Many people associate sneakers with the gym or uber-casual clothing, but I’m here to tell you that you can really elevate your sneaker look. A few years ago, I spotted many stylish sneaker looks on women in Stockholm and Copenhagen. With the increasing popularity of sneakers here in the States, I even started a whole Pinterest board last fall called Sneaker Chic.
The key to looking pulled together is pairing them with an outfit with clean lines and in predominantly solid neutrals. Slip-on styles appear a bit dressier than lace-up options. And yes, you can even wear them with skirts and dresses if you’ve got the formula correct.
With fall merchandise now arriving in the stores, I’ve noticed many pairs of bejeweled sneakers on the shelves. Since I’ve often written about how blingy shoes and bags definitely count as jewelry in an outfit, I thought I’d give you some ideas of how to incorporate this trend into your wardrobe. And of course, both of these outfits I’m going to show you can easily be worn with a simpler, non-jeweled pair of sneakers as well.
First of all, here’s a sampling of what I’ve seen coming in at a variety of price points. Definitely jewelry for your feet, right?!
Now that you’ve got an idea of what’s out there, I first want to show you how to pair them with pants. I’d choose a slim (but not too skinny) pant that hits a couple inches above the ankle. J.Crew has a nice option in stretch black wool. This is a weight that’s suitable most of the year here in California. (note: Wear the sneakers either bare-foot or with peds — you don’t want socks showing, or it’ll wreck the look.)
This would look great with a long vest, or as some retailers are calling them, “sleeveless coats.” I think the cut and neutral color of this one by Alexander Wang is hot. If this isn’t your color, there are many other options out there. (I just saw a couple at Zara last week.) Even a cool blazer would work if you prefer sleeves.
If it’s still warm, then you can easily wear this with a black tank. If it’s a bit cooler, or you’d like to make it more work-appropriate, then wearing it with a simple knit, such as this one from Vince, is a nice option.
Now that you’ve got this base of solid colors, then it’s time to add some jewelry (My favorite part!). But I don’t want it to be too complicated or distracting, as then it’ll detract from the sneakers. I saw these silver egg necklaces by Sophie Buhai online, and I’m sort of obsessed with them. They come in two lengths, and I think the longer one would be ideal with the long vest.
I like the idea of a menswear-inspired watch to go with the vest. Shinola (made in the USA!) has a classic design called the Runwell.
The finishing touch is a sleek clutch by Alexander Wang. I like the touch of grey to add some dimension to the outfit and resonate with the crystals on the sneakers. It makes everything not so matchy-matchy.
So now let’s take it a different direction — how to wear sneakers with a dress. Again, I’m going to say keep it simple and clean with the outfit. This will make you look modern and sophisticated. For the dress, I chose this Rag & Bone ribbed stretch-wool design.
You have options for necklaces. You can either go with a shorter necklace with some punch, or a longer silhouette. I opted again for a longer style, this one by Erin Considine, as I like how it elongates the visual line and gives a little texture to the ensemble. I also like how the gold warms everything up.
These Amber Sceats earrings are a homage to the Dior originals, which do in fact appear to be coming a classic. (Who knew?) They are meant to be worn with the larger ball behind the ear.
The result of all these pieces put together is a sophisticated, urban woman-on-the-go. Is this your personal style?
If you could see yourself creating some sneaker ensembles, I encourage you to go play in your closet a bit and see what you can come up with. Use these ideas, and the looks on my Sneaker Chic board as inspiration, and then see how you can adapt it to your own style.
Keep your budget in mind, and remember the cost-per-wear principal. If it’s something you’ll wear a ton, then the cost-per-wear will go down and it’ll be a better investment. If it’s an item that will be worn infrequently, then see if you can find a less expensive version that will give you the same look.
And if your are so NOT a sneaker gal and you’d rather wear heels, then go for it! As with any fashion trend, it’s all about staying true to you!
I have been looking for a cool graphic t-shirt for at least a couple years. I have so many outfits I want to style it with! But I have such specific parameters in my head, that I haven’t been able to find what I’m looking for…I prefer a v-neck, scoop or tank (none of those tight, high crew-necks), I want it to be in MY size (not that of a pre-teen), I like neutrals, and puh-leese, it’s got to have a message that I support. Given that my pursuit has been fruitless, I decided to take matters into my own hands. Along with my blog-master, Jeff, and the website Teespring.com, we’ve come up with these t-shirts and tank, which in my mind, say it all. I purposely chose the distressed, industrial font in juxtaposition with the message.
Yes, this is currently for sale for the next ten days (Yay!), and there are five different options of brand/colors (all in the white/black/grey family). Check them out! I, personally, am ordering both a tank and a scoop, and I want to share with you how I’m going to style them.
First, let’s go with the weekend casual look, for which I’ll select the tank. For this, I want a pair of lightly distressed boyfriend jeans and a military jacket. I think the ideal jacket is by Current/Elliot. I bought one a while back, and it’s become a true staple in my wardrobe. Clearly, it has staying power, as they offer a similar design each season. This goes to show that it’s more than a trend. I think the shorter sleeves are perfect for changeable weather, which you definitely find in San Francisco.
For the distressed boyfriend jean, I don’t want anything too sloppy, but more of a relaxed, tapered leg. This pair by Kut from the Kloth seems just right, paired with the oversized jacket. You want to balance out an oversized top with a narrower bottom.
Given that this is a casual chic look, sneakers are the preferred shoe. Vince has come up with a new classic with their slip-on perforated style. (Reminiscent of the Van’s I used to wear in college!)
Yes, I must admit that I own these as well. Sometimes I wear them barefoot, but if it’s a little chillier out, then I prefer to wear a ped with them. I particularly like these by Hue. They have a little non-slip thing at the back, and as soon as I wear them for about 10 minutes, and my feet heat up, they stay in place all day.
I definitely want a hands-free bag while I’m out for the day, and this cross-body by Alexander Wang is very hot. The double slinky chain strap and soft, washed leather totally fit the vibe of the outfit.
Keeping with the hassle-free look, I’m opting for a short, mixed metal necklace by Rachel Zoe.
Tai has become a household name with their bohemian bracelets, and this layered look is a perfect example of why.
Stacked with a watch by Shinola (go made in the USA!), I think it’s a great combination.
To top off the look, just a little sparkle (of course!) in the ears with these warm/cool mix earrings by Rebecca Minkoff.
So now on to a more refined look, using either the v-neck, or the scoop, depending on your personal style.
This ensemble will take you out on a date (he should know how you feel about bling!) or meeting your friends for margaritas and guac. To step it up, I’m pairing the tee with this Alice + Oliva blazer, which features a very inspired design in back.
A skinny, darker wash pair of jeans is definitely in order for this look, and I am a huge fan of AG Prima jeans. (Many of my clients who swear they will never wear jeans are addicted to these!) They come in various washes, and are beyond soft.
A heeled bootie elevates everything, and a recent client will testify that these Paul Green booties were super-comfy first wear out, for the whole day. (Thanks to Elizabeth for road-testing them!)
I want a mixed-neutral bag that’s a bit more uptown for this outfit. Diane von Furstenburg has just the right one. It can be worn over the shoulder, or carried as a clutch, with the strap tucked inside.
Statment earrings are a must. Loving these by Dannijo for a Navajo meets fashionista edge.
In lieu of bracelets, I’m going for a multi-ring look. For a bold punch that’s in harmony with the earrings, I like this ring by House of Harlow.
The awards season officially opens this Sunday, with the Golden Globes. For me, the Red Carpet is usually more of a draw than the actual show (but shhh…don’t tell the actors!), as I sit perched on my couch with my cocktail and notebook in hand, awaiting the elegant gowns and jewels…or the ensembles worthy of a fashion citation. But it’s not only the actual jewelry that is sparkling, but also the evening bags and shoes. In my book, they count as a whole other category of jewelry. Don’t you agree?
With that in mind, I went on a virtual shopping spree to find some bejeweled and sparkling bags that are definitely worthy of the Red Carpet. Some are a major investment, while others are not. Here they are, in no particular order. (And if you’re interested in finding out more, then just click on the blue links for each one.)
When you find yourself getting ready for a fancy night out, don’t forget that your bag is an important part of your outfit. I encourage my clients to make sure they have a few great selections in their closet, so that they are never left with having to ask their husband or significant other to carry their phone and lipstick in their sport coat.
Speaking of which, definitely think about what you need with you on a night out, as that will determine the size bag you need. For instance, if you need an epi-pen with you at all times, make sure to have that with you when you shop, so you can make sure it fits in your evening bag. And also consider if there are any prongs or other things that may catch the delicate fabric of your outfit. You wouldn’t want that to happen!
Start with choosing a a bag or two in versatile neutrals (which may include a metallic) that will mix and match with your wardrobe. It’s an investment that many don’t consider when building their wardrobe, but it’s an important one. Many people just leave their bag as an afterthought, which I don’t recommend.
I, myself, recently found a great, simple black one on clearance during the holiday sales. It’s patent (which is now a year-round material), with a neutral metal long strap, so I can go hands-free. Yes, it still cost a pretty penny, but I then came home and got rid of all my old “prom-y” looking ones. I know I’ll get great cost-per-wear with this one, and I feel much more confident having a stylish choice in my closet, instead of having to weed through bags I don’t particularly love, while I’m trying to get out the door. In fact, I’ve already used it three times since purchasing it in December. Not bad, right?
Hope this article got you thinking about the evening bags in your own closet, and if you watch The Golden Globes, enjoy the fashion show!
Yep, you read that right…track pants. And I’m not referring tothe version we wore in the 80’s, with wide legs in shiny polyester and contrasting stripes down the side. Instead, I’m talking about a much more refined version, which has taken the leap from the gym to the street. With their relaxed shape, often with an elastic or drawstring waist and fitted ankles, they are becoming a definite staple in many people’s closets (including mine!), and I’m here to show you how to make it work for you, whether your style is more casual and urban, or more sophisticated and uptown. There are countless versions of track pants out there, from Trouve to Eileen Fisher. For the sake of this post, I’ve selected a lovely silk charmeuse pair from T by Alexander Wang. (And don’t forget, if something in this article piques your curiosity, all the links are right there for you to click on.)
First lets take this look a bit edgy. First, paring the pants with a fun, graphic sweater by Joie sets the tone that this person likes to have fun and be a little bit quirky.
This look definitely calls for a sneaker, and I think this interpretation of the slip-on variety by DV by Dolce Vita is perfect.
Now, for the bling. Let’s start with the ears. I’m loving the ear climber trend (Click here if you missed my article about this.) and think this mis-matched pair by Luv AJ is awesome.
I’d forego a necklace with this ensemble, since the graphic design in the sweater is statement enough. I would add at least a couple bracelets, though. These two would be a nice stack, and then you can even add more from your own jewelry box. The first is by Vita Fede, and the chunky chain is from Marc by Marc Jacobs.
Sticking with the black, grey and silver theme, I think this ring by Lauren Wolf is a great choice. Don’t you love the pattern in the rutialted quartz?
But of course, we don’t want to be completely in neutrals, right? So throw on a chic cross body in your color of choice! Here’s an example by Rag & Bone that would definitely add some umph to the ensemble.
I think you’ve now gotten the gist of this look. And remember, if you are drawn to this look, but you don’t think it’s quite your personal style, it’s easy to adapt it for your own personality. Not a fan of the graphic sweater? Then opt for a solid one. Really not into asymmetry on your earlobes? Then wear a pair of earrings that you like. Make sense?
Ok, so now for a more polished look, using the same pair of pants. For this version, I started with a sleeveless silk blouse by Theory. I like that it’s a bit fitted around the waist, which will give a nice shape when paired with the pants.
Most of my clients have found a fabulous leather jacket to incorporate into their wardrobe. If you think all leather jackets are “biker” with lots of hardware, then you need to hit the stores and see the wide range of options there are out there (including many faux-leather jackets). Vince makes some of my favorite styles, always with butter-soft leather and sleek styling. (And they just added sizes XXS and XL to their size run–yea!) True, they are an investment, but remember my whole cost-per-wear philosophy. If you pay a lot of money for something that you use ALL the time, then the cost-per-wear is much smaller than if you invest a lot in an item that you only wear once or twice. (Remember that black-tie dress hanging in the back of your closet from 10 years ago that you’ve only worn once?! And how much did it cost? Just sayin’…)
Selecting a higher heel shoe elevates this whole look (no pun intended), and I like this open-toe sling bootie by Vince Camuto. It’s quite lovely, and the cut would elongate the leg. Yes, choosing an open shoe for fall definitely shows that I live in California! If you live in a region that actually has weather (Rain? I forgot what that is!), then a closed toe bootie or pump would be just fine as well.
For jewelry, I started with finding the perfect necklace, and I found it in this crystal montage by Lulu Frost. It’s a little bit vintage, a little bit rocker, has some color and sparkle, and I think it would fill in the neckline of the blouse quite fabulously!
Keeping with the angular lines in the necklace, I chose this pair of earrings by Campbell for a complimentary look.
Here’s how they look on the ear.
Next, it was a toss-up for bracelets and/or rings. I’m thinking that I’d do one or the other, but if your style is “more is more,” then you may just opt for both. They carry the same angular design motif, creating harmony in line and design. The bracelet is from Pamela Love, and Michael Kors designed the ring.
I like the idea of adding a bag that picks up the color in the necklace, and this one by Time’s Arrow is very chic.
So there you have it…track pants dressed up and down, yet both most definitely stylish. So tell me, can you see yourself trying out this silhouette? I’d love to hear from you.
Summer is here, and it’s time to travel! One of my clients is taking a fantabulous trip with her two young boys. The itinerary includes Paris, London, Italy and the south of France. (Who me? Green with envy?!) While she’s not limiting herself to a carry-on bag, we also don’t want to have a monster-sized bag that she has to lug around from place to place. So the key is to have outfits that will definitely do double or even triple duty. This striped maxi dress by Vince is a great starting point.
Now I know many of you might be saying, “But, Amy,…don’t you know that horizontal stripes are universally unflattering?!” I hear ya, but I’m going to call you on it. This is an old rule (like not wearing white after Labor Day), and it’s not always true. I’ve been pleasantly surprised with many striped outfits over the years that look totally hot. And remember, the outfit will be broken up with other items and accessories, so that is also a big contributing factor.
For the first look, I’m going for a, “Come on boys! We’re going to spend the whole day wandering the streets of Rome — from savoring gelatos at the Fountain of Trevi to visiting the Sistine Chapel.” Translation fashion-wise: very comfortable shoes, layers, and fun jewelry. I always advise my clients to travel with costume jewelry. No need to tempt a pick-pocket, right?! This cargo vest by Velvet is the perfect day look for over the dress. (The pockets are an added bonus for keeping track of tickets, etc.)
For the sake of comfort and safety, a cross body bag is a must. Adding this one by Marc Jacobs in a bright red-orange hue definitely adds some punch to the outfit.
I definitely prefer when things are not all matchy-matchy. And I hate to say that for this trip, an actual comfort shoe is in order. Now this doesn’t have to mean you have to look like an unstylish tourist — I promise that there are some cute, hip alternatives out there, such as these metallic sandals by Ecco.
These double teardrop earrings and an organic slim cuff finish off the look. This bracelet would also stack very easily with others that might be in the suitcase…or acquired at a street market. (Yes…I’m dreaming of what I’d be doing there!)
Now for the stint in Paris, I know that she is meeting up with some other moms for a girl’s night out, Parisian style. Oo la la! So she much look tres chic, or I’ll be in trouble! So same dress, but let’s go a little more high style. First up, ditch the vest and don this white silk jacket by Amanda Uprichard.
Then leave the flats in the room (with the kids and the babysitter) and strap on these heels by Sol Sana. One reason I like them for travel is that they have a very wide heel base, making it much easier to walk on cobblestones, especially after a few glasses of champagne! The wide straps also give your foot a lot of support, holding you in as you meander to the next stop for the evening.
For a bag, I think a wristlet is the perfect solution, as it is safer having it around your wrist (as opposed to just a clutch), and it can double as your wallet for the rest of the trip, tucked inside the cross-body bag. And you know I certainly don’t want a boring one, so this gold version by Halogen adds some nice shine to the outfit.
Paris is certainly one of the global headquarters of fashion, so I’ve got to make sure she blends in with the locals. (I told her if she gets asked for directions, then I did my job well.) These reversible stud earrings give some edgy attitude to the outfit. Might be fun to wear one with the gold side showing and one with with sparkles up front for an unexpected twist.
To continue this edgier look, I think it’s great fun to bring a set of multi-finger rings, along with a stand-alone ring to mix and match for different looks. Again, advising against bringing fine jewelry while traveling, this affordable ring set by Luv Aj and open design ring by Campbell are cool without the major price tags. These rings will also go great with her more casual looks, and they can be worn in different configurations.
Since Paris is one of THE best places in the world to find amazing costume jewelry, I hope that my client has some time for a little shopping as well. Can’t wait to hear all about her adventures! And don’t forget, if something in this article piques your interest, just click on the blue links for more info. Cheers!
I was so happy to hear how much you liked my first installment of Accessorize Me, and I appreciate all the comments! So here we are with our second article. I did get quite a few inquiries about the different items in the last post regarding how much they cost and where to purchase them. Please know that each and every item has a link directly to the product, so if you’re interested in knowing more about a particular piece, just click on the highlighted link and it’ll take you right there. Easy-peezy.
One of my clients received a generous gift card for her birthday, and she decided to purchase something special that she normally wouldn’t have bought for herself — this beautiful Vince suede oversized top.
In order to make her purchase make sense, as it was certainly an investment, we had to make sure she could wear it a variety of ways. The rule is that the more you wear something, the lower the cost-per-wear will be. The first look we went for was one with a very casual, yet pulled-together beachy vibe. We started with a pair of Kut from the Kloth “Mia” skinny jeans. (side note: This is a great brand and cut for a curvy figure.)
Now comes the really fun part, selecting the right accessories to really express her casual, cool California style. The centerpiece is this fab necklace from Anthropologie. It’s definitely a statement in its scale, and the bold horn combined with the cotton cord creates a very bohemian, organic look.
Adding this mixed metal ring and rustic gold hoops complement the neutral tones in the rest of the outfit. I really enjoy mixing metals, and I find it can really add some dimension to an outfit.
But now how to step it up? She wanted to wear the same top to an upcoming outdoor cocktail party at a friend’s house, looking sleek and sophisticated. First step was to find a white pencil skirt. When wearing a fuller cut on top, balancing it out with a slimmer silhouette on the bottom works well. I also made sure the skirt was longer than the length of the top, giving the two pieces an uneven proportion, which is always more flattering than a half-half proportion.
Another thing I’m looking forward to, aside from creating more combinations for her for this season, is also transitioning this top into fall. It’s really something that can be worn 9 months of the year here in the Bay Area, which will continue to make the cost-per-wear go down. I would love to hear your thoughts on these ensembles!
About ready to begin my 16th year as a full-time image consultant and wardrobe stylist, a big part of my job is accessorizing my clients from head-to-toe. Jewelry, is of course, a HUGE part of creating the whole “look.” I’m starting this new series, Accessorize Me, to demonstrate how to create different looks with the same outfit, just by switching up your accessories. Just as I do with myself and my clients, there’s a total range of price points — I love mixing high and low to create the look I’m going for. I hope you enjoy it, and I look forward to all comments!
First up is this cool crepe jersey dress by Hemut Lang that I recently purchased for a client. She is a hard-working author, mom, and wife, so this dress has got to take her out during the day or to a cocktail party with her husband.
First, let’s take it a little more casual, yet still with an urban edge. For this look, I opted for a long, statement necklace by Alexis Bittar. I just love the organic nature of the pendant with the clear lucite drop. In addition, the asymmetry of the pendant echoes the asymmetry of the dress. This necklace would work with a variety of outfits, for sure!
Complementing the look with a cool stack ring, also by Alexis Bittar, and a simple, yet lovely pair of hammered silver hoops by Argento Vivo makes the right statement. The pave crystals in the ring pair well with the pave detail in the necklace, without being to “matchy matchy.”
Now taking it more uptown, I went with a gold theme. This client is a mix of warm and cool coloring, so she’s lucky to be able to wear both metal colors. (If you’re unsure what metals are best on you, click here for my article on selecting the right tone.)
While this is only two looks for this dress, I think we’re off to a great start. I’m sure we’ll even bring it down to total casual with flat sandals, a denim jacket, some more bohemian jewelry, and perhaps a simple cross-body bag. This $290 dollar dress is going to become a major work-horse this season!