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Today is my last day at home before being on the road for 2 weeks, followed by 3 months in a furnished sublease.  When I finally come to be in my own place at the end of the year, I can imagine that I will be quite eager to make the place feel like home.  My interior taste tends to look something like the workspace pictured above (a mainly grayscale backdrop, modern grounding pieces mixed with a few vintage items, pops of color, finished off with pattern and personal momentos thrown in for visual interest).  This also happens to loosely translate to my personal style, an interpretation seen at right.  So until I have a place to truly call home again, I’ll just be wearing it.  

(image, left)
(Kate Spade clutch, Zara boots, BCBG dress)

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While conventional packing wisdom suggests bringing basics and adding color in with accessories, for such a long trip I found it easier to stick to a basic color palette for each city (i.e. patriotic reds and blues in Austin, soft neutrals and pinks in Charleston, and bold desert hues for Scottsdale).  To coordinate with each city’s palette, I chose a complimentary clutch to wear for night’s out and then packed the jewelry I plan on wearing with those looks inside of each.  I’m hoping that this helps curb messy bag syndrome by day 4 and also keeps the time it takes me to get dressed each day to a minimum.  An upside of editing your entire wardrobe down into trunk-sized dimensions is that your true style quickly becomes very clear (see here: shoe buying tendencies in sandy suede, basic blacks, and mix-with-anything leopard).  The least stressful bag to pack has been the “car bag” including such essentials as bobby pins and lip stain to pull yourself together before checking in to the next hotel and a ‘Word a Day’ journal to sum it all up. Happy (last 36 hours living on the East Coast) Friday!

(all photos my own)  

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Nothing like the start of Fall weather during Spring ’13 Fashion Week to really confuse the seasons.  Luckily, seasonal fashion rules no longer really apply (labor day newsflash: white dress + black leather jacket and tights = winter wonder).  So I’m currently lusting after 3.1 Philip Lim’s Pashli satchel in Fall’s hottest shade, and simultaneously putting J.Crew’s silk shirtdress on my Spring shopping list.  And while I’m on a roll mixing my pastels with my jewel tones, trust me when I say that Clinique’s cream blush  (whether you go with lighter pink or deeper rose) is a makeup bag staple, no matter what the time of year.    

(Lust: 3.1 Philip Lim Pashli satchel)
(Must: J.Crew Spring ’13 Look 3)
(Trust me: Clinique Blushwear Cream Stick)

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With just 5 days left until my great American road trip begins, packing is accounting for much of my time.  While the fun part is determining what I’ll wear window shopping in Charleston or for a night out in New Orleans, the less thrilling yet much more important part is what I’ll wear to survive long hours on the road in between.  My thoughts so far include variations on the above: a stylish shoe that’s easy to slip on and off, jeans with some give, a casual graphic tee (this one is from the little boys department!), a scarf to account for the a/c vs. windows conundrum and a bag that’s easy to grab at pit stops.  The result should hopefully be a look that airs on the side of a wind blown and wide eyed Kate Moss instead of a beleaguered vagabond.  

(1. DV suede boots; 2. J.Crew Boys T-shirt; 3. Gap jeans; 4. AE scarf; 5. Ebay Vintage Coach bag

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We’ve still got sheer, printed pants, hits of neon and cropped tops to hang on to for next Spring, but we can look forward to adding wallpaper scale prints, boxy dropped shoulder tops, boy cut shorts, and some seriously killer new shades to our looks.  So far, so good Fashion Week.

(Left to Right: Honor, Jenni Kayne, Rachel Comey, and Suno)
(see full collections here)

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The Steele Maiden © 2012

Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle. Based in NYC.