Thursday, January 26, 2012

25 Days of Style: a Fashion Blog series -- Day 16

     Did you know that Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel was one of the first people to popularize the striped nautical shirt? Aside from giving us the little black dress, costume jewelry, black quilted chain bag, and boxy tweed jackets, Chanel was one of the first to make this simple piece into a fashion staple that every woman should have in her closet. It is after all very French. Every style book I’ve read gives praise to this easy to wear piece, and Ines de la Fressange, the author of Parisian Chic, has striped shirts all over her French style guide. It is known by many names – the striped shirt, the nautical or sailing shirt, the Picasso shirt (because Pablo Picasso wore them so often) – but regardless of what you want to call it, there’s no doubt that it’s definitely a classic. Now, get that image of a Gondola operator out of your head or worse, a mime. Besides, you’re in the wrong country, think more French and less Italian.. no offense to Miuccia Prada and the entire Missoni family.

     So it’s Day 16 and I’m in the mood for something Parisian. And that’s when this red striped shirt comes in. This is probably caused by the box full of French macarons that I received in an early birthday box from my sister filled with 25 things that I love (I still shudder at the thought of 25, only days away!) Or maybe it’s just this abnormally warm weather in January that’s making me hope that I’m going to be jet setting to Europe this summer. And speaking of weather, this outfit calls for shorts, but not just any shorts, lace shorts! I’ve been obsessed with these lace shorts ever since I was inspired to re-create Emma Watson’s look from her ads for Lancome’s Midnight Rose. What’s great about these lace shorts is that you can easily dress them up (with a blazer, a nice blouse with a tied bow, and pumps) as you can dress them down. Like the striped shirt, lace shorts are just as versatile and to complete this ultra comfortable and casual look, I’ve paired it with my only and favorite denim jacket.

     If my love of outwear and layers and layers of blazers and jackets isn’t obvious enough, then I hope this will make it clear – every woman needs a wardrobe of jackets (outerwear, etc.) At least at the utmost minimum, every woman needs a tailored black blazer, a military jacket, a trench coat, a basic black winter coat, and a longer winter coat (that comes past your waist and covers everything above the knee), and a good denim jacket. And just like with jeans, the wash and fit of your denim jacket is everything. Remember the disastrous fashion faux pas era which was the late 90s and early 2000? – the acid wash jeans and all the other various shades that jeans and jean jackets came in? It was embarrassing. I blame boy bands and teenage pop princesses. But besides the point, you want to invest in a good denim jacket that is in a classic wash, fit, and style which will last you longer than Britney Spears’s 55 hour marriage in Vegas. As for the accessories and keeping with the comfort theme of the look, I’ve opted for my red ballet flats and a couple of baubles – this chunky gold and pearl necklace and gold charm bracelet. Tres chic, yes?

Love, KB

red nautical striped shirt by BDG -- Urban Outfitters 
lace shorts by Kimchi Blue -- Urban Outfitters 
denim jacket by Hollister 
red ballet flats by Gianni Bini 
gold charm bracelet by Juicy Couture 
gold and white bauble necklace 

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