Ways to Wear it Now & Later

It’s not too early to start shopping for fall – the Nordstrom Anniversary sale is on after all. But since there are certainly still steamy days ahead, look for pieces that you can wear during the dog days and into next season. I’ve been scouring the world wide web and styled my favorite picks for the hot summer and brisk fall. It’s borderline agonizing to wait to wear your awesome new clothes so have fun integrating them into your wardrobe now.

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Christian Dior Fall 2013 Couture

Raf Simons delivered again for Christian Dior yesterday in Paris. The Fall 2013 couture line he sent down the runway was dynamic and honored the tradition of couture: the client. Simons did away with the overtly dramatic looks we often see in haute couture collections and instead put forth a stunning modern wardrobe designed with the customer in mind. That’s not to say the collection lacked drama – international influences were everywhere: bold tribal colors, spacey Japanese fabrics, Masai-like neck pieces, and nods to American sportswear. Always the rebel, Raf Simons produced a remarkably normal couture collection that dazzled with sexy cuts, sheers panels, and eye-catching colors.

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We Want Marant

H&M designer collaborations always have low-budget style fiends in fits when the collections are inevitably out of stock in mere minutes; we saw it with Lanvin in 2010 and again with Versace in 2011. The pieces are highly covetable and marvelously on trend. It only makes sense then that the designer whose influence permeates High Street fashion – hello! she invented the sneaker-wedge – teams up with the fast-fashion megastore next. I’m talking Isabel Marant, French designer extraordinaire. Celebrities and off-duty models love her urban-bohemian style that’s laden with embellishment and fit to flatter. It’s not even really summer yet, but I’m already raring for November when the collection will hit H&M. In the meantime one can only speculate what Marant might have in store. Assuming she delivers in her typical French-cool manner, I’ll be first in line.

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Holiday Party Perfect

It’s the home stretch! After weeks of egg nog and Christmas cookies there’s just one last round of holiday parties before NYE. Then we all can resume lazy weekends on the couch in front the warm glow of the television. But before you resolve to wearing your stretchy post-holiday sweatpants (we all have them), close out 2012 with a stylish bang in this season’s biggest trends. Have fun over the holidays in velvet, metallics, peplums, and the season’s staple, sequins.

Holiday Party Perfect

[Clockwise from top left]

1. Pair a peplum top with a pencil skirt or chic skinny trousers for an unexpected alternative to the tried and true party dress. Topshop, $36

2. Make a statement in short-shorts at your next shindig. These burgundy velvet shorts are perfect for the holiday party scene with your favorite tights and heels. Topshop, $64

3. Shine in a dress with a bold metallic pattern like this velvet skater dress with gold glitter stars. Topshop, $92

4. Ditch last year’s statement necklace and try a bold collar instead. ASOS, $26

5. Throw on a chic black 3/4 sleeve peplum, Oasis, $46

6. Go for the gold in this sequin mini with a scalloped hem line. Rachel Gilbert, $478

7. Black sequin shorts won’t fly in June so wear them now while you can. Karl, $75

8. Polish off your outfit with this gold sequin doily-like lace collar. Cara Accessories,$34

9. If you’re not already wearing enough gold, slip on gold heeled pumps. Kate Spade, $208

Gifts That Pay it (Fashion) Forward

This holiday season check out these online stores whose goods do good. In the spirit of giving, gift friends and loved ones with trendy apparel and accessories that do double duty as a charitable contribution. I’m willing to bet you can find something for just about everyone on your list at one of these retailers. When you’re done with them, pick something out for yourself. Then kick back with a cocoa and applaud yourself for finding presents that spread the most good.

Out of Print Clothing celebrates one of the most underrated art forms, book cover art. Their t-shirts, crew neck sweatshirts, and accessories feature original art from the covers of high school English class standards and childhood favorites. For each item purchased, Out of Print donates one book to a community in need through its partner charity, Books For Africa. With such reasonable prices ($28 for a t-shirt or $42 for a sweatshirt) and so many literary favorites to choose from, doing good through Out of Print is a no-brainer.

Sevenly brings shoppers new designs for a new charity each week. Their mission is to address the lack of awareness, funding, and following for the thousands of charities around the world. In the past its awesome designs have benefitted Autism Speaks, Hands for Africa and National Breast Cancer Foundation among other worthy charities. Sevenly prints their art gallery worthy designs on a wide variety of trendy products ranging from cropped tanks to off-the shoulder tops and since $7 from each top purchased goes straight to a deserving organization, a spontaneous lunch break shopping spree won’t leave you feeling too guilty.

Pay a visit to Pura Vida Bracelets and in no time at all your wrists will be decked in beautiful, handmade jewelry. The site sells braided and beaded beauties as well as trendy gold bar bracelets. The company has been able to create full-time jobs in Costa Rica, where a largely tourism based economy has made it difficult for craftsmen and craftswomen to make ends meet. Additionally, the company, started by two So Cal pals, donates 1% of proceeds to The Surfrider Foundation to help keep the world’s beaches and oceans clean. At $5-$20 per bracelet, these fun pieces make awesome stocking stuffers or a great little gift for a pal.

For the dapper dudes on your holiday list, look no further than Apolis. The men’s outfitter sells outerwear, knits, and accessories made by manufacturers in needy communities worldwide. Apolis, which translates to “global citizen,” creates jobs and equips entrepreneurs through opportunity. They call their model “advocacy through industry.” Every time you purchase a product you help sustain the work of men and women in third world countries. The stylish apparel and accessories are pricey, but would make any guy with good fashion sense a happy camper.