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


Five Hooded Leather Jackets To Choose From

We all love Mike & Chris, but we all cannot afford Mike & Chris.  This is a list of the coveted hooded leather jacket that everyone wants, but can usually not afford (or find!) The list falls from most affordable to most expensive.  The last jacket is a fair chunk of change, but hey, it’s still about $200 less than what you must pay for M&S (though sadly, there is no lambskin this way!)

Why a hooded leather jacket? It’s always advisable to have a head-warming instrument in your wardrobe, and hooded leather jackets seem to be the new “want it now” craze.  You can layer the leather under a boxier blazer and still utilize the hood (as well as the extra warmth!), and will always have your head kept dry under waterproof leather. Men and women can both work the hooded leather jacket, just be sure not go buy something too loose – a snug fit is best for jackets like these.

From top to bottom: O.X.S. leather outerwear (Yoox; $260), Lucky Brand Suki’s leather jacket (Bloomingdales; $328), Monarchy collection leather jacket (eModa; $329), Theory Junda hooded leather jacket (Bloomingdales; $525/sale), Los Feliz leather hoodie (Shopbop; $715)


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)

Fedoras Are The New Trucker Hats

A friend of mine brought it up, and while at first I mentally fought the comparison; it suddenly dawned on me: he was right.

Celebrities that have a negative track record of being able to competently style themselves are the main culprit here. How many times have you seen Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, Ashlee Simpson or Lindsay Lohan sporting a token fedora without the slightest clue of how to actually pull it off…it happens all the damn time.

Men: a fedora does not automatically make you a well put together gentleman (or Brad Pitt); in one fell swoop it can do the complete opposite! If you’re shaky style ground. A friendly side note: polo shirts and fedoras never go well together (unless this is the look you’re going for).

Ladies: Please think twice before jumping the bandwagon on this trend. Just because you own a waistcoat and aren’t afraid to wear it does not give you free license to go on a fedora bonanza. Sure, the menswear trend is still a burning ball of hotness; but know when the pieces of the clothing and accessory puzzles fit together and when they don’t (this usually occurs when you’re only buying the hat because “ohmygawd Paris Hilton has one” or because you shop solely at Urban Outfitters).

Some things to consider before you dive into the great wide and ever expanding world of fedoras:

  • Are you wearing it only because some “cool” person has one?
  • Does your hat fit your head?
  • Does wearing a fedora clash with the rest of your style?
  • Is the fabric of the hat complimentary to the rest of your outfit?

A few things to keep in mind when shopping:

  • If you aren’t sure of the look or fit, take an honest shopping buddy with you to help.
  • Get sized at a proper hat store (Vancoverites, think Edie’s Hats in Vancouver on Granville Island)

Happy trails, hat fiends.

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)

An Attractive Take On The Gladiator Shoe For Fall
September 1, 2008, 3:40 pm
Filed under: 2008, Footwear, Women's Fashion | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

To me, the words “gladiator” and “attractive” are seldomly used in conjunction with each other; but Topshop has come up with a buckled leather shoe with just enough heel to not look too summer-like and enough buckles to keep your interest.

Oddly named the “Jake” Multi strap shoe, this is one heel you will be able to bear out the day with since it’s only an inch and a half high.  Just think…these shoes with some amethyst tights? You’re in business instantly.

“Jake” heel; £55.00 at Topshop

Side Button Ankle Boots Take Over

With all the minimalism being loved up this Fall, it’s nice to show a little pizazz on your footwear.

These boots would look slick with almost any Fall ensemble from skinny slacks to pencil skirts and tights; these boots will carry you through the cold and damp without fail.

Without a doubt, the best bet is the grey Madison boot at a give-away price of $28.  The only flat pair I came across today was courtesy of Repetto; a French design house that does not spare on the quality (but does mean you’re going to pay!)

For Vancouverites; we have a B|2 (Brown’s) Shoes and Payless Shoes; both on Robson Street.  Gravity Pope on 4th will likely stock Repetto, and of course there is an Urban Outfitters on Granville.  Potentially you can find every pair below right in the city and keep things local.

Left to right: Boot by Mimosa (found at Brown’s; $398), Lou bootie by Seychelles (found at Urban Outfitters; $98), Madison boot at Payless; $28, Apple side button boot (Topshop; £75.00), Garnier boot by Repetto (Gravity Pope; $360)