Tip #1: Polish your ensemble with a snake-print top.
While we love snake prints on everything from luxe bags to fabulous footwear, we admit they're quite chic on clothing too. Just take The Row Shirt (from the F/W 11 collection) Ashley Olsen wore to JCPenney's brand re-launch event in New York last month. Despite the understated cut of the t-shirt, the serpentine pattern instantly elevates the top, making it a cool and polished addition to her tailored look. If you're on the hunt for a few similarly rousing items, give these a try: Nation LTD's St. Vincent Tee ($70), Marc by Marc Jacobs' Serpent Silk Top ($395), and French Connection's Sissy Snake Top ($40). After you've snagged a reptilian-print blouse, simply pair it with basic black trousers like ASOS' Tailored Slim Cropped Pants ($54), and voila, an instant Olsen-esque ensemble!
Tip #2: Mix nude and blush tones for a feminine look.
Considering your WWW editors love a ladylike look, it's no surprise we're completely smitten with Emmy Rossum's pretty and prim outfit. The actress caught our eye at the Jason Wu for Target event in New York last week, where she wore the collection's Long Sleeve Sheer Blouse ($35) in Blush Dots and Lace Print Straight Skirt ($30) in Blush. The combination of a demure silhouette and soft color palette make for a sweet, feminine ensemble fit for a day at the office or date night. While the price is certainly right for her Target pieces, they're selling out quickly, so we wanted to provide you with other options to recreate Rossum's smart styling. Simply start with Equipment's Signature Blouse ($208) or Jil Sander's Three Quarter Sleeve Shirt ($325), and style either selection with Gaetano Navarra's Knee Length Skirt ($325) or See by Chloe's Park Pleat-Front Tweed Mini ($110) for a similarly romantic vibe.
Tip #3: Elevate a casual outfit with a faux fur jacket.
Looking for a way to freshen up your casual attire? Our styling tip is simple: Follow Jenna Lyons' lead and add a faux fur jacket to your look! J. Crew's President and Creative Director looked smashing late last month at a launch party for Tiffany & Co.'s new website, WhatMakesLoveTrue.com, when she finished her laidback mix-specifically a Stella McCartney wool shirt, J. Crew tee, Chimala Denim Panter Pants ($418), and Madewell shoes-with a furry Prada jacket. Hanging slightly off her shoulders, the outerwear adds just the right amount of luxury, elevating the outfit from weekend casual to daytime chic. Feeling inspired? We think Current/Elliott's The Boyfriend Jeans ($198), Gap 1969's Mid-Weight Sexy Boyfriend Jeans ($70), Noriko's Cropped Faux Fur Jacket ($59), and ASOS' Faux Fur Coat ($102) in Vintage Look all exude Lyons-worthy panache.
Tip #4: Accessorize a cocktail dress with a statement belt.
One of the great things about a LBD is that it's the perfect canvas for statement accessories! While you can always opt for a bright bag or bold jewelry, we think Zoe Saldana's decision to add an eye-catching belt offers a fresh and exciting outfit idea. The stylish starlet looked elegant and sophisticated at the Sundance premiere of Words last month in an Alexander McQueen dress and belt from the S/S 12 collection. The waist-defining gold accent adds an unexpected element of interest to her look. For a Saldana-inspired cincher, look no further than Anthropologie's Suniva Belt ($58), Mango's Touch Metallic Belt ($25), and W. Kleinberg's Karung Snakeskin Belt ($360), all of which are spectacular alternatives.
Tip #5: Add interest to your look with an architectural top.
If your closet is full of standard-issue jackets and blazers, we think it's time to upgrade to an architectural topper a la Rooney Mara. We spotted the actress at a press conference for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo in Tokyo last month and absolutely fell in love with her Givenchy Canvas Peplum Jacket ($4145, available here in Khaki). Our reasoning is simple: The piece is an easy way to take your look from ho-hum to showstopping in no time! Convinced you need anything-but-basic outerwear? We think Moschino Cheap & Chic's Blazer ($468) and Charter Club's Long Sleeve Wool Ruffle Blazer ($60) fit the bill perfectly.
Tip #6: Try a knee-length skirt with a center slit.
If you've got great gams, why not show them off this season with a center-slit skirt? Karolina Kurkova had the right idea at the F/W 12 Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in Berlin last month. Since her Preen Knife Skirt ($910) shows quite a bit of leg, she smartly balanced the look with a conservative upper half: namely, Theory's Elenian Textured Hide Jacket ($845, available in Deep Blue) and a Rag and Bone collared shirt. While side slits will always have a place in our closets, a slit down the middle is a fresh twist we're dying to try out. To do so, be sure to get your hands on either Karl's Saba Faux Leather Skirt ($185) or Zara's Skirt with Front Split ($50) pronto!
Tip #7: Ground a ladylike jacket with combat boots.
Clemence Poesy always knocks us out with her effortlessly hip outfits. Take, for instance, the enviable ensemble she wore to an equally lust-worthy event (the Chanel couture show in Paris) last month. Poesy paired a Chanel Pre-Fall 12 jacket with a simple tee, jeans, and leather boots, and finished the look with a F/W 11 clutch also by said French fashion house. What we love most about this outfit is how she juxtaposed a sophisticated jacket with combat boots for an ensemble that's equal parts feminine and tough-girl chic. If you want to achieve a similarly cool balance, we suggest snagging Jessica Simpson's Blazer ($48), Steffen Schraut's Black/Cream Boucle Long Blazer ($267), or M Missoni's Boucle Cotton-Blend Cardigan ($895), and teaming your choice of topper with Steve Madden's Deziary Boots ($100).
Tip #8: Pair an athletic neckline with feminine sandals
When trying out this season's athletic-inspired trends, avoid an overly literal look by tempering sportier pieces with girly accents. To see what we mean, reference the ensemble Naomi Watts put together for an event for Jacobs Creek Wine in Sydney, Australia, earlier this month. The actress opted for a sleek noir Stella McCartney frock with a sporty neckline from the Resort 12 collection, which she paired with Stella McCartney Ankle Wrap Mesh Sandals ($745). Her smart choice of feminine shoes lends her ensemble just a touch of athletic flair without appearing as if she's headed to the gym. To emulate Watts' styling, consider grabbing David Lerner's Mesh Empire Band Dress ($198), Stella McCartney's Bi Color Dress ($1545), or River Island's Geometric Body-Conscious Dress ($45), all of which have a similarly sleek silhouette. Finally, add Barneys New York CO-OP's Open Toe Sandals ($335) or Via Spiga's Christina Shoes ($185), two wallet-friendly versions of Watts' pair.-Erin Fitzpatrick, with Cecee Marie
Photos of Ashley Olsen, Clemence Poesy, Jenna Lyons, Karolina Kurkova, and Naomi Watts, courtesy of Getty. Photo of Emmy Rossum, courtesy of Billy Farrell Agency.