Thursday, October 4, 2012

One Jacket, Four Ways

Jackets with leather sleeves are having a moment this fall.  They have more versatility than it may initially seem, and I thought I'd show you four different ways of wearing the look.

First, to wear this type of jacket to work, consider pairing with an office appropriate shift dress, heels, and a great bag.  I chosen a houndstooth print dress to add a bit more trendyness to the look, but this would work great with a nicely cut black shift.  For the office, keep the makeup and hair clean and simple, like the low chignon and strong brown seen at Ralph Lauren.

From left to right: Luxury Rebel Kenia Pumps from Piperlime, Dogtooth Peplum Ponte Dress from Dorothy Perkins, Michael Michael Kors Jet Set Medium Tote in Purple from Piperlime, Hair & Makeup from 

Next, to wear this jacket more creatively and trendy, pair with a patterned blouse, colored skinnies, a contrasting clutch, and shoes that pop.  Here, the makeup is simple but the hair is done in an "of the moment" top knot.
From left to right: Rachel Roy Gardener Pumps in Wild Violet Suede from Piperlime, Liberty Perfect Shirt in Coral Floral from J. Crew, AG Stevie Ankle Color in Red from Anthropologie, Kate Spade New York Diagon Stripe iPad Sleeve from Piperlime, Hair & Makeup from Google

For date night or cocktails with the girls, pair the blazer with a bustier-style top, gilded pants, and accessories with metallic accents.  Loose waves and red lips, like those seen at Burberry, will continue the sophisticated sexy look.
From left to right: Steven by Steve Madden Fearless Pumps in Black from Piperlime, The Underwire Suit in Black from American Apparel, Jacquard Loom Trousers from Zara, Rachel Zoe Eve Top Handle Bag from Piperlime, Hair & Makeup from

On the weekend, dress down the jacket by pairing with a loose tee, relaxed jeans, flats, and a crossbody bag.  Whether you're going to the movies, brunch, or shopping, a Tory Burch's messy fishtail braid and soft makeup looks great.
From left to right: Bloch Carina Flats in Pewter Snake from Piperlime, Ryan Pocket Tee in White from Everlane, Pilcro Stet Slim Ankle in Light Denim from Anthropologie, Kate Spade New York Gold Coast Ginnie Crossbody in Black from Piperlime, Hair & Makeup from Google

This style jacket is very popular this season, so it won't be hard to find different versions.  There's army-style, oversized, tweed, and more out there.  Here are some great alternatives at different price points:
From left to right: Mikkat Market Two-Tone Utility Jacket, Burberry Brit Contrast Sleeve Biker Jacket, Sunny Leigh Long-Sleeve Faux Leather Ponte Moto Jacket, Michael Michael Kors Faux Leather Sleeve Shimmery Tweed Blazer, Mango Contrast Sleeves Masculine Coat, Topshop Contrast Sleeve Army Jacket

Coco Birdie

Sunday, September 23, 2012

How to Wear: Oxblood

One of the most popular colors on the Fall 2012 runways was oxblood.  Oxblood is a deep red hue with hints of black and purple.  It is a great fall color and is popping up in this season's clothing and beauty.  Above, Alexander Wang, Araks, Banana Republic, Bottega Veneta, Christian Siriano, and Dior.  Below, DKNY, Diane von Furstenberg, Gary Graham, Haider Ackermann, Hakaan, and Helmut Lang.

Above, Jason Wu, Jill Stuart, J. Mendel, Narciso Rodriguez, Peter Som, and Rodarte.

In the world of beauty, the color is proving to be popular on both lips and nails.  Many stars wore the shade to the Met Gala and most nail polish lines are releasing the color in their fall collection.

To try the look yourself, consider wearing it either subtly or full-blown.  The color pairs well with black, deep brown, bright red, or (for a unique twist) pastel blue.  Try it with other fall trends, like the peplum, leather or cropped trousers.

For a subtle look... (click image to enlarge)
 From left to right: J. Crew Collection Cashmere Tee in Heather Cabernet, Magid Satin Box Clutch in Red, Zara Stretch Leather Trousers, J. Crew Collection Etta Snakeskin Pumps

From left to right: J. Crew Misha Dress in Cotton Cady in Spiced Wine, Anthropologie Dear Companion Pouch in Sky, Anthropologie Polished Planes Earrings in Blue, Jimmy Choo Lance Wavy Strap Sandal

 For makeup, try Clinque's Almost Lipstick in Black Honey (a universally flattering shade) and Julep Nail Vernis in Demi.

For a lot of look...
From left to right: Elizabeth and James Sienna Blazer in Merlot, Stubbs & Wootton for J. Crew Classic Velvet Slippers in Cabernet, Zara Leather Front Waistcoat, J. Crew Edie Attaché Bag in Two-Tone Merlot, Elizabeth and James Winston Trouser in Merlot

From left to right: J. Crew Wool-Cashmere Icon Trench in Cabernet, Zara Peplum Lace Top, Zara Plaited Shopper, J. Crew Midrise Toothpick Cords in Cabernet, Anthropologie Glossed D'Orsay Skimmers

 For makeup, try Sephora Color Lip Last in Elegant in Brown and Dior Vernis Nail Lacquer in Purple Revolution.

Coco Birdie

Saturday, September 15, 2012

NYFW Favorites: Spring 2013

New York fashion week just wrapped up and I've selected my favorite collections for Spring 2013.

My favorite was Calvin Klein Collection.
Presented near the end of fashion week, it was just the collection I was looking for.  I looked through all the collections on and I hadn't found one that I really, 100% liked... until Calvin Klein.  It was the perfect mix of minimal, architectural, and feminine.  I loved the neutral color palette, subtle details, and textiles.  The hair, make-up, and accessories were also spot-on.  All in all, this is what I look for in a great collection and Francisco Costa delivered. 

Next, I really enjoyed Cushnie et Ochs.
They showcased their first venture into swimwear (tiny, but well designed), but I particularly enjoyed their signature cut-outs.  The design duo has a great eye for shapes and uses negative space really well.  I also loved the burst of blue in the line, but the last three black dresses were really stunning.  Cushnie et Ochs does sexy in a way that is strong and powerful, but still really classic and feminine.  It is something I really admire in their designs.

I also like Vera Wang's collection.
One of the reasons I think I liked Wang's line is because I don't normally take to her ready-to-wear pieces.  This collection was more refined and structural than what I remember from her in the past, and I really liked the change.  Her inspiration was India and I think she did a nice job translating that into wearable clothing, unlike some other Indian inspired collections, which tend to look a bit costume.  I really loved the green dress with gold embroidery (2nd image, lower row) and the gilded pieces at the end. The tonal embroidery on the first white garments was also quiet beautiful.

My favorite new designer was Sally LaPointe.
I related to her inspiration (rock formations, quarries, and an abandoned submarine base) and like her hard and soft dichotomy.  The draped elements paired with structural pieces produced a nice effect, as did the use of leather to create flouncy peplums.  Her evening pieces were lovely and the racer cut tops were very on trend.  I look forward to seeing more from her in the future.

Other collections that I thought were noteworthy included Christian Siriano, Marchesa, Narciso Rodriguez, Jenny Packham, and Monique Lhuillier.
Christian Siriano's ballet inspired collection was perfect for Spring.  The colors, shapes, and textiles were all a welcome sight amongst many dark, leathery collections.  He didn't go too predictable with the incorporation of this inspiration, but I wasn't quiet as crazy about his eveningwear as I normally am.  The print he used was just OK and the bright teal was a bit harsh given the soft blushes, ivories, and pale blues used in the rest of the collection.  Beautiful hair, makeup, and shoes and, overall, some really lovely pieces.

The Marchesa collection was beautiful, as it always is.  Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig, like Wang, were also inspired by India.  While it lent to some stunning embroidered elements, the collection was a bit too literal for my liking.  The draped tulle and chiffon, the colors, and the embellishments were all beautiful, but most pieces will have to be worn with reservation.  The use of gold leaf in the eye make-up was also a well-received effect. called Narciso Rodriguez's Spring 2013 collection "career defining."  I think that's a bit of an overstatement, but it was a strong line.  He showed some pieces that were extremely well done with his signature neckline cut and color play being used, like in the pieces shown above.  My only qualms with the collection are in the middle pieces that are comprised of floral prints that just seem dated and, quiet frankly, ugly.  I love his black and white and red pieces, though, and his simple hair and strappy shoes.

Jenny Packham presented a collection of admirable cocktail and eveningwear, which is something she really does best.  There was a subtle hint of 60s mod to many of the pieces, but done well so that they look modern and fresh, not vintage like at Michael Kors.  I also loved her color story of soft grays, lemon yellows, polka dots, and a vibrant orange.

This season, Monique Lhuillier incorporated some amazing prints into her collection.  She had a very graphic black and white print that I just loved.  Her use of it was also much appreciated, used in strong, tailored pieces.  Lhuillier has been designing more athletic pieces the past few season and this was no exception.  My only gripe with her Spring 2013 line was that the frothy tulle evening gowns, while stunning, didn't seem to go with the rest of the looks.  I also really disliked the partially slicked back hair and blue eyeshadow.  I think sleek, glossy straight locks and a strong cat/smokey eye would have been much better.

I also enjoyed many of the looks in the following collections: Jason Wu, Marc Jacobs, Carolina Herrera, Zac Posen, Kimberly Ovitz, Rachel Roy, Robert Rodriguez, Mandy Coon, Katie Gallagher, Brandon Sun, Alexander Wang, Belstaff, and Altuzarra.  Those collections can be seen at

Looking forward to seeing that London, Paris, and Milan fashion weeks bring!  I'll be reporting on my favorite collections from those cities, as well as some of the Spring trends (like short suits, racer cuts, and color).

Coco Birdie

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

EVERLANE: The Best T-Shirts

There's nothing like the perfect t-shirt...

I love a soft, comfy t-shirt, but they are surprisingly hard to find.  I recently heard about the company Everlane, which offers t-shirts and bags at amazing prices.  They use high-end quality cottons and rayons so their shirts are so soft and smooth.  By cutting out the middle man (retail stores), they are able to offer their shirts for way cheaper.  Think a $50 tee for $15.  You can really feel the quality in the shirts and the materials they use are the same that designers use.

I've purchased the classic tee and the Ryan pocket tee and they are both wonderful.  I'm super partial to the Ryan-- it is ridiculously soft and cut in a way that is comfy and slouchy, but still nice.  It is hard not to wear them every day.  They are cut roomy, so I bought my normal size and it fits nicely.  Loose across the stomach (post-baby LOVE), but hits where it is suppose to in the shoulders and arms.  I'm dying to try the long sleeve and tank in the Ryan collection as well.  The Ryan collection comes in a rayon, which is, like, one of the softest knits ever (second, in my opinion, to modal).  It says they need to be dry cleaned, but I think you could get away with just washing them on delicate.  Go ahead and wash them normally, but they are likely to pill quicker.

The Ryan pocket tee looks great partially tucked into skinny jeans, but I'm also planning on wearing it with bootcut pants, heels, a blazer, and edgier jewelry for a slightly dressed up look.  I'm also picturing it being great with a wool mini, slippers, and a crossbody bag for a daytime look. 

Left Outfit: Everlane Ryan Pocket Tee in Charcoal, Gold Statement Necklace (Mikkat Market),
Party Box Bag with Chains (Zara), Leather High Heeled Court Shoe (Zara), Blazer with Gold Buttons (Zara), Stovepipe Trousers in Wool Flannel in Black (JCrew).
Right Outfit: Classic Mini in Felted Wool Mini in Ivory (JCrew), Day Dreaming Flats, Iron Red/Black (Joie), Plumed Luster Bracelet (Anthropologie)Legacy Leather Penny Shoulder Purse, Carnelian (Coach), Everlane Ryan Pocket Tee in White

The classic tee is just that-- a classic and you can't go wrong.  The classic tee is made in a combed cotton, so it isn't scratchy like a regular 100% cotton tee (like Fruit of the Loom).  These are the t-shirts that ever closet needs.  They are basic, nicely made, and can be worn infinite ways.

Everlane also offers two really stylish bags that I'm coveting.  Their weekender is basic, chic, unisex, and practical.  The snap backpack is on trend and a great alternative to a large tote during the day or weekend outings.  Their men's collection is also nice and would be a good alternative if you wanted an oversized fit.

Check out {} for more information and products.

Coco Birdie

Friday, April 6, 2012

Maternity Dressing

I'm currently 6 months pregnant and find stylish outfits is becoming harder and harder (along with more simple tasks like sleeping and breathing!).  I didn't think it would be so difficult, but wow... not a lot of great (affordable) maternity clothing out there.

Some tips I've picked up along the way:

1.  Regular size clothing only works for so long.
Your belly will soon outgrow the rest of you, meaning that you either have clothing that fits everywhere but the bump, or fits the bump but is too big in the arms, shoulders, and hips.  Jerseys and other stretch materials will help make clothes last a bit longer in your closet, but sizing up isn't always a great option beyond a certain point.

2.  Comfort is key.
In the early months, you can still fit into your regular clothing, but the waist line is getting tighter and tighter.  You may also want to hide the first signs of a bump because it tends to look more like a beer belly than a beautiful baby.  For these first few months (and even now), I opted for skinny jeans or leggings with a looser top.  Skinny jeans and leggings tend to have stretch in them, which makes them more comfortable all day long.  A looser top will cover rigged pants closures or maternity panels, and accommodate the growing belly.  Layer on a jacket or scarf and wear your heels while you can.  I love these looks from Net-a-Porter, which exemplify stylish comfort.

As your belly gets bigger, so do your feet.  They expand not only from the weight gain, but also from your joints loosening up for labor.  Which means all those cute shoes in your closet might not be so comfortable.  You also need all the help you can get to maintain proper posture and balance, which means heels may be out as well.  I'm constantly on the hunt for cute flats and sandals with a good, cushioned foot bed.  Zara has some really lovely summer sandals and on trend metallic and pastel flats.  I could probably buy their entire collection of flats and sandals.  Target can also have some hit or miss shoes.

Left to right: Zara's Strappy Sandals, Jewel Vamp, Basic Sandal, Ballerina Metal Cap Toe, and Pointed Ballerinas with Bow.

3.  Shapeless garments won't do you any favors.
Just because you want to be comfortable, doesn't mean you should always opt for a-line dresses and flowy tops.  In the beginning, before you start to really show, these garments work pretty well.  After the bump pops, shapeless pieces just tend to make you look large, not pregnant.  This can be solved by a well place belt just below the bust line, or simply look for more figure hugging garments.  You'll be proud to show off that belly.  As you approach the end of the pregnancy, muumuus may look enticing, but just... no.  Don't go there.  At least not outside of the house.

Maternity line Isabella Oliver makes some really cut, bump hugging jersey dresses.
 Left to right: Ruched Tank Dress, The Urban Ruched Dress, Print Ruched Tank, and Ruched T Shirt Dress.

They're mighty expensive, but could be frequently worn to work or out on the weekends (meaning: they're worth the investment).  I love maternity dresses because they are chic, an easy outfit, and can be worn different ways depending on accessories.  If you like these and can sew, check out Megan Neilson's maternity patterns:

They are pretty easy to make (I bought jersey from Mood) and work well throughout the pregnancy.  I couldn't make it with out the ruched skirt and the wrap top.  I was wearing the ruched skirt at 3 months and it is still a go-to piece.  If you make the tops in the same fabric as the skirt, you can layer them for a dress-like look.

4.  Maternity clothing tends to be sized large.
I've pretty much bought a size down from my pre-maternity size across the board.  Sometimes even two sizes.  Doesn't make shopping online any easier, but don't be afraid to go down.  Old Navy definitely runs big, as does GAP and Target.

5.  Shop sales and flash sites.
It is hard to find cheap maternity clothes.  Clothes that you will literally only wear for a few months, tops.  Finding stylish, cheap maternity clothes is even harder.  Stores like Old Navy, GAP, and Target are great for basics (LOVE LOVE LOVE Old Navy's Smooth Panel Skinny Jeans), but for special pieces or trendier items, look to flash sites.  Gilt Group is the best for maternity clothing (plus they have kids clothing, toys, gear, and decor).  You'll find brands like Ingrid and Isabell, Japanese Weekend, NOM, and more.  Only downside is that returns are often for store credit instead of a full refund.  Pea in the Pod can have good sales, too.  If you find something that you think you'll be able to wear frequently for a few months, by all means, make the investment.

I'd love to hear any maternity dressing tips you may have.  Happy shopping!
Coco Birdie

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

How to Wear: Knee-Length Hems

Aside from white suits, another Spring trend is the dropping of hem lines.  While maxi lengths have been popular the past few seasons, this Spring is all about the knee-length hem.  The look exudes a bit more modesty and femininity than a mini skirt and is more universally flattering that a mid-calf length.  Best of all, the trend is easily adaptable to any woman's style.  In generally, you'll find knee-length skirts and dresses in either a pencil or a full silhouette.

From there, the your style options are endless...

Colorful, Minimal Neutrals, or Spring-Time Pastels:

Or you could select a more historical look in either Betty Draper Retro or Clara Bow Flapper:

These looks will be easy to achieve because retailers like Banana Republic and J. Crew are also jumping on this trend.  Both are offering knee-length looks in their Spring collections, which are soon to hit stores.

The trend is likely to remain popular for the rest of 2012, as many Pre-Fall collections are including knee-length pieces.  It is generally a popular length for fall and winter, so we're sure to see more of this length in the upcoming Fall collections.

If you're still unsure, one of the best places to look for trends is the red carpet.  Everyone wants to emulate their favorite celebrity and retailers often create one-off looks of red carpet pieces.  Here are some of the knee-length looks we've been seeing recently:

So for Spring, cover those knees and enjoy the variety of styles this trend offers!

Coco Birdie

Runway and retail images via
Red Carpet images via Red Carpet Fashion Awards

Monday, January 16, 2012

Erdem Pre-Fall 2012

Lately, some of my favorite collections have been produced by the line Erdem.  The Spring collection was filled with garments made in gorgeous pastel florals and sweet, feminine silhouettes.  Designer Erdem Moralioglu does an excellent job handling prints, generally florals of either the traditional or digital persuasion (as seen in the Fall 2011 collection).

This year's Pre-Fall collection is no exception (the above images is my favorite from the collection).  Erdem has taken a traditional floral print and spiced it up in a hot orange color.

He tones it down a bit with in incorporation of navy and pastel yellow and does beautiful things with lace.  The silhouettes are classic, modest, and lady-like, which is on trend for the Pre-Fall collections.  Overall, this was one of my favorite Pre-Fall collections and I greatly look forward to what he produces for Fall.


Other favorite Pre-Fall collections include: Alberta Ferretti, St. John, Monique Lhuillier, Chlo√©Giambattista Valli, and Gucci.  Fall collections will begin to be presented in February, so watch for posts of favorite Fall collections, too.

Coco Birdie

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Chanel Pre-Fall 2012

So its not even spring yet, but designers have recently been releasing images of their Pre-Fall collections.  One of my absolute favorites was Chanel.  Karl Lagerfeld takes the garments on a trip to India and the result is stunning.  Maybe not super-wearable, but super-pretty.  The craftsmanship that has gone into these pieces is amazing as well.  Chanel released a "behind the scenes" video on the making of some of the garments.  The amount of handwork and detail in the pieces makes them unique and special.

The collection includes dresses, coats, and separates inspired by traditional Indian attire.  The embroidery on the clothing is breath-taking, but the shoes, bags, and gloves are also noteworthy.  Even the hair and makeup-- a combination of hippy dreads and gothic smokey eyes-- is beautiful in it's own way.  Take a look...

You can watch the whole show on YouTube.  Chanel really went all out with the set-up and visuals.  Chanel never fails to present something amazing, and the Pre-Fall collection doesn't disappoint.

Coco Birdie