Trend Report: Make a Splash with Nautical Stripes

The latest wave-making trend is here: nautical stripes!

Bold horizontal stripes — typically in red, white, and navy hues — create a look that’s ready to set sail.  Details like rope accents and hardware grommets can be added to emphasize the sea-worthy vibe.

Here’s how to style this trend!


Start with the basics.  Dresses are ideal for wearing stylized prints — they let you show off as much of the trend as you like.  (They serve as a great base for layering, too!)  A fit-and-flare dress is feminine and flattering while a sweater dress keeps you warm on breezy boating trips.

Get the look: Cremieux Faye Fit-and-Flare Dress.  BCBGMAXAZRIA Ethel Sweater Dress.

Layers: friend or foe?  Be careful when adding layers to nautical stripes — too much going on in one outfit can be overwhelming.  A tonal jacket is ideal, and if you’re feeling a little bold you can even don one with subtle jacquard.  Goldtone buttons add even more nautical details (and they pop nicely against darker hues like navy).

Get the look: Cremieux Betsi Double-Breasted Jacket.

The perfect shoes.  We’re all about nude and neutral — earthy tones stand out against rich hues.  A pump or wedge the same shade as your skintone gives the illusion of longer legs, which is important if you’re wearing horizontal stripes that can make your body look wider (a skinny belt helps here — read on for accessorizing tips).

Get the look: Jessica Simpson Claude d’Orsay Pumps.  BCBGeneration Torrez Wedges.

Accessorize, accessorize!  Gold adds brilliant shine to these stripes, but don’t add it automatically — if your dress has silvertone grommets, pick jewelry to match that instead.  Any belt you choose should be skinny so it doesn’t clash with the stripes.

Get the look: Goldtone bracelets.  Skinny belts.

Shop more of the nautical trend here.

What’s your favorite way to wear nautical stripes?  Let us know in the comments!

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Dillard’s Exclusive Interview with Joyce Azria, Creative Director of BCBGeneration

Q: Who is the typical BCBGeneration woman?
A: The typical BCBGeneration customer is someone who wants to be on trend but still timeless. She is casual in her daily aesthetic but loves a good party dress.

Q: Where do you draw most of your inspiration for your designs?
A: Street style is always somewhere I look for inspiration. A girl with a good blog gives visual insights into how she lives her life and always sets the trends for me.

Q: Who are your major influences?
A: My influences are always changing, but any girl with strong art influences is always on my radar.

Q: What do you feel you bring to the industry?
A: Heart plus life-long experience. BCBG is a family business and Generation is a major artery of this beating heart.  Our family business gives our customer the quality she loves us for and is fresh and fun.

Q: What’s the ultimate message you want to get across through your shoes?
A: The Generation girl loves to be on trend, and a great shoe is the perfect way to make this statement. Beyond styling, a good shoe should also make you feel empowered. Generation shoes will provide the sole to your confidence!

Q: Did you attend school for design or are you self-taught?                                        
A: I have worked around fashion my whole life!  My father was constantly inviting us to be a part of the design process, asking our opinions and keeping us involved.  Although I didn’t attend a college, I think almost two decades of hands-on experience has guided me to where I am now.  My Dad always called our experiences at BCBG the “school of life.”

Q: What’s your favorite shoe in the line?
A: This season is all about the bootie and Viktory wedge booties will be the perfect complement to any fall wardrobe.

Q: What are some key trends we will see from your line next season?                     
A: The spring season is all about cutouts and new hardware elements. While a good wedge is always in style, flats are back and will make a BIG statement for spring. Keep a lookout for rougher details that tie back perfectly to our feminine clothes. There will be a lot of spiked hardware mixed with stacked platforms for the unexpected combination of pretty and punk.

Q: Tell us about a shoe you will never forget.                                                    
A: My Dad took me to a vintage store called Remix on Beverly Blvd and bought me my first pair of “big girl” heels.  They were dark ivory leather shoes from the ’60s with the most amazing stacked wooden heels.  I wore them for years!

Q: Which shoe should no woman be without?
A: A great loafer is always a must in either navy or black.  So relaxed and cool with a dress or edgy and retro with daytime looks.

Shop our picks: Bijoux Ankle-Strap Wedges, Alonsa Pointed-Toe Flats, Parade Tribal-Print Pumps and Franciss Platform Boots

Shop all BCBGeneration shoes.

Do you have a favorite BCBGeneration style? Tell about it in the comments. 

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Trend to Watch: Handbags with Wings

Want to add a new shape to your handbag wardrobe this fall? Trapeze silhouettes with folded wing-like side gussets are one of the hottest trends. The runways’ exaggerated wide sides are given a subtle, stylish twist in our hand-picked examples of this look.

With sophisticated tailoring, almost architectural structure and high-quality hardware, these styles showcase your polished side. Wear them to complement a sleek professional suit or to anchor a floaty evening frock.

Shop our picks: Cole Haan Structured Satchel Bag, MICHAEL Michael Kors Jet Set Top Zip East-West Tote, Cole Haan Linley Small Structured Satchel Bag

Take a walk on the wild side with edgy details that add a biker chic flair to a feminine silhouette. Whether they play with bold color and saddle-bag-style studs or animal prints and contrasting zippers, these bags don’t mind telling the world you rock.

Shop our picks: Kooba Jonnie Grey Python Tote, Kate Landry Beatrice Satchel, Kate Landry Madison Bailee Tote Bag

Double up on your fall fads by combining this hot look with the flattering, endlessly versatile colorblocking trend. Ranging from casual satchel to fashionable carryall to prim tote, these designs broadcast your fashion know-how.

Shop our picks: The Sak Olema Satchel, BCBGMAXAZRIA Sienna Tote, Guess Sheena Small Carryall Bag

Shop all winged bags here.

Which wings would you wear?

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Statement Handbags: Have Fun & Turn Heads!

There’s no need to start fall with styles that blend into the background. Punch up your wardrobe with a bag that draws second looks and starts conversations. We’ve picked the best ways to play with your handbag wardrobe this season.

Unique Details: This zip over satchel from Kathy Van Zeeland stands out from the crowd with whimsical zipper details and a silver giraffe print. With its intricate decorative beading and peacock feather motif, this Nina Mae Fully Beaded Peacock clutch combines upscale and quirky. The T Tahari Olivia tote steps up a simple shape with distinctive colorblocking and the curved lines of the front pocket.

Rich Colors: Betsey Johnson knows a thing or two about making statements, and her Neon Lights Jelly satchel says it all with a vibrant neon green. Brilliant scarlet dials up the drama for this Indio leather bucket from The Sak. On the other end of the color spectrum, bold blue hues take this BCBGMAXAZRIA Evening clutch from staple to stunner.

Fresh Silhouettes: We love the rounded shape and vertical front zipper pockets of the Vince Camuto Cristina hobo and the asymmetrical front flap of the Hobo Original Zara cross-body bag. The vegetable tanned Cavo tote from Patricia Nash is dressed up with delightfully unexpected cutouts and ruffles along the top edge for a fresh take on a classic.

Touchable Textures: What some designs use as a decoration, the Steve Madden Fringy Fringe hobo uses as a centerpiece. An unexpected panel of hair calf invites touch and adds an unexpected edge to the Brahmin Kensington Collection Taylor tote (and it’s only available at Dillard’s)! For turning heads and starting conversations, though, nothing beats the owlishly offbeat UGG Australia Foxley Flap shoulder bag, with its over-the-top textures, chain strap and antiqued brasstone hardware.

Shop all handbags here.

What handbag statement type fits your style best?

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Edgy Vs. Sweet: 2 Ways to Wear Leather

From subtle trim on a jacket to second-skin leggings, leather is a luxurious and versatile fall trend. We pulled some of our favorite leather and faux-leather designs and styled them two different ways — first edgy and then sweet. Simply choose the statement that suits your personal aesthetic best. Or, mix elements from both for unexpected contrast.

The Legging

Edgy: Create a tough look that’s also figure-friendly by focusing on sharp lines and smart proportions. Balance skinny tux-stripe leggings with a tailored tailcoat jacket. It not only provides back coverage, but also draws the eye upward with bold color. A lace top and leopard-print pump add femme fatale texture, while geometric-inspired accessories complete the razor-sharp statement. 
Sweet: Take the dress-over-tights combo to the next level with faux-leather-stripe leggings instead of expected opaques. A feminine dress, preferably with a fluttery hem, keeps the coupling light and flattering. Finish with a cutout wedge, classic satchel and bling ring.

The Dress

Sweet: When composing a feminine leather look you can wear to work, consider the 3 P’s: polished, powerful and pretty.  Faux-leather panels cut into an ivory sheath for a curve-contouring effect. An exotic satchel, cap-toe pump and tailored hoop earring speak to classic sensibilities.
Edgy: Nothing pairs better with leather than leather — especially in contrasting colors and textures. We styled a brown leather dress and classic black jacket with a black moto boot to take the rule-breaking motif from head to toe. Add a buttery cross-body bag (in yet another shade of leather) and a swipe of red lipstick for bad-girl beauty.

The Top

Edgy: Don’t just borrow from the boys — borrow from the  best-dressed boys. Made-over menswear pieces, like a tuxedo-inspired top, slim-fit tailored pant and metallic-toe smoking loafer, strike a balance between tough and glam. Metallic accessories in varying shades of gold make the transition from desk to drinks almost too easy.
Sweet: Take a black leather top from all-out edgy to playfully feminine with a mix of whimsical and witty accessories. Think bows, polka dots, pearls and unabashedly girly shades of pink.

Shop the leather trend here.

What leather or faux-leather piece is on your must list? Tell us in the comments!

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Wedding: Decoding the Dress Code

Wondering what to wear to an upcoming wedding? First consult the invite, and then check out our decoded dress codes below.

Shop Black Tie: Adrianna Papell Gown, Nadri Earrings, Cezanne Necklace, Gianni Bini Sandals, Kate Landry Wristlet 
Shop Cocktail:
JS Collections Dress, Nadri Bracelet, Natasha Accessories EarringsGianni Bini SandalsKate Landry Clutch
Shop Formal Daytime:
Antonio Melani Dress, MICHAEL Michael Kors Sunglasses, Cezanne Earrings, MICHAEL Michael Kors Pumps, Brahmin Clutch
Shop Dressy Casual:
BCBGMAXAZRIA Dress, Anna & Ava Bracelet, Natasha Accessories Necklace, Vince Camuto Sandals, Gianni Bini Clutch
Shop Garden Party:
Gianni Bini Dress, Jones New York Pashmina, Vince Camuto Sunglasses, Jessica Simpson Espadrilles, Natasha Accessories Earrings 
Shop Beach Destination:
Jessica Simpson Maxi Dress, Natasha Accessories EarringsNatasha Accessories Bracelet, BCBGeneration SandalsMICHAEL Michael Kors Clutch

Shop our entire selection of women’s special occasion dresses here.

Have you ever encountered a tricky wedding dress code? Tell us in the comments!


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Beyond Blue: How to Wear Printed Denim

Go beyond blue this season with bold, printed denim. We took one of our favorite pairs from Joe’s Jeans and styled it four different ways. Rest assured, these floral-print pants are no one-wear wonder.

  1. Casual Friday: Make casual Friday “Take Your Style to Work Day.” Here we offset the pant’s colorful print with a crisp white blouse. A collection of classic accessories, a Michael Kors watch and handbag and Antonio Melani sandal, perfect the polished look.
  2. Evening Out: Cut the floral’s sweetness with edgy zip-front sandals, shoulder-dusting earrings and a studded clutch. The bright pink top by BCBGMAXAZRIA complements the fun print but keeps the look sophisticated with a single sleeve.
  3. Retro Weekend: Play up the jean’s feminine print with retro-inspired styling. Cat-eye sunglasses and loafers channel 1950s glamour. Maintain your modernity by adding stacked bangles and a Cremieux striped top.
  4. Summer Festival: Easy does it when you’re spending your day in the sun. Choose a breezy top and strappy sandal for a look that’s cool and comfy. A bright Cole Haan cross-body bag keeps your cell phone and other essentials stylishly secure while a golden cuff adds a touch of shine.

Shop our selection of women’s printed denim here.

Have a styling question? Tell us in the comment and we’ll post about it!

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The Edge: Our Contemporary Buyer’s Spring Picks

To say our women’s contemporary buyer is busy would be an understatement. After all, she’s charged with finding the latest and greatest before anyone else. We managed to catch up with Megan (between meetings at market no less) to talk about The Edge Shop, spring’s essential styles and her love of bold color.

Shop the Picks: 1. Greylin Palmer Tassel Belt Dress 2. Sanctuary Clothing Rosewater Floral Blouse & Catcher Shorts 3. Gianni Bini Madeleine Sweater & Annette Skirt 4. MM Couture by Miss Me One-Shoulder Dress 5. BCBGMAXAZRIA Abee Pleated Gown

Q: What is The Edge: Contemporary Shop? What makes it different?
A: It’s the department where you’ll find on-trend looks for work and play and everything in between. The Edge features premium denim lines like Joe’s Jeans and Rich & Skinny, modern collections like French Connection and Sanctuary, and great tops and dresses from brands like MM Couture and Aryn K.

Q: How would you describe the contemporary point of view in three words?
A: Forward, confident, fearless — and fun and independent. Do I have to choose just three? Contemporary is a mindset, not an age.

Q: What lines or designers are you most excited about this spring?
A: Kensie looks great this season. Their color palette is current but has a unique twist. Sanctuary, French Connection, Chelsea & Violet and Gianni Bini all have fantastic spring lineups. And I can’t get enough of Rich & Skinny’s colored denim.

Q: So what are you wearing to your market appointments this week?
A: I’m excited for spring dresses and styling, but March weather can still be chilly. I’m relying on statement blazers and jackets that I can quickly toss on or take off. Another go-to pairing is my foam green Rich & Skinny cropped jeans with the white French Connection Cass blazer. It’s a really fresh, clean look.

Q: What will you be wearing this spring and summer?
A: Lots of dresses, hi-low hems, lace details, colored denim and maxi dresses.  

Q: If you had to choose one spring statement, what would it be?
A: Bold color: colorblocking, bright denim, saturated blouses, bright floral, geo prints, even lace. Have you seen all the colors the BCBGMAXAZRIA knit power skirt is available in? I’m even excited for bright colors in swim — Gianni Bini has some vibrant swimsuits that are easy to mix and match.

Q: What emerging designers do we need to look out for?
A: I’m really loving Greylin — their flirty dresses have a cool edge that miraculously works for everyone. Jill Jill Stuart has beautiful dresses that are also versatile and appropriate for many different occasions. C&C California has perfect knits (really, you have to touch them!) that come in a range of modern silhouttes. Also check out Patterson J. Kincaid for cool pieces with surprising details, like long fringe ties on a silky blouse or metallic sheen on a pleated maxi dress.

Shop all of Megan’s expert picks here. Or, browse our entire selection of women’s contemporary clothing at The Edge.

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Red Carpet Worthy: Top Awards Show Trends

Last night’s 84th Academy Awards brought the 2012 red carpet season to a stunning finish. Have an upcoming special event? Take a cue from the night’s biggest trends.

  1. Black & White: Classic Hollywood glamour made a comeback this year. Naturally, black and white made a strong showing — together and apart. This JS Collections gown captures the look with an ivory lace bodice and black crepe skirt. We love the modern coverage the lace half sleeves provide and the balance the white-black contrast brings to your figure.
  2. Feminine Neutrals: Tan, rose, nude, blush — the stars glowed in pale gowns that were both ethereal and fresh. This champagne Tadashi dress celebrates the trend with a beaded sweetheart yoke and figure-friendly ruching.
  3. Color Pop: While neutral gowns were popular, there was no lack of bold color. The dresses ranged from neon to jewel tone, but had one thing in common: each actress chose a shade that was tailor-made for her complexion. In dark teal, this Adrianna Papell for E! Live from the Red Carpet gown is a stand-out selection that flatters a wide range of skin tones and hair colors. A front slit also touches on one of the night’s hottest looks.
  4. One-Shoulder Silhouettes: A happy  medium  between strapless and sleeved, one-shoulder dresses made a modern statement on the red carpet. From BCBMAXAZRIA, the Elyse gown highlights the style with ruching and a feminine flower.

Shop our full selection of women’s gowns to find the perfect dress for your big night.

What did you love most about last night’s gowns? Leave a comment!

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Date Night: Is Your Style Sweet or Sultry?

Define your date night style with this quick quiz. Start at the top and work your way down to reveal your sweet or sultry side. You might be surprised where you end up.

Sweet Look: Cezanne Pave Earrings, Natasha Accessories Pave Bangle, BCBGMAXAZRIA Mesh Clutch & DKNYC Striped Shirtdress
Sultry Look: Jill Jill Stuart Faux-Wrap Dress, Natasha Accessories Chandelier Earrings, Natasha Accessories Bangle Set & Kate Landry Heart Clutch
Click here to shop more date night looks.

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