Regardless of whether the upcoming Sex and the City movie opening in May is actually any good (plot schmot, it's really all about the cocktails and the clothes), the photos trickling out show stylist/costumer Patricia Field is once again hitting the right fashion notes.
A beefy studded belt and tough Dior Spring 2008 gladiator stilettos take the sacchine-sweet edge off the vintage floral sundress, and even if the cheeky Swarovski-encrusted Timmy Woods Eiffel Tower bag isn't to your taste, what matters is that a sense of sartorial humor is always in style.
Here are 5 tips for creating your own version of this look for your spring/summer wardrobe:
Sundress: Mint Jodi Arnold floral silk dress - $400; Kimono: vintage 70s Bird & Flower "town wear" kimono - $60 (!); Bag: Dancing Queen eco-chic purse handcrafted from recycled candy & gum wrappers (measures 7"x5"x1") - $80; Belt: 3-row pyramid-studded leather belt - $14; Sandals: Carlos by Carlos Santana Battle gladiator sandal/stiletto - $100
1. CORRECT HEM LENGTH To look fab rather than frumpy, the right length is crucial. Have your tailor shorten the skirt so that the hem hits at the most sexy & flattering point: at the top of your calf where it is at its most narrow. The best places to score floral sundresses with full skirts and nipped-in waists are vintage (PoshThreads.com, PoshVintage.com, Vintageous, eBay); vintage reproduction (Blue Velvet Vintage, Trashy Diva. Daddy-O's), or indie boutiques like Shopbop.com, stars+infinite darkness, Smashing Darling, Etsy).
2. FINDING THE SHORT-SLEEVED JACKET Without question, the trickiest part of this ensemble the jacket. Where on earth are there vintage'y short-sleeved, lightweight coats in a variety of patterns? An out-of-the-box solution is a summer-weight kimono worn loose and open. Again, get the tailor to hem it to exactly the same length as the skirt, and shorten the sleeves if need be. There is an amazing array of affordable ($100 & under), beautiful vintage kimonos at Japan-Arts.com, Ichiroya (an eBay power seller), AsianIdeas.com, CHUU, and Yamatoku Vintage Kimono).
3. MATCHING THE FLORALS The reason Carrie's ensemble looks so chic and unexpected is that the florals in the jacket harmonize with the florals in the dress without being matchy-matchy. First find a sundress in a vibrant hue that you love...Hawaiian patterns are a great option. Then select a kimono with a ground that's fairly light (in the Carrie Bradshaw outfit, it's white) and a print in a similar shade to the main color in the dress. The best part: without being prissy & overly matchy, the dress and coat work together as a seamlessly chic whole.
4. ADD TOUCHES OF TOUGH Instead of black or nude, take your accessories cue from the fierce dark brown Dior heels (Dior item no. SWC79940 M6 if you simply must have them) that Patricia Field selected. The dark chocolate color of the studded belt & heels deliver the same punch as black, but in way that's more interesting & sophisticated.
5. & DON'T FORGET THE FUN FACTOR! By their very nature, florals are romantic and charming, and beg for a non-serious handbag like Carrie's glittery Timmy Woods Eiffel Tower bag. If the $2500 pricetag is out of the question, the festively-named Dancing Queen bag by Nahui Ollin bag (above) for $80 is shiny, eco-chic (it's hand-crafted from recycled candy & gum wrappers and soda bottle labels), and comes in a vibrant brown that coordinates well with the shoes & belt.
- Lesley Scott
(photo at top: Craig Blankenhorn/New Line Cinema)
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