There are some women who always appear effortlessly chic, who rarely misstep in the world of fashion, and who often make us sigh and wish we thought of their look first. Here is a short list of sincerely stylish young celebs who combine the classic, the daring, and the tasteful to create some of the best ensembles we see splashed across the pages of the world’s magazines.
1. Olivia Palermo
She has risen far above the heights of reality television villain on The City, and has ascended into the world of fashion Goddesses. So sleek and chic she has been called a real-world Blair Waldorf, she manages to blend colors, patterns, and textures in new and exciting ways while maintaining clean lines and a stunning (dare we say) ‘old-money’ look that is both luxurious and untouchable. The penultimate socialite, she has cultivated legions of fans across the fashion world simply by expressing her own personal style.
2. Rachel Bilson
A great example of how to do Hollywood Bohemian right, Rachel Bilson has made a name for herself in the fashion world- even acting as a stylist for Piperlime. She is not afraid to channel a hippy-chick one day with a tiered maxi-skirt, and a punk princess the next in a delicate sundress and black combat boots. Her risks often pay off, but even when they don’t her look is uniquely her own.
3. Lauren Conrad
If there is one woman in Hollywood who knows how to mix and match basic pieces you probably already have in your closet and make them look fresh and sophisticated, it is Lauren Conrad. After all, she designs her own clothing lines and wrote the book on style (literally)! An all-American girl with a worldly sense of style, Lauren’s look is simple and classic.
4. Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge
No list of fashion icons could be complete without the inclusion of this royal formerly known as Kate Middleton. She has an ethereal beauty and a sense of grace that shines through with or without a royal title; she is our generation’s Grace Kelly. The blue Issa gown she wore during the announcement of her betrothel to Prince William was the dress seen round the world, and the first of many memorable looks. With a wardrobe fit for a princess, her clothes are an impeccable blend of tradition and modern design. Old or young, I do not know one woman who does not admire her serene demeanor and her always perfectly-coiffed hair.
In Jenny Packham
Check out our pinterest page to see other phenomenal looks from these starlets and princesses. Who deserved to make the list that didn’t, and who didn’t deserve to make it that did? Feel free to start a cat-fight in the comments section below.
Some items are perennially in-style and flatter every figure. These pieces really are non-negotiable, but I meet women every day who still have not managed to furnish their closets with the most basic necessities of a modern working-girl’s wardrobe. It may sound sexist, but let’s be real; every man should know how to change a tire, and every woman should have these items in her home.
Readers can find a selection of each of these items for the Shopper who likes to Splurge, the Responsible Shopper, and the Shopper who loves a Bargain, at our Pinterest Board “Closet Staples.”
1. A pair of beautiful versatile black pumps.
These are for work, for play, for a special event… the uses are endless. Even if you are not a fashionista, every woman needs a pair of black heels that are appropriate for both an interview and a night out, and that make her legs look AH-mazing. I must admit I have (eek!) 10 pairs- each valuable in their own way- but if you are aiming to find a pair that will suit almost any occasion, look for a pump with a closed toe, a classic silhouette, and a heel that is between 2 and 3 1/2 inches. Anything higher might not be appropriate for a conservative work place, and anything lower really doesn’t count as a heel. I don’t care that you don’t know how to walk in them, it’s a skill worth cultivating.
For the Shopper who Loves a Bargain: Women’s Mossimo Black® Pamela Pointed Heel at Target, 3/12″ heel, $29.99
2. A flattering pair of dark jeans.
Skinny jeans are best, but not everyone feels comfortable in that cut. Straight and boot-cut styles can also be useful; find a pair that skims the top of your foot when you’re wearing a mid-height heel (so they can arguably be worn with every heel-height, low or high) and that make your badonk-a-donk look fantabulous. Dark wash jeans that make you feel amazing are an asset in any closet.
3. A fun patterned cardigan
This piece adds interest to any outfit, is safe for the office, and can dress different separates in your closet up or down. Try wearing it over a white button-town blouse and turning the cuffs of the shirt up, or experiment with belting it over a pencil skirt. Don’t you get cold in that frigid, air-conditioned office?
4. A fitted sweater in your favorite color
Wear it with jeans or wear it with a collared shirt underneath. It is a safe reliable piece that will take you through every season. You know your favorite color brings out your eyes and puts you in a great mood.
5. A pair of sophisticated nude pumps.
They go with everything and they make your legs look impossibly long. Why would you resist the urge to buy them? Believe it or not, black heels do not work perfectly under all circumstances; with lighter or brighter colored outfits they can look harsh. Nude heels solve that problem.
For the Shopper who likes to Splurge: Christian Louboutin Decollete 554 100mm nude patent leather pumps $625
5. A white-button down blouse
I’m praying you already have one, since they can be worn all year round anywhere and everywhere. I’ve already described how well they work with a sweater- it’s all about the accessorizing.
6. An LFD
I call this a “Little Fabulous Dress,” most women think black, but as long as it hits slightly above the knee, would be appropriate at a funeral or a cocktail party (to be blunt), and makes you feel lovely and confident, it will get the job done.
For the Shopper who Loves a Bargain: The Gemma Wrap Dress in Purple Orchid at Banana Republic, on sale for $68. The cinched waist, body-skimming cut, and v-neck shape flatter almost everyone.
7. A handbag that takes your breath away
Because you need a bag that is professional enough to double as a brief-case, feminine enough to be used as a regular purse, and that you absolutely love. Stick with solid leather in understated tones, but accept you may have to pay the most for this item. Suck it up, it’s an investment that will last you years!
A bag for the shopper who likes to Splurge: Tory Burch ‘Amanda’ Tote at Nordstrom $495
8. A small and elegant evening bag
This is for special events or an evening out when a full-sized shoulder back is just too much. Try a black or neutral-toned leather clutch if you want something extremely versatile that can be used on casual occasions as well.
9 and 10. A perfectly fitted black, navy or charcoal grey suit.
I cannot stress this enough, if you are, or plan on being, a female professional, you need to take yourself seriously. If you have a big presentation or an interview in conservative office setting, do not mix and match pieces: buy a suit. Chances are, even if you cannot tell the difference between blacks and navys, someone on the hiring team can. It’s not that they’re hiring you for your fashion sense, but they do care about the way you present yourself and your attention to detail. Once you own a suit that fits you impeccably, you can mix and match separates.
The pencil skirt
Wear it with a sequined tank and strappy heels on a Saturday night, and with a button-up blouse to work on Monday morning.
The blazer really deserves its own heading, because it goes with everything. No, really it does! Lauren Conrad is the queen of mixing and matching closet staples, which may be why she is known for her classic and effortlessly chic style. She wears her blazer with skirts, dresses, jeans, heels; you name it. And it all looks fabulous.
Here Lauren Conrad mixes and matches classic pieces.
So what essential item did I leave off the list? Let me know what I missed in the comments below, and follow us on Pinterest!