Photography by Richard Bernardin (above image).
The ladylike look can get a bad rap. Those pastels? Precious. Pearls? Old-fashioned. Pumps? Please. Enter fashion’s take on the fall 2011 lady, which offers a twist—she’s more ‘60s than ‘50s, blessed with tongue-in-cheek charm and lashings of sex appeal. Think demure meets mod meets Brigitte Bardot. In short, the lady is a woman, but with amazing clothes. Our advice: Get to know her now. Since Hollywood announced upcoming biopics on Grace Kelly and Princess Diana, we predict the ladylike trend will outlast even Pippa’s eligibility status. Your inspiration begins with eight charming fall pieces fit for a fashionable holiday wish list.
This handbag is adorable, definitely, but the gold studs keep the sweetness balance in check. For extra punch, skip the pale pink mani and opt for gunmetal grey. Now you’re packing heat.
Thomison bag, $50, at aldoshoes.com
Although versatile to wear with almost anything, this heel benefits from a little sartorial imagination. Picture it as the sole pop of colour in an all-black outfit: sheer blouse, A-line leather skirt, tights. Now, play up the gold hue—and play off the ladylike mood—with layers of lockets and an armful of metallic cuffs.
Brennick shoes, $100, at localeshoes.com
With this skirt as the focal point of your look, keep the rest of your ensemble as minimal as Grace Kelly’s makeup in To Catch a Thief. (The first rule of high-waisted skirts: avoid crewneck necklines and anything billowy.) Instead, pair it with nude fishnets and a scoop-neck jersey top or a slim-fit white button down with the first few buttons undone and a string of black pearls.
Skirt, $69.95, at hm.com
The chiffon overlay adds a lovely textured touch to this classic LBD, while the placement of the belt creates a flattering, hourglass silhouette. Prefer punk to pretty? Throw on a cropped black leather jacket or a heel in a hot hue like magenta.
Linda Lundström dress, $465, at shop-eleven.ca
More ladylike pieces you must have in your wardrobe, on the next page...
You could build an entire outfit around this gorgeous ring, but we get distracted imagining it paired with a deep red mani and a gin martini. Bonus: The affordable price means you can make it a double.
Jenny ring, $118, at liasophia.ca
Gloves may be the most classically ladylike of all accessories, but they still offer room to play. Our favourite experiment? Trying out new hues. Skip the basic black and choose a pair in one of the season’s top colours—elegant emerald or chic deep purple.
Leather gloves, $55, at danier.com
Along with an LBD, a perfect pair of jeans and a white button down, a camel coat is a must-have wardrobe staple, adding polish to any outfit. With its minimalist silhouette and 3/4 length, this variation is especially elegant. Save the bells and whistles for your accessories like a notice-me brooch or a patterned silk scarf knotted just so at the neck.
Camel coat, $168, at rw-co.com
Everyone loves a statement necklace, but the faux fur collar takes the luxe look a step further. Wear it with one of the season’s mod-inspired collarless coats or try it paired with skinny jeans, a black T and a cropped mohair cardigan. However you style it, the collar is guaranteed to pull double duty: It keeps you warm and makes you look hot.
Faux fur collar, $38, at rw-co.com