High Fashion, College Wallet J. Crew S/S 2017

Somsack Sikhounmuong was aiming to add an art and a high-end aspect to daywear in the J.Crew Spring/Summer 2017 collection. Using the brand’s signature staples such as lighter colors, stripes and inspiration from menswear, Sikhounmuong gave many of the looks an evening wear feel, providing a collection which fits in both at Fashion Week and in everyday life. Models were diverse in age, race and body type, further emphasizing the pieces’ easy transition into the real world. The looks provide the perfect amount of originality, letting women confidently wear these outfits out, turning heads without taking too many risks.

One of the collection’s most simple looks exuded an air of wearable cool. The model rocks a tailored dark denim dress, embracing her femininity in a modern yet professional way. She wears this with mustard yellow chunky heels, large, dark red-framed sunglasses and minimal jewelry, consisting of a thin bracelet and a small ring on her middle finger. The basics paired with slight touches of personality make this look customizable and easy to recreate affordably.

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Denim dresses are easy to find, as their staple status means most stores carry some variation of them. Look for a darker wash with longer sleeves to best mimic the look. Some good options are this Inc International Concepts Shirtdress selling for around $60 at Macy’s, as well as this Liz Claiborne dress available for $40 at JCPenney. Chunky heels similar to the model’s are available from Steve Madden for $72, but options are abundant for those looking for a cheaper or differently styled pair of such a brightly colored shoe. These booties, just $33 on Sobeyo, provide a fun twist which can work well in autumn weather, and these Franco Sarto flat sandals, $40 from Century 21, make walking easier, a great option for New York college students.

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The accessories are where a fashion lover can and should get the most creative. Forever 21 is always reliable for inexpensive sunglasses, like this pair similar to the model’s for just $6. Venturing in a different direction is easy; try $6 trendy round frames or go wild with a modern metallic cat eye for $8. For jewelry, potentially mimic the model with a ring from this set, only $20 for 7 options on Accessorize.com or try this $6 choker set from Charlotte Russe. Possibly go for statement earrings — this pair is $29 from Chico’s and sure to spice up other looks as well.

Many fashion lovers and journalists may ignore a collection’s simpler looks. This is an unfortunate oversight as these are most likely to spread to the general public, and an outfit comprised of staple pieces leaves more room for interpretation, making for a more interesting style scene. If fashionable students and others take inspiration from pared-down looks and use creativity for the accessories, the world will develop a deeper appreciation for the basics.

Ali Webb is the High Fashion, College Wallet columnist. Email her at violetvision@nyunews.com.

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