Tip #1: Add edge to a feminine look with a leather blazer.
While there's nothing wrong with a completely ladylike look or an entirely edgy ensemble, we do have a soft spot when the two approaches are combined to create a more balanced outfit. Case in point: Emma Watson's clever styling at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York last month. We love how Watson's black leather Miu Miu jacket is the perfect foil to her girly blouse and skirt, both also by said brand. Additionally, we approve of her wisely chosen accessories, namely Miu Miu's Craquelé Croco Print Calf Leather Clutch ($415) and Patent Leather Open-Toe Platform Pumps ($660) in Navy, which were perfect finishing touches. If you're in the market for a similar investment-worthy leather jacket, look no further than Day Birger Et Mikkelsen's Leather Blazer ($600) or Theyskens' Theory's Jabine Jacket ($995). Craving a more budget-friendly alternative? Consider a faux leather version like Capulet's Faux Leather Blazer ($199), a chic option simply begging to become a closet mainstay!
Tip #2: Polish a minimalist ensemble with chic white shoes.
Summer is the perfect time to experiment with bright white heels, but if you're not sure what to wear them with, simply look to Amanda Brooks for guidance. Spotted at the New Museum's 35th anniversary gala in New York last month, Brooks looked ravishing in head-to-toe Calvin Klein Collection, including the Nectarine Sleeveless Silk Shift Dress ($1,795, 212-292-9000) and Fire Calf Pouch ($195, 212-292-9000). But what set our hearts aflutter was the label's White Flared Heel Pumps, ($895 212-292-9000), which added a clean, crisp element to her ensemble and resulted in a perfect combination for warm-weather months. To mimic Brooks' savvy styling, we suggest starting with a fuss-free, solid-colored frock, such as Diane von Furstenberg's Capreena Twill Shift Dress ($385) or Topshop's Colour Shift Dress ($60), then adding of-the-moment white shoes, such as Jil Sander's Patent-Leather Pumps ($495), Nine West's Dazzler Platform Pumps ($89), or Trouve Wales' Wedge Sandals ($100) for the ideal after-dark outfit.
Tip #3: Pair flared jeans with chunky platforms for a '70s vibe.
Seventies-inspired ensembles remain on our radars this season, thanks in no small part to ladies like Caroline Sieber, who executes this look to perfection! At the Vogue Festival 2012 cocktail party in London last month, the chic stylist channeled said era by teaming J Brand's Love Story Bell Bottoms ($189) in Pure with Celine platform shoes. She also smartly balanced the retro outfit with a Chanel S/S 12 jacket, which kept it from feeling too literal. To get a similar '70s vibe, we recommend pairing Calvin Klein's Stretch Denim Skinny Flare Jeans ($80) with KORS Michael Kors' Korey Sandals ($275), Topshop's Lassie Suede Stacked Wedges ($110), or Steve Madden's Big Tyme High Wood Sandals ($108), all of which pay homage to the famous decade.
Tip #4: Give a LWD a sultry finish with pops of red.
As soon as the weather warms up, we're always eager to break out our favorite summery white frocks. That said, we never stop searching for fresh ways to wear these wardrobe staples, which is why we rejoiced when we spotted the way Annabelle Dexter-Jones styled hers at the 7th Annual Chanel Tribeca Film Festival Dinner in New York last month. We adore how she finished her TBA Silk Scalloped Ella Dress ($275) with pops of red, including Olympia Le-Tan's Letter to a Young Poet Clutch (which is sadly no longer available) and Christian Louboutin's Bow Bow Heels ($1195). The crimson accents gave her sweet look a sultry flair, resulting in one ensemble we're dying to recreate! To do so, start with Orla Kiely's Silk Georgette Reglan Tunic ($550), Pink Tartan's Sleeveless Cotton Piquet Dress ($395), or Modcloth's Confetti Fete Dress ($80). Then simply add shoes with red accents, such as ALDO's Solian Sandals ($150), Sam Edelman's Yelena High Heel Sandals ($140), or Zara's Fashion Sandals ($100), and you'll have a similarly dashing outfit.
Tip #5: Toughen up sweet florals with a studded clutch.
The right accessories transform just about any look in an instant-a styling tip Byrdie Bell certainly knows well! Snapped at the opening of Natasha Law's Female Form exhibition at New York's Bortolami Gallery last month, the actress started with feminine pieces, including Sportmax's Cotton Pique Digital Floral Print Cigarette Pants ($695, 212-674-1817) and Iridescent Fisherman Sweater ($525, 212-674-1817), then added Alexander McQueen's Studded Knuckle Duster Clutch ($2480). We love how the tough-girl studded accent adds just the right amount of edginess to her sweet floral pants, ensuring that the ensemble isn't overly feminine. Anxious to test-drive this expert outfit idea? Snag a pair of on-trend botanical pants, such as Zara's Floral Print Trousers ($60) or Sandro's Pressage Floral-Print Twill Tapered Pants ($285), and accessorize with Rebecca Minkoff's New Studded Fling Clutch ($450), House of Harlow 1960's Val Studded Clutch ($195), or Sam Edelman's Studded Holby Clutch ($298), all worthy alternatives!
Tip #6: Style tailored shorts with an oversized jacket and heels.
If you're dying to show off your gams this season but are worried about still-chilly temps, we've got just the solution for you, dear readers: wear your favorite pair of tomboy shorts with an oversized jacket! British model Edie Campbell had the right idea at the Veuve Clicquot The Season Tweets launch party in London earlier this month. We're crazy about the way she paired a Kinder Aggugini F/W 12 cowboy shirt and cuffed shorts with a long camel coat by Whistles, resulting in an expert mix of proportions. Additionally, we appreciate how she made her outfit party-ready by adding Yves Saint Laurent's Cut-Out Platform Sandals ($486) in brown suede. We think Tsumori Chisato's Pleat Front Shorts ($244), Vince's D Ring Shorts ($235), ASOS' Zig Zag Coat ($164), Marc by Marc Jacobs' Lex Sweater Coat ($359), and Mango's Slim-Fit Lightweight Coat ($80) all have Campbell-worthy charm, so be sure to pick them up pronto!
Tip #7: Try a monochromatic look with cool blue hues.
We've already proclaimed our love for monochromatic ensembles, so it comes as no surprise that we were instantly smitten with Leelee Sobieski's one-hued look at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York last month. We appreciate how Sobieski masterfully mixed contrasting shades of blue: while her Adam Kimmel sweater was a perfectly-pigmented navy, her Thvm Hi Rise Jeans ($108) possessed an icy tint, resulting in a fantastic twist on tonal dressing. Her understated separates also provided the perfect canvas for showing off chic accessories, including a doctor bag by The Row and Tabitha Simmons Embroidered Ankle-Strap Platforms ($1695). To get a Sobieski-inspired look, we suggest American Apparel's French Terry Dro-Shoulder Sweater ($48) in Faded Navy, Dear Cashmere's Pullover ($385), Victoria Beckham's Skinny Jeans ($265), and Life in Progresss' Zipped Twill Pants ($25), which will help you achieve a similarly cool vibe.
Tip #8: Wear a bright suit with an equally vibrant blouse.
Never one to shy away from a bold ensemble, Vogue Japan editor Anna Dello Russo turned heads yet again at a cocktail party in Milan last month. We love how the trendsetter's combination of an Emilio Pucci Resort 12 canary yellow suit with an equally brilliant patterned blouse (also by said brand) made for a daringly directional ensemble. Plus, her look mixes two big trends-neon colors and bold patterns-and the result is an especially au courant outfit! To try your hand at striking suit dressing a la Dello Russo, pick up either Rebecca Minkoff's Becky Jacket ($328) and Sanna Pants ($298), Rachel Roy's Draped Jacket ($428) and Cropped Pants ($298), or Victoria's Secret's Long & Lean One-Button Jacket ($98) and Lexie Skinny Crop Pants ($50). Finally, add a bright blouse, like Mango's Graphic Print Blouse ($40) or J. Crew's Cotton-Silk Perfect Shirt ($88) in Raj Paisley, and you're sure to make a strong statement!--Erin Fitzpatrick
Photos of Amanda Brooks, Anna Dello Russo, Caroline Sieber, Edie Campbell, and Emma Watson, courtesy of Getty; Photo of Annabelle Dexter-Jones, courtesy of Wire Images; Photo of Byrdie Bell, courtesy of Billy Farrell Agency; Photo of Leelee Sobieski, courtesy of Wenn.