The Perfect Playoffs Mix, Inspired By Rihanna

Red carpets these days seem a little, shall we say…scripted? Long gone are the surprises of a Björk or a Lara Flynn Boyle Halloween-costume-meets-gown—or even a Sharon Stone “I-bought-half-of-this-at-the-Gap” moment. Now all there is to look at is your standard gown showdown. Beautiful, but sometimes a little boring.

Somehow, someway, basketball games (of all things) have become the best place for star style in the red carpet’s stead. Perhaps it’s not surprising—the stadium is where you go to not only have nachos, but to willingly pay $10 for beer that’ll get warm before you finish it. It’s also the place where bad gal RiRi—all-around fox, singer, CFDA winner, and someone ITG loves so much that we named a conference room after her—gets the chance to wear a Céline dress with trainers to a Clippers game. Another winner: when she wore a windbreaker, athletic shorts, and strappy, single-soled sandals that match her White Out pedicure. Scroll through enough courtside paparazzi shots and you’ll see a trend emerge: expensive shoes with workout gear; runway gowns with retro sneakers. Like high-low dressing, just a little bit more extreme. And with the playoffs coming up, consider it a call to action—or to athleisure.

And finally, for your enjoyment, please play this song while you read the rest of this story.

Outfit(s): There are two paths to decide between here—dressing up or wearing your usual workout garb in a dressed-up way. Mix in opposite-leaning shoes to contradict the outfit above it. A big, colorful sneaker is a good choice for a dress, as is a glam heel for men’s shorts and a jacket. Both options are better than an oversized hoodie and jeans, really.

Lipstick, Etc: Be like Ri and choose a lipstick that stands out against a mostly naked face—bonus points for a longwear formula that’ll hold up to game food. From there, add a tad of liquid liner for good measure or choose to focus on bushy, drawn-in brows.

Snacks: Order according to Instagram. LOL, kidding. Eat what you want.

Jewelry: Pile it on—chokers look even bolder when doubled up, and hoops are almost too obvious. There you have it. Now take your talents down to the comments.

—Claire Knebl

Photos of Rihanna via Getty. Clothing and accessories photographed by Tom Newton. Traveling cross-country for the Playoffs? Don’t forget the Five Cool Things to fly with.

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Prepare Your Wallets: A Byredo Store Is Coming

Well, Instagram finally makes it official: Mr. Ben Gorham is giving New York a Byredo shop of its very own (up until now, you could only get your Gypsy Water fix at Barneys or on the internet). Deciphering from Instagram, it’ll be at 62 Wooster St. Deductive reasoning leads us to believe it will smell amazing. And as Gorham told WWD last month, expect the unexpected. Stay tuned.

Image via Instagram. To read more about Byredo, click here.

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The Best Things To Fly With

The the five-and-a-half hours you have to spend in a tin can pumped full of oxygen in order to get from JKF to LAX can be about more than cramped sleep and a complimentary Diet Coke. In fact, it can be a tremendously productive time if you plan for it in advance. Comfort is possible, starting from the feet up. Invest in a pair of slip-ons (if you don’t already have them, you will want to wear them everywhere—trust) and pack a sheet mask in whatever you plan on stowing beneath the seat in front of you. The latter is perfect for restoring hydrated skin and fending off seatmates who insist on chatting. If you travel with something else portable and amazing, tell us. Suggestions welcome below.

1. Vans Slip-On: The easiest way to get your shoes off at the TSA checkpoint (or once seated between two sleeping people) is to slip them off. Laces are just uncomfortable.

2. Anya Hindmarch Bespoke Box Washbag: Get rid of that ratty Ziploc you’ve been using forever. Or better yet, stop breaking out a new Ziploc for every trip. You’ll use this for more than just vacation, and it’s pretty much guaranteed to be the most streamlined, luxurious thing going through security or stationed in your bathroom.

3. Banjo & Matilda Travel Pillow: I’ve never remember to bring a pillow on a flight, but I am convinced that this little gray guy would change my ways.

4. Happy Socks: Because…why wear sad socks? You know, like old athletic ones. Or worse: no socks.

5. SK-II Signs Eye Mask: It was a wise woman named Gigi Hadid who once said, “Earlier today I used a SK-II mask—I looked like a murderer…it was so cute.” You weren’t going to make friends on this flight anyway, so might as well look moisturized.

—Claire Knebl

Image of Marianne Faithfull and Anita Pallenberg via Getty. Need a good carryall for that trip? Already found it. Read more Five Cool Things here.

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Foundation For Your Closet

The idea of a button-down shirt is not inherently interesting. It’s a standard, a classic—maybe even a little bit boring. But then put Julia Roberts in one (see: Pretty Woman) and all of a sudden, it’s sexy without being overt—the movie was produced by Disney after all. But in the interest of us all not wearing the exact same Oxford, take a moment to consider the below. If Julia’s shirt is a double scotch on the rocks, then these five are a martini up with a twist.

1. Caroline Constas Alexandra Stripe Shirtdress: Design magician Caroline Constas makes the kind of clothing that reminds you of vacation but that’s luckily also office appropriate. This dress’ sloping hemline is longer in the back, which makes legs look longer, too.

2. Frame Denim Le Classic Shirt: Clear skies, an open road, and this super-light silk shirt in the driver’s seat. Works well with high-waisted jeans for that ’70s feeling that’s suddenly new again.

3. Topshop Belted Cotton Blend Shirt Dress By Boutique: If you buy one thing this week, make it this wonderful side-belted dress. Two of us in the office already have. Welcome to the squad.

4. Dion Lee Paneled Striped Poplin and Denim Top: A sleeveless top with vest-like qualities will be just what the forecast ordered on a hot summer day.

5. Brooks Brothers Non-Iron Regent Fit BB#10 Check Dress Shirt: Borrowing a guy’s button-down is cool and all, but why not just spring for your own—monogrammed and everything. It’s about to get personal.

—Claire Knebl

Photo via Getty. For more Five Cool Things, click here.

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Not A Boot, Not Yet A Sandal

There’s no time more satisfying to start shopping for sandals than during a cloudy day (or better yet, a snow storm), but knowing you’ll have to store whatever you buy for another couple of months can be emotionally draining. So, in the interest of our collective mental well-being, shoes that have the benefit of being instant gratifiers should make their way into your shopping cart. More specifically, the sandal/shoe/bootie hybrid. They’re easy to wear, but interesting to look at—usually an identity crisis isn’t a good thing, but in this case, it means you can let your toes breathe without completely freezing your ankles. Plus they aren’t flimsy—plenty of mileage to get out of your purchase here.

1. Zara Lace-Up High-Heeled Sandals: These are for when you’re not shopping for the office, but rather office online shopping while daydreaming about Friday night. They’re in-between covered-up and showy, and the lace-up isn’t overdone, making them a good option for a night out.

2. Acne Studios Corda Shoes: Here’s a stylistically advanced version of a sea-diving shoe, but made by Swedes and ready to wear anywhere—just add black wool socks when it’s chilly and a pedicure when it’s warm.

3. Tibi Blane Mules: The nice thing about these shoes is that they have a really substantial heel but are easy to wear. They’ll give you a little lift and make your legs look great.

4. Whistles Ada Slim Strap Mule: Here we have the all-terrain vehicle of the shoe world. Wear it with cropped jeans and go sock-less. City streets and dirt paths are both fair game.

5. Laurence Dacade Flo Leather Sandals: These are worth it if you live in Miami, where you would be able to wear them year-round—in fact, it comes down to just over $3/wear for every day for a year (aka commitment).

—Claire Knebl

Almost-spring means unpredictable rain. Keep these puppies dry with five rainy-day staples and discover more Five Cool Things here. Image via Getty.

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