Each month we’re bringing you the latest short list to chic. See our picks for May 2012.
The peplum may have retro roots, but in fact it’s the season’s most modern look — and for that matter, one of its most flattering. The gently flaring swath of fabric — perfectly rendered by Phoebe Philo at Céline, pictured — creates a trim waist that goes nicely over straight-cut trousers and imparts instantly cool polish.
Banish your mind from thoughts of Olivia Newton-John, disco balls, and the like. The new all-in-one is ultrachic, leaving any hint of ’70s connotations in the dust. Spring’s jumpsuit does both day and evening duty. Keep extras to a well-chosen minimum: a bold cuff, a statement shoe, or a slim belt.
Dressing for summer in the city involves a delicate balance, but the tailored vest walks that tightrope with finesse. Layer it over a shirtdress or a tank and crisp trousers.
Spring’s archly feminine, vintage-inflected direction has set the stage for the return of the colorful and often dramatic necklace. You’d do well to take your cue from style setter Shala Monroque on how to update the potentially precious look. Get started with a utilitarian long-strap should bag, bright flats, and perhaps also a casual attitude.
The classic paisley has made the daredevil leap from sartorial silk scarves and exotic shawls to the runway’s liveliest looks. We loved it worn head to tow, but a printed top ushers the trend nicely into reality.
Choker + Pendants
You can have it all, at least when it comes to jewelry, like the choker paired with a long, delicate chain that slips inside your shirt. The double-duty look is undeniable sexy but still wholly sophisticated, and it holds its own in the accessories department. Wear with a coolly minimal partially unbuttoned blouse, such as this plunging Lanvin number, and you needn’t add anything else.