W2W2: What to Wear to Your Next Mojito Outing

When you go out as much as half the people I know in New York do, it’s natural for your style choices to suffer from a lack of inspiration. Whenever there’s dinner and drinks in the evening forecast, someone is always ringing me with the same inquiry: What should I wear? This time of year it’s natural to see PYTs sipping summer cocktails on patios, all wearing the same uniform lifted straight from the latest street-style website. Perhaps it’s time we put down the look-book blogs and turn to the city itself to inspire our nightlife ensembles. Beat the heat by taking a cue from your next Mojito outing at a fiery Cuban restaurant. Get your cocktail, the ambiance, and your outfit just right.

Inspiration: The Mojito. Traditionally made by combining white rum, sugar cane, lime, soda water, and mint, it’s believed to be the world’s first cocktail. Origins can be traced back to 16th century Cuba, where the locals were sipping a cocktail called El Draque, named after Sir Francis Drake, a prominent sailor who, among other things, defended England against the Spanish Armada in 1588—a rockstar of his time. The concoction is believed to have been a way to cover up the unsavory flavor of aguardiente, an early version of rum.

The Look: Tip a fedora to the glamor of Havana. Draw from the vibrant romance of the city that invented the Mojito with tropical shades and breezy summer staples that could be worn just as well on a walk to the green market as they could inside a colorful salsa bar. Add a little drama to a cotton dress with liquid liner and a bold lip. Accent your summer tan with tropical blue-greens, corals, and shimmering bronze nail polish and shadow. And bring along a bit of loose powder to stay fresh amid the searing heat.

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Where to Wear to: Calle Ocho (Upper West Side)— Bright, colorful Latino menu and décor syncs with high-energy scene. Havana Central (Union Square)— Latin music, chainified Cuban fare for the bridge and tunnel masses. NitaNita (Williamsburg)— Their Green Tea Mojito + tasty tapas + stiff drinks = good times. Yerba Buena (East Village)— Cuban sandwiches, Peruvian ceviches, Caribbean roast pork, plus Argentine yerba mate sprinkled in for medida buena. Cafe Habana (Nolita)—Scarfing roast pork is so much better when Mary-Kate is watching, longingly. Habana Outpost (Fort Greene)—Enviro chic spin-off of Soho/Smith Street café faves.

What to Wear to: Nordstrom Grosgrain Border Straw Fedora, $28 Kate Spade Wedge Heels M·A·C Pro Longwear Lip Color, $21 Sephora by O.P.I Havana Nights Nail Polish Set, $9 Temptu Retouch Powder To Go in Translucent, $18 Sephora Collection Doe Eyed Felt Eyeliner Black, $12 Nars Duo Eyeshadow in Misfit, $32

W2W2: What to Wear to Santos’ Party House, as Victim of Circumstance Girl

The Spot: Santos’ Party House (Chinatown) – Big, sweaty, hot bi-level boite with sick sound and killer acts for dancing downtown darlings.

Patron Saint of Style: The Victim of Circumstance girl, the most amazing imaginary girl I’ve ever met, thought up by the creative mavericks behind the Victim of Circumstance line, a division of the contemporary knitwear company Qi Cashmere. Their VOC girl is a made-for-press-releases dream girl, a fake muse who happens to be a freelance fashion photographer living in SoHo and partying at Santo’s, mainly because her hip-hop idol Q Tip from A Tribe Called Quest DJs there (she takes him with a side of Zeppelin and Hendrix). She is also a regular voyeur at The Spotted Pig, Botanica (where she trades stories with Sandy the bartender), the Anchor, and Sweet and Vicious.

Ambiance: Did we mention big and sweaty? Also a loose door good enough for downtown cream like Terry Richardson, Chloë Sevigny, Gavin Brown, and our imaginary VOC girl.

The Look: For Miss VOC, worldly, eclectic and ultra-mixed is her MO. The girl shops at Oak and Opening Ceremony, and she mixes her hip-hop/classic rock look with vintage from Tokio7 and LaGarconne. Light dresses with heavy studded boots, black and white geometric sweater dresses that call to mind Twiggy or Bridgette Bardot, or a unique fringe skirt she wears with a vintage tee tucked in, are perfect for the downtown-meets-musictown Santos’ advocate. A mix of textures and patterns appeals to this everywhere girl, the carefree way she throws on a printed one shoulder dress with heavy leather straps is the epitome of Miss VOC. Artsy details like a Rodarte notebook are important, but her camera is her best accessory.

W2W2: What to Wear to Santos' Party House

Get the Santos’ Party House Look: Clockwise from left: ● Shoes: Alexander Wang (available at Opening Ceremony) – $760 ● Shoes: Velvet Angels (available at Oak) – $358 ● Looks: Victim of Circumstance (available in Spring 2010) ● Notebook: Rodarte, Opening Ceremony – $18

W2W2: What to Wear to Bia Garden, NYCs Cooler Boozefest

The Spot: Bia Garden (Lower East Side) – Summery Vietnamese outdoor spot just in time for fall.

Patron Saint of Style: TV host Alexa Chung, a British expat-about-town known for her extremely laid back style, and for mastering the mixology of grungy denim, flats, and cheeky accessories, the perfect uniform for Bia Garden’s endless LES summer.

Ambiance: It’s like grabbing street meat from a trendy cart, and heading over to your pal’s backyard party, with more space. And a better beer selection, if you’re into all-Asian vendables. Beverages range from Taj Mahal to Sapporo and are served in packs of 6, 12, and 24 packs straight to your table in ice-filled coolers. Hanging plants and wooden picnic tables compliment the truly pleasant backyard feel, one that even the douchiest of D-bag patrons would be hard pressed to ruin. Gather a group to enjoy your afternoons well into the fall.

The Look: Fun BBQ parties can’t be too serious, especially when Alexa-dressing means picking through your closet’s odds-and-ends and pairing them with staples. Work the denim-on-denim trend and use cheeky accessories as a buffer to transition your wardrobe into fall. Oversized bags, dishy sunglasses, and vintagey purses compete for attention, but they’re subdued against androgynous denim. Summer polka dots take on a tongue-in-cheek sentiment when paired with fall’s new favorites; designer Ts, loafers, and studs. Imagine being 8 and picking your outfit to go play outside with your friends. Combine with beer in the Lower East Side.

Get the Bia Garden Look: Clockwise from left: ● Shoes: Nappa Tassel Loafers, Raparo (available at luisaviaroma.com) – $470 ● Denim Shirt: The Perfect Shirt, Current/Elliott (available at net-a-porter.com) – $200 ● Sandals: Gladiator Sandals, Steve Madden (available at Steve Madden) – $163 ● Belt: Suede Stud Belt, Dorothy Perkins – $33 ● Purse: Jersey Quilt Chain X Body Bag, Miss Selfridge – $30 ● Bag: Heart Shaped Bag, Asia Jam (available at AsiaJam.com) – $24 ● Skirt: Polka Dot Silk Skirt, Michael Kors – $718 ● Shorts: Atom of Love Distressed Denim Short, (available at Sass & Bide) – $163 ● T Shirt: Cotton Girl Print, (available at Topshop) – $33 ● Denim Jacket: 3/4 Jean Jacket, (available at iconogenic.com) – $33 ● Sunglasses: Luella, Linda Farrow Vintage

W2W2: What to Wear to Six Six Sick @ Happy Ending

The Spot: Happy Ending (Lower East Side) – The dirty boys and girls of the east side flock to Tuesday’s Six Six Sick party to get dressed up, boozed up, then dirty all over again in this classic massage parlour turned drunk tank.

Patron Saint of Style: Lady Gaga. You know how you look at her with both interest and disdain, but also mentally note her couture for a future Halloween reference? That’s exactly the kind of costume you should be prepared to rock here, where fashion is about fun.

Ambiance: Depending on your arrival time, you should expect a shit-show on various levels. Earlier in the evening, light drinkers from an assortment of fashion PR firms and street photographers gather after a hard day’s work for cocktails in the red room upstairs — and to admire one another and their hipster get-ups. Skinny jeans (sometimes just painted on, it’s dark — you wont know the difference) with interesting tops and brightly hued shoes abound. That is, until the late show arrives. The place fills with a parade of neo-club kids, led by the avant garde trio Six Six Sick, posing for after-dark photogs in some of the wildest, most creative ‘fits one could dream up on Shopstyle.

Six Six Sick Party NYC

The Look: Plastic, neon, lacquer. All things impossible seem completely wearable when posing in an empty shower. Pick up a pair of plastic shades and wear them with the same clear beach bag you had when you were seven. In fact, anything you wore, or wanted to wear but couldn’t because there was no way Mom was letting you go to school like that, between 1980-1990 is completely safe here. All things bright and shiny are made fashionable thanks to sculptural cuts and sky-high heels. The Lolita feel that comes with your Barbie accessories and make-up is juxtaposed with suit jackets, trendy jumpsuits, and statement shoes. Footwear should walk the line, at once precious and dominatrix-friendly. Eyes and hair should be conceptual, if not to prove your hipness, at the very least it should conceal your identity when you accidentally (yeah right) have a nip slip for a Last Night’s Party shutterbug.

Get the Happy Ending Look: Clockwise from left: ● Beret: Gem Embellished Beret, Sonia Rykiel (available at Intermix) – $456 ● Makeup: Yellow Highly Pigmented Pressed Powder, Medusa Makeup (available at Patricia Field) – $9 ● Blazer: Topshop – $55 ● Sunglasses: Neon ‘Retro’ Style, Blue Banana (available at Blue Banana) – £4 ● Sleeveless Silk Jumpsuit: Adam (available at Intermix ) – $345 ● Gold Bracelet: Roger Vivier (available at Roger Vivier) – £720 ● Bag: Black Patent Leather Clutch Bag, Alexander McQueen (available at Alexander McQueen) – $505 ● Shoes: Cutout shoe boots, Givenchy (available at Barneys) – $377 ● Bag: Dylan beach bag, Jimmy Choo (available at Jimmy Choo ) – $1,050

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W2W2: What to Wear to Avenue, New York’s Newest Toast to the Good Life

The Spot: Avenue (Chelsea) – New lounge from Marquee mandarins and soon, your Friday night excuse to get dolled up in your most painful pumps and be seen.

Patron Saint of Style: Scarlett Johansson, with curves that are the epitome of glamor, she is now the official face of poppin’ bottles. Her newest advertising deal with Moët Chandon (pictured) means the mini Marilyn Monroe shall forever be synonymous with the luxe life.

Ambiance: We’re not sure, but from the looks of it, not a lot of dancing, which means a lot of posing and posturing from the bottle-buying set. The latest addition to the Chelsea club family, the usual preened and primped bottle models shall do their kin right, toss on their latest Bebe or Versace dress that daddy bought (sugar- or biological), slather up with their scented sparkly self-tanner, and help each other finish the booze. Strappy super-tall pumps to compete with the other models, platforms laced at the ankle to keep from teetering off the tabletop. Feet will hurt, and hurt bad, but that is the price to pay when you aren’t paying for drinks, ladies. Cut out mini-dresses, cleavage-baring tops. and shiny baubles should match your glass of champagne and get you in the front door.

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The Look: Scarlett only needs a bottle of Moët to look party-ready, and by the end of the night that’s probably all you’ll be wearing too. But before then, you’ll need clubland’s best. Body-conscious dresses in touchable fabrics take center stage, though not to upstage the real star of this event: skin, and lots of it. Mini-hems, strapless cuts, and off-the-shoulder straps that should keep slipping off the shoulder with every sip. Heels sturdy enough to dance drunkenly with the girls to the newest Kelly Clarkson remix, and fashionable enough to feel comfortable posing on the benches. Tiny clutches with intricate details will show off the logo and are small enough lug to the after-party. The color palette should complement your skin tone (since there will be so much of it) and match the club’s interior: burnished gold, bronze, and flecks of green, which also happens to be the colors of money.

Get the Avenue Look: Clockwise from left: ● Ring: Tiger Eye, House of Harlow 1960 (available at Kitson) – $48 ● Necklace: Long Snake Chain, Martin Grant (available at Saks 5th Avenue) – $795 ● Dress: Bow-front bustier, Moschino Cheap & Chic (available at Saks 5th Avenue) – $333 ● Dress: Cut Out Dress, Alexander Wang (available at Oak) – $565 ● Platforms: Studded strappy shoes Burberry ● Sandals: Platform Sandal Donna Karan – $589.95$ ● Clutch: Logo Clutch Tory Burch – $275 ● Ring: Green Headlight Ring Kenneth Jay Lane, (available at Macy’s) – $58

W2W2: What to Wear to Lit Lounge, New York City’s Dive Bar Du Jour

The Spot: Lit Lounge (East Village) – Rock bar du jour for hos and bros of the ain’t we the shit? set. And a whole lot of messy fun in between. Blend in with the other off-duty models in destroyed denim and roughed-up leather by conjuring these rock-goddess looks.

Patron Saint of Style: Erin Wasson (pictured), who we often see stalking the sidewalks, dressed in her uniform of t-shirts and denim to the beat of an East Village tune.

Ambiance: Models muss up their runway looks with stringy, unwashed hair amid a sea of rockers and rocker wannabes. Typical of the East Village, Lit attracts a mixed crowd that’s always fashionable with a certain rough, even careless sensibility. The gritty basement is filled with chicks in grunge-inspired get-ups to match their Converse All-Stars or lace-up Doc Martens. The rocker aesthetic is important for keeping up appearances as well as giving you an edge when a dance-floor mosher threatens to knock into your Brooklyn Lager. Sure, spill on my Ksubi t-shirt dumbass, then get an Ann Demeulemeester Flat Ankle Boot in your shin as Mary-Kate Olsen looks on. If you happen to get another run in your jet-black tights, go with it and chalk it up to fashion fortune — the more rips, the better.

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The Look: Channel Erin’s devil-may-care air with loose silhouettes weighed down with some heavy accessories. A light T-shirt tunic is simple enough to mix with Alexander Wang’s leather leggings, or can act as a breezy topper for a pair of torn-up jean shorts. The footwear must both look killer and also be practical for stomping around the uneven cement floors. Mini-dresses fit with sandals that are both studded and strappy, tied tight so they won’t fall off while descending the steep basement steps. If you dare to carry a bag (not recommended), make sure it’s substantial in size and girth. This will keep it from being snatched up by those ruthless East-Vill pirates. Seriously, purses get lifted left and right, mostly because models are carrying next season’s it-bag straight from the runway.

Get the Lit Look: From left to right … ● Leggings: Perforated leather leggings with zip, Alexander Wang – $1,552 ● Shoes: Black Leather Cut-Out Whole Ankle Boot, Jeffrey Campbell – £150.00 ● Bag: Billy Large Bag, Jerome Dreyfuss – $846 ● Shorts: Suzy Denim Short, Forever21– $22.80 ● Sandals: Anjah Ankle Strap Sandal, Forever21 – $24.80 ● Jacket: Studded Leather Biker Jacket, Elise Overland – $2,225.00 ● T-Shirt: Mini Pocket Tank Dress, T by Alexander Wang – $90

Erin Wasson Photos: Terry Richardson