She Leads, You Follow: Oscars Edition

The film industry’s best and brightest were honored at the 88th annual Academy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 28. But while the award shows paid tribute to the performances of Hollywood’s most talented actors and actresses, the red carpet beforehand recognized their impeccable fashion sense. Although the red carpet was filled with designer looks, there were a few that stood out among the rest.

Hollywood’s leading ladies came out to the Dolby Theatre in high style, and Priyanka Chopra was no exception. The “Quantico” actress wore a Zuhair Murad gown, says E!Online, with a semi-sheer skirt and white floral appliqué scattered about the bodice and skirt. Accentuating her waist with a silver belt, Chopra completed her look with a silver frame clutch and diamond jewelry.

Adding a punch of color to the red carpet was Charlize Theron, who presented at the awards in a bright red Dior gown, according to E!Online. Featuring a plunging neckline with split straps, the actress filled in the negative space with a long diamond necklace. The back of Theron’s gown was equally as stunning as the front, cut in a low V that ended near her lower back.

Delivering another all-white ensemble was “Carol” star Rooney Mara, who took her turn on the red carpet in a what E!Online says is Givenchy number. Done in an all-over lace appliqué, Mara’s gown featured a diamond-shaped cutout at the waist and a thigh-high slit. Mara completed her look with a bold lip color and a slick updo.

Saoirse Ronan walked the red carpet in a deep emerald gown with all-over beading, says E!Online. The Brooklyn star’s Calvin Klein Collection number opened up her neckline with its deep V, while it’s rich color made her eyes pop.

Although these ladies are dressed for the film industry’s biggest night, there are certain things we can take away from their looks to apply to the way we dress every day:

  1. White out – Chopra and Mara prove that an all-white outfit is not a blank slate, but instead a statement piece in itself. But what makes their gowns masterpieces? The floral appliqué on Chopra’s gown creates visual interest over its nude, semi-sheer underlay, while Mara’s gown features intricate lace that cascades into a soft train. All of these features combine to create intriguing, visually appealing garments. If white leaves you yawning, try pieces with interesting details such as lace, faux leather, beading or even tonal prints (prints that share the same color as the background color of the garment). All of these things will create variations in texture within the garment, which will in turn create a visually appealing look.
  2. Point it out – There are certain things within a garment that can act as a pointing device, and as Theron’s, Mara’s and Ronan’s gowns show, such devices can take the form of a plunging neckline or a cutout. Ronan’s and Theron’s deep V’s open up their necklines, drawing our attention upward toward their faces. Mara’s dress, which features a diamond-shaped cutout in the center of her waist, which serves to not only show a peek of skin, but also to draw out attention to her tiny waist. When shopping, look for pieces that include interesting necklines, cutouts or even seaming that can direct attention to the areas that you wish.

 

She Leads, You Follow: SAG Awards Edition

The best and brightest stars of Hollywood came out in droves to the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on Saturday, Jan. 30 for the 22nd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards. The awards, presented by the Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, is a celebration of the year’s best performances in film and primetime television. But prior to the awards ceremony, the honorees took to the red carpet to show off their best style.

Catching our eye first was a hot pink number by Sofía Vergara, who became the object of everyone’s gaze as she took her turn down the red carpet in a stunning Vera Wang gown, says E!Online. She topped off her look with a gold statement necklace and a fuchsia clutch to rival her bright dress.

Following suit in another pink ensemble was Saoirse Ronan, who opted for a subtler blush look by Michael Kors, says E!OnlineThe Brooklyn star let the simple elegance of her lace gown be the star of her look, as she swept her hair up in a tousled top-knot and accessorized with sparkly diamond earrings.

Kristen Wiig decided to take a different approach, opting for a chic Rouland Mouret jumpsuit instead of a gown. Wiig paired her black, white and embellished one piece with a silver barrel clutch and heels to match while styling her hair in a refreshing updo.

Bessie star and SAG Award winner Queen Latifah showed us just how beautiful a simple black gown can be when she hit the red carpet in a sparkly Michael Costello number. Done in a kaleidoscope pattern, the gown’s beading caught the light of every photographer’s flash, illuminating the already-glowing Queen Latifah.

Draped in merlot was Orange is the New Black star Laverne Cox, who opted for a flowy Prabal Gurung number for the night’s festivities. She completed her goddess look with wavy tresses, strappy heels and a sparkly clutch.

Rounding off our favorite looks of the night was Amy Poehler, who wowed in a black embroidered Stella McCartney gown, according to E!OnlineThe actress completed her simply, yet elegant ensemble with straight locks and simple diamond jewelry.

While these stars are all dressed up for an event in the height of awards season, there are certain things we can take away from their looks and apply to the way we dress every day. Each star obviously wore an outfit that accentuated her shape, done by seaming, beading or embellishment. Although color, in its various hues and shades, was a big theme throughout the night, traditional black was elevated through beading and embroidery, as well as through a modern black and white color combination.

The details of every single red carpet look are important, but what is perhaps most important is the way each actress carries herself — with confidence. Because each woman is confident in who she is, her outfit merely complements her personality and enhances her sense of confidence.

Beauty doesn’t come from a stellar outfit, flawless makeup and flashy accessories; it comes from the confidence within. And each woman on the SAG Awards red carpet showed us that very thing.

 

She Leads, You Follow: 2015 ESPY Awards Edition

The annual ESPY Awards took place on Wednesday night at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, California, and while the award show itself recognize great achievements and victories in athletics, the ESPYs red carpet showcases those who have great style on and off the playing field. And these talented athletes certainly proved that they have some serious style game.

U.S. Women’s National Soccer team star Ali Krieger hit the red carpet in a red-hot floor-length gown, complete with a thigh-high slit and waist cutout. She paired the look with strappy black pumps, and kept her hair and makeup soft to let her true beauty shine through.

Amy Purdy looked equal parts sparkly and stunning in a silver minidress on the ESPYs red carpet. The Paralympic bronze medalist paired her beaded nude frock with a taupe and silver frame clutch and metallic gladiator heels, while sweeping her hair up into a chic updo that allowed us to see her gorgeous chandelier earrings.

Los Angeles Clippers star J.J. Reddick’s cobalt suit was not enough to compete with wife Chelsea Kilgore’s white-hot floor length gown. Kilgore’s ethereal gown features intricate pleating and ruching details at the bodice that tapers off into a subtle fringe skirt. With her hair was styled in a classic updo, Kilgore opted for an equally classic red lip, creating the perfect red carpet look.

Volleyball star Micha Hancock rounds out THL’s favorite ESPY red carpet looks, wearing a nude tulle trumpet-style gown, embellished with navy lace appliqués. She completed her lacy look with a silver clutch, a simple updo, and minimal jewelry.

Although these ladies are dressed to impress for the ESPY Awards, there are some things we can take away from their red carpet look and apply to the way we dress in our everyday lives.

  1. Cutouts can create shape – Ali Krieger’s gown shows us that there are more to cutouts than what meets the eye, that is, if they are well-placed cutouts. Krieger’s gown features a cutout at the waist of the dress, which serves to not only show some skin but also to accentuate her natural waistline. To incorporate cutouts in your wardrobe, start off with pieces that have small cutouts at the waist; this way, you can test out cutouts in a way that won’t show too much skin but will still serve the purpose of drawing attention to your waistline. Once you get comfortable with the idea of cutouts, work up to pieces that may have a back cutout or cutouts that start on the front of the garment and move to the back; pieces like this will ensure that your shape is defined coming and going.
  2. It’s all in the details – Amy Purdy and Micha Hancock’s dresses show the power of details. Purdy’s dress is covered in sparkly beading, but they are all deliberately positioned. If you notice, the sparkles widen at the neck and bust, narrow at the waist and gradually widen at the hip. This intentional beading tricks our eyes into seeing a perfect hourglass shape, letting the dress do the work so your body doesn’t have to. Hancock’s dress works in a similar way: the lace appliqués are more dense at the top, and in a dark navy, this slims the torso and hips. The appliqués taper off toward the bottom, and the wide hemline balances out her hips, again creating a perfect hourglass silhouette. Paying attention to tiny details like these in your clothing will allow you to choose pieces that will instantly flatter you.
  3. Simplicity can be complex – Chelsea Kilgore’s white gown teaches us that a simple outfit can be just as complex as those with loud prints and flashy beading. The pleating and ruching on her dress not only acts as an interesting detail, it also creates shape in a similar way to Purdy’s beading and Hancock’s lace appliqués. The gown’s skirt features trendy fringe, allowing for a peek of her legs while also creating movement in the dress. So although Kilgore’s gown is a solid color, there are several elements of the dress that create visual interest and make it more complex than it appears. When you are shopping, don’t dismiss simple pieces at first glance; take a moment to evaluate the features of the garment, and you might be surprised by the hidden complexity in the piece that may just make it the piece your wardrobe has been lacking.

Take Her Look [For Less]

This year’s Wimbledon tennis championships has not only been a platform to showcase the prowess of the world’s best tennis players, but it has also been a platform for celebrities to show off their impeccable style.

Some celebrities in attendance went all out on their Wimbledon ensembles, and Chrissy Teigen was no exception. According to EOnline, the Sports Illustrated model attended the tennis tournament this week in a striped Magda Butrym dress trimmed with fringe, which she paired with a white Valentino studded bag, nude heeled sandals by Stuart Weitzman and Oliver Peoples sunglasses.

Teigen certainly stunned in her polished, trendy Wimbledon look, but perhaps more stunning about her look is its price tag — her entire outfit totaled $4,878! While we want to steal her look, there is no way we can pay almost $5,000 for it. So we set out to recreate her look from head to toe for under $200. Read on to see how we did!

Finding a dress to rival Teigen’s $1,730 Magda Burtrym dress was quite possibly the most difficult part of this look for less scavenger hunt. So instead of searching for a dress with a similar print, we instead chose to look for a dress with a similar cut, and we landed on the IRO Hailee Sleeveless Mesh Contrast dress from Nordstrom Rack. While this dress does not have the same color scheme or fringe detail as Tiegen’s dress, it does share a similar neckline while its mesh bodice mimics the stripes on the Burtrym frock. The other major difference this dress presents is its price: it’s currently on sale for only $104.91.

The IRO Hailee Sleeveless Mesh Contrast dress, found on NordstromRack.com.

The IRO Hailee Sleeveless Mesh Contrast dress, found on NordstromRack.com.

Although nothing can compete with Tiegen’s $2,345 Valentino bag, we found a cute studded wristlet by Carlos Santana that is definitely a contender. The Carlos Santana Serita Studded Zip Top Wristlet gives us the same studded look in a more subtle, dainty way. The gold studs are laid over a similar crisp white leather, making it the perfect alternative to Tiegen’s more expensive bag. The best part? This wristlet is available for only $29.97 at NordstromRack.com.

The Carlos Santana Serita Studded Top-Zip Wristlet, found on NordstromRack.com.

The Carlos Santana Serita Studded Zip Top Wristlet, found on NordstromRack.com.

Teigen completed her look with nude Stuart Weitzman heeled sandals for $398, but we knew that we could find a similar heel for much less that would not compromise style or comfort. We found the perfect replacement in the form of the Steve Madden Gea sandal. This sandal is offers the same slim straps as Teigen’s Weitzman heels, but for a fraction of the cost; these heels are available at 6pm.com for only $44.99.

The Steve Madden Gea sandal, found on 6pm.com.

The Steve Madden Gea sandal, found on 6pm.com.

Sunglasses were the last item to check off of our look for less list, and we found a cute cat eye wayfarer style to mimic Teigen’s $405 Oliver Peoples sunglasses. The Fossil Cat Eye Wayfarer sunglasses deliver a similar shape to Teigen’s sunnies but for only $19.97 at NordstromRack.com.

The Fossil Cat Eye Wayfarer sunglasses, found on NordstromRack.com.

The Fossil Cat Eye Wayfarer sunglasses, found on NordstromRack.com.

Teigen’s Wimbledon outfit cost a lofty $4,878, and while we love her look as is, we’d rather take her look for less. Our reimagined outfit inspired by Teigen’s original look comes in just under our $200 budget at $199.84, making this look affordable for shoppers of all price points.

Happy Shopping!

Take Her Look [For Less]

If you thought monochromatic was boring, Selena Gomez just proved you wrong. EOnline reported yesterday that Gomez was spotted in New York City earlier this week wearing an all black and white ensemble upon the release of her latest single, “Good For You,” and she showed us all that black and white is certainly good for her!

Gomez wore a black and white Balmain crop top (which she actually wore backwards so the zipper detail was in the front), pairing the top with high-waisted L’Agence trousers, Saint Laurent pointy-toe booties, a Gucci crossbody bag and Saint Laurent sunglasses.

While Gomez looks stunning in this outfit, what is perhaps most stunning is how much this complete outfit costs. EOnline reports that the completed look totaled $3,311, with her shoes alone making up a third of the price at $1,050! But, if you want to take Gomez’s look for less, you are in luck – we set out to recreate her entire look for only $150, and what we found may shock you!

The first order of business was finding a black and white crop top that was even remotely close to Gomez’s $611 Balmain top, which was no easy task. But, we managed to find a similar color-blocked style at Tobi — the Cross it Over Crop Top offers a black and white colorblock look with a high neckline reminiscent of Gomez’s Balmain look, but it has some cutouts that Gomez’s top does not have. What this top also has that Gomez’ top doesn’t is a small price tag: this top comes in at a reasonable $44!

Finding high-waisted black trousers sounds like it should be easy, but it actually was the hardest part of the process. After some searching, THL finally landed on the Trouser We Go Black High-Waisted Pants from Lulu’s. Although this trousers have the same high-waistline, they do not have the same wide-leg look, but it still creates a chic look nonetheless. These fitted trousers come in at $37, compared to Gomez’s $295 pair.

Because Gomez’s $1,050 Saint Laurent booties were completely covered by her trousers, we decided to go for a simple pointy-toe pump instead. We found these classic faux leather pointy-toe pumps from Forever 21 for only $19.90 to mimic the shape of Gomez’s booties without actually seeing the rest of the shoe.

Gomez’s logo-embossed $980 Gucci crossbody bag certainly cannot be duplicated, so we opted for a simple brown faux leather crossbody with a knotted detail on the front flap. This bag has a similar rich cognac tone to Gomez’s Gucci bag, but it definitely does not have the same price tag, coming it at only $22.90 at Forever 21.

Dark-tinted aviators complete the duplicate look for only $5.90 at Forever 21 — who could tell that these sunglasses aren’t the same $375 Saint Laurent glasses that Gomez is wearing?!

THL set out to recreate Selena Gomez’s $3,311 monochromatic look for less than $150, so how did we do? Our pieces from Tobi, Lulu’s and Forever 21 totaled only $129.70, affording this pricey look to all those who admire it! So if you love Gomez’s look but couldn’t get past the price, take our lead and try out some of our recommendations! Happy shopping!

She Leads, You Follow: Amal Clooney

There are very few people that can make headlines just for going to work. But Amal Clooney is one of the few people that can. EOnline reported this morning that Mrs. Clooney was spotted at the Supreme Court in London “to challenge a 2008 ruling which forced residents of the Chagos Islands to leave their native lands.” And naturally, she showed up in style.

Clooney appeared before the court in a tan and black polka-dot dress, complete with pockets at the hip that created a faux peplum. She completed her ensemble with her standard Dior work bag (which we profiled in a Take Her Look [For Less] here), black pointy-toe pumps and black Prada sunglasses.

We can’t get enough of Amal Clooney’s timeless style, so if you love her look and want to inject your wardrobe with a shot of Amal’s classic elegance, keep these tips in mind the next time you go shopping:

  1. Try a classic print – Polka dots are a print that will never go out of style, so you will not only look fashionable, but you will also get a lot of wear out of these pieces. This means you can spend a little more on a well-made, well-fitting polka dot dress, blouse or skirt so it will last for years to come.
  2. It’s all about the fit – Fit is everything, and as we can see with Clooney’s dress, it is perfectly tailored to her body. Making sure that your clothes fit properly is the first step to achieving a classic style, so pay attention to where the shoulder seams sit, as well as where the waist of the dress falls in relation to your natural waist; if the seams are off even slightly, it can distort the proportions of your body. With Clooney’s dress, the shoulder seams sit right at the top of her shoulder as they should, and the waist falls right in her natural waistline, allowing the faux-peplum to do its job and create a curve at the hip.
  3. Classic breeds classic – Amal Clooney styled her classic dress with classic accessories: black pumps, a black bag and black sunglasses. When attempting a more timeless look, be sure to pair it with equally timeless accessories; adding more trendy pieces (say spikes with polka dots) would create a weird dissonance, making the look seem fragmented instead of unified. So take Clooney’s lead and pair your polka-dot pieces with other classic items like black pumps, pearls  and dainty jewelry.