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WHAT I’M PACKING: FALL ROAD TRIP

Adam and I are headed off on a last minute little Fall road trip for the next few days and I thought it would be fun to share what I’ve packed ahead of photos from the trip itself. This time of year is my absolute favorite to dress for so I’ve got a bag full of the best fall textures (like this floral cashmere sweater, this corduroy dress and this faux fur jacket) and a handful of fun accessories too (helloooo velvet headband, floral earrings and these tri-tone loafers). We’ll be ending the trip at the lake house but I won’t bore you with the oversized sweatshirt and lived in jeans I’ll be wearing there! In the meantime, I’ll be sharing the trip on Instagram as usual and bits and pieces here next week.

CLOTHES:

SHOES:

COATS + JACKETS:

ACCESSORIES:

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FALL CAPSULE WARDROBE: 20 PIECES, 20 WAYS

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It’s been a long time since I did a capsule wardrobe post/video and I forgot how much fun they are! And how honestly helpful they are – just to myself (although I hope for all of you too). They inspire me to mix and match the pieces in my wardrobe in fresh new ways and always leave me feeling like I’ve got lots of great outfits to reach for in the season ahead. Below, 20 pieces and 20 ways to wear them.

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ON LIFE: Q4 FEELINGS

I never thought I’d be one of those dismal people that refer to the most celebratory last 3 months of the year as simply.. Q4. But here we are. In the past few years as I’ve moved firmly into management territory, I’m constantly at odds with myself in October, November and December. At work they are the period where sales goals are highest, turnaround times are shortest and Ecommerce is generally in a state of stress. It’s an exciting challenge but I also can’t remember the last time I referred to the holiday in November as Thanksgiving instead of BFCM (that’s Black Friday/Cyber Monday to those of you who cook a turkey).

And yet – outside of work, I truly wish I could stop time in these months. New York puts on its sparkliest best, the weather is crisp but not yet too cold and there are endless events and occasions to attend. I revel in these 3 months.

So how do I balance this dichotomy? I’m not sure I’ve mastered it, but I do have a game plan. One – I ramp up my workout routines. This sounds contradictory but committing to health really helps to save my sanity between the early mornings and the late nights. Two – I put things on the calendar. It’s all too easy for me to be so enthralled in work that I end up missing out on some of the fun things that New York has to offer this time of year. But if I’ve put it on my calendar, I treat it just as I would a business meeting and carve out the time. In spite of however busy I might be. And oppositely if the calendar shows that work is going to be a doozy.. I know not to spread myself too thin with added events on those particular days. Three – I remind myself that no matter how fun or how fretful a season might be, none of them last. The very nature of this city, our careers and the seasons themselves, is that it all changes.

Might as well enjoy it while it lasts. Happy Q4 friends.

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(French Connection Dress, gifted; Talbots Bag – old; Franco Sarto Platform Loafers)

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ON STYLE: UNIFORM DRESSING

Opinions aside on the Royal family, I’m always fascinated by the way that fashion choices add to their legacy. From Victorian jewelry, influenced of course by Queen Victoria’s reign all the way to Princess Diana’s lasting sartorial influence and the current obsession with what Kate and Meghan wear. As the world watched Queen Elizabeth II’s memorial this past week, I’ve been loving all of the dialogue surrounding her approach to uniform dressing and how it helped to define her reign.

For a woman who often didn’t say very much directly to the public – she always made a clear statement with her choice of clothing. It’s an approach that we typically see from men, which makes sense since for 70 years she served in a position of power mostly inhabited by men. The result of her ‘uniform’ approach was a feeling of reliability and sensibility – even when it was a lime green skirt suit in her case.

And while I’m not sure that I would go so far as adapting my own full uniform, I have noticed that when it comes to workwear I have largely begun to follow a formula of sorts. This time of year that means a blazer, t-shirt and jeans or trousers. A structured shift dress layered with a collared shirt. Or, in the case of this tweed number, a matching set. I know I feel good in these pieces, so I don’t have to worry about the fussiness of an outfit distracting me from the work at hand. My employees know what to expect from me (which may sound trivial, but take if from her Majesty, it adds stability and sets a tone). And frankly, it makes the mornings a whole lot easier because I can mix and match all of these pieces easily.

I don’t suspect that anyone will be writing think pieces about King Charles wardrobe anytime soon.. and for that reason alone, I must say, I’ll miss the Queen.

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LET’S CATCH UP 9.5.22

After a restful long weekend, I’m feeling ready to dive head first into a short work week and the fall season ahead. We spent a lot of the past 6 weeks out of town on the weekends so I’m really excited to have no plans to leave the city for the rest of this month. Below, what’s on my mind, on my bookshelf and in my online shopping carts.

*photo above from this post last year – I promise I’m shooting lots of new content soon!

ON MY MIND:

  • We’re seeing Harry Styles at Madison Square Garden on Thursday night and I cannot wait! We actually saw him play there in 2019 on his first solo tour, but since his rocket to super-stardom since then it will be so fun to see him again in this context. I’ve heard that half the fun is seeing what everyone else is wearing at the show.
  • Season 2 of ‘Only Murders in the Building’ came out over the summer, but to me – it feels like a fall show, so I’ve been saving it. If you haven’t watched season 1 yet I highly recommend it as a fun watch. And I love the Upper West Side setting! Going to start on season 2 tonight.
  • Nate Berkus and his husband just decorated a Fifth Avenue apartment that’s to die for. Found via Grace Atwood’s blog post here.
  • I’m hopinggg for a Fall overnight trip up the coast to visit Salem, Massachusetts in October. Give me all the real life Practical Magic vibes please. Have you ever been?

ON MY BOOKSHELF:

  • I love to read seasonally, so Fall often means books set in academia, thrillers, moody literary fiction or atmospheric novels set in Autumn. And if I can help it, a witchy read or two.
  • Originally published in 1992, The Secret History is arguably the original in the ‘dark academia’ genre. I just started and the New England campus setting is perfect for kicking off fall.
  • My New York book club is reading When We Lost Our Heads – set in early 19th century Montreal and following a pair of young girls that quickly become engaged in a dangerous friendship.
  • I’m slowly making my way through Jane Austen’s Persuasion. While it’s short, the language is pretty dense so I’m taking my time. Going to treat myself to watching the recent movie adaptation on Netflix when I’m done!
  • In an opposite and frivolous direction, after loving The Ex Hex last year (think Gilmore Girls with a dose of magic) – I’m preordering the sequel The Kiss Curse so that it will be ready and waiting for October reading.

IN MY CART:

  • The Labor Day Sales really got a hold of me this year. Luckily it was almost all things that I’d been patiently eyeing and was able to scoop up at a good deal.
  • How cute is this mod little tweed mini skirt and matching jacket set? I can already picture a million ways I’d wear these pieces. *Adds to cart*.
  • I love an oversized borrowed from the boys style button-down shirt. This white one looks perfectly cut and is 25% off right now.
  • I used this micro retinol serum last fall and saw a noticeable improvement in the tone and texture of my skin, without any of the harsh effects of a full-fledged retinol cream. Of course, once I ran out I failed to replace it. Just noticed it’s 25% off right now so I’m re-ordering!
  • Everlane is running a sale on denim right now and since the other pair I have from the brand has held up really well, I’m going to try this high waisted straight leg pair in a dark wash.
  • I just re-stocked on all my favorite hot tea flavors since we’re about to enter the season of an evening mug-full each night. I’ll be sipping Paris and Hot Cinnamon Spice out of my cute new pumpkin mug as the weather cools.
  • Call me crazy.. but I can’t stop thinking about this leopard print trench coat. It’s bold, but with aforementioned jeans, white button down and a pair of patent loafers I think that it would lean more towards chic and classic? Under $200 and a piece I think I’d keep in my wardrobe forever.
  • Sezane rarely offers sales so when I saw $30 off with code LASTHOORAH I grabbed this sweater I’d been longingly looking at for the past month.

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The Steele Maiden © 2012

Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle. Based in NYC.