As I walked to work this morning, juggling my cell phone, my shoe bag, my laptop bag, my regular bag and my dripping cup of Starbucks coffee (because all cups of Starbucks coffee will drip all over your hand as you carry them, no matter if you have one of those handy little green stoppers; it must be some sort of poor lid design, right?*), I thought for the millionth time: I wish I had a damn backpack. To be able to trudge to work almost entirely unencumbered, to be able to open a door without having to do the weird kick-it-open and then shove-an-elbow-in-it maneuver, ah, this would be a level of freedom I haven’t had since I was six and decided backpacks were ugly. Enter Elizabeth & James’ pebbled leather backpack, which manages to be both sophisticated and practical. (Thankfully, it’s also about $54,455 less than the prescription-pill-covered backpack turned out by E&J’s sister line, The Row.)
*It’s not just me!
Maybe it’s because I’m an editor, and words are pretty much how I make my living. Or maybe it’s simply because I’m drawn to gorgeous typography. And, okay, diamonds. Whatever it is, I’m obsessed with Khai Khai’s line of delicate, super-luxe but fantastically unstuffy jewelry, particularly his Kharakter Kollektion (no doubt a snarky riff on all things Kardashian). It’s a cooler, more modern take on the ubiquitous monogram and initial pendants, and the chicest way to say less-than-polite words, without ever giving the middle finger.
It has vague leanings towards Zara’s ubiquitous mini-skort (as seen on every fashion blogger, anywhere, ever), but the construction and materials lend it its close-to-four-figures price tag. Check out the wide hem. Looks like snakeskin, right? It’s actually jacquard—I know, we couldn’t believe it either—employed in a totally masterful way. (And it means that this skirt only has one zero attached to it, not three.) It’s our favorite way to bare legs this winter.
The white button-down shirt. It’s the most classic of pieces, the most basic of wardrobe staples. And while most will argue that it needs no further accessorizing—just a pretty clavicle and maybe a glowing tan—I think every basic can sometimes use a bit of a oomph. (Note: The hordes of women now throwing on glitzy costume necklaces over a buttoned-to-the-neck shirt.) How I’ll be updating the button-down this fall? With a frothy silk bow at the neck, preferably this Saint Laurent blush-colored, silk-chiffon collar. Tuck it under the collar for instant cool, or use it to upgrade the neckline of a plain LBD. That glowing clavicle? Save it for summer.
How to look appropriately festive on this Halloween week without wearing this to work? Wear Christopher Kane’s wool-crepe miniskirt: a classic shape (in always-classic red) with an impossibly intricate, web-like crackle-lace hem, reminiscent of a very fashion-forward spiderweb—or black licorice. Either way, it’s on my list.
One of winter’s biggest annoyances is trying to stuff a bulky sleeve into the arm of a coat. Sometimes, the sleeve gets bunched up and your shoulders begin to look like something you’d see on Lincoln Financial Field. (Yeah, not pretty.) The chicest answer to the season’s decidedly un-chic problem? The cape, preferably in a fantastically ornate pattern, like Clover Canyon’s Egg Vase version, above.
Sure, it’s kooky. And for over four grand, most people would probably opt for more classic, Birkin-esque styles. But Fendi’s fall 2013 collection is at the top of my lust list, especially this hilarious holdall (or hold-some). It’s like investing in a pet, only this one doesn’t need house-training, vet visits or pet food—and it’s way more fun to take out for walks.
It’s the trend that won’t die: tough-girl boots. This season, you can pick your poison—grunge combat boots, punk-leaning buckled and spiked boots, black studded rocker boots. The question I hear most is: How’s a decidedly non-punk, non-grunge, non-rocker chick supposed to wear ‘em? My answer: Invest in a still-sophisticated version like Stuart Weitzman’s studded Cityslicker pair, which mix a sleek silhouette with just-tough-enough hardware. Throw these on with a gauzy dress and an oversized grandfather cardigan for an early-fall go-to look. Rock on.