Basics Remix

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20130421-IMG_7715-EditThe weather in LA generally gives us nothing to complain about. While my Dad has been sending me pictures of end-of-April snow in Minnesota, we're already moving on to summer here. I love not having to worry about the weather dictating my day, but I'll admit I do yearn for moody layers when it's way too hot for them. This day was a little overcast, so in the midst of a brightly colored April wardrobe (as witnessed in most of my spring outfits thus far), I welcomed the opportunity to go back to my favorite neutral basics and take a needed break from bright. Sometimes it just takes a cloud or two to make black feel perfectly appropriate. So I threw my old Forever21 asymmetrical blazer (this thing has been worth its weight in gold since I got it three years ago) which is perfectly light for a less cool day over a new nubby knit tank by Margaret O'Leary which is both delightfully cozy and breezy at the same time. Paired with my trusty J Brand zipper skinnies and recently crowned staple Jeffrey Campbell cutout booties, this outfit was my ideal mix of polished and laid back.

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20130421-IMG_7955-EditMargaret O'Leary tank (c/o), Forever21 blazer, J Brand pants, Jeffrey Campbell boots, Valentino bag, Tom Ford sunglasses, Michael Kors watch, HRH Collection ring, Kate Spade earrings
Photography by Ian Sheppard

New Classic Fall

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These images from one of Shopbop's Fall lookbooks are the perfect hodge podge of all the things I love about this season: oversized sweaters, hot coffee to go, leather (mmm leather), and an overall "studious chic" style. It's fun when the classics are redelivered in a way that make us see them from a fresh angle, and get inspired in new ways. I'm beginning to think that every girl needs a pair of smarty pants glasses and some leather leggings (or the more affordable coated jeans).

Images: Shopbop

 

Wardrobe Refresher: All About Jeans

During a closet detox last week, I realized that my stack of denim was in need of an update - certain pairs just weren't fitting as well as they should, and what used to be my "fancy jeans" are now my Sunday morning jeans. As I searched for the next members of my jeans family, I got to thinking about what would make the perfect jean collection. No matter what your personal style gravitates towards, you can always fall back on a good pair of jeans. They're perfect for  everything, from walking the dog to swanky nights out.

What Stays, What Goes

While it's fun to watch our favorite pairs age over the years, it is important to stay on top of your jeans - make sure they fit, and don't wear out (in a bad way). Fading in the legs = good. Holes in the crotch = bad. I'll admit: I'm one of those people whose weight fluctuates within 3 jeans sizes from year to year. While I would normally say you should get rid of things that just don't fit you, jeans are sometimes the one exception to that rule. That is, if your size does change from time to time, and you have good quality jeans that are actually worth saving for a rainy day. In other words, ditch that pair you got for $20 at Old Navy 2 years ago and never really flattered you to begin with, but save the pair of 7's you only wore once during Week 3 of the South Beach Diet - they'll give you something to work towards. I suggest finding a nice hidden spot to store GOOD pairs of jeans that aren't your size right now, so they are out of plain view. But when your weight changes, for better or worse, you'll be glad you kept them.

These can go.
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A real keeper

The Perfect Collection

While we're reassessing our denim, I thought I'd take this time to share with you my idea of the perfect jeans collection. Of course, it would be nice if one pair served all purposes, but once you indulge in a couple more, you'll be surprised you ever lived without a few different choices.

The Go To Jean Of course, the Go To jean will be different for everyone, but it's the one you reach for the most. I recommend finding a medium to dark denim with a basic fade on the leg, which has a slimming effect and goes with everything from t-shirts to sequins. Whether you choose skinny or flare is based on your personal preference, but definitely make sure it's a flattering fit and sufficient length. Based on body type, here are my recommendations:

Curvy - Joe's, GAP Straight Hips - 7 For All Mankind Tall - Rock & Republic Petite - Hudson, Miss Me, Forever 21 All - True Religion, J Brand

The Farmers Market Jean This one is more important than you may realize. We all have those days in the summer when we need to throw something on and embark on a day of casual errands, and your regular jeans seem too dark and heavy. The Farmers Market jean is your uniform for all things laid back, or casually active. My personal favorite is the AG Stilt in 18 years aged (at Calypso, they're marked down from $255 to $140, AND you get 20% off your first order!). It's got the chill vibe of a boyfriend jean, only without the frumpiness. Since they have a slight crop, I like to wear them rolled up a bit, which makes them perfect for summer with your favorite pair of flats or gladiator sandals.

AG Stilt 18 Year, $255 ($141 at Calypso)

The GNO Jean Everyone needs a great pair of jeans for Girls Night Out when you're not in the mood for a dress or skirt. I recommend a dark pair of skinny jeans, preferably with the tiniest bit of flare at the bottom, so they don't bunch at the ankle, and elongate your leg when worn with heels. I love the True Religion Disco Julie, on which all of the hardware are Swarovski crystals. Yeah, they're a bit of a bank breaker, but you're giving your money to a good company. All True Religions are handmade in LA (with the exception of the kids' jeans), and have a magical fit that molds to your body without ever getting saggy or bunchy. Love!

True Religion Disco Julie, $297

The Pedicure Jean In the time of skinny jeans and jeggings, it's easy to forget that the boot cut or straight leg is still a good one to keep around. They're flattering with sneakers and heels, and come in handy when you have to roll up the leg for sufficient pedicure access. Rather than go back to your flares from 3 years ago, it's nice to update this pair for a more current and deliberate look. Have some fun with rips or embellishments!

"A" Pocket in Destroyed Beverly Glen by 7 For All Mankind, $198

The Statement Jean This jean may not be for everyone, but every now and then, my attention is captured by a frivolous and fabulous pair of jeans. It's fun to own at least one pair that makes a statement, whether you're getting on a plane, or dancing on a table.

The Crazy B!@#H by Rock & Republic, $248

I hope this inspired you go through your jeans collection and make some edits. Any you don't want to keep, but can't seem to get rid of? Don't forget you can always bring out the scissors and turn them into your go-to shabby cut offs!