I am eternally hoping to find articles of clothing or accessories that make an outfit. It’s a weird task, because just when you think you have found things that are going to save you in every fashion emergency you’ll ever have, you find something else that’s just a little better. Take, for example, bags. I adore bags. I know that there are a million and one women who are obsessed with shoes, but it’s my personal belief that for every one of those women, there’s a bag girl. I have a feeling that, should I ever come across this magical article that will complete the look I’ve always been striving for, it will be a bag. But it won’t be. Because you need more than a bag or a shoe to pull together an amazing effortless look that screams chic. So this month, Papierdoll brings you the essentials of the “it girl.”
“It girls” are women who wear their clothes. Their clothes don’t wear them. They move with the greatest of ease and they always have what they need on hand. But it never seems like they need much.
1. Big sunglasses– We’ll leave it up to you to choose the price point, frames, color and shape, but big sunglasses are a MUST for any it girl. They spell glamour unlike anything else and have since the early ‘50s when women first started wearing them as a fashion statement. They’re easy to throw on with any monochromatic look and look amazing. If you have a round face, square or oval frames are usually the most flattering. Square jaws or heart shaped faces look best in round frames. This season’s favorites are shades of brown (to top off all of those neutral separates) and gold detailing. I especially love the look of a crisp white oxford and white cropped trousers finished off with gold rimmed aviators.
2. Pashmina– Pashminas had their run in the mid ‘90s, but every It girl has one to drape over herself as she walks through an airport, walks into a restaurant or window shops. Preferably in a solid color, but I’ve ran across vintage prints that are gorgeous. Prints are easiest to wear if they consist of lots of browns, burnt orange, ivory or different shades of beige. Dark purple, navy, a soft gold and obviously black are brilliant for solid pashminas, as they serve as neutrals when thrown over a solid look or a white top and jeans. They’re effortless to throw on over a tank and tailored shorts on a cool summer evening and equally brilliant over a turtleneck and slacks in the winter. Most sizes fit into a carry on or work bag for a quick change that make simple work look evening appropriate.
3. A sheath dress– I love sheath dresses. They are eternally flattering and look great over a plain long sleeved t-shirt when you’re bored with them. That said, it girls wear sheath dresses to dinner, weddings, funerals and work. It’s one piece that takes a new shape depending on what shoes and bag you pair it with. Perhaps the best quality of the sheath dress is that it’s sleeveless (which keeps things a tad sexy), but not skimpy (which hides flaws). Find one with darting or princess seams to create a nipped waist. Department stores usually offer a wide variety that can be paired under a suit jacket, or worn on its own. If you already own the standard black sheath, try one a linen cotton blend for spring in white or a deep nude.
4. Ballet flats– Ballet flats are making a comeback, but it girls through the past 30 years have worn ballet flats with everything from full skirts to skinny jeans to trousers. They’re comfortable and easy to pack for trips, or just keep in your bag. Black flats are always good, but newer go-to colors include silver and gold. Invest in a pair that offer quality leather and detailing that is no-fuss.
5.Last fall, they were popular to pair with a smaller purse, but tote bags are classic for everyday use. Totes come in an array of colors, fabrics and textures. While I simply hate fashion “rules” when it comes to textures, I suggest staying away from wearing too many in one look. If you’re wearing a very heavy tweed coat, you might shy away from anything embossed or a tote with embroidery. A fresh look is white or beige, if you wear a lot of black, and vice-versa. Don’t shy away from color with a big tote because it’s a signature piece, so have fun with it. Pale pinks, dark greens and blues all make good options for a carry all of any material.
When achieving the it girl look, always remember to keep it simple. Most it girls wear solid, monochromatic looks and always keep silhouettes streamlined. That doesn’t mean you should forget vintage inspired favorites like a dress coat or full skirt. Another it girl trick is to do white or any neutral color on bottom with a contrasting top. Layering with smooth, clean lines kicks any look up a notch and don’t be afraid to incorporate things you would normally wear. Because the true mark of an It girl is that she’s herself and she loves it.