Spats Are An Emerging Footwear Trend For 2009

Yet another trend taken from the 18th century is set to gain momentum in 2009; this being spats.  The beauty of the spat is the leather can be attached to any current ankle boot or pump you already have, which instantly makes it into a shiny new piece of footwear with an entirely different look.

I’m not too fond of the gladiator style “Posso the Spat” look; many of these are far too Roman-esque for my tastes and not at all elegant.  The product shots below are from Hi Bandit; much more military like and traditional looking.

For those still wondering WTH is up with spats, a number of designers have been incorporating the spat concept into their footwear designs already, one being Gwen Stefani with her L.A.M.B. “Rosebury” ankle boot.  In reality, any side ankle boot has taken influence from the original spat design.

Try something new…you’ll likely be one of the only people on the block brave enough to pull these off!

Spats Are An Emerging Footwear Trend For 2009


Shoot Me For Saying This, But I’m A Little Jealous Of Paula Abdul’s Jacket
December 12, 2008, 11:14 am
Filed under: 2008, Love This | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

I ordinarily would rather take a final ride in a pine box than state that I am envious of a certain American Idol judge’s wardrobe, but hey, it’s happened with the recent wearing of her red and navy band style jacket she wore to a recent taping of the Letterman show.

Band jackets are absolutely nothing new (as the Beatles’ Sergeant Pepper stint and Patrick Wolf have taught us), yet they have definitely started to regain marginal popularity for those brave enough to wear them.  I can assure you, wearing a jacket like this will ensure you are a walking conversation starter; I own an authentic band jacket from the 1940s and I always have strangers approaching me to ask about the jacket.

Balmain’s SS09 collection has some delectable band jacket interpretations that seem to be fairly close to the original mark; though you will be paying for the pleasure to wear them.  Look in your local vintage shops for authentic and more affordable band jackets.  You may have to take them to a tailor or do the job yourself (especially if they were sewn in the 80s!), but tailors are affordable.

I encourage you to experiment; there’s no such thing as a band geek in 2008.


Holy Florals, Batman!

It’s official, old lady floral prints are back in action.  Be to be very careful as to how you wear this trend; keep your cuts modern and fitted and avoid extra large patterns that will make you look like a china vase.  Keep things colorful yet not contrasting; this is one look that you can’t have competing patterns worn at once!

Holy Florals, Batman!

From left to right: Floral tulip skirt ($80; Topshop), Contrast Floral satin top ($15; Forever 21), Mayle Mitsuko top ($425; La Garçonne), Diane von Furstenberg  silk scarf ($116; Bloomingdale’s)


For a more subtle additions if you aren’t into having a bold statement on an entire piece, try accessory effects instead.  Floral print wallets, jewelry, hair accessories and even sunglasses are being designed with you in mind. These will not be as clearly trendy as a whole piece, but it will require substantially less of a daring mental state.

Holy Florals, Batman!

From left to right: Hobo International ‘Martine’ double frame ($128; Nordstrom), Floral Etched bangle ($4; Charlotte Russe), Floral brooch ($9; Spiegel), Understated Blooms hat ($38; Anthropologie)

Topshop Gives Good Sequin
November 25, 2008, 3:23 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Sequins are fast becoming the most sought after embellishment in the Winter ’08 fashionista’s hot list, and it can be difficult to locate affordable pieces that are made well (those damn sequin scales fall off so easily if you cheap out!).  All over sequin styles are a great way to jazz up your evening wear, and the five pieces below are my most favorite out of the new designs released.

Topshop has always been synonymous as the go-to shop for hot trends of decent quality, and the pieces below prove that they do indeed give good sequin.

Topshop Gives Good Sequin

From left to right: Gold sequin hotpant ($60), Gold harlequin sequin knickers ($60), Harlequin sequin miniskirt ($125), Bow font dress ($170), High waisted sequin hotpant ($60)

Saturated With Stripes This Fall


Keep it non-traditional for the most part.  Definitely avoid striped tights that make you look like a lost goth, and horrible pseudo-punk color combinations such as black and magenta.  Keep striped socks full of contrast and saturated with the colors of the season, and try purses of mixed material (such as the Topshop leather and suede shoulder bag seen below).

From left to right: Metallic and suede striped purse($50; Topshop), Portolano striped cashmere gloves ($38; Bluefly), Rugby stripe socks ($8; Urban Outfitters), Stripe ladderweave scarf ($30; Topshop), Multicolor stripe bag ($188; Luckybrand)



The amount of impact your stripes have on the world is entirely up to you;  block stripes are definitely not required to make a lasting impression.  If you’re feeling subtle, try a blouse or slack with a light striping.  Remember; if you keep black out of the picture, the stripes will automatically become softer to look at.  If you’re going for the less is more approach, multi colored stripes like the Topshop taffeta dress are styles to keep in mind.

From left to right: Taffeta stripe dress($100; Topshop), Patty striped cardie ($20; Forever 21), Bow front stripe shirt ($60; Topshop), Nanette Lepore cropped trouser($107/sale; Bluefly)



Flats are usually the way to go, unless you’re going for the circus look.  Stripes on shoes are better left to a more demure flat style, versus an aggressive and ostentatious heel.  Layer these heels with a tight or tall sock, and you’re off to the races.

From left to right: Kate Spade “Isla” flats ($105; Bluefly), Loeffler Randall tri colour satin flats ($150/sale; Footcandy), Giuseppe Zanotti peep toe flats ($440; Bluefly)

Harem Pants? Really?
October 3, 2008, 5:28 pm
Filed under: 2008, Trending, Women's Fashion | Tags: , , , , , ,

 Though harem pants have caught on like wildfire in Europe (particularly Spain I hear), I really can’t see this one taking off in North America (at least off the catwalks).

Harem pants (or Hammer pants for those who remember the M.C.) tend to do an ace job hiding historic trouble spots for women (the thighs and butt), though to what end? I have yet to see this look pulled off on the street even in European style blogs.  Perhaps I haven’t been looking hard enough; though I have a hunch this one is just not meant to be.

My mind remains open, though.  I would have to say there would be a requirement of height for this trend; seeing even a stick thin petite woman wear harem pants would be entirely unflattering.  We’ll see how the Comme des Garçons for H&M versions fare when that line is released next November.

The pants to the right are from Maje at Net-A-Porter ($165)

A Tasteful Fringe For Fall 2008

I am by no means a huge fan of fringe, but it can be done properly. As with most trends, excess is a path for visual disasters. Let’s explore the world of the fringe trend!

The Good Fringe

The concept of good fringe is something that is more of a sprinkling versus domination. Through fashion spreads have attempted to tell us that massive amounts of fringe is what we need to shake things up; this is not advisable.

T-shirts with fringe on the front (as seen below) are meant as more of a layering tool versus a stand alone piece. Having the texture of the fringe will add depth to what you are wearing, but you don’t want it to be your primary focus when people see you.

I’m generally not a fan of the suede fringe boots popping up (they look far too hippie-like for my taste); but there are a few less offensive leather designs I’ve seen. They typically rely more on the style of the boot, than the amoung of fringe.

Scarves typically have some sort of fringing, so we expect that from neck warming. The boots aren’t dominted by the fringe; it’s set on the side for more of a topping than an attraction. As for the tank and tee, the depth previously discussed is given, and a little bit of movement is there as well. These work for their complimentary and blending fringe shades; don’t buy something with contrasting colors that will look garish.

The Botkier and Tory Birch bags play by the same design rules as the Steve Madden boots; and it fits the shapes of the bags and the colors of the leather well. I normally do not advocate fringe earrings (as they are usually made from beads), but these are tiny chains; so the design works well. Lastly, the Gap ballet flats were a breath of fresh air in the mire that was fringed shoes. These berry colored ones work splendidly for Fall, and are comfortable and affordable to boot.

From left to right: Ombré fringe scarf (Topshop; $50), Steve Madden Innka boot (Endless; $179), Tiered racerback top (Topshop; $44), Asymmetrical fringe t-shirt (Topshop; $50), Botkier hobo (Kitson; $675), Fringe earrings by Dannijo (Vivre; $275), GAP fringe ballet flats (Gap; $25), Fringe bag by Tory Birch (Footcandy; $465),


The Bad Fringe

Sadly, a lot of bad fringe styling has been rearing its overdone head lately. Think moccasin type fringe boots; unless you’re in you’re an actor in the local theater production of “Pocahontas”. Unless you’re in the forest living off the land, there’s no real need to intensely fringed pieces like this. These types of fringe have a very overpowering look, and really take the trend too far. Remember, excess is not something to strive for with this trend.

As for what we have below, these are the things I would suggest you avoid. Firstly, yes, Louboutins are on the do-not-wear list (these Tina boots are just far too much of a good thing). Then we have a traditional beaded fringe necklace that really wouldn’t be so bad if it was all on color and not echoing its own battle cry. Moccasins are a given; and fringe purses run along the same “forest dweller” rule. As for the leather jacket, I sincerely doubt anyone wants to spend nearly $300 to look like a biker from 1984.

From left to right: Christian Louboutin For Ever Tina boots ($1,575), Morningstar fringe necklace ($25), Minnetonka moccasin ($86), Suede fringe hobo ($78), Leather biker jacket (Topshop; $240), Fringe earrings by Guess ($25), Zanzibar earrings by Dori Csengeri ($875), Northport moccasin flat ($75)