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Industry + Insights / February 12, 2013 / Julie
Ask a Stylist With Elle and Wes
We’ve teamed up with two amazing tastemakers and fashion bloggers, Elle from and Wesley from, to answer your every day fashion questions!   Got a question, send us an email at: [email protected] or post the question on our Facebook wall.  Now without much further ado, here are two questions we’ve received from our lucky readers! xoxo Q: I've heard that navy is a great alternative to black, yet I often have a hard time incorporating it into my wardrobe (which suffers from, among other things, an overabundance of black shoes and clothing).  How do I make navy my new neutral? Elle:  Navy is a great alternative to black! For spring/summer, I even think navy is the new black! It’s the perfect balance for the softer, brighter colors since black can usually be too harsh next to a fluorescent pink or a bright coral—unless you’re into that girly punk rock hot pink/black combo. This spring, the bold black and white contrast is a huge trend. However, if you’re sick of black and want to spring into spring, try navy and white. It’s fresh, it’s clean, and it’s not black. When you work your way up the color spectrum and you’ll see that navy actually goes with every color! You just have to pick the right shade. Blush, lemon yellow, coral, kelly green, cobalt blue (yes you can do blue on blue), lavender, tan, grey, even black… these all work well with navy. When pairing bright colors or loud prints with navy, try tying the look together with a simple, neutral colored belt, shoes, or handbag! Tie it all in with this super cute color-block fedora: Q: I am a relatively young (37), well-built, co-managing partner of a 400+ professional conservative law firm.  Because of the conservative nature of the profession, my daily attire consists mainly of dark or monotone suits with white or blue shirts and a tie.  After over a decade of this routine, not only have I lost touch with the general fashion trends, I feel that I have also lost the sense or confidence to try newer fashion styles.  Another concern is that I have the tendency to wear somewhat conservative clothing (button shirt and v-neck sweat er, or something similar) even on the weekends or during casual events.  I feel that this is partly due to the risk of being seen by my clients or colleagues in something too risque that could deteriorate my image as a serious business executive, especially when the majority of those that I manage are older than me. Can you make some suggestions on casual clothing that I can wear both to company events or to general outings (dinner with friends, polo matches, etc...) that would still be chic, young, and hip, but not make me appear young and reckless?  I hope that this is something you can help out with. Wes:  First of all, congratulations on the professional success!  As for your "fashion success" you're not exactly behind the times even with your description of your current wardrobe. There's nothing wrong with any of the items you mentioned, as they're all entirely classic styles. If you haven't shopped in a while, chances are the cuts of your items may be a little off here and there, but not to worry. You're in shape, so your label choices are greater, and truth be told, dark denim and well-fitting button-up shirts are your best friends.  Obviously, you already own shoes you wear with suits, and (assuming they're in good shape), those will cross over very nicely.  Owning multiple suits also gives you jackets to pair with your denim for cooler evenings.
As for taking chances: I'm really into socks.  Off-colored or striped socks are a great way to add some flash to an otherwise understated wardrobe.  I love them because only those truly paying attention will notice them. Otherwise, they're just a little something that can make you feel you know something they don't.  Going a step further, follow up with a printed shirt of some kind (plaids with more daring colors are a decent start) and layer them under the v-neck sweaters you already own them.  They won't appear overbearing that way since they're layered, and you never want too much going on at once or else people won't look you in the eye.
Side note for the office: think about changing up the default plain, dark suits with a glen plaid/Prince of Wales grey suit.  That way you you're not so bored, and they have tons of style, they're classy, and they're the epitome of traditional with a slightly rakish confidence.  Any older client will definitely give you a nod of approval.  Good luck!


 7 for All Mankind Denim:

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