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LET’S CATCH UP 10.23.20

I’m in the final two weeks at my current job, the election is rapidly approaching, the days are getting shorter – it’s a season of change to say the least. Despite what feels like a chaotic world, I’ve been making it a real point to savor October – one of my favorite months of the year. We’ve baked pumpkin cookies, had a weekend at the lake, I’ve been reading seasonal books… little joys if you will. This weekend, Adam and I are on the hunt for apple cider donuts, going up to see the foliage in Central Park and watching the new Sofia Coppola movie, On the Rocks, with Rashida Jones and Bill Murray on Apple TV. Here’s what else is going on:


  • I’ve passed my poll worker training and am officially set for Election Day. In preparation I’ll be voting early (over 30 states now offer the option!) next week. Have you made your voting plan yet? makes it easy.
  • I’ve been thinking a lot about what the holidays are going to look like this year. There won’t be the usual throng of tourists here in the city. Many won’t be traveling long distance to see family. There won’t be as much of a need for fancy party dresses and sparkly shoes. I think my content here on the blog will likely look a little bit different, with a focus on getting cozy at home and keeping things smaller scale. The one thing Adam and I are excited for is a return to our winter tradition of ice skating in the city. The Bryant Park rink will be back – and still free when you have your own skates like we do! – you’ll just need to reserve your time in advance.
  • I really loved these honest blog posts by Grace Atwood and Jennifer Lake about not wanting kids. I do want to have kids but was a ‘maybe’ for a long time and found that any ambiguity around the topic for some reason causes strong reactions – almost always from other women. I have been meaning to write a post on the grey area and thanks to their bravery feel inspired to do so. Coming soon.


  • I’ll be doing my best to support local, independent bookstores this holiday season. McNally Jackson reported that their sales are 50% down and Strand is down 70% to last year. Another great, Amazon-alternative option is
  • There’s still a week of October left and I’m squeezing in one more witchy-read. This book merges the Suffragette movement with Salem and between Halloween and the Election couldn’t feel more timely! I’m excited to dive in this weekend.
  • This month my virtual book club is reading The Radium Girls by Kate Moore which is based on the real life New York factory girls exposed to radium in the early 20th century. I’ve heard it’s riveting and the movie version was just released. My in-person NYC club is reading The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab, which sounds like a nice escape read!


  • Call me crazy but I kind of want these leopard crepe pants. They’d be chic with a black knit turtleneck and black flats, no? And the price is definitely right.
  • I’m an absolute amateur when it comes to the skincare world – but I’ve been using this Caudalie purifying toner to help combat breakouts from wearing a mask and after just a few days I really see a difference!
  • This argyle sweater is 50% off right now and keeps coming in and out of stock in my size. *Hits refresh again* If I can snag it I’m going to wear it for Thanksgiving dinner.
  • Speaking of getting cozy for the holidays – I desperately need to refresh my pajama drawer. I love the classic look of these.
  • This “pumpkin spice” quilted jacket that so many of you swooned over when I shared it is 40% off right now. It’s a great weight for these next couple of months of weather.
  • Is it too soon to think of holiday decor (the answer is a rhetorical ‘no’ here). I love the thought of this sparkly snowflake garland on the mantle.
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I love jacket season. When it’s crisp enough to need an extra layer, but warm enough to leave it unbuttoned. And even better when said jacket blends in perfectly with the fall foliage. I mean how good is the color of this quilted jacket?! And those leaves?! This is a little town in Pennsylvania that we drive through on our way to the lake house and almost every year we make a little pit stop to walk through the quiet streets. It feels like the set of the Gilmore Girls’ town of Stars Hollow to me.

When it comes to Fall jackets, I tend to air on the side of casual. Especially this year when I’m really not ‘dressing up’ very much. I love quilted styles, like the one I’m wearing here, for fall outdoor activities like apple picking or long walks – and they’re great if you happen to get caught in a little bit of rain. And my other favorite are the cozy, sherpa types – that you can throw on to run to the grocery store or snuggle up on the couch for a movie night. I’ve got my eye on this one that comes in several colors and is super affordable.

Luckily, there seems to be no shortage of good options out there this year and almost all of the styles I picked below are on sale right now!




Now get out there and do some leaf peeping.

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October is Breast Cancer Awareness month – a cause very near to my heart after watching my late Grandmother and Aunt battle the disease – and I’m honored to be partnering with Talbots this month on their ‘Art of the Scarf’ campaign, to showcase styling ideas for their capsule collection of 3 unique silk scarves designed by 3 brilliant female artists – @jessillustrator, @karenmabon, @alimacdoodle.

In the spirit of women helping women, 10% of net proceeds from each scarf sold between now and October 31 will go to the Susan G. Komen Breast Care Helpline, which provides education, support and resources in local communities. And to take it even further – I’ll be donating 10% of my own personal proceeds from this partnership to the same cause.

You can see the full styling video over on my Instagram – and details of each look below. Aside from the scarves – which are beautiful and support such a great cause – I just noticed that lots of these cute Fall pieces I styled them with are also on sale right now!


Fold the square scarf in half diagonally (into a big triangle) – tie the ends behind your neck and then drape the center into loose folds. The look is casual enough for a weekend outing but still a little bit sophisticated looking. I paired with jeans, stripes and this ‘pumpkin spice’ hued jacket that’s my absolute favorite right now.


Again, fold the square scarf in half diagonally (into a big triangle) and then roll the scarf into a long skinny snake like shape from there. Tie in a bow around the hand of a bag and voila! I love the way the pink and burgundy hues play off this plaid blazer. I’m not back in the office yet but I’d wear these pieces on a zoom call or out on a lunch date where I wanted to feel put together.


Same start – fold the square scarf in half diagonally (into a big triangle) and then starting at the widest side, fold down in two inch strips until you have a long rectangle. Tie in a knot around your neck and leave the ends long. This one feels very French to me!

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This time of year is my absolute favorite to dress for. Warm enough for bare legs but cool enough for boots. Textures like corduroy, tweed and cashmere plus colors like burgundy, cognac and navy. I always go back to a lot of the same staples in the fall: throw-on-and-go blazers, pretty, dark floral dresses, well-fitting jeans, cute flats and great boots. Mix and repeat.

Some of these items have been in my wardrobe for years now – and in that case I’ve done my best to find a similar substitute – and some are brand new favorites that I featured in my recent Fall Wardrobe Edit.

Below – 6 of the outfits that I wore out and about this past week.


I’m usually swamped on Monday’s and reach for an outfit that doesn’t require a lot of thought but makes me feel put together and ready to tackle my to-do list. This pink corduroy blazer is one of my favorite fall pieces and I love these sweet little plaid shoes as a fun pop of print. Also – I was testing out a few pairs of Warby Parker glasses frames this week and while I didn’t end up going with this pair, they made a cute pairing with the hint of pink!

Blazer is from last year but the brand has an almost replica again this year. Shoes are also from last year by Kate Spade but I really love the color combo of the alternative option I found too.


I love a ‘borrowed from the professor’ type look for fall – corduroys, slightly oversized button down shirt, tasseled loafers. Paired with this very luxe looking little bag and a silk scarf for good measure.


I love a fall floral dress and while I didn’t necessarily need a bag and shoes for a Zoom call, I like to put on a full real outfit each day even though I’m working from home to help myself feel motivated and put together.

Dress is Old Navy and Bag is Dagne Dover – both from 3 or 4 years ago. Linked similar here. Shoes are new and I’m so impressed with the look and quality for the price.


It feels so rare to have real “plans” to be out lately, doesn’t it? Aside from my virtual book club I also host a small group in person here in New York and it is always so fun to grab a drink at an outdoor restaurant together and talk books! This past month we read Boys of Alabama (if you like coming of age stories, literary fiction, southern gothic writing styles and are open to a little bit of witchiness – than this book is for you!). Admittedly, I ended up switching to a proper coat and boots before I left the apartment because it was a little bit chilly to sit outside and I’m glad I did! But before that – I really loved this classic outfit.

Blazer and shoes are both a few years old, so I linked similar below. These jeans are my current favorite pair – super flattering and don’t stretch out. Size down though, I’m wearing a 2 here.


I’m determined to start taking real “lunch breaks” again (why is this so hard when you work at home?) and head over to a small local park and read for a few minutes while the weather is still so nice. Hold me to this please.

Exact sweatshirt is sold out in this color but still available in a pretty burgundy. Otherwise linked a similar option. Boots are old – similar here.

Last Saturday night *almost* felt normal. We went out to one of our favorite East Village restaurants on a street that was buzzing with people, sat outside while a little band played live music nearby and enjoyed this perfect early fall weather. I dressed up in what felt very much like a pre-pandemic date night outfit. Just added a mask!

This dress runs a little bit short/small – I got a medium and am only 5’4″ and definitely wouldn’t want it to be shorter on me. I think it will be great with tights and flats too though. This jacket is 5 years old but the brand still makes an almost exact version linked below.


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Here I am – in the entryway of a new path so to speak. My last day at my full time job is in a month. The brand is restructuring for the future and while, after 6 and a half years, it’s certainly bittersweet – I’m so thankful for the growth and opportunities that I was given while there and for the fact that I had some time to prepare for this.

If you know me personally – you know that my career has always been extremely important to me. I dreamed of a job in the New York fashion world in the same way that I suspect some women dream of children. I plotted and planned and for the past 12 years – I’ve done it. And yet now, on the precipice of such a big change, I have no idea what I’ll do next.

Which is, frankly, scary. But at the same time – a little bit freeing. Maybe I’ll finally take the plunge and do freelance work full time, taking on a range of clients that excite and inspire me. Maybe I’ll find an incredible job in an industry outside of fashion. Who knows? Although if you have leads send them my way 😉

While I can’t control everything about the next few months – I wanted to put together a list of goals for myself outside of work to keep me feeling happy and motivated in the midst of this big change.

  • Keep practicing the piano and ukulele. I’ve been half heartedly tinkering away on both over the past 6 months but want to get on a better, more consistent practice schedule.
  • Continue working on my novel. One of my big pipe dreams is to write a book (or who knows – a few!) and I have a pretty fleshed out concept that I’d like to dedicate more time to working on. In November I’m going to participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) – a program that helps you track your progress and set milestones so that ideally you’ve written an entire novel structure in a month!
  • Walk more of New York. If I’m going to have a little bit of extra free time on my hands – and before the weather gets too cold – I want to walk and explore even more of the city. My morning walks that I started at the beginning of the summer continue to be a true bright spot and contributor to my good mental health.
  • Catch up on my “to be read” book stack! I’ve already read quite a bit more this year than I have in recent years past – but I’ve got a big stack that I’d love to get through if I have extra time.
  • Dream big for the future. The road ahead feels wide open so I want to do my best to push through the fear of uncertainty and really think of what the next 12 years of my career could look like. The sky is the limit, right?

If you’re in the same boat, you’re not alone. This year has left so many of us grappling with seismic life changes. But I’m choosing to look at this through a lens of positivity and with an open mind. Onward & upward!


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The Steele Maiden © 2012

Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle. Based in NYC.