Five Killer Reads #1: Burgers, Cherry Pickles, Chocolate, and Pokemon

1. Pickled balsamic cherries. I’m glad I’m not the only one who noticed that it seemed like they were giving away cherries at the store this season. Usually, cherries–my absolute favorite summer fruit to which I look forward all year–are … Continue reading

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Triple Shot: Spiked Bracelets, Biker Jackets, and Dark Lips & Tips

Style is hard. There’s always this balance you’re trying to find: enough sexy but not too provocative; classic and timeless but not too much like the Queen; trendy and current but not like… the above photo.

Potentially, I view incorporating trends in a weekend outfit to be the most dangerous. We all have a tendency to go shopping after we read SheStyle and go trend crazy, which is totally fine, acceptable behavior and we don’t have a problem because I can stop any time I want to.

The problem arises usually on the weekends, when you feel this urge to wear all the shiny, new stuff, and you pile on so many trends without much thought that you end up looking like a Kardashian. You don’t want to look like a Kardashian.

The way to balance out multiple trends in one outfit is to complement each piece within the set. Neon peplum dress? Go with nude pumps. Spiked biker jacket? Avoid a mohawk; choose soft, vintage, Veronica Lake curls.

To illustrate, here’s a picture. You know what the problem with law school was? The casebooks chronicled these gruesome tales, yet the only pictures were like this:

I’m a visual person, as evidenced by my early obsession with sketching clothes, my early-twenties-ist love of magazine layout, and my current attraction to Polyvore in general. So for you, no more casebooks, but lookbooks. An example of balance in tripling up on trends:

Tripling Up: Dark Lips and Tips + Spike Bracelet + Biker Jacket
This set follows a logical progression.
  • You start with the spike bracelet, a polished gold that brings in a fair amount of chic glam to an otherwise potentially “rough” look. Enter your first trend.
  • From there, a stamp of bright color in an understatedly sexy, modest-length dress with accordion pleats. The cut is slightly vintage, balancing out the brevity of the pyramid bracelet trend; the belt’s buckle hints at some matchy-matchy with the bracelet.
  • You want to keep the rest of the outfit light, so I wanted to avoid dark colors in jackets and thought a blazer might be too blah, while a white biker jacket is perfect. Enter your second trend. The cropped jacket plays off the gathered belted waist of the dress, lengthening your legs and nudging a vintage line. The white adds a bit of classic chic, whereas a black biker jacket might be too heavy.
  • You want to keep the rest of the set pretty plain–a pair of nude pumps keeps the leggy line and lets the dress and accessories be the center of attention.
  • The grey structured bag keeps you from a black or white bag, and a brown leather just wouldn’t look as good here. The structure plays off the flow of the dress and the edge of the jacket.
  • When it comes to beauty, you’ve balanced the rest of the outfit well, so you can play with deeper sexiness. Enter your third trend: dark lips and tips. This is, by far, one of my favorite highlights for fall 2012. I’ve been in love with deep plum lips and nails for as long as I can remember–colors reminiscent of the vampy sex kittens of the 20s to 40s. Play off that vintage sex appeal here, as a dark lips and tips combination will read that way here, instead of a nightmarish “goth” look.
  • For the eyes, keep it simple with a thin line of liquid or powder eyeliner, hinting at the thick, nearly false, lash look.
Classy sex appeal, with enough trends to make a Kardashian’s head spin. Genius? Maybe. Perfect? Possibly. Doable and accessibly sexy? Absolutely.
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Planning a Party: Part 1. Lay of the Land.

“Like they used to” sounds like something an older person might say about “kids and their iPods and their sex parties”, and so I try to avoid using it. I try to realize that we will always romanticize the past, to the point where, no matter what, I think I looked “Whoa, so much prettier” four months ago than I do today. Even if I definitely look so much prettier today than four months ago, there’s something about that person being gone that makes them more marvelous. The same can be said for modern times in general.

That being said, you should realize I’m about to apply the label very carefully:

People do not do parties like they used to. If you can come, that’s cool, whatever. If not, whatever. I’ll make a Facebook event and upload a .gif from WhatShouldWeCallMe or slap “HAPPY BIRTHDAY JASON” text on a copy of the birthday boy’s profile pic. We’ll have two cases of PBR in the fridge. And… go!

This is totally fine for an uber-casual last-minute get together, the kind that surprises even you, the last-minute hostess, and you surprise yourself by managing to scrounge up a last-minute bag of chips and salsa.

But when you want to entertain, to me, that just doesn’t cut it.

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