Sign up below to receive the latest news from The Steele Maiden:

LET’S CATCH UP 2.17.23

I joked on Instagram the other day that I’m in my hermit era.. but in reality I feel this way every year around this time. I haven’t shopped since before the holidays/our trip to London (my goal is to get through February! 2 whole months!), in fact I haven’t done much of anything this year besides go to work, read, work-out, repeat. That being said – my daydreams are making up for the lack of excitement in my current calendar. Below, what’s on my mind, on my bookshelf and in my cart as we kick off a new week.


  • I can’t quite wrap my mind around the level of devastation from the earthquakes in Syria and Turkey. Here’s an article that provides a good handful of resources for how to help.
  • Are you waiting any good TV or movies lately? I want to finally watch Don’t Worry Darling and try Reese Witherspoon & Ashton Kutcher’s new rom-com on Amazon Prime.
  • It will surprise absolutely no one that I’m itching for a quick warm weather getaway. Any suggestions for places that are a quick flight from New York, offer white sand and clear oceans and won’t blow my budget?



  • I’m doing my damnedest to get through February without shopping (January is already in the bag!). But when I do start up again I’ll be looking to thoughtfully add a few transition pieces to my wardrobe. This striped cardigan feels like it would fit the bill. And this slightly cropped option is cute too and would pair well with spring dresses in months to come.
  • When bare leg weather arrives, I’d love to welcome it wearing this denim skirt and jacket set or this bright chartreuse gingham set. I’d pair them with socks and penny loafers.
  • I know I’ve still got a few months, but how fun would this disco ball dress be for the Taylor Swift concert on my birthday in May?
  • This woven leather shoulder bag looks way more expensive than it’s $139 price tag belies. A great transitional color too.
  • I’m in need of some new pants for work after a subway door incident caused a slashed rip in my favorite black pair. I’m going to give this high waisted pair a try.




While I’m in the spirit of yearly recaps (the best books I read in 2022 here), I thought I would reflect on my favorite purchases of 2022. These 10 items were particularly useful, infinitely wearable and/or just things I ended up loving. And – because I’m a sentimental shopper – I also shared 5 “bonus” purchases below those.. things that cannot be linked. Things that I spent money on last year that purely brought me joy. It was a fun exercise that I encourage you to try!

  1. Reformation Cynthia Jeans – I could write an entire love letter to these jeans. They look vintage yet modern, hold their shape through a bunch of wears (I strongly disagree with washing jeans after just one wear) and are perfectly rigid, high-waisted, curve hugging in a true blue wash. In short, to me they are perfect. The price per wear on these is down to pennies since buying them in May.
  2. Warby Parker Prescription Sunglasses – It’s not hyperbole when I say these changed my life. I had been fighting the dilemma of wearing glasses but then squinting into the sun vs wearing non-prescription sunglasses but squinting to see distance for years now. This put an end to that and all year I felt a burst of happiness every time I put them on. I also feel very “me” in this classic shape.
  3. Tea Organizer – I bought this last January and for whatever neurotic reason it sparks joy every time I make tea (which is nearly everyday). Something about it makes me feel like I’m in a fancy tea shop with lots of options even when I’m barefoot in our messy kitchen.
  4. High Top Converse in Parchment – It took me almost a month last spring to track these down in my size in the vintage-looking parchment color, but ever since they’ve been on my feet about 5 days a week. From traipsing through Paris to commuting to work, they felt cool with dresses, easy with jeans and practical/comfortable enough to get my 10k steps in.
  5. Neely & Chloe Black Top Handle Bag – I picked this up in their Black Friday sale after being really impressed by the quality and timeless appeal on a couple of other bags I have from the brand. I wanted an update to the black crossbody bag I’ve been carrying for about 6 years and love this one. I carried it all over London and love that it can go from day to night if need be.
  6. Handheld Steamer – I’ve talked before about my love of steaming but in case you’re new here – I haven’t ironed in probably 5 years but am instead, devoted entirely to steaming everything I wear before I put it on. Wrinkles make even the best clothes look cheap to me and irons are very harsh on fabrics. Anyway, I bought a new handheld steamer this year and love this little guy. Small, lightweight and instantly hot. Highly recommend for steaming at home or domestic travel (it’s not dual voltage).
  7. J.Crew Silk Slip Skirt in Camel – I love a piece that can be worn year round and this one fits the bill. I’ve worn it with simple sandals and the aforementioned perfect white tee in summer. With a sweater and ankle boots in fall. And now, with tights, the heels and a tweed blazer in winter. It can be dressed up or down and has a beautiful drape to it. Comes in lots of colors too!
  8. Alexis Bittar Two Tone Hoop Earrings – A super wearable medium size, lightweight and with two tone metal and the tiniest hint of crystal sparkle. So basically they go with everything, day or night. I wear them at least a few times every week.
  9. Franco Sarto Black Knee High Boots – The brand was kind enough to gift this pair to me in the Fall and since then I’ve worn them on constant rotation. They have a 90s appeal to me and are almost shockingly comfortable for all day wear.
  10. J.Crew Vintage Cotton Crewneck T-Shirt – I bought this in white and black in my usual size and they’re possibly my favorite basic t-shirt I’ve ever worn. Lightweight but not sheer. Boxy and slightly slouchy but still flattering and just fitted enough. I already need to go back and buy more in multiples.


Now.. the “just for fun” favorites (outside of plane tickets that is):

  1. Rococo Fashion Bookmarks at Versailles: One thing about me is that I love a museum gift shop. When we were visiting Versailles I spotted this set of funny little paper doll-esque bookmarks in the fashion style of Marie Antoinette’s Rococo Era. I bought a set for myself and my best friend Claire (the only other person in this world I knew would be equally excited by them) and they truly spark joy for me every time I open a book.
  2. Harry Styles Tickets: This one is likely pretty self explanatory but that show was just SO happy. Dancing in the aisles, feathers flying off of boas, face hurting from smiling so much kind of happy. Also I don’t think there’s anyone else operating at Harry’s level right now – all of Madison Square Garden just losing their mind for him. It was a bit like what I imagine seeing Elvis in his heyday to have felt like. Probably the most expensive thing on this list but I have no regrets. 
  3. A basket of beach fries from Rippers at Rockaway Beach over Memorial Day Weekend: It was our first beach day of the season and I remember just feeling so happy to feel warm and be hanging out on the sand. I can picture what I was wearing and exactly how they tasted. $5 (or whatever they cost) well spent. 
  4. Rockettes Tickets: I’ve wanted to see the Rockettes Christmas Spectacular forever but always thought it would be too expensive or that it’s meant more for families to attend. Turns out? Grabbing Black Friday discount tickets for a 10PM Saturday night show, just Adam and I, was reasonably affordable and SO fun. No kids in tow needed. I loved it.
  5. Vintage Feather Manolo Blahniks: Are they practical? Not at all. Do I love them? Entirely. This year I continued to focus on building my “forever wardrobe”. Which doesn’t mean everything has to be a basic black sweater – it just means finding pieces that I love and feel collectible and inherently “me”. These ticked all of those boxes. 

Comments Off on MY MOST LOVED BUYS OF 2022


Have you ever seen yourself at work? Not on a Zoom Call – that I’ve seen ad nauseam in recent years – but without a monitor screen reminding you to sit up straighter or fix your hair. I mean, have you seen yourself actually in the process of working? Or parenting.. or creating.. whatever it is you “do”. I don’t think I ever have. 

While on set for a photoshoot last week I had one of our model’s playing around with my polaroid camera in a video we were filming. In the midst of this she ended up taking a candid picture of myself and the photographer on my team. Essentially a reverse view of what our own camera was capturing. In the photo I am bent slightly, peering up to the camera’s screen – mid observation. A note to adjust the lighting ready to slip from my lips, musing quietly on what I think might work better. The wheels of my work are turning. It’s interesting to see myself this way.

This year I’m moving to a corner desk. It’s not exactly Don Draper’s Madison Avenue view, but it’s something. And I often find myself thinking I’m not quite cut out for the job. Too young (although less so by the day) or small somehow. But when I look at this photo I see myself in a new way – small, yes, but in control of the moment. Here lies hard proof that I am someone’s boss.

This photo felt like a tiny sign from the universe to keep going (also to stand up straighter and fix my hair). Next time you think of it – I encourage you to take a candid photo of someone “working” and give it to them. It might be just the thing they need to keep going too. 



A little later than usual, but I’d be remiss to not post this recap of something that has such a meaningful impact on my year. In reflection, this wasn’t my absolute best year of reading (2020 and 2021 were incredible for me) but the out of the 51 books that I read, the 10 below will stick with me for a long time. Some of them have even been elevated to the coveted “best books of my life” list. Happy reading in the new year!

Below, in no particular order, my top 10 books of 2022. And in case you’re interested – my lists from 2021, 2020 and 2019.

Rules of Civility by Amor Towles – I like historical fiction but I often find that the writing is not as compelling to me as more modern, literary fiction. This one however really swept me away. New York in the 1930s, a female protagonist that I just adored, an imperfect love story. It’s going on my all-time favorites list.

Left On Tenth by Delia Ephron – One of only 2 non-fiction books that made my list this year. This is a story of second chances. A coming of “old” age story. A reminder to us all not to give up or count ourselves out no matter the circumstances. I loved it. 

Cleopatra and Frankenstein by Coco Mellors – I tend to lean towards fictional relationships that feel more like real life.. a little messy, honest, hurtful, beautiful. This book had such a modern voice and a central relationship that felt completely original. I’ll be watching what Mellors does next. 

The Secret History by Donna Tartt – The most backlist title on my round-up this year (it was originally published in 1992) this one is a cult classic to a lot of readers and a kind of pioneer in the Dark Academia genre. I’d wanted to pick this up for years and am so glad I did. It’s long but it builds such a vivid world that you really inhabit with these characters and I found myself not wanting it to end. All in all I really loved this book and it too has been elevated to one of my all time favorites.

A Marvellous Light by Freya Marske – I think I liked this book so much, in part, because it really surprised me. Fantasy isn’t my go-to genre by any means but this world, where secret witchcraft existed amongst Edwardian England, totally captivated me. Not to mention a very compelling love story at the center. A pitch perfect escapist novel to me. 

Sorrow & Bliss by Meg Mason – This book made me both laugh out loud and cry. A rare feat. I will say, it’s not an altogether easy book to read, but it has an unforgettable lead character with a great supporting cast and discusses mental health issues in a heartbreakingly honest way. 

Permanent Record by Mary H.K. Choi – The second time a book by Choi has shown up on one of my year end ‘best of’ lists and the only YA book on my list. Choi writes in the most realistic young modern voice that I’ve read and I loved this New York story. Is it weird that in my head I pictured the couple as 2019 era Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson?

Hollywood’s Eve by Lili Anolik – The second non-fiction book to make my list. Like the real life Penny Lane, I’d heard of Eve Babitz but found this deep dive into her life (and with it a look at 1960s Hollywood in its heyday) unputdownable. I read right before we went to Palm Springs and it felt so atmospheric and fun.

The Most Fun We Ever Had by Claire Lombardo – If you liked Commonwealth by Ann Patchett or Olympus, Texas by Stacey Swann (aka engrossing family sagas) I urge you to pick up this one that I absolutely loved at the beginning of last year. I still think often about Marilyn and David’s relationship.

Notes on Your Sudden Disappearance by Alison Espach – Another book I still think about often after having read it last summer. I devoured this over the course of a single weekend, out on the fire escape – sweating and sipping diet coke (it’s the sign of a great book to me when I can still distinctly picture exactly how and where I read it). I hesitate to give anything away here – but it’s a story of sisters and trauma and coming of age and I related to so much of it so deeply.



LET’S CATCH UP 12.14.22

Can you believe that we’re two weeks into December already? While it’s been flying by, I really feel like I’ve been making the most of this season… even if it means for a slightly busier schedule than my introverted self tends to like.

Below, I’m sharing the holiday outfits I’ve been wearing lately + what else has been on my mind, on my bookshelf and in my shopping cart.



  • We leave for holiday travel in less than two weeks – a fact that seems as impossible as it is exciting. I’ve never traveled the week of Christmas/New Years before.. are we crazy? Time will tell.
  • Before we go I have a bunch of holiday movies I need to squeeze into watching this season! We’ve already watched Serendipity and The Holiday and we have tickets to see Love Actually at our local theater which will be fun! Now to make time for Elf, The Family Stone, While You Were Sleeping and maybe the new Netflix one ‘Something From Tiffanys’ which looks cute.


  • Because my mind is absolute mush this time of year, as usual I’m working my way through my Holiday Reading List – a stack of books that I look forward to every year that are easy reading and essentially feel like a giant hug. So far I really enjoyed ‘Last Christmas in Paris’ and just started ‘All I Want For Christmas’ and don’t want to put it down!
  • My virtual book club chose The Measure by Nikki Erlick as our January read so I’m hoping to get a jump start on that – could be a good book for our flight?
  • I love a good memoir and there’s quite a few on this ‘Best Memoirs of 2022′ list I’d be interestedin picking up this winter.


  • Besides last minute gifts (insert panicked face here), I making my final suitcase edit for our upcoming trip and wow wow wow wouldn’t this brocade dress be chic for New Year’s Eve?!
  • I can’t stop looking at this $40 evening bag. Okay okay, it’s a little bit tacky. But also kind of fun for a holiday party?
  • If you’re in need of shoes that would put Mrs. Clause to shame.. might I suggest these? I have them and plan to wear them tomorrow night to a jazz night at Lincoln Center!
  • Sizes are running low but this crisp white button down with feather cuffs is finally on sale! I might not be able to resist.




Comments Off on LET’S CATCH UP 12.14.22

1 2 3 277

The Steele Maiden © 2012

Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle. Based in NYC.