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MCLV Style: Pleats & Peplums

Happy – it’s almost the end of the week – Thursday! To celebrate I’d like to share some of my recent looks so that I can show how hard I’m working to meet my June fashion goals.

I have to confess, one of my favorite parts about having a stand-up desk at work is that I can wear pleated skirts to the office without having to worry about the pleats getting squished by sitting on them all day!

It’s the little things in life. 🙂

SkirtVince Camuto from Bloomingdale’s, Wide-strap tank – Zara, Cardigan – H&M, Mary Jane’s – Merona from Target, Rings – JewelMint, Vintage & Juicy Couture, and Watch – Vintage

You can HYPE this look on Lookbook.nu or shop similar pieces on ASOS Style Finder or by clicking the hyperlinks in the outfit breakdown above.

When I saw this skirt I knew that it was going to be mine, I loved both the stripes and the pleats. It’s also a fun length, almost like a cheerleader skirt (which I’ve never worn.,I swear). This whole look was inspired by the brightly colored, stripe-filled Jason Wu for Target Collection. And my love of stripes, of course.

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I also recently made my first peplum attempt of the season. I’ve seen so many cute variations of this trend lately – from simple peplum tops to fun & wild peplum dresses – and I wanted to give it a try as well.

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Liz from Late Afternoon has a fabulous and one-of-a-kind style, she frequently appears in my Looks of the Week posts, and I took her peplum outfit above as the inspiration for the look that I put together below.

Floral Dress – Vintage from Belle Cose, Peplum top – Zara, Patent (faux) Leather Oxford Booties – Wild Diva, Necklace – Express, Rings – JewelMint, Vintage & Juicy Couture, and Bracelets – JewelMint & Forever 21

In these photos is doesn’t appear that my body type is ideal for the peplum trend, but I decided that it was just the silhouette of the dress I’d chosen to wear under the peplum top. Besides, as far as I’m concerned the highlight of this look is the jewelry anyway. The finger-length floral ring is a recent acquisition from JewelMint and I’m madly madly in love.

Peplum Attempt Take II

Peplum Top – Zara, Pencil Skirt – Zara, Black & White Jacket – Zara, Round Toe Pumps – Very Volatile, Tweed Handbag – Kate Spade, Necklace – Asos, and Rings & Bracelets – JewelMint, Vintage, Forever 21 & BCBG

You can HYPE these looks on Lookbook.nu or shop similar pieces on ASOS Style Finder or by clicking the hyperlinks in the outfit breakdown above.

“I’m a Zara girl, in a Zara world…” I was definitely singing Barbie Girl in my head all morning. 🙂 The pencil skirt did a much better job of complementing the volume of the peplum top than the floral dress that I chose the first day. I’m glad that I gave this another try and didn’t give up after the first attempt was a disappointment!

What do you guys think? Are you willing to try interesting new trends each season? Or do you prefer to stick to your tried-and-true personal style?

A special thank you to my friend Liz for her help with these pictures, I’m an awful subject because I’m so uncomfortable in front of the camera, and I appreciate her never-ending patience with me!

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Looks of the Week

Happy Monday!

What better way to start a week off than some great sartorial inspiration? It always gives me a little lift when I see well-put together outfits, it also motivates me to put in some added effort when it comes to my personal style choices.

What about you? If you see some great looks does it motivate you to be more creative when you’re putting together and styling your daily outfits?

 

This is a great example of on of my favorite ways of putting together an outfit – Camille Over The Rainbow is a master of high-low dressing. Zara, Asos, and H&M pieces paired seamlessly with a gorgeous Celine handbag.

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This is just stunning. I love the unique combination of dramatic animal prints, reptilian leggings, and the sheer fabric of the blouse. It is certainly eye-catching!

She’s also carrying the Celine bag that seems to be the It Bag for Spring/Summer 2012 and which I’ve been drooling over for months. It’s a great choice because it’s large enough to tote around your must have’s but not so big that you’re carrying around all of your belongings. I’ve also been seeing it mostly in versatile neutral colors – white, tan, brown, and deep wine red – and this is such a classic style and shape that you know a neutral in this bag will be useable every season until the end of time!

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I love everything about this look – From the cute black & white patterned day dress to the fringed cross-body bag to the adorable black framed glasses. The perfect outfit for a low-key day when you still want to look cute.

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I’ve always admired Eva’s street style, she’s got a look that’s very much her own – ladylike with a unique twist, like her blue sunglasses here. This is a really cute sundress in a flattering pattern and length, a great look for warm Summer days.

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If you’re going to go for an all-black outfit take a cue from model Daiane and keep your look interesting with a statement necklace and a great bag. Accessories can do wonders!

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A standout jacket is a great way to finish off a look. Even in summer you can throw on a lightweight coat, like this gorgeous Kenzo version, and you’re ready for anything!

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Could this look scream Summer more? It’s bright, fun, and a little bit sassy. I’m a sucker for shirtdresses and I really love her choice of accessories, that large envelope clutch is divine.

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If hippie’s not your style but you’re planning to head to music festivals this is a great look to aspire to – ladylike chic. A trench will still be classic whether you choose pale pink or powder blue, so you can choose whatever color suits you best. P.S. LOVE those cat flats.

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Sexy Summer whites! Whites are a great way to stay cool in the Summer, night or day. Throw on some great separates and grab a sleek clutch like this gorgeous patent leather version and you’re good to go.

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I really like both of these dresses. Some actresses promoting a movie with a younger co-star would feel pressure to wear clothing that’s too “young” for them, but like Elizabeth Banks did at all of the Hunger Games premieres, Charlize Theron kept it classy and age-appropriate. And I love Kristen’s belted BCBG dress!

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So tell me, what has been your favorite trend this Spring? What have you not been able to stop wearing or daydreaming about lately?

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MCLV Style

Welcome back to another MCLV personal style post, I hope you enjoy these shots of some of my daily looks and of the place where the magic happens – cue the dramatic, swelling music…

I’m not going to lie, this walk in closet – along with two hall closets – was about 75% of the reason that I picked this apartment. A girl’s gotta be able to spread out. Purses need their air.

Dress: Zara, Pumps: Franco Sarto & Jewelry: Vintage

Sometimes polka dots are really the only option! 🙂 I love this mini to death, it’s fun and flirty, but the long-sleeves make it appropriate enough to wear all day long. Perfect for errands and lounging after work!

Shirt: Zara, Jeans: Juicy, Jewelry: JewelMint & Rachel Roy and Shoes: Asos.com

Clearly I love stripes just as much as I love my polka dots. Definitely couldn’t pick between the two. Sophie’s choice!

And those shoes… I was trying to find the perfect shoes to wear to an upcoming wedding and since the bride-to-be is one of the coolest chicks ever and the wedding is going to be a ridiculously good time, I thought something fun like polka dots would be perfectly appropriate. Then they arrived and I KNEW, I just knew. They were destined for this wedding. Destined I tell you.

So now I’m just breaking them in. Promise.

Dress: Zara, Shoes: Very Volatile, Tights: DKNY, and Belt: BCBG

Typical work look for me, a dress in a flattering silhouette paired with pumps,and accessories. It’s the shoes, belts, headbands, scarves, and jewelry that’s the fun part for me – I like playing with the extras and adding them to my classic basics.

Dress: Vintage, Coat: Unknown (bought it in Rome years ago) & Shoes: BCBG

Chanel pendant, Manila pearls, JewelMint, Tiffany’s & Express

I frequently tend towards solid colors, but some days I really crave color. And patterns. This look is a double whammy – A colorful, floral patterned vintage dress with a traditional looking black & white plaid coat.

Dress: Banana Republic & Shoes: Franco Sarto

Pendant: JewelMint, Leaf necklace: Vintage & Ring: Rachel Roy

I love wrap dresses – from H&M to Zara to Diane Von Furstenberg. I have a couple of these faux wrap dresses from Banana Republic in different colors and patterns. They’re comfortable, flattering, and perfect to throw on during a hectic morning when you don’t have time to put mix and match separates.

Along with my personal style snaps I wanted to share with you a new obsession that is just too juicy not to spill – Emm Kuo accessories. These handbags are just divine, I adore the classic, structured styles and the versatile but unique and one-of-a-kind colors, fabrics, and patterns. From dramatic shoulder bags to the perfect day bag to envelope clutches for every possible occasion – they’ve got you covered.

Enjoy the bag porn!

You’re welcome!

Interested in my personal rules on business wear? Check out What NOT To Wear To Work.

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MCLV Fashion & Lessons In Self Portraits

While I originally strove for the impossible here – i.e. decent looking self portraits – I decided to give this another attempt this past week. I’ve been having a lot of fun with my fashion choices lately and wanted to share it with you guys as best I can.

Pocket tunic - Express, Pants - DKNY, Sweater - Banana Republic, Boots - Can't remember & Jewelry - Vintage (Belle Cose)

A tunic over slim pants is one of my favorite silhouettes and I adore layering vintage gold jewelry so I really love this type of look. These boots, that I got years and years ago, are my current favorites – I like the thick heel because they’re incredibly comfortable, while the buckles give them a bit of a rock n’ roll feel.

Dress - BCBG, Jewelry- JewelMint & Vintage, Wristlet - Mango & Shoes - MaddenGirl

This colors in this dress are perfect for Spring while the subtle pattern is fresh and eye-catching. Styling it is fun because of the different ways that you can go – In January I went with a bright red coat, tights, and black pumps during the 10 Day Style Challenge. These new MaddenGirl shoes are really comfortable and I’m absolutely mad about them right now.

I always feel like Inspector Gadget when I wear bucket hats! 🙂

Coat - H&M, Booties - BCBG, Jewelry - Tiffany's & Hat - GAP

A belted jacket is such a great, classic look when its chilly out. No matter the occasion, day or night, a great coat can finish your look. It gives your outfit an overall air of polish.

Skirt - Zara, Tank - Anthropology, Booties - Max Studio & Bag - Givenchy

I love pleated skirts and excitedly picked up three for this Spring season. This black one is incredibly versatile, it can be worn with tights and boots when its colder out or with sandals and a tank during warmer weather.

Unfortunately we’re still suffering through day after day of rain here in San Francisco, so despite my desire to pull out all of my Spring clothes I’m still very much in winter mode from a wardrobe standpoint.

Have you switched to your Spring clothes & accessories yet?

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Pre-Fall 2012 Collections: Part III

At long last, as promised, here is the third and final post covering the Pre-Fall 2011 Collections – Part I & Part II are available as well for your viewing pleasure.

The first word that popped into my mind when I surveyed the photographs of the BCBG Max Azaria Pre-Fall 2012 collection was clean. Clean color schemes, clean lines, clean accessorizing. The show was full of beautiful details, patterns, fabrics and accessories, but the pairings still managed to be clean. As only Max and Lubov Azria can do. I especially liked the inclusion of dramatic leather hippie-inspired fringed belts. (You can read what FabSugar has to say about the BCBG show here.)

Wide royal blue and black stripes - Check. Bright colored laced - Check. Pleats - Check. Sheer fabrics - Check. Hippie inspired fringe - Check. Kick @$$ heels - Check. And yet, this looks clean and polished, not busy and overwhelming. Perfection.

Chic black & white evening wear that manages to be simultaneously reminiscent of medieval fashion and utterly modern. Now that's a hard combination to manage!

 
As much as I adored watching stars like Emma Stone, Diane Kruger and Zoe Saldana on the red carpet in Francisco’s pastel, second-skin creations this past year, I gasped when I saw his Pre-Fall 2011 collection. While the minimalism he’s known for was still present, the thicker fabrics and darker colors paired with more structured looks took Calvin Klein to a whole new level this season. Blacks, greys and taupes with a splash of burnt orange, all done in heavy wools and leathers.
 

I predict that this dress will be VERY popular this season. It has a cut and a color that are both incredibly flattering and the ribbing and pleat details are perfect for the red carpet. Can't you just picture Eva Mendes looking stunning in this at a movie premiere?

A belted black two piece look in wool and leather with pleats and a braided belt paired with peeptoe platforms, this could almost be mistaken for Michael Kors if the exquisite details and tailoring didn't scream Francisco Costa.

 
I’ve been a fan of Temperley London since I saw her Fall 2008 Ready-To-Wear show, which I thought was really fun, edgy and well done, sort of biker chick meets supermodel. That show had a much harder edge to it than this latest Temperley London show – hot off her successes of the past year (heard of Pippa Middleton, have you?) she presented a show with a more demure, high society vibe. Pearls, sequins, Swiss-dot tights, headbands, silk blouses, pewter rose belt buckles, A-line skirts, satin evening gowns, leather leggings, opera-length gloves… It was quite a collection (Emma Roberts’s holiday look was inspired by this show).
 

It's hard to imagine making a cheetah print look proper and ladylike. I guess the key is a shift silhouette, stockings, white driving gloves and a multi-strand pearl necklace.

This dress is beautifully done, with the buttons and subtle panelling of the fabric it is anything but plain. And the styling is perfect with the tights, pumps and belt.

 
While a lot of the shows that I’ve reviewed thus far have showcased separates, outerwear and dresses that the “average woman” could see herself wearing, there were also a number of houses that focused on a very different, very specific purpose. The red carpet. With the award season almost upon on, Badgle Mischka proved that they’re ready to dress their A-list clients for all their events in the coming months. The collection was on the conservative side, but in a classic, old-school glamour kind of way.
 

I love, love, love long-sleeved evening gowns. They're the height of elegance in my mind, evoking Hollywood's Golden Age - Greta Garbo, Katharine Hepburn, Claudette Colbert, Bette Davis, Jean Harlow, Rita Hayworth, Marlene Dietrich...

This gown has Julianne Moore's name all over it. It's elegant and understated, but the color and the details at the shoulders & chest keep it interesting. I say hem it a little, add a slit up on side, throw on jeweled sandals and add a serious gold cuff.

 
Monique Lhuillier is another designer who has recently expanded her repertoire to include more separates and daywear, but who still specializes in red carpet statement gowns. This collection was mostly black, white and grey, with standout splashes of cobalt blue. Florals and lace were the primary patterns and there was very little styling or jewelry, the dresses were left to stand alone.
 

I don't love the peekaboo hemlines that were all over last season, but somehow the demure length and the gorgeous lace and neckline of this dress make it work.

Interesting necklines are a great way to distinguish yourself in a sea of beautiful women in beautiful dresses. I like the combination of the halter, the belted waist and the slit, it makes the gown formal, but still youthful. This would be a good one for choice for one of the younger stars this season.

How much does this look like one of the gowns that Grace Kelly wore when she was still gracing the red carpets of Hollywood?

 
Seriously, look!
 
 
 
Brazilian Carlos Miele’s Pre-Fall 2011 collection was entirely made up of red carpet worthy dresses, from movie premieres to the Oscars, he had something for everyone.
 

This is a beautiful gown that appears very simple but is anything but. I like that its one-shouldered but not a Goddess gown, I think the small skirt-like extra fabric at the waist helps. I also like the ribbon detailing at the hems.

I'm going to go ahead and guess that this print was inspired by Monet's Water Lilies series. What I love about this column gown is the unusual line along the bust, it's neither a traditional sweetheart neckline nor a strictly asymmetrical one.

 
Another Oscar-season regular is Naeem Khan, whose Pre-Fall 2012 collection included floor length gowns in black & white, florals, sequins and shimmering pastels. I was especially impressed by the printed dresses and the intricate beading. All of these dresses could be styled to be perfect for the red-carpet with some killer heels and tons of costume jewelry.
 

Paging Studio 54. Paging Studio 54. Everything about this gown, from the cut to the beading to the geometric belt, is calling for a dramatic, statuesque woman to make it hers. I hope Iman finds it!

Gorgeous beading adds a little something extra to this floral gown, which is really well done with its deep v-neck and skinny patent leather belted waist.

 
FabSugar has a final round-up of the looks 
 
Photos from Style.com unless otherwise cited.
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