Home Improvement

Thursday, January 31, 2013

When it comes to bathrooms, it's ashamed that they are often so easily overlooked design-wise. However, behind closed doors and not the center of the house, I see them as a great opportunity to test out looks that I might be trying out or just to go for it! Upon first sight of this week's home improvement feature above, I wasn't sure exactly which room it was. The bright, but not overwhelming, striped walls, various patterns seen in the towels, rug, and pillow, and the picture frames and intricate mirrors made it a space that kept my eyes perusing around a space that is otherwise not given much thought about. Although to some it may come across as a mix of many different styles, to me, everything down to the contrasting black door is fun and engaging.

What do you think of this space? Too crazy or crazy good?

Person of Interest: Gia Coppola

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


While not often directly associated with fashion and style, it often seems as if the people that are involved in the arts through either fine arts, film, photography, and so on, have the style that most are envious of. In these areas of focus, mostly nothing is taken too seriously and yet, always comes off as effortless and right in all the right ways. Gia Coppola, Francis Ford's granddaughter and Sofia's niece, takes part in all areas of these arts. Graduating from Bard with a photography degree, she has been frequently working on fashion films for labels such as Opening Ceremony, Rodarte, and Wren. She cites herself as "pretty lazy" when it comes to style and wanting to be comfortable, and maybe that's the trick to the ease in the way she wears her clothes. With Gia, most garments are not too restricting and her looks create enough shape to show that she has one, without extremely defining it. In addition to her effortless way of dress, she has the hairstyle that most of the "cool-girls" that I envy have. Never too polished and perfectly tousled, her chin-length bob is one that is constantly saved away for that chance that I would ever take the cut.

What do you think about Gia Coppola's sense of style? 

Tuesday Shoesday

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

As much of a sucker I am for a leopard print on basically anything, since my leopard pieces have easily become my go-to's and pieces that I use the most, it has become a challenge to not become a full-on walking leopard print. These amazing Kurt Geiger stilettos, though they are leopard print, are in a color that is obviously not natural of the animal in a bright poppy red. For the more adventurous risk-takers, and obvious leopard lovers, I could see these being paired with a leopard coat and dark skinny jeans or with a traditional leopard colored blouse. However, if you're not feeling so fierce and up to a challenge, making these shoes the showstoppers of your ensemble by sticking to a solid and simple rest of your look would still do them justice, as well. 

How do you feel about red leopard print? 

A to Z: Pants

Monday, January 28, 2013

If you know me, or have been following for a while, you know that pants are not in my regular outfit rotations. Don't get me wrong, it's not that I don't appreciate a perfect fitting pair of jeans, we all know how hard those are to find, or a polka dotted pair every once in a while, but at the moment, they are a work--or style-- in progress. While I've never really been a fan of the colored denim craze that's been present for a while now, I do have a soft spot for pants in intricate patterns, fabric applications, and textiles.

Obviously I am a sucker for a good pattern mix. Though pairing florals with an almost angular thought-bubble pattern might seem like a long shot for a great pair of prints, these MSGM pants would go just as great with a simple white t-shirt and statement necklace, as they would making a statement themselves. 

Following the theme of working in a similar color palette as I had been trying out the past few months, this style works amazingly by combining these teal taffeta Asos cropped pants with a navy velvet button-down. I've noticed that when it comes to pants, I still like to maintain that put-together and polished factor instead of the idea that throwing on a pair of pants is simple and a go-to. Dressier pants, like the ones above, definitely are a pair that could work just as well with a chambray oxford as they would with a tuxedo jacket and stilettos. 

Our last pant pairing for today is a textile that I actually am fondest of when it is applied to pants and shorts--brocade. Aside from the obvious eye-catching appeal that brocade brings, there is also something about the hand of the fabric and feeling the different threads that makes me appreciate the beauty of the design. Again, with the intricateness of the pattern, design, and often colors, brocade pants work the best with toned down tops and accessories as seen above.

When it comes to pants, which do you prefer?

Dress Up

Friday, January 25, 2013

Black and white pieces are made up of elements that remain classic and interesting, but with minimalistic and fairly simplistic notes. While prints and patterns can easily become bold and the opposite of simplistic, the windowpane trend catching on for spring 2013, is a pattern that can be easily incorporated as a basic. With it's precise grid lines and geometric order, the windowpane pattern is almost effortlessly put-together and chic. While I have seen this up and coming trend printed on blouses, skirts, and this sweater that I have my eye on, this Tibi dress is perfection. Though the peplum trend still seems to be going strong, this drop waist is a relief to waists everywhere, and it's little flounce on the bottom adds just the right amount of interest, as well as draws the eye down to add to a more complete look. 

Are you excited to try out this windowpane trend?

Home Improvement

Thursday, January 24, 2013

I have always had a thing for libraries and when I was younger had a goal to read every book in the neighborhood library. While obviously unrealistic, it is a good thought. The idea of having all of the books filled with information, inspiration, and photographs waiting for me to delve into them was exciting and the limits of what could be read were endless. So many libraries seem to be under appreciated and are seen as dated. Even still, I can't shake the thought of eventually having a small collection of my own in my future home. While it will be a while, or never, until I can have a room organized with books in every category, simple bookshelves and coffee tables will take place. To liven up the basic set-up, like in the image above, a few photographs and prints, wallpaper accent wall, and the word "library" in a fun script, create a place for the books that show a little love to them just like a library would.

Do you ever think of creating a library--big or small?

Person of Interest: Alexa Chung

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

//1, 2, 3, 4//

With each year that passes as I learn more about fashion and style, my own personal style fluctuates from being extremely feminine to adding tomboyish pieces to the feminine ones, and eventually it all becomes sort of oddly combined to create some sort of sense of style. For a while, though, through all of the changes in my own style, Alexa Chung has always had a sense of personal style that I constantly admire, look up to, and try to re-create. Aside from her perfectly un-kept messy bangs that almost have me wanting to re-visit that hairstyle when I study in London next spring, her mile-long slim legs, and the fact that she has a bag named after her by Mulberry, Alexa's style seems effortless in an exquisitely crafted manner. She is an expert at combining feminine prints and silhouettes with combat boots, muted colors, and at pairing vintage pieces with modern ones. Her style is very English and classic, but she creates combinations that feel anything but conservative and stuffy. While I have yet to achieve success in the styling of Alexa Chung, until then, her looks continue to serve as a form of daily inspiration. 

Tuesday Shoesday

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


When i saw these Chloe "Susan" studded ankle boots, it is pretty obvious why I was obsessed. With their gold triple buckled hardware and studded design, as well as the perfect red coloring, and feeling of a slight rock and roll vibe to them, I instantly began pairing outfits in my head of how fabulous they would may anything I put with them look. Not so fabulous, though was their $1, 345 price tag. Quickly, like most fabulous fashions, knockoffs appeared quickly, first at Zara and later, where I scooped them up--Forever 21. For basically $1,300 less than the originals, I purchased a pair inspired by the great originators, and wear them with all of the same outfits that I had planned to when I first saw them.

A to Z: Oxfords

Monday, January 21, 2013

If you have been following 85Dresses for a while now, you've realized that we're kind of obsessed over here about the oxford loafer. Everything from traditional brown menswear style to glitter and candy colored, we've covered just about every style--don't think we're done, though--. However, this Monday's A to Z post on oxfords isn't about these greatly adored shoes, but their under appreciated same-named relative, the classic oxford button-down. 

When word associating with an oxford button down, a first word may near towards either uniform or conservative. While oxfords are a main make-up of private school uniforms, we wore them at my high school, as well, in wearing them sleeves rolled up, disheveled with a fur vest, pattern pants, and the right accessories, this classic oxford instantly goes from a conservative piece, to the perfect base of a pairing to the rest of the outfit. 

To add to the school-girl look if you please, by layering a sweater over your oxford with simply the collar and cuffs peeking out from underneath, your already instant polish is polished even more. Here, in pairing her more traditional sweater and oxford pairing with a leather mini skirt, burgundy blazer, and menswear oxfords--the shoe kind--, she compliments the appropriateness of the oxford with a little bit of edge. 

And, for those who need a basic to work with their most extravagant piece in the hopes of making it "day-time appropriate", The oxford in this image above brings an almost boyish approach to a skirt that is about as feminine and sequined as you can get. In choosing a light blue instead of a crisp white, the contrast between the brightness of the skirt and the solid of the oxford work together better than a stark white might have. 

Although oxfords and button-downs are probably the most common article of clothing for working women (and men) to have in their wardrobes, they can also easily be styled stylishly for work, or quickly and easily changed and altered around for another occasion.

What is your favorite way to wear the classic oxford?

Dress Up

Friday, January 18, 2013

Although velvet pieces are most commonly showcased during the winter months and throughout the holiday seasons, while there is snow covering the ground, velvet is a textile that I feel is still very much appropriate. Velvet, if worn incorrectly, can have the tendency to appear quite heavy and seem as if it is weighing down the wearer. However, this dress that actress Emma Roberts is wearing, does not have that affect. Even though it is both long-sleeved and in a deep wine color; with the short length, delicate keyhole neckline, and slight draping, that heaviness that is so often associated with velvet pieces is not seen in this dress.

What are your feelings towards velvet?

Home Improvement

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Growing up, fairy-like canopy beds and cushioned window seats were always on my mind when it came to the design of my bedroom. While the desire for a sheer canopy bed didn't last very long, my attraction to window seats still remains. Whether curling up to read the latest magazine, working on an assignment on a laptop, or sitting down to time with family and friends in the image above, window seats feel like the ideal example of easy relaxation in nearly any setting. The window seat that is pictured here, though, is a style that I had not seen before. The way that the home is up in the forrest allows for a picturesque landscape to be seen through the window. And, with the size of the window larger than most usually associated with quaint and cozy window seats, appears almost like a forrest painting, as well. 

Did you ever dream of having a window seat in your house?

Person of Interest: Gaia Repossi

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Although born into the jewelry business, Repossi, founded by her great grandfather, Gaia Repossi did not always aspire to one day be a part of the company. With her interests leading more towards the fine arts of painting and studies in anthropology, she wasn't particularly interested in fashion. However, in 2007 she became the artistic director for the Repossi jewelry brand. Infusing her love of anthropology and various cultures into her jewelry work, she is inspired by "ethnic silhouettes and tribal adornment with contemporary art." Though she doesn't consider a fashion line as of now, she has done many collaborations in designing jewelry for some of fashion's top designers such as Alexander Wang and Joseph Altuzarra, both for their fall 2011 collections.

Although her interests lie in metals instead of cloth, she understands how to dress incredibly well. Gaia Repossi's sense of style is rather simple and incorporates many masculine references. She has said that her mother told her to "never overdress because it's never going to work." In thinking about the concept of making an outfit "work", one of the main qualifications is making it come across as that you have thrown it on and it just happened to be perfect. With her outfits mostly consisting of solid colors and easy shapes, even in a long sienna colored dress in the far left image above, she never looks overdone.  If never overdressing will result in my outfits appearing like Gaia Repossi styled them, consider it done.

1, 2, 3, 4

Tuesday Shoesday

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

As a college student, on a regular day to day basis, I don't wear heels. With the occasional heeled ankle boot, trying to navigate the Syracuse hills while carrying my books and art supplies, is usually not a recipe for success. However, my girlish desire to add a few inches to my legs and hear a clink with each step continues to present itself. These Asos heels are a height and style that while they are heels, they are just dressy enough to dress up a casual outfit. With their neutral suede and ankle strap style, they also can go with nearly any outfit, and I could see them being an obvious go-to when it comes to casual weekend outings with friends.  

A to Z: Navy

Monday, January 14, 2013

Just as we all have colors that are favorites of ours to wear, we also lean towards certain favorites when it comes to how they look on us. For me, navy blue is one of those colors. With dark blue eyes and quite pale skin, when I wear navy, the paleness of my skin with the dark of the navy brings out my eyes in a more complementary and less severe way than black does. Navy has a sort of understated sophistication, in that though a dark color, it can sometimes come across as more classic and luxe...not heavy and somber.

Is navy your color, too? If not, what is that color that always works on you?

Dress Up

Friday, January 11, 2013

I have found through examining collection after collection that when any garment--or lipstick-- is executed in this punchy fuchsia, I instantly love it. Aside from the obvious color infatuation, with it's slightly larger short sleeves, drop waist, full skirt, and knotted bow, there's no doubt what the reason's were for being drawn to this dress. This Giulietta party dress from the Pre-Fall 2013 collection was based around 1960's silhouettes and Breakfast at Tiffany's (when asked to keep Tiffany's & Co. in mind). While the dress is fairly simple, but still feminine, I appreciate the way in which Sofia Sizzi styled this particular look. With an un-fussy hairstyle and with basic black accessories in the shoes and frames of the model, this amazing dress is worn just how you would feel it was supposed to be. 

Home Improvement

Thursday, January 10, 2013

When I was younger, I collected everything from quarters from each state to porcelain dolls. Through the years, though, I have grown quite an affinity for collecting and admiring coffee table books. With their typical high cost, my collection (here, here, and here) is still small, but in their nearly endless categories of inspiration from fashion, photography, and art, I see them not only as amazing references for my interests, but as beautiful decorations in themselves. While their name mainly places them on the coffee table, the way that they are displayed in the image above, is not only much more interesting to the eye, but allows for the true beauty of the content and covers of these books to be showcased. Just as artwork can show the owner's personal style, these coffee table books can do just that, as well as provide passages into the owner's interests. On my current dream list: fashion, typography, and a favorite artist.

What are some of your favorite coffee table books? Would you display them like this?

Person of Interest: Amanda Brooks

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Growing up in Bronxville, NY and Palm Beach, Florida, Amanda Brooks was always surrounded with style and influential people. Beginning with her parents who met through a mutual friend, Lilly Pulitizer, to being a student at Brown University studying photography and having Carolina Herrera's daughter, Patricia as her roommate, to dating DVF's son, Alexander, Amanda was destined to be not only a regular in the social world of fashion, but in being a part of it creatively, as well. Her interest in photography led her to an internship with famed fashion photographer, Patrick Demarchelier. Following photography, she then became the muse and former creative director of Tuleh, and contributed to Vogue. However, in addition to her involvement in various parts of the industry, it is said to have been her blog, "I Love Your Style" that played a key role in her hire for her position as Fashion Director for Barney's. After a year of this position, she has since moved to Oxfordshire, England with her husband and two children inspired by the blog, "The Pioneer Woman" to show that she is able to write about fashion from a different perspective, as well as citing "I've spent my entire career devoted to the vision of others,""This year away is for introspection. For myself."

Amanda Brooks has one of those styles that I admire for their sense of no-fuss perfection. From some of the photos in the image above, she manages to form her put together style with minimal elements that still come across as complete. From a basic button down and pencil skirt with heels, or simple peach dress with a pop of color for a bag, it is this act of simplicity to which I am drawn. Having been cited as not fussy when it comes to fashion, you can tell from the way that she wears the clothes, as well as the actual clothes that she is wearing. Amanda reminds us that there is something important about knowing how to wear simple pieces well, and that prints and patterns (while keeping the shapes and cut of the garments simple), can keep your outfit interesting and full of style.

1, 2, 3, 4

Tuesday Shoesday

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Though my love for loafers has since taken over, for a while I was oxford obsessed. I paired the Madewell ones that my sister passed down to me with everything from casual shorts to more formal dresses and always felt that they provided the perfect dose of menswear quality to balance off my typically feminine outfits. Until this pair by Deena & Ozzy, I thought that I was surely done with oxfords. They sort of remind me of glass slippers in the sense that they are iridescent, which I clearly have been drawn to lately. Completely opposite of my Madewell pair, instead of providing a menswear addition to a feminine outfit, this pair appears feminine due to their less clunky shape and size and their shiny exterior.

Do you prefer more feminine or traditional style oxfords?


Monday, January 7, 2013

{J.Crew trench, Urban top, H&M skirt, Sam Edelman heels, and Michael Kors watch}

Though there is snow on the ground at Syracuse, spring clothes, styles, and colors are already on my mind. While it was slightly warmer than usual at home in Houston last week, I took an all neutral and light approach to dressing in full-on cream and ivories. Though this outfit is monochromatic, I played up the unique textures in the sheer knit top and the scale-like quality on these Sam Edelman heels. 

Do you dress monochromatically? Which color is your favorite to work with?

Dress Up

Friday, January 4, 2013

Originally, one of the qualities of dresses that I loved was their easy wearability in addition to being able to maintain a put-together look. This week's dress by Sister Jane is exactly that. While it is a fairly simple dress (shape wise), the slightly puffed sleeves, gathered pleating, and embellished Peter Pan collar, make it seem more formal to wear than it actually is. With the sort of tan-salmon overall color of this style it also becomes quite a neutral palette when it comes to pairing it with fun jackets or shoes. Accessory speaking, necklaces are not needed--but always welcome-- as the embellishments make plenty of sparkle around the neck.

Have a great weekend!

Bright + Metallic

Thursday, January 3, 2013

    Forever 21 sweater and necklace//Topshop vest//Christian Siriano skirt//Michael Kors watch//and Steve Madden shoes

Pencil skirts are one of those basic styles that every girl should have in her closet. This Christian Siriano pencil skirt, however, is anything but basic. With the metallic gold and silver threads that run through it and perfect length, only minimal jewelry is required because is is decorative in itself. In pairing a few key but simple pieces like my bright fuchsia sweater and a faux leather vest for a little warmth with the look, the skirt is still the main focus, while working with the rest of the outfit, as well. 


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Zara t-shirt//Forever 21 skirt//Steve Madden shoes// Michael Kors watch

Recently I have been increasingly drawn to standout pieces of clothing. While they can be frustrating to keep up with, there is something about their uniqueness and overall fun quality to wear that makes it all worth wile. When I saw this skirt with it's iridescent paillettes, I was in love with not only the colors that the circles created when the light caught them, but also the way that it sounded and swayed when I moved. With such a statement piece, as this skirt is, I found it best paired with solid tops such as a plain black t-shirt and super high chunky wedges. 

Twenty Twelve

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Two thousand and twelve was a great year. From being initiated into an amazing sorority, spending the summer in New York City with two internships, and being back at Syracuse University for my sophomore year.  I am so thankful for everyone that reads 85 Dresses and promise to keep it up in the new year. Here are twelve of my favorite posts from 2012.

Happy 2013, everyone! As amazing as 2012 was, here's to the new year and hope it's just as great!

Love, Leah
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