Sophia Webster’s Holiday Collection for J.Crew

{whimsical shoes that work for the office}

Sophia Webster’s Holiday Collection for J.Crew recently debuted and is available for purchase now. We absolutely love the unique silhouettes of her designs and the gorgeous but unusual combination of materials.  This collection is especially stunning, featuring graphic prints and thick to stiletto heels.

As Tom Mora, head of J.Crew Women’s Design, explained it:  “Sophia Webster is such a natural fit for us – her use of color and patterns feels really in touch with the J.Crew DNA and all of the things we love.  We try never to take ourselves too seriously, and I think she has that same sensibility.”

Well said, Tom.

Check out the collection for yourself here. Below are our four favorite designs: the Nicole Calf Hair Heels, the Lola Pump, the Pippa Pump, and the Amma Pump.

House of Marbury - Sophia Webster for J.Crew

Which design is your favorite?

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Join the Tribe

{trend tribe jewelry – statement jewelry that supports a great cause}

We recently discovered Trend Tribe when we read Samantha Cooper’s lovely feature on Levo League, and we’re thrilled we did.  Trend Tribe is a jewelry company based in New York that provides college students with career experience and training.

Part fashion, part philanthropy, and part business.

Trend Tribe offers college students hands-on experience in fashion and entrepreneurship, while helping organizations raise money by donating a portion of jewelry trunk show sales to charitable causes. Each college representative, known as a “Trendsetter,” participates in a five-part training program that teaches skills in a variety of areas including marketing and communication. Once the training is complete, each Trendsetter is able to host on-campus events selling Trend Tribe jewelry.

The jewelry is affordable – all pieces are less than $50, with a nice selection beginning at $10! – and comes in a variety of looks and styles.

For simple wear over a blouse or sweater, we love the Layered Arc Necklace and the It Girl Essential Necklace (available in silver and gold).

House of Marbury - Trend Tribe 1

At only $25, the Black Collar Statement Necklace and Ivory Statement Necklace are sophisticated and versatile – either piece would add glamor when worn over a sheath dress or inside an open collar button-up.

House of Marbury - Trend Tribe 2

For a more elaborate statement piece, we absolutely love the Paris Necklace and the Tortoise Statement Necklace.  Both are super unique and would take any outfit to the next level.

House of Marbury - Trend Tribe 3

Shop the gorgeous collection online at and use code “houseofmarbury” for free shipping on all orders!  For more information on Trend Tribe or to apply to the Trendsetter program, visit the website.

What are your favorite retailers for statement jewelry?  Tell us in the comments below!

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Business Card Etiquette 101

{why and how to do business cards}

As a new lawyer (any lawyer, for that matter), you will want to get in the habit of having your business cards on you at all times. You should have your business cards on you when you are out and about, as well as when you are walking around your own office.

If you have not yet started in a firm or other legal practice, consider having some inexpensive business cards made so that you may share your contact information, as well as the fact that you are an attorney, with the people you meet, e.g., potential employers and clients.  (We love Tiny Prints for this purpose, especially this design and this design.)

house of marbury - business cards

[Photo credit here.]

Why Carry Business Cards?

There are so many good reasons to carry your business cards on you. Business cards are required in most routine legal settings, including client meetings, depositions, negotiations, and court appearances. You will want to be in a position to give out or exchange business cards in each of these settings. In non-business settings, it is equally important to have your business cards on you. You never know when you are going to run into someone who is interested in the work you do or is looking for an attorney.

Here are some easy ways to make sure you always have business cards on you:

  • Keep a stack of business cards in your wallet;
  • Place business cards between your mobile device and its case – since you always have your mobile device on you, you will always have your business cards on you;
  • Fill your briefcases, purses, wallets, clutches, suit coats, jacket pockets, etc. with business cards (this will ensure that, even if you do not carry one designated bag or wallet, your business cards will always be in reach).

The Ritual of Exchanging Business Cards:

When you are exchanging business cards, be sure to observe the proper etiquette for doing so. In most cases, you will simply hand your business card over to the person with whom you are speaking, or place it on top of a pile of cards on a table where many people are exchanging business cards at once.

Other times, however, there may be a specific expectation for exchanging cards. For example, if you are meeting with foreign clients, research any business card exchange rituals in advance. Some cultures have specifically delineated expectations for exchanging business cards and you will want to know this in advance. Since cards are exchanged early in a relationship, this is an opportunity to make a positive impression from the start.

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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Five Minute Makeover

{how to get your makeup done in five minutes or less}

One of our lovely (busy) readers asked recently if we had ideas about how to achieve a work-ready make up look when you are short on time in the morning.  When it comes to gorg makeup, my HOM partner Kate rocks it – as you can see from the gorg photos of Kate on Instagram!  However, as a mom of two, I relate to not having a lot of time in the morning, so I thought I would take this on.  Whether because you’ve slept in or you have little ones taking up the better part of your morning or you’re just short on time every once in a while, here are five easy steps that will make you over in five minutes or less.

1. Moisturize

First things first, no matter what type of make up you intend to do or how long you have, it’s a good idea to moisturize.  Even if you can’t manage to put any make up on at all, the healthy glow that you get from moisturizing is a great place to start.  I’m a big fan of Cetaphil, but any natural, unscented product will do.  If it has sunscreen in it, or if you can pre-mix sunscreen into your moisturizer, even better.  (15 to 30 seconds)

2. Conceal

When you’re short on time, full face make up (i.e., base, foundation, concealer, etc.) is unrealistic.  And frankly, over time, may not be necessary.  The more you let your skin breathe, the better it looks and the less you need to cover it up.  For those who are rushed morning, take a bit of concealer and dab with your finger over any dark spots, under eye circles, and/or blemishes.  Be sure to blend it in well.  (30 seconds to 1 minute)


[Photo credit here.]

3. Powder

A light dusting of powder takes no time at all and really ups your makeup game.  Opt for a shade that is the same tone or just slightly darker than your skin.  Use a thick, soft brush and apply across your forehead, down your nose, across your cheeks, and on your chin. (15 to 30 seconds)

4. Eyes

Here’s the thing about eyes: they’re beautiful.  The shape, the color – and how unique eyes are from person to person.  Despite all of the products out there devoted to making up our eyes, you need very little to make this feature stand out.  Take a thin pencil in a color that works with your eyes and skin tone (typically you can’t go wrong with black) and line the top of your eye all the way across (the line should get slightly thicker toward the end).  Starting at the mid-point of your lower lid, draw a line out to the edge.  Don’t worry about the line being perfect.  With the back of the pencil, smudge the lines just a bit so they are blended and any imperfections are no longer visible.  Swipe a layer or two of mascara. Done.  (1 to 2 minutes)


[Photo credit here.]

5. Lips

You’ve got time to spare here ladies so take your pic: A nude lip never goes out of style.  Just apply some moisturizing chap stick and you’re good to go.  Or, swipe your favorite shade of the moment – whether a bright red lip or a pale pink.  (30 seconds to 1 minute (if you are applying liner))

We’re not saying that in five minutes you can look like Cara Delavigne (but we’re not not saying it either).


[Photo credit here.]

What are your favorite – and super quick – make up tricks?  Let us know in the comments below!

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Autumn Dressing

{five easy and stylish looks to try this fall}

The transition between seasons can be a bit awkward when it comes to clothes – is that sweater too light for the temperatures?  Or is it time to bring out the chunky sweaters?  That’s where Pinterest comes in with photo after photo of outfit inspiration.  After hours of diligent research (you’re welcome!), we’ve come up with our five favorite looks to wear this fall:

Chunky sweater + animal print pencil skirt.  Although chunky knits are probably one of the best things about cooler temperatures, in these weeks of transition between seasons we recommend layering.  For example, wear your favorite tee or a simple silky top like this one by Philip Lim, add a chunky knit like this Alice + Olivia turtleneck sweater, and complete the look with an animal print skirt like this Worthington one on sale for only $23.99.  Note that a conservative below-the-knee skirt length offsets the bold animal print and makes it office-appropriate.

Chunky sweater animal print pencil skirt

Denim on denim.  Ignore those flashbacks to Britney and Justin in matching denim head-to-toe outfits, and focus on how cute this looks is.  We’re huge fans of the chambray shirt here at HOM, and now that the denim skirt is making a comeback (we love this one by Blank NYC and you can’t beat that price!), we’re quite excited.  The jean skirt will also transition wonderfully from summer to fall, since you can wear it with bare legs on the rare days that it’s nice outside, or add opaque tights and boots for cooler temperatures.  Note that this denim look is probably best left for your days off, unless your office is super casual.

Denim on denim

Tweed skirt + pearls + yellow cardigan.  Tweed can be difficult to pull off, but we love this look with a simple button-up and a bold cardigan.  For example, we’d pair this tweed skirt by Ann Taylor, add our favorite white-button up, and finish with a Lilly Pulitzer cardigan.  Oh, and of course, accessorize with layers of various size pearls!

Tweed skirt, pearls and yellow cardigan.

Let the coat do all the talking.  There is a lot to be said about a beautiful statement coat.  You can wear all black, black and white, or pretty much anything in your closet, because as soon you put on a coat like this Argyll Poncho number from Zara, all the attention is on how chic and put-together you look.  So, yes, that beautiful coat you’ve been eying is definitely worth the investment!

Let the coat do all the talking

Layer it on.  Autumn is the perfect time for layering – bring on the boots, tights, sweaters and all your favorite pieces.  We love how this look is styled with the long-sleeve striped turtleneck paired with a long loose sweater and the most beautiful boots! But really, the beauty of layering is that you can make it your own, so take the time to play around mixing and matching different items in your wardrobe to see what strikes your fancy – you never know what will work well together!

Layer it on

What looks are inspiring your styling this fall?

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[all images via pinterest]

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Hair Inspired

{inspiration for creative work hairstyles}

We’ve been waiting for someone to do a post exactly like this.  We’re so happy it finally arrived.  Check out these five chic, beautiful (and totally doable) hairstyles courtesy of Refinery 29.  We can’t wait to try them all – and to draw inspiration from these to come up with more of our own.  Love!


Check out the post – and the site in general – it’s one of our favorites!

How do you wear your hair for work?  Let us know in the comments below! 

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Professional and Functional Boots

{boots that’ll work for commuting and for the office}

A lovely reader recently asked if we could track down some boots that were functional enough to protect her against the elements, but also stylish and professional enough to be worn to the office and to a reception in the evening.  It’s a tall order, but we searched far and wide and found some great options.

No matter what boots you choose this fall and winter season, be sure to spray them with a weather protectant such as Aquaseal to shield your leather from rain and snow.  Another great trick for making boots more commute-worthy, is to take them to a cobbler and request that rubber soles be added.  The job should cost less than $30, and will protect the soles of your shoes while giving you necessary traction.  Try it!

Onto the boots, see below for a few of our favorites:

The Olivia Boot by Kate Spade New York is a perfect example of functionality and style.  We love the sleek design, flat sole and forgiving calf.  And, they come in chocolate brown, too.

House of Marbury - Boots for commuting and for work

For a more affordable option that already comes with a weather proof sole, check out these Pembrooke boots by Sam Edelman.

House of Marbury - boots for commute and work

We absolutely love the footwear coming from Joie right now, and the Daymar boot is no exception.  The high-shaft will help keep you warm, and the sleek styling makes these boots acceptable for work.  A slightly higher heel than the Kate Spade, it’s still entirely manageable for a long walk to and from the office.

House of Marbury - boots for commuting and work

For a more affordable option, these Sleek Black Leather Boots from Steve Madden are great.  The heel is chunky enough to give you stability while also making for a chic look.  Have a rubber sole added on by a cobbler, and you’ll be ready to roll.

House of Marbury - Boots for commuting and work 2

If you want more height, but are afraid to commute in heels, this Della knee-high boot from Coach (below) is perfect.  The wedge will give you extra surface area and stability while also giving you height and a polished appearance.   Or, this Obelisk knee-high wedge boot by Franco Sarto is another great option at about half the price.  Or, opt for these Pour La Victoire wedge boots (Kate just bought these) – extra high and extra sophisticated.

House of Marbury - Boots for Commuting and Work 3


Or, these Adina Wedge boots from Via Spiga are sleek and comfortable.  The dark brown suede is perfect for fall and winter.  And, they already have a built-in textured, synthetic sole.

House of Marbury - boots for commute and office

Have you found the perfect fall to winter boot?  Tell us about it in the comments below!

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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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