Backpacks, tuxedo blazers & “nude” for everyone

April 21, 2011 10:03:20 Posted at April 21, 2011 10:03:20
Sasha Posted by Sasha

Written by Sasha

(posting Sasha’s style column a little early today since I know some of you are jamming out soon for Good Friday)

Hi Sasha! I’m 25 and work full-time. I always have a ton of stuff that I schlep to and from work and I need a proper bag. I had a big Matt & Nat purse that I was using for a while, but since it hurts my shoulder carrying it every single day, I switched to a JanSport backpack. I've thought about maybe a cute leather backpack? And if need be, I will cut down on the clutter. Could you please help me with a few suggestions? :)-H

I hear ya. I’m so over feeling half-crippled by a big ass bag, so H the backpack is a great idea. While I don’t think everyone can pull the look off, you do have youth on your side so let’s get crackin’.

I mentioned Erin Templeton last week and I’m going to do it again, because she churns out some beauty bags. And for Spring/Summer she’s got a great worn in leather backpack that will totally do the trick. Check out the gunny sack right here.

How rich is Marc Jacobs? Because dude has everything any person could want. And he’s hit the mark with this leather backpack. It looks like it's got a ton of room for whatever miscellaneous crap you could dream of jamming in there.

Next up, is this two-in-one bag by Linea Pelle. What’s great is if you don’t want to commit to the backpack style all the time you can switch that muther up into a bucket bag. I’m a big fan of multi-purpose items, so this gets my vote.

For a more causal look, I really dig this Madewell bag. I’m a sucker for canvas-anything, and with a t-shirt and rolled up jeans…please, it’s perfect. Not to mention it could double as a travel bag.

I’m going to end with my favorite pick. I don’t know what it is about Longchamp but it makes me happy. This bag is so simple yet so expensive looking. That sounded snobby but whatever, you get what I mean. It’s just damn good.

There you go H, I hope this helps! And if you don’t mind, I’m totally going to rip off your steez and work the back pack now too.

Sasha, My brother is getting married, and given their tastes and the location of the wedding. I want to wear something cute and non-traditional. I am thinking a sharp looking suit, and I really want a tuxedo jacket. I have had a hell of a time finding something...most of what I see is couture and therefore wayyyy to expensive. Where can I find a reasonable tux jacket? LB

LB, in my opinion a suit jacket is something worth investing in. It’s a timeless piece that can be worn to death so if you can, drop more dough on it. Having said that I’m hoping my options fall into your definition of ‘reasonable’ – either way I’ll try and keep some sort of budget in mind so you’re not forced to live in a cardboard box.

First up, I’m bringing out the big guns with one of my favorite lines: Smythe. It's the sh-t. Full stop. Everything from their fabric choices to their cut is stellar. I actually have a Smythe black tuxedo jacket with the satin lapels and it’s super versatile; best of all, I know it’s never going outta style. So LB, this would definitely be my first pick, and it’s on sale so hurry up and buy it – here and here.

Next is this Helmut Lang jacket. The asymmetrical hemline and hard shoulders have that great androgynous twist. Throw of a hot ass lace top underneath and squeeze into a pair of slim cut pants and here’s hoping you’ll get some tail. I know it’s on the expensive side of things, but if you calculate how much use you’ll get out of it over its lifetime, we’re talking pennies a day.

Now if you want something more traditional then click here and here. Both these options are simple and slick. Nothing overly special about them but they won’t do you wrong.

If you’re looking for a looser fit (aka boyfriend cut) then check out this Loeffler Randall Blazer. If you can pull it off, I say go for it.

This is another jacket I'm really feeling. If you can look beyond the label (ahem, barf, Juicy Couture) then you’ll be able to see its beauty. The texture adds a really great element to the traditional tuxedo jacket and it’s just the right amount of drama for a wedding.

Lastly, if you can afford to have a bit more fun then I would definitely consider this ASOS tuxedo jacket. Love the white and black contrast and the cropped factor ups the sex factor.

Hope this helps and send me a picture of this outfit on the day – please and thank you.

Hi Sasha, as a black woman (think Aisha Tyler), I am beyond irritated at the new "nude" look for shoes that these fashion bitches are trying to sell us on. It has been a personal pet peeve of mine since, as an 11 yr old, I was confused by the Laurentian pencil crayon colour "Natural Flesh". I looked at the pencil and compared it against my own skin and thought "Well this is not my natural flesh"!! Whose idea of "nude" are they talking about because what I have been seeing in stores, blogs and magazines is more applicable to Caucasians? I would love to find a shoe that makes my own legs look longer and I would love to know if you have any ideas on where I can find shoes that offer a wider range of "nude" colour selections that apply to those of us with darker skin. Thanks! Darker Shade of Nude

This has been quite a controversial subject for many, many years. ‘Flesh’ was not only a standard color in our Crayola boxes back in the day (they later changed it to 'Peach' in 1962) but it was also the only band-aid option you could get your hands on. Have we made progress? Well, that’s debatable, but when it comes to the terms flesh, nude, neutral…the fact remains it excludes everyone who isn't 'white'.

But DSN, let’s take race out of the equation for right now, because the pressing matter here is finding you some kick ass shoes.

So, here’s the thing. When you break it down, the color ‘nude’ is really just a great peachy beige tone. In my opinion, this color looks great and lengthens the leg on any person of any shade. But if we're being totally honest here, it's actually really pale white women who look a bit odd in ‘nude’ shoes…so there’s that.

It’s just about finding the right soft, yet rich color that works best for you. But from your description you might need to lean towards a deeper tone. Keep in mind, it’s not about finding shoes that match your skin as much as it is finding the right peach tone. For example take a look at Kelly Rowland, Ciara, or even Rihanna – they are all working this peach color and their legs are all hump worthy.

On to a few picks:

If you’re looking for a good heel check out these Steve Madden options here, here (click the nude option), here and this pair of ASOS ones. And, as I mentioned, I still think you can go into a lighter color zone and still look hawt - check out these LAMB heels and see what you think…

Next a good wedge is a ‘must’ so if decide to go that route check out these, these (press nude option), these and these. Any of them would be perfect for the summer!

And if you’re looking for a great ballet flat I just found these suckers, and look-y here, Jennifer Hudson likes them too.

So there you have it, hope I’ve pointed you in the right direction. xx

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