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Amazing Grace

· Inspiration · , , ,

“I don’t want to commercialize. I don’t want to tone down my act for anybody.” – Grace Jones

Okay, we’ll admit we’re still not over AfroPunk Fest, especially not the epic performance by headliner Grace Jones. Not too familiar with Ms. Jones? Well, something might be seriously wrong with you. But here’s a brief history lesson.

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Vacation Wear

· Style, Travel & Culture · , , , , , , , , , ,

 

Summer might be winding down, but there are definitely still a few weeks left to savor. And what better way to enjoy the remainder of summer than with a vacation? Maybe you’ve already got something planned, or maybe you’re more of the last-minute type. Regardless, refer to our top vacation destinations, book your flight, and most importantly, pack your bags. And if you’re struggling to figure out what exactly to pack, have no fear; here are just a few style suggestions for both men and women, a cohesive guide to help you curate the perfect wardrobe during your time off. Whether you’re heading to Baja, Greece, the Amalfi Coast, the Caribbean, Southeast Asia, or elsewhere, we’ve got you covered. Enjoy!

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Summer Style Tips

· Style · , , ,

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We’ve already given some general advice on how to stay stylish and avoid common mistakes. While you should always keep those ideas in mind, there are definitely some more specific guidelines with each season. Summer is essentially upon us, and although these few months are all about relaxing and enjoying ourselves, we shouldn’t forget to keep it together. So, here are eight style tips catered exclusively to summer:

  1. Stay Decent
    As the weather gets warmer, we all want to take off our clothes. But it’s important to remember the fine line between staying comfortable in the heat and looking, for lack of a better word, trashy. There’s nothing wrong with your favorite crop top or those dangerously short shorts, but when you wear some of these elements together, you’re essentially dressing like a stripper. There’s a tasteful way to show skin, and sometimes you’ll have to sacrifice one of your more revealing pieces in your outfit to maintain a sophisticated appeal. There’s a time and place for your ass to be out.
  2. Delve into the DiaphanousDSC_0674 copyA more tame approach to summertime sensuality is through the fabrics you choose to wear. Silk, linen, voile, and other light, delicate elements can soften any look. Meanwhile, you’ll definitely be comfortable in the warm weather in barely-there materials. This doesn’t just apply to the ladies, though, as there are plenty of similar options for menswear. Just remember to coordinate your undergarments accordingly with your sheer ensembles, and you’ll achieve a perfect balance of sexiness and sophistication.
  3. Print Me a PictureDSC_0667 copyWe all know that prints are one of many important elements in warm weather, as they add a vibrant, dynamic quality to a look. Printed pants and shorts are almost essential for 2013, while printed tops are also a go-to choice. Whether fun and quirky motifs, items with a hand-painted appearance, or wild animal patterns, feel free to let loose this summer. However, keep in mind some of the previous tips; don’t wear cheesy graphic tee’s, and always remember to balance your statement prints with relatively minimal counterparts.
  4. Look on the Bright SideDSC_0690 copyLet’s face it, summer is all about brights. While the trend isn’t as big as it was a few years ago, it’s one of those things that will never die. Compliment your fresh tan with neon hues, and even use this as a chance to work in the hot color-blocking trend. Again, make sure to keep your saturated styles somewhat subdued by juxtaposing them with relatively neutral items.
  5. Pastel Me About ItDSC_0695 copyIf you’re not into blinding brights, incorporate color into your summer wardrobe in a more casual way through pastels. Pale pinks, baby blues, mint greens, and other light shades are some great options. If you want to combine a couple different elements, try a pastel piece in a silky, diaphanous fabric. This is one thing that’s hard to mess up; it’s rare that you can go wrong with a simple pastel-focused ensemble.
  6. White OutDSC_0699 copyRegardless of whether or not you agree with the stigma against white after Labor Day, summer is the prime time for wearing this absence of color. There’s also nothing against all-white ensembles, either, as long as you don’t end up dressing in an early 2000’s pop star costume. As minimal as possible, all-white looks can be canvases for accessories or pops of color. Whether using pastels, neons, or even other neutrals, this monochrome palette provides unlimited options for additional experimentation.
  7. Swim in StyleDSC_0700 copySummer is all about the beach, and the beach is all about carefree relaxation. Sure, this is one of the few places where it’s okay to kind of look like shit. But that doesn’t mean your beach days should be bad style days. Believe it or not, swimwear can be fashionable. For ladies, it seems like there are endless choices of shapes and cuts for swimsuits, while guys also have plenty of options. The beach can be a free-for-all with bright colors and patterns, but use this as a way to experiment with different trends and to make a statement at the shore.

    Share you thoughts!
    All photos by Scott Shapiro. Please contact for styling notes and additional information.

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Getaway Style

· Style · , , , ,

Before summer’s over, you’ve definitely got to get a little more vacation time in. And now that you’ve got some suggestions for where to go, it’s time to talk about what to pack. Sure, it mostly depends on the location, since a tropical getaway would probably call for a different wardrobe from that of a visit to a city. Regardless, this is definitely the best opportunity to try out some of summer’s hottest trends while you’ve still got time. Prints, bold colors, and of course, swimwear are all some staple concepts for vacation packing. Meanwhile, your styles can always lean towards the more relaxed; think loose silhouettes and light, breathable fabrics. There’s no need to overpack, as a small selection of fashionable yet comfortable looks would be ideal for a quick getaway. This is your time off, after all.

Whether daywear, beachwear, or evening-appropriate ensembles, here are some ideas for what looks to rock, and ultimately, what to pack on vacation for both girls and guys.

 

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LOOK 1, DAY:

-Stella McCartney Square sunglasses, $250

-J. Crew Apiece Apart cropped short-sleeve tee, $90

-Mother of Pearl minos printed crepe de chine culottes, $680

-Marni sandals, $438

-Givenchy Lucrezia light pink mini leather tote, $2,315

LOOK 2, BEACH:

-Linda Farrow cat eye elaphe sunglasses, $730

-Lisa Marie Fernandez “Lauren” flounce bikini, $400

-Athena Procopiou palawani printed silk cover-up, $637

-Woman by Common Projects minimalist black sandal, $395

-Flora Bella Nappa beach tote, $189

LOOK 3, EVENING:

-Proenza Schouler tie-dye cotton t-shirt, $320

-Maison Martin Margiela silver charm three layer necklace, $595

-Acne Studios romantic skirt, $390

-Birkenstock Monterey sandals, $195

-Proenza Schouler PS1 crossbody wallet, $785

 

 

 

 

vacation menswear

LOOK 1, DAY:

-Saint Laurent bold 5 square frame acetate sunglasses, $325

-Saint Laurent printed silk shirt, $890

-Acne Studios ace dry-denim jeans, $220

-Birkenstock Monterey sandals, $195

LOOK 2, BEACH:

-Lanvin polarized square frame acetate sunglasses, $405

-Kenzo color block t-shirt, $111

-Kenzo swim trunks, $78

-Dan Ward rubber flip flops, $125

-Wooyoungmi leather-trimmed paneled cotton-canvas tote bag, $260

-Frescobol Carioca striped linen beach towel, $160

LOOK 3, EVENING:

-Issey Miyake Men itajime jersey t-shirt, $368

-Rick Owens cropped trousers, $1,070

-Tod’s gommino suede driving shoes, $445

 

Feature photo courtesy The Lane
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The Day Party

· Style · , , ,
Photo courtesy Ten Days in Paris

Photo courtesy Ten Days in Paris

“What should I wear?!”

A common question that occurs all too often, this conundrum is exceptionally present in the summertime. While there are plenty of tips regarding day-to-day dressing in the summer, as well as that for the season’s omnipresent music festivals, there’s one occasion that bring in a whole new monster to tackle: the day party.

Whether you’re getting “turnt up” at HQ‘s Beach Club in Atlantic City, hitting up a bougie boat party somewhere like Miami or Saint Tropez, or doing an exceptionally lively brunch, the day party is definitely going to be a thing, and you’re in crucial need of the right outfit.

First thing’s first: this isn’t evening. Ladies, leave your skintight dresses and stilettos at home, and guys, save the dinner jacket for later. A main essential for separating yourself from nighttime attire is the use of vibrant colors and prints. For males, it’s still a good choice to look relatively put together, which unfortunately means you’ll have to leave the shorts behind. Yes, it’s hot out. You’ll live. Trade in your cutoffs for some high-quality denim, or for the more adventurous gents, some printed trousers (worn with a solid-colored shirt, of course). There’s a little more flexibility in terms of womenswear, as shorts are okay here (fashion isn’t fair, guys), along with dresses and skirts from maxi to mini. But please don’t do the high-low thing; it’s over and you’ll look basic, seriously.

It’s equally imperative to stay comfortable, as the heat and the dancing and the drinks and whatever else comes into the equation will lead to one hell of an exhausting day. Both genders should opt for something light and easy; this would be the time to bust out those silky blouses or linen garments. However, comfort doesn’t mean slutty. If that diaphanous shirt is a little too sheer, plan accordingly or choose something else. There’s always such a thing as shorts being too short, too. Meanwhile, swimwear can pose a threat, as a lot of these events involve beaches or pools. It should be obvious to wear your swimsuit under a presentable outfit, but some like to wear their bikini tops as shirts. Unless you’re literally just chilling with your friends, you should maybe compromise and try out a crop top instead. We all like to show some skin, but keep it together. You’re still in public, after all (yes, even at that “private” party).

Comfort should also be a focus when it comes to shoes. Depending on the specific occasion and venue, sandals are usually a go-to for girls, while slides and sneakers can also work from time to time. Sure, even the dudes can get away rocking their favorite pair of mandals given the right time and place, though espadrilles and drivers are usually a better bet. But beware, because your footwear could easily launch you into “basic” territory just as much as a high-low skirt. Yes, wedges are comfortable, and some of them are really great, but there’s also a huge chance of you looking very pedestrian if you don’t choose the right pair. It’s okay, you really don’t need the extra height. And don’t think guys can’t veer towards the uninspiring if they aren’t a little careful; a button-down with chinos and driving shoes will need to be impressively accessorized in order to look anything other than boring.

Speaking of accessories, pay attention to these, too. Just like at a music festival, flower headbands need to stop existing. Like, really. Don’t. Instead, this would be the perfect time for an oversized hat (never a fedora), a funky necklace, and of course, your sickest shades. Yes, finally, a party where you can wear sunglasses and not look like an asshole! It would also be in your best interest to leave your fine jewels and fancy clutch at home; for whatever reason, people can sometimes get even crazier during the day than they do at night, and you don’t want to put your prized possessions at risk.

With all that said and done, let’s finally answer the big question of what to wear. Take a look below for a selection of day party outfit suggestions for both girls and guys!

 

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Angela Pham/BFAnyc.com

Festival Dressing

· Events, Style · , , , , , ,
Angela Pham/BFAnyc.com

Angela Pham/BFAnyc.com

Both weekends of Coachella have already flown by, but festival season is just beginning. Whether you’re hitting up Governor’s Ball, Bonnaroo, Firefly, Outside Lands, Made in America or any of the other music festivals going on over the course of the next few months, you can’t deny the recent obsession with dressing for the occasion.

Perhaps a result of the street style phenomenon, everyone’s paying more attention to what others are wearing to these events than ever before. And just like the former, a lot of ridiculous, over-the-top styles are sure to be seen. Regardless of what you choose to wear, there’s a lot to consider when putting together your most stylish festival look. What are the weather conditions? Would this “tribal” accessory be considered offensive? (yes, most likely). Sure, it’s easy to just throw on your wreath of flowers and John Lennon-inspired shades and call it a day, but no one wants to look generic. And while picking out an outfit for whichever huge festival you choose to attend may seem like the most important thing in the world, it’s necessary to remember that these events are basically like huge parties – there’s no need to get so serious.

While we could present countless tips on how to put together your outfit, here’s a handful of Do’s and Don’ts regarding festival dressing:

 

 

There are plenty more Do’s and Don’ts of festival dressing, but sometimes it’s better to explain things visually. So, here are a couple examples of appropriate festival dressing for both girls and guys (click on the thumbnail of each item for more details):

 

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Of course, remember to always make a look your own, and enjoy whichever music festivals you’re attending this summer!

 

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New Year, New You

· Style, Thoughts · , , ,

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As 2013 came to an end and the first few days of 2014 have quickly flown by, you’ve probably already set some pretty precise New Years resolutions.

Every year we always make a slew of goals in order to change our ways for the better. But let’s be real, how often do we stick to these plans? Sure, weight loss and overall better health, finding a relationship, and other things are all great ideas, yet it’s likely that a lot of these initiatives will be lost by the time January ends.

From a fashion standpoint, however, there are always ways to make improvements or simply keep up the good work. And this genre of New Years resolutions can often be a lot more attainable than trying to hit the treadmill 20 times a week.

  1. Try Something DifferentWe all know the saying, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” While you shouldn’t necessarily “fix it,” meaning there’s no need to completely change yourself or your overall style aesthetic, it never hurts to switch it up a bit. Why not use the New Year as a prime opportunity to try out a new hairstyle or beauty routine? Of course, health is important, but you’d feel just as good about a new coif as the torture of daily 4am runs. Experimentation never hurts, either, and it’s always fun to try new looks and ensembles that you wouldn’t normally attempt. Definitely continue dressing for your body and knowing what works for you, but don’t be afraid to add some different colors, patterns, or shapes to your wardrobe in 2014.
  2. It’s Never Too Early to Grow UpWe’re not immortal, so we’re getting older with each year. While some are luckily young enough to make style mistakes, there are still far too many grown men and women who haven’t quite polished their style. Whether you’re 16 or 45, now is definitely the time to step it up. Sure, not everyone is trying to work in fashion, but it’s never a bad idea to dress your age and to simply try to seem a little more sophisticated. We all have professional goals, and it’s hard to be taken seriously if you’re still dressing like a teenager. Guys, 2014 should inspire you to take that long-overdue trip to the tailor and get your suit together. And ladies, yoga pants shouldn’t be worn when you’re not actually in yoga class. While this may seem like common sense to a lot of people, there’s still plenty whose immature appearance is definitely backfiring. And this doesn’t mean you have to dress like you’re going into retirement, but instead like a professional adult.
  3. Be Tasteful An aspect of more mature style is tasteful style. There’s a sophisticated way to show some skin, so there’s really no need for those why-even-bother-wearing-shorts-in-the-first-place, overly revealing booty shorts. While crop tops are a huge trend, too, try to pull those off without looking like you’re working the corner. And guys, even with that gold chain, no one wants to see your exposed chest at “da club.”But this goes beyond just avoiding looking like a sluttier version of the Jersey Shore cast (remember them?). There’s a difference between disco ball sequins and intricate beading, and it’s just as clear as the difference between a unique printed top and an obscene logo tee. Understand these boundaries and keep these types of things under control, and you’ll have no problem maturing your style in the new year.
  4. Be a Leader, Not a FollowerTrends are great, and the specific vibes that come with each season make things a lot easier to follow. But it’s just as easy to become a slave to trends; we can often get sucked into following what the media considers “hot,” which causes a complete loss of originality. Again, it’s great to dabble in these trends, but always try to make them your own. Keep your focus throughout 2014 and avoid being clumped into the “basic” category.
  5. Learn SomethingEven if fashion doesn’t fit into your life goals (or even your goals for the New Year), it’s a billion dollar industry that defines society in more ways than you think. While that’s a completely different topic, take 2014 to educate yourself on the fashion industry. A business, modern art form, and an outlet for other creative, cultural, and sociological aspects, the fashion world is an exciting one that’s teeming with inspiration. Plus, there are few things better than being well-rounded.

On a final note, in the words of Barneys New York’s Simon Doonan, “2014 is going to be about charging forward with zero preconceived ideas.” Be open-minded, progressive, and positive this year.

Happy New Year, and good luck on sticking to those resolutions!

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Les Éléments Essentiels

· Men's, Style · , , , , , , ,

Everyone has their own essential items. These are the pieces that define our wardrobes, thus delineating a personal sense of style. Serving as staples, here are my most essential fashion items:

The Leather Jacket

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Everyone needs a black leather jacket, and this one in particular embodies perfection. The smooth, supple lambskin is unbelievably soft, while it’s also one of those durable pieces that shows potential to get better with age. The uniquely cut jacket is relatively minimal, providing the ability to be worn with almost anything.

Jacket by Topman Lux

The Chelsea Boots

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These chelsea boots provide effortless style and comfort. Just like the jacket, they can be worn literally 24/7, 365 days a year, adding sleek sophistication to just about any look.

Boots by Saint Laurent

The Blazer

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Originally purchased for my junior prom three years ago, this simple blazer has definitely stood the test of time. It doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon, either. The basic item has been revamped with a sharp, skinny silhouette. Meanwhile, the silver snap buttons add a unique twist, and the stylish staple can be dressed up as a part of a suit or dressed down with more casual jeans and a t-shirt.

Blazer by Dior Homme

The Leather Pants

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Leather is my thing, in case you haven’t caught on to that already. What better way to dive into the fantastic fabric than with a pair of trousers? Though probably not everyone’s cup of tea, this set of leather legs is one of the most important pieces I own. Contributing an extra edge, the pants bring a dynamic element to almost any ensemble.

Pants by Kenneth Cole Collection

The Timepiece

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Next to leather, minimalism is another one of my favorites, as few things look better than something sleek and simplistic. A faceless black timepiece with a black leather strap is basically perfect, taking away all the fuss of a chunky watch covered in diamonds and other nonsense; sorry, the latter is not my thing. The stunning silver details add a bit of formality to the item, though it’s truly just as versatile as all of the others mentioned.

Watch by Movado

The Fragrance

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I’m no cosmetics expert, but scent is an important yet often forgotten element in developing personal style. Your fragrance should match your persona and fashion taste, right down to the appearance of the bottle. Cue “Gentlemen Only” by Givenchy. Just when I thought my love for every product from the Parisian fashion house had slowed down, I came across this cologne. Embodying male elegance and strength, the parfum is woody yet refreshing.

Cologne by Givenchy

The Bag

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Everyone needs a solid bag, and yes, that includes the men. Since backpacks are typically a bad idea in Paris, a city where I’ll be living in a few days that’s notorious for pickpocketing, I thought it would be necessary to get ahold of a more resourceful sack. Maybe I’m just paranoid, but it’s better to be safe (and stylish) than sorry. Structured and simple, this bag has enough space for a laptop and other books. Meanwhile, an additional strap can instantly transform it from briefcase to messenger bag, proving its versatility. The best part? Subtle silver details add even more gloss. And I’m in love.

Bag by Zara

The Eyewear

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Style is incomplete without a little shade, right? Well I couldn’t live without these sunglasses. Yes, I know the John Lennon frames tend to polarize people, but no sunnies are better than these perfect circles. Torn between just the rotund frames and the popular aviator style, I chose this wiry hybrid, and it’s one of the best sartorial decisions I’ve made in years.

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All photos by me

Boston Style

· Street Style · , , , , , , , , , , ,

I’d rather have a little more variety instead of posting two consecutive articles of the same category, but I thought it would be interesting to expose some more noteworthy street style. It’s rare that people would consider Boston one of the more fashionable cities in the world; if I remember correctly, I think it was once voted the worst-dressed city in America by a certain men’s magazine. However, I’ve learned to expect the unexpected while living here for my studies, and I’m often reminded that Boston does in fact have some substantial style.

Of course, it’s no New York; it’s pretty unlikely to witness some of the daring outfits you’d see in the streets of Soho along Newbury Street. But style is directly related to taste, and Bostonians definitely have that going for them. Whether the young professionals, successful older generations, or the extremely prominent international student population, the people of Boston are definitely capable of breaking the city’s stereotype. “Beantown” doesn’t have the fashion industries of cities like Milan or Paris, either, which is even more endearing. Without the hoopla surrounding fashion weeks and prominent publications, Bostonians don’t dress up to be seen, but simply by genuine instinct. Here, you’ll find support for simplicity and a penchant for practicality. Although Boston is teeming with college students and drunken sports fans, as many people would’ve correctly guessed, there’s definitely a respectable amount of fashion sense. Stay tuned for more Boston street style!

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