Faux Fur Feeling

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With the cold weather back in full swing, it’s easy to resort to wardrobe essentials that deliver the effect (shivers no more) but not quite the aesthetics. Sure the collegiate dress code filled with mascot-infused sweatshirts and shearling-lined UGG boots ward off the winter chills, but quite frankly it’s lacking the “zing” in trending. So rather than spawning a closet full of workhorse items that have tenets of minimalistic dressing but void in making a fashion statement, it’s notable to invest in one or two investment pieces that take canny heed in style and function. A camel duster coat like this wool belted one is a solid contender, and so is a faux fur jacket – a quintessentially classic piece with an upper echelon flair.

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Whether you want to get your cold weather style wrapped up with vintage-inspired faux fur boleros or shearling-trimmed cover-ups, there are many styles that give you the eclectic flair without compromising duty. To stage that on-trend look, here’s my top 3 styles:

1.) LEOPARD PRINT – technically a neutral when it comes to wardrobe styling, a leopard print coat can be worn with an all-black ensemble to keep the look clean and streamlined (New York style mavens rejoice!) Just make sure there’s a sliver of skin that peeps through; you know what they say, a small flash of flesh is hotter than an eyeful. So think black sweater + ankle length leather pants + slip-ons, or a vintage-inspired LBD with sheer tights and knee high boots. With holiday shopping in full swing, now you can shop NORDSTROM for NYE Dresses starting at $65.

how to wear white in the winter. I wouldn't do real fur, but a nice white/cream coat over black dress and black boots with black gloves-perfect. faux fur leopard coat
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2.) LONG – the maxi style amongst faux fur coats, this look is for you if you’re an avid follower of the Olsen twins (or you just like your legs covered up during below freezing weather). Team it with knee high boots and a lengthy embroidered dress for a Sunday brunch, and add on some bedazzling jewels when you’re glamorously ready for a night out in town.

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3.) CROPPED – ideal teamed with high-waisted pants and skirts for that slick and polished look, a close fitting cropped jacket can be paired with just about anything – silk button downs with maroon skinnies , tartan under chambray shirts like this Rag and Bone one, and even your oversized shirt dress with stockings! Here I wore my purple cropped faux fur coat with straight-leg ankle pants (sold on the side embellishments) and strappy heels to bring forth a classic, clean silhouette.

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From floor-length styling for extra warmth and appeal, to the “rawr” factor behind leopard prints, what’s your go-to faux fur coat for Winter? 🙂

Xo~ Lena

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Coat: H&M // Tank: Banana Republic// Pants: H&M// Shoes: Aldo// Bag: Phillip Lim// Necklace: K. Amato

Photos: Jason J Photography

Truly Madly Deeply

h-20What’s an item in your closet that adds an instant speck of coolness to your outfit? A drapey black coat? A pair of figure-flattering skinny jeans? Or perhaps a statement sweater with charming take on an iconic logo (if a Féline Meow or Ballinciaga shirt ever came across your glossy finds). v-40 2h-3v-38-2

Whether your ideal look is inspired by minimalistic Swedish influences or saturated with clashing patterns, there’s always that ONE item adding an extra pep to your outfit no matter what styles you favor. And for somebody that dilly-dallies between monochromatic and color-blocking separates, striped midi skirts to pink leather skinnies, I love pieces that seamlessly transcend beyond the limit of trends. Of course there needs to be no shortage of pairing options! So was my thought when I came across this Charcoal Aubrey Jacket from Mad Style when I stopped by the boutique on Division street. It was love at first sight! I was immediately sold by how chic and versatile it is from drapey waterfall design to the accent zippers to the pleather sleeves. Need I say more?h-25h-5v-6h-11

Nonetheless a timeless addition to my wardrobe, there are so many ways to wrap up in style and ward off the winter chills in this edgy number! Channel that retro vibe with slouchy T’s and 70’s denims for your creative gig, or settle for a subtle look with silk button-downs and slacks for more conservative setting. And when the minute hand passes 5:00 PM, swap into more sultry alternatives like mini skirts and over-the-knee boots for a night on the town. To kick it up a notch, I paired the jacket alongside red jeans with ruffle accents (on sale 30% off!) and a chained envelope clutch also from Mad Style. The end result? An edgy rocker-chic look that transcends from day to night with no need for a moto jacket !v-25 2h-15v-35v-11What’s your street style staple that cameleon ifself into different looks –sophisticated, preppy, normcore, or avant-garde if you may? 🙂

Xo~ Lena

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Jacket: Mad Style// Top: Banana Republic// Pants: Joe’s Jeans// Shoes: Vince Camuto// Bag: MadStyle//

In collaboration with Mad Style; thoughts and opinions are my own

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Fifty Shades of Beige

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Whether your newfound glory is sipping hot cocoa by the fireplace or playing up the layering trend, there’s a seasonal change that we’ve recently come to terms with in the Windy City – the nonchalant tonal shrug from crisp autumn breeze towards blistering winter chills.

Long gone were the days where a prismatic array of floral prints, soft pastels, and color mash-ups sprawled over Paris Fashion Week runways and emulated in our daily wares. Though bone-chilling the weather may be, swaying us away from trendy pieces like pleated skirts and crop tops, we have a swoon-worthy selection of luxe fabrics and crisp silhouettes to work into our wardrobe. From Céline’s longline duster coats to Helmut Lang’s shearling biker jacket, we have countless ways to integrate new fashion powerhouse designs into our ensembles while embracing a new season to come. Stylishly. No gritty teeth allowed.Oversized-coatsMuubaa-Aurora-Shearling-Biker-Jacket_1ImageGranted if you follow my blog for a while you’d notice I have an affinity for monochromatic separates (with a hint of colorful accessories), and it’s a given that I admire certain designers for their subtle indications of toned-down colors and classic designs. One of my favorite collections was from Chloé designer Clare Waight Keller sartorially introduced at Gustave Eiffel-Lycée Carno. Her minimalistic choice of colors entailed desert–khaki, camel, sand, blue and white, all of which are minimalistic hues that emphasized clean silhouettes and placid colors (like this biker jacket that exudes cool minimalistic edge).Chloe 2012_FFImage

I enjoyed perusing her collection because I believe classic staples are essential in our wardrobe at any given time, and multiple shades of beige like cream, camel, dessert sand, and unbleached silk are great foundations to build into a full-fledged outfit.

The choice is abundant — pair a caramel fuzzy sweater with distressed denim jeans, or for slightly cooler days experiment with the same color scheme by mixing a heavier fabric like cashmere with a lightweight button down shirt. In my outfit today I paired a baroque-styled cream shirt with a brown and beige wool cape, which I then added on suede boots (reminding me of these Rag & Bone ones I’ve been eyeing), Prada cat-eye shades, Seven jeans scored from a Shopbop sale (currently 30% to 70% OFF Seven and Citizens of Humanity Jeans at shopbop.com!) and a chocolate brown duffel bag in a classic silhouette to complete the streamlined look without going that off-kilter road.

What’s your take on the luxe layering trend, and have you put together an outfit with the simplistic triad of beige, brown and cream? 🙂

Xo~ Lena

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Top: Forever 21// Pants: J Brand// Cape: Club Monaco// Heels: Vince Camuto// Bag: Louis Vuitton// Shades: Prada// Necklace: Thailand

Black Ink White Canvas

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Some things just look better in black and white: old French films, snow-drenched pavements, Sephora’s eponymous store front, and of course, your Fall wardrobe. Take a cue from Victoria Beckham’s Spring 2014 collection at New York Fashion Week where she incorporated a mishmash array of draped frocks and polished silhouettes in mono tones of black and white. Simple yet sleek, high fashion yet enviably cool.Victoria_Beckham_spring_summer_2015_collection_New_York_Fashion_Week4

The classic color combo gets a sophisticated makeover this season as fashion luminaries bring to the spotlight mod designs and pattern play  From futuristic runway shows to sartorial street fashion, there’s nothing less than swoon-worthy ensembles in this plain palette. Houndstooth. Checkered print. Graphic geometric patterns to name a few.v-9H-24H-23

To reference the ease of black and white pairing, many damsels in Dior and gents in Givenchy rock the two-tone trends by simply pairing 1.) a white lace dress with a moto jacket 2.) white polka dot shirt with leather minis (add sheer tights to ward off chills), or 3.) monotone dress shirt with patterned trousers like this paisley print HERE. Oh the swoon-worthy choices are infinite!H-26v

Adding the tiniest of tweaks to #3, I wore a silk button-down shirt with a pair of palazzo trousers. To steer clear from the antsy job seeker look, I turned the table by choosing a black form-fitting shirt on top of these graphic printed pants. Long and languid in composure, eminently wearable for work and play. Not to mention lengthening your frame as do all high-waisted pants with the shirt tucked in. To complete the look, I wore these Salvatore Ferragamo pumps (with its signature Vara bow like HERE) and a large monogrammed bag like this Louis Vuitton one to keep my downtown-trotting essentials intact.H-18v-8h-37H-42

So let go of the wide-legged panic and try out this drapey flared look devout to style and comfort. Remember — keep the look polished by tucking the shirt in and slightly pulling out the edges; promise you won’t look like a medieval jester! 🙂

Xo~ Lena

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Photos: Jason J Photography

Jacket: Hinge// Top: Banana Republic// Pants: Francesca’s// Shoes: Salvatore Ferragamo// Bag: Louis Vuitton

 

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Like The Cool Kids

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When it comes to fashion favorites for the hip and stylish, the trending factor isn’t the only thing that warrants purchase. Granted if you ask a sartorially savvy person some of the best items to work into a capsule wardrobe, one that contains staple items that never go out of style, the answer would probably take into account the following questions.

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Is it partial to pairing with a plain white T as it is with a printed sheath? Is it unabating in couture and caliber with both modern flair and old-school charm? Replete with bicoastal sensibilities adorned by sleek avant garb-clad New Yorkers and the golden damsels of LA?

In essence a few nouveau pieces fit the bill  — a striped T, black skinnies, ankle boots, and of course, the classic denim jacket.

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What I love about the cult favorite denim look is how light and comfortable it is without compromising the “cool factor”. Whether thrown on over a short-sleeve shirt, perched atop the shoulder, or wrapped around the waist, there is no shortage of street-style cred with its crisp coloring and nonchalant edge.

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So was my choice today when I wore this crop denim jacket while trolling through Streeterville. Everything from workwear detailing to traditional fit to pale undertones make it spiffy and fun (not to mention keeping my semi-brittle bones intact).

To play up this street style look, I wore it over a navy striped shirt (oh the feline fun) and kept the bottom in the same color family with a blue/black/white mini. And because the color was erring towards monochrome, I added a purple clutch for that au courant pop of color!

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Ah the joy of Fall — pumpkin latte slurping, layer upon layer strutting, and fun mix/match pairing!

Xo~ Lena

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Top: Zara// Skirt: Zara// Jacket: Lucky// Shoes: Vince Camuto// Bag: Urban Expressions// Bracelet: J. Crew// Necklace + Ring: Forever 21// Watch: Marc Jacobs// Shades: Urban Outfitters

Photos: Jason J Photography

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Keep It Classy

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There’s rarely any subtlety in haute couture fashion. Replete with cult following staples or nouveau fabrics like that of Chanel’s bouclé crop jacket or Burberry’s tartan patterned trench, the capsule collection that these powerhouse designers create are as enticing to touch as it is to look at.

Which explains why every year Fashion Week fosters namesake designs in honor of the creator and his/her legacy — ones that are as perennially stylish as they are skillfully made. 

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And when it comes to the eponymous line of a luxury British fashion house, there’s no shortage of style nor craftsmanship. Especially one whose Haymarket pattern has become one of its most widely copied trademarks. And so was my delight this weekend when I came across this cotton gabardine trench coat from no other than Burberry Prosurm. 

With its high notched collar, epaulettes, and patent sleeves, there’s something very exquisite about giving a slick modern update to a classic piece. To be in tandem with the monochrome hues I kept my pairings minimum with leather mules, black skinnies, embossed leather shoulder bag, and gold-toned jewelries (with specks of green to go with the jacket’s color palette).  

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Not sure what classic staples to have in your capsule wardrobe? Well here’s 3 of my must-haves for Fall!

1.) WELL-TAILORED JACKET: much like this Burberry trench that exudes both masculine edge and feminine flair, a classy, form-fitting, sartorially unique jacket would give your 9-5 attire a fashion forward “au courant” look. Plus, cinching at the waist with a belt will give you a fitted silhouette!

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2.) LEATHER MULES: pedi options aside, backless open-toe kinds are my favorite. And why so you ask? Versatile and chic in form, timeless and classy by nature. So demystify the art of outfit pairings with these bad boys and you’ll soon notice how well they look with just about everything — mini skirts, midi skirts, black skinnies, even distressed denims rolled up at the hem!

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3.) ROOMY TOTE: Perfect for work or the post TGIF-ers, a large tote would be enough to hold all your essentials in style. I truly believe a well-crafted leather tote is not a fashion whim but a worthy investment that’ll keep its value (and shape) over time. Also it’s a great way to jazz up your look sans statement jewelries!

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So what are your Fall must-haves that are as versatile as they are stylish? A drool-worthy pair of designer booties perhaps? 🙂 Xo~ Lena

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Trench: Burberry Prosurm// Top: Express// Pants: Paige// Mules: Via Spiga// Bag: Louis Vuitton// Accessories: Forever 21// Watch: Marc Jacobs

Photos: Jason J Photography

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