Let me introduce you to my new crush:
I love it! I love it so much that I’ve been doodling “Mrs. Gorgeous Black and White Dress” on my notebook all day. And it’s not just the fresh print or the on-trend tunic styling that’s sent me over the moon. Best of all— it’s so versatile. It would be great this Winter with leggings, boots, and a fly away cardigan. And it’s fabulous for Spring with bare legs, great jewelry, and Bernardo Miamis. Plus, the belt is detachable, so like a maxi dress, it could work as maternity wear. Now, that’s flexibility.
I came across it at M.J.Aileen’s, one of those teensy, creative boutiques where I often find my coolest pieces. And unlike so many of those inspiring little labels, M.J.Aileen’s packs a big style punch without any icky, overpriced hangover. Case in point: my new soulmate dress rings up at a very manageable $59. (Click here to see it.)
Recently, I was lucky enough to catch up with the owner, Mary-Aileen. Since so much of her clientele consists of busy moms in their 20s and 30s, she has some fabulous ideas about looking great when both time and money are in limited supply.
A few style tips from M.J.Aileen’s Mary-Aileen:
Always Accessorize. We all know it makes a huge difference—we just don’t want to put a lot of time into it. Mary-Aileen suggests keeping hip accessories where you will see them. Love your zebra print boots? Great—store them in the front of your closet, and you’ll be much more likely to wear them. And stash some chic, neutral jewelry (like sterling silver) somewhere you often look. Maybe that’s on your bedside table, maybe it’s next to the wine. Either way, it will catch your eye, ready to spice up even the plainest outfit.
Make It Easy with “no assembly required” ensembles. Stock your closet with dresses you love. Pair them with your go-to jewelry, or add a cardigan for the office. Looking for the ultimate in simplicity? Pick up a couple of cool, patterned dresses that can stand on their own. Mary-Aileen particularly recommends asymmetrical patterns, which are slimming because they “cut” the body and distract from any figure imperfections.
Trust Yourself. Mary-Aileen wisely notes, “It’s only in style if it flatters you. Trends are simply a suggestion for the direction of your wardrobe.” How many times have I forgotten that in the heat of the moment? Only my Goodwill donation center knows for sure… And if you have the opposite problem—always rushing through shopping trips to find the first acceptable option? “Don’t buy something because it’ll do. Suddenly “it’ll do” has become your fashion statement.” And none of us want to be known as the “it’ll do” girl…
Lucie Amberg is the Director of ZinaBeverlyHills.com.