; Photos of Emily Weiss, Kate Mara, Nora Zehetner, and Taylor Tomasi Hill, courtesy of Billy Farrell Agency.