Flip through a stack of fashion magazines, close your eyes, and we guarantee that you’ll be thinking of England: These days, it seems that everywhere you turn there’s a cheeky revival of buttons-and-lace Victoriana. Want to look properly fashionable without having to pawn the family jewels? Check out our of-the-moment turn-of-last-century picks, and you’ll be able to keep up appearances and maintain financial restraint.
Steven Alan’s soft cotton button-up ($143) – an upgrade from your run-of-the-mill oxford – won’t find much rest in your closet. The subtle darting embroidery in the brown fabric is an elegant touch. (Add a miniature cameo brooch – around $26 – and you’ve really hit the mark.) BCBG’s white lace blouse (pictured, $122) is timelessly pretty and feminine and pairs perfectly with virtually anything (jeans, velvet, you name it). Club Monaco’s runway-knockoff corset top (pictured, $69) lets the wearer breathe easy – a far cry from the whalebone contraptions worn by our pinched-waist foresisters (pass the tea cakes, please). At Old Navy, they might as well raise the Union Jack: Choose from rows of shirred-front button-down shirts ($22), or top it off with a sporty tweed hat ($12.50) or a boxy bag ($26.50). We love Betsey Johnson’s cranberry-velvet bag (pictured, $295), complete with tassels and sewn-on silk flowers. And fasten Express’s cameo necklace ($24) at your throat for a delicate finishing touch.
PLUS: This Week’s Sale Picks