Spring neutrals


1. Fringe is Fun
It practically dances—appropriate in Buenos Aires, where as many as 30 different milongas (tango events) take place every day. This boatneck tunic is showered with silky loops (3.1 Phillip Lim, $695), and all that vertical motion makes your body look longer, more slender. The color—beige with an undertone of salmon—gives skin a sensuous glow. Thin slivers of silver (earrings, Alex Woo) are almost like bits of fringe themselves. Location courtesy of Arita Jewels and Antiques.
The tango


2. Tango Argentino
A glimpse of bare shoulder, a skirt that dips and sways as you do: Tango, born on the streets of Buenos Aires, is breathtakingly sexy—and so is this shell pink chiffon dress (Jill Stuart, $950). A word about color: Nude is a misnomer for the new barely there shades—it doesn't take darker skin tones into account. Earrings, Ippolita. Shoes, Stuart Weitzman. Photographed at Milión restaurant, Buenos Aires.
Model in a neutral summer suit


3. Summerizing the Suit
With neutrals, you can mix freely—there's no such thing as clashing shades. This elegant medley sets the tone for shopping, as in Buenos Aires's open-air markets.

Pick a suit with enough authority for work, but in a casual shade—something in the tan family—that's perfect weekend material. This one has a jacket with interesting tucks that carve out the waist, plus clean, straight-leg pants (Lida Baday, $1,150 and $695); the color is richer and creamier than plain old beige, and it's beautiful with a chiffon-trim T-shirt (J.Crew, $38), ruffled khaki bag (Be & D), and bone-and-gold shoes (Christian Louboutin). The point: Wearing the new neutrals as an entire outfit looks fresher than mixing separates with black or white. A geode necklace (Wendy Mink Jewelry) and delicate ring (Misa Jewelry) add metal to the mix. Photographed at Los Angeles boutique in Pasaje de la Defensa.
Spring neutrals in Buenes Aires

4. The Comfort Zone
A monochromatic wardrobe, while fantastic for packing, can get, well, monotonous—unless you build in a range of textures. Here, pieces in the same essential palette (eggshell with the faintest underlay of peach) get extra dimension from different weaves: silk that's both fine (tank top, $355, and skirt, $1,325) and hand-knit (cardigan, $1,495; all Devi Kroell). Ballerina flats in rose gold leather (J.Crew) are comfortable for walking the cobblestone streets of the city's arty, history-laden San Telmo district; they also look terrific—very Audrey Hepburn—with a full skirt. Echoing the shine of the shoes are long, casual necklaces, one of hammered rose gold links, another of clear quartz (both Ippolita), and a third strung with smoky quartz (Suzanne Kalan). Photographed in one of the courtyards of Pasaje de la Defensa.
Model wearing a long beige dress

5. Grand Tiers
It's not Evita's balcony, but this 1913 neoclassical townhouse—restored and transformed into the hip bar-restaurant Milión—is a splendid setting for a long, regal column dress (Calvin Klein, $248). You don't need to be svelte to wear the figure-skimming shape; the tiers, edged in gold sequins, seem to elongate the body. Gold accessories—including large teardrop earrings (Laurie Kaiser), an armful of bangles (Marcia Moran at Supplements NY, Armenta, KC Designs, C. Greene, Alex Woo, Moritz Glik, Amrita Singh, Ippolita), and gilded sandals (Dolce & Gabbana)—help light up the nights in Buenos Aires, which are lively and long: Dinner begins around 9 p.m.; closing time usually isn't until 4 a.m.
The streets of Buenes Aires

6. A Delicate Matter
The long, rich history of Buenos Aires—it was founded in the 16th century—speaks through the lovely faded, layered reds and pinks of its houses.

This isn't bubblegum, baby-girl pink but rather a subtle blush, like the gorgeous old walls of the Palermo Viejo district (once a hangout for intellectuals and revolutionaries such as Jorge Luis Borges and Che Guevara, now a renewed, stylish quarter with restaurants galore). The pleated silk georgette dress (Tommy Hilfiger, $848) has a vintage quality: flattering cap sleeves, an easy-fitting shape (good for curvy figures), pretty details like satin ball buttons. Try it for a daytime wedding or outdoor party. Rose metallic sandals (Claudia Ciuti) bring out the dress's pinkish undertone. Earrings, Michaelisa in Technibond. Necklace, Kimberly McDonald.
Model on a staircase

7. Finely Wrought
New World energy joins forces with Old World charm in a skirt that bridges continents—and guarantees grand entrances.

Separates that look like a dress (Chris Benz top, $595, and skirt, $1,295) are the best of both worlds: A stretchy, slouchy, off-the-shoulder hip-length top in the palest iced coffee explodes into a three-tier mega-ruffled skirt in a color that's a couple of shades stronger. Hoop earrings and a thin bangle (Suzanne Kalan; KC Designs) subtly suggest a Spanish influence, and the platform shoes (Sergio Rossi) are great for dancing—as people sometimes do on the 16th-floor rooftop terrace of this fanciful and eclectic building. Known as the Palacio Barolo, it dates back to 1923 and was designed by an Italian architect whose inspiration was Dante's Divine Comedy.
Neutral fashion - Buenos Aires

8. Street Smart
Getting a taste of Argentina's past is easy—just inside the door is Bar El Federal, founded in 1864 and famous for its authentic, unpretentious atmosphere and decor (original tile floors; carved wood and stained glass over the bar). Getting in the swing of the city isn't hard, either, in a flounced suntan tank and matching vest (Derek Lam). The look is modern, but the ruffle suggests an outrageously romantic culture. Balance the loose, floaty top and larger bag (Leonello Borghi) with narrower bottoms, like these sleek cigarette pants (Piazza Sempione, $370). A touch of color and gleam on the wrist (bangles, Amrita Singh and Ippolita) and divinely feminine silk jersey shoes with a translucent heel (Derek Lam) underline how well femininity plays in the city.

How to Wear the New Neutrals:

Skin colors aren't simple, says color consultant and author Leatrice Eiseman (MoreAliveWithColor.com); they have undertones that may be warm, cool, or a mixture of the two. So when you shop for neutral clothing, choose shades with an undertone similar to your own natural complexion. Some examples:

*Light skin (cool): Wear neutrals with very little undertone. Avoid shades with a warm pink or yellow cast.

*Tawny, olive, rosy (warm): Choose pales with a touch of honey, café au lait, or pink (but not blue-pink).
*Light brown (warm): Try neutrals with gold or coppery undertones.

*Dark brown (cool): Go for light beige with a drop of rose.


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