As much as we love this time of year, the holidays can pose a number of sartorial challenges. First of all, the chilly weather means bundling up, and finding outerwear options that are functional and chic isn't always an easy task. The season is also marked by a variety of festive fetes too, so the pressure is on to find that perfect party look. Thankfully, today's crop of trendsetters offer us inspiration aplenty to solve both of these style conundrums and many more! Nicole Richie and Hailee Steineld, for example, both found creative ways to stay toasty this winter; the former opted for a to-die-for combo of a studded jacket and maxi skirt, while the latter chose a pair of striking red tights. Plus, Giovanna Battaglia and Zoe Kravitz both offer fresh takes on frock dressing that we're dying to emulate. All in all, today's Styling Tips are sure to spark wardrobe ideas galore!
Tip # 1: Liven up your neutral ensemble with a vibrant bag.
Looking for a new way to spice up your wardrobe this winter? Simple: add a punch of color to your neutral ensemble with a vibrant handbag! Nylon's Style Editor-at-Large, Dani Stahl did just that last month at a lunch honoring of Antonio Berardi when she accessorized her mix of dark hues with a cabbage green Mulberry Taylor Oversized Satchel ($1500, available here in Red Onion). We love how the bright carrier brings energy to her look and really pops against the gray and black separates. To incorporate a similar zip into your daily rotation, you'll definitely want to snag either Zara's red Rigid City Messenger Bag ($80), ASOS' bright yellow Push Lock Across Body Bag ($28) or Cambridge's neon orange Satchel ($155) right away-we promise the result will be just as noteworthy.
Tip # 2: Experiment with bold, bright tights this season.
Bright tights are the perfect way to give your ensembles a festive finish this holiday season, which would explain why we're so crazy for the outfit Hailee Steinfeld put together recently. The young actress attended a TOD's dinner to celebrate ELLE's December issue and the brand's signature collection in Los Angeles a few weeks ago, and made quite a statement by pairing her Chloe Sevingy for Opening Ceremony dress and Christian Cota blazer with opaque red tights for a fun and fearless evening look. We especially love the way Steinfeld combined the textured leather frock with the patterned jacket, which made for a high-impact ensemble. If you are feeling a bit daring this winter, try American Apparel's Opaque Pantyhose ($14) in either purple or sea-foam green or choose from a variety of colors at Topshop-our favorite pair is the 120 Denier Bright Blue Tights ($16)-to brighten up your ensembles.
Tip # 3: Amp up your daytime basics with a glam necklace.
To make your daytime wardrobe the talk of the office, we suggest amplifying your nine-to-five style with a statement necklace. For some guidance on how to execute this styling tip, look to one of our favorite fashion femmes and Prada muse, Shala Monroque, who elevated her casual separates-specifically, a Club Monaco top and Miu Miu skirt-with a glitzy Prada necklace at a Benefit New Yorkers For Children cocktail reception in New York last spring. We adore the way Monroque took her outfit from understated to casual chic simply by adding an elaborate necklace, proving that even the smallest details can really make a difference. To spice up your daily wardrobe a la Monroque, be sure to check out the colorful Kate Spade Crystal Kaleidoscope Bib Necklace ($398) or Baublebar's Ruby Bib Necklace ($38). If you can afford to invest a little bit more, finish your favorite everyday look with Valentino's Swarovski Crystal-Embellished Bib Necklace ($1175); it's a gorgeous piece that will truly stop traffic.
Tip # 4: Create an edgy evening look with a leather dress.
While we certainly love a glamorous evening look, we are also quite fond of edgier after-hours ensembles too! Our inspiration for this fashion change-up is Zoe Kravitz, who caught our eye in a sleek, brown Alexander Wang leather dress at the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Awards in New York last month. Kravitz showed off her flawless figure in the minimalist frock, which she paired with black pointy-toe heels (also by Alexander Wang) for a youthful and sleek cocktail outfit we're dying to recreate. If you are a fan of this look, don't miss Vince Leather Tunic Dress ($595) or Barney Originals' Leather Dress ($146), both of which have that simple and sultry silhouette like Kravitz's pick.
Tip # 5: Team a silky maxi with a studded jacket.
While a maxi skirt can be styled in a myriad of interesting ways, we're currently in love with the idea of juxtaposing a silky or velvet version with a cool, studded jacket. We got this awesome outfit idea from Nicole Richie, who was photographed at the If Pockets Talked pop-up shop at Milk Boutique last month in Los Angeles. Richie paired a T by Alexander Wang Panne Velvet Skirt ($315) with a lust-worthy white Simone Leather Jacket with Studs ($1295), which added up to one perfectly well-balanced look in our opinion. To fuel your inner rocker try Zara's Zip-Up Jacket ($100) with Mason by Michelle Mason's Silk Maxi Skirt (349) or couple OBEY's Jump Street Studded Jacket ($108) with Topshop's Bias Cut Maxi Skirt ($72).
Tip # 6: Pair a print dress with two-tone shoes.
There's something about this time of year that calls for a slew of visually-intriguing dresses and bold footwear, which is why we're so smitten with editor/stylist, Giovanna Battaglia's expert decision to combine the two! At the Molami U.S. launch event in New York last month, Battaglia took her Dolce & Gabbana flower-print frock to the next level by adding a fabulously strappy pair of two-tone heels by Oscar de la Renta. The result is quite stylish and sophisticated, making it a wonderful nighttime look. If you want a show-stopping evening look, take Melissa Masse's Printed Ponte Dress ($275) and add Ivanka Trump's Gurdia Spectator Pumps ($96) or Michael Kors' Two-Tone Kitten Heels ($625). For the perfect amount of black and white we suggest Roger Vivier's T-Strap Pumps ($459) to wear to all your holiday parties!
Tip # 7: Make a dramatic statement in a floor-length printed skirt.
Want to have all eyes on you this holiday season? Follow the lead of Drew Barrymore and don a floor-length printed skirt! The actress was photographed at the MOMA Film Benefit honoring Pedro Almodovar in New York early last month, and we couldn't help but notice her standout feather-detailed maxi skirt from Chanel's F/W 11 collection. The piece practically demands attention, thanks to its multi-colored feather print and her decision to leave it in the spotlight by pairing it with an understated top. This dramatic choice is sure to turn heads at any holiday fete, so to get Barrymore's glamorous look, dress up with Free People's Velvet Maxi Skirt with Floral Print Panels ($170) or Minkpink's Carnaby Gypsy Floral Sheer Maxi Skirt ($88).
Tip # 8: Try a slim midi skirt in a bright color.
As you've probably gathered by now, a slim midi skirt is a fall wardrobe essential, especially in a vibrant hue! If you need further proof, we'd like to point out how model/actress Elisa Sednaoui lit up the red carpet at the New York screening of We Need to Talk About Kevin in Proenza Schouler's mustard Blanket Wrap Skirt ($871). We are particularly fond of the way Sednaoui paired the eye-popping piece with all-black accents to keep it the focal point of her outfit. To emulate this vibrant look, pick up River Island's High Waist Midi Tube Skirt ($27), which comes in both green and blue, or for a little more texture, try Elizabeth and James' Ryan Mesh Skirt (195) or Tibi's Leather Pencil Skirt ($620) today.-Johnni Macke with Erin Fitzpatrick