Style Stories

Heroes of the 5th season

While we’re still here
by Leandra Medine Cohen
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As far as the seasons go, my friend Krissy says the socks are off — but the stakes are still too temperate to settle into the jacuzzi completely, so during the famed liminal season of neither here nor there, uniform not yet established, template not yet secured, when every day is like Adam Sandler’s life in 50 First Dates between us and our closets, here are 3 styling principles, informed by 3 heroes, that can help you start rooting. The first hero is:

(The alliteration missing above is: “From plates to pleats.”)

1. A pair of red shoes

The easiest uniforms to sink into this time of year are often full to the brim of basics — you got your jeans, your white shirt, your trench coat, your classic bag, your panoply of black, white, grey, and blue separates, and you look perfectly fine but sense that there is an edge missing, something rough to indicate that you understand the rules but by no means adhere to them obediently.

What I have noticed the past bunch of weeks is that red slippers or sandals (any form of flat that suits you best) have done a really good job of adding a bit of life to any look that reads too beige (it’s the dark side of quiet luxury!) or boring.

Skall Studios trench, Rochas brocade top (not the same, but so good), Attersee trousers (like these a lot too), The Row sandals (but by now, you know my deal), Delarge sunglasses

Here, for example, you’ve got a solid look on your hands — perfect for the precise transition that demarcates cold mornings from toasty afternoons what with a trench coat that you will inconveniently have to carry once the sun reaches peak high, but which you will stomach regardless because you’re wearing something great under it. Any shoe could conceivably work, but the red is like lemony salt on a tomato salad. It just makes it better, you know?

Interpreted another way, you can also exterminate the big nautical energy of a blue/white combo by adding red slippers like-a-this:

Bode top (love this as a comp and then not the same, but also not no, no?), Katimo pants (here’s another good pair; and another. The key is making sure they’re rigid enough to hold themselves), The Row slippers

These, in particular, have become a blanket hero of the season — they are a great complimenting agent to heavy pants, baggy pants, voluminous dresses, or Bermuda shorts.

I’m going to get into it in a mesh slipper deep dive soon but if you’re going to get a pair of red shoes to accommodate this unit number, I recommend you go for a glove-style flat like this, or a pair of classic, rubber bottom flip flops like these.

The Row mesh slippers; I like these from Loeffler Randall as an interpretation too; You would be surprised at how hard to come by a classic plain pair of red Havaianas flip flips can be to find; here’s a range of sizing from one place, exactly one pair from Amazon and another from the brand site, with a navy thong. Alternatively, these rubber flip-flops are red and from The Row and they cost $650! Finally, there is always Tkees.

The latter are an easy, unexpected, inexpensive (except if they’re The Row, lol), and surprisingly cool foil to a more dressed-up look.

(I can also get behind something more adventurous, like these.)

This next one is kind of like a two-for-one because the red shoes are present, but they’re not the point. The point, really, is two-fold.

But before we get to it, here are your credits! A Flore Flore tank, Sea New York pants (these could work), The Row slippers and a Dorsey white sapphire necklace styled with Delarge sunglasses

2. Kooky sunglasses

The task order here is to create a style contradiction with your face by pairing kooky sunglasses with classic jewelry.

The guidelines on getting this right really don’t have to concern your outfit — you can be wearing something more put-together or a look that is highly practical like the above but one thing I’ll mention about the specifics of the look before we get into the facial pairing is that playing with material ratios has been helpful lately.

So if I’m wearing a “heavy” bottom, like the above pants (you can consider any pants that serve the same get-down-and-dirty purpose as jeans “heavy bottom” in the warmer months), I prefer a lightweight top — could mean a tank top, could also mean something precious and delicate and dramatic like this.

Another example you could imagine would reverse the light and heavy, like this:

Skall Studios sweater (this one is good too), Christopher Kane skirt (which also comes like-a-this), The Row sandals (they’re sold out, but these/these are not! A pair like this works too)

With an organza skirt that has a lacy texture on the sides and the spring equivalent of last winter’s fishermen's knit.

As far as shoes for the above, you are going to want to go for something on a wide last (like these fisherman shoes from Grenson, or these sandals from Soeur) or something that is barely there with a knee-length something — both kinds of shoes do the best thing for your lower legs. But before I end this digression:

One more look! At the look in motion. Now let's go back to the jewelry and sunglasses:

Delarge sunglasses, and a necklace from Dorsey — it’s made from lab-grown white sapphires and still pretty expensive, but not as compared to what the necklace would cost if it were DRAMATICALLY DIAMOND, you know?

The conventional pairing for a fancy necklace and “refined” earrings (could be studs, could be small hoops; pearls are fair game too) is either no pair of sunglasses at all or an ~elegant~ pair: think classic cat eyes, Olive People plain janes, etc, etc. The kooky pair, which have so much personality, add an edge without knocking you off the terrain of your character altogether. This pairing works particularly well if you’re wearing something that leans more simple or classic. Here are a few pairing suggestions if you’re into it:

Top row: vintage clip-on earrings ($103), Daphine necklace ($265), L:e Specs sunglasses ($60); Middle row: Nadri pearl earrings ($68), Daphine necklace ($275), Delarge sunglasses ($230); Last row: Dorsey studs ($90-$155), necklace ($330), Loewe sunglasses ($310)

To further my point about the kooky glasses as a foil to classic jewelry and clothes, I present the third hero of the fifth season but first:

Inooku earrings; here are two alternative options from the brand Ben-Amun, which I have been so into lately

One more example of how your pairing can play out! Your earrings don’t have to be studs — they can totally look like a pair of vintage Bulgari drops. The bracelets are not essential and don’t need to be obtained, but if you have anything similar, they do add something. Onwards to the finale:

3. A button-down vest

This hero is the ideal foil to a skirt that is a-line, pants that are wide-leg, and on and on.

Attersee vest, Rosie Assoulin pants, Jamie Haller ballet flats (kind of similar)

Also though, sometimes, you just want to wear a top. And what I find is that a vest is a good balance between the masculine button-down shirts I depend on and feminine blouses that I’m inching closer towards lately.

There’s a structure about a vest like this that creates a nice contrast on say, pajama pants like these or the above skirt pants from an old collection by Rosie Assoulin.

This is what I mean by skirt pants

I’ll also add that for best result, you probably want to find a vest that flares out — the shape is more accommodating for most bottoms than something cropped.

Giuliva Heritage vest (on sale!), Tory Burch skirt (here’s a comp, and another), Soeur sandals (also on sale)

See how the vest sort of flows out into the rhythm of the above skirt, for example? They’re in harmony and that creates a dynamic compatibility.

See how the vest sort of flows out into the rhythm of the above skirt, for example? They’re in harmony and that creates a dynamic compatibility.

I used to think two things (or people) really had to be the same to flow together, to make sense, but more and more lately, it’s so obvious to me that the best unions are the ones you have to venture a little bit deeper under the surface to see.

Edie Parker bag, $295

So in conclusion that’s:

as the first heroes of the 5th season. Any comments, hit me up! Signing off,