High Fashion, College Wallet: Elizabeth and James S/S 2017

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen have been in the spotlight together all their lives, starting with sharing a role on “Full House” and growing into the minimalist fashion icons they are today. Their path even includes writing books and a brief stint at NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study. Their signature style, sometimes described as “bohemian-bourgeois,” became iconic, leading the twins to start several lines including The Row, Elizabeth and James, Stylemint and Olsenboye for JCPenney. While The Row is their most famous line, having earned them the Council of Fashion Designers of America’s Womenswear Designer of the Year award in 2012 and 2015, Elizabeth and James has also been successful over the decade or so since the Olsens founded it.

Elizabeth and James’ Spring 2017 collection, released during New York Fashion Week, continued the themes the Olsen twins do best by revolving around basic, easy-to-layer pieces, light fabrics and elongated cuts. Most looks were monochromatic, with the similar shades dominating outfits and letting the airy shapes and delicate fabrics take center stage. The same model posed for each lookbook photo, sporting minimal hair and makeup to highlight her natural features and keep focus on the clothing.

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The thirteenth look had the model looking casual but confident in a dark, comfortable look. She wore a black, wide v-neck bodysuit, pairing it with upscale navy drawstring jogger pants. Shoes, as throughout the collection, were neutral sandals with black T-straps as well as additional horizontal straps. While the model wore nothing layered on top of the bodysuit, the nature of the collection makes it easy to imagine the possibilities of a cozy open cardigan, chambray shirt or easygoing trench coat.

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This look is incredibly simple to recreate, with the most involved part being finding the best way to make it fit your personal style. Start with a basic black bodysuit like this one from Topshop, a $30 option which includes the v-neck as well as crossed straps in the back. For the jogger pants, choose a higher-waisted pair of good quality that screams “fashion” instead of “exercise.” These Urban Outfitters pants would be comfortable yet cute and are on sale for $29. This pair from South Moon Under, while a bit more expensive at $79, is satin so wearers can truly achieve a more upscale look.

For the sandals, feel free to choose whichever strappy pair best fits your personal style. This Guess pair is on sale for $35, providing a classy look. Shiekh Shoes offers a $20 option good for those aiming to emphasize casual summery vibes. To finish the look, use hair and makeup to enhance your best natural features. Depending on the weather or a desire to switch the look up, one can also wear a layer fitting the upscale bohemian aesthetic on top or add a statement jewelry piece.

Elizabeth and James is all about bohemian infused basics, and an outfit like the one above embraces customization, but would also look amazing on its own. Wearers will exude an effortlessly cool air whether that has been their signature style or an interest developed from admiring fashion bloggers and influencers.

Ali Webb is a staff writer. Email her at violetvision@nyunews.com.

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