Ciao Bella!

I was recently asked by a reader what she should wear to Milan Fashion Week. This is an important event, and clearly she wouldn't want to make a faux pas, or whatever the Italian equivalent of that is. To add to the gravity of the situation, she is a cash-strapped grad student. This is my attempt at saving her from an unfortunate fate. While not all of us are lucky enough to go to any kind of fashion week, let alone Milan, I think that the rest of you will find something useful here. These tips - I hope - will come in handy if you get invited to any sort of fashionable event. I tried to work around what may already be in your closet, so that you wouldn't have to go out and buy a lot. But I did keep all of my examples wallet friendly. The dresses (all Banana Republic) are under $150, the coats (both Nordstrom) are under $100, and most of the accessories are under $50. At fashion week, don't worry about being the best dressed. It's all about the attitude! Stay confident and people will really respond to that. Plus, I'm guessing that you won't be the center of attention, so an over-the-top designer ensemble is unnecessary. Leave that to the pros. A simple dress will work just fine, but make sure it's not too simple. Pick one with an eye catching color or a bold print for instant appeal. Even a black dress is fine, if you pair it with great accessories. By all means, make sure everything fits you perfectly and looks clean, pressed, and polished. Even the simplest outfit can be dazzling if the fit is impeccable. Don't be sloppy.

In terms of how you style the dress, be creative. I personally like how Banana Republic did it, with opaque black tights and black shoes. But if that's too trendy, do something different. A different color tight perhaps, or a metallic shoe. Throw on a pile of fake pearls with your all-black outfit and a really wild hat a la Isabella Blow. Just have fun with it - this is Fashion Week after all.
Since it's fall, a statement making coat will be the perfect finishing touch. Find one with really interesting details, like big buttons, or an optic print. Try a red pump for a pop of color, or go with simple black Louboutin look alikes. This pair from Zappos is budget-friendly, but has the designer look. People will probably be able to tell the difference, but having a shoe like this shows that you know your fashion. A hat is another easy way to add a little oomph to your look. This knit beret has a Marc Jacobs look, and again, it's trendy, but appropriate for Fashion Week, which is all about the trends.

My reader mentioned she has a lot of jeans. Jeans are fine to wear! If you have a particularly nice pair, one that has a good dark wash that fits you well, go with that. Then go glamorous with the shoes and accessories. If all else fails, wear a pair of really big, really dark sunglasses.

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Blogger WendyB said...

Love the mod cap.

October 5, 2007 at 6:40 AM  
Anonymous ambika said...

I think 'statement-making coat' has been my mantra for the past month. I just ordered a bright green coat from Tulle and am hoping it's as cute as the picture because I'd really like to move on to the next obsession already.

October 5, 2007 at 8:49 AM  
Blogger Jamie said...

Thanks for the comments! Ambika, I love coats too, and Tulle's coats are especially nice for someone on a budget! I have a navy blue one just like the picture above and it's great.

October 5, 2007 at 11:15 AM  
Blogger azzu said...

thanks Jamie!:) This post really convinced me of something I've been considering for a while:*heavily* stocking up on dresses!I just have a couple of them, but they've saved my life (fashion-wise at least) many times...and they're the right trade-off between my fashion-loving heart and my lazy jean-loving derrière!keep up the good work:)

October 15, 2007 at 2:04 AM  

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