Are You My Mentor?

{the importance of mentorship in your career}

Lately, we have been thinking a lot about mentorship and the value of having someone who is looking out for you and advocating for your success.  Without our mentors, in the early years of our legal career we would have been lost in the substantive, technical, and interpersonal aspects of law firm practice.  The right mentor can change everything.

House of Marbury - Mentorship

This week, if you have not already done so, think about selecting a mentor for your career.  Your success depends on it.

When choosing your mentor, keep the following guidelines in mind:

  1. Choose Someone Internal: Your mentor should be someone internal (and not your uncle who is a lawyer in the Cayman Islands).  Your mentor should be in a position to help you decipher and navigate your specific office dynamics.
  2. Choose Someone In Your Practice Group: Choosing a mentor in your specific practice group will ensure that your mentor can help you on a day to day basis with any substantive questions you may have.  Your mentor may also prove to be a good source of work when you are slow.
  3. Choose Someone Who Is Trustworthy: From time to time, you will have to rely on your mentor to help you negotiate sensitive issues, whether personal or legal practice related.  Your mentor must be someone you can trust.  While trust is a difficult thing to gauge at first, seek out someone who does not gossip or speak badly of others.  This is the type of mentor who will keep your confidences, as well.
  4. Choose Someone Who Is Sociable:The best mentors are sociable and well-liked in your office.  If your mentor is an outsider, he or she will likely not be in a good position to help you understand and integrate into your firm or other legal practice.
  5. Choose Someone Who Is Reasonably Busy: While this may sound counter intuitive, you want a mentor who is well-regarded from a work standpoint.  As mentioned above, a busy mentor will prove to be a good source of work, as well.  (Of course, when relying on your mentor, whether your mentor is busy or not, be mindful and respectful of his or her time.)
  6. Choose Someone Who Has Been With Your Office 5+ Years: It is important that your mentor actually understand your substantive legal practice as well as the office in which you practice.  In fewer than 5 years, it is difficult to have a comprehensive understanding of either of these things.

Make an effort to secure mentorship early in your career.  And strive to be a mentor to someone more junior to you down the line.

Want more inside tips on thriving in your legal practice?  Buy Desiree’s book, Thrive – A New Lawyer’s Guide to Law Firm Practice.

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Monochrome Mad

{wearing monochrome to the office}

We love a nice clean look for the office.  One of the best ways to achieve this is to go sleek and chic in monochrome.  By way of background, the word monochrome derives from photography and is a term for pairing black and white together or pairing varying shades of the same color.  And both options are perfect for business and business casual attire.

Black And White Monochrome

Monochrome Dress

[Photo credit here.]

To achieve a perfect black and white monochrome business casual look, you have a few options.  Go for a shift dress in monochrome for a one-stop, complete monochrome look.  We are obsessed with this St. John Collection black and white flare dress or, for something more affordable, this DVF wrap dress is to-die-for beautiful.


Or, opt for an oversized cable knit white sweater, simple black pencil skirt, and quilted boots in black like this gorgeous pair from Banana Republic.  Pair with funky pearl studs to amp up the look.  Clean, smart, and beautiful.



QulitedBootieScreen Shot 2014-10-18 at 9.59.06 AM

For a monochrome business look, this black pant suit by Halogen is perfection.


Pair with a white silk blouse and cute black studs like this pair by Tory Burch.  A statement coat like this Cocoon Coat by Banana Republic completes the look.

Work Coat

Varying Shades Of One Color

olivia palermo

Monochrome in the same color is an art.  Choose items that are either identical in tone (and fabric) or clearly different so it’s plain the pairings were deliberate.  We love this monochrome burgundy look (and the statement necklace over the turtleneck is brilliant in the way only Olivia P. can be) – it’s sophisticated and feels easy, though there is so much depth to it, too.  For a work appropriate look that is similar, go for this statement faux-pleated leather skirt and long sleeve sheer tunic (under $40!) (note the contrasting materials and shades for a deliberate, stylized look).  Opt for a burgundy sash and this two-toned bootie to pull the whole look together.





How do you do monochrome?  Tell us in the comments below!   

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Fringe Benefits

{the best items to buy for fall’s fringe trend}

The best items to buy for the fringe trend via House of Marbury

Only Olivia Palermo can step out in a fringe suede skirt and a brown suede button-down (complete with a braid) and still look totally classy and fashionable.  But, as usual, we’re smitten with the trend and eager to make it our own.  So, we scoured the Internet and found the following fringe-worthy items to add to our fall shopping list:

This Moschino Jeans Vintage Fringe Skirt has all the makings of a 1920’s flapper look.  Wear it with a sparkly top for a special occasion, or add black opaque tights and a white button-down for a professional look (although we highly recommend adding a black slip underneath so the fringe isn’t too distracting in a more conservative work environment).

Moschino Jeans Vintage Fringe Skirt via HOM

Not a fan of the long fringe look?  Try this layered fringe skirt by Laviniaturra instead.  It is more subtle in terms of the fringe, but makes a statement of its own, without a doubt.

Laviniaturra Knee Length Skirt

Or, if you’re looking for an investment piece (and want to copy Olivia’s look!), you can buy a similar skirt designed by Michael Kors here.

If you have a special occasion coming up soon, slip into this black stretch-crepe fringe dress by Kate Moss for Topshop - so sexy, simple, and oh, so perfect!  A more affordable option can be found here.

Kate Moss For Topshop Fringed stretch-crepe maxi dress

For a more conservative look, we adore this Kay Unger fringed dress – just look at that detailing on the skirt!

Kay Unger Fringed Dress

And don’t worry, it’s not all about black with this trend.  This Tim Ryan Chevron fringe dress has us dreaming of throwing a Rolling Twenties themed party as soon as possible!  In a more relaxed or creative office environment, make this work with a black button up underneath, plus a blazer, tights, and booties.

Tim Ryan Multi Chevron Fringe Dress

For a true boho fringe look, get this Ivona Fringed Faux Suede jacket.  Style it with a black and white patterned pencil skirt and a simple white shell for a fun work look; or jeans, a white tee, and ankle boots for the weekend.  Oh, and the real thing, a Cleobella Leather Fringe jacket by Free People, is absolutely stunning!

Ivona Black Fringed Faux Suede Jacket

Accessories are also a great way to dip your toe into a new trend. For example, this light grey H&M bag is a beauty!

Grey Fringe bag

Although, could anything be more perfect than this Saint Laurent Trois Clous fringe handbag?  The shape, ladylike structure and then of course,  the major fringe envy.  This cross-body fringe bag by Steve Madden is a similar style for a fraction of the price (the tan version is especially beautiful!).  Or, when in doubt, go for the clutch.

Saint Laurent Trois Clous Fringe Bag

Still not sure about the trend? Then try a fringe belt like this one by Stella McCartney - slip it over a dress, a skirt, or even pants to mix up your regular daily style.  A scarf with a bit of fringe is also an incredibly easy way to try this trend.

Stella McCarney Fringe Belt

For a more affordable option, this fringe swing belt is bound to make a statement no matter how plain the outfit. Just imagine it cinching a simple black sheath dress!

Oh, and ladies?  Coach even has leather gloves styled with a little bit of fringe. Yes, please!

Coach Fringe Leather Gloves


Are you trying the fringe trend this fall? Share your looks with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with #HouseofMarbury!

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Our Favorite Timepiece of the Moment

{we cannot get enough of this wristwatch}

We have searched far and wide for the perfect wristwatch.  One that’s classy yet casual, preppy yet sophisticated, one that makes a statement but is versatile, and one that looks refined but is not exorbitantly expensive.  At last, we have found it:  The Classic Lady watch from Daniel Wellington.

The thin yet large face is perfect in size and scale, and the simple markings and design are elegant yet appropriate for everyday.  We especially like the Classic Sheffield Lady and the Classic York Lady in gold.

HOM - Favorite Watch - Daniel Wellington

[Photo Credit DW's Pinterest.]

What do you think of the Daniel Wellington timepiece?  What wristwatches are you wearing right now?

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Time for Tights

{the rules for wearing tights and the best places to buy them}

We’ve covered the rules for when to wear nylons, stockings and hosiery before, but as fall weather gets in full swing we thought we’d circle back and revisit the topic and be sure we’re all on the same page.

In a professional setting, you should always wear tights or nylons as opposed to bare legs when the weather is below 70 degrees.  Bare legs are seen as unprofessional and many middle-aged and older individuals believe nylons are a necessity, regardless of the weather.  While we do not encourage putting on a pair of ‘hose during summer months, fall is the perfect time to stock up and add some fun color and texture into your everyday attire.

House of Marbury - Tights

[Photo credit here.]

For everyday sheer nylons in nude and black, we always go with the most affordable drugstore brands.  We find that higher-end designer nylons run just as easily, so why not pay $5 instead of $20?  One note:  if you’re pale like me, always make sure you’re buying nylons in “nude” and not in “suntan,” which will give your legs an unnatural tan appearance.

Basic nylons aside, retailers are coming out with all sorts of fun tights for fall like these Sheer Dot Control Top Pantyhose, available at Nordstrom for $11.  These tights would enliven a black dress + black bootie outfit or any simply-striped dress + pump outfit.

House of Mabury - Dotted Tights

We know that burgundy is super in this season, so why not buy some burgundy tights like these Everyday Opaque Tights?  Wear these with navy or chocolate brown for a rich fall look, or pair with winter pastels like the model (just not in mini skirt form!).

House of Marbury - Burgundy Tights

Add some prep to your step with these Houndstooth Textured Tights from Express, or these gorgeous Herringbone Tights from Anthropologie, or even these Argyle Sweater Tights by HUE.  These classic patterns make the otherwise bold tights office-appropriate.

House of Marbury - Houndstooth tights

Finally, we love these classic Black Crochet Pattern Stockings – perfect for fall, very cozy and easy to pair with a sweater dress or straightforward shift.

House of Marbury - fall tights

Which tights are your favorite?  Tell us in the comments below!

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The Best Office Flats for Fall

{the best flats for work from style expert, Bryn Taylor}

We’re thrilled to have style consultant Bryn Taylor writing for us today.  Bryn’s advice is spot-on and we love the flats she chose.  Keep reading below for an exciting offer, exclusive to House of Marbury readers!  Thanks, Bryn!

As a style consultant to professional women, I often hear about how challenging it is to find comfortable, contemporary shoes for those who don’t–or can’t!–wear heels to work.  Even proper ‘comfort heels’ can be downright unbearable to anyone suffering from foot injuries, chronic pain, pregnancy, or even self-consciousness regarding height.  This can leave style-conscious women pretty confused over how to pull off a refined work look when heels just aren’t an option.  Thankfully, there are some rules to stick to that will make hunting down a non-frumpy, office-ready flat totally doable.

I’ve broken this down into three categories of flats, with tips on what to look for within each style.

House of Marbury - Bryn Taylor Style

1.  Ballet flats.

(10 Crosby Derek Lam, Banana Republic, Belle)

When opting for a ballet flat style, think one thing above all else: structure.  This means steering clear of soft, bendy flats, and instead seeking out ones made with stiffer, more substantial leather.  This overall structure helps the shoes appear more intentional, as opposed to squishy flats you pulled out of your bag at the end of a long day.  Details like zippers or animal print can be done, as long as the color palette is muted, and the accents are kept to a minimum.  These choices from 10 Crosby and Banana Republic each have a splash of color and a small additional detail (ankle strap and zips), but because the colors are neutral, they’re not overpowering.  You can even do animal print like this pair from Belle NYC for something more dynamic yet still acceptable for day.

2.  Loafers

(Stuart Weitzman, Angeles by Schutz, Doce by Schutz)

Loafers get a bad rap as they’re often associated with a more masculine, professorial look.  However, thanks to their resurgence in popularity the last few seasons, a lot of designers are doing loafers in more unconventional ways.  They work well with pants, but can also be worn with skirts and dresses to the office.  Again, seek out structure and toned down details.  These ones from Stuart Weitzman infuse a modern edge to a classic loafer design by way of muted crackled gold.  The other two, both from Schutz, keep the color basic while playing around with subtle feminine details.

3.  Boots and Booties

(Belle, Zara, Sigerson Morrison)

Boots and booties can absolutely be worn in an office environment, but there are some guidelines to keep in mind.  First and foremost, the sleeker the better!  Avoid anything that looks too busy or utilitarian, such as an abundance of zips, buckles or other bells and whistles.  You should also try to avoid soles that are treaded, as this makes the boot look a bit too casual.  Smooth soles tend to be dressier.  Knee-high boots can also work for the office, as long as they’re understated in both color and design.

Need some help getting your wardrobe ready for fall?

I’m offering a 20% discount on my Jumpstart Your Style package (regularly $385) exclusively for HOM readers!  You can find more details at  Or contact to schedule your session, and include ‘HOM Fall Special’ in the subject line.

Here’s to comfier, more stylish workdays!


About Bryn Taylor Style

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Bryn has worked with hundreds of clients in both Chicago and New York, and especially loves helping busy, professional women look and feel their absolute best. Her wardrobe consulting business, Bryn Taylor Style, has been featured on CNN, Refinery29,, Mastercard Priceless, Dr. Oz’s YouBeauty, and Gilt City since its launch in 2011.

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Berlin Beauty

{business attire inspired by a recent trip to berlin}

Berlin is hands down one of the most amazing cities I’ve been to in recent years.  It’s New York meets Portland – art, architecture, food, forests, cool fall weather – with European sensibilities.  And it’s all so calm and quiet somehow.  We spent our week there mostly just walking around, and I couldn’t have been happier.  This post is inspired by a few things that struck me as beautiful in Berlin.  There was no shortage of inspiration for what to wear . . . .

Berlin Wall

business attire inspired by a recent trip to Berlin via House of Marbury

This fabulous image from the Berlin wall translates brilliantly into business attire inspiration.  I love the blue and purple hues with a pop of yellow and red.  Recreate this look with this gorgeous Stella Jean pencil skirt, a white silk blouse, and a red pendant necklace to bring out the red in the skirt.  Throw on some understated yellow pumps for that great unexpected color.  Brilliant!

Street Style

I’m no Phil Oh, but I loved this woman’s understated, retro style.  The bold print and warm and cool colors in combination stood out to me in particular.

Screen Shot 2014-10-11 at 3.04.34 PM

To capture the essence of this look in a work appropriate manner, go for a patterned dress like this houndstooth shift dress from ASOS, and go for the mix of warm and cool colors with these South Beach Resin Stud Earrings by Bauble Bar.  Love.

Houndstooth Dress

stud earrings for work

Fall Foliage

All the green and fall foliage in Berlin was lovely, and a good reminder of how to combine colors that occur in nature (credit for that concept goes to one of our readers who, in response to our recent post about wearing black and brown together said, if you see a color combination together in nature, you can wear it!).

Screen Shot 2014-10-11 at 3.18.39 PM

This forest green, cranberry, and burnt orange combination is absolutely beautiful in the form of these wool and cashmere Prabal Gurung trousers and this Dooney & Bourke cranberry tote bag.  Style with a black blouse and black shoes for a professional, chic backdrop.  Perfect fall weather attire for a more casual day at the office.

forest green trousers

Cranberry Work Bag

What’s inspiring your wardrobe these days?  Share with us in the comments below!

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The New Mrs. Clooney

{three ways to copy amal alamuddin’s style}

It seems like she became a fashion icon overnight, or more specifically, after a weekend in Italy saying “I do” to George Clooney.  But, in other circles, Amal Alamuddin (aka the new Mrs. Clooney), has made a name for herself as an attorney and human rights activist.  In fact, one of our favorite descriptions of these famous nuptials was this headline: Internationally acclaimed barrister Amal Alamuddin marries an actor.  London-based, the 36-year-old New York litigation attorney has a high profile presence on the international stage in refugee and human rights law.

Amal Alamuddin Wedding Weekend Looks - get her style here

Over her wedding weekend, Alma donned four looks that have gone viral: a striped Dolce & Gabbanna dress upon her arrival to Italy, a red Alexander McQueen dress for the rehearsal dinner, a lace Giambattista Valli Couture dress for the day after the wedding, and a white Stella McCartney pantsuit with a matching hat for the civil ceremony.  Oh, and a custom Oscar de la Renta gown for her wedding day.

Combine these four famous looks with previous street style shots and professional appearances, here are three ways you can implement Mrs. Clooney’s style into your wardrobe:

Find the colors that look good on you and wear them boldly.  Although Amal often wears neutral colors (black, white, and camel), when it comes to color, she tends to stick to the red color family (pink, purple, and of course, lots of red).  For example, Amal attended a sexual violence summit, wearing a red dress suit – a similar look worn by our own Kate last winter!

How to get Amal Alamuddins style

So, what colors and shades look good on you?  The easiest way is to find a celebrity or fashionista who has a similar skin and hair color to you, and then observe what colors they wear.  Since most of those women have professional stylists, they know exactly what colors are the most flattering!

Invest in classic pieces and wear them with everything.  Amal does seem to love her staples: a camel handbag, a tan trench coat, and a black leather jacket are the few items she wears consistently and for various occasions.  Oh, and of course, her shiny locks complete every single look (here’s our advice on adding a bit more luster to your hair)!

Classic looks by Alma Amalbuddin

Have fun with your outfits on your days off.  By day, she dons monochromatic suits and simple, bold-colored dresses, but in her off-time, she wears patterned pants (or ripped jeans), usually styled with a simple tee, statement necklace and a leather jacket or sweater.  From a distance, it looks like two completely different personal styles, but all of us have different sides to our personality, so why not play around with a spectrum of looks and styles?

Alma Alabuddin casual style


What are your thoughts on the new Mrs. Clooney? 

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[ all images via Pinterest ]

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The Best Makeup Tricks

{two great articles from fellow bloggers about makeup techniques and makeup storage}

We’ve been prepping our looks for fall and transitioning to warmer shadows and lip shades.  While doing so, we came across these two great articles, the first about makeup application techniques that will take your look to the next level, and the latter about the best ways to organize your makeup to help simplify your morning routine.

In regards to the second topic, we love these Acrylic Organizers from The Container Store.

Check out the full articles for yourself:

Top 5 Hollywood Makeup Tricks


7 GENIUS Makeup Organization Tricks You Can Use Right Now


What are your favorite makeup application and organization tips?

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Can You Wear Black + Brown?

{the do’s and don’ts of wearing black and brown}

A wonderful reader recently wrote in wondering whether black and brown can really be worn at the same time.  He is right to wonder – while black and brown can be worn together, there are certain rules that should be followed.

First, in a professional context, when wearing black and brown, wear a lighter brown so that the contrast is obvious.  Wearing black and chocolate, without incorporating a print combining the two, will look unintentional.

Casually, the rules are far more relaxed.  Take Desiree’s recent outfit combining a black and brown striped tee with sea foam pants.  So cute and totally appropriate for weekend wear.

House of Marbury - Black and Brown

[Photo credit and Camel Pea Coat available here.]

Second, when wearing black and brown, wear more than one piece in each color.  In other words, if you’re wearing a black dress and brown boots, for example, consider adding a brown belt, brown bag, brown scarf or brown jewelry.  Again, this will make the combination look intentional.


[Photo credit here.]

Third, wearing animal prints and furs is an excellent way to mix black and brown.  And, wearing all black + an animal print shoe is most certainly appropriate and encouraged!

House of Marbury - black brown and animal print

[Photo credit here.]

Fourth, if you own a chocolate suit, wear it with a neutral or lighter brown shoe instead of black.

house of marbury - brown suit brown shoes

[Photo credit here.]

Fifth, if you’re wearing black shoes, you must absolutely wear a black belt.  Wearing black shoes and a brown belt is a big no-no.

house of marbury - incorrect-brown-belt-black-shoes

[Photo credit here.]

Finally, mixing a variety of  browns + black is totally chic and seasonally appropriate.


[Photo credit here and here.]

Do you mix black and brown?  What tips and tricks do you use for pulling off the look?

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