Sunday, February 1, 2009

Style Essentials for the Unconventional Girl

Photo by Trixie Bedlam

Let's face it, fashion isn't the same for everyone. While some girls run their fingers over glossy magazines, slipping into teeny weeny slips of haute couture and super-slick Manolo heels, others burrow into vintage floral wraps found at rummage sales and electric yellow go-go boots. Yet whatever your personal style may be, some things are simple style essentials that look good on almost everyone - so for the front-page fashionista, thrift store starlet, and everyone else in-between, here are those certain items that every well-dressed girl should keep stocked in her wardrobe at all times!

 Pashmina Scarves
If you're from New York then you should have absolutely no trouble finding one of these beauties - they're sold on street corners all across the city for as little as $5 and they come in the most dizzyingly beautiful colors and styles. The pashmina scarf is one of the most versatile pieces of clothing for the sole reason that it can be worn so many different ways - from a full body wrap to a simple winter shawl to a sari-esque skirt to just a plain old scarf. It's a must-have for anyone who braves brisk winters (or for those who just want to look like they do!) Having trouble figuring out how to wear yours? Here are nine basic tying techniques!


Crazy as it seems, tutus really are absolute must haves for any modern girl who loves bringing funkiness and fun into everyday life. It may seem a little too wild at first, but tutus and petticoats can easily be paired with seemingly simple fashion staples and make you look effortlessly charming and chic. Try wearing them with oxford button-ups, long sleeved shirts layered with tank tops, and knee-high socks. For an everyday look, avoid high heels and instead opt for simple sneakers or flats.

♥ Black, Ankle-High Skinny Pants
I reference it constantly on this site, but there's one particular scene from my favorite movie, Funny Face, that cemented my love of skinny pants. In it, Audrey Hepburn's character Jo performs an interpretive dance in a smoky French club to thoroughly explain the concept of dancing as a form of release to Fred Astaire. She prances around the club in a black turtleneck and black skinny pants, swinging and swaying and throwing herself left and right, dancing with French poets and beatniks amidst the club's hazy lights. It's a classic scene that created a classic staple, and even today I still see the most amazing women pull a similar look off with so much flair. Pair them with a horizontally-striped shirt for a Paris-a-go-go look or a button-up shirt with flats - anyway you choose to wear them, these pants will never let you down!

Thigh-High Socks
Thicker than tights for cold winter days and very schoolgirl-esque, long thigh-high socks can really do wonders for an outfit. I suggest going with darker colors like an eggplant or navy, but whites and creams can look just as good when worn correctly. Wear them with mini-skirts, dresses, or even shorts and a good pair of heels!

Wide-Brimmed Hats
Although in modern days the big, classically simple sun-bathing hat has become more and more rare, it will always hold it's rightful place in a well-stocked closet. Audrey Hepburn pulled it off effortlessly in Breakfast At Tiffany's, pairing it with a little black dress, a pair of sunglasses, and a string of pearls, and I firmly believe that anyone can give it just as much character and charm as she did. Go with a tan one for casual summer days, wearing it with a white tank top, a filmy button up, and a rolled up pair of jeans, or for those more formal occasions wear it the Audrey way, black dress and all!

Ballet Flats
For quiet, casual engagements or those days when you simply don't feel like wearing heels, a good pair of ballet flats are the next best thing - they're stylish and simple, making you look professional and chic without being too dressy. A good black pair is always in style, but it's worth it to invest in as many colors as you possibly can. Mix and match and see what comes of it!

♥ Faux-Fur Coats
Fur coats create such a wonderful silhouette and add a great finishing touch to any outfit, but faux-fur is the way to go both ethically and practically. Fur coats have been associated with women of luxury for a good reason, for a real one will cost you a fortune, not to mention the fact that you'd be perpetuating the practice of killing for fashion with bona fide fur. Faux-fur is cheaper and just as stunning when worn, so try topping off any outfit with one, from silky buttercream dresses to denim jeans and turtlenecks.

♥ A Great Pair of Jeans
This goes without saying, but every girl absolutely has to have that one perfect pair of jeans to complete her  wardrobe. Jeans are so versatile and can be dressed up for semi-formal engagements and dressed down for runs to the supermarket. The possibilities are endless when it comes to what to wear with them, so get yourself a pair and experiment!

The Good Old Fashioned Little Black Dress
What would a girl be without the incredible little black dress? Think about how many classic outfits have been perpetuated by that one plain and simple idea of a perfect black dress? Discovering your dress is one of those classic moments of womanhood, like tumbling down the rabbit hole and into this strange and wonderful new world of style, so when you discover it don't let it slip away. A flattering dress never goes out of style!

Penelope ♥


Martini said...

It made me laugh a little, that these all have a place in my wardrobe. Guess I'm well dressed!

Vixel said...

I think I need to get me a wide-brimmed hat, I have the rest of the list!

Cassie said...

Hello, just wanted to say I love your blog! x

My Stifled Laughter said...

Love the posts! And I especially love ballet flats.

I got the package in the mail! :D I'm wearing some of it to the Winter Dance tomorrow at school. :) said...

Um, I love you. Just saying.

Actually, I want to live vicariously through you and pretend I'm not a middle-aged former hippie/punk rock girl with three children.

Someday, I swear, I will wear my Chucks with a tutu. Proudly.