This is the first Style Translation post i’m writing and I’m very excited. While we love finding inspiration in Asian celebrities, we certainly don’t think that inspiration should be limited. I get the majority of my fashion inspiration from western celebrities. The trick is to know what works for you and what doesn’t.
For example, it’s pretty hard for any woman (let alone Asian women who tend to be shorter and more willowy than most Caucasian women) to channel the style of someone like Adriana Lima. Why? The woman is a Victoria Secret Supermodel! She’s like a perfectly toned, outrageously generously proportioned amazon. To get Adriana Lima’s look you basically have to, well, look like Adriana Lima.
But not to worry, there are tons of stylish celebrities that aren’t complete natural anomalies for us to emulate!
Which brings us to one of my favorite stylish celebrities: Rachel Bilson. You might remember her as Summer from the TV show The OC or the horrible action film Jumper or the even more horrible film New York, I love You. Or you might simply recognize her as the cute brunette who’s always in magazines or the girl who’s in those Magnum Ice cream ads that are always on TV. So … her acting credentials aren’t exactly top notch, but she’s always dressed cute, right?
Bilson is also a perfect candidate for a Style Translation because she has an easily Asian-relateable figure. Bilson is quite petite and, while she is slender, she’s not a skeleton. She’s got hips like the rest of us.
Bilson’s daytime style downtown chic with a little bit of California cool. She wears a lot of Isabel Marant, Rag and Bone, Madewell. She also loves to layer and is a perfect example of how someone who more petite can layer. She makes sure that when she adds layers she’s not adding bulk. Rachel also loves to accessorize with scarves, hats, fabulous bags, and her signature Ray Ban wayfarer sunglasses. During the day time she’s usually wearing either interesting flats (like strappy sandals) or cute, casual booties. Fun Tip: to elongate your legs, cuff your jeans by rolling the bottom up twice in 2 inch increments to show a bit of your ankles. This creates the illusion that your legs are longer.
For evening, Rachel might just add some sky high heels to a daytime look, add a bit of makeup, and be ready to go. But, other times she likes to have a bit more fun with her outfits. And I love it. Rachel, though hardly possessing a model’s physique, is never afraid to take a fashion risk. She makes unique, fashion forward choices that prove to anyone that you don’t have to be a model to be truly fashionable.
Still, she always remembers what works for her. She chooses looks that elongate her body and accentuate her legs, making sure to add heels for height. And she continues to layer for interest, without added bulk.
To imitate Rachel’s fun, casual style try to do the same! If you’re wearing a sundress, throw a small, fitted denim jacket over it. If you’re wearing jeans and a tee, add a blazer and a scarf. If you’re wearing shorts and a blouse, add a fedora and some sunnies. Try to add items without adding to your overall size. This doesn’t mean though that everything has to be fitted. In fact, Rachel wears lots of loose items. The trick is to reign in the looseness with a structured item. For example, below Rachel is wearing
a flowing maxi dress that you wouldn’t expect to work for someone so petite. She makes it work by adding a fitted blazer on top that gives her a distinct shape and by choosing a maxi dress with a skirt that flows close to her body.
For a night out, do you same but try and combine neutral items with pops of color. For example, add a brightly colored blazer to a nude dress (like Rachel does above) or throw a little black leather jacket or blazer over a patterned dress. And don’t forget to add heels! Nothing lengthens the body like actually adding height.
Hopefully this was interesting and fun and you’re not motivated to try some of Rachel’s cool girl style!