Hi! We're Hilary and Jessica from Domestic Bliss Squared, and we're excited to be Sumo's new fashion contributors! With our first post being about biker chic, you probably think we're crazy right about now, right? You're probably thinking "Biker Chic you say? You're crazy! I'm a mom/adult/not a biker!"
But wait, hear us out.
Hilary and I (Jessica) recently went on a BFF date to see a teensy little movie recently, maybe you've heard of it?
Even though The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones the movie was not exactly as good as we had hoped, we found ourselves totally inspired by the costumes! I mean, how cool do the actors look?
And then I (Jessica) was rifling through the September issues of my fashion magazines, and found this:
Apparently we weren't crazy thinking the actors from The Mortal Instruments looked awesome. Biker chic is totally a trend for fall 2013, and we're going to show you how you (yes you!) as a regular, real person can rock the biker chic look too. We'll show you how we both interpreted this hard-edged look into outfits you could really wear!
You guys, this is my thing. This whole post makes me happy because secretly (in my dreams) I own a giant red Harley Davidson and I'm roaring off into the sunset wearing a sweet leather jacket and biker boots that cost $400.
In real life? I'm driving my SUV to pick my sweet daughter up from Kindergarten. And there are a lot of other soccer moms in this area who would think I was really weird if I sauntered into her private Christian school wearing a leather miniskirt and biker boots. Dang. Also, I don't have $400 to spend on boots!
So this is my compromise. I'm going to talk about how you can wear things that have a hard edge, but are still approachable and not look like you're in a costume. I did this by starting with a key accessory, then layering other pieces on top to get different outfits! Easy!
I started with these awesome (and super practical for texting) DIY fingerless biker gloves that I made:
I'm totally loving them! And they are the perfect accessory to add a little bit of toughness to a mom's wardrobe. And they let me buckle a carseat without taking off my gloves.
The Base and layer #1:
I started with a base of a tank top, the fingerless gloves and some skinnies tucked into black boots. To soften the toughness of the accessories I added a super fluffy white cashmere sweater (from a thrift store, for $7!). Even though the sweater is the only difference between the two outfits above, outfit #2 looks much less biker-chick and more biker chic. A little softness goes a long way!
With the soft sweater as a base, you can then layer other tough accessories on top if you want a little more edge. In the first outfit above I threw on my vintage leather biker vest. And for the second outfit I put my biker jacket on top of that. Because, like I said, in my head I'm secretly getting ready to ride off into the sunset on my hog.
This last outfit is totally inspired by the movie, I admit. After I watched the movie I immediately thought of this top! With the stylized writing it's totally reminiscent of the Shadowhunter runes they tattoo on their bodies! This is probably a little more costume-y then I would normally wear, but for this post it was fun to try something a little different out and play a bit.
Plus, I love the look of biker chic, but I work part-time as a social worker, so I have a business casual/formal dress code at work. Biker gloves would seem out-of-place with blazers and khakis. So as we watched the movie, my brain started whirling. How can I rock the biker chic trend in a subtle, flattering way?
Here are my three outfits and why I think they work.
1. The work version. You can see, this is very very subtle. I wore a fitted outfit of all-black (sweater dress + leggings). I wanted to wear boots, but thought they might be off-putting to my clients! I chose a subtle pair of shoes and to keep it from being too goth, I added a bright scarf to soften the look. I do love how slimming the black is. My advice with layering is make sure you have a) thin layers (don't use chunky sweater leggings), b) opaque leggings (I think they are more flattering) and c) a sweater dress that is form-fitting without being super bulge-showing tight or figure-hiding baggy.
2. The "I'm not thrilled" version. Initially, I was going to pair my black boots and edgy look with a leather jacket. I LOVE the jacket Lily Collins wears in the movie. The collarless, form-fitting leather jacket is everywhere this season and I. want. one. So I tried on Jessica's and....crickets chirping. It makes me look stumpy because it cuts me off at a weird angle. It is not as flattering on the chest, and I love how even looking at the picture, I clearly don't feel comfortable. So, in a fit of inspiration, I pulled my normal coat out of my car and came up with the...
3. The going out/I'm totally thrilled version. It was amazing how much more comfortable I felt with my pop-of-color red coat ($5 at a thrift store!). Now I had a great going-out outfit. The thing I love about the all-black look is you can transition from work to going out with only a few minor changes. I put on my amazing, brand-new black boots that I got from Savers. Finding boots that fit my calves were a minor feat and I love that there is actually a little room about the calf (which is more flattering and truer to the motorcycle boot trend). I threw on an edgier pair of earrings, a darker shade of lipstick and replaced my cutesy scarf with my bright red trench coat. So with four quick changes (boots, earrings, lipsticks, coat), I feel like I'm a little closer to the biker trend.
The lessons I learned were yes, you can tone it down, but still rock the boots/leather/black look and make it cute for work or curvy figures and more importantly, find a balance. If you love a trend, go for it. Wear it. Even if its not always the most flattering (JESSICA: Lord knows I do!). BUT, if you don't love what you are wearing, trend or not, it shows! Sometimes working tiny elements (my boots or the all-black) is a way to feel hip, while still feeling comfortable and the more comfortable you feel, the more confident you'll look!