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Courtney Trop of Always Judging is wearing Veda jacket, AG x Alexa Chung T-shirt, Objects Without Meaning flare jeans, and Maison Margiela sandals  

How a California cool girl styles fall's hottest coat


Courtney Trop of the blog Always Judging is one of my favorite sources of fashion inspiration. She's the epitome of cool, relaxed dressing, but always adds fun and unexpected touches to her looks. Take this take on the long suede coat, for example: the rich green hue is a fresh take on suede, and I love how she pairs it with a classic T-shirt and jeans combo. Throw in a pair of edgy snakeskin sandals, and you've got yourself a perfect fall outfit. 

Living somewhere a bit colder than forever-70° southern California? Switch out the sandals for pointed chelsea boots, swap the T-shirt for a turtleneck sweater, and top off with a wide-brim hat.

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What do you think about Courtney Trop's outfit?

See You Later, Raf


Raf Simons announces he's stepping down from Christian Dior, fills the fashion crowd with tears.

There are few things that can surprise me these days. I'm a child of the Internet, raised on an era of skepticism and living through a time when a celebrity real estate agent is seriously running for president. I'm not one who's easily shocked.

And yet, today my mouth dropped in shock. That's because Raf Simons announced he was stepping down as head designer for Christian Dior.

The news comes only three years after Simons first joined the Dior team. Before that, he had turned Jil Sander into one of the coolest brands around, and during his time at Dior he raised profits and truly brought Christian Dior into the twenty-first century. His last collection was fresh and modern, with scalloped crop sweaters, sheer gingham dresses, and trendy choker necklaces. Simons was praised for his ability to make simplicity just as beautiful as the over-the-top dramatics of predecessor John Galliano, and he was getting into the swing of things with spectacular results. 

The finale at the Christian Dior Spring 2016 show, via style.com
Alexander Wang's departure from Balenciaga was something we saw coming; from the beginning, the appointment seemed off, so the news of Wang leaving Balenciaga wasn't all that surprising. But for Raf, the news of him coming to Christian Dior was exciting and intriguing, and he ended up really excelling at Dior. 

It remains to be seen what Raf's next step will be, or who will fill his shoes as the new head designer at Christian Dior, but I hope he knows that we're all sad to see him go.


What do you think about Raf leaving Dior? Who do you want to see as the next head designer?

The Cutest Rain Boots Out There


As you've probably heard, California is in the midst of a drought, but it is the year of El Niño soooo there's going to be more rain than usual, therefore it might actually make sense to have a pair of rainboots and an umbrella (seriously, there are so many people who don't even own umbrellas here, that's how rarely it rains).

No matter where you are from, though, chances are it's going to rain sometime in the near future, so make sure you are prepared for sidewalk puddles and all that fun stuff with a pair of cute rainboots! Because stormy weather is not an excuse to not look cute.

Shop Chic Rain Boots

What's your go-to rainy weather outfit?

How to Look Like a Parisienne

Caroline de Maigret via Studded Hearts
The French. Long-known for their world-class cuisine, their next-level snobbishness, and their perfectly-effortless fashion, the French are the dictators of chic. There's a certain je ne sais quoi attitude to how Parisian women dress that outsiders have spent decades trying to perfect, and while we may never attain the unattainable level of authenticity of born-and-raised Parisiennes, we can get pretty close.

So here it is, your guide on how to get the look of a Parisienne It Girl. You're welcome. Or should I say, de rien. 

The Classic Icons

Catherine Deneuve
Jane Birkin
Brigitte Bardot

The Modern It Girls

Caroline de Maigret
Jeanne Damas
Charlotte Gainsbourg
Lou Doillon
Clemence Poesy

The Key Pieces

An Oversized Coat

A Wide-Brim Hat

A.P.C. wide-brim hat $162

Relaxed Jeans

Loafers

A Classic Striped Shirt

Tailored Pants

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What do you think about Parisienne style?

What I Wore | Saturday Game Viewing Party

WEARING Marc by Marc Jacobs sunglasses, Silence + Noise tank top, Madewell necklace and jeans, and Sam Edelman sandals
After a months-long search I have finally acquired the perfect pair of boyfriend jeans from Madewell! Known as the "Perfect Fall Jeans" they are high-waisted and the perfect balance of fitted and loose, just the way I like my boyfriend jeans! This outfit was so cute that I couldn't even change into more fitting cardinal and gold colors to watch the USC/Notre Dame game (sadness, we lost, but per usual we fought on and tbh we know how to party way more than those silly South Bend folks).

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Accentuate the Positive


It took me a long time to figure out what fruit I was.


You know in fashion magazines where they have those "The Best Clothes for Your Body Shape" features and they show what jeans work with pear-shaped women and apple-shaped women and carrot-shaped women and so on? They're in practically every magazine, and while they most likely mean well—in that they acknowledge that different body types look better in certain types of clothes/different trends/etc.—I always struggled to figure out what fruit my body most resembled.

Maybe I'm a pear; I have a small chest and larger hips, but I didn't feel particularly large-bottomed in the way they were suggesting pears had to be. I have a smaller waist but the chest-waist-hips ratio isn't so varied that I'm what you would consider to be curvy. I'm kind of skinny, I guess, but I don't have a thigh gap. I am tall, but I feel like that isn't really a shape (tall girls can be skinny or curvy or full-figured) and I'm not so outrageously tall that I have to wear "tall" sizes or anything like that. I don't really know what "shape" I am, and for the longest time I was disappointed that these articles were of little help to me. I wanted to know what clothes would be the most  flattering on me, and I was left without any real answers.

But recently I've come to a shocking realization: I am not fruit-shaped, I am Lindsey-shaped, and that is who I need to be dressing for. Not some generalized idea of body types. I understand why magazines must generalize; they can't have a million different options for each individual reader, no matter how much I wish that were a possibility. They are suggestions for what may be most flattering to you, but they are not hard and fast truths.

Taylor swift knows how to accentuate her long legs with mini skirts and high-waisted shorts
So I learned to dress not for a shape, but for my own personal body. I've come to terms with what I like about my body and what could be improved. My legs are nice but I'm self-conscious about my thighs, I have a skinny waist but an equally-small chest, and I absolutely love my collarbone. It's a weird thing to pinpoint as a favorite part of me, but I've always thought I've had nice shoulders and a good collarbone, so whatever, if I like it and I think it looks good, I'm going to accentuate that.

And that's what we need to do. Focus on the parts of you that make you feel good. Yes, ideally I will one day look in the mirror and love every inch of my body, and most days I feel pretty good about it, but there are always moments of self-consciousness and days when I am more likely to focus on the flaws than I am the parts that I like. So for now, while I'm still working on developing a healthy relationship with my body and myself, I'm going to focus on what I love about myself and I'm going to play those parts up with what I wear.

Mindy Kaling plays up her curves with waist-defining dresses in bright, bold colors
Because I love my collarbone and my shoulders, I've started gravitating towards square necklines that hit high on the neck and swoop down low on the sides. I've stopped stressing about not having large breasts and not looking like a Victoria's Secret model and started wearing styles that look flattering on a smaller chest. I've embraced the fact that if I want, I can get away with not wearing a bra. I wear high-waisted, full skirts that highlight my waist and minimize my hips and thighs. I've played up the parts of me that I love rather than stressing on the parts that I don't.

Since I've started changing the way I approach dressing myself, I feel so much more confident with my outfits and empowered when I'm out and about. So go ahead, accentuate the positive, and dress for you, not for a generalized shape.

Shop Lindsey's Favorite Flattering Pieces:

How do you play up your favorite parts about you when getting dressed?

The Most Fashionable Halloween Costumes

The Chanels on Fox's Scream Queens
Halloween is coming up and obviously you want to be best-dressed at the Halloween party. Here are the best—and most fashionable—costumes to rock this year!

Taylor Swift and her "Bad Blood" Girl Gang


Got a tight-knit group of girlfriends that rivals the epicness of Taylor Swift's infamous #Squad? Then bust out the leather and badass attitude by dressing up as T-Swift & Co. as the characters from the "Bad Blood" music video. Bonus points if you encounter another badass girl gang and get into a fierce cat fight just like Tay and Selenerz (a fake fight, of course!)

The Chanels


Another one of the hottest cliques around? The Chanels! Basically the 2015 version of the Plastics (with just the right amount of Heathers deviousness) these queens of Kappa Kappa Tau are the coolest girls around. Load yourself up with feathers and furs, all done up in pastels. Everyone should wear KKT tees, and then create variations on each outfit from there. One of you can wear earmuffs (Chanel #3) one can load yourself up in pearls (Chanel #5) and one can wear oversized sunglasses, a fur coat, and call all the shots (Chanel #1 aka Chanel Oberlin). Just watch out for the Red Devil!

The Countess


If Ryan Murphy shows are your thing but you're more glam diva than sorority queen, perhaps go as the already iconic Countess from American Horror Story: Hotel played by the fabulous Lady Gaga. Luxury is the Countess's game, so adorn yourself in silk and lace and make sure you are dripping in jewels. The costume isn't complete without her signature razor-sharp gloves, but maybe keep from getting into any murderous foursomes for the evening.

Mindy and Danny


Looking for a TV show costume that's cute and not as creepy? Everyone's favorite fashionable OB/GYN Mindy Lahiri is always a hit costume! Load up on colors and prints from fun brands like Kate Spade and Alice + Olivia, then throw a doctor's coat over so people know you are serious. If you want to make it a couple costume, have your BF dress as Danny in his doctor uniform, and don't forget the red glasses!

Kimmy Schmidt


Another adorable television-themed costume? Kimmy Schmidt from the amazing Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Throw on a sunny yellow cardigan and don't forget your light-up sneakers! This costume is for the grown woman who is still a kid at heart.

Gender-Swapped Edward and Bella


In more recent news, Twilight celebrated its 10th anniversary with a surprise gender-swapped retelling of the original book. To commemorate this great literary achievement (lol) you and your boyfriend or any male friend should dress up as gender-swapped Edward and Bella...I mean, Edythe and Beaufort? Seriously, those were the best names? Whatever, your friends will get a hoot.

Ariana Grande and her Donut


Celebrity costumes are always fun, so why not go as Ariana Grande and the infamous donut she licked? You and a friend can go in on this costume together, with one of you donning Ariana's iconic half-up ponytail and the other dressing as a delicious donut.

Miley Cyrus


When all else fails, go as Miley. Wear anything resembling a Jeremy Scott creation and stick your tongue out a lot. A LOT. You're golden, and probably the life of the party. Bonus points if someone dressed up as Nicki Minaj keeps asking you, "What's good?"

What are you dressing up as for Halloween this year?

A Return to Opulence

Backstage at Gucci Spring 2016 via WWD

Thanks to Alessandro Michele and the new kings and queens of the runways, fashion has once again become decadent and extravagant.

The most talked-about show of the season (and of the past few seasons, really) was arguably the Gucci show. Alessandro Michele has propelled Gucci from traditional heritage brand to the forefront of creative modern fashion. His designs—kooky and zany and completely over-the-top—are unlike anything else in fashion right now, and it signals an important shift in high fashion. The mid-aughts were filled with minimalism; Phoebe Philo and Raf Simons reigned supreme. There's still a time and a place for the Céline girls of the world, but what that means is evolving thanks to the changing trends in fashion.

The It designers of the moment are those who aren't afraid to be a little out there: Josep Font of Delpozo, Dries Van Noten, the Mulleavy sisters at Rodarte. The are all about creating complex collections full of layers (of both fabric and meaning) that require a confident girl to wear them.

There is an attention to detail and texture, specifically on how different textures can work together. Embroidery, embellishment, and pattern were all focuses of this season. The consumer has changed lately; she's more conscious of materials and willing to spend more for a luxurious object that she knows she will love.

For now, fashion isn't so concerned about being cool. For a while it has felt like fashion has been about drawing as little attention to yourself as possible (aka normcore) and I'm excited to see that that notion is starting to change again. Colors are getting brighter, skirts are getting fuller, and women are getting inspired by the designers that aren't afraid to attract attention.

Finally, fashion feels confident and fun! So come on! Let's have some fun. 

Gucci | Alexander McQueen | Creatures of the Wind | Delpozo | Dries Van Noten
Sonia Rykiel | Rodarte | Gucci | No. 21 | Rochas

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What do you think about where fashion is heading? Are you excited for the return of maximalism?

Are the Clothes Important?

Chanel Spring 2016 via Vogue Runway

When the runway presentation is so cool, do the clothes really matter?

Designers like Karl Lagerfeld are showmen at heart—they dream of visions, grand ideas of the way of the future. They think in broad concepts, and while they may take every tiny little detail seriously, they're big picture kind of people, and the grander that tableau the better. 

At this point in time, we've come to expect Lagerfeld to put the show in Chanel show. It's like Christmas morning, uncovering the theme of this season's show, and Chanel never disappoints. Last time around it was a casino. The time before that, a fully functional brasserie. And now, for Spring 2016, Chanel is taking flight with the most fashionable airport terminal I have ever witnessed. 

via Vogue Runway
Let other designers send their collections down a threadbare runway, letting the garments speak for themselves. Lagerfeld knows better. We want to be entertained, we want an immersive experience, one that captures our hearts and our Instagrams. Beautiful clothing can only get you so far, but a gimmick, now that will get people talking.

But are they talking about the clothes? As the sets seem to get more elaborate with each passing season, the clothes stay shockingly similar. Yes, Lagerfeld is somewhat confined by the demands of a legacy house such as Chanel (tweeds and quilts, always) but he has proven time and time again that there is also plenty of room for innovation. These past few seasons, though, the clothes seem so similar. The colors may change and the footwear du jour might change from sneakers to Birkenstocks, but by and large it feels as if the clothing part has fallen by the wayside in favor of attention-grabbing showmanship. 

Good or bad, I don't think it really matters, at least with Chanel. Lagerfeld could send girls out in plastic bags and so long as the set was spectacular and photo-worthy, the fashion elite would applaud the collection as they took selfies against an artful backdrop. And the collection will sell. Part of Lagerfeld's genius lies in the gimmick, the kitschy-couture pieces inspired by the airport theme like the new luggage bags and the airplane-print knits. If it's a collection of garbage, stagnant consumerism, it's garbage that people are buying. And so long as the product sells and the people are talking, is there really anything wrong?

via Vogue Runway

What do you think of production-heavy runway shows?

A Spring Trend to Try Now

Jonathan Saunders | Sportmax | Derek Lam | Isabel Marant | Topshop Unique
There is a frustrating disconnect between when a collection first debuts and when the collection actually arrives in stores. Sure, websites like Moda Operandi allow us to pre-order, and Moschino and some other brands make their collections immediately available for sale the second after the runway show, but for the most part we must wait until springtime for the clothes we are seeing on the runways right now.

So while we can't start wearing the newly-debuted clothes right away (unless you are tight with the designer, in which case, can I have your life) we can start adopting the trends of the runway. And one of the biggest trends this season is too-long sleeves. 

Yes! For fall, you can feel like a kid in your mom's too-big clothes again, or like an angsty teen going through a grunge phase. It's a simple look to pull off; just find a sweater or top with sleeves that are too long for you—sleeves that would normally deter you from purchasing said sweater or top—and style any way you like! Or, if you want a more fitted knit top, just stretch out the sleeves by having a friend pull on the sleeves while you hold the sweater. It could be a great bonding opportunity.

And this look is perfect for fall. Why buy gloves when you can just keep your hands warm with your sleeves. See, cost-effective and you'll still be able to swipe Tinder profiles while walking around outdoors. And of course everyone will be so impressed with your trendiness. A spring trend worn in fall? So avant-garde.

So what are you waiting for? Stretch out those sleeves and give this look a try! 

October Wishlist

A.P.C sweater, Alexander Wang skirt, Isabel Marant boots, Madewell & Biltmore hat, Saint Laurent coat and purse
Maybe it's because Halloween is on the way, but I'm definitely feeling the darker side of things for October. Saint Laurent has been my obsession as of late (it's weird, I hate the runway collections but love how they translate commercially) and I want to channel that 80s French dark glam style, like Debbie Harry meets Amélie meets The Craft. Dark colors, wine reds, and a touch of leopard for good measure...that's what it's all about.

I'm also very into tapestry boots at the moment, like the above-pictured Isabel Marant ones or these Stella McCartney beauties.

Still vibing rich textures like suede and silks. The spring runways featured a fair amount of Wild West influences, so I'd say investing in some suede is a sound decision.

Also loving super-structured schoolgirl bags like this Saint Laurent one or any of Mark Cross's creations. (This Topshop purse is a more affordable option)

What are you digging for the month of October?