CREAM OF THE CROP

Yes, crop tops are all the rage. But how do we rock this trend without looking like we're heading to a Selena Gomez concert? (No shade Taylor..) Pair the fitted blouse with a classic, swinging skirt. A low-key heel will balance out the sexiness of the top. 

Photos by: Jason Branch

Top: Bebe, Skirt: Rebecca Minkoff, Purse: Rebecca Minkoff, Heels: Ivanka Trump (purchased pre-election), Sunnies: Etnia Barcelona

 

STARS + STRIPES

I'll be spending this Independence Day in the city so its time to ditch my typical beach attire for a grown-up take on the classic stars and stripes. I started with a breezy Rebecca Minkoff dress that's become my new work-to-play staple. A few saturated accessories added some edge and boom I'm ready for brunch! 

Photos: Jason Branch

Dress: Rebecca Minkoff (no longer available), Bag: Rebecca Minkoff, Sunglasses: Etnia Barcelona, Shoes: Breckelle's, Belt: BCBG Max Azria (no longer available)

WHEN LESS IS MORE

I'm on a constant quest to simplify my life, starting with my wardrobe. My search lead me to ALIX, a line of well-made, chic bodysuits that go with everything. I'm talking effortless, sleek, and easy wardrobe staples. 

I recently took one for a test run and interviewed Alexandra Alvarez, the incredibly chic designer behind these closet must-haves. 

JB: As a young designer, your designs are incredible timeless. Your bodysuits have a sense of 70s sex appeal and 90s minimalism. What/Who is your design inspiration? 

AA: I’ve always loved clean lines and the 90s were definitely an inspirational era as far as minimalism and emphasis on classic beauty. I would say Calvin Kleinas a brand, is a major influence of mine because everything they put their name on has a timeless quality. I also really admire anything Phoebe Philo touches.

JB: How is important is it to your customer to have a piece that can be worn with denim on the weekends and a pencil skirt during the work week? 

AA: SO important. A bodysuit can definitely be fun and unique, but the most important thing about each ALIX piece is the ability to be worn in so many different waysFrom my causal jerseys to my dressier styles, I make sure every bodysuit is easy to mix and match. It’s all about versatility for me.

JB: You describe your suits as ‘luxe basics’ but your pieces are anything but “basic”. What’s your secret to making such simple garments seem so expensive? Do you have any other tips for women looking to upgrade their wardrobe?

AA: I think it’s important for clothes to have a balance of creativity and wearability. I’m constantly inspired by the streets of new york, travel, friends, and ar. I’m also really big on making sure I nail the perfect fit in every bodysuit I produce. I’ve learned that the secret to making a product look and seem expensive has a lot to do with finishing touches and details. It’s the little things that other people don’t think about. The goal is for my customers to wear my bodysuits and fall in love – to get that feeling like “Oh – wow. I feel amazing in this – I need MORE!” --- you know? Uniform status.

JB: In addition to investing in a sleek bodysuit, what are three other pieces women can use to maximize their wardrobe? 

AA: 1.The right pair of denim – invest the money in the best pair for your body type. I love high-waisted and boyfriend jeans. R13 and Acne are the best.

2. A white cotton button down – can be used with some nice skinny black jeans for a business-casual look or for a night out in the cityIt’s a great go-to piece.

A pair of flats that are comfortable enough for day and dressy enough for night.

In New York you walk so much. My boyfriend cringes every time I slip into a pair of heels because he knows it only means I’ll be complaining that my feet hurt in an hour…(lol whatever!) On another note – I’m currently in love with my Chanel flats. In the winter time I live in my Balenciaga booties.

Photos: Jason Branch

Bodysuit: ALIX, Skirt: Alice + Olivia, Heels: Ivanka Trump, Shades: Etnia Barcelona

3 SUMMER BAGS YOU NEED NOW

Date Night: Your evening bag should be no-fuss, trendy, and tiny. I love a bright chain-link crossbody so I can throw it over my shoulder and use my hands for more important things-like holding cocktails!  

Professional: This bag should be a neutral tone but never boring. Choose a sophisticated shape with zippered sections for your ID, keys, wallet, etc. This bucket-shaped option is cute enough to bring to happy hour. 

Casual: A weekend bag is truly for function, so opt for a large, durable version! I love this colorful, straw version when I'm headed to Sheep's Meadow for a picnic and need a satchel strong enough to hold a bottle of Rosé, sunscreen, and snacks! 

Photos by: Nicole Marrone

Look 1: Dress: Tees by Tina, Blazer: H&M, Heels: Baker, Purse: Lauren Ralph Lauren

Look 2: Dress: Tees by Tina, Skirt: Zara, Sandals: Ann Taylor, Bracelets: Bauble Bar, Bag: Zara

Look 3: Dress: Tees by Tina, Chambray: Kohl’s, Sneakers: Converse, Sunglasses: Thrifted, Bag: Old Navy

SHIFTIN' INTO SUMMER

If you're ever suffering from a closet full of clothes and "nothing to wear", a shift dress is the simplest remedy. Take it to work under a classic blazer and preppy flats or to the weekend with a straw hat and sandals.  I've decided to layer on metallic accessories to give mine a trendy finish. 

Photos by Charlie Wang of Beginner's Photography Class

Sandals: Arturo Chiang, Necklace: Dannijo Shop SimilarBracelet: Alexis Bittar - Shop SimilarDress: Ann Taylor