Maybe it’s the little girl in me that makes me want to twirl around in frothy, clouds of tulle. Or the inner ballerina – my seven year-old self couldn’t get enough of all the light, albeit stiff, tutus. This subconscious need to wear something both dramatic yet saccharine explains my affinity towards extremely full skirts (the pouffier, the better).
Although I must admit that I never saw a single episode of Sex and the City, I’ve seen enough Carrie Bradshaw style inspirations floating around the interwebs to understand why this look has become such a classic – and not as costume-y as one might think.
Black Swan vs. White Swan
The edgy vs. the sweet – depending on your current prima ballerina mood. Leather in the form of peplum tops and biker jackets or a mixture of studded metal accoutrements lends that tough exterior. Rather than only sticking to a black color palette, try oxbloods or hunter greens – two big colors this season – intermixed with creamy, heathered grays. Build around the silvers, golds, or rose golds found in the detailing of a bag, a boot, or your favorite piece of jewelry similar to Chictopia’s own Style Icon, Kasica. For the opposite mood, look no further than to Dior Couture who showed light-as-a-feather tulle skirts in feminine midi-lengths. Sequins, polka dots, and other novelty prints create a whimsical story fit for the innocent swan role.
The ladies-who-lunch set have figured something out: they know you know they have an unlimited American Express card limit. It’s the glistening Chanel pearls, the jealousy-inducing Hermès Birkin bags, the sharp Manolo Blahnik stilettos. An organza skirt coupled with multi-strand jeweled necklaces from Baublebar or J.Crew (pearls not mandatory), a great-fitting button-up shirt from Madewell or Zara (even in denim), finished off with ankle-strap flats or contemporary d’orsay pumps will scream Fifth Avenue without making you file for bankruptcy. It’s breaking down the elements that make the Upper East Side/Blair Waldorf, well, the Upper East Side/Blair Waldorf. Add a faux fur stole, brightly colored leather gloves, or something backless for another touch of uptown chic.
Enter the slouchy knits and vintage tees; the of-the-moment accessories and shoes. Instead of opting for a slightly more structured coat, top off the look with an extra-long cardigan and cinch it with a leopard-print belt. Layer on the detachable collars; mix and match different textured sweaters or shirts; pile on the neon statement jewelry; perhaps throw on a beanie (or two); punch it up with color! Eclectic, yet somehow exuding confidence effortlessly. The rules of the game here is that there are no rules – as demonstrated by the various Tommy Ton and Phil Oh street-style snapshots we’ve all come to know and love.
Play up the romance with a salute to the days of old Hollywood cinema as Jason Wu has done. With the skirt as the focal point, keep the accessories to a bare minimum and substitute a bold lip and coordinating nail color as accents. Think darker plums and berry shades, preferably in matte, for day – perfect for the fall/winter season. For a night out on the town, a smoky eye and a lightly tinted lip completes the look. Sexy, without being overtly so, as a modern femme fatale should be (see: Rita Hayworth, Ava Gardner, and Jane Greer).
And just like that, you’ve armed yourself with new tools for the tulle!