Hot Off The Runaway

{top trends from new york fashion week that you can wear now}

Every year, February not only brings cooler temps to New York City, but also fashionistas from all over the globe.  But, since the fashion industry tends to move a couple seasons ahead of the rest of us, the looks are not always wearable in the moment.  With that said, we put a little thought into it and came up with our favorite Fall 2015 runaway looks that can be worn today.

All wrapped up.  We’ve talked about how much we love shawls, and our infatuation has now been confirmed by the trend experts.  This is especially exciting because in our part of the world, the weather has been filled with negative temperatures and snow storms lately.  So, yes, large, warm shawls are much needed.

All wrapped up NYFW trends

From left to right: ADEAM, Richard Chai Love, Hellessy

P.S.  Fur was also a major staple on the runways (we think Jason Wu did it best!) – either in scarf form or as winter coat collars!

Fringe benefits.  Once again, because we called it first, here is a round up of our favorite fringe pieces!

Fringe benefit NYFW trends

From left to right: Eden, Ulla Johnson, J.Crew 

Wear a cape.  It’s 3 for 3.  Because we totally called the cape trend, too!

Wear a cape NYFW Trends

Kelly Gallagher, Wendy Nichol, See by Chloe

It’s so 70s.  It seems that the 1970s are truly making a comeback (this one we didn’t foretell, unfortunately).  So, short of bringing out your clothes from high school and/or college grunge-meets-70s days, the best way to wear this trend right now is through patterns – the more colorful, the better!

70s prints NYFW Trends

From left to right: Guilietta,  Anna Sui, Trina Turk

To shop this look, we recommend (all on sale too!): this Thakoon ruffle side top, this Missoni knit dress, or an Issa mini dress.  And, for you bold ladies who can rock a statement pant, we adore these Alice + Olivia high waisted floral pintuck pants!

What were some of your favorite looks from this season’s collection?

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All photos via Style.com

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Our Favorite Sweater Jackets

{why we love the sweater-jacket and you should too}

Our friend Hanna has raved about the swazer (her name for the sweater/blazer) before, and for good reason.  It’s functional, comfortable, chic, and ideal for the cold weather.  We love sporting a sweater jacket with skinny black pants or wide-leg trousers, a basic white tee and a pair of sleek heels or flats for an effortlessly comfortably yet professional look.

Here are a few of our favorites (bonus: because stores are already rolling out various spring lines, most of these are way on sale!).

House of Marbury - The Sweater Jacket

  1. The one-button plush blazer, Zara, $99.90
  2. Wool Sweater Jacket, Tommy Hilfiger, $239.99 (on sale from $349)
  3. Herringbone Sweater Jacket, Lucky Brand, $119
  4. Double-Breasted Sweater Jacket, Ralph Lauren, $124.99 (on sale from $170, available in regular and petite)
  5. Contrast Collarless Sweater Jacket, Jones New York, $89 (available in regular and petite)
  6. Wool & Cashmere Moto Jacket, Halogen, $118.80 (on sale from $198, also available in black)

What are your go-to pieces for a comfortable, cold day at the office?

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How To Make The Best Lasagna – Part II

We prepared a little bonus post this week to follow up on yesterday’s lasagna noodle post.  Now you’ve got the whole recipe.  Can’t wait to hear how it turns out!

Ingredients:

  • 5 cups or so of your favorite homemade tomato sauce (meat sauce or simple tomato sauce both work)
  • Lasagna noodles
  • 2-3 cups of grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1 medium sized raw zucchini, finely grated (this is not a traditional element but, in the interest of health, I like to incorporate vegetables where possible – and I think the zucchini adds a subtle, earthy flavor that compliments a meat sauce nicely, in particular; it adds some moisture, too)

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  • A generous handful of basil, hand chopped (if you hand chop your basil it is less likely to bruise)
  • 3 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.  Warm sauce on the stove.

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Using a square pan, begin layering your ingredients in any way you prefer (use a smaller pan for a thicker, taller lasagna).  Start with a layer of sauce on the bottom so the pasta does not stick to the pan.

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Layer noodles, mozzarella cheese, a sprinkling of zucchini, and some bits of basil.  Assume you will have 3-4 layers and spread out your ingredients accordingly.  Salt and pepper each layer to taste, as well.

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Repeat until the ingredients fill the pan.

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As a final layer, drizzle sauce, the remaining mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, and remaining basil.  Bake in the oven until the cheese is bubbling and the lasagna is warm throughout (broil for a few minutes at the end so the top layer of cheese is well-melted).

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The homemade, al dente noodles, rich sauce, earthy zucchini, and salty cheeses are delightful.  This is light and rustic – just as it is meant to be.

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Love.

(And don’t forget about your malfatti leftovers!)

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What’s your favorite winter comfort food?  Let us know in the comments below!

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How To Make The Best Lasagna – Part I

{how to make our favorite comfort food from scratch}

This frigid weather has us craving warm, comfort-type foods.  One of our favorite recipes for this purpose, and of all time, is lasagna, homemade noodles included!

Today, we’ll show you how to make the noodles.  In a follow up post, we’ll show you how to pull the lasagna together.  The best part of this recipe is that it’s hearty and soul-satisfying, but healthful, too.  This is also the perfect thing to make on a lazy Sunday and to enjoy throughout a busy work week.

For the pasta, to start, you’ll need large eggs and flour.  That’s it.  Use equal parts egg and flour (one egg to one cup of flour).  I used three of each and this was plenty for a lasagna for 3-5 people.

Start with a mound of flour on a clean work surface (a large wooden cutting board works great).

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Create a well in the middle of the mound by making a circular motion with your hand.

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Crack the eggs into the well.  Drizzle with a little olive oil if you would like, as well (we don’t typically do this in my family but it does add a nice rich flavor).

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Taking a fork, whisk the eggs.  Slowly begin incorporating the flour surrounding the egg.  Use the fork to scrape slowly away at the sides of the mound, until the egg and flour incorporate and the flour begins to look like dough.

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Use your hands to incorporate the remaining flour slowly.  Once the pasta can be formed into a ball of dough without being sticky, you are done.

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If you haven’t used all of your flour, that’s OK.  You can use any leftovers to flour your workspace.

Divide the dough into small round balls (tennis ball size, approximately – maybe a little smaller).  If you have a pasta attachment for your KitchenAid, great!  You can roll out the balls into sheets with the KitchenAid.  If not, take a rolling pin and roll out the balls by hand.  It’s a good workout for your arms, anyway.

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Roll out the balls into long, flat lasagna noodles.  These should be as flat and uniform (in terms of thickness) as possible.  When you hand roll, they will be misshapen.  Not a problem.

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If you would like, use a knife to make the noodles respectable looking (and save the leftover strips – they make perfect “malfatti” – haphazard, “poorly made” noodles – yum!).

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Drop the pasta in well-salted, boiling water.  It will cook for 2-3 minutes, max (since we are making lasagna, it is particularly important that the noodles are al dente at this stage – they will cook a bit more in the oven as the lasagna bakes).

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Drain noodles.  Done!

Part II coming soon!

What is your favorite comfort food?

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A Guide to Professional Accessories: Young Lawyer Edition

{must-have accessories for young professionals}

This week, we’re talking about all the pieces a young lawyer needs in order to have a complete professional wardrobe.  To wrap things up, today we’re talking accessories.  When shopping for your capsule professional wardrobe, think classic, investment pieces for your accessories.  Specifically, we recommend:

Pearl studs.  We’ve debated pearl versus diamond studs on the blog before, but you can’t go wrong with a classic pair of pearl studs. Some of our favorites include:

A Guide to Professional Accessories Young Lawyer Edition via House of Marbury

A functional tote bag.  This one really depends on whether you carry a purse regularly or not.  If you don’t then you’ll want to invest in a tote that functions as both a purse and a carry-all.  For example, this leather Michael Kors tote is all about a professional appearance, but its size and structure will fit everything you need.  Other favorites include: a gorgeous blue patent leather tote by Kate Spade, a faux leather tote by Topshop (only $65!), a woven leather tote by Elliott Lucca in beige, and a Gerard Darel Hudson leather tote.

The best handbags for young professionals via House of Marbury

 

On the other hand, if you prefer to regularly carry a smaller handbag, then you may want to invest in a larger canvas tote like this one by Longchamp in which you can not only carry everything, but also fit your smaller bag in (no need to juggle multiple bags then!).

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A watch.  In this day and age of technology, we tend to use our smartphones for everything and watches seem to have become a thing of the past. But, trust us, you should have a watch.  For the times you’re in a meeting with a senior partner or in front of a judge (times when your phone is better off left out of sight), you’ll have something nearby to quickly check the time.  And, if you look at older males and females, the leaders of your firms, offices, and typically those on the bench, a watch is a corner piece of their professional wardrobe.

For inspiration, check out our guide to watches, organized by style preferences.  And of course, we do love ourselves a Daniel Wellington watch!

HOM - Favorite Watch - Daniel Wellington

Undergarments.  Although technically this doesn’t fall under accessories, it’s so important to invest in the right undergarments so that you don’t have situations involving too much cleavage, visible panty lines, blouses that are too sheer and every other clothing mishap known to happen!  Here are our tips on the topic.

For our seasoned professionals, what are your recommendations for young lawyers?

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A Guide To Professional Separates: Young Lawyer Edition

{the best dresses, blazers, skirts, and blouses for the young lawyer’s work wardrobe}

For law students and young lawyers (and young professionals, in general) who are beginning to grow their work wardrobe, flexibility is key.  A suit is a necessity, of course, but separates are ideal for casual days at the office and are far easier to mix and match, giving you many more options than suiting alone.

Law students and young lawyers alike should invest in two great shift dresses.  These can easily be worn with a suit jacket for formal days, or solo/with a cardigan/with a button-up underneath for more casual days.  We recommend something with a conservative neckline and hemline – aim for knee length or slightly below, and in neutral colors to increase versatility.

This Collection V-Back Sheath from The Limited in light grey is perfect, and at $68.60, it’s a steal!  Or, this Collection Sheath in black, navy or steel grey is also on sale and equally appealing.

House of Marbury - Dresses for Young Lawyers

In addition, you should invest in one to two good blazers or jackets, which can be worn with your sheath or with your suit pants and skirts.  Look for something simple enough that you can wear it with a bunch of different outfits.  Most of the blazers in our wardrobes double as great weekend wear when paired with jeans and boots.

Right now, we’re loving this Short Crepe Jacket from Zara, available in camel, black or red.  Or, this charcoal grey Classic Blazer with elbow patches is preppy and professional.

House of Marbury - Blazers for Young Lawyers

Next, a couples of blouses and sweaters are necessary.  You should look for pieces that can be worn under a suit as well as with a pair of pants or a skirt.  Sleeveless tops are great for under a suit, but if you purchase sleeved shirts instead, you’ll be able to wear them far more frequently.  A couple white/cream options are a good move, as is a black top.  From there, you can get more interesting since blouses are more affordable and your collection will expand much more quickly.  Plus, they’ll easily double for weekend wear.

LOFT has a million affordable options in every color and pattern.  This Knit Sleeve Tunic is particularly great.  Not only will it work under a suit, but it would look lovely with black skinny pants or jeans on the weekend.  Or, this collarless Popover Blouse from Banana Republic is classic, comfortable, and will compliment a variety of outfits.

House of Marbury - Blouses for Young Lawyers

Finally, a nice skirt and/or pant are great pieces to invest in, in addition to your suiting options.  Again, a classic pencil skirt is a great foundational piece for a young lawyer, as are a pair of skinny black pants or a pair of cropped black pants.  We love this Slim-Fit Stretch Cotton Pant from Banana Republic, this Pinstripe Pencil Skirt from Zara, and these Drew Collection Ankle Pants (also in petite and tall!).

House of Marbury - bottoms for young lawyers

Over time, you can pick up quality separates and your wardrobe will grow exponentially.  In the beginning, though, it’s a good idea to stick to a color theme (a focus on black, gray, and white versus more navy, cream, and camel), but once you have the basics in place, you can take more fashion risks and invest in more interesting and unusual pieces.

What pieces did you use to build your professional wardrobe? 

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A Guide To Professional Suiting: Young Lawyer Edition

{building your professional wardrobe from the ground up}

This week, we’re talking all about the essentials you need to build your professional wardrobe from the ground up.  Whether you work in a conservative or more laid back office environment, there are certain wardrobe staples every professional woman should have.  Once you have these staples, you can build on them in all sorts of ways, and slowly procure an ideal professional – and personal – wardrobe.

By way of overview, check out our Wardrobe Essentials page, which will get you on the path to a head to toe professional wardrobe.  And keep reading all week for tips on professional wardrobe essentials and more!

* * *

Today, we’re starting with the basics – the best suiting options for a young professional.  While you do not need a hundred suits to start out, you should have a few foundational suit items that mix and match, that work in business formal and business casual settings, and that make you feel like you are on top of your work game from day one.

Here are the suits and suiting separates that will serve you best as you are starting your career:

1. A Power Suit

Throughout your professional career, you will find that there is no substitute for a bold power suit.  While we encourage you to spend carefully and thoughtfully when you are just beginning to build your wardrobe, this is an area where you should invest in a classic, timeless item that you’ll wear for the next few years at least.  A great first power suit is traditional in cut and style, and generally either black, navy, or grey.  A subtle pinstripe or check would work too.

For a perfect first power suit, head to the Suit Shop at Ann Taylor.  You’ll find a straightforward but fashion-conscious suit in black or grey.  Not too much fuss, and just the right thing to anchor your professional wardrobe.  (Or, on an unlimited budget, opt for this Dolce & Gabbana wool suit!)

ATSuit

For something a little more adventurous but still a perfect first power suit, this pinstripe suit by Classiques is lovely – and would make a great staple power suit in your wardrobe.  We also love this gorgeous one button check print suit by Boss.  No matter your experience level, you will look all business in this piece.

CheckedSuit

2. A Skirt Suit

Our idea of a power suit tends to be a pant suit, so another staple in your suiting selection should be an easy skirt suit that you can pull out anytime you have a formal business occasion or otherwise aren’t sure what to wear.  A skirt suit is tried and true, chic, and will make you look put together even when you’re feeling a bit disheveled or overwhelmed.  At HOM, when we don’t know what to wear on any given day, we reach for our favorite skirt suit and a silky blouse and we’re back on track.  (As a hint, opt for a skirt suit in a different color than your power suit so you are making the most of just a few pieces.)

We’re big fans of this easy Theory skirt suit in black.  The open jacket is edgy and fun, but still formal and perfectly appropriate for business formal and other business occasions.

TheorySuit

For our petite ladies, this skirt suit by Tahari is a dream (and on sale!).

PetiteSuit

3. A Blazer and Two Separates

Finally, a great blazer and two separates that coordinate with the blazer are a must in your professional suiting wardrobe.  An A-line or flare skirt and a skinny leg pant are great options to pair with a blazer as both will work well in a business and business casual setting.

While we love a funky, bright colored, or textured blazer, when you’re starting out, opt for something that will go with everything in your wardrobe, and that you can throw on over jeans and a T on weekends.  This Banana Republic blazer is just what your wardrobe is missing.

BananaBlazer

Pair this with a great skirt – like this Halogen Pleated Skirt in ivory – on days where you can dress your business attire down a bit, or these Philip Lim crop stretch pencil trousers (or, these similar trousers at a lower price point (Burberry but on sale!)) when you want to pull off something a bit more suit-like.  Either option will work perfectly, and can be worn individually on days when business casual – or casual – are appropriate.

HalogenPleated

What suits and suit separates are you buying for your professional wardrobe?  Let us know in the comments below!

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Point Your Toes

{pointy toe shoes for every budget}

Styles come and go, but we’re firm believers that a pointy toe shoe is one of those classic styles that stays around despite the passing of fads and seasons.  The pointy toe is incredibly flattering and today, you can find it in a variety of styles – wedges, heels, flats, colors, patterns, textures – pretty much anything you fancy.  Some of our current favorites include:

Winter (and year-round classics)

Classic Pointy Toe Shoes for the Working Woman

  1. Classic Pointy Toe Slingback Flat, Tory Burch, $225
  2. ‘Annabilla’ Pointy Toe Pump, Ted Baker London, $200 (for the special occasions!)
  3. ‘Krowner’ Pointy Toe Booties, Nine West, $79.90
  4. Jovia Pointy-Toe Saffiano Patent Wedge Pump, Kate Spade, $328
  5. Leather Rhea Slingback’s, Paul Andrew, $307
  6. Betty Leather Combo Pointy-Toe Pump, DVF, $174.50 (on sale from $425!) + similar option here with a lower heel for $74

Spring options

Pointy Toe options for Spring via House of Marbury

  1. ‘Marlie’ Pointy Toe Pump, Halogen, $89.95
  2. ‘Bone’ Pointy Toe Pump, Ivanka Trump, $109.95 (also available in black if floral isn’t your thing!)
  3. ‘Deputy’ Pointy Toe Flat, Nine West, $68.95
  4. ‘Jenn’ Pointy Toe Pump, Sole Society, $69.96
  5. Patent Leather D’Orsay Flat, $89
  6. ‘Proto’ Pointy Toe Pump, Steve Madden, $99.95

Do you wear pointy toe shoes?

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Join us!

We hope you are able to join us for our next fashion, shopping + social event on Wednesday, February 25th!

HOM-ETCETERA Flyer

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How to Make Conservative Chic

{how to inject personality and fashion into a conservative workplace}

A reader recently wrote in requesting help – she works in an especially conservative office and is tired of the same old black and gray pant and skirt suits.

While some of us work in more casual atmospheres, chances are, all of us have occasions where we have to opt for traditional, demure suiting.  And for many of us, that feels uncomfortable and/or uninspired.

If you work in an especially traditional or old-fashioned office, or if you have a formal event coming up, consider one of these alternatives:

1.  A Sheath + Tweed Jacket

This collection sheath dress from the Limited (on sale for only $68!) + this Tweed Blazer from Banana Republic are perfect for a conservative office.  The black and white are classic colors, tweed is a traditional fabric, and the cuts of both pieces are conservative, but the pattern and texture and shoulder detailing on the jacket, combined with the neckline detail on the dress, make for an interesting and fashion-forward look.

House of Marbury - sheath and tweed

2. A Suit In An Unexpected Color

When traditional suiting is a must but you want to stand out, opt for something in an unexpected color.  Do not go overly bold with bright colors or flashy patterns.  Instead, try something like this mauve collection jacket & pencil skirt from the Limited.  A gorgeous, unusual color that’s subtle enough to work in a conservative atmosphere, but works equally well in a more lively one.

january15_suit_09

3.  Statement Accessories

Sometimes a black or gray suit is necessary.  But why stop there?  Use the conservative base and add selective embellishments through your accessories – a statement bag, statement jewelry, power heels, or a bold blouse.

We love these Gucci t-strap heels, this collared crepe blouse in crimson red, these Fendi totes (in classic black or berry!), and this double chain necklace to add interest and an element of fashion to our traditional suiting ensemble while maintaining the utmost level of professionalism.

House of Marbury - Statement Accessories

How do you inject personality and interest into your professional wardrobe?

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