Love Me, Love My Houndstooth

In its February review of Ferragamo’s fall/winter 2011 show, Style.com wrote, “This is something you weren’t expecting: Salvatore Ferragamo just could be the sleeper hit of Milan fashion week — and all in shades of black, white, and gray, too.” Sure enough, when i walked past the Ferragamo store on New York City’s Fifth Avenue this July and the windows literally stopped me in my tracks. An aesthetically pleasing excess of black-and-white glen plaid and houndstooth — including a glen plaid coat layered over a houndstooth skirt and matching purse and shoes — made traditional patterns look new.

The oversize houndstooth print particularly has grabbed the eye of celebrities. Actress Teresa Palmer and singer Selena Gomez were early adopters of the look, but pop star Lady Gaga, for whom a lot isn’t enough, made it memorable when she appeared on The View in August. Wearing Ferragamo’s houndstooth dress, clutch and shoes, she added a matching hat and sunglasses. Her ultimate “you’ll-never-top-this” accessory? A houndstooth piano. Reality-television personality Kim Kardashian wore the identical silk dress and posed on a matching chair earlier this month. The new York Times offered a few more celebrity examples as well as some suggestions about non-Ferragamo houndstooth items to buy.

One easy technique to hunt down houndstooth is to make use of ShopStyle.com, a shopping search engine that helps you explore thousands of web sites directly. It is easy to save lots of your favorites.

Hats by Juicy Couture

Ferragamo Peep Toe Pumps - Pola in Beige (New Bisque) - LystIt’s even easier — and cheaper — to buy your closet. Houndstooth has been around for a long time. You might have already got some and if you do not, you will discover good used pieces at your local thrift store (or on eBay). Whether you are buying new or old pieces, hold out for top-quality clothes that you’ll be happy to maintain for years because, while it may be a very long time before a designer does anything with the pattern that is as eye-catching as Ferragamo’s designs, houndstooth never goes out of style. Fashion bloggers have certainly found this to be true. While a few of them are buying new pieces, others are donning houndstooth that they’ve had for years; purchased from second-hand stores; or inherited from their great grandmothers and husbands. Check out how they wear it.

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