With Memorial Day weekend in full swing, and a flurry of sales from many retailers, many of us are shopping in stores and online this week for summer essentials. So before you make your next online purchase, I want to chat about four retailers and brands that I have been eyeing lately (all of which have a little something more to their company, than just retail).
First up, Everlane. I recently had the opportunity to attend this San Francisco-based company’s pop-up shoe shop in New York City. Dubbed as a Shoe Park, the event was a fantastic time and gave me wonderful insight into the brand’s styles and values. Everlane is all about transparency … knowing costs, factories, processes, where clothing is sourced, where it’s made, and the story behind each of their items. Making sure to partner with ethical factories, showcasing exact costs of each item online, and creating a seriously awesome Snapchat feed, this brand has some very chic + classic-looking clothing for men and women. Although most pieces are too casual for a corporate work environment, I’ll definitely be checking them out for some weekend wear this summer.
Tall Tip: Women’s shoes are available through size 12.
Sticking with San Fran-based companies, next up is Cuyana. Adopting a “fewer, better” motto, this bag, apparel and accessories retailer designs life’s essential pieces with premium materials and gorgeous craftsmanship at accessible prices. Each piece I’ve been eyeing is the embodiment of elegance + simplicity and beauty. Plus, customers have the option of selecting “lean shipping” at checkout, where they’ll receive a reusable bag to fill with items and send back to Cuyana. Donated clothing is given directly to women, and you get a $10 credit towards your next purchase. Here’s what I’ve got my eye on for some upcoming travel to Chicago in June.
Bellgray is the third company to check out this Memorial Day week. Launched this month, Bellgray is a streamlined solution to curating a beautiful work wardrobe. On the website, Bellgray has selected pieces from several designers, and grouped these items into several work-appropriate categories. Whether you’re looking for clothing for a client meeting, interview, happy hour or casual Friday, they’ve sourced and selected enough options for all styles + tastes, but not enough to overwhelm shoppers. This is key for working women who don’t have the time to sift through the 1,297 results that appear after searching for a dress on the Macy’s website. I’ve got my eye on some of these beautiful looks.
Tall Tip: The Bellgray stylists have sourced clothing from Theory and Vince with longer inseams and taller proportions on jackets.
Last, but certainly not least, is MM.LaFleur. I’ve blogged about this wonderful company before, but in case you missed that post, this NYC-based retailer completely puts the ease back into dressing for work. Their goal … to make the purposeful woman look and feel beautiful, without having to work too hard at it. With gorgeous, versatile pieces that match a working woman’s dynamic lifestyle, and a plethora of ways to shop (in-home styling, visiting the NYC showroom or pop-up shop, ordering a Bento Box, or buying directly from the website) you’ll look and feel amazing at your next work presentation or meeting in an MM.LaFleur outfit.
Tall Tip: After selecting a product category on the website, make sure to filter by “Tall Friendly” to view longer-lengthed options.
Happy shopping everyone!
In any professional workplace, whether you work in a business formal environment or a business casual work setting, the jewelry that you source + wear to the office can convey a powerful message about your personal style and your professional credentials.
Wearing too much jewelry can appear gaudy and overdone, but not wearing any jewelry can do just as much damage to your work ensemble. Skipping a classic + tasteful pair of earrings, or a simple necklace can leave your outfit searching for more and feeling drab + unfinished. It’s all about balance, especially when it comes to rings, earrings, and wait for it … collar pins!
Rings - Rings are one of my favorite ways to incorporate a personal sense of style into work wear. Mostly because they are easy to remove. I recently found this gorgeous white marble ring from Mackenzie & Rowe and love how the shape of the ring exudes a trendy feel, yet the classic white marble adds a layer of sophistication + class. I often experiment with different types of rings at work, and if I have a doubt that a certain ring might be a little too “modern” for a meeting or presentation, I will leave it in my office.
Earrings - A simple, minimalist-inspired earring goes a long way in the workplace. However, if your personal style leans towards a larger/longer/dangly earring, try to source a larger stud earring. That way you are still incorporating your style preferences, but keeping your earrings professional in appearance. Avoid anything that makes noise, and anything that’s going to annoy you while holding the phone. Check out these affordable + chic + elegant options, both from Mackenzie & Rowe. I love the white marble stud earring (I clearly have this thing for white marble) because of its versatility. You can wear this earring with almost any other color in your work wardrobe. The same is true for the simple + minimalist-inspired rose gold bar stud earrings.
Collar Pins - If you work in an business setting where you must wear a collar to work every day, or you’re looking to spice up a more traditional oxford shirt, a beautiful + elegant collar pin is a great alternative to a necklace. I recently found these on Etsy … how precious is the collar pin with the cameras?
Tie together your outfit for work each morning with some simple + elegant jewelry … and just remember, your professional traits should outshine any jewelry that you might wear to work. Keep it simple and classic.
What are some of your favorite rings to wear to work? Do you gravitate towards a few pairs of earrings, or do you mix up styles? Would you wear a collar pin?
The clothing worn in a corporate work environment can often feel incredibly uninformed, and almost androgynous at times. Despite this, men are fortunate enough to have a wardrobe staple that they can easily use to display elements of their personal style, interests, even hobbies … their tie. Working women, on the other hand, often look towards jewelry to jazz up their work attire. But what styles of jewelry are work-appropriate? How much is too much?
My general rule of thumb as I rifle through my jewelry box in the morning is to pick pieces that enhance my outfit, not pieces that outshine it. If I am planning on wearing one large piece of jewelry (like a statement necklace), I let that necklace be the focal point for the day. On the other hand, if I am gravitating towards smaller pieces of jewelry, I will usually layer and incorporate more items. Here's what I recommend (and be sure to check back next week for Part II of this post).
Bracelets/Watch - Skip the Alex and Ani bracelets, friendship bracelets, pandora bracelets with a hundred charms … you do not want to become the office gypsy jingling and jangling every time you hit the water cooler. Source a thin bracelet that won’t get in your way while typing .. and remember it is okay to wear just one bracelet. I have recently had my eye on these two bracelets from Upper Metal Class.
I also love that a watch can easily become a useful accessory in the office. It communicates that you are responsible, care about your time, and I personally think it is a bit more tasteful to glance at during a meeting than checking your cell phone.
Necklaces - Statement necklaces are a wonderful way to add beauty with a oxford shirt, but make sure your necklace is not causing coworkers to squint as light reflects off the baubles. Pair a statement necklace with one or two other pieces that are minimalist in nature. Or, opt for a thin chain and and elegant charm.
One of the necklaces I have been gravitating towards, as the weather warms, is this pineapple necklace from Mackenzie & Rowe. I love how the charm is small enough to avoid distracting clients or colleagues during a presentation, but still allows me to express a bit of my personal style.
Hair Pins - Most women don’t even think about hair accessories for work. I recently started incorporating classic + elegant hair pins as part of my office jewelry rotation, and adore this look. Skip the necklace or pair of earrings and secure your hair with a beautiful hair pin or clip rather than an elastic band (or worse yet, an actual rubber band).
The endgame here is that less is more. You want to appear elegant + chic + polished at work, not look like a gypsy. Think about how you want to be conveyed … do you want clients to remember you for your blinding or overdone jewelry, or do you want them to remember your message. If someone happens to notice a bracelet, pair of earrings or your necklace, it should be in a complementary way, not because it was so prevalent they couldn’t get past it.
What are some of the jewelry pieces you most often wear for work? Be sure to check back next week for Part II of this topic covering rings + earrings + brooches!
Is there anything more classic + chic than a monochromatic black and white outfit? If you read last week’s blog post, you saw one of MARGE clothing’s statement looks included in the Spring/Summer 2016 collection. This week, I am incredibly excited to share this polished + professional look, also from MARGE.
If you know me personally, you know two things about me:
Black and White is Best: I gravitate towards black and white clothing for work. These colors are not only my personal favorites, they are immensely versatile in a work wardrobe. Especially if you are looking to make an investment in a few workwear items, choosing black and white means that you will be able to wear each piece with other colors, during all seasons, and have the ability to incorporate elements of your personal style with a statement necklace, silk scarf, belt, etc. while maintaining a timeless and upscale look to your outfit.
So it is easy to see why I fell in love with the Naja Skirt and Nina Blouse from MARGE clothing. With their elegant styling, and luxurious feel, both of these garments are pieces I can wear again and again … plus they make for an elegant + chic transition from work to happy hour.
The Naja Skirt, with its deep pleats flows freely and hangs beautifully. The length is work-appropriate and the a-line shape is flattering for any body type. The Nina Blouse incorporates a classic + traditional long-sleeve look, with touches of elegance in a teardrop opening in the back and side-seam reveal.
Fanatically Fastidious: I am INCREDIBLY DISCERNING when it comes to clothing … and I expect a lot from my wardrobe. I treat my workwear clothing as an investment, and ultimately this leads me to be selective in material (has to last), style (seasonal or trendy items are few and far between), and often leads to discouragement in finding items that fit my list of criteria, but aren’t long enough, or built for a taller frame.
With MARGE, my expectations are met. Each piece is constructed with the highest quality, focuses on attention to design and versatility, and feels timeless + upscale + luxurious. I recently asked founder and designer Kaersten Cooper how MARGE provides tall women opportunities beyond being able to source length-appropriate styles, to which she replied, “Our mission, our purpose, has always been to celebrate height, or length as a beautifully unique and incredibly positive asset - one of many assets we as women possess! Our design process, fabric philosophy and vanguard approach to reinventing fit for tall, invites women to elevate their expectations when it comes to their shopping experience! So, whether it comes to designing custom textiles, prints or colors, we aim to bring luxury to life with an eye towards exclusive fabrics in timeless silhouettes to stand the test of time. When you wear life well, you reveal your authentic self. Confident. Strong. Transparent. Honest.”
I’ll raise my glass of prosecco to that. Cheers everyone.
Tall women … if you haven’t already met, I am honored to introduce you to MARGE. This exquisite womenswear brand has been dressing tall, sophisticated, modern women since July 2015 with upscale statement pieces, timeless staple pieces, and luxurious collections designed to upgrade your wardrobe and bring luxury to everyday life.
Throughout this two-part blog post, I am delighted to showcase two looks from this elegant brand that are work-appropriate, flattering for taller frames, and pieces that feel so luxurious and special.
First up, the statement piece …
This outfit is an incredibly versatile and beautiful look for work, a busy social life, family life, and beyond. As women, we balance our complex schedules with such poise and grace, and the Hanna Pant + Anni Dress Shirt + Helene Jacket are perfect options for a plethora of occasions and events. As soon as I put this outfit on, I felt instantly elevated, feminine, unique and special. Each piece felt like it was made just for my taller frame.
And it was ... MARGE has taken a unique approach to re-engineer the way their garments fit, by including over 50 different measurements in their design process. As a result, each piece complements the unique stature of taller women and feels like it’s one-of-a-kind.
I recently asked MARGE founder and designer, Kaersten Cooper how the brand finds influences that play into the latest collection and she cited, “For Summer/Resort 2016, we wanted to create silhouettes that would embody the optimism - the enthusiasm for brighter, lighter, warmer days to come. Since Summer is a time of travel, discovery, freedom from the frantic pace of life, we designed a versatile range of styles that would invite our clients to relax into the comfort of their best selves.”
The Hanna Pleated Pant is the perfect summer pant for work. The silk charmeuse lining feels incredibly soft + luxurious, and the modified wide-leg look is both easy-going and beautiful with subtle pleat detailing.
I paired the Hanna Pant with MARGE’S Anni Silk Dress Shirt … another versatile option for those hot summer days at the office. This shirt has a playful + youthful energy, gorgeous embroidery, and pops of silk throughout. With sheer sleeves, it’s a cool (both literally and figuratively) piece for summer that maintains a professional + polished office look.
To add another layer of sophistication, I completed the outfit with the Helene Crepe Draped Jacket. As soon as I put put this jacket on, I immediately fell in love with the lightweight crepe material, the polished + clean look, the high-low hemline and the updated look of the lapel! This jacket is a fantastic alternative to the traditional two-button blazer, and a piece that can be worn in any season.
What do you think? And please check back next week for Part II, the staple piece (and my two personal favorite items from MARGE’s entire collection)!
Sourcing + curating stylish work wear for chic, polished, professional and classy ladies everywhere ... thanks for following along!
Work wear, corporate styles and and business fashions for chic + corporate women.