I am so excited about my #2 Dress You Up subject, J.! Isn't she stunning? J. has been an online friend for some time, and I've always been an admirer of her style, especially her hair, which has sported various hues since I've known her and is now, as you can see, cropped off. In her email, J. wrote:
Size 8 pants, small/medium shirt, size 11 shoe (I can do 10 if it's open toe). I have a long torso and a 30" inseam, so that does influence my clothing choices. My default is jeans & t-shirt with minimal accessories. I want some fun & funky clothes that are a little outside what I wear now. Comfort is a necessity, because if I'm not comfortable, I won't wear it. Bonus points if it's clothes I can wear now and still in 3 months.
J. is a busy mom living in a very cold, very rural area, so I understand both her need for comfort and her desire for clothes that will make the seasonal transition. With those things in mind, I set out to look for some inspiration--what looks especially hot on women with very little hair?
My first thought was for how amazing Natalie Portman looked with her post-V for Vendetta bald head. Remember that?
Baldness just made Natalie's features look more beautiful and feminine, and I think it's the same for J.
Kylie Minogue didn't go bald by choice, or for a film--her baldness was due to chemotherapy. And, in my opinion, she never looked better than with her super short regrowth:
Looking through these and hundreds more pictures of gorgeous women with no or little hair, I came upon the following styling ideas:
1. Super feminine details.
2. Statement jewelry.
3. Beautiful rich colors to compliment the skin tone.
In addition to featuring her fantastic face, I wanted clothes for J. that were layerable, mixable, and created a long leg line. Most importantly, though, as she mentioned, the clothes had to be comfortable.
The first thing I knew I wanted for J. was a femme jersey dress. J. said she wears jeans most days, and I support that, but I think a great dress is a really versatile layering piece, and while it may seem more difficult than jeans, a jersey fabric makes it machine washable and comfy.
The dress I chose to start with is the Easygoing Dress from Boden, who make fantastic, if slightly spendy, dresses. First, I styled it in a multi-layer look for J.'s current weather:
-ARIAL-Women's AE Thin Slouchy Cardigan
-Faded Glory - Women's Organic Cotton Striped Long-Sleeve Scoop Tee
-J. Crew Wool-blend ribbed tights
-Sperry Topsider Women's Pelican Wedge Sadie Tall Rubber Boot
-Forever21 Wooden Handle Tote
-Deb feathered drop earrings-
-Boden Easygoing Dress
I like this for a lot of reasons. The overall look is very feminine, with the patterned dress, floral clutch, and ethereal feather earrings, but it's funkified by the amazing boots and surprising striped shirt underneath. The high waistline on the dress will elongate J.'s legs, as will the wedge on the boot. The whole thing should be super-wearable, and if the wool tights don't provide enough warmth, leggings could be substituted, as could a heavier cardigan.
In warmer weather, the same dress will be just as wearable. It will also be easy to dress up for a nicer event.
This version is straight-up femme, with a vintage touch. I love the color interplay here with the gray cardigan, green cuff bracelet, and coral bag, and I think the jewelry is awesome. It's a very springy look, almost Easter-dress like, and I think J. would look absolutely beautiful in it.
Moving on to J.'s more preferred everyday style: jeans. I definitely think J. should consider leg-lengthening trouser jeans, which will look more put together than other styles, but be just as easy to wash and wear.
-Cabela's Women's Crocheted Cardigan Hoodie
-Old Navy Women's Tiered Tops
-Old Navy Women's Mid-Rise Trouser Jeans
-Breckelles Dallad-11 Army Green Women Boot
-ASOS River Island Vintage Style Cross Body Bag
-bibelot Purple and Silver Leaf Floral Earrings
-Betmar Solid Cotton Scarf
I really really love this outfit. Really love it. And I think it's absolutely perfect for J.--it's just as easy was what she's been doing, but it looks more put together, and it's infinitely layerable. The amazing floral print of the tank top and the almost Art Deco earrings are beautiful feminine details, and the boots and sweater are a wonderful color. I think the pink scarf will do fantastic things for J.'s complexion and bring it all together perfectly, and I love how the almost business-style bag formalizes the whole outfit just a bit.
Skinny jeans and boots are another thing I'd like to see J. in:
-AE Floral Peasant Cami
-Old Navy Women's Lightweight Scoop-Neck Sweater
-AE Skinny Jeans
-Old Navy Women's Scarf-Print Tote
-Nine West Casilda boots
-Aerie Multi Strand Beaded Necklace
-Urban Outfitters Chandelier Earrings
This is very similar to what J. is already wearing--basically jeans and t-shirt. In this case, though, I've added tall flat boots, a patterned cami underneath the solid shirt (a loungy sweater for warmth), and some serious jewelry. With no hair for distraction, J.'s jewelry can always take center stage, especially shorter necklaces and earrings, so I think those areas are the ones where she can most easily make a fun and funky wardrobe change while still remaining comfortable.
I could put J. in feminine florals and soft colors forever, and with spring coming it's temping to do just that, but a harder edge might also serve her well:
-Rue21 Long Sleeve Wide Stripe Zip Hoodie
-Hollister Victoria Beach tank top
-J. Crew Vintage matchstick cord
-Hot Topic Black Stud And Strap Low Moto Boot
-ASOS Triple Chain Pendant With Semi Precious Stone Spikes
-BKE Plaid Cabbie Hat
-Hurley Spectrum Belt
This is a look I'm not sure I could pull off, but I am sure J. could. Again, it's really not far from what she's wearing now, but it's a whole lot more put together and intentional. There isn't anything here that shouldn't be totally wearable, but it ups the hotness factor by several degrees, and shows some extreme punk-influenced personality. Plus I have scads of hair that I can't fit in a hat, so I have to live vicariously through those who can wear cute ones like this plaid cabbie cap.
Another casual pants possibility for J., which would be just as comfy as jeans but give her another option, is ponte pants. I've been seeing these on style blogs all over the place, and although I haven't tried them yet myself, I think they make good sense. I like these ones from the Gap because they have a zipper, a waistband, and hardware--they aren't leggings--and they're cut a little wider in the leg than some of the skintight versions, making them a bit more trouser-like.
-FULL TILT Dolman Womens Top
-Gap Ponte boot cut pants
-Charlotte Russo Cross My Heart Ballet Flat
-Buckled Hobo Bag with Strap
-Lane Bryant 11 piece bangle bracelet set
-Wet Seal twisted mobile earrings
-Modcloth Here to Infinity Scarf
The idea to use a dolman sleeved top actually came from J,'s picture--she already has one! I think it would look great with narrow black pants and colored flats--very chic and streamlined. I also really like combining the black here with autumn colors--the pumpkin scarf and bag and the green and gold bangles and flats. That isn't something you see a lot, but I think it really warms the black up and makes it feel less stark.
Though I knew her emphasis is on casual clothes, I couldn't resist making J. one femme, sexy going out outfit:
-Victoria's Secret Lace Corset Top
-Shop Ruche embroidered flower beds black skirt
-Rue21 Capsleeve Belted Jacket
-Gap Jacquard Dot Tights
-Shop Ruche at last perfect bow pumps
-ModCloth Glitter with Glamour Clutch
-Arden B. Oversize Filigree Chandelier Earrings
-Old Navy Women's Fashion Necklace
-Forever 21 Braided Rope Wide Belt
This is a more complicated look than the others I've suggested, but wouldn't J. be stunning in it? I think it walks the sexy/feminine line really well, and the colors, florals, and statement jewelry I've been arguing for all along all makes an appearance.
OK. So what about remixing? How will these things work together?
Pretty well I think!
So what's my overall advice for J.?
1. Branch out in your pants choices--consider different styles of jeans, corduroys, or ponte pants.
2. Consider a knit dress as a comfy alternative to pants.
3. Make the most of being bald--show off great earrings and necklaces!
Who's next? Email me at email@example.com to sign up!