Dior-Inspired

If I ever get a red carpet moment, I want it to be in Dior.

Okay, totally not realistic. I don’t anticipate needing a Dior dress anytime soon, but I am obsessed with the iconic fashion house of Dior. There is something about Dior that is always ladylike, always feminine, always dramatic. The wasp waists, the crossover tops and jackets, the peplum and the full skirt create a drastic hourglass shape, which is my favorite womanly silhouette.

Unfortunately, the Dior look is hard to come by on a budget. I have a hard time finding the dramatic silhouettes that Dior favors. (A crinoline works wonders to fluff out a lackluster full skirt, though.) I think it would also be a bit odd on a Wednesday to walk down the street in runway Dior. (Especially the see-through button-downs Dior showed in the last couture collection!) So how to incorporate Dior flare into everyday clothing on a budget?

Since I am ever-vigilant, I searched high and low to find a selection of Dior-ified dresses and outfits. I so hope the obi belt comes back, as it is the perfect waist cincher! The floral motifs in the outfits echo Dior’s embroidered florals in the couture collection, as well as past collections that have been flower-based.

Dior-Inspired Outfits

The dresses are in bright colors and beautiful cuts. The red dress rocks my socks right off. It’s a British brand, but they do ship the states–I checked. I love the trim on the cowl neck, so reminiscent of the couture collection a couple of seasons ago. It’s so feminine and yet so bold–so very Dior.

Dior-Inspired Dresses

If you were on the red carpet and reports asked “what are you wearing?” what dream designer would you be clothed in?

Crops!

As part of my vintage vibe, I adore a 50’s, Pink Ladies-style cropped jean with a cuff for spring and summer. I have a pair that I’ve worn to death, and, unfortunately, washed the color right out. It’s time to go on the hunt for another dark wash jean, but it might just be time to branch out into other crop styles. I did a round-up of dark wash, modern wash, and colored crops just in time for spring/summer!

Crops!

Cropped jeans
$34 – macys.com

Dorothy Perkins indigo jeans
$27 – dorothyperkins.com

Wet Seal cropped cuffed jeans
$30 – wetseal.com

Old navy
$30 – oldnavy.gap.com

Electric blue jeans
$35 – delias.com

Yellow jeans
$35 – delias.com

I believe that anyone can wear a crop pant. The way your legs look determine your capri length. I favor a drop that hits at the widest part of my calf, with a cuff. That way it shows off my curvy lower legs in a positive way. Thicker ankles and shorter women should go with a higher, above or just below-the-knee crop, thin legs go with a longer crop. Try things on, see what works for you. If you like a style, never rule it out until you’ve tried all the iterations. A pair of wedge heels can add length if you’re worried about short legs.

So…do you crop?

Get It While It’s Hot

I’m not a trend forecaster, but my spidey-sense says that this one won’t be around too much longer. But spring and summer will be a good time to go with color block clothing. And the benefit of buying reasonably-priced clothes is that you can keep up with trends without feeling too sorrowful when their time has come and gone.

Color Block

What do you think? Will you color block this summer, or move on to what’s next?

Three Days Until Mad Men!

I’ve been looking forward to this particular “updated Mad Men look” post! Super much. Because it’s about Don Draper’s preferred type of DF. Sometimes he slums with the beatnik chicks. Most famously, Midge Daniels, the artist.

Beatnik is the easiest of all the looks to achieve. It is unstructured (aside from the tight tops) and easy, especially after the rigid looks which required a boned girdle. And it’s seriously mix-and-match. Boatneck top, skinny crop, flowing midi skirt/dress, ballet flats, and a wool beret.

Beatnik Mad Men

Serious tip: invest in a good wool beret. It holds its shape, doesn’t pill, and never looks cheap. The trick to wearing a beret is to take the “lip” around the opening and fold it under. While holding it with your thumb, put it on your head. It will rest snugly but effortlessly. And tilt it! It’s impossible to wear without a touch of irony, but that’s okay.

I’m so hoping that Peggy turns a little more beatnik. She seems just like the kind of girl with the right ideas to hang with that crowd. I was disappointed when that storyline never really played out on the show. Especially as Abe was a little better than her usual d-bag pick.

Wedding Belles

Confession: Sunday mornings are for bridal programs. Here at Casa Freya, certain shows get recorded to the DVR–Say Yes To The Dress, Four Weddings, and My Fair Wedding are all on there. Sunday mornings, before I even get dressed, I get a cup of coffee and some cereal and watch wedding shows. I am not even dating anyone (and I’ve kind of decided that if I get married I’ll elope), but I do love me some fantasy weddings. And of course, from watching all these wedding shows, I do have an opinion on bridesmaids dresses. So brides, future brides, and bridesmaids–LISTEN UP.

1. Brides: You Decide

I was talking to a bridesmaid the other day whose friend the bride had said “Here is a range of purples for the dress, a range of apple greens for the shoes, everybody pick their own.” (Can we just say–purple with green shoes is a NO.) My friend was lamenting, and said at one point “I wish she had just chosen something”. The bride still had a bunch of specifications, making it almost impossible for the bridesmaids to pick an “acceptable” dress. Plus, there are too many ways it can go wrong. If you want a mismatched look, choose a designer, and three or four acceptable styles and colors for your bridesmaids to choose from.

Evening Wedding Bridesmaids

Lela Rose dress, $169
Cocktail prom dress, $148
Silver dress, $198
New Products – Unique Vintage Dresses – 2011 Prom Dresses
Alfred Sung Style D535, $499

Continue reading

Grammy Fashion BOMBS

What exactly is the dress code for the Grammys? We have full length gowns on some, semi-nudity on others, and jeans and t-shirts on some. It does lend itself to more fashion risks, but some have gone right on over the edge! Last night’s Grammy awards had some real fashion flops. I decided to pick out some of the offenders, re-style them in high-end fashion, and find a budget alternative to my re-style.

Let’s start with Rebecca Black.

Love her or hate her, she’s ridden her song and her grudge all the way to the Grammys. But she decided to show up as a goth cupcake, with shoes that match the red carpet.

Rebecca Black Grammy

Alice Olivia tiered dress, $645
Miss Me embellished dress, $44
Badgley Mischka blue pumps, $210

I think the tiers could be taken down a bit. I would put her in a young, fresh, Alice + Olivia dress in blue, with a lighter blue shoe that would pop on the red carpet. Less cupcake, more fashionable.

Next up, Bonnie Raitt. That lady is the opposite of Rebecca Black–she’s been to a few Grammy awards in her time, and she has a ton of talent. But Contempo Casual called, and they want their pants set back.

Bonnie Raitt Grammy

Fitted sheath dress, $40
L Agence bodycon dress, $495
Haider Ackermann coat, €3.150

Sure, she’s of an age where it’s probably better to get a little more coverage, but how about taking the gathered copper shirt and trading it out for a metallic sheath? A jacket with copper accents would be perfectly age-appropriate, too.

Speaking of age-appropriate, good mercy, Sheila E.! How can you go out in your shorts? They are so not appropriate for a woman in her 50’s. This is not living The Glamorous Life, lady!

Sheila E.

Alexander McQueen belted dress, $4,970
Dorothy Perkins belted dress, $35

Let’s ditch the whole “tux jacket and shorts” thing (played out!) entirely. And the color white. Sure, you got a pair of great pins, but play up your gracefulness instead. Yellow would be a great color for her, and a chiffon dress is stylish, but again, age and body-appropriate.

How about Fergie? She decided to use a doily tablecloth with puffed sleeves! Sounds so gracious and old-fashioned, only she forgot to put anything under it. But hey, she remembered her Grammy panties! Nope, sorry–those are her GRANNY panties.

Fergie Grammy

Color block dress, $22
Roksanda Ilincic block dress, $1,538

I love the orange. I wanted to use that as a starting place. Maybe the dress is a little conservative for Fergie, but it’s so beautifully draped, and the color next to the face is so stunning. She could style it up and make it fantastic. It definitely would be a step up from what she actually wore.

Snooki, international reality “star” and Jersey Girl, showed up in a skin-tight dress that made her boobs look wonky. Sorry. I think I’ve seen her in every iteration of this long-sleeved cheap jersey dress.

Snooki Grammy

Hervé Léger rayon dress, £538
RHYTHM bright colored dress, $43
Hervé Léger rayon dress, £538

If you’re going skintight, then go to the master of skintight–Herve Leger. The stripes here are fantastic, and the pattern makes the body look like a classic hourglass. But for goodness sake, choose the right size, rather than 2 sizes too small!

Choreographer LaurieAnn Gibson was obviously going for a badass look. Leather, leather, leather, black and red, spikes, and an a-ti-tude. First of all, it reads a little too “pleather”, and a lot too “Matrix”.

LaurieAnn Gibson Grammy

Chloé cap sleeve dress, £620
Dorothy Perkins creme dress, $29
Sam Edelman high heel shoes, $243
Studded shoes, $46

I’m not opposed to some leather. But make it in an unusual shape. Juxtapose hard and soft: a full skirt and light color in leather, a feminine shoe with spikes.

The train wreck of all train wrecks–sorry, my dear, you’re very talented–was Robyn. This pop singer showed up in a white dress, with a short dress, with a train, with a Hanes t-shirt neck, with the ugliest shoes ever. It was hideous. She looked washed out and weird.

Robyn Grammy

River Island one shoulder dress, $39
Halston long ball gown, £626

I didn’t even know where to start here. I took the idea of asymmetry, but that was pretty much it. A Halston dress with asymmetric sleeves in a beautiful color seemed like a major upgrade, both for her skin and her body. (Just a note about the budget version–it is see-through. Please don’t wear it as such. Be an old-fashioned lady, and put a slip on under it.)

Other observations about Grammy Style:

* Anne V, Adam Levine’s girlfriend, had a slit in her dress so high and deep that I’m pretty sure I know what the “V” stands for.
*Whiz Khalifa needs some concealer for those undereye circles.
*Love Swizz Beatz purple jacket. Not so much his purple tie.
*I love that Diana Krall and Elvis Costello are still married. They both need a little fizz in their fashion, though.
*CoCo (as in Ice Loves CoCo) needs to learn what all big-bosomed ladies need to learn: a bra-style top will never fit right.
*Sasha Gradiva, were you not loved enough as a child? Is that the reason for the attention-seeking?
*Confession: I loved Katy Perry’s whole look. Even though it was a little “Marge Simpson”.
*Kings of Leon are pretty.
*Yvette Nicole Brown, I see you holding your dress away from your body so it doesn’t cling to the wrong spots. I’m guilty of doing that myself. But how about just wearing a different dress, girl?
*I think it’s kind of hilarious that Deadmau5 wore a tee-shirt with Skrillex’s real phone number on it. Even though I don’t really know who either of those two people are, and I had to look up that information.
*Nicki Minaj needs to go to confession just for wearing that outfit. But her new boyfriend seems nice.

Check out some Grammy fashion on People.com.
Grammy fashion loves and hates, anyone?

Heroine Chic, Part II

WordPress made me log in. It’s like a kick in the gut, reminding me that I haven’t blogged in so long, that it no longer remembers me. So sad.

Again, I take to the keyboard and the HTML to get back to my blog. I know I’ve been promising this forever; hopefully it will stick. My routine is starting to get set.

I wanted to continue with my “Heroine Chic” series, so without further ado…

Daisy Buchanan

Heroine Chic--Daisy Buchanan

Daisy Buchanan, of The Great Gatsby fame, is Gatsby’s reason for living. Detatched and somewhat self-obsessed, nonetheless the image of her is that of a survivor who has created the world that she wants. As she is often portrayed as being surrounded by freshness and light, I chose a white and yellow “sunshine” color palette. The drop waist dress and tassel necklace both reflect the Jazz Age of the 1920’s. This outfit is perfect for a fresh and sweet Daisy.

Josephine March

Heroine Chic--Jo March

Jo March from Little Women was probably one of my all-time literary heroines in my youth. I related to her. She made mistakes, said things she shouldn’t have, but was always passionate. I did always want her to get together with Laurie, and preferred him to Professor Behr, so that was less than ideal for me. Jo was always the biggest tomboy of the daughters, so I have given her a kind of mannish look. The wide-legged trousers and the vest are offset by the beautiful peacock blue, high-necked top that is ultra-feminine. I am obsessed with enamel bracelets, especially the Kate Spade versions which have quotes inside–perfect for a writer. And of course, she needs the ideal fountain pen for all her “scribbles”.

I will finish up these posts this week! I swear!

Personal Style: Part I

I got sucked into the world of online quizzes yesterday. I decided to take a whole bunch of “What is your personal style” quizzes to see what category I fall under. Turns out I’m preppy, sophisticated, classic, bohemian, minimalist, boho and a trendy fashionista. In other words, I’m a fashion schizophrenic. I’m picky about the things I like, and I can’t really quantify it myself, so how would these quizzes? Plus, they’re filled with inane questions, like what music I listen to. I may like to dance to GaGa, but that doesn’t mean I want to dress like her. Plus, they want me to choose between two images when I don’t like either of them.

It did get me thinking about personal style, though. Each of these labels could mean different things to different people. A little Google search reveals that. I figured I could find something in each of these styles that I would want to wear, so I took that on as a challenge. I present: my take on style labels.

Bohemian/Boho

Bohemian my way means travel and color, so I picked cotton dresses with flamboyant Mexican-style embroidery. The accessories are natural: polished wood bangles, leather sandals. Instead of turquoise and silver, I picked a dramatic three-strand semi-precious stone necklace. (I actually own that red dress, but I wear it without the belt. It looks better on me that way.)

Preppy

Gossip Girl Blair is leading the preppy movement, and from what I can see, it’s all about clean, bright, and colorful. I stuck with a palette of blue and white, using cobalt and navy shades. This ties in the different patterns–polka dots on the dress, stripes on the neckerchief and on the shoes. A navy seersucker jacket, complete with the Lacoste alligator, finishes the look. Kate Spade bangles are still on my obsession list, and all the preps like a canvas boat bag from Lands’ End. My choice would be a little unusual; instead of solids with a monogram, I’d go for the funky anchor appliqué.

My guidance came from the WikiHow page “How to Look Preppy“. Read it–it’s AMAZING. The condescension practically drips off the screen.

Minimalist

This one was really difficult. It’s almost the opposite of what I consider my style. I like mid-century minimalist jewelry, but not really minimalist clothes. I’ve never loved the Issey Miyake look, for instance. But I like this figure-hugging minimalist dress; especially the neckline. A streamlined collar necklace and cuff bracelet, and some high platform heels, and you’ve hit the minimalist’s maximum.

Tomorrow will be a Music Monday post, so coming Tuesday: more styles! Classic and Trendy will be covered MY WAY.

Can you label your style? Are you consistent, fashion-wise?

Style Icon: Rachel McAdams

I’ve been wanting to do another Style Icon post for a while. I know there are so many gorgeous celebrities with great personal style out there, but no one was coming to mind when I thought of a style icon. So I went to my constant companions, Twitter, and asked for suggestions. I got some excellent ideas, but today, thanks to Ashley for mentioning Rachel McAdams!

First, let’s just say that I want her skin. However, this is not silence of the lambs. There will be no putting the lotion on its skin at the bottom of a pit. So breathe a sigh of relief, Rachel. And we’ll just say that lesson #1 from our style icon will be:
1. MOISTURIZE.

What are the rest? Here we go with lessons we can learn from Rachel McAdams!

2. A Big Pattern Needs a Classic Shape.

This is a best dressed moment for Rachel. This beautiful, soft watercolor pattern is nonetheless quite big and bold. The dress itself is quite a simple shape–ruched criss-cross strapless top, flowing ballgown skirt. In a plain color it might be kind of blah. But this is the perfect marriage–a major pattern on a simple dress shape. If you put bows and ruffles and sparkles, etc. on this dress, she might have ended up on a worst dressed list rather than a best dressed list.

3. Impeccable Eyebrows are Beautiful.

My skin is too sensitive to wax, so eyebrows are a constant battleground. I try to take a tweezers to them every morning, but I feel like I have no chance of ever having brows this gorgeous. Her brows are a perfect contrast to her hair color. The shape is just right for her face–a little angular, but soft. They don’t draw attention away from her beautiful eyes, but frame them perfectly.

4. Be a Chameleon.

I swear, this girl has had almost every color of hair under the sun, including pink. Of course, having celebrity hair stylists doing your color doesn’t hurt at all, but every color seems to work for Rachel. (Except the pink. I’m not a huge fan of the pink. Sorry.) I have a preference for her with brown hair, because it showcases that gorgeous skin so wonderfully. Which brings us to number five…

5. Hair Color Should Work With Your Skin Tone.


Note here, not only the different haircolor, but the different skin tone between these two pictures. Rachel is a bit more golden with the blonde hair. If she had the very pale skin with the blonde hair, she’d be washed out entirely. She makes makeup adjustments based on her hair color, too.

7. A Great Alternative to Red Lipstick: Hot Pink.

I’ve been all about the red lips for winter, as I’ve mentioned several times on this blog. And Rachel is kind of known for a perfect red lip after The Notebook. But I love this pink as an alternative to red. This pink is more spring-like than the red. However, it’s still bold and shows off Rachel’s gorgeous lip shape.

8. The Best Accessory is the Gos.

‘Nuff said.

Style Icon: Gwen Stefani

From quirky punk princess to sleek stylish entrepreneur and mother, Gwen Stefani has been in the public eye for a few years now. Her style continues to change and evolve, but she’s always striking and never seems to have a bad day. I can’t recall seeing a picture of her taking the trash out in sweats and no makeup.

I’ve always wanted her signature platinum blonde hair. I do not have the cojones, nor the doggedness to take care of the upkeep on my roots. But beyond the impeccable upkeep that she must put up with, there are some important lessons that Ms. Stefani imparts.

1. Commit.

If you’re going to go for a look, go all the way. Gwen Stefani wears outrageous clothes, but she does it with poise and confidence. She mixes patterns and colors, and it looks good. The jacket here seems to have an African influence, and the pants have a Scottish plaid, but she has a smile on her face and her head held high. There is no compromise there. In ordinary, non-runway life, sometimes it’s good to push your own boundaries. Don’t blunt your own style statement because it’s outside of your comfort zone.

2. Do What You Have to Do.

I love this adorable picture of Gwen Stefani. This is a few years back, of course, when she was in No Doubt. She needed her teeth fixed, and she did it. Even while in the public eye. It took Tom Cruise way too long to get his janky teeth fixed. Better to just get braces and get it over with than to put up with people talking about her teeth. And whether it be Botox, dyeing your hair, or even plastic surgery, if it needs to be done, DO IT. The sooner, the better.

3. Be a MILF.

I would guarantee that having a nanny would make this particular edict easier. Gwen looks comfortable and like she’s having fun, but still stylish and cutting edge at the park. Great sunglasses cover tired eyes and an embellished tee-shirt makes the outfit more memorable. So, go out and be sexy, even with your kids.

4. Re-interpret Classic Looks.

Once upon a time, in a little film called The Aviator, Gwen played classic film star and famous platinum blonde Jean Harlowe. She looked the part to a T. In her fashion and stage persona, she’s adopted classic looks, but always made them her own. She never goes out looking exactly like a reproduction photo; there’s always something modern about the look. Often she achieves this by taking the look to an extreme, like the portrait necklace and top hat pictured here.

You may not want to buy LAMB clothing, or sport a Harajuku Girls purse, but there’s always some style tips that can be picked up from observing Gwen Stefani.