Posts by: Kaitlin Courtney Quinn, Contributing Writer

Sporty Spice never looked this chic.

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The holidays may be months away, but Tommy Hilfiger’s new campaign already has me equal parts excited and overwhelmed about sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner with my extended family. For the Fall 2011 spread “Home with the Hilfigers,” the highly coordinated Hilfiger clan have packed their collection of tennis rackets and bocce balls into the trunk of their ’84 Mercedes wagon and have left the country club (the backdrop of the summer 2011 ads). They’ve now returned home to the grounds of their private New England estate for a family photo shoot that gives the Kardashian’s super-retouched, super-glamorous 2010 Christmas card a run for its money.

Reprising his role as the dreamy older brother, Noah Mills continues to make readers swoon in luxe turtlenecks and tartan trousers. Despite trading in summery margaritas and linen pants for vodka tonics and driving loafers, Mrs. Hilfiger looks as glamorous and intoxicated as she did poolside in the summer ads. Other beautiful members of the Wes Anderson-esque family include Iselin Steiro, Jacquelyn Jablonski, and Sam Way.

The preppy, American cool vibe essential to the Tommy Hilfiger brand is maintained throughout the new campaign. And by filling each frame with one too many models, photographer Craig McDean captures the chaos necessary for any good family gathering. Yes, Aunt Margaret is going to try to set you up with her neighbor’s son, and your cousin Henry is still going to pick you up and spin you around- even if you are wearing a skirt and are no longer wearing pig-tails. The ads suggest that dressing well (and keeping a cocktail in hand) can make the holiday season a bit more bearable and glamorous- or in the true WASP way, at least keep up appearances.

Let’s leave behind “Black Swan” and the craze for wearing dainty tulle skirts, sky-high ballerina buns, and ballet flats the Oscar winning film inspired. This fall is all about strong, menswear inspired womenswear. The trend doesn’t stop at the tailored trouser; it extends to ladies’ manicured toes. Smoking flats, shoes that glide onto the foot like a favorite pair of slippers are one of the season’s biggest (and most comfortable) trends.

From metallic lamé to animal print and even velvet, there is a style for every woman. Its thick flat heel and almond shaped toe is practical for Boston’s cobblestone streets and provides a nice alternative to the over played ballet flat. (We all aren’t ballerinas, anyways.)

The most coveted pair atop my slipper loafer must have list are the Black Glitter Slipper Loafers by Kosy. The feminine, glittered outsole of this Hugh Heffner-esque shoe provides the perfect compliment to its masculine structure. Available at Topshop, they are the embodiment of casual cool.

GET THEM HERE.

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Some hop in bathtubs when earthquakes hit. Others seek open spaces. My initial instinct when the recent 5.8 earthquake hit was to run to my closet.

As the door of my Back Bay brownstone started to shake I asked myself, if this was the end of the world, what would I want to wear? The answer was not the fashionable Nike running shorts and cotton v-neck t-shirt I was then sporting.

Granted, by the time I opened my closet doors the rumblings of the earthquake were long over. Either way, a three-hour long session of dress up within the deep, dark hole of my closet still ensued. I decided that if Madonna and JT only had four seconds to save the world, I’d want to be last seen in my vintage houndstooth cropped jacket over my beloved Marc by Marc sleeveless magenta wool dress. And even though it is still August, I’d pair the winter-esque ensemble with white tights and my soft and my brown leather cowboy boots for practicality- in case I am running from a collapsing building. (For the record, this outfit is much cuter than my vocabulary can convey)

No, I wouldn’t run to Saks in the last minutes of my life and spend all $255.15 in my savings account on a new, chic outfit. Of course, I still want my gravestone to read: “Here lies the well-dressed wife of Robert Pattinson ” but I want the last outfit I wear to be filled with sentimental value and a true indicator of who I am. No, I’m not a cowboy nor do I have a southern drawl. But I’ve walked countless miles on the concrete sidewalks of this city in that pair of worn-in cowboy boots. And, that comfortable Marc by Marc dress is forever embedded with the mixed scent of Ralph by Ralph Lauren and spilled vodka tonics from my long-time dive bar of choice, Daisy Buchanan’s.

The point of my three hour dress up date is two fold: one-don’t wait to the end of the world to re-wear your favorite, most prized pieces- especially if you look good in them. After all, clothes are to be worn. And two, if you find yourself wearing Nike running shorts and you are not on an elliptical, either change your outfit or stop delaying your workout session and head to the gym pronto.

 

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Cheers to the last weekend of the summer calendar poolside.

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If you haven’t already pre-planned your outfit, I suggest you run over to Newbury Street or the Pru ASAP. Fashion’s Night Out may be three weeks away, but keep in mind you’re going to be amongst Boston’s most fashionable civilians. Your every-day driving moccasins and khaki pants simply won’t do.

Circle September 8, 2011 on your calendars as a celebratory evening filled with an overload of fashion, fun, and cocktails. Fashion’s Night Out is the perfect occasion to prove to GQ (and ourselves) that we are not the worst dressed city in the U.S. So please, dress and shop accordingly.

As the purpose of this nightlong party is to restore consumer confidence during these hard economic times, make sure to pack your debit card in your clutch. This year Boston is officially celebrating Fashion’s Night Out. The event started in NYC in 2009 by Vogue Magazine, the CFDA, NYC & CO and the City of New York. Participating Boston retailers including Newbury Street, South End, North End, SOWA, JP, Roslindale, and more.

For one night and one night only, shopping will be extended from 6 through 11pm throughout the city. In addition, for the first time in 15 years Newbury Street will be shut down. Feel free to jaywalk from shop to shop.

Rumor has it Aveda of Copley Place will be offering complimentary mini-facials. Festivities at Zara will include a celebrity DJ and a decadent Champagne bar. There’ll be a custom flip book photo booth at Diane Von Furstenberg and shoppers will be given a sneak sample of the brand’s new fragrance, DIANE.

To see more details on these events and other FNO happenings throughout the city, check out the Fashion’s Night Out Boston website.

On the site launched this week, you can begin scheduling  your night of shopping and purchase a Fashion’s Night Out t-shirt.  Trust me, with abstract cityscape print and signature Fashion’s Night Out logo, it’s much cooler than your worn-in university tee or American Apparel v-neck. Plus, with forty percent of proceeds raised from sales going to the NYC AIDS Fund in the New York Community Trust, it’s a purchase you won’t feel guilty about.

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There’s a fine line between preppy and frumpy. And unfortunately, more often than not here in Boston, that fine line becomes blurred. I should know, I am from the cable-knit sweater capital of the world. Sure, a pair of soft brown leather driving loafers are timeless. But they rarely walk the runways of the shows at New York Fashion Week. And for good reason: fashion is aspirational. Comfort is… comfort.

But leave it to Isaac Mizrahi to make New England prep cool again with a fashion forward take on the overly starched and played out polo collar. Embellished with crystals, this chain necklace will add a touch of interest to nearly any outfit. And best of all, it has a detachable bracelet. Stop popping your collar and invest in this instead.

GET IT HERE.

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It’s a sad, sad day when reports on the workplace going casual make the five o’clock news. First, because there’s no breaking news of Kim Kardashian wedding drama. And second, because the report is true.

Honestly, I am sick of hearing the workplace has gone casual. I don’t disagree with the headline. Rather, I am upset with its validity.

For any doubters, I dare you to venture to Boylston Street on your next lunch break any day of the workweek. The evidence is easy to spot; it’s only noon and I’ve already spotted 4 pairs of flip-flops, 3 t-shirts, and 1 pair of cargo shorts.

Where, oh where, have all the strapping men in well-cut suits and women in classic dresses gone?

As the largest culprit of this shameful trend is early twenty-somethings, I believe it falls to me, a recent college graduate, to speak to my people. Finals are over, as are the days of Thursday night binge drinking till 2 a.m. at Tia’s on the Waterfront (well, at least no longer every Thursday).

Please, please, please, dress for your future- even if you’re sitting on your bed in your parent’s house searching Craigslist for a job. Look good, feel good, and you will land a job. (Or, at least that’s my current pep talk to my roommate.)

And for those rebels out there that must defy my preaching and will continue wearing your grossly worn out, leather Rainbow flip-flops, at least get a pedicure. Consider it your first post-college investment.

Let’s face it, the friendship bracelets you made during arts and crafts at sleep-away camp never came out looking this good. This summer, relive your youth by sporting an armful of these Shaka Lanyard Bracelets. Sold in an array of fluorescent color and equipped with gold plated clasp closures, there are as many possibilities for pairing these hand woven creations by nOir as there are animal crackers in the camp’s snack jar.

GET IT HERE.

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