Is your New Year’s Eve outfit all squared away. I did the hard part for you, narrowing down your party dress choices from everything on the Interwebs to 75 perfect party dresses. If you missed it, click back because I know you will definitely find one (at least one!) you like.
What? You need shoes too? Must I do everything for you? No, that’s fine; that’s why I’m here. Here are 30 perfect pairs of party shoes from StyleCarrot partners. I went heavy on the glitter, but seriously, when else do you get to pretend your’e a princess? There are a few sexy blood red heels too, as well as cobalt blue, and the prettiest shades of pink pumps.
Dancing, dancing, dancing. I’m a dancing machine. (That’s sung. If you don’t know the tune, you are not a child of the ’70s.) Have fun!
Many of you are probably still in the crush of the holiday rush. But since I celebrate Hanukkah, my present giving season is complete. My husband and I celebrate our anniversary on Christmas Eve -a spur of the moment elopement – so there’s opportunity for one more give and get, but the real buying, and by that I mean the buying for the kids, is complete.
That means it’s time to move on to planning the perfect New Year’s Eve outfit. Or you might have some holiday parties to attend. I’ll likely cozy up at home. But if I were planning a rocking New Year’s Eve, I’d start trying on dresses right now. There’s nothing worse than buying a party ensemble under pressure. After all this research I may just make a buy so I have a pretty party dress on hand.
I may have gone overboard—there are 75 party dress picks here from StyleCarrot partners and other sources. Lots of lace happening this season. There’s a turquoise lace dress by DVF; a cobalt lace dress from J.Crew, and a one-shouldered navy lace number fromReiss. (Princess Kate should totally dare to wear that.) Of course there are plenty of metallics. Metallic gold and gunmetal dresses, as well as jacquard (big trend right now, especially at Tory Burch), and a sprinkling of sequins. Plus capes. Channel Gwyneth and try a dress with a cape. The white one from Pixie Market is darling. 01
What would I wear? If I were a tiny bit younger and going dancing, I think #3 is really cute, though I’d probably opt for #33, the pleated midi by Rebecca Taylor or #47, the gold wrap dress. The stripey sequin Marc dress, #16 is adorable, especially paired with those studded clogs. The green knotted Lanvin silk shift (#25) is more my style these days, if I could afford it, along with #38, the modern minimalist black gabardine from Ssense. (Everything from Ssense is fierce. For a more festive feel but still considering comfort, I like #49, a black embellished chiffon shift by Velvet.
Not to go bananas—I mean pineapples—on you, but playing off my roundup “Put a Fruit On It” in Sunday’s Boston Globe), followed up by the pineapple centerpiece, I’m offering up 40 examples of pineapple fabulousness from StyleCarrot partners and others that illustrate this season’s pineapple fashion trend.
Inspired by Tory Burch’s pineapple obsession for spring (I’m not sure what’s up with that . . . I couldn’t find any quotes from her about it online), I found so many cute examples of on-trend pineapple-printed pieces, from pineapple handbags and jewelry to pineapple swimsuits and sweaters, I wanted to put them all out there for you. And with its preppy aesthetic, its perfect for New England summers.
While the best pineapple may well be served up in tropical cocktails, these pineapple fashions are pretty darn cute. If anyone’s interested in a pineapple decor roundup (minus the gold pineapple finials), I’m happy to oblige.
1 Pineapple Picker Vinyl Tote by Kestrel, $144 at Nordstrom.
2 Ananas Pineapple Studs by Moon and Lola, $38 at Tuckernuck.
This isn’t the first time I’ve written about Jessica Biales and it won’t be the last. (Check out Jessica Biales’ signet rings and slice rings, which have been featured in Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, and the Wall Street Journal and were for a time sold at J.Crew). Jessica is a close friend of mine from college, where she was the most refined, urban girl I had ever met. So many years later and her style hasn’t waned.
Jessica’s latest collection is called “Scissors” and was inspired by the Matisse cut-outs in the exhibit at MoMA that ended earlier this month, Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs. You can see examples of Matisse’s cut-outs that influenced her new jewelry collection below. As for Matisse, here is a description paraphrased from the MoMA site about the advent of the cut-outs:
Starting in the late 1940s, Henri Matisse turned to paper cut with scissors as his primary medium, which resulted in a new form of art that came to be called a cut-out. Matisse would cut painted sheets into forms of varying shapes and sizes—from the vegetal to the abstract—which he then arranged into lively compositions.
The Jessica Biales Scissors Collection, inspired by Matisse cut-outs, includes bracelets, rings, earrings, and necklaces in sterling silver and 18-karat gold.
We’re on our second snow day in a row here today, making this a four-day weekend. Two and a half more days until Florida. In the meantime though, I’m here. Since I don’t work in an office (unless my sofa counts), I don’t actually have to dress particularly professionally that often. When I do, it’s really just about stepping up my casual look, which often consists of the perfect black skinny pants or in more casual situations, a pull-on legging. (Not the workout variety, mind you.)
This fall and winter I’ve been wearing a larger variety of non-perfect and perfect black skinny pants than usual, as a few companies sent me pieces to try out. Here are my perfect black skinny pants findings (some links lead to StyleCarrot partners).
1 Pull-On Moto Pant, $99 at A Ruby.
2 The Skinny Black-on-Black Denim, $165 at AYR.
3 Elettra Leggings, $250 at Rag & Bone.
A Ruby is a local Boston area startup led by Avra Myers who believes that less is more and that a wardrobe revolves around five essential basics: a knit pant that works anywhere, a white shirt that can be casual or dressy, a tank that can be layered or worn solo, a fun and flattering graphic tee, and a comfortable, feminine V-neck sweater. Sizing goes from 1-5 and fits sizes 0-18. No muss no fuss. Myers sent me a pair of A Ruby Pull-On Moto Pants, which I’ve been wearing a lot. They’re made from a mid-weight synthetic (but soft) fabric that doesn’t stretch out, sag at the crotch, or bump out at the knee. The waist band is wide, which I like, and twists a little bit, as they tend to do, but not too much. The proportions and fit are excellent. I really like them.
The folks behind the men’s brand Bonobos has recently launched AYR, a line of sleek essentials for women. The company invited me to the Bonobos Guide Shop in Boston for an AYR pop-up shop and a fitting for the perfect pair of skinny jeans. The publicists were so lovely and the clothing is amazing. Very well cut from gorgeous fabrics. In addition to my complimentary skinny jeans, which are made from a great stretchy fabric (denim is their specialty; the founder worked in denim at Madewell), I ordered an amazing jacket I wore all fall. I will be shopping here again.
Several years ago I purchased a pair of Rag & Bone cargo leggings that I loved so much I ordered another pair. I wear them incessantly. They’re lined wool so they’re quite warm and not itchy (an issue for me). Rag & Bone don’t make this style anymore, of course, but their Elettra leggings are probably worth trying out (and they’re on sale). I love Rag & Bone, and there’s a boutique in Boston that I assiduously avoid for just this reason.
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4 Minnie Stretch Twill Pant, $89.50 at J.Crew.
5 Ponte Leggings, $49.50 at Lou & Grey.
6 Essential Modern Skinny Pant, $69 at SlimSation.
J.Crewis of course a standby, though I don’t normally do well with their tailored pants or jeans, I think it’s the rise that is never quite right for me. I do sometimes have luck with tighter fitting legging-like styles. (As for the Dreamy Cotton Pant, I live in them. Like seriously all day every day.). The Minnie Stretch Twill Pant look to be similar to a style I purchased last year that work well with blazers and booties.
If you read StyleCarrot regularly you might remember when I partnered with Lou & Grey to profile the new Lou & Grey store in the Natick Mall this past October. Owned by the same parent company as Ann Taylor, Lou & Grey is a cross between Madewell and Eileen Fisher — loungey with a touch of edginess. The stores are gorgeous , the looks well styled and comfortable, and the prices excellent. On my visit, I purchased a pair of leggings that I’ve worn quite a bit, made from a tech-like fabric and accented with slanted zippers. They’re no longer available but the current Ponte Leggings are surely worth a try.
As I said, autumn brought a windfall of offers to try what each company touted as the perfect black skinny pants. When a publicist for SlimSation, a womenswear brand launched in 2012 offered to send me a pair of perfect black skinny pants to try, I sent her my address. The line, which focuses on basics pant styles that is supposed to be a kind of relaxed fit shapewear, almost, and includes extended sizing. The contoured waistband is meant to help present a slimmer silhouette, smoothing the lower tummy and shaping the hips. I’ve worn the SlimSation skinny pant a few times, and while I like the stretchy fabric, I feel like the cut is more of a casual, almost activewear piece. It may be because I ordered a size too large. I enjoy them on my brisk exercise walks around the Charles River.
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7 High Riser Skinny Skinny Sateen Jean, $128 at Madewell.
8 Women’s Scuba Pant, $27.99 at Target. 9 Satin Side Strapping Ponte Legging, $275 at Vince.
I live for Madewell denim. When I purchase jeans, I always buy Madewell, and have for several years. The fabric, the cut, the color, the style are all perfect. My current rotation includes lightweight dark rinse jeans, thicker hi-rise gray denim, and new this fall, black denim with holes and an unfinished hem. I have not tried the sateen style I recommend here, but I’m confident they’re excellent, as I am a devotee of Madewell High Riser Skinny Skinny styles.
At the risk of losing my fashion cred, I am going to admit I own very many pairs of perfect black skinny pants from Target. Yes, it’s true, under the Mossimo label there are stretchy nylon/spandex leggings cut in a five-pocket jean style that come in black and heathered charcoal, and I unabashedly adore them. They shrink like nobody’s business, and the consistently comes loose and pops off, unable to be repaired, but I keep buying them and wearing them. They’re inexpensive, fit perfectly, and look good (until you wash and dry them one too many times).
Finally, Vince. I think of Vince as the big name brand that does a stellar job with the whole wardrobe essentials concept. Admittedly, I have not yet tried a legging by Vince, but I love the look of the Vince Satin Side Strapping Ponte Legging and imagine that it could indeed be a pair of perfect black skinny pants, with its high waist and sexy satin tuxedo stripe panel.