Be Still My Beating Heart – Fashion Inspiration Edition

{our must-have bag of the moment}

At HOM, we adore adore adore great handbags.  This week, we’re in love – and wholly inspired by – this amazing Alice leather shoulder bag by Paula Cademartori.  Be still little heart.

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It’s the perfect size for a weekend brunch or night out, the colors are so right for transitioning from early spring all the way through summer, and the studs and silver chain against the leather make just the right details.  If you’re not up for the splurge (understandable, indeed), use this bag to inspire a few new items in your professional wardrobe.  Consider a crisp white button down, a navy cropped trouser, a green skinny leather belt, and some red pumps for a pop of color.  Heck yes.

xo,

Team HOM

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Jump from Day to Night

{why jumpers are the perfect transition piece for the busy professional}

At the House of Marbury event at Club Monaco last week, I was inspired by Megan’s gorgeous ensemble (pictured below).  She paired a strapless, cropped jumpsuit with a textured jacket and a gorgeous statement necklace from J.Crew.  The look was flawless, and it struck me- it would be flawless when worn to drinks at a swanky cocktail bar after the event, too.  Simply remove the jacket and you have a seamless transition to a  chic, after-hours look.

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With all of the jumpsuits that retailers are rolling out for spring, we thought, there must be plenty that would contribute to great workday outfits, right?  As it turns out, there are.  Here are our favorites:

Top Shop is a go-to for hip, slightly edgy pieces that can be worn both to work and on the weekends.  This gorgeous Tailored Bandeau Jumpsuit from Top Shop is no exception.  The polyester fabric and tailored darting make it look formal enough for work – throw on a belt, blazer and flats or heels and you’re all set for a day at the office.  Slip off the blazer and belt and throw on a larger necklace or earrings and you’re ready for a night on the town. 

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If you prefer straps, this Lux Strappy V Jumpsuit also from Top Shop is equally lovely.  Or, switch it up by adding some ruffles.  

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Not sold on the jumpsuit at work idea?  Leave it to Trina Turk to change your mind.  This Lindsay Gabardine Jumpsuit is professional perfection.  The trouser pant, wide-sewn shoulders and simple v-neck were made for the office.  Throw on a blazer and in seconds the look is complete.  Or, consider putting a blouse on underneath the jumpsuit and pulling the look together with a belt.  You believe us now, right?

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This Adeline leather-trimmed silk jumpsuit is something special.  The silk fabric is soft and feminine yet sophisticated.  And the keyhole neckline is subtle enough to be hidden under a blazer, and looks great when revealed in the evening.

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Finally, although you’d have to find a way to cover-up the plunging neckline during the day, this Behait Jumsuit from BCBG is definitely worth mentioning.  The wide-leg trousers are stunning.  If you can manage a buttoned jacket or cardigan all day, then simply remove the cover-up and throw on dangly earrings, layered bracelets, a patterned shawl and clutch, and you’re dressed perfectly for the cocktail reception celebrating the new exhibit at your favorite museum.

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Are you on board with the professional jumpsuit?  Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments below!

Cheers,
Team HOM

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Le Dress Grand Reopening Party, Featuring HOM

{join us at the Le Dress grand reopening party}

It’s going down – Friday, April 25th, from 6 to 9 PM.  1741 West Division.  Le Dress boutique.  Heart of Wicker Park.

Enjoy cocktails and hang with local fashion bloggers, check out the revamped store design, shop new labels and, most importantly, meet Kathryn of House of Marbury, who will be sporting lawyerly looks from Le Dress and giving advice on professional style.

Scope out what Le Dress has to offer between now and then, and if you see something you like, get free shipping by entering “Marbury” at check out (effective April 15th to May 15th)!

Less Dress Photos

Come on out and bring your friends- we hope to see you there!

Cheers,
Team HOM

 

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Buy It Before Kate Does!

{office-ready dresses that you’ll love just as much as kate middleton’s new zealand ensemble}

When Kate Middleton showed up for a play date in New Zealand in a Tory Burch Resort Collection Sheath, everyone freaked out.  As in, the dress sold out immediately.  And we get it, it was a great dress.  As perfect for a kids get together as an easy, classic office look.

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Photo credit here.

Seeing as how that particular dress is no longer available, we went on the hunt for some equally great dresses that, as of yet, are not embroiled in a crazy buying frenzy.  Since Tory Burch made the now-famous play date dress, we figured this was a logical starting point.  This floral print slug-faille dress by Tory Burch is classically beautiful and feminine.  Great for spring and the silhouette is just right for any office environment.  Buy it before Kate does.

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We love all things Anthropologie, and they didn’t let us down in our search for great dresses in the style of Kate’s Tory dress.  This grass-tweed shift dress is perfect – the cut is conservative but clever, and the sea foam tweed is the ultimate spring color and texture combination.  Throw this on with layered pearls and a nude patent leather heel for a covetable spring look.

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When we discovered Etro some years ago in an airport in Spain, we never looked back.  This brand makes amazing, lively dresses that are ideal for office to date-ready dressing.  If you’re up for a splurge, this printed crepe dress gives the Tory dress a run for its money and then some.  Love!

Etro

What do you think of our finds?  What dresses are you loving for spring?  Anything worthy of the Duchess?  Let us know in the comments!

Happy Monday!

x,
HOM

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Stripes + Polka Dots

Polka dots + stripes

{how to mix prints… and still look classy}

We do love prints and patterns, but pairing them together? It’s a tough concept to grasp sometimes. But since spring is for all things new, we thought it’s time to give mixing patterns a try. Here’s the scoop:

  • Keep the colors the same, but the prints different. For beginners, the key is to match the colors. Black and white is the easiest option, but you can make color work as well! If there are multiple colors in one of the pieces you’re styling, then pick a complimenting top/bottom that brings out the dominant color in the other piece.
  • Stripes go with everything. Whether you’re wearing a striped top, or a striped skirt, stripes are the perfect foundation for mixing prints. If you choose to mix colors and prints, then you can’t go wrong with neutral colored stripes (like this top) and then a pattern of your choice on the bottom (florals perhaps?).
  • Keep the bottom solid, mix the top. If you don’t want full-on mix and matching, then go for solid colored slacks or skirt, and mix the patterns on top. For example, pair a leopard print cardigan with a chevron shell and a black pencil skirt.
  • Try it all in one piece. Still unsure about this whole pattern mixing thing? Pick a piece that will do it all on its own. Like this blouse featuring roses + stripes, this skirt with polka dots + florals (and sequins too!), or this black and white sheath.
  • Keep the accessories simple. Mixing patterns means there is often a whole lot going on in your outfit, so it’s important to keep your accessories simple. For example, go for nude (or black) shoes, or a solid color that matches a dominant color in your outfit.

Do you mix patterns or do you prefer solids and simplicity?

-Team HOM

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Style Inspiration: Christina Hendricks

{the ultimate fashion icon, Joan Holloway from Mad Men}

We’ve talked about our obsession with Mad Men on the blog before, but when we read Net-a-Porter magazine’s feature on Christina Hendricks, we had to revisit the topic.  If you watch the show, you know Christina Hendricks plays the powerful yet supremely feminine character of Joan Holloway.  In this interview, she discusses what playing the role of Joan has meant to her, how she hopes the famed drama will end, and about the many many facets of a female and how these can be expressed through fashion.

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If you like any of the looks you see Christina wearing in the photo shoot, simply click on the photo at Net-a-Porter’s site (not here) and you’ll be redirected to pages where you can purchase her ensemble!

What television or film characters have inspired your fashion sense?

Cheers,
Team HOM

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April Showers Bring Stylish Umbrellas

{stylish umbrellas that make rainy days less dreary}

We’ve covered stylish rain boots on the blog previously, but in light of the recent and forecasted rain, we decided a review of the best umbrellas was in order.

The key to a good umbrella is that it’s 1) sturdy (especially for those of us living in the windy city), 2) easy to open and close, and 3) conveniently sized so you can throw it in a bag or easily hang it on a rack.

Because rain is inevitable no matter where you live, when you do find a great umbrella, buy a few so that you can keep one at home, in your car and in your office.  Here are a few of our favorites:

First, we love these clear umbrellas because you can get the fullest protection from the rain without impeding your view of where you’re walking.  This version from Longchamp, with its dark piping and hooked handle is especially stylish and meets all of the above criteria.  If you’re looking for color, it comes in red, too!  Or, for a fraction of the cost, check out this clear bubble umbrella from Totes.

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If you prefer a substantial umbrella, but do not want to go with a clear option, this Red Zebras Umbrella from DIGS is gorgeous.  The heavy-duty nylon fabric makes it perfect for heavy storms.

 

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If you’d prefer a compact umbrella, one you can easily stash away in your purse, this Geometric Umbrella by Totes is ideal.  We love the black and white floral pattern, too.  For more colorful options, check out Jonathan Adler’s collection of umbrellas.

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This Fulton Black Stripe Superslim Umbrella is another favorite.  Its simple design and compact yet sturdy structure make it the perfect combination of fashion + functionality.

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For a slightly more upscale version of the above, this Zebra umbrella from Marc Jacobs is great.  We love that it’s compact yet still has the hooked handle and easy-open functionality.  And, let’s be honest, who can resist a chic zebra stripe?

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Finally, if you’re looking to splurge, these umbrellas from illesteva are absolutely stunning.  Handmade in Italy, the polished wooden handle and gorgeous yet subtle inside patterns are one-of-a-kind.  We especially love umbrella No. 4.

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Do you have a favorite brand for umbrellas?  If so, please share!

Cheers,
The ladies of HOM

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Fashion Maven, Part VI

{profiles of fashionable professionals}

HOM nation, meet Christina:

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Hometown:  Chicago, IL

Occupation:  Director of Product Marketing

Hobbies (aside from fashion):  If there’s one thing I’m obsessed with, it’s Chicago. New restaurants, lounges, shops, events, history—I love it all! I keep up with as many insider sources as possible to try and fool myself into believing I’m somehow more in-the-know than the average civilian.

Fashion inspiration: I am a Jennifer Aniston carbon copy. Black is my go-to color for anything from a Target run to a formal affair. I prefer clean, contemporary lines that give a chic and feminine look. And despite her pop-princess beginnings, I have wardrobe envy of Victoria Beckham. Now with her fashion line, her consistent pairing of perfect dress and fierce shoes is so on point, it makes me forget all about the pleather in her past.

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Professional style:  At work, I’m all business, and this applies to my fashion approach as well. I default to classics with a modern touch and killer shoes. You guessed it—I lean towards black as my foundational color with the occasional appearance of beige, navy or grey. It’s been a personal goal to integrate a little more color every now and then, but baby steps! Not only does this simplify color coordinating in the wee hours of the morning, it makes my wardrobe very versatile in creating new combinations. I’m a huge fan of staple sheaths, well-tailored trousers and structured blazers.

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Pearls are pretty much my signature accessory. You can find me pairing my studs almost every day with a modern, chunky necklace (think bold chains with delicate pearls). I’ve also become a religious watch-wearer; the recent trend of chunkier styles has really earned them a spot on my go-to list. Lately, I’ve been all about gold but have donned black for the right combination.

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Shoes are truly the closer in the sale of an outfit. Keep in mind, the workplace is not the arena for your Cha Cha DiGregorio pumps; a shoe for an executive meeting should be high-quality leather with a solid pump that can’t be mistaken for a stilt. I do, however, love chunky embellishments that add a little flair.

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What she’s most excited about right now:  The revival of the army surplus look paired with delicate pieces; it really caters to my overall style that mixes strong pieces with hints of femininity—and I love olive green!

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The one item in her wardrobe that she cannot live without:  Nude patent leather pumps. They go with everything and instantly make your look modern. For spring, I’m pretty excited about cuff heels and peep-toe boots; both give a really strong, almost industrial look with a feminine pop that will add some attitude to an outfit. And for the day after you’ve gallivanted in your heels, I’m loving the continued variety of loafers that make you look put together while providing stiletto relief in disguise.

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Taking Care Of Business

{stylish cases for your business cards}

As professionals, we’re all carrying business cards around as a matter of course.  You can throw a handful of cards to the bottom of your bag, or stuff a few at the back of your wallet.  Or, you can carry those cards around in style (we obviously prefer the latter).  A unique or interesting business card case is a great conversation piece and, as a practical matter, a great way to keep your cards looking pristine, too.  This week, we’ve found a few that we love, and that will add a little flair to your overall business persona.

As far as unique card holders go, this handmade, vintage-inspired piece is one of our favorites (not surprisingly, we found it on Etsy).  This particular artist offers similar, animal-inspired options for men and women alike, and they’re all gorgeous.

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These hand painted, brilliantly colorful card holders are also a favorite (also via Etsy), particularly for that pop of color the card holder will provide when you pull  it out of your bag.  There are hundreds to choose from, all with lovely little landscape-inspired designs across the front.

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For those of you with minimalistic sensibilities, this Acrylic Colorful Card Holder is the perfect case for you.  Small and sleek, opt for black or white or a bold pink for something a little more fun.  We love the functional design opening in the holder, too, so you can push a card up without too much fuss.

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For a similar sleek-looking case, this white metal one is perfect.  Compact and serious, it’s all business, only slightly more interesting.

Art deco and business cards are a match made in heaven (it’s the perfect little platform for a blocky, determined design) – and these handmade cases are no exception.  A conversation piece, to be sure.  And something you’ll keep forever.

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Finally, if you’re in the mood to be funny, this little briefcase card holder will certainly do the trick (we’re mostly kidding on this one)!

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Business card holders make great gifts, and in almost every instance you have the option to personalize them in some way (particularly so with the Etsy pieces).  So, in addition to choosing one for yourself, consider business card holders for a colleague, boss or friend for an upcoming special occasion, too!

Happy Monday to our readers!  Let us know in the comments what card holders you love!

Sincerely,
Team HOM

 

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The Peter Pan Collar

{adding a little whimsy to your business wardrobe}

We gushed about contrast collars last week, so this week we wanted to share another style that’s caught our eye lately: the peter pan collar.

Corilynn "Wendy" Dress

Corilynn is a small brand currently running a Kickstarter campaign to expand their line to include dresses and blouses. We actually blame our Peter Pan obsession on their “Wendy Dress.” How chic are these dresses?!

Boden Peter Pan Dress

If you’re a girl who can rock yellow or hot pink though (and aren’t afraid to make a statement!) this dress is so perfect for spring. The wool material makes it a great transition piece and the simple style is sure to look good on any body shape! Or, if you’re looking for something more appropriate for a cocktail party or a new little black dress, this Betsey Johnson dress is so chic!

ASOS Peter Pan Blouse

ASOS always has our backs when it comes to making trendy pieces affordable, like this white, long-sleeved blouse. Pair it with your business suit, or add a floral pencil skirt and a bold red lip for a bit of sass.

Black Peter Pan Collar Blouse

The detailing on this blouse is beautiful, yet the black color will make it easy to match anything and everything in your closet – from jeans to a business suit (grey preferably!). But, if you liked the contrast collars, then you’ll love this pink/white blouse or this black/white tuxedo inspired top.

Peter Pan Collars

If you’re still unsure about the trend, you can buy detachable collars and simply add them on to a plain blouse under your business suit or to a standard white tee with jeans and a cardigan for the weekend.

Do you wear the peter pan collar?
- Team HOM

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