Next Level: Boys in Polka Dots


If you ask me, these pieces are spot-on. (Did you see that pun coming? Oh, probably.) More on these four below. —erica

LEVEL I: This YMC tee's mantra is totally “go big or go home.”

LEVEL II: Even better than a Brooklyn Nets cap, this Saturdays sucker.

LEVEL III: This sweater from Kris Van Assche is playing some mind games: Some of those dots are white…and some are cut-outs that let whatever you wear underneath peek through.

LEVEL IV: Not at all subtle. And that’s what makes these Mark McNairy pants lovable.

Get ready for way more “Next Level” posts!

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Next Level: Quilted Florals


Listen, just because summer’s over doesn’t mean you have to ditch the florals—but you probably knew that already. How to make them a little more cool-weather-approp? Add some quilting. Four thoughts on that below. —erica

LEVEL I: Ooof, this creamy goodness from Tibi. Maybe with a little black turtleneck tee?

LEVEL II: If you’re worried about making your other sneakers jealous, don’t get these Soisire Soiebleu shoes.

LEVEL III: Masscob makes a moto jacket just a leeettle girly—but not at all prissy.

LEVEL IV: Now, here’s a fashion sweatshirt, c/o Wood Wood.

Hey, we’ve got a lot more “Next Level” that you should check out.

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Next Level: Contrast-Heel Boots


Are these some good-looking boots? Oh, heel yes. Four chances to add a little something extra along with that height. —erica

LEVEL I: Aaaand, suddenly the classic shape of these caramel guys from Loeffler Randall gets way more interesting.

LEVEL II: A clunky black heel keeps this Opening Ceremony style from looking too disco-era.

LEVEL III: Rupert Sanderson delivers a hit of metallic pink that would make any outfit.

LEVEL IV: Is the dusty mauve of this 3.1 Phillip Lim creation what dreams are made of? I think yes.

Get over here for more “Next Level.”

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Next Level: Pleated Minis


Listen, no one’s suggesting you go full-blown Cher Horowitz (or early Britney). Here, four pleated skirts acceptable for grown-ass women. —erica

LEVEL I: MSGM makes herringbone neoprene shockingly classic.

LEVEL II: On this black Tibi sucker, the pleats are almost a secret.

LEVEL III: The fabric of this tweed number, c/o Alice & Olivia, feels all modern ‘n cool.

LEVEL IV: Yah, it’s plaid, this Sea guy. But it’s also wooly, not-too-flouncy, and killer with some black tights.

All the “Next Level” you want. Get in there.

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Next Level: Smiley


Hey, y’all: The grin is in. (Not that that would surprise Bobby McFerrin for a second.) Here’s how to put a smile on your body and, I’m sure, your face. —erica

LEVEL I: Bing Bang keeps things super-subtle (and, obviously, adorable).

LEVEL II: Happiness is this Anya Hindmarch scarf, no?

LEVEL III: A single earring from Alison Lou with at least 2x the charm.

LEVEL IV: Markus Lupfer knows that some days require something more intense—this sweater's like wardrobe prozac.

If this made you happy, so will this.

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Next Level: Beet


Cranberry sounds so…early aughts. And maroon has a certain team spirit vibe. But beet? Now that feels right for fall—maybe paired with outwear in a nice goat cheese or sherry vinegar. (I know–ha, ha.) —erica

LEVEL I: One of those perfect sweaters, c/o Isabel Marant, that can do apple-picking or office.

LEVEL II: A so-sleek Alexander Wang purse that would give even your grungiest jeans some polish.

LEVEL III: A dress from Carven that would look almost impossibly put-together with sheer black tights.

LEVEL IV: Opening Ceremony shoes that put a little stomp in your step.

More of this “Next Level” madness!

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Next Level: Bees


Beetles have had their moment. Spiders, too. Now there’s a new insect on the block. Four takes that mean bees-ness. —erica

LEVEL I: Simple and to-the-point—nailed it, Delfina Delettrez.

LEVEL II: Going a little crazy for the color scheme of this Lizzie Fortunato clutch.

LEVEL III: This peplum top from Mother of Pearl is sweet as honey, no?

LEVEL IV: With this Tom Binns creation on, your neck practically becomes a hive.

More mashups! Right here, right now.

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Next Level: Sleeveless Sweater Dresses


Sweater dresses aren’t just for black-tight season, y’all. These four can do warmer months and will look dope with blazers ‘n’ pumps when things cool off. Let’s get to it. —erica

LEVEL I: Stripe-y! Easy! Coming atcha from Halston.

LEVEL II: Alexander Wang does vaguely sporty so dang well.

LEVEL III: The notches on this Ann Yee number—can’t stop staring at the notches.

LEVEL IV: Leave it to 3.1 Phillip Lim to deliver on the texture front: Check out that fringe detailing.

There’s more where this came from. Get it. 

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Next Level: White Denim Jacket


Know what’s easier to pull off than a pair of white jeans? One of these guys—they just feel so fresh, you know? —erica

LEVEL I: Basic in the best of ways, c/o Paige.

LEVEL II: Very “I’m cutting class at Laguna Beach High School,” this NSF number.

LEVEL III: Oof, sheeeek, Victoria Beckham. Do you think this jacket alone could prompt a Sabrina remake?

LEVEL IV: This Christian Wijnants take is somehow more relaxed AND more crisp than a classic blazer.

More pseudo-trends to try this way…

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Next Level: Slide Sandals


The deeper we get into summer, the more the idea of straps and buckles and laces starts to grate. These four pairs of no-nonsense slide sandals will have you slipping out the door in a hot second. —erica

LEVEL I: These Palatines guys go with everything—cut-offs, silk maxis, etc.

LEVEL II: Minimalist! Silver! Criss-crossy! Looove, Jeffrey Campbell.

LEVEL III: Rachel Comey def knows how to make a black sandal stand out.

LEVEL IV: Jem would die for this Miista style—she really would.

More “Next Level!” Get it.

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