Take Her Look [For Less]

Although we are a few months beyond the reach of the summer blockbuster season, the show must go on, and red carpets are being continually rolled out for the latest movie premieres of the fall. And on Oct. 19, the stars of the recently released Nasty Baby strolled down the red carpet at the film’s premiere at ArcLight Cinemas in Hollywood, California.

Our favorite look of the night came courtesy of Kristen Wiig. According to Just Jared, Wiig wore a pale blush Brandon Maxwell crop top that she paired with matching trousers, pairing the whole ensemble with Sophia Webster shoes. She completed her look with a tousled updo and minimal jewelry.

Wiig’s sexy-meets-sophisticated look stole our hearts, but its hefty price tag, however, left us cold. Her crop top — the Suit Top Bustier — is from the Brandon Maxwell Spring 2016 Collection, which alone costs a lofty $825 from Moda Operandi‘s Brandon Maxwell trunkshow. Couple that with her trousers — the Cropped Wide Leg Trouser — for $795, and we’re looking at an outfit that costs upwards of $1,620. But if you want to take this look for your own, we’ve found all the pieces necessary to recreate Wiig’s entire look for under $200. Read on for the results!

Finding a crop top and trousers in this unique blush/oatmeal hue was rather difficult, which led us to expanding our search to include other neutrals. Just then, we landed on the Notched Crop Top from Forever 21. Although it’s done in a stark white, the straight neckline invoked the top of Wiig’s crop top, while its notched hem served as an attention-getting device that works in a similar way to the rounded hemline on the Brandon Maxwell top. Coming in at only $12.90, this top is a great piece from which to build our look for less.

The Notched Crop Top, found on Forever21.com.

The Notched Crop Top, found on Forever21.com.

To complete this look, we opted for the Premium Crepe Wide Leg Trousers from Missguided. Featuring a similar wide-leg silhouette and high-waisted design, these trousers will perfectly complement your crop top, and it will do so for only $51.

The Premium Crepe Wide Leg Trousers, found on Missguidedus.com.

The Premium Crepe Wide Leg Trousers, found on Missguidedus.com.

Although Kristen Wiig’s Brandon Maxwell ensemble cost upwards of $1,620, we were able to recreate her entire look for not only less than $200, but less than $100, coming in at a mere $63.90. At a price like that, you can go splurge on some killer heels to pair with your new outfit.

Happy Shopping!

She Leads, You Follow: Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic

Red carpets are often rolled out to mark the arrivals of actors, actresses and musicians to an awards ceremony, but on Oct. 17, the red carpet was readied at Will Rogers State Historic Park for the sixth annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic Los Angeles in Pacific Palisades, California. And of course, this means that the arrivals were filled with fashionable outfits for a day of champagne and polo.

Catching our eye first was a bright blue ensemble courtesy of Nina Dobrev. The actress attended the polo classic in a cerulean blue chiffon dress by Badgley Mischka, which she paired with white strappy sandals and a grey oversized clutch, says InStyle

Following Dobrev was Lauren Conrad, who graced the red carpet in a cheery yellow number with a plunging v-neckline. She kept her look simple and to the point, with natural makeup and no jewelry.

Although Dobrev and Conrad are dressed for a red carpet event, there are several things about their looks that we can apply to our everyday dressing:

  1. Don’t be afraid of color – Both Dobrev and Conrad opted for bright colors, immediately attracting our attention. But what is equally eye-catching is how they wore these bright colors: they made the color of their dresses the focal point of their outfits, while keeping their accessories, their makeup and their hair as simple as possible. Dobrev paired her look with a neutral clutch and white heels, allowing for the color to be the star of the outfit while her accessories played a supporting role. Conrad decided to go sans accessories, even keeping her hair and makeup soft and subtle. If you are afraid to try out a bold hue, take their lead by wearing your favorite bright color with more subdued accessories to make the color your outfit’s focal point; any busier or loud accessories would create conflicting focal points and end up drawing attention away from the color itself.
  2. You don’t have to ‘bare’ it all – One common thread (get it?) in both of these outfits is that they are sexy without being overtly so; Dobrev’s frock features tiny cutouts at the waist, while Conrad’s dress has a prominent plunging neckline and even a slit in the skirt. But neither of these dresses  are very revealing; this goes to show that you don’t have to ‘bare’ it all to be sexy. Sometimes, just showing little peeks can be subtly sexy, if not more sexy than showing it all.

Tyra Takes on the Tech Community

From taking the runway to taking the stage at a technology conference, supermodel, talkshow host and beauty startup owner Tyra Banks did just that when she spoke at the Wall Street Journal tech conference on Tuesday, Oct. 20.

According to CNN Money, the three-day conference featured few women speakers, but Banks was one of the women to command the microphone at the event. An investor in tech startups herself, Banks was not out of place at the conference. But CNN Money explains that Banks was there to talk about more than just entrepreneurship; she married the two subjects together as she spoke on the importance of encouraging women in the workplace. A vocal advocate for female empowerment, Banks made a statement on the matter in the way she knows best — with her outfit, wearing a T-shirt under her blazer that read “I’m an entrepreneur, bitch.”

Speaking on her modeling career, Banks discussed how she ‘broke the glass ceiling,’ becoming the first black model on the cover of Sports Illustrated. From here, she explained that female entrepreneurs need to persevere and “break the powers that be,” while men in positions of power need to allow women the opportunity to succeed.

“Do research about what female leaders can bring to you that a man cannot,” Banks said, according to CNN Money. “Divorce a lot of these preconceived notions that we have as children [about] how we see women in the workplace.”

At Banks’ own startup, Tyra Beauty, she explained that she actually had to make a concerted effort to employ men, considering she is so “pro-women.”

Just how pro-women is she? CNN Money reports that her beauty line features a lipstick shade called “Ask for a raise,” because she wants to “encourage women to do just that.”

Thank you, Tyra Banks, for not only telling us, but showing us how to break the glass ceiling to become powerful forces in the workplace and in the world.

She Leads, You Follow: ELLE Women in Hollywood Awards Edition

Some of our favorite leading ladies took to the red carpet at the Four Season Los Angeles in Beverly Hills, California on Oct. 19 to attend the 2015 ELLE Women in Hollywood Awards. And of course, the awards were filled with several eye-catching looks, making it difficult to choose just a few of our favorite ensembles.

One favorite of the night came courtesy of Amy Schumer, who opted for a bright red Calvin Klein Collection dress, says InStyleMatching her dress with an equally bright red lipstick, Schumer capped off her look with otherwise natural makeup and loose sultry waves.

Following Schumer’s eye-popping ensemble was a simple black and white jumpsuit number worn by Shailene Woodley. According to InStyleWoodley paired her one-shoulder Calvin Klein Collection jumpsuit with nude pointed-toe Kurt Geiger pumps.

Although these starlets are dressed for an awards ceremony in the heart of Beverly Hills, there are certain things that we can learn from their glamorous ensembles and apply to our everyday style.

  1. Less is more – While it can sound like a cliché, it cannot be overstated. Both Schumer and Woodley wore very simple looks, but both of their outfits were equally stunning. How could this be? Consider these two points when mulling over a simpler piece while shopping:
    1. Fit – Schumer’s dress and Woodley’s jumpsuit both fit like a glove. The garments are tailored perfectly to their bodies, and when garments fit properly, it not only enhance the inherent style in the piece, it also plays up the wearer’s best assets. Not to mention a well-fitting garment gives you a nice confidence boost, and isn’t confidence the most important part of an outfit anyway?
    2. Timelessness – Both of these pieces are timeless; they are just as fashionable now as they would be in 20 years. Although simple, pieces like this never go out of style and are always ultra-flattering.
  2. Shine through – This follows from point one, but is just as important, if not more so. The real reason why these outfits are so eye-catchingly beautiful is because we actually see the women wearing them. We are not distracted by loud beading or a sea of material; we instead just see Schumer and Woodley’s naturally beautiful selves. Their simple, yet stunning red carpets looks allow us to not be distracted by busy outfits, but instead focus on how truly beautiful they are on their own without all the bells and whistles. And that’s what we are supposed to see — the woman, not the dress and then the woman.

Michele Inspires with Recent Op-Ed

Actresses can be known for powerful, emotive on-screen performances, but recently, one actress is drawing attention not for her role in a movie or television show, but instead for an essay.

The Huffington Post reports that Glee-alum Lea Michele recently penned an op-ed for The Daily Beast in which she “explained the importance of women empowering other women in a world where women’s experiences, opinions and unique traits are often dismissed and overlooked.”

Discussing how the media often places unrealistic standards of perfection upon women while also forcing them to conform to the mainstream, Michele wrote, “Too often, female expression is stifled. The truth about women is skewed in popular culture, and so many young girls reading the weekly magazines in the grocery checkout aisle are left to wonder where they fit in.”

The Huffington Post also says Michele told of her involvement int he #ActuallySheCan campaign, an initiative that bolsters female ambition, citing supportive female friends, mentors and advocates who have helped her in both her personal and professional life as inspiration for participating in the campaign.

Further in the piece, Michele encouraged young women to share their voices and support others that do so, as well. “We have to be diligent, we have to be willing to take risks,” she said. “We have to be willing to celebrate one another and accept the challenges we face individually and collectively.”

Michele concluded her op-ed in this way: “#ActuallySheCan is a reminder that I can, that She can, and that We can.”

Thank you, Lea Michele, for reminding us that all women can and should use their voices and defy the expected to achieve their goals.

Read the full op-ed here.

She Leads, You Follow: God’s Love We Deliver Golden Heart Awards Gala Edition

On Oct. 15, God’s Love We Deliver hosted their ninth annual Golden Heart Awards which honors those who have worked tirelessly to further the mission of the non-profit organization. Held at Spring Studios in Manhattan, the awards featured two honorees and a number of celebrities who attended the event in high fashion.

One of our favorite looks came courtesy of Kate Hudson, who wowed on the event’s red carpet in a black and white floral Michael Kors Collection dress, featuring a high neckline and split bodice. She completed her look with mustard yellow pointed-toe pumps, says InStyle

Diane Kruger went for something blue, wearing a Michael Kors Collection tonal abstract-print dress with belting detail at the bodice. Kruger polished off her look with a black frame clutch and minimal jewelry.

Rounding out our favorite looks is Emily Blunt, who took to the Golden Heart Awards in another Michael Kors Collection dress, this time a number featuring what InStyle reports is an illusion bodice and sequin skirt. Finishing off her look were single-strap sandals and a patterned box clutch.

Although these lovely ladies are dressed for a night of celebrating the generosity of God’s Love We Deliver’s supporters, there are several aspects of their looks that we can apply to the way we dress every day:

  1. A split decision – Kate Hudson’s black and white dress shows that it’s possible to have the best of both worlds. While her dress features a high neckline, it also has split bodice. Dichotomies like this can be very useful when putting together an outfit; here, we read “conservative” from the dress’s high neck, but then read “sexy” from the slit. Things like this can create a visually interesting, sophisticated look, so when you’re putting together an outfit, look for the ways in which the clothing sends different messages. For example, high-waisted, wide-legged trousers can read as classic and even a bit professional. To contrast this, try pairing it with a modern crop top for a chic going-out look.
  2. Belted together – Diane Kruger’s belted dress shows us the importance of belts not just when paired with dresses, but with any garment. Here, her belt not only accentuates her waist, it also adds bit of an edge to the outfit, since it is done in leather and creates a wrap-effect around her ribcage. Belts are a great way to create shape in anything from a dress to a top, as they easily define your waistline and accentuate your curves. However, they are also a great way to build interest in your outfit, since they can indicate an edgier look (like Kruger’s) or even a more modern look, depending on the style of the belt.
  3. Mix it up – Wearing what can be called a mixed-media dress, Emily Blunt shows us how to wear a few different textures and materials simultaneously. The top of her dress reads as an open mesh, while the bottom of her dress is a skirt full of sparkles. This mixing of textures creates a really rich, intriguing look. To mimic this effect in your own outfits, an easy way to start is by mixing leather with things like lace, wool or even chunky knits. Mixing textures like this will not only look visually interesting, it will also look rather cohesive and put together.

No Retouching Allowed

Photo retouching and editing has been the object of public scrutiny from both celebrities and everyday women alike. And recently, actress Kate Winslet voiced her own opinions over photo retouching at an Elle Magazine event.

According to The Huffington Postwhen Winslet attended an Oct. 19 event to celebrate Elle‘s “Women in Hollywood” issue, she explained to E! News that when she signed her contract to represent makeup company L’Oreal, she made sure that “none of her images in her Lancôme ads are retouched.”

She explained her reasoning in this way: “I think [young women] do look to magazines, I think they do look to women who have been successful in their chosen careers and they want people to look up to,” she said in an interview with E!. “I would always want to be telling the truth about who I am to that generation because they’ve got to have strong leaders.”

Issues such as these have always been important to Winslet, and she expressed why it’s so important to her: “It’s a hope that other people might follow suit but it does feel important to me because I do think we have a responsibility to the younger generation of women,” adding that we all have a responsibility to raise strong women.

We could not agree more. Thank you, Kate Winslet, for reminding us that what we project is what will shape the future.

Makeup Makes the Girl?

Women and girls are often criticized for how they look, with passersby commenting not only how they’re dressed, but also how they’ve styled their hair and applied their makeup. While some comments can express praise, others can be judgmental and even mean. Such shaming has happened recently targeting makeup, but one Youtube beauty blogger is working to stop what’s being called “makeup shaming,” and her revolution is beginning to take over Instagram.

Cue beauty blogger Nikkie, who began the #ThePowerOfMakeup Instagram campaign after posting a video of the same name to her Youtube channel. Marie Claire reports that her video was meant to stop those who “attack girls for wearing lots of makeup in pics and videos” by calling them “insecure” for applying makeup or by assuming that girls only wear makeup to impress males. Five months later, Nikkie’s adjoining hashtag is still lighting up Instagram.

Marie Claire says that women are taking to Instagram to share photos of themselves with half of their faces made up and half of their faces sans makeup and posting their snapshots with the hashtag #ThePowerofMakeup, explaining that the aim of the project is “about being comfortable in your own skin, and proud of how you look with and without makeup.”

With their photos, women share what wearing makeup means to them or how they’ve been affected by makeup shaming. One Instagram user explained that she wears makeup because “it’s fun,” not because she’s insecure. While some wrote that they simply enjoy playing with makeup, others said that makeup doesn’t define who you are; it merely enhances your natural beauty.

One user highlighted by Marie Claire, @camilaxmorales, summed up her feelings on using makeup this way: “It is about being comfortable in your own skin, not being ashamed of showing your true self and also to just have fun with makeup whether its applying a lot of a little.”

We could not agree more. Thanks Nikkie for showing us that makeup does not make the girl, and that makeup only enhances who we are.

She Leads, You Follow: La Mer Celebration Edition

Being considered an ‘icon’ in the fashion and makeup industry is not an easily-won accomplishment, but on Oct. 13, skincare and cosmetic brand La Mer celebrated their icon-status at their “Celebration of an Icon” 50th Anniversary event at Siren Studios in Hollywood, California. Although the night was all about La Mer, we couldn’t help but be sidetracked by the event’s tremendous red carpet fashion.

Take Chrissy Teigen’s white-hot ensemble, for example. The model and recently-announced mommy-to-be made an appearance on the red carpet in what InStyle describes as a white strappy Kayat dress. Teigen completed her look with silver metallic frame clutch, matching silver Jimmy Choo sandals and EF Collection jewelry.

Following suit in an equally stunning look was Gwyneth Paltrow, who rocked the red carpet in a Galvan jumpsuit with a sheer plunging neckline. Polishing off her look were black satin Brian Atwood sandals and a bold cocktail ring.

Although these lovely ladies are styled for the red carpet, there are certain facets of their looks that we can apply to the way we dress every day:

  1. Structurally speaking – Chrissy Teigen’s white Kayat dress a perfect example of clothing with an inherent, shape-creating structure. The wide straps accentuate her shoulders, balancing them out with her hips, while the zipper running down the center of her dress draws our attention and makes us follow the long line it creates. The seaming and slight ruching at the bodice and waist of the dress draws attention to her bustline while simultaneously narrowing her waist. These simple, barely perceptible features all work to define her shape and make an otherwise simple dress visually stimulating. Whether you’re shopping for anything from a dress to a blouse, be sure to consider all of the elements of the garment beyond the print and overall shape, because there may be elements working ‘behind the seams’ that make the piece a very functional, yet fashionable item.
  2. Jump into a jumpsuit – Gwyneth Paltrow’s Galvan jumpsuit shows us not only one way to properly wear a formal jumpsuit, but also what to look for when shopping for the perfect one-piece. First, be sure that the jumpsuit has a clearly defined waistline; in Paltrow’s jumpsuit, her waist is easily identified by a thick black band. Then, check out the cut of the legs; a universally flattering leg silhouette for jumpsuits is wide-legged cut, because the leg of the pant will graze the widest part of your hips and fall straight down to the floor, creating a long, lean legline. Finally, try to find a jumpsuit with some interesting detail that will act as a focal point for the look; in Paltrow’s Galvan number, the obvious focal point is its sheer plunging neckline, but a high neckline or notched strapless neckline can be equally as eye-catching. All of these facets combine to create a flattering jumpsuit look for all body types.
  3. A ‘solid’ look – One of the things both of these looks have in common is that they are composed of solid colors. And while solid colors can sometimes be thought of as ‘boring’ or ‘dull,’ both of these outfits prove that solid colors can be anything but boring. So what is it that makes these outfits particularly interesting? The answer is in the details — not only are both Teigen’s dress and Paltrow’s jumpsuit tailored perfectly to their bodies, they also have inherent shape, structure and detail that combine to make a visually stimulating look. Both of their outfits demonstrate that solid colors can be exciting when they are cut and styled in ways that enhance the body shape of each woman, as well as their personality.

A ‘Mighty’ Makeover

Television, movies and advertisements are often cited as factors that influence the self-esteems of young girls throughout the world. Some even say that the toys girls play with as they’re growing up also contribute to the image they form of their bodies, as well as the image the construct of women’s roles in the world today. And artist Wendy Tsao is working to change the perception girls receive from their toys one doll at a time.

Cue the Mighty Dolls project, an endeavor which the Huffington Post says takes Bratz dolls and transforms them into inspirational female figures. To do this, Tsao “removes Bratz dolls’ makeup and repaints them” to resemble her muses, who range from J.K Rowling to Malala Yousafzai to Jane Goodall.

Tsao explained to the Huffington Post that artist Sonja Singh, who “upcycles” and give a “make-under” to dolls for Tree Change Dolls, inspired her work.

Sharing that she has been “overwhelmed” by the response to her dolls, Tsao said that people are passionate about her project: “Many people feel strongly about these dolls and what they represent.”

And rightfully so. Thank you, Wendy Tsao, for reconstructing the image of what women are and what they can be for young girls all over the world.