Shoe Stories From 4 Fashion Industry Vets

With this week's party shoes recommendations (don't forget to check out the Party Shoes Shop!), our minds have been fixated on shoes. And how could we not be? A great shoe can turn heads and make an outfit. So we decided to honor the party shoes by asking 4 women at the forefront of fashion to share stories about their favorite fancy shoes. Read on below.

Rajni Jacques

Image via Refinery29

Image via Refinery29

Over the course of her expansive fashion career Rajni honed her style sensibility at Christian Louboutin and countless fashion magazines like InStyle, Nylon, and Glamour. She’s been featured on television shows such as Good Morning America, dishing out fashion tips and curating trend stories. Rajni currently serves as a consultant and creative director for fashion sites and top brands such as Coach, Nike, and Nordstrom.

Her Shoe Story:

I’m a jeans kinda girl at heart, so my idea of fancy may be a little less formal than most. It all started with the Gucci Leather Cross Over Sandal. It comes in a variety of colors and looks chic and comfy all at once. It was love at first sight — I knew I had to have them. My only hesitation when making the purchase was, “which color should I get it in?” (I know, fashion girl problems). I decided to go with green because I love the color and feel like I can wear it with any and everything

But then I wanted a pair that I would wear only on special occasions. Something that was similar, but stood out. Something that was over the top, but my feet would still be comfy — and that’s when I laid eyes on the Gucci Webby Heel. Think of it as the boogie version of the cross over. The only real difference is that the heel is embellished with a snake and crystals. Amazing. The perfect fancy shoe.

The shoes
 

Kelli Lamb

As Managing Editor and head of social media at Rue Magazine, Kelli Lamb oversees all things inspiring in the world of interior design. When she’s not giving readers the scoop on the latest decorating or home entertainment tips at Rue, she busy discussing fashion, interior design, and travel on her lifestyle blog, Leopard and Lavender. Kelli lives in Los Angeles, CA with her husband and two cats. 

Her Shoe Story

When I was planning my wedding, I had a really tough time choosing a dress. I impulsively purchased one on sale at BHLDN, and spent the next few months going back and forth on whether or not I actually liked it. I ended up keeping it, but never felt totally in love with the dress.

However, the shoes I wore were a no brainer and still make me endlessly happy. I wanted to dance the night away and the wedding was taking place at my dad’s lavender farm in Idaho, so no heels for me! When I saw these sandals pop up on the Loeffler Randall site, I bought them immediately. The day of the wedding, I was so nervous that I laced them up incorrectly (with the tassels in the back), but still loved the way they looked — simple on top with a little party in back. A shoe mullet, if you will. My feet didn’t hurt once, and I danced until the last guests were leaving.

The next day, we boarded a flight to Madrid and I wore the sandals all over Spain — through wineries along the Duero River, alleys in Seville, riding bikes in Barcelona, and on the beach in Mallorca. We returned from our honeymoon only to pack up our apartment in San Francisco and move to LA. The sandals were the only shoes that the movers didn’t box up, and so I wore them nonstop for our first week at our new home.

While the shoes aren’t the definition of luxury, it’s probably the most I’d pay for a pair of summer sandals. (At least while I was living in foggy San Francisco!) And more importantly, I feel like they completely define an exciting chapter of my life.

The shoes

Kendall Barber

Kendall Barber is the co-founder of shoe company Poppy Barley, where she’s rethinking the footwear industry by implementing ethical, community-driven practices and overseeing the creation of some seriously awesome footwear. Her commitment to serving the community extends beyond the workplace: she’s a board member for YWCA Edmonton, a Run Ambassador for Lululemon Athetica, and a supporter of Hope Mission Kids in Action. Kendall has won number awards, including being named on Avenue magazine’s 2014 Top 40 Under 40 list, Western Living Designers of the Year ‘Ones to Watch’ and Global Edmonton Woman of Vision. 

Her Shoe Story

In my twenties, I wore beautiful, blistering uncomfortable high-heels. Older women would tell me one-day I’d trade in my heels for more practical shoes. I dismissed their comments and promised myself to always remain fashionable and wear high heels for the rest of my life. In my thirties, I began to care more about quality over quantity and started shopping more conscientiously instead of throwing my dollars at fast-fashion stores. I invested in everyday luxury basics (great jeans, cashmere sweaters and silk tops) and the best flats (gasp!). My life had become so full and I had no time for sore feet. Like so many women before me, I traded my heels for "fancy" flats. I needed shoes that matched my life: creative, fast-paced, and always on the go traveling. One of the benefits of founding a shoe company is you design the shoe you need in your life. Enter the Strappy Sandal - a shoe that travels the world with me for work, beaches, city exploring and galas. From work to cocktail to weekend to beach, this shoe does life better than I do.

The Shoes


ABIGAIL HOLTZ 

Abigail Holtz is Affinity’s Founder and CEO. Having spent nearly a decade working at the intersection of fashion and tech on products like Glamour's Ask A Stylist, Boutiques.com, and Google Catalogs, Abigail is passionate about revolutionizing the way we shop for clothing online. When she isn’t busy dreaming up the future of fashion, you’ll find her traveling, cooking with friends, learning to speak German (guten Tag!), and spending time with her husband and newborn son.

Her Shoe Story

I’ve always been a huge fan of Nicholas Kirkwood shoes, but never had the stomach to buy a pair because I notoriously ruin my heels within a month or two. But when I came across these Gilded Bijoux Leather Pumps a few years ago, I couldn’t hold back. I impulsively added the $1000 heels to cart, and pressed the checkout button.

Despite the hefty price tag, I never regretted the purchase. In fact, about two years ago when I was on the hunt for wedding shoes, I realized my Nicholas Kirkwood pumps would be the perfect match for my wedding dress. I ended up wearing them to my wedding, and I finally had an excuse I could give my husband for buying such pricey shoes!

The shoes

 
 

Ace the Summer Suit Look with Styling Tips From 4 Fashion Editors

Nowadays, suits and structured separates like blazers and trousers go way beyond the office. The options are seemingly endless — just take a look at our Summer Suit Shop, which features everything from linen culottes and floral cropped trousers to high-low blazers and longline vests. No matter what your taste may be, there really is something for everyone. 

To get some styling inspiration, we asked four of our favorite fashion editors which suit they'll be rocking this summer and how they plan to style it. Their tips on how to pull off a suit with sandals, nailing the right proportions, and finding the perfect necklace to pair with a blazer, below!

 

STEPHANIE NGUYEN, FASHION EDITOR - POPSUGAR

“I'll take any opportunity to go matchy-matchy with my ensemble, and summer is no different. The great thing about wearing a suit styled for the warmer months is that you can play around with proportions for a more relaxed take on the structured silhouette. I'd pair a white longline blazer with a pair of striped high waisted shorts and a sleek white bandeau top for an unexpected, but tailored look. The light color palette and clean lines keep the look fresh. Finally, I'd finish the outfit off with a pair of white lace-up sandals.”

 

MEGAN PORTORREAL, EDITOR IN CHIEF - CLICHÉ MAGAZINE

“When I have to wear a suit in the summer, I always opt for the pencil skirt and matching blazer combo. This olive side zipper pencil skirt from Express makes more of a statement than a traditional pencil skirt, and a white polka-dot sleeveless blouse is super feminine and will keep you cool. Add a matching olive blazer, a block heel sandal, a delicate long necklace, and you’re set!”

 

VICTORIA DE LA CAMARA, STYLE EDITOR - RUE MAGAZINE

“I like to keep a suit look as simple as possible, with few accessories. It’s all about fit — what works for me is a light crepe jacket with a high-waisted skinny pant. For a situation that is a bit more casual and fashion forward, I’d pair the look with sandals like these from Loeffler Randall, and for a more formal affair, an elegant silver pump. Add in some delicate layered necklaces to help elongate the neckline like these from Natalie B Jewelry and you’ve got a classic outfit with a modern twist.”

 

ANI HOVHANNISYAN, EDITORIAL AND CELEBRITY STYLIST

"The summer is very hot so you want to wear a suit that's light — silk is my fabric of choice. I love pairing it with white or black strappy stilettoes for the night and strappy flats for the day. Minimal jewelry is best — overlay a few thin gold necklaces in different lengths around your neck. If you can, just wear a lace bra under the jacket and lose the shirt."

The Perfect Shoes for Every Outdoor Wedding

Wedding season is upon us, which means your calendar is filling up fast with parties at all sorts of creative and exotic locations. Usually, you’d fall back on a pair of tried and true stilettos, but dressing for outdoor weddings isn’t as simple — most heels aren’t well-suited for outdoor terrain. That said, just because you'll be outdoors, doesn’t mean that you’re completely resigned to flats (though we’ve included some great pairs here too!). It’s all about finding the right shoe for the venue. Read on for our tips and picks below!

The Barn Wedding

For a barn wedding, opt for a chunky platform a sandal with a sturdier, more supportive stacked heel or even a cute bootie. These will help you keep your footing as you make your way from the outdoor nuptials to the barn dance. Details like a harness-inspired buckle are a nice nod to the theme without going full cowgirl. 

The Castle Wedding

Pumps with ankle straps that tie will keep your heel from popping out so you’ll be able to stride with confidence over those cobblestone pathways and ancient pavers. Or try a cage heel for even more security. If the thought of tumbling head over high heels down the castle steps has you nervous, then a cute, low block heel is a fab choice.

The Yacht Wedding

We recommend a wider heel to help navigate the high seas and a wider strap across the toes will keep you from stumbling overboard. Avoid shoes with black soles — these can leave nasty scuff marks on deck.  Classic thong slides are always in style and are another great option. A pair with a metal O-ring adds a little polish to your look. 

The Country Club Wedding

If the next wedding on your calendar is set to take place on the lawn at a country club, you’ll want a shoe that’s preppy and chic with a heel that won’t sink into the grass. A low T-strap sandal is a great option. If your look calls for a little added height, opt for a chunkier heeled shoe with wide straps, or a platform sandal that wraps around the ankle several times for extra support.

The Backyard BBQ Wedding

Whether you prefer a chunky heel or an espadrille style is more your thing, platforms are the perfect shoe to complete the outfit you’re planning to wear to that backyard wedding. They’re sturdy and easy to walk in, and they give off just the right vibe. 

The Beach Wedding

When it comes to a beach wedding, you can’t go wrong with a flat metallic sandal. We love a pair that’s fairly minimal and open — easier to shake the sand out of. Find a pair you love and you’ll find yourself wearing them all summer long. 

The Vineyard Wedding

At your next winery wedding why not try a sturdy block heel. Sandals with wide straps or a gladiator lace-up offer the support you’ll need to make you way across the lawn without spilling your vino.

 

The Garden Party Wedding

A heeled sandal that ties at the ankle offers a customized fit, so you can stride across the terrace without worry. If you’re looking for something a little more streamlined, opt for a simple sandal with sturdy straps that comes in a bright and cheery print. A cute pair of flats will also do the trick! If you’re looking for a pair that will go with everything, try a blush colored pair, rather than your basic black or nude.

The Ultimate T-Shirt Guide: The Perfect Tee for Every Body Shape

Everyone knows that the perfect t-shirt is essential to any summertime wardrobe, but finding that style that perfectly flatters can be a challenge. That's why we've rounded up our picks and tips for every body shape and size. So if you’re tall or petite, athletic, full-chested, or have a bun in the oven, you can find your the best fitting tees – with ease. 

TALL

You’ve got legs for days, so a long, drapey tee that might look a little overwhelming on someone shorter looks great on you. You can also pull off bold, boxy styles — just pair with a solid bottom and your height will balance out the look.  Want to play with proportions? Break up a longer torso with a two two-tone layered look tee.

PETITE

Fitted t-shirt styles are ideal for petites, especially those with shorter sleeve lengths. Look for vertical details and V-neck cuts — these will elongate and flatter your figure. Smaller prints will keep the look in check.

COLUMN

Create shape and curves with a voluminous crop top that cinches at the waist or a tee with a waist cinching tie. A boxy cropped tee will also do the trick!

FULL CHEST

Shoppers with a full chest often avoid stripes as they can tend to exaggerate chest size, but darker colored stripes across the chest can really work to balance proportions. Another tip: t-shirts with dropped shoulders can also help to keep you from looking top-heavy while still flattering the girls. If you’re looking to move attention from the front to the back, opt for an open back tee. The open cut will also be more accommodating of a full chest — just make sure to layer it over a cute bra!

 

ATHLETIC

Balance out broad shoulders with a voluminous t-shirt, like a swing tee, or a lace-up style. Tees with wider sleeves also look amazing on women with an athletic build (and leave plenty of room for muscular arms!).

MATERNITY

When it comes to finding the perfect maternity tee, you don't have to stick to the maternity section. Just keep an eye out for long and oversized shirts and you can find cool designs or unusual hemlines that will keep you feeling stylish rather than frumpy. If you want to create the illusion of a flatter chest, a tee with a V-neck will do the trick!

Swimsuits for Every Personality

We get it. Finding the perfect swimsuit isn’t easy! From plunging one-pieces to flirty floral bikinis, there are seemingly endless styles out there, and it can be hard to track down one that suits you (pun intended!). That's why we’ve hand picked our favorite brands for every personality, so you can find your dream swimsuit in a snap!

The Minimalist

Perfect Match: Made By Dawn

Because minimal doesn't have to be boring. Dawn Peterson's modern minimalist designs are pared-down, but not without attention to detail. A little fringe or ruffle can make a big impact. If your style mantra is "less is more," Made By Dawn will hit the mark. 

MADE BY DAWNSeashell Top $127, Seashell Bottom $118Petal 2 One Piece $245Coral V Top $144Coral V Bottom $140

 

The Flower Child

Perfect Match: Mara Hoffman

Perfect for the free spirit, Mara Hoffman's gorgeous groovy florals, exotic prints, and crochet detailing epitomize hippie chic. Her collection of prismatic geo prints and striking sunset motifs are the ultimate in boho poolside style.

MARA HOFFMAN: Cutout Printed Halterneck Swimsuit $210Printed Swimsuit $225

 

The Sweetheart

Perfect Match: Marysia Swim

Marysia Swim's new collection features warm neutrals, cheery florals, and the brand's signature scalloped edges — all perfectly matched to a bright and sunny persona. These styles are fresh, effortless, and super sweet — perfect for the girl next door. 

MARYSIA: Antibes Scalloped Halterneck Swimsuit $334Mott Printed Scalloped Halterneck Swimsuit $319Broadway and Mott Bikini $285

 

The Island Girl

Perfect Match: Acacia Swimwear

Acacia’s new collection is filled with dreamy subdued florals, tribal prints, and sporty mesh overlays — all the right ingredients for an island oasis swim wardrobe. If you are searching for the perfect suit for your next beach bungalow vacation, Acacia's got you covered.

ACACIA: Kekaha Top $106Nusa Bottom $106Ehukai Mesh Surf Suit $ 232Panama Top $ 114Pikake Bottom $114

 

The Adventurer

Perfect Match: Mikoh

Whether you're diving in the Maldives or catching waves off the coast of Oahu, don't forget to pack one (or two, or three...) of Mikoh's super cool swimsuits. From neoprene zipfronts to crochet backed one-pieces, Mikoh is sure to have the perfect suit for your next adventure no matter where you’re headed. 

MIKOH: Floripa Top $161, Pali Bottom $145, Osaka One Piece $218, Diamond Head Top $128, East Side Bottom $128

 

The Romantic

Perfect Match: Zimmermann

Prepare to fall in love with Zimmermann's ultra-feminine bikinis and one-pieces. From delicate paisleys to sweet, tiny florals, Zimmermann's pretty prints are sure to sweep you off your feet. 

ZIMMERMANNEpoque Pin Up One Piece $375Pavilion Tuck Tri Bikini $245, Eden Picot One Piece $315

 

The All-American Girl

Perfect Match: Solid and Striped

Go red, white, and blue in an all-American style from Solid & Striped. The brand's new collection is the perfect fusion of sporty and classic prep — just throw on one of their blue striped one-pieces or red gingham high-waisted bikinis and you'll be living American dream in no time! 

5 Athleisure It-Girls Style Leggings Their Way

The athleisure trend has proven to be more than a passing fad and we're not surprised - it's the perfect fusion of fashion and function. Trendy sports bras and classic sneakers are tons of fun to experiment with, but the cornerstone of the activewear look is the legging, which has quickly been adopted as a wardrobe staple. Touted for their versatility and comfort, leggings can take you far beyond the gym - if you know how to style them right!

We consulted 5 athleisure experts whose legging game is on point. They've shared their top legging picks and how they'd style them outside the gym. Shop their style and get ready to take your athleisure look to the next level!

Kallie House

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From acai bowls and super smoothies to fit tips and booty workouts, Kallie House's Instagram (@kal_fitlife) is full of motivating health and fitness inspo. But what really catches our eye is her killer workout style. Whether she's keeping it casual in Nike sweats and a sports bra or experimenting with cutouts, bold colors, and prints, Kallie's look is always on point. And she doesn’t hesitate to bring her favorite activewear to the street.

Kallie tells us, "My favorite leggings right now are the Captain Ankle Tights by Alala. I would "dress" these up with my typical street style: a grey tee, white low-top converses and an oversized cardigan."

Photographer Corrine Noel's fitness-centric feed (@noelcorrinne) is all about empowering women and inspiring them to be their best selves. When she's not snapping pics of her go-to healthy snacks and favorite workout outfits, she's out capturing the natural beauty of Kauai, the island she calls home. She’s a fan of Lululemon’s much-loved Wunder Under Pant III.

Corrine explains, "They are my go to when I want to look stylish, but be comfortable at the same time! If I'm going for a more casual look that doesn't look like I'm about to hit the gym, I like to throw a nice jacket on and wear my Adidas Originals!"

Paola Marquez is a personal trainer and fitness blogger whose 12 week workout program, the Strong & Sexy Body Method, is an up-and-coming sensation. Follow her on Instagram @paosfitworld for your daily dose of sporty fashion and fitness. And what's Paola's favorite pair of leggings? Her Golda Tights from Karma Athletics, which she pairs with wardrobe essentials like a classic striped tee and denim jacket. 

In her own words, “I really love wearing my Golda Tights - they are my favorite leggings for almost every occasion. I’ll wear them with a striped top, high-top sneakers, cute backpack, and a jean jacket tied around the hips for an easy-going vibe.”

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Chase Lindsey Rosen created fashion blog  ATHLEISURELY with the goal to inspire women to look and feel their best, from the fitness studio to the street. With the rise of the athleisure trend, Chase has made a name for herself by aligning with brands like Adidas, Nike, and Estee Lauder. She has been featured on Well+Good NYC, Marie Claire, Refinery29, Shape and SELF. Her favorite all-around legging?

"The Alo Moto Leggings in black! They are great for a workout (especially yoga) and look awesome when styled outside the gym as well. Pair with a black tee shirt, leather jacket and booties for a perfect night out look!"

In her self-named brand, Tully Lou encourages women to lead healthier and empowered lives by designing activewear that inspires women to want to work out and be fit. Her line incorporates all the coolest cuts and colors for the girl who wants to stand out from the pack. When styling her favorite pair of leggings, Tully fuses rock-and-roll with sporty chic.

Tully says, "My go-to pair are the Tully Lou Manhattan Pants. I've started to pair them with a vintage band tee, Adidas Stan Smith sneakers, and a fedora hat for a little more of a sports-luxe, rock-chic vibe."

What 11 Stylish, Super-Moms Really Want This Mother’s Day

Moms today are busier than ever — juggling all sorts of responsibilities between work and home, family and friends. Sometimes we wonder why is it that Mother’s Day comes only once a year?! But since it is just an annual occasion, it is even more important to make all the moms in your life feel extra special this Sunday. To get some inspiration, we asked 10 super-moms who balance work and motherhood what’s at the top of their wish lists.

OLYA HILL

Olya is a professional ballerina, photographer, Creative Director for LivingNotes, and mother of 6 kids.

"The biggest present I want for Mother's Day is healthy kids and happy kids. For as long as I have that, I am happy. It probably sounds too cliche, but having experienced too many doctor trips with Nadya and Evyianne, "health" has really taken on a completely different meaning for me."

 

AMANDA CARTER GOMES

Proud mama of 2 sons, Amanda serves as the Executive Editor for Clementine Daily.

Photo: Jenny Jimenez

"This year for Mother's Day, I am currently dreaming (no pun intended) of some new pajamas! This "night dress" recently caught my attention and is topping my list. The perfect gesture to accompany this lovely gift: an uninterrupted night of sleep!"

 

HARPER POE

Harper is the founder of Proud Mary, a Charleston, SC based clothing, homewares, and accessories brand dedicated to fair trade.

"Goldbug is a jewelry line and shop by an old friend of mine from growing up in NC. She also lives in Charleston and just opened up the cutest shop on Sullivan's Island. I just bought a pair of her earrings and am obsessed. Can't wait to stock up!"

 

COURTNEY KLEIN

Mother of one, Courtney recently started her own company, Storq, a super-stylish maternity fashion line. 

"I'm headed to the beach this Mother's Day, so I've got warm weather on my mind. I'm hoping for this sleek and sexy Storq Tank Dress, a pair of sensible but chic Laura Schoorl Suede Slides, and a long-lasting Moroccan Clay Lip Tint to round out my maternz summer look."

 

JESSICA PALLAY

Jessica Pallay is Co-Founder and Editor of Well Rounded NY, where she writes about all things pregnancy and new motherhood. 

THE UPSTATE Bloom Throw $220

THE UPSTATE Bloom Throw $220

"We just moved into a new apartment with a pretty little backyard, so I'm looking forward to spending lots of evenings outside this summer. The Upstate throw is perfect for keeping cozy on cool Brooklyn nights, but will also brighten up all our daytime picnics with the kiddos in Prospect Park (especially because it's 100% cotton, so totally washable!)." 

 

KAITY VELEZ

Kaity Velez is Co-Founder and Editor of Well Rounded NY, where she writes about all things pregnancy and new motherhood

"One of my favorite things to do is decorate our home and these Maewoven handmade pillows will make the perfect addition to our living room. As if I needed another reason to want to veg out on my couch!"

 

SHIVA ROSE

Shiva is an Iranian-American actress, activist, blogger, and mother of two from Santa Monica, CA. Her blog The Local Rose advocates a healthy, holistic lifestyle.

Photo: Mother Mag

Photo: Mother Mag

"For Mother’s Day my dream would be to have a way to have our great Mother Earth protected. She has been a source of healing for me, and has given life to all of us. If we could find a way to cherish her somehow in our own way that would be a gift for us all. As far as a tangible gift I am coveting a slip dress from my friend’s all hand dyed line Awave/Awake. I so appreciate that it is hand dyed by vegetable dyes and made in ethical ways. I also would love to get a top by Rosetta Getty. Her line is also very specific, unique and lovely. Maryam Nassir Zadeh shoes would make a great addition to any outfit as well."

 

ALEXA WILDING

Featured as “one to watch” in publications such as Harper’s Bazaar, Nylon, and Bust among others, Alexa is a musician living in Manhattan. She’s also an MFA candidate at the Writer’s Foundry at St. Joseph’s College and mother to twin boys.

"I really want a white Crosley portable record player, on which to play a stack of lady greats, like Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon, Carol King... Like most mamas its hard for me to carve out time for myself to connect with my inner (girly) world. Since I'm a singer-songwriter, music is how I do this, and I love the idea of carrying this elegant white player into the bedroom, putting on one of my Stone Fox Bride Vintage caftans, lighting a beeswax candle and listening to music while I stare at my plants and probably look at pictures of my kids on my phone while they sleep."

 

CINDY DIPRIMA

Formerly a successful prop and interior stylist, Cindy now serves as Creative Director of CAP Beauty, the natural beauty shop she co-founded. She spends her days testing new brands and products and chasing after her two kiddos in NYC.

"For Mother’s Day I would love a month (or maybe a year!) of extreme self-care. This would absolutely include a weekly facials from CAP Beauty, a twice-weekly delivery of green blends from Lulitonix and a month long pass to Sky Ting Yoga. There’s truly nothing more luxurious than taking great care of yourself and its something most moms don’t get to do on a regular basis. I like to think of Mother’s Day as a chance to reset and create healthy new habits."

 

MAHA IBRAHIM

Maha is a partner at the venture capital firm, Canaan Partners and a proud backer of women-owned businesses. 

"I prefer the gift of travel/experiences over material things, the exception being a great pair of shoes. I want to spend my limited free time with my family going for a fun hike, fly fishing, playing tennis or just doing something I’ve never done before. Those are the best and most memorable types of presents a mom could ask for."

 

Camille Fournier

Former Goldman Sachs VP of Technology and CTO of Rent The Runway, Camille is an inspiring tech leader, super-stylish lady and proud mother of one.

"I would love for my husband to schedule me a spa day to relax and get pampered without me having to coordinate all the details myself."

5 Must-Have, Crazy-Versatile Dresses

If you’re finding yourself with a closet full of clothes, but nothing to wear then it’s probably time to get back to basics by swapping in a few more versatile items! The five dresses below are core components of any wardrobe, and each one can be styled infinite ways to suit any occasion or mood. 

SHIRTDRESS

The shirtdress is a tried and true option that can be dressed down just as easily as it can be dressed up - it’ll take you from the workweek into the weekend in a snap. The perfect layering item, the shirtdress looks sharp under a sweater or over pants. Want to keep it simple? Just belt the dress, slip into a pair of heeled sandals and you’re good to go. How easy is that?

WHITE SHIFT DRESS

Spring has sprung, which means the white shift dress just became your new best friend. We’re loving one with a little structure and volume and a short hemline to make legs look like they go on for days (adding a pair of heels doesn’t hurt either). The shift dress is a blank canvas - dress it up with a funky clutch or a pair of colored sunnies, or opt for an effortless look with sneakers and a denim jacket.

ALICE+OLIVIA Dress $298   @talisa_sutton

ALICE+OLIVIA Dress $298  
@talisa_sutton

PRINTED MAXI DRESS

The printed maxi is a statement maker that does all the work for you. The right shoes can drastically shift the look, making it great for any number of occasions.  A pair of heels will effortlessly elevate the dress for a more formal, glam look, sneakers will make it look surprisingly street smart, and sandals will take it from spring all the way through summer.

TANK DRESS

What’s more comfortable and ready-for-anything than the tank dress? Simple, sexy, and laid-back, this dress can do it all. It looks great with flats, sneakers, or a low cut boot making it afternoon errand running-ready, but easily takes you into night when paired with heels and a contrasting coat. 

LBD

And of course, the LBD - perhaps the most famous wardrobe staple. Keep it classic with a tailored camel overcoat and heeled boots or black ballet flats or give it a little edge with a moto jacket and stilettos. It’s also the perfect baselayer for printed jackets and scarves, making colors and patterns pop.

10 Eco-Conscious Brands For Every Occasion

Earth Day is less than 24 hours away! In celebration, we've rounded up our favorite brands that are changing the fashion industry for the better through their commitment to sustainable and ethical business practices. We've included picks for every occasion, so you can make smart decisions about all the clothes in your wardrobe. Read on to learn about these great brands and how to style them for whatever life throws your way. And if you are craving a little more, check out all our favorite eco-friendly clothing in our Sustainable Fashion Shop.

WEdding-Ready With MAIYET

Committed to empowering artisans in developing economies and preserving ancient artisan technique, Maiyet partners with skilled creators worldwide helping them achieve self-sustainability through their craft. The resulting collections celebrate an eclectic blend of workmanship ranging from hand knitting and metal casting to meticulous block printing and Italian leathercraft. Each piece is beautifully constructed and cut to fit and flatter, making Maiyet a go-to resource for wedding attire options. 

Affinity's Styling Suggestion:

MAIYET Jumpsuit $1125KAYU Arnette Clutch $360KIRSTEN MUENSTER Necklace $480MAIYET Wedge $795

When heading to a wedding event, Maiyet’s Drawstring Waist Jumpsuit impressively walks the line between classic and cooly subversive. In a sea of dresses, the jumpsuit stands out - without threatening to overshadow the bride. Its long clean lines and simple cinching at the waist conspire to a kind of simple, straightforward elegance, leaving plenty of room for fun statement-making accessories. We love it with a chunky gold necklace like the chain pictured here (opt for a necklace that hits the collarbone - a longer one will compete with the jumpsuit drawstring). Finish the look off with Maiyet’s Kate Strappy Wedge and a bold, colorful clutch.

Nail the Job Interview With ZADY

Employing a holistic “field-to-garment” approach that’s both socially and environmentally conscious, Zady encourages consumers to forego the cheap thrills of fast fashion in favor of quality wares produced under humane conditions. Zady seeks to address fashion industry shortcomings at every stage of the production process, tackling issues of pesticide use, water treatment, energy efficiency and beyond. Instead of propagating the latest trend, Zady creates timeless pieces with staying power, making the brand a great choice when shopping for something smart to wear to an upcoming interview. 

AFFINITY'S STYLING SUGGESTION:

ZADY Blazer $250ZADY Pants $280STELLA MCCARTNEY Top $915FREEDOM OF ANIMALS Tote $280KRYSOS + CHANDI Bracelet $80EVERLANE Shoes $155

Zady’s classic navy blazer and cropped wool pants are welcome additions to any professional wardrobe - you’ll find yourself wearing them time and time again. Worn separately, these pieces will anchor any outfit, though we recommend teaming them up for a confidence inspiring power play when it’s time to get down to business. Simply layer a silk blouse under the blazer, slip into a pair of refined leather flats, and tuck an extra copy of your resume into a structured carryall. A gold cuff bracelet finish off the look. 

Charm Your DATE With MAYAMIKO

Ethically made in Malawi, Mayamiko's gorgeous dresses are made from traditional African printed cotton. The brand supports the Mayamiko Trust, a charity that supports women affected by HIV by teaching them the sewing and tailoring skills they need to create high value goods. Each print is fun and full of personality - perfect for making a strong first impression, so you can feel confident on a first date.

MAYAMIKO'S Styling Suggestion:

For a springtime first date I would wear a relaxed dress, that you feel gorgeous yet comfortable in, like our Enala or Mia Dress. Complete the look with a pair of golden eco-sneakers by Veja, if you're feeling sporty. If you are headed into the night, pack some extra heels for the night (like the stylish Sydney Brown shoes with cork heels)! Then all you need is a pair of bamboo eco sunglasses and an artisanal backpack made in West Africa by Sahel Design.

Off to Brunch With ACE & JIG

Ace & Jig approaches the issue of garment longevity from both a quality and style standpoint, offering shoppers all-seasons pieces made from exceptional materials that can be mixed and matched in countless ways. The brand also places value on the well-being of its workers - Ace & Jig’s manufacturer in India provides its textile workers with free childcare and organic produce grown using recycled water. If you’re looking to step up your weekend style game, this brand’s killer collection of richly hued and textured pieces could be just the thing for upcoming brunch plans. 

Affinity's Styling Suggestion:

ACE & JIG Dress $245REFORMATION Fringe Bag $135FINLAY & CO Sunglasses $230MATT & NAT Sandals $68

Ace & Jig's Andie Dress is perfect for a weekend brunch date. Cute and versatile, this pretty printed dress can be styled any number of ways, but we're loving it as pictured here. A fringed bag and wood framed sunnies put a boho spin on the look while metallic sandals lend a little unexpected edge.

Jet Setting With Eileen Fisher

Eileen Fisher is truly a force for positive change in the world - company initiatives supporting human rights, the environment, and the advancement of women all attest to this. "Our environmental vision is holistic," says Shona Quinn, Eileen Fisher's Sustainability Leader. "We believe in paying attention to what happens in the field, the dyehouse and our customers' washing machines. Our goal is to design out negative impacts - and design in positive change." The brand's signature relaxed fit and use of comfortable organic fabrics make Eileen Fisher ideal travel wear.

AFFINITY'S STYLING SUGGESTION:

EILEEN FISTER Top $268AILEEN FISHER Jeans $178BROTHER VELLIES Sandals $280GUSTAV REYES Ring $195EVERLANE Bag $98

If you’re looking to hit that sweet spot at the intersection of style and comfort, this outfit may be just what you’re looking for. A flowy silk top featuring a hi-low hem keeps the look comfortable and current, and this pair of boyfriend jeans offer a little stretch - perfect for a long plane ride. Complete this easy going outfit with accessories that give off a well-traveled vibe: tortoise shell sunglasses, springbok hair flats, and a ring made from salvaged wood. A utilitarian duffle makes for the perfect carry-on.

Vacation Mode With Amour Vert

After learning that fashion is the among the most polluting industries in the world (second only to big oil) Christoph Frehsee and Linda Balti founded Amour Vert (translation: green love). The brand has adopted a zero-waste policy and uses low-impact dyes, both steps towards a more eco-friendly, sustainable approach to affordable attire. Employing specially engineered fabrics, some of which are made from 100% recycled materials, Amour Vert offers a host of laid-back, super-soft styles that would make for an awesome addition to any vacation wardrobe. 

AFFINITY'S STYLING SUGGESTION:

AMOUR VERT Dress $108AMOUR VERT Backpack $150STELLA MCCARTNEY Sunglasses $330STELLA MCCARTNEY Shoes $1095

Nothing says vacation like a fabulous floral print. With its black and white botanical motif and subtly sexy v-back, the Shakira dress from Amour Vert is really speaking to us. Keep the look fresh and on-trend by accessorizing with statement making neutrals - funky cat eye shades and a pair of Japanese geta-inspired heels. A black backpack, like this vegan leather option from Amour Vert, puts a sporty spin on the style and makes for the perfect travel companion.

Working The Corner Office With Everlane

Everlane was founded on a culture of transparency, where questioning the status-quo is highly encouraged. The brand maintains open relationships with the factories that they partner with, visiting worksites often and requiring stringent workplace compliance to ensure company integrity. Information about all of Everlane’s factories is listed on their website for customers to see, as is the true cost of every garment and the markup price. Offering a great selection of workwear, Everlane is the place to go for office wardrobe staples. 

AFFINITY'S STYLING SUGGESTION:

EVERLANE Top $75EVERLANE Pants $88EVERLANE Tote $48EVERLANE Loafers $170QUAZI DESIGN $37

Consider adding a little masculine flair to your professional wardrobe with Everlane’s wide-leg trousers and handsome black loafers. A simple white top will keep the outfit crisp and clean, while a geo-style necklace and navy tote bring something unexpected to the mix.

Life of the Party With Reformation

The majority of Reformation’s clothes are sewn right here in the US in their very own sustainable factory. The factory uses the most eco-friendly technologies and practices available, making Reformation a leader in the sustainable fashion space. The company is also now categorized as a Benefit Corporation - a new kind of company that seeks to solve social and environmental issues through business. Reformation empowers women: in the workplace (over ¾ of their management staff is female) and outside of it (their dresses are pure celebration of the female form). Be sure to snag one for your next soiree. 

AFFINITY'S STYLING SUGGESTION:

REFORMATION Dress $368KAYU Clutch $150PHYLLIS+ROSIE Earrings $125COCLICO Heel $435

Go full femme at your next party with Reformation’s stunning Dima Dress for a look that’s equal parts romantic and sexy. All the right accessories keep the balance in check. A black velvet clutch is subtly romantic while sexy skyscraping heeled sandals up the ante. Play into the drama further by adding hoop earrings to complete the outfit.

Off To the Gym With Outdoor Voices

Outdoor Voices, with its high standards for working conditions and ethical practices throughout their production process, is a great choice for the conscientious gym-goer. If you’re looking to revamp your workout wardrobe, consider one of Outdoor Voices’ kits - they come with all the essentials packed neatly into a everyday tote made from recycled cotton.

AFFINITY'S STYLING SUGGESTION:

OUTDOOR VOICES 4-Piece Kit $300VEJA Sneakers $135CARLA COLOUR Sunglasses $135

Once you’ve got your hands on one of Outdoor Voices’ essentials kits (we’re loving the 4 piece kit in navy) - team up your new gear with a few choice accessories. When it comes to the athleisure trend, we recommend pairing muted or earthy tones like navy or olive, with creamy pastels as pictured here. Peachy sunglasses and sneakers with pink detailing play nicely together and kick your workout style up a notch.

Get Artistic With Kowtow

Kowtow’s clothing is 100% certified free trade organic and the workers populating their factories are entitled to excellent benefits such as free education for their children and medical insurance in addition to being offered a living wage. These artfully crafted clothes are just the thing to wear to the opening of a new gallery exhibition.

AFFINITY'S STYLING SUGGESTION:

KOWTOW Sweater $229KOWTOW Culottes $199BROTHER VELLIS Sandals $285GUSTAV REYES Bracelet $390FREEDOM OF ANIMALS Bag $85

Get creative with this look by playing with volumes and textures. We paired a streamlined sweater with voluminous culottes that are cropped to show off a fun, fuzzy sandal. Experiment further with shape and form by adding a round purse and an architectural cuff. 

25 Style Hacks for the Woman Who Does It All

We modern women have a ton on our plates: working, socializing, staying active, cooking, cleaning and maybe even raising a family. So when it comes to staying stylish, shortcuts are our best friends. That's why we've put together a list of our favorite style hacks – from strategic layering techniques to 60-second DIYs – essential for any girl on-the-go.

Want even more hacks? When you're done, check out our founder's post on real-life productivity hacks over on Medium >   

 

S T Y L E  H A C K  #1

RESTYLE AN LBD.

If you think that your favorite slinky LBD is only good for going out, think again. Here’s a look that’s daytime-appropriate and really aces the French girl look. Just put on a striped tee, slip your black dress over it, jump into a pair of flats and you’re ready to take on the weekend.

Image via stealthelook.com

 

S T Y L E  H A C K  #2

WEAR LEGGINGS OUTSIDE OF THE GYM. 

With the rising popularity of athleisure, wearing leggings about town has not only become acceptable, it’s been deemed on-trend. Ace this sporty luxe look by opting for leggings made from thicker fabrics that hit at or above the hipbones and feature cool details like zippers or mesh paneling. Pair with your go-to white sneaks (Golden Gooses or Stan Smiths keep the look street smart, while curbing gym-appeal) and finish things off with a prep-school approved sweater or moto jacket tossed over the shoulders.

Image via CutYPaste.com

 

S T Y L E  H A C K  #3

WORK WONDERS WITH THAT AWKWARDLY-FITTING BUTTON DOWN.

You know the one. Maybe it’s too boxy, or the sleeves aren’t quite the right length. Simply roll the sleeves up above the elbows and knot the bottom - voila! A fresh silhouette! The key is knowing where to tie the knot: if it’s tied to high you’ll risk wandering into pin-up cowgirl territory, too low and it won’t flatter your figure. Aim for right around the waist. Best worn with high-waisted trousers or a pencil skirt.

Image via garypeppergirl.com

 

S T Y L E  H A C K  #4

LET A FUNKY PAIR OF HEELS DO THE WORK FOR YOU.

For those days when you’re up and out the door early and don’t have time to put an outfit together. Throw on a T shirt and cuffed jeans and then take your look from normcore to super stylish by adding a pair of colorful statement heels. 

Image via stylecaster.com

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S T Y L E  H A C K  #5

Update an old sweatshirt.

Sexify an old sweatshirt in seconds a la Karla Deras by snipping a new neckline, leaving the collar intact. Pair it with heels and trousers for an elevated, pulled-together look, or take it into the weekend with a pair of boyfriend jeans and slip-on sneakers.

Image via karlascloset.com

 

S T Y L E  H A C K  #6

Get more mileage out of your favorite dress. 

Reinvent a dress by layering a chunky sweater over it, turning it into a skirt. This layering trick can work with dresses and sweaters of all kinds, but we're loving the proportions pictured here. A voluminous midi dress under a sweater that hits you at upper-mid thigh = perfection.

Image via thesartorialist.com

 

S T Y L E  H A C K  #7

Greasy hair? Roll with it.

If you find your hair starting to get greasy by the end of the day, but you’re heading out to after work dinner or drinks with no time to shower in between, worry not! When life gives you lemons, right? Work a little pomade into your hair, starting at the hairline and working your way back to the crown of your head, and comb it straight back for a super sexy slicked back style. This model-off-duty‘do will leave you feeling refreshed and ready for a fun night out.

Image via modelsjam.com

 

S T Y L E  H A C K  #8

Dress-up your Pajamas.

Last spring’s pajamas-in-public trend is still going strong. The beauty of this style hack is that you’re already half-way dressed by the time your alarm goes off! Just roll up your silk printed PJ pants to show off a cute heeled boot, and keep things cozy with an extra soft oversized sweater.

Image via theyallhateus.com

 

S T Y L E  H A C K  #9

MAKE GRANDMA'S TWEED JACKET COOL AGAIN.

Bring a classic jacket up to date by pairing it with a chambray shirt and jeans. A structured tweed jacket will break up a Texas Tux, making the denim-on-denim trend a little more approachable. It's a great go-anywhere outfit that'll take you from client meetings to volunteering at school and everywhere in between.

Image via yanasuteva.com

 

S T Y L E  H A C K  #10

ADD A DIY NECKLACE FOR INSTANT COOL.

Easier than tying your shoes. Hunt down a length of black leather (around 5 ft should do the trick), casually tie it once or twice around your neck, and let the ends hang long. This bolo tie-inspired accessory is best worn with a deep V-cut top or unbuttoned shirt - take a cue from Julie Sarinana of Sincerely Jules.

Image via sincerelyjules.com

 

S T Y L E  H A C K  #11

Up your necklace game with a sexy 90s style choker.

Another DIY for the girl who doesn’t have time to mess with arts and crafts. All you need to partake in one of the season’s hottest accessory trends is some black ribbon (ribbed, or velvet if you really want to go full 90s), a pair of scissors, and 60 seconds. We love the look layered with contrastingly delicate gold chains of varying lengths as seen here.

Image via becauseimaddicted.net

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S T Y L E  H A C K  #12

TRY THE DRESS-OVER-PANTS LOOK.

Let’s face it, for a girl on the move sometimes a dress just isn’t practical. When you’re running from investor meetings to gallery openings, the last thing you want to worry about is accidental indecent exposure. Enter the dress + pants duo - the stylish solution you’ve been looking for. For such an unlikely combo, the right dress and pair of pants can pair so naturally. Layer a lightweight dress over slim fit cropped trousers and add a blazer, as Christine Centenera has done here. Having trouble finding the right dress to pull off with pants? A shirtdress is an excellent place to start.

Image via vogueaustrailia.com

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S T Y L E  H A C K  #13

TIE A SHIRT AROUND A SHAPELESS DRESS.

Have a shapeless shirt dress that's just not doing it for you? Steal this great style hack from Olivia Palermo and tie a shirt around your waist for a little added definition to your figure. This style is best worn with high heels that’ll make your legs look like they go on for days.

Image via bloglovin.com

 

S T Y L E  H A C K  #14

Knot a dress that's too long.

Fallen head over heels for a gorgeous maxi only to realize that it’s made for someone taller? Or maybe you’ve got a dress you love whose hemline has fallen out of fashion. Either way, all is not lost! Throwing a knot in the fabric at the bottom of the dress not only solves your conundrum, it adds a little drape and drama to your look.

Image via hijabinspiration.com

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S T Y L E  H A C K  #15

Rock a messy pony.

This is our go-to way to tame crazy bed head (not the sexy #iwokeuplikethis bed head, we’re talking about the kind of bed head that makes you want stay hidden under your pillow all day). Make that funky, textured hair work to your advantage! Part face framing hair in the center and push the rest back up and over your crown. Secure it in a hastily gathered low knot at the nape of the neck. Quick and simple - no hairbrush needed! An easy way to achieve an effortless Parisian vibe. If the center part doesn’t seem to be doing it for your face shape, try a deep side part instead.

Image via manrepeller.com

 

S T Y L E  H A C K  #16

Wear sweatpants in public.

The key is finding a pair with a tapered fit. Front tuck a loose T shirt and add a leather jacket to give the look a little structure. Further embrace your sartorial chill by sliding into a pair of Birks or high tops.

Image via ascotandhart.com

 

S T Y L E  H A C K  #17

Give your jeans a quick trim.

Because who has time to hem your jeans the old fashioned way? Besides, the added denim fringe is cute and fun. To make sure that you get the length just right, we recommend that you put the jeans on and mark where they hit your ankle bone for reference. Don’t worry about being precise with the scissors - if your cut is uneven, it’ll only add to the effortless appeal.

Image via songofstyle.com

 

S T Y L E  H A C K  #18

Bring back the bandana.

Try something cool with your old bandanas by embracing the neckerchief trend. A bandana tied around the neck adds a dose of chic to any outfit. 

Image via style.com

 

S T Y L E  H A C K  #19

Streamline your look with a leotard.

We love a streamlined look - a fitted top tucked into high waisted skinnies, for instance - but for such a simple outfit, it can be surprisingly tricky to pull off. The top always comes untucked and needs readjusting and your shirttails often bunch up under your pants creating awkward lines and lumps. A leotard is an unbeatable solution. It stays put when you’re on the move and won’t create any odd lines under jeans or fitted skirts.

Image via careergirldaily.com

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S T Y L E  H A C K  #20

Do Masculine and Feminine.

Strike the perfect chord with a high contrast look that’s one part girly, one part masculine. Try layering a belted boyfriend blazer over a lace dress – and roll up the sleeves of the blazer for a pretty feminine reveal. If your dress is short sleeved or sleeveless, a few bangles or a classic watch is a great way to finish off the outfit.

Image via sheerluxe.com

 

S T Y L E  H A C K  #21

mix your prints.

Mixing prints can seem pretty daunting at first, but once you’ve learned this easy hack, you may find yourself confidently mixing it up more often. All you need to know is this: make sure the prints you’re wearing together are of different scales. Wearing one big floral print on top of another won’t serve you well, but a splashy floral design paired with a delicately dotted piece plays ever so nicely. 

Image via whowhatwear.com

 

S T Y L E  H A C K  #22

Up the ante with a skinny scarf.

Loop a skinny scarf around your neck before heading out the door for an added measure of 70s cool. Try it with a tucked-in drapey tank and a pair of flared jeans or wide leg trousers to take your look to the next level.

Image via theaugustdiaries.com

 

S T Y L E  H A C K  #23

PULL YOUR LOOK TOGETHER BY BELTING A SCARF.

Here's a fresh take on layering that's perfect for spring: Wrap a scarf around your shoulders, crossing the ends in front, and belt at the waist. How easy is that? This style is versatile, too. Layer a feminine silk scarf over a skirt and top (as pictured) for a polished look that's office-ready, or opt for an oversized blanket scarf with jeans for a great weekend look.

Image via nymag.com

 

S T Y L E  H A C K  #24

Belt an oversized vest.

This smart look is a snap to pull off. Leaving your vest unbuttoned, cross one side over the other in the front, and fasten with a belt. A classic carryall and a cuff bracelet complete the look.

Image via style.com

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S T Y L E  H A C K  #25

Edge up an office look.

Headed out and about after a day at work? Look no further than the jacket of the moment: the bomber. A jacket with a bit of attitude will help transform your look from office appropriate to street style approved. Just pop it over a classic printed shift and you’re off.

Image via whowhatwear.com

A Peek Inside the Bags of 6 Inspiring Women

#doingitall not only requires a great bag, but a bag well-filled. So this week, we asked six stylish, inspiring women to let us peak into their purses to see what on-the-go essentials they never leave home without. Spoiler alert: don't forget a moleskin journal and red power lipstick!

Gretchen Roehrs, Illustrator & Designer

Gretchen Roehrs, San Francisco-based tech designer and fashion illustrator insta-famous for playing with her food, has a bag of a true creative. Her lust-worthy Mansur Gavriel Bucket Bag is filled with all sorts of artistic accessories, including Schmincke Watercolors (for on-the-go portraits), a drafting pencil (her favorite brand is Rotring) and a monogrammed Shinola notebook (great for doodling in important meetings). She also carries Byredo Parfum in 1996 (which reminds her of walking into a barn, in a good way) and the New York Review of Books (a better distraction than the phone when she takes the train). Plus, she always has an apple handy to keep her away from all the SF pastry shops... and "because apples are delicious." We couldn't agree more!

The full details: 

Kate Taylor, FOOD BLOGGER

Kate Taylor, the Kansas City-based writer, photographer and recipe developer behind the vegetarian food blog, Cookie and Kate, stocks her Marc Jacobs bag with all the necessities: her iPhone (for all her important lists – todos, groceries, recipe ideas), business cards (handy for when people ask about her blog), keys and a coin purse. She also carries around Nars Satin Lip Pencil, Makeup Forever Rouge Artist Natural Lipstick, and a trusty bottle of instant hand sanitizer for those times she is enjoying a snack on-the-go.

The full details:

Adriana Gascoigne, Non-Profit/Tech FOUNDER

Adriana Gascoigne, Founder and CEO of Girls in Tech (a San Francisco-based non-profit organization devoted to empowering, educating and mentoring women in the tech industry) has the bag of a jet-setting minimalist. Always on-the-go, Adriana fills her Rebecca Minkoff Tote with her passport, Red Chanel lipgloss (red is her power color!) and vitamins (so she can easily remember to take them with lunch). She also carries around a book – Four Steps to Epiphany – a "bible for employees and entrepreneurs."

The full details:

SERENA WOLF, Food Blogger

Serena Wolf, chef behind the accessible, yet experimental food blog, Domesticate Me, has a Christian Louboutin bag filled with all sorts of fun things. Snacks galore (Health Warrior Chia Bars, GoMacro Macrobars, and Matt’s Munchies Fruit Snacks), a packet or two of Splenda (for coffee, just in case!) and a stylus (to up her Snapchat game... username: serenagwolf). And for the long, stressful days she keeps Bach’s Rescue Remedy Spray handy which helps her mellow out... "sometimes."
 
The full details:

Donna Jean Baxter, Boutique Owner

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Donna Jean Baxter – designer, fashion illustrator and co-owner of Darling (the NYC West Village boutique) – has a small, simple bag that goes with any outfit and is always ready for both work and fun. In the vintage Coach bag, she carries a trusty Bic Pilot Ballpoint Gel Pen (which she fell in love with for her drawings), a custom-engraved leather wallet from Darling (a routine compliment-getter that allows her to tell people about her store), and a pair of 5 gold dice (so she can play with friends – or strangers – over drinks). What a great idea!

The full details:

Raquelle Stiefler, Boutique Owner

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Raquelle Stiefler, designer of Raquelle and the other half of the NYC boutique, Darling, is all about the lightweight bag – important for walking all over NYC. In her Jerome Dreyfuss Edouard Bag, you'll find just the basics – aside from her Hobo wallet and the obligatory Moleskin notebook she carries C.O. Bigelow Mentha Lip Balm, a Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Face & Body Stick and Ray Ban fold-up sunglasses. Now that is some enviable simplicity!

The full details:

6 Spring Events and the Flats to Wear to Them

If you are anything like us, your spring calendar is already filling up with many great opportunities to wear flats! Whether you're headed to outdoor festivals, artsy events or work conferences –  we've got you (and more importantly, your feet!) covered with the best flats for every occasion.   

Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival

Dates: Apr 15 - Apr 24, 2016
Location: Indio, CA
Link: www.coachella.com

Headed to a music festival in the dessert? Sandals, cowboy boots and sneakers are all solid choices! Just don't forget fringe, feathers and other fun embellishments. 

 

Tribeca Film Festival

Dates: Apr 13 - Apr 24, 2016
Location: New York, NY
Linktribecafilm.com/festival

A film festival is a perfect occasion to show off some chic, yet artsy flats. We endorse trying something unexpected – like elevated slippers or pointy-toe flats with a playful design!

Earth Day

Date: April 22, 2016
Location: New York, NY
Linkwww.timeout.com/newyork/earth-day

Celebrate earth day by wearing flats that you (and the environment!) can feel good about. There are so many beautiful sustainable shoe brands out there now that you don't even have to make a style sacrifice! 

Cherry Blossom Festival

Dates: April 16, 2016
Location: Washington, DC
Link: nationalcherryblossomfestival.org

What better way to appreciate the spring flowers and weather than in a pair of comfy, casual flats. Ballet flats, espadrilles, boat shoes, and ankle boots will all do the trick. Or if you are feeling especially literal, you can even buy a pair of flower-appliquéd flats.   

Collision Conference

Dates: Apr 26 - Apr 28, 2016
Location: New Orleans, LA

Link: collisionconf.com

Conference style can be a tough one. You want to look professional, but not too stuffy and show some personality, without being over the top. For that we reach for traditional styles – like loafers, oxfords, etc. – that have a little twist. 

Rain Room at LACMA

Dates: Until Apr 24, 2016
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Linktimeout.com/los-angeles/art/rain-room

If you're visiting a museum rain room or fighting wet weather in real life, stylish rain boots are a must. Try a bright yellow boot for personality, or keep it chic with neutrals and clean lines. 

7 Fresh Ways to Wear Button-Up Shirts

Button-ups are likely already a staple in your wardrobe, but if you are like us, it's starting to feel like time to reinvent them. To get inspiration, we checked in with a handful of our favorite style bloggers to get some fresh ideas for how to style and wear this classic shirt. Check out (and shop!) the looks we are lusting after below... 
 

Feminine & Polished

Sometimes a little ruffle goes a long way to reinvent a classic. We love the way @happilygrey styled this feminine white button-up with a cord A-line skirt and some chunky, bright statement boots.

CO Ruffled Top $350, ASOS Cord A-line Skirt $36, ILLESTEVA Sunglasses $177, ZARA Bag $26,
 

Tied Around the Waist

This look might give you a bit of a flashback to middle school, but add some skinny jeans and a pair of bright red heels like @weworewhat and you'll instantly elevate the flannel-shirt-around-the-waist look to 2016-chic.

TOPSHOP Jersey Pocket Tee $25, L.L.Bean Plaid Shirt $35, TOPSHOP Washed Black Jeans $65GIANVITO ROSSI Suede Pumps $570, TOPSHOP Sunglasses $20, NIXON Watch $100
 

With a Long Pencil Skirt

The menswear-inspired, striped button-up is such an essential in any woman's closet and will look chic with just about anything – jeans, trousers, skirts, whatever! But for something a little less expected, take a page from @Sarah_nait and pair your (tucked-in!) shirt with a long, pencil skirt.

MANGO Stripes Shirt $40BY MALENE BIRGER Midi Pencil Skirt $152NASTY GAL Pumps $78, WARBY PARKER Glasses $145
 

Under a Chunky Sweater

A collared shirt under a sweater may not sound like a new look, but opt for an extra-chunky knit, green cargos and a jean jacket around your waist like @blaireadiebee – and your outfit couldn't look fresher!

TOPSHOP White Shirt $55, TEMPEST+BENTLEY Sweater $795, TOPSHOP Jacket $85, J.CREW Cargo Pants $98JIMMY CHOO Pumps $575CUTLER AND GROSS Sunglasses $565
 

Double Denim

Denim on denim is so hot right now! We are particularly obsessed with @intoyourcloset's take on the trend. The light washed denim mini skirt and button-up paired with animal print loafers make for a look that beautifully juxtaposes masculine/feminine and effortless/polished. 

KENZO Denim Shirt $225, TOPSHOP Mini Skirt $55JOELLE HAWKENS Leather Satchel $285, H&M Loafers $15, ASOS Bracelet $85, RAY-BAN Sunglasses $240
 

With a Leather Vest

Adding a little leather is sure way to shake up an otherwise classic outfit. @retroflame knows how to achieve the perfect balance of edgy and soft by mixing a leather moto vest with a feminine button-up shirt, retro bell bottoms, and a structured, traditional bag.  

A.P.C Shirt $265, FRAME DENIM Jeans $220CURRENT/ELLIOTT Leather Vest $320PICO Ankle Boot $150, ZARA Bag $50QUAY Kitti Shades $50
 

With Nothing Underneath

The Risky Business costume isn't just for Halloween anymore. The @manrepeller shows us how to rock the white button-up sans pants without looking like a outfit malfunction. Just don't forget the gold accessories and platform heels!

Guest editor SERIES: Julia Leach on the T-shirt uniform

 

The designer of cult striped-tee line, Chance (@julia_chance), Julia Leach has a signature style which is part East Coast prep, part laissez-faire French girl--all enviable effortless chic. And all about t-shirts: "I can’t think of any other item of clothing that’s as versatile," she tells us.

For this week of tees we asked the LA-based, jet-setting, creative director with exacting taste to share her t-shirt-centric uniforms for every occasion. 

Shop Julia's looks for work, weekend, beach, plane, and evening, below: 

 

WORK MEETING

My work uniform is tees, jackets, jeans, and heels; day in, day out. Simple bold accessories give the look personality. I like the drape of this soft Splendid t-shirt for work because it’s not too fitted and there’s an elegance to the neckline.  

 

FARMER'S MARKET SATURDAY

I go to the farmer’s market every Sunday, usually in Hollywood. Afterwards, it’s brunch, a museum, into the studio — so I throw on something casual with a little polish. I love Madewell’s tomboy sensibility; this tee has a flattering open front (but not too open). I layer a bomber jacket over it for cool LA mornings.

 

NIGHT OUT WITH FRIENDS

For night, I like a more fitted tee, and this one has a particularly great scoop neck (showing just enough skin).  Again, part of my uniform is bold silver jewelry, which is in regular rotation.

 

BEACH HOLIDAY

Chance was inspired largely by my love of travel and the sea, so my suitcase always contains several of the tees from various collections.  My Signature Boatneck is my go-to because the navy base travels well (doesn’t show wrinkles as much, and I can get away with wearing it a couple of days in a row without washing).  It can also work in all climates—warm, of course, and cool under sweaters and blazers.

 

INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT

I travel a lot, and having a uniform for trips, short and long, is a big time saver. While I don’t think dressing up is necessary for flights, putting a bit of effort in is.  I love a good thermal tee for the place, both for comfort and because they don’t look wrinkled. This one is great because it’s two t-shirts in one. 

 

SHOP MORE OF JULIA’S PICKS

Guest Editor Series: Maggie Rizer's Good Jeans

A 90's darling who came up during grunge, super model Maggie Rizer (@MaggieRizer) has always been a natural for jeans. She told us, "Jeans have always been a staple for me. You can dress them up with a great heel and good blouse. Or not—just a tee-shirt or tank top."

As our first Guest Editor, the fashion insider and All-American girl shares her favorite pairs and how she wears them. Her general rule is to keep it simple – or in her own words, "In jeans, you look cool and casual. Not overdoing it."

Shop Maggie's picks below. And if you are yearning for more, check out all our favorite jeans of the moment in our denim shop.

Photo credits (L to R): Arthur Elgort, Steven Meisel, Steven Meise

 

shop MAGGIE'S PICKS

"For lunch in the city, I pair these dark skinny super long Stella McCartney's (my favorite pair right now) with a Matthew Williamson blouse (I love his prints), a Rick Owens leather jacket and with Saint Laurent Chelsea boots."

 

"I would love to wear these with these Tom Ford jeans with this off the shoulder Chloe blouse (I love everything Chloe these days)."

 

 

"I loved this whole Gucci collection. The jeans were so thin and gorgeous. Gucci has always had great jeans. When I did the shows, I would always go shopping in Milan. I still have two Gucci pairs from over a decade ago which I cannot bring myself to get rid of!"

"I guess I have always gone in search of a good jean! Gap has good typical jeans. They are very standard, and fit really well."

"I love Frame. The fit is amazing, the cut is super flattering and the denim is gorgeous."

"I've been pregnant enough to have done a lot of research on maternity jeans and I have to say, JCrew makes some of the very best! I hate the whole huge elastic waistband maternity jeans and prefer the nice side elastic ones, I think it makes you feel slightly less unfashionable, slightly."

Interview With Textile Designer Kindah Khalidy (And AN Exclusive Giveaway!)

 

A week about print (pss... check out our printed picks if you haven't already) couldn't pass without bringing up our friend, Kindah Khalidy. We met Kindah (@kindahkhalidy) a while back through a designer friend, and immediately fell in love with her work. Her Crayola-hued naif style paintings would make for gorgeous vivid Marni/Celine-esque textiles we thought, and fortunately, she's onto it. Kindah also makes fashion: One of a kind shirts, bags, enamel pins. We want it all. Read more about the artist and Instagram sensation below. And how you may enter for a chance to win one of her signature pieces.

Tell us a bit about yourself…

I’m a painter and textile designer working in the Bay Area, California. I split my time between designing textiles for my own line and other companies... and painting.

What sparked your interest in creating fashion products?

There are so many facets to fashion, and I am most interested in the fine line where fashion and art intersect. My work revolves around textiles, every item that I produce is custom designed. A lot of times you’ll have a great design, with a weak print, or vice versa, so I wanted to tackle that fashion design from both angles.

            

            

                  Blob Party Pin $15                                       Oil Painting on Panel $550                      Ice Pop Striped Zipper Clutch $56

HOW DO YOU COME UP WITH YOUR DESIGN IDEAS?

Most of my textiles stem directly from my paintings, and with fashion I like to start with far out costumes. From there, I can tone it done until I’m offering a ready to wear item.

What is different in your approach when working on wearable pieces vs. paintings?

Paintings are purely about the act of putting paint on the canvas - I like to leave most of them untitled and open to interpretation; they’re meant to be stared at for a long time. The wearable pieces are about the dialogue between the body and what its clothes have to say.

How do you describe your products and brand?

Well-made, classic, witty, must-have.

       Poppies Medium Clutch $96                 Sherbert Sheer Fun Confetti Clutch $65              Infinite Candies Zipper Clutch $56

WHAT IS MOST ENJOYABLE, AND MOST DIFFICULT ABOUT YOUR JOB?

The most enjoyable part of my job is getting to ask myself, what could I put out into the world next and how do I take that to new heights? The difficult part is seeing knockoffs of my prints on goods that are made overseas.

How do you balance creativity with commerce?

I like to load up the item with as much personality and voice as possible, and once you release it onto the internet, it’s there for customer’s decide what’s next. It’s similar to showing your work in a gallery, keep the venue simple so that the objects can speak… and have great customer service.

What is next for YOuR brand?

I’m working on a new online shop that will showcase a lot of my favorite brands, coming soon! For my own line, it’s looking like more wearable paintings in the works and new bags for Spring.

          Blob Party Gift Wrap $11                     Strawberry Big Zipper Clutch $106                Hand Painted Party Tank Top $180

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE?

I read a quote by Rick Owen’s once, saying how all that really matters is good hair, and good shoes. Everything else doesn’t really matter.  I mostly invest in well-made shoes, but when I’m working in the studio most of the week I’m wearing baggy t-shirts + painting pants, or overalls, and comfy sneakers. I love dressing like a house (tent shapes) and lots of stripes.

YOUR PERSONAL MOTTO IN 10 WORDS OR LESS

 If you want it, go get it.

Want to win a clutch bag from Kindah Khalidy?

Want to win one of Kindah's wearable works of art? Enter using the widget below for a chance to win a glorious Kindah Khalidy original clutch!


Chatting Spring 2016 Shoe Trends With Claudia Mata, ACCESSORIES EXPERT

 

Our friend Claudia Mata, Contributing Editor at W Magazine (where she served as Accessories and Jewelry Director for the last five years) stopped by the office to give us the skinny on footwear from the catwalks of London, Milan, Paris and New York. The newly minted Californian shares her top selects--so fresh they may shock the eye, but like an exclamation point, will send the wearer leaping into the future. See below for the trends, and the best versions of them from the season...

 

WESTERN

The Western trend touches on the continuing love of boots for Spring, as well as the “‘90s shoe reference à la Courtney Love,” as Claudia describes it. Frye, Chelsea, cowboy and Bowie boots are all inspirations in this mix. (This is even where we are seeing square toes. Yes. We said it.) 

Claudia's Pick: CELINE Rodeo Boots $1350 

Claudia says: There are so many good things about these booties—the hardware and wooden heel give them a retro vibe, but they feel completely modern and fresh.  I love them in black, but with white shoes being the biggest trend for spring, I wouldn’t mind having a pair in each color!

 

THE LOW HEEL

After two decades of high-heel-as-status-symbol, the low heel is the new “it” shoe. Revolutionary in its moderation. The most modern models have a mod-feel, chicest with a chunky heel.

Claudia's Pick: PROENZA SCHOULER Toe Pump $995

Claudia says: A lace up flat or low heel sandal is a great way to add comfort-chic to your wardrobe, and I love the futuristic metallic hardware the Proenza Schouler ones have.

 

OVER THE KNEE/1970s

The runways are in an all-things-1970s holding pattern. Suede, chunky heeled, loafers, platform sandals: happening. Thigh high boots take the cake for “me decade” fabulous.  

Claudia's Pick: GIANVITO ROSSI Suede Boots $1,975

Claudia says: An over the knee boot is a perfect way to incorporate a 70’s feeling. These Gianvito Rossi ones have the most perfect heel height and are a wardrobe essential for all seasons.

 

THE SLIPPER

Comfort of home, non-chalant chic. Yes please. These are heaven with pants or romantic skirts and dresses.

Claudia's Pick: GUCCI Princetown Slipper $595

Claudia says: Like everyone else I’m obsessed with everything the went down the Gucci runway for spring! I especially love the whimsy of their shoes—like how these loafers have been transformed into a playful and feminine heel. I love the idea of easy, weekend dressing with slippers and jeans, almost as if you stole them from your grandmother’s closet!  My favorites are the Gucci and the Balenciaga.

 

THE POINTY TOE

Make a fresh point with the new toe shape to update a look: sharpening pumps, booties, even sneakers for Spring. 

Claudia's Pick: DIOR Pointy Toe

Claudia says: I always like having a new sexy shoe. These Dior runway shoes in patent leather with an ankle strap add the perfect does of naughtiness, but the thicker heel keeps them chic. 

 

THE STATEMENT SNEAKER

How can we be mad at this hold-over trend? Full comfort and full chic. Clean simple versions dress up the most easily.

Affinity's Pick: ALEXANDER WANG 'Eden' Sneaker $395

Claudia Says: I’m into sneakers still -- I like Common Projects or Golden Goose.

METALLICS

Do you love all things that glitter? This season is yours to shine. Metallics, sparkles, beading and embellishment show off the futuristic vibes of Spring. Silver brogues or Mary Janes are like a super power to make boring outfits transform into bright ones.

Affinity's Pick: GIVENCHY Leather Mules $995

Claudia says: There is a Ziggy Stardust moment happening.

Quote of the Week

#NYFW is here, and as always – we are obsessing over the shoes. Which reminds us of one of our favorite Coco Chanel quotes, "A woman with good shoes is never ugly." Truer words have never been spoken!

To share via instagram long press the quote image on your phone and save to your photo library. Then open up the instagram app and select the image from your library.

Affinity's Guide to Valentine’s Day Lingerie: 6 New Brands, 6 Different Personalities

From lacy to racy to tomboy, these sweet things underpin every mood. Whether you are spending Valentine’s Day channelling Sophia Loren, 90s Kate Moss or Betty Page, we have your number. Check out Affinity’s Guide to Valentine’s Day Lingerie: 6 New Brands, 6 Different Personalities.

 

THE PIN UP

BORDELLE

Gold plated hardware and S&M inspiration make this London brand as luxurious as it is sexy.

Set #1: Orient Belle Triangle Bra $92Minerva Suspender $90Orient Belle Strap Thong $80 Set #2: Bondage Wrap Bra In Cream
$405
Cream Classic Girdle Waist Cincher $295 Set #3: Adriana Frame Bra $125Bondage Belle Peep Brief $150

 

THE TOMBOY

SLOANE & TATE

Jonesing for Marky Mark and Kate Moss (or perhaps Justin Bieber) in their Calvins? You are not alone. This LA based, and produced, brand looks to mens underwear for inspiration (and comfort).

Lingerie_2.jpg

Set #1: The Paradise Cove Bra $53The 97 Bikini $43 Set #2: The Buckingham Bra $53The Silverlake Short $46 Set #3: The York Bra $43The Echo Park Brief $44

 

INDIE DARLING

ARAKS

Sofia Coppola and Michelle Williams are fans of the New York based label, which features soft constructions, Italian fabrics, and designs which are more demure than risqué.

Set #1: Beatrice Bralett Persimmom/Plum Combo $100Aaron Panty Persimmom Plum Combo $65 Set #2: Ryan Slip Persimmon $259 Set #3: Dotzen Bralett Wave $225Devendra Panty Wave $85

 

THE ROMANTIC

L'AGENT

The ulta feminine line shares the over the top vava-voom aesthetic of big sister brand, Agent Provocateur.

Grace lace and stretch-tulle bodysuit $200Grace stretch-tulle and lace underwired bra $110Grace stretch-tulle and lace briefs $50Kaity floral-appliquéd tulle chemis $150

 

THE REBEL

FLEUR DU MAL

Fleur du Mal (the flowers of evil) takes its name from the work of French poet Charles Baudelaire. The name largely sums up the dark pretty aesthetic of this New York based brand.

Set #1: Fishnet Triangle Bra $80Fishnet High Waisted Panty $85 Set #2: Satin Bra $128Satin Hipster $45Satin Garter Belt $75 Set #3: Lace Bondage Triangle Bra $125Lace Bondage Panty $85

 

THE MINIMALIST

CURRICULUM VITAE NEW YORK

For the no fuss girl, who scoffs at a ruffle, and wants to keep her edge, even in lace.

Chatting with Rebecca Apsan of La Petite Coquette - a lingerie mecca in Greenwich Village

 

To embolden us on our quest for unmentionables, we popped into La Petite Coquette in New York City. What to look for in lingerie? Are there do’s and don’ts? Rebecca Apsan, owner of the boudoir-like Greenwich Village store (who furbished all the characters on Sex and the City with their intimates, and wrote, The Lingerie Handbook) whispers negligee secrets and shares her Valentine’s Day favorites in an exclusive interview below.

Rebecca Apsan has been helping civilians and celebrities (Madonna, Donatella Versace, you name it) up their seduction game since she opened La Petite Coquette (translation: The Little Flirt) in 1979. The author describes lingerie as, “the curtain that separates the audience from the performance.” Read on: 

What should one look for in lingerie? Are there fit do’s and don’ts?

The most important thing is that it’s comfortable.  If it has bells and whistles, like a corset, and you have never worn a corset, you won't wear it. 

If you want to seduce someone, and be happy about it, be comfortable. Feel pretty and good. That will make for a good evening. 

Try to find something you both like, that's important too. A guy will tell you if he is a boob guy, or derriere guy, or loves your legs. Whatever he likes, you should serve it up. 

When someone tries on a bra, if it's uncomfortable, I say ‘take it off. You will never wear it.’

What are some of your favorite things in lingerie right now? New designers catching your eye? Older brands you just keep loving?

I love Marlies Dekkers because she is on the cutting edge. She does things that are basic, but with a twist. Jane Woolrich from England is creative and directional. She has beautiful corsets... The waist cincher--that has seen a real comeback.  Samantha Chang is a great young designer. Aubabe for bras... La Perla, Huit, Addiction, L'Agent, Chantelle

All the French and Italian designers. I like them. They come up with new and interesting things. European people get underwear. The United States of America is very conservative. And I am in New York City, in the Village, but America is still very vanilla. 

Trend wise: the thong was the biggest thing. Now it's granny panties.  

Any lingerie history or historical anecdotes you would like to share?

There is a story about the Goldwyn Girls (a musical stock group run by Samuel Goldwyn in the 1930-1950s--of which Lucille Ball and Betty Grable were a part). The accountant wanted to know why the lingerie was so expensive. The answer was, “You walk and move differently in GOOD lingerie.” 

It does makes you walk differently and talk differently. It makes you stand up straighter. I am walking and talking differently right now. As opposed to a stretched out yucky holed-out bra and panty. With good lingerie, you feel set for the day. It's the closest thing to your heart.  I like matching. I like color. 

Rebecca’s Valentine’s Day picks from La Petite Coquette:

Valentine's Day is when you are supposed to pull out the corset and panties!