Category Archives: fashion

How to Wear Polka Dots Without Looking Like a Life-Size Minnie Mouse

Polka dots in the fall and pre-fall collections.

Monse Pre-Fall 2017, Balenciaga Fall 2017, J.Crew Fall 2017; Images: Courtesy of Monse, Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images, Imaxtree

On October 1, Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, known for her untiring obsession with “round, soft, colorful, senseless and unknowing” polka dots, will open a five-story museum dedicated to her work in Tokyo’s Shinjuku district. And if the Fall 2017 collections are any indication, around that time, fashion will imitate art.

The latest runways were loaded with polka dots. Designers from Simon Porte Jacquemus to Dries Van Noten played with scale and color, scattering a pattern once associated with cliché, all-too-wholesome midcentury femininity over compelling contemporary pieces. J.Crew freshened up a familiar idea — the white shirtdress — with a sheer dotted and frilled overlay. Balenciaga’s Demna Gvasalia put forth polka-dot versions of those influencer-beloved “Knife” stilettos along with a spotted tent-like gown and matching (in pattern and volume) tote.

For Pre-Fall 2017, Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia, the duo behind Monse (and Oscar de la Renta), proved that, yes, you can wear the cheery pattern head to toe without looking like a life-size Minnie Mouse. The key is to avoid Mary Janes and A-line dresses and instead reach for deconstructed suiting dresses, oversized pajama blouses, flowy trousers and double-breasted blazers with vaguely 80s shoulders.

Polka dots on the Fall 2017 runways.

Dries Van Noten Fall 2017, Jacquemus Fall 2017, Giambattista Valli Fall 2017; Images: Imaxtree

Jacquemus was of a similar mindset, showing abstracted, frilly, puff-sleeve blouses in polka-dot print as well as a ruched, asymmetric-hem skirt he paired with cropped flares and a tube top. (For fall, we’d recommend swapping the low-coverage style for an off-the-shoulder top.)

Van Noten and Giambattista Valli offered up slightly less obvious polka-dot pieces. At the Belgian designer’s 100th show, Alek Wek walked the runway in a velvety Technicolor dress, white pumps and a chunky maroon choker. The bisected black-and-white dots that lined the midi’s lower half weren’t necessarily the focal point of her look. Valli, known for his edgy, ultra feminine pieces (hello, Rihanna), showed eye-catching ruffled blouses covered in cherries and teeny black dots and gauzy, spotted evening looks. While girly polka-dot ensembles can seem a bit twee, open-toe lace-up boots and unexpected materials kept the overall vibe modern, sophisticated and even sexy.

Off the runways, influencers have warmly embraced the cheery pattern that takes its name from the equally jovial Czech dance.

It’s not about the face it’s about the clothes..

A post shared by Reese Blutstein (@double3xposure) on Jul 23, 2017 at 3:49pm PDT

Atlanta-based blogger Reese Blutstein revved up a simple white tee/black paper-bag-waist trouser look with a polka-dotted red and navy duster. Those who are of two minds about the pattern (but love breaking in a new trend), take note: a mix of colors draws focus away from the dots.


A post shared by alyssa coscarelli (@alyssainthecity) on Jul 24, 2017 at 8:58am PDT

Refinery29 Fashion Market Editor Alyssa Coscarelli kept her polka-dot button-down (sourced from The Break Vintage) current with well-cut, frayed Levi’s, cap/square-toe slingbacks and a cutesy mini bag.

Thank you Milano what a treat!

A post shared by Claire Beermann (@cestclairette) on Jan 15, 2017 at 4:18am PST

Claire Beermann (of C’est Clairette and Man Repeller) played with shapes. Beermann offset the sweetness of her sheer, ruffled blouse by layering it over a black turtleneck and under a gridded, well-tailored blazer. The final touch? Silver orb-accented earrings to match her spotted top.

Tamron Hall rocked a black-and-white polka-dot pantsuit by Monse. The never-not-chic TV personality paired the bold look with thick gold hoops and a simple white mani.

We’d sum up everyone’s styling tricks thusly:

1. Branch out from classic black-and-white dots.

2. Combine trends to anchor your polka-dotted look in the here and now. (Polka dot off-the-shoulder tops and wrap dresses are all the rage right now.)

3. Downplay the print with a simple white tee.

4. Have fun with geometry.

5. When wearing head-to-toe dots, play with proportions and keep the rest of your look clean.

Ready to shop the newest outgrowth of the greater redefining femininity trend? (Dot. Dot. Dot.) Shop our polka-dot picks in the gallery below.

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Are We Finally Ready for Gender-Neutral Fashion?

Male model and female model wear the same suit at Wolk Morais Fall 2017 runway.

Wolk Morais Fall 2017; Images: John Sciulli/Getty Images for Wolk Morais

On its August cover, Vogue featured It couple Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik. The mag is clearly a fan of the superstars as both have been featured in its pages before. But this go-round, Vogue kind of stepped in it by calling the pair “gender-fluid” since neither identify as such. What the mag meant to showcase was the fact that the couple shares clothes and shops each other’s closet.

This wardrobe sharing is actually nothing new. The French, as in most cases, did it first. Vogue contributor Marina Khorosh experienced it firsthand. While in grad school in Paris, Marina’s new boyfriend spent the night at her place and needed to find something fresh to wear the next morning.

“With the day’s first lecture only 40 minutes away, he walked over to my tiny closet, evaluated its components, and asked me if he could borrow something to wear. Barely waiting for my stupefied nod of consent, he reached for my beloved oversize black Helmut Lang blazer, paired it with his own T-shirt and slim-cut jeans from the night before, and pronounced himself ready to roll.”

His and hers fashion at Calvin Klein Fall 2017.

Calvin Klein Fall 2017; Images: Imaxtree

As crazy as it may seem that your boyfriend would want to raid your closet, girlfriends have been pilfering their boyfriends’ stash for years now. Gigi’s BFF Kendall Jenner is a real pro at borrowing from the boys (even though she technically doesn’t have a SO right now). She’s been captured sporting a tie-dye Balenciaga Homme sweatshirt with a miniskirt and layering a jacket from ASOS’ men’s department during New York Fashion Week. Kendall even divulged on her app that she’s gotten into the habit of shopping in the men’s sections. Oh, and that ruffled dress Beyoncé rocked in that Instagram post cradling her twins? Yup, you guessed it, it’s from a menswear line (Palomo Spain, to be exact).

Rachel Comey unisex looks for Spring 2017.

Rachel Comey Spring 2017; Images: Imaxtree

Designers have been promoting androgyny on the runway for some time now. Rachel Comey had male models outfitted in unisex looks as part of her Spring 2017 ready-to-wear collection. Raf Simons had us seeing double during his Calvin Klein Fall 2017 presentation as he sent out almost mirror looks on the girls and guys. And Wolk Morais had male and female models wear the same exact suit (minus an extra button or two) down the runway at its Fall 2017 show.

There are even whole labels committed to gender-neutral dressing. Fast fashion leader H&M has a section on its website dedicated to it. Denim label AGOLDE recently debuted its latest collection with A$AP Ferg that featured only gender-neutral fashion. Zara launched its first genderless clothing line in March. And Alexander Wang’s latest athleisure collaboration with Adidas features all unisex styles.

If you and your SO are ready to jump on the clothes-swapping bandwagon, check out the slideshow below for 21 gender-neutral fashion picks that make sharing a cinch.

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14 Tea-Infused Beauty Products That Will Make Your Skin Glow

The obsession with matcha has resulted in a number of beauty brands launching green tea skin care products, but white, black and even fruit teas can be found in many different beauty products. While it may be easy to write off tea-infused skin care as another overhyped wellness trend, using the ingredient actually goes way back. Geisha have long used green tea as part of their skin care routines thanks to its skin-perfecting benefits. And unlike some trendy skin care ingredients, there is a lot of research backing up the claims of black, green and white tea’s skin-soothing properties, according to medical esthetician Jordana Mattioli.

21 Life-Changing Detox Teas You Can Make Yourself ]

And it’s time the rest of us realized tea’s full potential. Board certified cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Karyn Grossman says tea can help protect skin from UV-induced damage and help prevent fine lines, pigmentation and sagging. She adds that polyphenols in tea also fight inflammation, soothe skin and treat acne. (Ready to slather a tea bag over your face yet?)

When it comes to the specific types of teas, Mattioli adds that green and white tea are particularly well-known for being rich in epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), one of the most powerful antioxidants that targets free radical damage and has anti-inflammatory properties that can improve sun damage. Furthermore, both teas have antibacterial properties and are naturally astringent, which make them effective in treating acne and managing excess oil.

The Everything Guide to Tea ]

Black tea contains a high concentration of caffeine, which makes it an effective ingredient for reducing puffiness and fluid retention. Because of this, it’s often found in eye creams. It’s such a hero ingredient that Fresh even has a whole Black Tea range.

Even the biggest coffee drinkers will come around to the benefits of tea for skin when they try these tea-infused skin care products.

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9 Celebrity-Inspired Nape Knots That Offer Guaranteed Summer Hair Relief

We’ve all heard the expression “the dog days of summer,” but when are they really? There’s no technical answer if you go strictly by the calendar, but when the dog days hit, there’s no mistaking them. The air conditioner never shuts off, for one thing. Steaming beverages, so desirable in cooler months, get swapped out for glasses of iced tea, iced coffee, iced anything.

Likewise, your hair and makeup routines naturally have to adapt themselves to this sweltering time of year. The most important question of each day becomes, “How do I get my hair up and off my shoulders again while still keeping things interesting?” There’s no denying it’s time to give that tried-and-true ponytail a rest, but so many other updos require constant attention and upkeep. The last thing you want is to have to deal with sticky stray strands all day long. In August, the goal is to get your hair up once and for all and be done with it.

7 Air-Drying Tips for When It’s Too Hot to Go Near Your Blowdryer ]

The chicest possible solution is the twist bun or nape knot. At its simplest, all this low bun requires is a single hairband and several seconds of your time. Gather, twist, tie and relief is yours all day long. Worn low on the neck, the twist bun offers several key advantages. Number one? You practically eliminate the possibility of getting a headache since the low center of gravity takes care of itself and doesn’t pull or pinch as much as other buns can. Think of it as the most relaxed of updos, perfect for a day reading on the beach or sipping lemonade under an umbrella.

And the best part of low-maintenance nape knots is that there’s no end to the possibilities if you want to get creative with the look. Just a glance at these nine celebrities will give you plenty of ideas. Delicate braiding, inventive twisting and unexpected tucking add interest and will keep you as cool as Jennifer Lawrence, Zoë Kravitz and Nicole Kidman all day long. So when the thermometer explodes, will you go for a sleek braided twist bun or a messy nape knot?

11 Easy Updos You Can Do in Under 5 Minutes ]

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Katy Perry and W Magazine Try Something New for the September Issue

Most of the mainstream fashion titles have been playing it pretty safe for September, but leave it to W Magazine to produce a daring and unconventional cover for the most important issue on the calendar. Last year’s cover was bestowed upon Rihanna, who was photographed in a post-apocalyptic world. This year, Katy Perry vamps it up in Paris at night for photographer Steven Klein, with Edward Enninful on styling duty. Katy wears Saint Laurent on the special collector’s cover, which dynamically comes to life when scanned on W‘s new downloadable app, and serves up a completely different look on the second cover (after the jump).

W Magazine September 2017 : Katy Perry by Steven Klein


W‘s latest innovation simply wasn’t enough to enthrall our forum members this month. “The cover shot looks like a still from a music video where she’s been caught mid-song. And enough with these not-very-nice short haircuts that people are sporting at the moment,” ranted tigerrouge.

“Seriously? What is that first cover? Secondhand embarrassment galore!! All of this is a definition of try hard!” slammed Miss Dalloway.

“She looks like Justin Bieber on the first cover. The second one is a cool digital concept. Why her and why September?” asked a dumbfounded mepps.

Sharing the same sentiments was forum member GERGIN: “I must say, I quite like the covers but what’s with her expression in the first cover? She looks like she just let out some gas…”

“I prefer the second cover but I like the mood and photography. Too bad it’s Katy Perry,” voiced kokobombon.

Not everyone was a hater, though. “Both covers are fab. LOVE!” said a delighted russianelf.

Guimon was mostly a fan, writing, “I love this! I’m a sucker for Klein. He can do no wrong in my eyes. What I don’t like about the cover is the wonky eye. If it wasn’t for that, it would have been perfect.”

W Magazine September 2017 : Katy Perry by Steven Klein


Check out Katy’s accompanying cover story and let us know what you think here.

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How Your Towel Is Sabotaging Your Skin

woman drying her face with a towel

Image: Getty

Our skin care routines often change with the seasons, when skin conditions pop up (hello, hormonal acne) or whenever there is an exciting new Korean beauty launch. (Looking at you, ampoules and rubber masks.) But the thing that remains constant through all of the product trialing is that we always use a towel after cleansing. So, what would happen if that towel turned out to actually be bad for our skin?

Washcloths are often criticized by skin care experts because they can build up dirt and bacteria that can be transferred to skin during cleansing. Interestingly, the same warnings haven’t extended to towels — until now. Some beauty gurus are doing away with towels in the name of better skin.

As with the majority of beauty trends these days, the no-towel method comes from Korea where it’s actually a common practice for women not to towel-dry their faces. Christine Chang, co-founder of Korean beauty site Glow Recipe, explains that it was one of her mother’s core beauty philosophies. “I still remember her standing at the sink, her face freshly wet from a double cleanse. She would use her fingertips to pat and wick the moisture away until her skin was left slightly damp. She would then move on to her skin care routine, carefully and gently patting in each step,” she says.

The big benefit of ditching a towel is that it’s kinder to skin. The rubbing, pulling and friction can irritate freshly cleansed faces, and bacteria is also an issue. Jessica Jeong, marketing & PR manager for Missha, points out that towels, like almost every other surface we routinely come in contact with, can collect bacteria, which can be redistributed to skin when patting it dry. This can lead to breakouts and irritation. Even towels we think are clean may not be. Chang cautions that a towel hanging within a 6- to 20-foot radius of a toilet could get bacteria transferred to it. Ew.

Rachel Winard from Soapwalla, Jeong and Chang all recommend not using a towel. Instead of letting your face drip dry, they suggest using your hands to “dry” the skin. Chang advises gently patting skin until it’s damp, making sure to tap the neck, too. (She even posted a video on Instagram to show how it’s done.) Those concerned about dripping can do the routine while bending over the sink. It only takes a couple of minutes to do, so it doesn’t require much more effort compared with using a towel.

Another reason to do away with the towel is that patting your face dry can help boost your skin care regimen. According to Winard, a slightly damp face is actually the perfect canvas for beauty products because damp skin receives moisture better. For those who aren’t ready to ditch their towels completely, Winard suggests only patting the face dry with a soft, 100 percent cotton towel. Then try slowly using the towel less and see if it makes a difference in your complexion.

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This Is Why You Should Be Using Camellia Oil in Your Beauty Routine

The first thing a lot of us think of when we hear “camellia” is Chanel’s iconic camellia flower. The bloom doesn’t just look pretty, though. It’s fast becoming a popular beauty ingredient thanks to the skin-perfecting properties of camellia oil.

Camellia oil, or tsubaki oil as it’s sometimes known, comes from the nut of the camellia flower. While it is starting to gain attention in beauty circles in the West, camellia oil has long been a staple in Japan for geisha. According to Holly McWhorter, co-founder of PLANT Apothecary, camellia oil is beneficial because of its moisturizing properties. “Its molecular makeup and weight are similar to sebum, the oil our skin produces by itself, and this similarity allows it to be easily and quickly absorbed deep into the lower layers of the skin,” she explains. This also means that the oil will not leave a greasy residue on skin, making it a great option for oily or acne-prone skin.

Another benefit of camellia oil is that it’s packed with skin-perfecting antioxidants, including omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids, plant collagen and squalane. McWhorter says squalane is especially important because it’s an essential part of skin’s hydration and protection system, but the body produces less of it as we age. Camellia oil also helps soothe irritation, increase healing and fight bacteria.

Camellia’s benefits have applications beyond skin care. The oil can also be found in body and hair products. It’s even used in makeup — mascaras in particular. Camellia oil helps condition lashes so they don’t get that dreaded crispy finish. Don’t believe us? Pick up a tube of Shiseido Perfect Full Definition Mascara ($24).

Other oils like coconut and jojoba have earned glowing reputations, but it’s worth expanding your oil collection to include nourishing camellia. Shop the best camellia oil beauty products in the gallery above.

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Beauty On-the-Go: The Only 8 Products You Need in Your Bag

Sometimes it seems like we’re carrying our entire beauty arsenal in our handbags. That’s a lot of poundage. Instead of schlepping around all those unnecessary “necessities,” consider thoughtfully curating your makeup pouch. Which essentials do you need for touch-ups? What megastar products can you rely on in case of an emergency (of the beauty variety)? Which items can take you from day into night?

The key is to pick out your absolute must-haves, along with a few compact, multitasking products. We suggest starting with these eight on-the-go beauty products that’ll keep you looking fresh-faced and beautiful, no matter where your day takes you.

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We Tracked Down the Best Face Washes for Every Single Skin Concern

Good skin care starts with a good cleanser, and the best face washes don’t just clean skin and remove makeup, they also address any skin care concerns you might have. Whether you’re dealing with breakouts, oily skin or a dry, dull complexion, there’s a face wash designed to help.

The first step in finding the best face wash for you is to identify your skin type and any skin conditions you might have. According to Erin Larson, esthetician and director of brand management and education at HydroPeptide, skin types are genetic and are usually classified as dry, oily, combination and/or sensitive. Skin conditions — such as acne, aging skin and redness — can change depending on lifestyle and environmental factors.

When it comes to determining skin type, Dr. Eva Simmons-O’Brien, FAAD, suggests thinking about what your face feels like throughout the day. After cleansing, does your it feel tight? Or does it become greasy soon after washing? The latter points toward oily skin. At noon, is your face looking shiny or matte? Shiny skin likely indicates combination skin. If skin remains relatively matte throughout the day, you probably have dry skin.

To identify skin care conditions, examine your face in the mirror. Fine lines and wrinkles indicate mature skin. Blackheads, whiteheads and/or cystic acne reveal acnegenic skin. Broken capillaries or general flushing are attributed to redness — or couperose — says Larson.

While the majority of good facial cleansers will indicate which skin care concerns they address, it’s helpful to know what to look for in a formula. Elizabeth Jones, advanced instructor for Dermalogica and the International Dermal Institute, says that those with dry skin should look for milky or creamy cleansers formulated with oils that nourish skin. Those with oily or acne-prone skin should try gel-based cleansers. (Cleansers with active ingredients like salicylic acid are especially good for breakouts.) Those with sensitive skin benefit from products with calming formulas that don’t have any fragrances or dyes. Finally, those with aging skin should try milky cleansers with brightening and exfoliating ingredients that target pigmentation.

Now that you’ve identified your skin type and concerns, find the best face wash for you in the slideshow above.

[ Next: Why Double Cleansing Is Totally Worth It ]

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Adriana Lima and Irina Shayk Join The Weeknd on Harper’s Bazaar’s ‘Uneventful’ September Cover (Forum Buzz)

All the major fashion glossies are currently unveiling their extra-weighty, much-hyped September offerings. You know what that means: the unspoken competition for September cover of the year is well underway. Once again, Harper’s Bazaar US asked the venerable Carine Roitfeld to style its annual ‘Bazaar Icons‘ cover shoot. This time around, the man of the hour is not Kanye West, but fellow musical artist The Weeknd (née Abel Makkonen Tesfaye). The Brigitte Lacombe-lensed cover also stars top models Adriana Lima and Irina Shayk. The black-lipped, green-eyed beauties flank Tesfaye on either side.

US Harper's Bazaar September 2017 : The Weeknd, Adriana & Irina by Brigitte Lacombe


Our forum members have mixed feelings about Bazaar‘s latest. “What a random cover trio! But at least it’s something different for them. He looks the best though,” observed Miss Dalloway.

“It’s sad when the non-model looks the best,” echoed a disappointed wendylorene.

“Trainwreck!! Oh my God, this is so uneventful. None of the girls look like themselves on the cover, and they can drape as many bombshells on The Weeknd, he’s never be appealing. I’m all for something new, but with this guy they’ve scraped the bottom of the barrel,” complained an unimpressed Benn98.

Also not feeling it was MON, who pointed out: “Vogue had Zayn with Gigi. Bazaar has The Weeknd with models. Stop using women for props. If you want a man for the cover, do it!”

Mepps couldn’t agree more. “The Weeknd? I don’t dislike him, but this cover is so reductive. Why is the man being flanked by two women, as if he’s the center of attention? It just doesn’t look like an image shot by Brigitte Lacombe. Both Adriana and Irina look like goth witches,” he heckled.

“I just genuinely don’t like seeing men on a September issue unless the focus is more towards the women on the cover which isn’t the case here. Couldn’t they have saved the music issue for another month?” asked GERGIN.

“Interesting trio indeed, but what an awkward setting. The crop is awkward, the posing is awkward and the models don’t even look like themselves. Unfortunate,” added ax80.

US Harper's Bazaar September 2017 : The Weeknd, Adriana & Irina by Brigitte Lacombe


See more from Carine Roitfeld’s annual ‘Bazaar Icons’ portfolio and join the conversation here.

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