This whole equestrian thing just won't go away—not that I mind or anything. It's a classic, a wardrobe staple now, as opposed to a mere trend—Ralph Lauren has been banking on the bourgie East Coast/New England/Hamptons look since 1967. Same for Tommy Hilfilger since . . . whenever.
It's all just very . . . American. Or English. Clean.
Anyway, fall 2001 brought us the original resurgence of the equestrian style, both on the streets and on the runways. DKNY, Jill Stuart, Michael Kors and Victor Alfaro all brought us jodhpur-ish stretch pants tucked into knee-high boots with little or no heel, tweed jackets and lots and lots of suede and lush velvets. It was all very distinctly equestrian. And with fall 2005 came a more toned-down (and less costume-y and more practical) version of the look: Chloé's sophisticated Nehru-collared tops and flat boots paired with pretty prairie-girl blouses and rich leather saddle bags, and Dsquared²'s tall leather boots (see a pattern?), flowing neck scarves and tailored blazers. And then usually blah (like, reallyblah) stores like J. Crew and Banana Republic even started cashing in with their own versions of these runway looks.
Girl-on-left (former Weekly receptionist Erin Smith) has the right idea: tall black riding boots, fitted jeans, a wine-colored corduroy blazer over a white blouse, and she's keeping it easy on the accessories with a dirty gold chain and bangle. With some simple loose curls and natural makeup, it makes for a totally gorgeous but not overstated outfit.
Girl-on-right I am totally envious of. I look at the photographs of street fashion bloggers the Sartorialist (of Manhattan) or the Face Hunter (of Paris), and all I keep seeing again and again are gorgeous winter coats, thick wool leggings, cashmere sweaters, fedoras—the Southern Californian's idea of something warm is sneakers instead of flip-flops and a pricey sweatsuit (Primp, Grail, Juicy Couture, Free City by Ron Herman. Why, why, Newport Beach?) instead of a T-shirt. And while I kind of (secretly) enjoy our non-winter California winters (and complain during that one week of rain we get per year), I'd still kill for the opportunity to wear a great classic overcoat like this girl's (who, incidentally, is from the Lower East Side). It's warm. It's black. It's full-length. She's a charming pixie in a charming coat!
The rainy night's festivities atop the roof of a parking structure (with both fake andreal snow. And some little people dressed as elves shaking bells at you. And a camel. And Wolfmother.) were one of Orange County's few opportunities to really dress warmly—and wouldn't you know it? Everyone was wearing different versions of the same thing except these two.