While summer is the season of whites, white bags can be tricky—not only can they look a tad granny, but they get dirty in a twinkling.
No such problems with this Ferragamo stunner, which arrived at the Michigan Avenue store just a couple of weeks ago. (It's technically from the Fall 2013 collection.) The python exterior is black around the edges—where wear and dirt is most likely to show—with an irregular white blaze down the center. What's more, its leather-lined interior is roomy enough to hold your iPad (and other essentials).
A beautifully crafted Italian bag that you can carry from now through fall—without worrying about stains? Sign me up.
$1,950 at Salvatore Ferragamo, 444 N. Michigan Ave., 312-397-0464, or at ferragamo.com. (Note: This is Ferragamo's temporary location while it refurbishes its permanent digs at 645 N. Michigan. The move to the larger space is scheduled to happen in a few weeks.)
With all the hoopla around The Great Gatsby lately, Art Deco jewelry is having its moment. The loose, glittering glamour of the ’20s is hard to resist, and this piece from Lanvin is one of the best of the bunch.
The pompom has a satisfying shimmy that makes you want to break into the Charleston, and the design is minimal enough that it can be paired with pieces inspired by any era.
$950 at Lanvin, 116 E Oak St., 312-765-7075
I love the idea of a cheek stain, but it can be tricky to apply (“stain” being the operative word, here). And I like the velvety consistency of a cream blush, but it often lacks staying power.
Which is why when Josie Maran released a new Coconut Watercolor Cheek Gelée, my eyes lit up.
The gelée combines the long-lasting pigment of a stain (up to 14 hours) with the softness of a cream for a luminous finish. Because it’s infused with coconut water and argan oil, it’s also incredibly hydrating. A splash of coconut water is just what these cheeks ordered.
$22 at sephora.com
Thirty-year-old Eli Naeher founded Inland Clothing in Chicago last year with the idea of selling high-quality, classically-styled men's basics at a fair price—and all crafted in the U.S. The one-man operation has an online presence only, and ships all orders out of its Chicago warehouse, but Inland has shown up at pop-up markets like NorthernGRADE and this past Sunday's Dose.
Naeher seeks out the best small-batch manufacturers across the country (New Jersey-based Individualized Shirts provides Inland's men's dress shirts, the only item they have made in-factory for 50 years) but keeps it local too (Chicago-made clothing from Domestic Workwear.)
"Well-made clothing shouldn't be a luxury," says Naeher. "It should be accessible to everyone."
Closet fixtures like bridle leather belts and twill work pants are easy on the eyes, but it's the no-frills pocket knife and rubber-duck-yellow duffel (pictured) that will stop you in your mouse clicks. The humble bag's durability will not let you down, and Inland's collection is sure to follow suit.
$70 at inlandclothing.com
Short shorts can be the base of sexy getup or the culprit of a fashion no-no. I think the key to pulling off the bare-legged look (other than the obvious—toned gams) is what you've got going on above the shorts. Translation: When showing a lotta leg, it’s probably wise to show less arm, chest, and midriff.
That’s why this oversized top—made right here in the city by Edith Hart—will soon find its way into my closet. With a bit of understated detail (scooped neckline, dolman sleeves), it's the ideal mate to my new lacy mini-shorts. Now, to work on these pasty-white legs...
$60 at Edith Hart, 1917 N. Damen Ave., 773-252-3350
As regular readers of the Classics blog know, I am a wee bit obsessed with scarves. Specifically, 36-inch-square silk-twill ones. And for summertime, there are few better bets than Pucci.
If you haven't been lucky enough to receive a groovy 1960s version from a beneficent aunt—or don't have the energy to score one on eBay (worth checking out, for sure), never fear: Saks always stocks a good selection of the Italian label’s latest. Here is a great example. No matter how you tie it, this stylized floral print looks terrific. Plus, it's perfect to tuck into your luggage for a trip—it can turn a simple black or white dress into a completely different outfit, while taking up very little packing space.
Bonus: It’s also ideal for those over-air-conditioned spaces, when you need just a little something extra to cut the chill.
$375 at Saks Fifth Avenue, 700 N. Michigan Ave., or saks.com
Sometimes, the simplest things are the hardest to get right. That’s the brilliance of these sandals by Marni—they are so simple, yet the most elegant of any I’ve seen this season.
All of those embellished, grommeted and spiked sandals are fun, but these are timeless.
$725 at Barneys, 15 E. Oak St.
George Gonzalez, owner of George the Salon in River North (23 W. Hubbard St.) has had his hands in the hair of plenty of celebrities—most recently, Cindy Crawford’s brunette mane. I asked him to share how to duplicate the look at home, which deftly falls somewhere between iconic supermodel and girl next door:
To avoid frizz, Gonzalez says to dry hair from the top down, getting roots 70 percent dry before directing the dryer towards ends. Create a product cocktail combining a leave-in conditioner and a volumizing mousse and dry hair in two-inch sections using a medium round brush to smooth follicles while curling the ends. As each section is complete, roll the piece into a loose curl and secure with a clip. Once cooled, take down and use your fingers to gently shake out the style while misting with hairspray.
Or, let the pros handle the job. Book a styling session with Gonzalez ($75) by calling the salon at 312-923-9444.
As with many slightly dandy-ish fashion pieces—bow-ties, cufflinks, seersucker—I go back and forth on vests.
The right one, with the right fit, can be a showstopper. The wrong one, well, hello grandpa. Or worse, with the dreaded sweater vest, paging Rick Santorum, and could you please point me to the driving range?
The trick is to pick the right cut, the right pattern, and—apologies to the ab-challenged—have the right frame. Vests can be unforgiving, especially when they’re too tight.
Those caveats aside, this smart, urban-stylish waistcoat by John Varvatos, constructed of 55 percent linen and 45 percent cotton, has an all-over barstripe pattern, with vintage nickel zippers and five cordozo buttons running down the center for a look that’s edgy, not stodgy.
$198 at johnvarvatos.com
PHOTO: ANN PERRY DESIGNS
I spent this past Sunday morning soaking up the sunshine and perusing booth upon booth of covetable wares at the inaugural Chicago Flea MKT.
When a bright wrap skirt caught my eye, I hightailed it over to Chicago-based Ann Perry Designs’ booth for a closer look. To my surprise (and temporary confusion), the skirt was backless—and not a skirt at all, but the world’s most stylish apron.
Would I finally make good on my resolution to cook dinner more often if it meant I got to accessorize with this tulip-shaped number? Maybe not.
But at least the apron would make me look fabulous when I answered the door for the delivery guy.
$40 at annperrydesigns.com
About this blog
Style Sheet is Chicago magazine’s blog devoted to all things stylish. Every weekday our trusty columnists track down the best offerings in men’s and women’s apparel, beauty, and grooming so you can just sit back and click.
Carly Boers | An associate editor at Chicago magazine, Boers loves a bargain and is addicted to new jeans and cute accessories. Look for her $100-or-less Cheap & Chic pick on Tuesdays.
Heiji Choy Black | Always on the hunt for the new, the exceptional, and the avant garde, Black edits Chicago magazine’s fashion coverage. Look for her Fashion Forward pick on Fridays. Twitter: @heijiblack