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First thing first, I hope all of my US readers had a happy Thanksgiving and were able to relax and enjoy a warm meal with loved ones. Secondly, if Black Friday sales aren’t your thing feel free to skip this post.

In general, I’m not that huge of a Black Friday shopper as I think it can often lead to unnecessary purchases just because of a “deal”, but I certainly like saving money where I can. So I try to use this day to pick up select gifts and also stock up on any winter basics I need – like tights or cotton turtlenecks – that I know I’ll wear to shreds and can get for half price. And while I’m not in the market for any major home items this year, it’s a great time to pull the trigger if you are.

Below are my top picks from things I own and love that are now on sale and then a short list of the things I’m actually planning to buy myself.

  1. By this point you should all know that Talbots is one of my favorite places to find everything from classic wardrobe staples to fun accessories. You can save 50% off one item until noon on Black Friday and 40% off everything else. My holiday capsule wardrobe features lots of favorites from them – but my top picks are this plaid blazer, this fair isle sweater, these boots (I’m so in love with my pair), and this great wool boucle coat.
  2. We bought this rug from Lulu & Georgia for our living room a few months back and I’m still 100% happy with our choice. It’s 25% off right now and I can’t say enough good things about the quality and how it’s wearing so far.
  3. While we’re on home items – we found our new record player at Urban Outfitters and they’re offering buy one item, get one at 50% off. This would make such a great gift.
  4. You all seemed to love these corduroy overalls as much as I did when I wore them the other day (featured in my 5 Casual Winter Outfits post). Anthropologie has 30% off sitewide which would be a great time to pick up a few new fun pieces like those to freshen up your winter wardrobe. I’ll be stocking up on my favorite candles too – this one is our go-to holiday scent.
  5. I’ve always been a big fan of hair accessories, so I’m all for the resurgence of headbands right now. I just picked up several including this satin one and this plaid one from J.Crew – they’d make such cute gifts for girlfriends, sisters or co-workers. And since everything is 50% off their site right now, you likely won’t want to stop at just headbands.
  6. Mango has quickly become my go-to for affordable, more fashion-forward pieces. I loooove the look of this tweed blazer and miniskirt set and think I’m going to grab them during their 30% off sitewide sale.
  7. It’s been a long time since I’ve bought myself a piece of jewelry but I can’t stop thinking about this oversized pearl ring. At 20% off today I just might call myself Santa.
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I’m a person who really likes order. Who becomes sentimental about sameness. To say I like traditions would be an understatement. And the study of happiness backs me up here – children who are raised with routine and traditions (however small or silly) are more stable humans. However, I’m also a person who will do the same thing year after year, even if it’s become inconvenient or a grind, because I simply feel like I “can’t” break said traditions. Which does not always add to my overall happiness.

This may be the first year I feel like I’m able to loosen my grip on some of that. While I made a holiday bucket list (and shared it here), it’s just that. A list of “hopes” – not “do it or else you’ve failed at the holidays”. It’s okay to cut yourself a break some years. Or simply, shake things up.

If every year drive 2 hours to pick your tree at a local farm because that’s tradition but you have a feeling everyone in your house would be happier if you just switched to a fake tree and had it up in an hour – do that instead. If you think that ordering Chinese food on Christmas is actually what you’d enjoy more than spending 8 hours in the kitchen prepping a home-cooked feast – do that instead. Sure it’s nice to be able to say that you’ve done something every year for 10 years.. but it’s also nice to be happy in the moment each of those years.

So I suggest that you keep the traditions that bring you true joy. And the rest, allow yourself to reconsider. As long as you’re surrounded by the people that bring you true joy, it’s going to be a good holiday season.


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Admittedly, I’m not a super casual dresser. It’s not a coincidence that I choose to live in a place where if I want to walk down the street in heels and a fancy dress at any hour of the day or night, no one will blink an eye. But that being said – I definitely dress comfortably and practically on the weekends. And since we’re about to head into a nice long, relaxing weekend I wanted to share a few casual winter outfits I’m loving right now. The full try-on session is over on IGTV, but details are here for each outfit.

The fun thing about winter is that you can definitely play with extra prints and textures. Don’t be afraid to layer in a striped turtleneck. Or a metallic vest. Instead of jeans, try a pair of corduroy overalls or velvet jeggings instead. Casual doesn’t need to mean boring. Race you to the long weekend?

P.S. There are a few pieces you’ll see here that are older from my closet. Wherever possible I linked the exact items and in a few cases I linked the closest alternative I could find.






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Is there anything more fun than holiday shoes? Sparkles, satin, plaid, bows – gangs all here. While these are obviously begging to be taken out to a holiday party, I argue that you’ll get lots more bang for your buck (and feel infinitely more festive) if you wear a pair all throughout the season. Try sparkly mary-janes with jeans and a cozy knit. Or a fancy pair of booties with a simple sweater dress. And when you’re ready to go all out on New Year’s Eve – you’ll have already broken in your dancing shoes.


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Earlier this Fall I posted a Fall Capsule Wardrobe IGTV and corresponding post here and the response was so positive that I knew I wanted to do it again for the holiday season. I’ve been making a concentrated effort all this year to really only add pieces to my wardrobe that I love and that can be worn a variety of ways. Dressed up for a dinner date, pulled together for a day at the office or dressed down for weekend’s running around the city. These holiday pieces from Talbots can do all of that. They’re fun and festive but I know I’ll be wearing these long past Christmas and straight through the winter. Below, each look + links to shop.

Hope that this inspires you to pick up a few new holiday pieces to spruce up your own wardrobe and try a new way to style some of the things you already own and love. Don’t miss the full video here.






*A special thank you to Talbots for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions are my own.

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The Steele Maiden © 2012

Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle. Based in NYC.