Lesson 1: One Pair of Shorts, Six Stylish Outfits (Style Lessons from Olivia Palermo)

Olivia Palermo paired her H&M shorts with colored pieces

Her Outfits:

No. 1: Christian Louboutin Shoes, Chloé Gemma bag;

No. 2: Diane von Furstenberg top; Zara clutch;

No. 3: Lanvin shoes, Mulberry Neely bag;

Olivia Palermo paired her H&M shorts with classic black and white pieces

Her Outfits:

No.1: Diane von Furstenberg vest; Hermes bag;

No.2: Armani Exchange Blazer; Hermes clutch; Yves Saint Laurent shoes;

No.3: Chanel clutch;Yves Saint Laurent shoes;

After seeing all of the six outfits of Olivia Palermo above, have you noticed something? Yes! It’s the same pair of shorts in all of her looks. Best part is: such a pair of stylish and versatile shorts on her is from H&M! This is the one of the main reasons why I truly appreciate Olivia Palermo.

Born in a rich family, has successful career, got so many titles (socialite, model, actress, editor, entrepreneur..), she never lacks of choice when it comes to shopping, but she can be easily spotted wearing street brand pieces. Being her fan for a long time, I witnessed her talent of using the same piece to create many different stylish and polished looks all the time.

After posting my last entry(the ways she styles her striped shirts), I feel that I have to edit a post series about her talented pairing skills of mixing high and low, about her polish outfits that were paired around the same piece we can all afford.

Anyway, compared to constantly buying new things each season, what we want more is figuring out how to maximally use all the pieces we already have in our closet, right?

“Studying” her outfits inspired me a lot. I hope this post series can inspire you the same.

Today, as you already knew, our featured item is the H&M high waist shorts and Olivia Palermo’s six outfits around it. Below are some styling tips I learned from her:

When choosing shorts, look for a high waist black pair in nice material (like tweed and wool ) or with unique design (embellishment details, Jacquard pattern or crochet) –all of these  will make the shorts can be easily dressed up or down, can be worn almost year-round and can stay with us many seasons.

H&M stone embellished boucle dion shorts

Zara has two that are equally stylish ( here and here):

Jacquard pattern shorts and crochet shorts from Zara

Designer choices from Oscar De La Renta (on sale) and Finders Keepers:

Oscar De La Renta tweed shorts and Finders Keepers highwaist shorts

Black color makes the shorts go with everything: from basic black and white pieces, neutral brown and grey ones, to colorful pieces (girly floral or bright solid color).

The nice material and unique design make the shorts can be easily dressed up with silk blouse, structured blazer, and fine jewelries, or dressed down with casual top, knit wear and flats.

The high waist design can accent our figures, cinch our waists and elongate our legs.

When choosing whole black look, add some accessories to balance the mature and heavy black ensemble and bring some youthful and fun vibe to the look, like the studded bangle, silk bow tie, red nail polish, layered necklace on Olivia Palermo.

When pairing the shorts with bright-colored and patterned pieces, make sure you can find all the solid colors that you want to pair in the pattern.  Black goes very well with yellow, blue and pink.


Recreate Olivia Palermo’s outfit No.1:

Recreate Olivia Palermo's outfit No.1

Outwear: Clare Tough (65% off now)

Top: Hugo Boss or this elegant affordable version from Ann Taylor

Shoes: Ann Taylor

Bag: J.Crew (or another stylish shape from J.Crew)

Accessories: Michael Kors watch, Dior “red royalty” nail polish


Recreate Olivia Palermo’s outfit No.2:

Recreate Olivia Palermo's outfit No.2

Top: Topshop

Shoes: Dyeables Aislinn

Clutch: H&M (or this stunning colorblock version from BCBG)

Accessories: Stella & dot necklace (or high quality one here) , Style&co watch, Lulu Frost Bracelet, Forever 21 Dark Purple Polish

 Recreate Olivia Palermo’s outfit No.3:

Recreate Olivia Palermo's outfit No.3

Shirt: Diane von Furstenberg

Shoes: B Brian Atwood

Bag: Zara (or another stylish version in dusty pink)

Accessories: Asos ring, Maybelline Wined and Dined Polish


Hope you enjoy today’s post! Next time, I will continue this “Style lessons from Olivia Palermo” series. Talk to you soon!


By Helen Hou

I'm Helen. In the huge fashion world, what attracts me the most is the way different people accessorize themselves. Our daily outfit choices are not just about the pieces we pick, they relate to something lurking deeply within our hearts: how we feel about ourselves, how we express ourselves to the rest of the world, what kind of people do we want to be and what kind of life do we want to live. Following my passion for fashion, I immerse myself in this bizarre world and try my best to share what I learned with you!