Road to Romance
Shades of days when women rode sidesaddle: This exquisitely fitted skirt, with its daring train and ruched bustle, is sexy in a ladylike way, while the blouse takes ruffles in a modern direction (Costello Tagliapietra, $1,600 and $890). A long, slim silhouette for evening is a sensuous idea—better still if you mix masculine and feminine elements. The delicacy of the shirt, earrings (Wendy Mink Jewelry), and peep-toe wedges (Nine West) plays well against the crisp gathers of the skirt. Jewelry (beads, Annika Salame for By Boe), a studded belt (Ariat), and one of Argentina's raffish gaucho hats complete the look.
Argentina's Las Pampas region is home to great plains, big skies, and country-style retreats like the 400-acre Estancia El Rocío. Populating the landscape are the legendary gauchos—South America's equivalent of the cowboy—with their trademark berets and neck scarves. Saddle up with an ageless shape such as a richly embroidered cotton tunic (Irving and Fine, $230), which adapts to all kinds of cultures (and flatters all sorts of bodies). This version has full sleeves and is cinched with a beaded, silver belt (Yvonne Duff-Franklin for Culture Shock). Jeans (Eileen Fisher, $168) have gaucho-esque panache, as does the fringed shawl (Coldwater Creek, $249). Keep jewelry organic with bangles (Amrita Singh; Nine West) and a necklace (Satya Jewelry).
Splendor in the Grasslands
The sweet North American charm of red-and-white gingham (Michael Kors) marries beautifully with brilliant embroidery on a South American–style peasant blouse (Topshop, $50). Keep the folkloric theme going with a snazzy silver concha belt (Ariat), beaded necklaces and bracelets (Satya Jewelry), an intricately incised cuff (Silpada Designs), and suede boots (Guess). A swishy skirt like this isn't just for parties—you could also wear it with a plain tee on weekends.
Dreaming in Spanish
Take a different tack with your everyday wardrobe: Start with something simple like a roll-sleeved button-down shirt (Calvin Klein, $69)—try a hotter color than usual—and cropped khakis (Worthington by JCPenney, $44). Shape the shirt with a low-slung belt that has a striking coin-studded buckle (Just Cavalli); add a necklace of leather cords strung with peace and religious symbols from around the world (Tory Burch). Finish with sculptural hoops (Robert Lee Morris Studio) and a bevy of tiny bead bracelets (Nine West).
Boho in Bloom
At play in the fields, this ravishing smock dress (Anna Sui, $484) shows Spanish lineage. The glowing florals and unstructured shape have a certain innocence, but the sheer black fabric (there's a built-in slip) ensures it won't look too girlish. With a pattern this elaborate, you don't need much jewelry: Orange bead-rimmed earrings (Nine West) are a variation on the classic hoop, and long, organic-looking necklaces have a torso-slimming effect. Wear three or four at once, choosing different lengths but staying with the same delicate scale (necklaces, Satya Jewelry; geode pendant, Club Monaco).
A Little Horseplay
Polo plays a big part in the culture of Argentina, and men on horseback are a common sight at Estancia El Rocío, where there are two fields, plus clinics and tournaments. Even if you're just watching a match, it's fun to dress the part. Exquisitely cut riding pants (Ralph Lauren Blue Label, $245), in a vivid color and finished with a silver-buckled belt (Ariat), team up with a shirt in a spirited print (Jones New York Signature, $59). Clothes this casual call for clean-lined jewelry—like gypsy-ish hoops (Nine West), a rosewood bangle (Silpada Designs), and a brass link bracelet (Paige Novick).
Riding Into The Sunset
Here in the North, we think of gaucho pants as wide, cropped trousers. Not so: Real bombachas
are long and slouchy, with a buttoned cuff at the ankle to prevent pants from riding up. This cotton pair looks surprisingly sultry with a satin silk blouse, draped to expose the back, and a debonair fedora (pants and blouse, Ralph Lauren Collection, $798 and $1,298; fedora, Patricia Underwood for Ralph Lauren Collection). To wear the woven sash (a local find; you could also use a long printed scarf), wrap it around your waist a few times, then tuck in the ends—the pattern makes neutrals come alive. Boots, Guess Beauty Bonus:
You don't need to fuss over your makeup with these back-at-the-ranch looks. Fake a bare, sun-kissed complexion with powder bronzer (like Elizabeth Arden Pure Finish Mineral Bronzing Powder, $32). Use a short, fluffy brush to apply it everywhere the sun would hit: cheekbones, the bridge of your nose, chin, and forehead. Low-cut blouse? Dust a little over your neck and chest too. See more of O's favorite makeup.