Monday, July 26, 2010

Stylin' little liars.

I have an embarrassing obsession. An UGH-bsession, if you will. With ABC Family’s new teen drama/thriller Pretty Little Liars. For those unfamiliar with the basic premise, the series centers on a clique whose fifth member (and former leader), Alison, went missing a year before the show opens. The unexpected twist? Alison (or someone using her first initial) is now sending her former besties sinister messages from the great beyond. Whoa. Whoa. WHOA. Whoa. WHOA. Whoa. WHOA. WHOA. Whoa. Edgy.

Like any teen drama worth its ratings, clothes play a major role in Pretty Little Liars. The four main characters have wildly different styles: Spencer is a preppy overachiever with a hipster sensibility, Aria is a punky thrift-store queen, Hanna wears whatever Lucky tells her to and Emily is the token jock who couldn’t care less. I’ll cede that in life my style naturally veers more toward the Aria aesthetic, but I’ve gotta say: Spencer has been killing it so far this season. I’m style crushing. I'm a style stalker, and I’m about to be a bona fide style thief.

Spencer HastingsFashion Trends & Styles - Polyvore

The key to Spencer's look, which has been called "business casual with a twist," is to take a classic pairing and riff on it. Do the nautical cardigan with the white shorts, but pair the outfit with nerdy socks and oxfords instead of the expected leather sandals. Go ahead and wear that ruffled blouse and blazer, but choose flat, knee-high boots instead of pointy law-firm pumps. And when it comes to casualwear, men's dress shirts and leather backpacks are where it's at. By the way, the black skinny jeans at right (they are jeans, by the way. Spencer wouldn't be caught dead in leggings. Riding pants, maybe) should be neatly rolled twice at the cuff and hit just above the ankle for optimal hipster chic.

Pulling off this style also requires a restrained hand when it comes to accessorizing. A delicate necklace, a simple bangle or a pair of stud earrings are about as elaborate as Country Club darling Spencer would go with the jewelry. Too much bling throws off the balance of polish and zaniness, giving the outfit a whole different vibe.

I think it may be time to hang up the guitar pick rings and chunky chain necklaces, return to my Virginia roots and debut this look for fall. I'm into it. The best part? It lends itself exceptionally well to wearing flats. I've got the riding boots nailed down, but expect to find me digging for penny loafers in the Astoria Salvation army.

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