Trend Report: Giving the ‘cold shoulder’

Each season ushers in new trends, and although it can be difficult to keep up with the newest styles, there are ways to stay ahead of the fashion curve.

Cue our newest feature: the trend report. Here, we will detail the newest fashion trends, give tips on how to wear them and share where to find them. So without further ado, we introduce you to our first of-the-moment style: the cold shoulder and the off-the-shoulder.

While the name ‘cold shoulder’ can sound a bit intimidating — or even mean — it merely refers to a top with a shoulder cutout. The off-the-shoulder trend, however, is exactly how it sounds: your shoulders are completed exposed, there are no straps involved and the garment is typically held up with an elastic stitched into the seam at the bust. But, don’t assume that off-the-shoulder tops don’t have sleeves; they often have a sleeve, as do cold-shoulder tops.

Both tops are typically casual, so they can take you from a picnic on the beach to dinner with friends in a snap. Just pair it with your favorite cutoff denim shorts or some crisp white jeans, and you’ll be ready for whatever summer fun comes your way. If dresses are more your style, there are also dresses available in both the cold-shoulder and off-the-shoulder style, though some can be a bit more formal. But whatever the occasion, there’s a sexy style that’s waiting for you!

For those chilly summer nights by the water, try the Bar II Heathered Cold-Shoulder Knit Top from Macy’s. Complete with a split back that pulls away to reveal a chiffon underlay, this top can easily carry you from summer to fall, pairing with everything from white jeans to your favorite dark-wash pair. The best part — this top is currently on sale for only $22.99.


A peek at Bar III Heathered Cold-SHoulder Knit Top from Macy’s.

Combining the chambray/denim trend with the off-the-shoulder look is the No Place Like Home Blue Chambray Lace Crop Top from Lulu’s. Featuring a dainty lace trim and sweet bows at the elbow, this $48 top will look adorable with a pair of high-waisted white shorts or even a bodycon skirt. Add some nude heels and a gold choker, and you’ll be ready for dinner by the water in no time.

But if you’re looking for something a bit dressier, try the Mixologist Bodycon Mini Dress from Lulu’s. Done in a high-neck, cold-shoulder design with a keyhole at the bust and back, this sexy little number is available in black, rust red and royal blue. Great for a night out, this cold-shoulder stunner will only set you back $36.

Now that you’re well-verse in the latest trends, you have no reason not to try out either the cold-shoulder or the off-the-shoulder style. Once you give it a test run, tweet us @takeherlead with the hashtag ‘#thltrendreport’ and we’ll retweet you’re sweet new style!

Take Her Look [For Less]+

Something as a simple as a black dress can look just as stunning as the fanciest couture gown, and Angelina Jolie showed us how it’s done when she walked the red carpet of the Kung Fu Panda premiere in Los Angeles on Jan. 16.

Taking to the red carpet with five of her six children, Jolie turned heads in what InStyle says is a black Saint Laurent shift dress with cap sleeves, which she paired with minimal jewelry and black pointed-toe pumps.

If this is the little black dress that you’re wardrobe has been missing, you may want to hold off on purchasing the frock until you learn its price. Jolie’s Saint Laurent tube dress is available from YSL for a lofty $1,490. But before you think that all hope’s lost in owning your dream LBD, we’ve found all the pieces necessary to recreate her entire look for under $200. Read on for the results!

Black dresses are always in high demand, so finding the perfect shift dress for our recreated look was a cinch. The Have a Good One Black Shift Dress from Lulu’s not only mimics the silhouette of Jolie’s Saint Laurent number, it also comes with an added bonus: slit pockets at the hip! What’s more is that this dress will give you Jolie’s exact look for only $59.


The Have a Good One Black Shift Dress, found on

If you’re looking for the perfect LBD in extended sizes, we’ve found another great alternative in the form of the Strappy Shift Dress from Charlotte Russe. Although this frock has some extra detail at the shoulder, it only makes the look that much more chic. This dress will not only make a great way to take Jolie’s look for less, it will also make a great wardrobe staple for only $23.99.


The Strappy Shift Dress, found on

Capping off our head-to-toe look is the Journee Collection Yoko Pump from DSW. Featuring a similar pointed-toe silhouette and leather upper, this heel will be your wardrobe’s utility player for years to come, and it’s available for only $39.95.

journee yoko

The Journee Collection Yoko Pump, found on

If Jolie’s Saint Laurent shift dress was calling your name but it’s$1,490 price tag was waving goodbye, we were able to recreate her entire look for $98.95 and $63.94 for extended sizes. Just add some dainty jewelry, and you’ll have Jolie’s look in no time!

Happy Shopping!

Take Her Look [For Less]

With the arrival of 2016 comes the beginning of awards season, and kicking off the start of the season was the 27th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala on Jan. 3 in Palm Springs, California. While the gala honored the motion picture industry’s best actors, actresses, films and filmmakers, there were some in attendance who not only had eye-catching film performances, but also eye-catching style.

One such actress was Rooney Mara, who attended the gala to accept the Spotlight Award for her work in the film, Carol. According to InStyle, Mara walked the gala’s red carpet in a satin Lanvin cocktail dress with lace detail at the hem and straps. Capping off her look were slingback pointed-toe pumps and a sleek updo.

If you love Mara’s Lanvin frock, you may have to wait a while before you can claim it for yourself — the dress is a part of the French fashion house’s Spring 2016 ready-to-wear collection. Even if it were available now, Lanvin dresses currently available at Neiman Marcus sell for at least $910 — and that’s a sale price. But because we believe good style is accessible at any price point, we set out to recreate Mara’s high fashion look for under $200. Read on for the results!

Finding a dress reminiscent of Mara’s high fashion look was no easy task, but we thought that the Gift of Rhyme Black Skater Dress from Lulu’s shared many of the same features that made Mara’s dress so stunning. For instance, its square neckline and split-strap design invokes the bodice of Mara’s dress, while its full skater skirt mimics the voluminous, bubble-like look of Mara’s frock. The best part — this dress is on sale for only $55.

lulus gift of rhyme skater

The Gift of Rhyme Black Skater Dress, found on

Finishing off our look for less is a black slingback pointed-toe pump, and the Sam Edelman Dora Suede Pump from DSW is just the shoe for the job. These look-alike pumps will deliver a similar look to Mara’s heels for only $49.95.

sam edelman dora

The Sam Edelman Dora Suede Pump, found on

Mara’s high fashion Lanvin look may be out of reach, but our look-alike ensemble will allow you to take her look for only $104.95. Style your hair in a sleek updo, and you’ll have successfully taken Mara’s film festival gala look for less!

Happy Shopping!


Style 101: NYE Outfits

In just a few short hours, 2015’s end will give way to 2016’s inception, and if you’re celebrating 2016’s arrival at a fabulous party, you’re going to need an equally fabulous outfit to ring in the new year in style. That’s why THL has four different outfit ideas to inspire your New Year’s Eve style, all courtesy of the lovable Lulu’s.

Synonymous with NYE is sparkle, and that’s why we selected the Launch Sequins Silver Sequins Dress. Available in silver, matte gold and matte navy, this halter dress is complete with a strappy open back to ensure a sexy NYE look. This sparkly bodycon will make a great outfit for your NYE party and will only cost you a sale price of $58.

sparkly silver

The Launch Sequins Silver Sequins Dress found on

If jumpsuits are more your style, try the Jump Start Black Jumpsuit. This number features a high neckline that transitions into a stunning open back. Also available in royal blue, this $54 jumpsuit will make a statement at any NYE party you may attend.

black jumpsuit

The Jump Start Black Jumpsuit, found on

If you want to inject a bit of color into your NYE look, try the Express Yourself Red Lace Romper. Featuring a mock neck and a lace-overlayed bodice, the romper’s sheer lace sleeves give way to a sheer lace back. Also available in black, this romper will make for a fashionable NYE ensemble for only $59.

lace romper

The Express Yourself Red Lace Romper, found on

Finishing up our NYE looks is a classic little black dress — the Date Night Black Lace Dress, to be exact. Available in navy blue and burgundy, this dress is done in an all-over lace, with a wide v-neckline at the front and a plunging v-shaped back. Finishing off this $49 frock is a sheer scalloped hemline.

black lace

The Date Night Black Lace Dress, found on

With these four great looks to choose from for your NYE parties, you’re sure to end 2015 looking chic and welcome 2016 in high style.

Happy Shopping!


Take Her Look [For Less]

White lace has a place in every season of the year — that’s what model Miranda Kerr showed us when she dropped by Sydney’s Westfield Bondi Junction on Dec. 16.

According to The Daily MailKerr made an appearance at the shopping center to promote KORA Organics skincare line, her own line of organic skincare and beauty productsWearing what InStyle says is a lace dress by Self-Portrait, Kerr paired her feminine frock with nude cap-toe pumps and pieces from her Swarovski jewelry collection.

Kerr’s crochet lace dress made us stop in our tracks — and so did its price. Although the $336 cream style of the Azaelea Floral Lace Dress by Self-Portrait is no longer available, Forward is selling the dress in its black and red counterparts for $480. If spending $480 on this dress (no matter how gorgeous it is) is out of the question, we set out to recreate her entire look for less than $200. Read on for the results!

Look no further than Lulu’s for the perfect substitute for Kerr’s pricey Self-Portrait number. Their Burning Desire Ivory Lace Dress features a similar v-neckline and spaghetti strap construction, while the bust has a seaming pattern reminiscent of Kerr’s dress. Although the skirt is not cut in an A-line silhouette, it does have a semi-sheer skirt to mimic that of Kerr’s ensemble. This $58 frock does come with one catch — it won’t be in stock until January 11, so you will have to wait a bit to get your hands on this look-alike dress.

lace dress

The Burning Desire Ivory Lace Dress, found on

A cap-toe heel will cap off our look for less, and there’s no better pump for the job than the Lucite Single Sole Cap-Toe Pump from Charlotte Russe. Although this heel has an ankle strap that Kerr’s pumps don’t have, their nude cap-toes invoke those of her heels, making them a great addition our look for less. These heels will complete your look-alike ensemble for only $20.


The Lucite Single Sole Cap-Toe Pumps, found on

While Kerr’s white lace look cost at least $336, our recreated ensemble totals a mere $78. That leaves plenty of room to shop for jewelry to accessorize your new look!

Happy Shopping!


Style 101: Dressing for the Holidays

Dressing for the holiday season can be quite the task; each party you’re invited to may have a specific dress code, requiring you to have several fabulous outfits ready for every party invite that comes your way. If you’re struggling to come up with the perfect outfits for all of your holiday party-going needs, never fear — THL is here to save the day with three swoon-worthy soiree looks for all occasions.

The holiday season is a time for sparkle and shine; whether it is present in accessories like statement necklaces or in all-over beading,  all three of our favorite pieces for this season have — at the very least — a hint of shine that’s sure to brighten your holiday.

For your casual holiday parties, there is nothing better than a sweater with infused with metallic stitching, and we found that very thing in the form of the Metallic Sheer-Paneled Sweater from Forever 21. Done in a black knit, this sweater has a hint of metallic threading running through the body of the garment to give it a bit of sheen, and it’s offset by sheer sleeves and panels to allow for little peeks of skin. Pair this $22.90 sweater with your favorite pair of jeans and cute ankle boots, and you’ll be all decked out for your casual holiday party.

black metallic sweater

The Metallic Sheer-Paneled Sweater, found on

If you’ve been invited to a dressier party, then a dress is certainly the way to go, and Lulu’s offers a beautiful option for the occasion: the Teatro Light Beige Beaded Dress by Glamorous. Featuring a beaded tribal pattern throughout the dress, this frock makes the perfect holiday number. An added bonus: you’ll look good coming and going with the deep scoop back on this $111 dress.

lulus beaded

The Glamorous Teatro Light Beige Beaded Dress, found on

If a black-tie affair is in your future, look no further than the Adrianna Papell Short Sleeve Sequin Mesh Gown from Nordstorm. Available in six colors including silver, blush and amethyst, this $278 gown will have all eyes on you as your make your way through the holiday soiree.

adrianna papell

The Adrianna Papell Short Sleeve Sequin Mesh Gown, found on

Don’t forget that you can also add shine through jewelry (check out BaubleBar for gorgeous, affordable statement pieces), metallic clutches and even metallic heels.

Now that you have an outfit option for every occasion, make sure you RSVP to those invitations and get your outfits and accessories ready!

Happy Shopping!


Take Her Look [For Less]

Show-business magazine Variety and their sister publication Women’s Wear Daily held a launch party on Thursday, Nov. 19 at Smashbox Studios in Culver City, California for their latest media venture, Stylemakers, a publication in which fashion and entertainment meet. And keeping true to their new magazine, all the hottest stylemakers of Hollywood showed up to mark the occasion in high style.

One such stylemaker was Kerry Washington, who wore a striped crop top and midi skirt combo by Saloni, InStyle reports. Capping off her look were chevron Nicholas Kirkwood pumps and jewelry by Anita Ko.

Although we love Washington’s striped style, we can’t say we are thrilled about it’s price. Her pumps alone, the Nicholas Kirkwood Women’s Monochrome Chevron Pointed Pump, originally retailed for $790, although they are currently on sale for $158 on LN-CC. We think you don’t have to pay high prices to achieve a high-fashion look, so we set out to recreate her entire look for less than the sale price of her pumps — that is, less than $158. Read on for the results!

Leave it to Lulu’s to present us with the perfect two-piece dress in the form of the Telephone Lines Black and Ivory Striped Two-Piece Dress to recreate Washington’s Saloni look. Mimicking the wrapped bodice style of Washington’s top, this two-piece style also features a full skirt reminiscent of her midi style. And the best part — this dress will only set you back $49.

lulus lovely black and ivory

The Telephone Lines Black and Ivory Striped Two-Piece Dress, found on

Chevron pumps will complete our look for less, and the Chevron Pointed Toe Pumps from Charlotte Russe will do just the trick. Done in a similar pointed-toe style, these chevron printed pumps will easily pass for Washington’s pumps, but they certainly don’t cost as much — these pumps cost an easy $16.99.

charlotte russe zigzag shoe

The Chevron Pointed Toe Pumps, found on

Kerry Washington’s Nicholas Kirkwood heels alone may cost a sale price of $158, but our entire look for less will only set you back $65.99 — yes, you read that right. Just add your favorite jewelry, you’ll have taken Washington’s look for MUCH less!

Happy Shopping!

Take Her Look [For Less]

Amanda Seyfried has been a fashion muse for many, often wearing enviable outfits on and off the red carpet. But as The Daily Mail reports, the actress was once a ‘brand muse’ for a skincare line, Shiseido’s Cle de Peau Beaute Tokyo.

Seyfried stepped back into this role once again on Oct. 9 when she attended the company’s launch event in Tokyo, Japan at the Palace Hotel Tokyo. Looking as stunning as ever, Seyfried kept her look simple and elegant with a white sheath dress by Antonio Berardi, says InStyle, which she paired alongside silver Bionda Castana lace-up pumps. She polished off her look with loose, side-swept waves and natural, dewy makeup.

Seyfried’s white and silver launch event look was breathtaking, but so were the prices on some of the pieces in her outfit. Take her pumps, for example. Her gorgeous metallic Bionda Canstana pumps — the Lana pumps — are available in a different color at Farfetch for a lofty $874.53. If these pumps are out of your price range, never fear — not only have we found the perfect pumps to replace Seyfried’s pricey pair, we’ve also found a dress to mimic her entire look, and all for under $200. Read on for the results!

First on our shopping list was a curve-hugging white dress, and we found the perfect alternative in the form of the Ponte Wrap Hem Bodycon Dress from Missguided. Featuring a split hemline reminiscent of Seyfried’s Antonio Berardi number, this dress will show off your curves while also maintaining a clean, crisp silhouette. Available for only $34, this dress is the perfect piece from which to build the rest of our look for less.

The Ponte Wrap Hem Bodycon Dress, found on

The Ponte Wrap Hem Bodycon Dress, found on

Finding pumps to rival Seyfried’s silver Bionda Castana heels was no easy task, but we finally landed on the Sheer the Wealth Silver Glitter Mesh Pumps from Lulu’s. Featuring a similar pointed-toe silhouette and toe-box cutouts, these heels will easily pass for Seyfried’s pricier pumps — but they’ll only set you back $34.

Sheer the Wealth Silver Glitter Mesh Pumps, found on

Sheer the Wealth Silver Glitter Mesh Pumps, found on

Completing the look is a simple bangle, and there’s no better bangle for the job than the Karat Slim Cuff Bracelet from BaubleBar. Done in a hematite tone, this bracelet will add some shine to your outfit without competing with your sparkly metallic heels, and it will do so for only $32.

The Karat Slim Cuff Bracelet, found on

The Karat Slim Cuff Bracelet, found on

Amanda Seyfried is certainly our style muse in this white Antonio Berardi dress and silver Bionda Castana heels, but while we envy her look, we definitely don’t envy its high price, costing upwards of $874.53. But because we believe that high fashion doesn’t have to come at a high price, we recreated her entire look for well under our $200 budget, coming it at an even $100. At a price like this, you have no reason not to go shopping for this look!

Happy Shopping!

Take Her Look [For Less]

AOL’S BUILD Speaker Series on August 20 was all about the upcoming thriller film Queen of Earth, starring Elisabeth Moss. And keeping true to the title of the movie, Moss attended the event looking like a queen in a light blue and emerald green colorblocked ensemble.

The Mad Men actress wore a light blue skater dress to discuss her forthcoming film with the film’s director and writer Alex Ross Perry. She paired her sweet and simple frock with emerald green suede pumps, while styling her hair in loose ringlets and keeping her makeup soft and natural.

According to Us WeeklyMoss’s stunning suede pumps come courtesy of Jimmy Choo, and although the exact style cannot be located, similar styles (like the Jimmy Choo Abel pump) retail for $595. But if you love Moss’s dress just as much as you love her shoes, we found all the pieces necessary to recreate her entire look for less. Read on for the results!

Finding a light blue skater dress to rival Moss’s sweet style was no easy task, but Lulu’s made it a little bit easier with the Stratosphere Light Blue Two-Piece Skater Dress. Done in the same bright hue, this dress offers a similar flared silhouette with a longer sleeve. What’s more is that this two-piece dress can be worn together or separately, allowing you to get the most bang for your buck by mixing and matching the crop top and skirt with other items in your wardrobe. This versatile two-piece dress is the perfect way to recreate Moss’s look for only $68.

The Stratosphere Light Blue Two-Piece Skater Dress, found on

The Stratosphere Light Blue Two-Piece Skater Dress, found on

Although nothing can replace the luxurious suede and saturated emerald of the Jimmy Choo pumps, we though the Carri pump in Palmetto Green from Jessica Simpson was a good substitute for Moss’s pricey pumps. These pumps are done in a peep-toe style that strays from the pointy-toe silhouette of the Jimmy Choo pumps, but they feature an equally eye-catching shade of green that will create a beautiful colorblock effect reminiscent of Moss’s outfit. On sale for $59.99 from, these pumps are an accessible option for fashionistas of all budgets and price points.

The Jessica Simpson Carri Pump in Palmetto Green, found on

The Jessica Simpson Carri Pump in Palmetto Green, found on

Elisabeth Moss’s blue and green colorblocked look may cost upwards of $595, but we know that you don’t have to spend like a star to look like one! So if you love Moss’s style but can afford to splurge for her Jimmy Choo pumps or her skater dress, we created a look-alike outfit that totals $127.99. Style you hair in loose curls, and you will have recreated Moss’s entire look from head to toe!

Happy Shopping!

Style 101: Pencil Skirts

Skirts and dresses typically share names for their different shapes and silhouettes. But one of the terms most often reserved to describe the cut of a particular style of skirt is ‘pencil.’

As its name implies, a pencil skirt is a skirt with a straight, narrow cut that imitates the column-like shape of an actual pencil. Pencil skirts are usually worn at the natural waistline, and they hug the hips as they slightly narrow toward the hemline.

pencil skirt

Pencil skirts are tremendously versatile pieces that can be worn to work, to a date or even to a party. A number of things can define the setting in which it should be worn; for instance, the material of the skirt, any embellishments on the skirt and the length of the skirt can determine if it’s more suitable for the office or if its more appropriate for a night out with your friends. What you pair your pencil skirt with can also help make it fit specific settings; if you decide to pair your pencil skirt with a blazer and modest heels, you’ll have created an office-ready outfit. But if you pair the skirt with a crop top and sky-high stilettos, you’ll be ready for your girls night out.

Pencil skirts are a wardrobe staple, which means that it’s always good to have at least one at the ready in your closet. However, adding a few more certainly wouldn’t hurt, so any of the gorgeous skirts we’ve pulled would still be an asset to your wardrobe.

But if you don’t already own a pencil skirt, a good starter skirt is the High Waist Pintucked Pencil Skirt from Express. This classic skirt is the quintessential “work skirt” which can easily be paired with a blazer or just a pretty printed blouse. This neutral skirt will be one of the most versatile pieces in your wardrobe, so its $59.90 price tag will be worth every penny.

The High Waist Pintucked Pencil Skirt, found on

The High Waist Pintucked Pencil Skirt, found on

For a pencil skirt that will take you from the office to a dinner date, try the Colorblock Faux Wrap Skirt by Halogen. This skirt gives you the best of both worlds, combining the classic pencil silhouette with the chic wrap style. Done in a trendy black and white colorblock, this skirt can easily pair with everything from your work blazers to your favorite chiffon blouse. Available at Nordstrom for $69, even the most well-rounded of wardrobes would benefit from this colorblocked number.

The Halogen Colorblock Faux Wrap Skirt, found on

The Halogen Colorblock Faux Wrap Skirt, found on

If a more flirty pencil skirt is what you’re after, the Suit Your Fancy Blush Pink Lace Skirt from Lulu’s may be just the style you’ve been searching for. Featuring a dainty lace detail at its hemline, this style is a great alternative to the traditional pencil skirt. While its done in a pink, the blush tone reads as a pseudo-neutral, allowing it to pair with practically anything. This sweet style will round out your newly refreshed wardrobe of pencil skirts for only $34.

Suit Your Fancy Blush Pink Lace Skirt, found on

Suit Your Fancy Blush Pink Lace Skirt, found on

Pencil skirts are like the blue jeans of the skirt world — they are a wardrobe essential that can pair with nearly everything, so investing in any one of these great skirts would expand your wardrobe for the better.