Monday, 16 May 2016

Designer on the Rise: Joanna Lau, Founder and CEO of Jemma

Between slaying it at work, grabbing drinks with her girlfriends and hitting the gym on a (semi) regular basis, the modern woman is busier than ever. While every girl boss has her own tricks to having it all, there's one thing any busy bee needs: A versatile purse. Switching bags every morning takes some valuable time out of your day, plus even the sharpest style maven may accidentally forget her apartment keys in the switch. With a versatile color palette and fashion-forward silhouettes that will take you from the office to happy hour, Jemma provides a chic alternative to the typical working bag. Here, founder and CEO Joanna Lau shares her style secrets and what's to come for the emerging brand.

Joanna Lau

The Trendologist: Tell me a little about yourself.  What did you do before launching Jemma?

Joanna Lau: I was a trader on Wall Street for four years after graduating from NYU Stern with a major in finance and statistics and a minor in music. I always had a keen interest in fashion. I worked part-time at Tommy Hilfiger's public relations department while at NYU and completed a summer course in fashion design at Parsons during high school. I founded Jemma in October 2015, and launched my first Work-Life Collection in January 2016.

TT: What inspired you to start your own line of handbags?

JL: While working in finance, my daily problem was not having a proper work bag that I could confidently carry that not only met my working and personal needs, but had the appropriate color, quality and professionalism. I found myself having to constantly accommodate to the constraints of my handbag. My girlfriends and colleagues had similar experiences, so I knew this was a void that needed to be filled. Jemma was created for the modern working woman who doesn’t want to sacrifice style, convenience or an entire paycheck for the right handbag.

The Emma Purse, $398, Jemma.
TT: How does Jemma differ from other purse brands on the market?

JL: Jemma fills a niche in the women’s handbag market for a well-designed, high quality handbag that serves the working woman’s daily needs. There are a lot of beautiful handbags available today, but I felt that fashion trumped function far too often. I had many bags that were pretty, but when I needed to carry my laptop or an important folder or file, it was awkward — which is both unattractive and unprofessional. I was frustrated that I couldn’t find a bag that addressed my needs for a functional accessory that was also gorgeous and appealed to all my senses like a luxury handbag.

TT: What was your approach to designing these bags?

JL: I did a lot of market research and interviews with working women to find out exactly what their pain points were with the options that existed for work bags.  Clearly an area for a laptop, file and/or folder is essential, and a sleeve for a tablet is important too. Our key attachment snaps into the bag so they’re easy to find, and easy to grab. Our interior a lighter color to avoid the proverbial “black hole” of a larger handbag. A pen holder, a lipstick holder and card slots were [also] non-negotiables. For both style and function, we have an optional cross-body strap and a full closure top for those who commute via mass transit.

TT: Your career history is very different from most designers. What advice would you give individuals who also want to get their start in the fashion industry?

JL: You don’t have to have a conventional design background to succeed in the fashion industry. For me, the Jemma brand is really an extension of who I am, what I love and my personal style. I think a strong brand has to come from within. That way, you know it best and you will know how to make it happen.

The Jojo Purse, $358, Jemma.
TT: I know playing favorites is nearly impossible, but which bag is your favorite: the Emma or the Jojo?

JL: Currently I have been switching between all bags and colorways depending on my outfit. If I had to choose just one, I’d pick the Navy “Emma” Work Bag when I need my laptop during the day and the Ballet “JoJo” Life Bag when I’m out on the weekends because its simply exudes ladylikeness!

TT: Where do you see the brand in five years?

JL: We are working on a few exciting things now. Stay tuned because we’ll be sticking around!

Can't get enough of Jemma? Be sure to follow the brand on Instagram and Twitter.
xx

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Designer on the Rise: Kara Mendelsohn, Founder and Designer of Cooper & Ella

Forget fine jewelry and the latest "it" bag: What a real fashion girl wants is a slew of elevated basics in a set of quality fabrics. While it's easy to think that securing an interesting silk blouse will cost hundreds —if not, thousands — of dollars, womenswear brand Cooper & Ella is here to prove otherwise. The label, which was founded in 2013 by Kara Mendelsohn, serves up some serious wardrobe wanderlust with flirty off-the-shoulder tops, pretty blouses and the ultimate summer dress —all in an array of silky textiles. And luckily for those savvy shoppers, Cooper & Ella is surprisingly affordable. It all sounds too good to be true until you realize Mendelsohn has been in the industry for nearly two decades. In this installment of "Designer on the Rise," learn about Mendelsohn's line and her secrets to having it all.

Kara Mendelsohn
The Trendologist: What inspired you to start your own line?

Kara Mendelsohn: After working in the industry for 18 years, I knew there was a white space in the market for tops that were sophisticated in design and reasonably priced. I launched with a very specific focus on this niche. I saw the opportunity and I went for it!

TT: Cooper & Ella really delivers some innovative pieces and high quality fabrics at an affordable price. Can you walk me through the design process?

KM: I start with what I wish I had in my closet, but could not find. Then I work through the current trends and re-interpret them for my customers. I work very hard on finding great fabrics that are affordable, machine washable and feel amazing on the body. Then, I work to build out a collection that offers options for day, night or work —often all of the above wrapped up in one design — to give my customer a new reason to buy.

Ava Cold Shoulder Top, $125, Cooper & Ella.


TT: I love how the brand donates some of its proceeds to the HOPE Foundation School. Can you tell me a little more about the charity and why you decided to start the EMPOWER initiative?

KM: It was important to us to build a meaningful philanthropic component into the company. We knew we wanted to give-back by ‘empowering’ those in need; children specifically as the brand is named after my son and daughter. Helping children was close to our hearts and we felt would be close to our customer’s hearts as well. We just needed to find a way to do it consistently and that would speak to the brand’s DNA and would truly make a difference.

We had the opportunity to work with the HOPE Foundation in India, and when we asked the group how we could best support the children of their HOPE Foundation School Tannery Road, Bangalore they emphatically replied, “By consistently funding their food.”

HOPE practices a ‘cradle-to-career’ solution that empowers children to succeed in life. By providing the meals we do to over 400 students at the school, their parents are that much more likely to send them to school in the first place as this could be their child’s only guaranteed meal of the day.We were so impressed by the charity, their dedicated teachers and the power of the meals we could provide that we decided to make a long-term commitment as a company.

Ella Dress, $225, Cooper & Ella. 

TT: I know playing favorites is nearly impossible, but what is the one style that Trendologist readers need in their closet this spring?

KM: The Esme is a great spring style. It’s a romper that’s sophisticated [and has a] flattering fit. I am going to live in it in the coming months!

TT: Between running your own fashion line and raising two kids, we can only imagine you’re a pro at multitasking. What advice can you give to our readers who are trying to juggle their personal and professional lives?

KM: Give yourself a break. Once you realize that you can’t be perfect at everything, you will be a happier person. I do the best I can on all fronts: As a wife, a mother and an entrepreneur. But there are days where I just don’t seem to do a great job at any of those things! Try not to put too much pressure on yourself to be perfect.

TT: Where do you see the brand in five years?

KM : I feel like I’m just getting started! There are so many things we haven’t yet even begun to tackle! I’m excited to continue to grow the brand, both in terms of volume and recognition, here in the US and internationally. I look forward to expanding into new product categories, beyond our tops, dresses, rompers, skirts and jumpsuits. Would love to even offer children’s someday!

Already obsessed with Cooper & Ella? Follow the brand on Instagram and Twitter.
xx

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Red Carpet Review: 2016 Academy Awards

Since what feels like the beginning of time, the Academy Awards have been dubbed the most lavish, glamorous night of the year for Americans. From Bjork's swan dress to Hilary Swank's backless Guy Laroche number, the ceremony is ground zero for some of the biggest fashion moments in red carpet history. This year, however, was a snoozefest. Sure, there were looks that viewers ooh and aah-ed over, but the overall evel of glamour was an all-time low. If you forgot to tune in for the red carpet, you didn't miss much, but read on for the fashion high and lows from this year's Oscars.

The Worst

Lady Gaga in Brandon Maxwell: Compared to her looks of yore – think the meat dress, for starters – anything she slips on is a fine choice. This silhouette offered a cool take on an average red carpet-ready ball gown and was just as powerful as her tear-jerker of a performance during the Oscars, but the pants portion looked like a camel toe waiting to happen at some angles. Most likely, the problem wasn't the fit of this number: it’s the color. A clean white is always a win at award shows: the hue is great all year round and pops against a traditional little black dress. But, on the other hand, white is notorious for showing all flaws.  This number would look equally striking and present zero fit issues if it were in a dramatic black.  
Reese Witherspoon in Oscar de la Renta: Some of the actress-turned- Draper James designer’s best red carpet moments happened at the Academy Awards: the lacey Valentino frock in 2002, the vintage Christian Dior Witherspoon sported when she picked up a gilded statue of her own and the slimming Tom Ford number from last year’s event, to name a few. This purple gown from Oscar de la Renta failed to impress.  Not only did this silhouette age the actress a few years and add unnecessary bulk to her hips, the droopy sweetheart neckline looks sloppy. And for the love of the grooming gods above, do something else with your hair. This is the Oscars, after all: a straight mane doesn't cut it.
Olivia Wilde in Valentino Haute Couture: While lots of people applauded the actress for sporting this plunging dress, the whole ensemble was over-styled. The sexy neckline – which boasted cleavage, side boob and a bare back – and pleating would be enough of a statement. But with a silver chocker, milkmaid braids and large, embellished clutch? Too busy. And with so much to look at, it’s hard to deem this ensemble effortless and cohesive.  Instead, minimal jewels and a smaller purse would've yielded cleaner, chicer results.

Brie Larson in Gucci: And the most disappointing ensemble goes to … Brie Larson! Over the past few weeks, the Room starlet transformed herself from relatively unknown actress to decorated actress and style savant. She slayed in Michael Kors and Atelier Versace, not to mention became a deadlock for the sacred Oscar. As one of the most anticipated actresses to grace the red carpet, this ruffled number from Gucci fell flat. Between the wispy ripples on the skirt, blinged-out belt and slicked-back hair, the whole ensemble lookedcheap and would’ve been more suitable for the notoriously casual Screen Actor Guild awards. It’s kind of like wearing sweatpants to your senior prom. Yes, it’s that bad.

Amy Poehler in Andrew Gn: Oh look, your crazy, hippie aunt made it to the Academy Awards! Oh no, wait, that’s just Amy Poehler. Similar to Larson’s Gucci disaster, this frock read too maternal and casual for such a high-profile event. Forget red carpet glamour; this was more crunchy granola. And can someone please tell her that the fiery red locks look forced? Tina? Mindy? Anyone?
Kate Winslet in Ralph Lauren: Calling all ‘90s kids: do you remember those backpacks that boasted a scratchy screen with a holographic-esque image? That’s exactly what the super sheeny fabric of this Ralph Lauren dress looks like. The silhouette and color were pretty and offered a different take on a typical evening gown, but the sheen? Not flattering. The Steve Jobs star is beautiful, and who wouldn’t applaud her anti-Photoshop stance? But why the shiny fabric? It did do any favors for Winslet, and would look just as bad on us mere mortals. On the bright side, the nominee’s hair and makeup was flawless.
Heidi Klum in Marchesa: With legs for days and a gorgeous smile, Heidi Klum was once dubbed one of those people who could “wear a burlap sack and still look stunning.” As of last night, it seems that we all stand correct. In short, it looked like a hot mess of reject fabric from Project Runway. Most  Marchesa dresses are divine, but this one had no redeeming qualities: the asymmetrical keyhole looked awkward, the single sleeve was too costumey and the gown skirt wasn't even flattering. Can someone say auf wiedersehen to this sartorial disaster?

Jennifer Lawrence in Dior Haute Couture: First cardinal rule of red carpet dressing: don’t be a copycat. Especially when you’re a nominee. Surely, an actress who sported a red caped column dress would no longer make a statement. Instead, she’d be the spitting image of Lupita Nyong’o circa 2014. Dressed in Dior, Jennifer Lawrence’s sheer-bodiced gown paid some more homage to Gwyneth Paltrow’s Alexander McQueen number from 2002  than creating her own iconic look.  And with minimal jewels, natural makeup and a clean blow out, it looks as if the Joy actress left for the red carpet mid-fitting. A really great pair of earrings or red lip would up the sartorial ante.
 


The Best


Olivia Munn in Stella McCartney: Selecting a punchy color for awards season is a great way to get attention, but it does come with its fair share of risks. Too bright, and you’ll look clownish. And of course there’s always the chance that an attempt to make a statement will totally clash with an attendee’s newly spray-tanned complexion. Consider Olivia Munn’s burnt orange dress a guide to wearing color to the red carpet. The color was unexpected, yet worked with the actress’s skintone, not to mention paired well with her bright lip. Also,  Munn deserves a round of applause for steering away from a basic column dress and opting for a coolm, asymmetrical silhouette instead.
Saoirse Ronan in Calvin Klein Collection: From ethereal gowns to a conservative Micahel Kors number, the Brooklyn star has been the award season's girl next door. And like all girls next door do at one point, Saoirse Ronan pumped up the energy in a sensual, and slightly rebelious, number. Plunging necklines were all the rage at last night's extravaganza, and this instance was especially great because it packed  on the drama without showing off an overwhwelming amount of cleavage, plus the cut of this dress gave Ronan a sublte hourglass figure. Paired with beachy waves and emerald earrings, this look married old Hollywood glamour with a youthful mentality.
Rachel McAdams in August Getty: The Spotlight star, and best supporting actress nominee, has come a long way since her days sporting tank tops and miniskirts as queen bee Regina George. A vision in emerald green, McAdams's gown was the perfect blend of old school glamour and minimalist modernity. While the slimmed silhoutte and halter neckline perfectly suited the token cool girl, the dress had its fair share of jawdropping elements: the lengthy train, high slit and bare back made a bold statement without looking too sexy. On the accessories front, the actress complemented the simple shape with a casual updo, dangling earrings and loads of silver rings.
Cate Blanchett in Armani Privé: Another year, another pretty fashion girl look brought to you by Cate Blanchett's styling team. Whether you loved this couture look or thought of it as a sad human version of the Barbie Songbird dress, you have to admit that this ensemble was perhaps the most exciting garment to grace this go at the red carpet. The color, floral fripperies and silhouette were wildly feminine, while the pointed gems and subtle V neck prevented her from looking more like Elsa in Frozen. As always, Cate reigned superior over everyone. Deal with it.
Emily Blunt in Prada: When it comes to maternity style on the red carpet, most actresses either opt for a skintight dress that highlights their growing bump or mask their pending bundle of joy with layers of fabric. But at last night's affair, Emily Blunt's dainty Prada frock was a happy medium.This pale pink dress highlighted her bump beautifully but didn't veer into vulgar territory. And, with hints of sparkle from head to toe, this was appropriate for the fancy affair without looking like a reject costume from a Liberace tour. The small curls and pale pink lip acted as perfect finishing touches to this sweet getup.
Charlize Theron in Dior: Ladies, take note: this is how you wear a plunging neckline. Unlike Olivia Wilde’s Valentino nightmare, this iteration worked because Theron either has a smaller chest or stylists who know how to work double-stick tape. The neckline was striking and sexy instead of  vulgar or tasteless. Plus, the drop necklace only highlighted the plunging V (unlike Wilde’s choker, which created a boxy shape). And that train? Totally worthy of a red carpet A-Lister. Obsessed.
Alicia Vikander in Louis Vuitton: It’s no surprise the Oscar winner sported Louis Vuitton to the ceremony. But who would’ve predicted she’d wear a princess-esque gown? Known equally for her acting chops and dazzling red carpet looks, The Danish Girl star is the industry’s recent cool girl. And paired with Nicolas Ghesquiere, whose reign at the French brand is modern, edgy and a far cry from his flamboyant stint at Balenciaga. Yet, as unexpected as a bubble-hemmed, full- skirted option is from both parties, the custom design was pretty and a fashion home-run. The yellow hue worked perfectly with her skin, plus the bubble hem and sporadic sparkles provided some subtle glamour. And though a bit casual, Vikander’s tiny top knot brought cool girl flair to this ladylike frock.
Naomi Watts in Armani Privé: When it comes to red carpet style, having a uniform is never a good thing. How would anyone consistently grace any best dressed list if they're wearing the same, boring column dress. For the past few years, Naomi Watts hasn't strayed far away from this shape. Yet, oddly enough, she is always one of the best dresses ladies at the party. Her trick? Experimenting with different colors and textures. Case in point: this pretty pailletted iteration from Armani Privé. Since the ombre sequins made a serious statment, the silm silhouette actually complemented the material instead of competing with it. And her glamazonian necklace, red lipstick and subtly wavy locks made this one cohesive and fabulous look from head to toe.

Photos courtesy of The Huffington Post
What did you think of the red carpet? Sound off below!

xx

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Trending: Alekka, Your Virtual Dose of Wanderlust

The winter weather is all fun and games until you slip on some black ice and tumble face first into a massive pile of yellow-tinged snow. Gross. Understandably, the next thought that crosses your mind is, "When can I take a vacation?" While jet setting of to Mykonos or the Maldives would be ideal, there are so many things holding you back: fares, your shrinking number of PTO days and that less-than-perfect bikini bod.  But instead of spending the chilly season completely miserable, why not invest in a few stylish, travel-inspired pieces? Not only is retail therapy the answer to (almost) every life woe, picking up a few pieces is cheaper than a roundtrip hotel. Enter Alekka, the travel-inspired e-commerce site that boasts emerging brands, industry favorites and unique pieces crafted by worldly artisans. Regardless of their origins, the carefully curated batch is geared to satisfy your wanderlust.

Alekka by Nico Guilis

And, for your viewing pleasure, Alekka recently teamed up with photographer Nico Guilis of Find Your California for a lookbook that promotes new pieces available on the site and captures both titles' aesthetic: the cool, ethereal (yet slightly edgy) jetsetter everyone secretly wants to be. If you're not already sold on shopping Alekka, feast your eyes on these four Trendologist-approved picks.

Looking for an extra pretty set of earrings to cure your winter blues? These stamped brass and hand enamel ones, which are from Spain, will look stunning with a navy tea-length dress or jeans and a T-shirt. Barcelona Enamel Earrings, $80, alekka.com.

Handmade and painted in Crete, Greece, this printed tray is the perfect catch-all tray for your vanity table or desk. Plus, it'll give your home an offbeat, bazaar vibe. Medium Grecian Jewelry Bowl, $48, alekka.com.


Whether you pair it with a neutral ensemble or power-clash with other vibrant prints, this airy scarf -- which was made in India but found in Ibiza -- is bound to make a statement. Vintage Scarf, $125, alekka.com.


If prints aren't your style jam, the website offers sleek edgy options, too. For example, this 14K gold ring was made in New York and offers an urban, cool girl flair. Mirlo Thorn Ring, $495, alekka.com.

Like what you see? Enjoy 15 percent off any order with the code 15foryou.

xx

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Red Carpet Review: 2016 Grammy Awards

Jennifer Lopez's plunging Versace number. Lady Gaga's egg-tastic entrance.  Lil' Kim's purple pasties. Let's be honest: the looks that flock the Grammys red carpet tend to be more kitschy than chic. However, instead of LED-lined gowns, this year's crop of dresses played it a little safe.  But that doesn't mean that the whole night was a total snooze-fest. Adele's silky voice made viewers everywhere sob -- don't deny it, you totally wept -- and Lady Gaga performed a heartwarming tribute in honor of the late David Bowie. And on the red carpet, there were some looks that were completely swoon-worthy. Too busy watching The Bachelor last night to keep up with the Grammys? Read on for the best looks from the music event of the year.

Florence Welch in Gucci: Quirky, embellished and colorful. A better description of Florence Welch's red carpet style or Alessandro Michele's reign at Gucci? In this case, it's both. There are so many incredible brand-celebrity partnerships out there -- Alicia Vikander with Louis Vuitton and Jennifer Lawrence with Christian Dior, to name a few -- but there hasn't been one more perfect than the union of the Florence and the Machine front-woman and Gucci. This whimsical, long-sleeved look wouldn't look good on everyone. In fact, it would probably merit a place on the "worst dressed list" for most celebrities. However, this dress perfectly captures Welch's free spirit and adds a feminine touch to her bohemian aesthetic. Here, the pretty pink hue complements her fiery red locks while the subtle v-neck offers a slight sex appeal to a borderline matronly ensemble. Chunky rings and a wavy half-up do perfectly finish this look. 
Selena Gomez in Calvin Klein Collection: As of late, the pop singer has sung about her inability to keep her hands to herself. But in this midnight blue number from Calvin Klein Collection, we can't imagine why she'd want to put her hands anywhere else. Gomez always looks great on the red carpet, and her style has recently become more sophisticated,  but there's no denying that she looked particularly sultry at last night's affair. The metallic blue hue offers something different to the red carpet while the cut-outs and plunging neckline flatter her figure. And any red carpet moment that involves the use of extra large hoop earrings is Trendologist-approved. The two things we'd change? Lifting those straps up just a smidge and switching her locks form big curls to a sleek ponytail. Regardless, brava. 
Adele in Givenchy: While it's a sad day to see that Adele has graduated from cat-eye liner and a perfectly coiffed bee-hive, her new look isn't half bad. Okay -- understatement of the year -- it's amazing. The dress itself isn't anything special, though the silhouette is particularly flattering on the songstress's slimmed frame and the subtle peekaboos right below the shoulder acts as a small way to jazz up a simple LBD. Here, the wow-factor is solely the hair and makeup. Not only is the slightly tousled lob totally on trend, it also suggests an older, more mature version of Adele. Instead of the full face we've become so accustomed to for the Brit, he natural pout and soft liner perfectly juxtapose her bold brow. But somethings never change, like her claw-like nails and ability to make listeners burst out into tears after a heart-melting appearance singing "All I Ask."
Ellie Goulding in Stella McCartney: Think of the singer's pretty in pink number as a gown mohawk. Though shown in a gorgeous color, the front is pretty minimalist and quite dull for such a notoriously crazy red carpet. The back, however, boasts a racerback that is dripping in gem embellishments and completely ups the sartorial ante. Given the extravagance, the diamond choker could've been a bit much for the look. But it's the Grammys! If not, when? On the contrary, the necklace offers a cool '90s attitude and makes this an ensemble something we would expect on the supermodel likes of Naomi Campbell or Kate Moss way back when. When it comes to the beauty regime, Goulding did not disappoint either. The nonchalantly swept hair is a breath of fresh air on a carpet filled with perfectly-maintained updos and beachy waves. Plus, that pink lip is the perfect mix between girly and barely there. 
Bella Hadid in Alexandre Vauthier Haute Couture: Luckily, this year's red carpet boasted very few black gowns. But when a LBD or two did make an appearance, you can bet that they were far from boring. Take Bella Hadid, for example, who rocked a covetable number from Alexandre Vauthier's haute couture collection. While the high slit, cut-outs and plunging neckline veer into a more sultry territory, the long-sleeves creates a more modest element that makes this more of a fashion girl hit versus what a typical 20-something would wear. With very few Bulgari gems and a simple strappy sandal, Hadid kept the focus on the dress (and rightfully so). On the beauty front, the model opted for a subtly vampy aesthetic: dark nails, slicked back hair and a subtly smokey eye. Morticia Addams would be so proud. 
Which looks did you love from the 2016 Grammy Awards? Sounds off below.
Photo courtesy of  The Huffington Post and MTV
xx

Friday, 12 February 2016

A Fashion Girl's Guide to Dressing for Valentine's Day

Once upon a time, sometime when you were in elementary school, Valentine's Day used to include distributing kitschy cards to everyone in your class and overloading on pink and red garb. If you were really lucky, Sweetheart candies were thrown into the mix. Now, it's a little different. The only person you receive a Valentine from is your mother, significant other or bitter single best friend. And unless you're starring in a Hallmark Channel movie, you wouldn't be caught dead wearing those standard hues on the big day. But rest assured, dear reader: there is a way to look festive and deniably fashion-forward. Regardless of your relationship status, check out these pieces that will up the ante of your Valentine's Day ensemble.


Event #1 : Sexy Date Night

Although a romantic dinner wtih your partner may sound cliché, consider February 14 the perfect excuse to go to that swanky restaurant you've been dying to try. But just because your plans veer towards basic territory doesn't mean your outfit needs to. Stay far away from that crimson bodycon dress and update your date night look with an airy silhouette that still shows just the right amount of skin. This lace-trimmed pick from Vetements teeters between edgy and romantic, plus your partner is going to love that plunging neckline. A strappy sandal would be a perfect addition, but let's not forget it's February. And in February -- especially this weekend for those Northeasterners -- it's going to be epcially cold. So, as a pretty great plan B, opt for a pair of thigh-high boots and a duster coat: the mix of clashing lengths will add an extra oomph to this outfit. A funky crossbody -- like this one from Rochas -- and a sweep of a smokey eye will have your beau totally smitten.


Vetements Dress, $1,215, matchesfashion.com

Rochas Bag, $879.50, farfetch.com


Gianvito Rossi Over-the-Knee Boots, $1,675, net-a-porter.com
Takashi Duster Coat, $330, topshop.com
Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette, $54, sephora.com

Event #2: Single Ladies Dinner

Who needs a man when you have your squad of fabulous single ladies? Exactly. A girl's night out is the perfect way to stop sulking about that Tinder date gone so, so wrong, not to mention you can wear exactly what you what without fearing that a guy won't find your crazy clothes sexy. So why not completely push the envelope almost to the point of no return? Who knows -- you may very well be in a relationship next year and your risky threads will not fly. COS's silky jumpsuit screams "independent woman" (without looking too flashy) and will look great with a pair of ladylike pumps. Sure, a onesies and BB pumps are fun, but why don't you really make a statement with a fun (faux) fur coat? A neutral pick is always classic, but a colorful one from British brand Shrimps is cheeky enough for your ladies' night. In order to tie in the classic with the zany, opt for a neutral-hued clutch that's a little bit of both (just like this one from Charlotte Olympia) On the beauty front, add a red lip: it'll give your ensemble a subtly festive kick and, since you're most likley in a smooch-free zone, you won't have to worry about getting it all over your dinner guests.

Silk Jumpsuit, on sale for $90, cosstores.com
Manolo Blahnik Suede BB Pumps, $595, barneys.com

Kylie Coat, approximately $826, shrimps.co.uk
Charlottle Olympia Clutch, $1,165, net-a-porter.com


Matte Revolution Lipstick in 'Walk of Shame,' $32, charlottetilbury.com


Event #3: Cozy Night in with Your Beau

Hitting up the hottest restaurants and bars is tempting; however, there's nothing quite like "Netflix and chilling" with your significant other. But let's not forget that it's still Valentine's Day, which means that styling an outfit from your expansive collection of sweats is a no-go. The key to sporting an ensemble that's casual enough for your man (but fashion-forward enough for you) is adding jeans. Paired with culottes, this subtle tie-neck blouse from Mango  (which is a light enough shade of pink to look style saavy than festive) would is man-averse. But with a pair of relaxed boyfriend jeans? It's cool, unassuming and definitely boy toy-approved. And these vintage Levi's are especially great because they offer that "borrowed from the boys" flair without adding an imaginary bulk to your frame. Since you'll most likely be strolling around in a pair of socks -- or even barefoot -- be sure to accessorize with a few stacked rings to keep this look fashion girl-friendly. And let's not forget that it's Valentine's Day. If you're hanging around the house with your partner, a seductive pair of bra and panties is a necessity. This mesh set from Cosabella is the cool girl's take on lacy lingerie, plus it will slip nicely under your ensemble.


http://shop.mango.com/US/p0/women/clothing/shirts/tie-neck-blouse/?id=51039065_84&n=1&s=prendas.blusas&ident=0__0_1455298270396&ts=1455298270396&p=76&page=5
Tie-Neck Blouse, on sale for $29.99, mango.com
Vintage Levi Boyfriend Jeans, $150, theline.com


http://www.catbirdnyc.com/collections/stacking-rings/mignon-memory-ring-yellow-gold.html
Mignon Memory Ring, $48 each, catbirdnyc.com


Cosabella Soire Mesh Underwired Bra, $65 (matching briefs for $25), net-a-porter.com

Event #4: Cozy Night in with Yourself

Regardless of your relationship status, we can all agree that Valentine's Day tends to pack on unnecessary pressure. Some people love it, others hate it. If you find yourself rolling your eyes with each bouquet of roses you see on February 14, it wouldn't be that shocking if your plans were chilling in your jammies and catching up on The People v. OJ Simpson. Because, after all, your priorities are clearly in check. Instead of throwing on your ratty college sweats, try your luck with some luxe loungewear. Trust us, you'll need something to enjoy when you're scrolling through dozens of nauseatingly romantic Instagrams. Between the ladylike pattern and silk-satin blend, this pair of jammies from Olivia von Halle has glamour written all over it. Sticker shock aside, be honest: you've been longing for a pretty pair of hostess pajamas. Paired with some slick metallic slippers? Sartorial bliss.  Hiding from the sappiness parade that is Valentine's Day doesn't require fancy gems or a killer purse, but you may find it useful to invest in some beauty extras. This Origins charcoal mask enchances your complexion, plus it's the perfect sidekick for some much-needed "me time." And, when you're ready to hit the hay, a silky eye mask will ensure you end Valentine's Day in style.

Olivia von Halle Silk-Satin Pajamas, $525, net-a-porter.com
Patricia Green Coco Slippers, $109.95, nordstrom.com

Origins Clear Improvements Active Charcoal Mask, $25, birchbox.com

Slip Silk Eye Mask, $40, net-a-porter.com


What will you be wearing on Valentine's Day? Sound off below.
xx