“A beautiful dress may look beautiful on a hanger, but that means nothing. It must be seen on the shoulders, with the movement of the arms, legs, and the waist.” —Coco Chanel
Elegance is a noun that means a refined quality of gracefulness and good taste. The origin of the word elegance comes from the Latin elegantia which means, “taste, propriety or refinement.” Fashion designer and eternal fashion icon Coco Chanel once said, “Elegance is refusal,” meaning it’s best to skip the the big jewelry and flashy clothes in favor of simple styles made from luxurious fabrics that once could wear forever—and look great every time. This speaks to the truth that elegance is a beautiful form of a simplistic solution.
Emilia’s outfit is one that exemplifies elegance through the use of silk and sheer fabrics and stiletto heels. It’s consisted of a soft mint silk dress, a black sheer top layered on top of the dress, leopard printed heels, and space buns a pair of chopsticks. As always, we’re here to remind you to expand the boundaries of your own creativity through your own style. Stop hesitating, don’t hold back, and let those creative juices flow!
First, let’s talk about the star of this outfit: the silk dress. Silk is the most hypoallergenic of all fabrics because it can be warm and cozy for the winter or it can be comfortably cool when temperatures rise during the summer. Silk is one of the most expensive fabrics of the world alongside of wool, fur, and linen. It is a material that speaks of class, glamour, and royalty and there really is no other fabric that can truly be compared with its beauty. Although silk and satin clothing is easily accessible to us through different retail stores, it was once considered to be so precious that only a select few of people had access to it. Silk originated from the ancient empire of China and it was once the nation’s most well-guarded secret. While the fabric itself was frequently exported to other countries, no one outside of China knew how it was made. Silk was in high demand by the royalty and nobility of foreign nations who were willing to pay high prices for the fabric. For more on the history of silk, read here.
Next, let’s talk about the black sheer top. Sheer fabrics are feminine, delicate, and see through that incorporates the element of lady like curves and celebrates it in a sophisticated way. During the 60s, French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent popularized transparent fabrics. In the late 90s, fashion's focus was on emotions, values, and the individuality of the designers and they continue to be an outlet of expression to this day. For example, soft sheer fabrics such as chiffon are silky in nature and make for good drapes. Crisp sheers have more body and are easier to handle. Fabrics made from manmade fibers are more slippery than the natural ones. But the one that is most commonly used in designs are loose, flowing with an oversized silhouette that prove to be an inspiration of the finest workmanship. The transparency of sheer fabric allows for the physique to be visible from the outside and adds a magical transformation for any outfit. Originally, the black sheer was an oversized off-the-shoulder top however, when we put this gorgeous outfit together, we decided to tie the straps to the dress to give it a more layered look. This simple addition completely changed the whole aesthetic of the entire dress by complimenting Emilia’s curvy body which made her look stunning.
Lastly, let’s talk about shoes and hair. The final touch to this outfit was to pair it with leopard printed strappy heels. We know for many of us, we prefer to be in flats or sneakers rather than in heels. With the rise of platforms, sneakers, and mules coming back as a trend in the fashion realm, many women aren't turning to heels anymore. But we can’t really blame them because not only are flats more comfy, they’re more convenient at times. But that doesn’t mean that you completely eradicate them from your wardrobes ladies! We still believe that every woman needs a pair of high heels in her closet for any occasion! Wearing heels will add a strut to your step and will have you feeling empowered when paired with the perfect outfit! Heels that have a strap around the ankle will not only add height and accentuate your legs, but they will also give off the illusion of leaner legs and define your calf muscles! There is just something about heels that will make you not only look more confident, but will have you feeling more confident! Because we love you, here are a couple of life hacks to make wearing heels more comfortable!
For her hair, we decided to mix and match some of our favorite things. Rather than going for the classy or messy bun, we opted for space buns and chopsticks! These two top knots are one of the hottest hair trends for this summer and have continued to gain popularity! This hairstyle was perfect for Emilia because it brought an all around elegant vibe! The space buns showed off her slender neck, delicate collar bones, and bare shoulders. For some inspo and tutorials on how to rock some space buns, click here.
Challenge: Emilia is just like you, so this week we challenge you to expand the boundaries of your own creativity through your own style. Tap into your inner Audrey Hepburn and incorporate some silk into your outfit, take out a pair of stiletto heels, and rock those space buns! Be elegant, be classy, and have fun! Be inspired and don’t forget to share your creativity with us by using the hashtag #andieandaj on Instagram or Facebook!
Till next week,
Andie & AJ
Find the look:
Dress (Urban Outfitters)
Top (Original Top from Lithuania)
Chopsticks (Sally Beauty)
Heels (Calvin Klein)