Next Level

Next Level Contrast-Heel Boots


Are these some good-looking boots? Oh, heel yes. Four chances to add a little something extra along with that height. —erica

LEVEL I: Aaaand, suddenly the classic shape of these caramel guys from Loeffler Randall gets way more interesting.

LEVEL II: A clunky black heel keeps this Opening Ceremony style from looking too disco-era.

LEVEL III: Rupert Sanderson delivers a hit of metallic pink that would make any outfit.

LEVEL IV: Is the dusty mauve of this 3.1 Phillip Lim creation what dreams are made of? I think yes.

Get over here for more “Next Level.”

Next Level Pleated Minis


Listen, no one’s suggesting you go full-blown Cher Horowitz (or early Britney). Here, four pleated skirts acceptable for grown-ass women. —erica

LEVEL I: MSGM makes herringbone neoprene shockingly classic.

LEVEL II: On this black Tibi sucker, the pleats are almost a secret.

LEVEL III: The fabric of this tweed number, c/o Alice & Olivia, feels all modern ‘n cool.

LEVEL IV: Yah, it’s plaid, this Sea guy. But it’s also wooly, not-too-flouncy, and killer with some black tights.

All the “Next Level” you want. Get in there.

Next Level Smiley


Hey, y’all: The grin is in. (Not that that would surprise Bobby McFerrin for a second.) Here’s how to put a smile on your body and, I’m sure, your face. —erica

LEVEL I: Bing Bang keeps things super-subtle (and, obviously, adorable).

LEVEL II: Happiness is this Anya Hindmarch scarf, no?

LEVEL III: A single earring from Alison Lou with at least 2x the charm.

LEVEL IV: Markus Lupfer knows that some days require something more intense—this sweater's like wardrobe prozac.

If this made you happy, so will this.

Next Level Beet


Cranberry sounds so…early aughts. And maroon has a certain team spirit vibe. But beet? Now that feels right for fall—maybe paired with outwear in a nice goat cheese or sherry vinegar. (I know–ha, ha.) —erica

LEVEL I: One of those perfect sweaters, c/o Isabel Marant, that can do apple-picking or office.

LEVEL II: A so-sleek Alexander Wang purse that would give even your grungiest jeans some polish.

LEVEL III: A dress from Carven that would look almost impossibly put-together with sheer black tights.

LEVEL IV: Opening Ceremony shoes that put a little stomp in your step.

More of this “Next Level” madness!

Next Level Bees


Beetles have had their moment. Spiders, too. Now there’s a new insect on the block. Four takes that mean bees-ness. —erica

LEVEL I: Simple and to-the-point—nailed it, Delfina Delettrez.

LEVEL II: Going a little crazy for the color scheme of this Lizzie Fortunato clutch.

LEVEL III: This peplum top from Mother of Pearl is sweet as honey, no?

LEVEL IV: With this Tom Binns creation on, your neck practically becomes a hive.

More mashups! Right here, right now.

Next Level Sleeveless Sweater Dresses


Sweater dresses aren’t just for black-tight season, y’all. These four can do warmer months and will look dope with blazers ‘n’ pumps when things cool off. Let’s get to it. —erica

LEVEL I: Stripe-y! Easy! Coming atcha from Halston.

LEVEL II: Alexander Wang does vaguely sporty so dang well.

LEVEL III: The notches on this Ann Yee number—can’t stop staring at the notches.

LEVEL IV: Leave it to 3.1 Phillip Lim to deliver on the texture front: Check out that fringe detailing.

There’s more where this came from. Get it. 

Next Level White Denim Jacket


Know what’s easier to pull off than a pair of white jeans? One of these guys—they just feel so fresh, you know? —erica

LEVEL I: Basic in the best of ways, c/o Paige.

LEVEL II: Very “I’m cutting class at Laguna Beach High School,” this NSF number.

LEVEL III: Oof, sheeeek, Victoria Beckham. Do you think this jacket alone could prompt a Sabrina remake?

LEVEL IV: This Christian Wijnants take is somehow more relaxed AND more crisp than a classic blazer.

More pseudo-trends to try this way…

Next Level Slide Sandals


The deeper we get into summer, the more the idea of straps and buckles and laces starts to grate. These four pairs of no-nonsense slide sandals will have you slipping out the door in a hot second. —erica

LEVEL I: These Palatines guys go with everything—cut-offs, silk maxis, etc.

LEVEL II: Minimalist! Silver! Criss-crossy! Looove, Jeffrey Campbell.

LEVEL III: Rachel Comey def knows how to make a black sandal stand out.

LEVEL IV: Jem would die for this Miista style—she really would.

More “Next Level!” Get it.

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