The Top Three Colors For Fall

{the best pieces in fall’s hottest colors}

October is officially upon us and it’s time to transition to fall colors and fabrics.  Here are three must-have hues for the season.  Check out our favorite pieces in each color below.

Olive.

As a redhead, I love olive.  It’s a warm color that blends perfectly with fall browns and golds.  Stock up on silks and knits in this green tone and plenty of these pieces:

Olive Color - House of Marbury

#1 – Beckett Glasses from Warby Parker; #2 – Faux Leather Envelope Clutch from Cusp by Neiman Marcus; #3 – Double-Breasted Blazer from Banana Republic; #4 – Irma Nubuck Pumps ($100) by Schutz; #5 – High-rise Sateen Jeans from Anthropologie; #6 – Portolano Leather Gloves by Liberty London; #7 – Ready-to-Wear Pleated Skirt by J Brand, available at ShopBop.

Burgundy.

Burgundy, oxblood, merlot, garnet, whatever your name for this wine-colored hue, it’s a must-have this fall season.  Look for it in accessories or for all-over color in a jumpsuit or even outerware.

Burgundy Collage - House of Marbury

#1 – Braun Crepe Jumpsuit by Rebecca Minkoff; #2 – Halia d’Orsay Pointy Tow Flat by Vince Camuto; #3 – Nori Pointy-Toe Pump by Kate Spade New York; #4 – Scotch Toggle Coat with Fur Detail by Rebecca Minkoff; #5 – Laney Vegan Structured Satchel from Sole Society; and #6 – Cowl Neck Sweater Dress from Ann Taylor.

Cobalt.

You can’t go wrong with this bold blue.  Wear it with black and gold for a preppy, sophisticated look, ideal for the cooling weather.

Cobalt Collage - House of Marbury

#1 – Crepe Funnel Neck Coat from Ann Taylor; #2 – Mini City Handbag from Zara; #3 – Marshall Flat Loafers at ASOS; #4 – Maya Cropped Trouser Pant by Tinley Road; #5 – Licorice Pump by Kate Spade New York; #6 – Flutter Sleeve Blouse from GILT.com; #7 – Julian Jersey Wrap Dress by DVF.

What colors are you loving this season?  Tell us in the comments below!

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How To Handle Your Annual Review

{tips for making the most out of your yearly review}

For many of you, yearly reviews for 2014 are taking place in upcoming weeks or months.  Like so many events in the early years of your practice, your objective should be to take control of the course of your review.  Take an active approach.  Make an impression.  Rather than bracing for impact, treat your review as an opportunity to affirmatively demonstrate to the attorneys in your office that you are a superstar.

Job interview

[Photo credit here.]

Overview of the Review Process

If you have not yet gone through a review cycle, there are a few procedural items to be aware of.  Typically, yearly reviews are conducted by an attorney or attorneys in your department or office.  Occasionally (for example, if you work in large law firm), your review may be run by a managing partner or partners from the firm’s headquarters.  In all instances, the attorneys you have worked with throughout the year will fill out detailed evaluations of your performance in advance of the review, and the designated reviewing partners will summarize or recap those reviews and go through them with you.  Expect that your strengths and weaknesses will be highlighted, as well as those items your colleagues would like to see you work toward for the upcoming year.

Your Approach to Yearly Reviews

As with any meeting, go in prepared. In this case, go in exceedingly prepared, with notes, questions, and any other aspects of your career that you would like to discuss.

Positive Comments

Take in positive comments in a humble manner. Learn from the positive comments what is resonating with the attorneys you work with and be sure to continue to build on this going forward.

Negative Comments

If you have had a specifically negative experience with a more senior attorney and anticipate a negative review, be prepared to explain what happened – but do not make excuses or speak negatively about the more senior attorney.

If you do receive a negative review, do not act defensively or get upset. Listen, accept the negative criticism, and ask for suggestions as to how to avoid the same situation from occurring in the future. If you have already taken action – for example, if you have made a mistake and have worked to correct the mistake – explain clearly and succinctly in your review what measures you have taken and what you have learned from the experience. (As an aside, if you receive a negative review that is unanticipated or that you feel is unwarranted, make clear that you were not aware of the situation but you are thankful for hearing of it and will be sure it does not happen again. Remember, your demeanor in your review can be as important as any of your work that is being reviewed.)

Your Goals

As a final point, be sure to prepare express written goals and an action plan in furtherance of those goals in advance of your review, and bring those goals with you into your review. It is important to discuss your goals for the upcoming year with your reviewers and ask for feedback as to how you can ensure that you accomplish your goals. This demonstrates to your reviewers that you are proactively thinking about your career and development as an attorney and they will be eager to help you achieve your goals.

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

Do you have advice for attorneys facing their annual review?  If so, please share with our readers in the comments below!

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A Perfectly Edited Wardrobe {Part I}

{how to get that wardrobe you’re dreaming of}

how to get that wardrobe you are dreaming of via House of Marbury

{image source}

I recently read an article about an heiress/socialite/fashion designer whose closet is so sparse you’d never know she was any one of those things.  Upon looking, however, the article said one would see that her closet was “perfectly edited.”  She had amazing, versatile pieces – just not many of them, and no clutter.

This triggered something for me.  Within days, I was cleaning out all of my superfluous pieces (defined below), and compiling detailed, well-researched lists of timeless fundamentals to add to my new wardrobe.  And I created a step by step as I went along.  Here’s what I did:

1. Think Edit

As lawyers and other professionals, we are accustomed to editing.  In my day job, I’m not done with a written work until I’ve made three substantive edits per page to a draft that I otherwise regard as final (thanks Bryan Garner for this rule of thumb!).

When it comes to closet editing, the exercise is similar.  I have always been as attached to my wardrobe as any writing I do (quite attached), and taking things out feels painful.  Still, you have to discipline yourself to do it.  Mindset is everything.  And a perfectly edited wardrobe is as much about editing and cleaning up as buying, so it’s a crucial step.  Anyway, if you’re committed to doing this, it’s worth that twinge in your heart as you pull things off hangers and into a give-away box.

2. Ditch Anything Superfluous

Now that you’re in the right mindset, what exactly do you get rid of?  I decided to ditch anything superfluous, defined as follows: something I’ve not worn in recent memory; any piece that does not make me feel like myself, even if I love the item on the hanger; anything ill-fitting that can’t be fixed (you can have a separate pile for items that you’d like to try to make work via a great tailor); something I have to build a narrative around in order to keep (for example, “this item would be perfect for a fall picnic lakeside in Vancouver” – it’s never going to happen – please get rid of it).

My goal was to cut my items in half, at least.  While this sounds like a lot, anything less is simply not a perfectly edited wardrobe.

3. Find Yourself

This is the fun part.  Rather than buying clothes you like objectively, it is important to get in touch with who you are – and more specifically, what your fashion sensibilities are – so you are buying things (and repurposing items you already own) that you love not just on the rack but every morning when you get dressed.

Think about what you truly wear again and again (for me, it’s dresses, black separates, and asymmetrical or interesting hem lines, so I centered my edited wardrobe on these items).  Think about what you get the most compliments on, and what you gravitate toward when you’re shopping.  These are the items that should comprise your entire wardrobe when you’re done editing, and, to the extent you are missing any of these key pieces, you should buy top quality, long lasting items (you don’t have to spend a fortune, but look for pieces that will last and that are truly quality (silk instead of polyester, rayon instead of jersey, etc.), no matter the price).

4. Be Methodical

It’s worth taking some time (even months) to research items you like and to consider how they will fit within the larger context of your wardrobe edit.  Make lists of items you would like in each category (pants, tops, skirts, dresses, etc.) and subcategories (business, business casual, casual, date night, weekend outings, etc.).

Consider how you can repurpose items you already have so you don’t need to buy anything new (on the flip side, get rid of things that are visibly old – as an easy example, if you have a white button up shirt that now appears yellowish, that should go in place of a new one).

Get rid of items that don’t fall into any  realistic category (that crushed velvet halter dress you bought in a thrift store in Paris that you’re still waiting for an occasion to wear).  And cross reference your lists so you aren’t buying duplicative items.  For any new item you buy, get rid of an old one so you don’t lose the work you did on the front end to get rid of stuff.

5. Pull It All Together

One of my favorite parts of the perfectly edited wardrobe project was pulling my outfits together.  Before I was ready to wear anything I had bought, I decided to create outfits so at any given moment, and for any occasion, I can reference my pre-determined outfits and just grab and go.  Our Pintrest tutorial, as well as our Net-A-Porter style tutorial, were incredibly helpful in this regard.  This will eliminate the “I have nothing to wear” syndrome that we all suffer from, and will cut your morning routine down quite a bit.

What tips do you have for closet editing?  What do you think about the idea of a “perfectly edited” wardrobe?  Let us know in the comments below!  And check back for Part II of this series where we’ll walk you through some of our favorite purchases and outfit combinations.

xo,
Team HOM

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Minimalist Style

{how to achieve minimalist style}

Sometimes a girl just needs simplicity in her life.  When the days are long and full of meetings, deadlines, playdates, drinks after work, and another half a dozen things on your schedule, picking out an outfit you can wear all-day long – and finding outfits you can wear for various events – is crucial.  The key to having go-to outfits ready each morning is to invest in a few well-fitted, quality wardrobe basics.  We talk about this a lot here at HOM and will be going into detail next week when Desiree shows you her recent closet overhaul.

In the meantime, here are some thoughts on the best investment pieces to achieve an easy, minimalist style.

In our view, M.M. Lafleur and Emerson Fry are the best kept secrets for minimal style.

M.M. Lafleur’s Clara dress in dove is the perfect blank canvas for every occasion.  Style it with a black blazer for the office, a cardigan for parent-teacher conferences and your prettiest statement necklace for brunch with your girlfriends.

M.M. Lafelur Clara Dress

If you’re a girl with curves, the Toi dress is very flattering and comes in the prettiest five colors.

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Menswear-inspired pieces are also essentials for minimal style, and Emerson Fry has those in abundance.  I mean, this entire outfit is simple and chic (for the office, just replace the jeans with black pants!).  As cooler temperatures settle in, we also recommend one of these sweaters by Emerson Fry – they’re cozy and will last you for many cold seasons to come!

Tailored Coat - Fawn Wool

Likewise, a pair of black cigarette pants (like this pair from Ann Taylor) are the epitome of simplicity – wear them with button-ups, sweaters, blouses, to work, the playground with the kids, out with friends in your fanciest heels – the list goes on and on, but you get the idea.

PETITE CREPE CIGARETTE PANTS

A classic black pencil skirt is also a must have for the days when you quickly need to slip into something classy, simple, yet still professional.  We love this skirt by Theory!

Button-ups are key for minimalists, too.  And although we love a crisp white button up, there is something so luxurious and feminine about a silk blouse like this one by Vince.  If you ever stumble across a blouse like this that you adore, take our advice, and buy in multiple colors and replicas because you will wear it often!

Vince White Silk Blouse

And of course, even a minimalist girl must have a little black dress that flatters and dazzles wherever you go – like this Maison Martin Margiela crepe dress.  Simple with clean lines, but a showstopper anyway.

MAISON MARTIN MARGIELA

With all of these pieces as examples of minimalist style done right, let’s recap:

  • Neutral colors (think grey, beige, white, and black)
  • Luxury materials that will endure lots of wear
  • Simplicity so that the pieces can be mixed and matched with everything in your wardrobe
  • Clean lines and tailoring to ensure that you feel stunning and put together every time you wear it
  • Quality over quantity

What pieces do you find yourself constantly reaching for? Would you categorize them as minimalist?
-Team HOM

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Power Outfits

{levo’s new power outfit series}

You’ve heard us gush about Levo before, so it’s no surprise that we’re loving their recent “My Power Outfit” series, which details power outfits from high-power women in a variety of professions.  This series is especially inspiring for our non-attorney readers, since it explores so many unique work settings and outfits.  Don’t worry, a couple of attorneys have been featured, too!

Check it out for yourself here.

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Cheers,
Team HOM

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A Trip To Cape Town

{the best capes for fall}

Here at HOM, we love the cape trend.  Capes are perfect for fall, feminine and still a bit unexpected and fashion-forward.  But how do you make them appropriate for wear to work and/or around town with colleagues and clients?  Stick with capes in standard colors and with sophisticated accents.

Take this stunning Gaia Checked Wool-Blend Cape by Vivinne Westwood, for example.  The cut and draping are dramatic and beautiful, but the straight-forward check pattern and neutral coloring make it perfectly appropriate for professional functions.

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Similarly, this Carly Cape from Club Monaco is stunning.  The collarless top with full cape make it easy to wear over any outfit.  Again, the neutral coloring helps balance the bold silhouette.  (And just imagine how cute it would be when paired with an outfit that makes sense!)

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For an extremely professional take on the cape, we love this affordable Vince Camuto Notch Collar Cape Coat.  It’s menswear inspired, traditional business wear with a fashion-forward twist.

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Or, add some color and pattern with this beautiful Whitney Cape from French Connection.  We love it in red almost as much as this Felix Checked Cape in charcoal, green and pink.  Ideal for fall!

Felix-Checked-Cape

If a full on poncho cape is a little too bold for you, try this Hand Made Waistcoat from Zara- beautifully designed and ideal for fall.  The neutral tone and large collar make it work-appropriate, while the unstructured cut give it a fashionable edginess.

Zara Cape

Will you join in on the cape trend?
-The Ladies of HOM

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Sheer Genius

{wearing sheer fabrics to the office}

One of our fabulous readers recently inquired whether it’s professionally appropriate to wear a sheer blouse to the office.  She quickly added, “with a tank top underneath, of course!”

We thought about it and reviewed our own wardrobes for reference.  It turns out, we each have a few tops and sweaters that are slightly sheer.

In short, we decided that slightly sheer fabrics are entirely appropriate with a few caveats:

1)  Never allow your bra or midriff to show underneath a sheer garment;

2)  Always wear a sheer top with a coordinating color underneath.  For example, if the top is a ruby color, wear a ruby camisole underneath and not a nude camisole;

3)  Tops with sheer sleeves and solid torsos are preferable; and

4)  Never wear a sheer top to a formal meeting or court proceeding, and, if you work in an especially conservative office, you should only wear tops like the below after-hours.

As an example, this mirrored embellished top from Ann Taylor is perfectly professional for informal days at the office, when worn with a coordinating undershirt.

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As is this Mesh Stitched Sweater when worn with a navy camisole.

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Or, this cute Esther Blouse by Cooper & Ella, with sheer detailing around the shoulders and neckline is great for any business casual setting.

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What do you think?  Weigh in by commenting below!
-Team HOM

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Food For Thought

{ideas for healthy eating to get you through the work day}

As much as Kate and I both love food, we’ve never ventured into this area here at HOM.  Today, we thought we’d break from tradition and share some ideas about how to get through the workday on healthful, homemade food (rather than the dreadful deli meat sandwich and other junk options surrounding your office on all sides).

We know how hard it is to eat well, and especially when you’re busy at work.  Not only are you skipping breakfast and grabbing whatever for lunch, but you’re likely ordering in a lot for dinner because you’re too tired to cook when you get home.  We’ve all been there, unfortunately, and it’s a cycle that is hard to break the deeper you get into it, because, above all, it’s easy.

One solution we’ve found is to start small.  Don’t worry about being perfect – just pick one meal that you have some control over and make sure it’s as good as it can be.  Then, if you have to slip because the day got away from you or your morning is hectic, at least you know you’ve exercised some food self-care at some point during the day.

If the meal you can manage best is breakfast, here are a few ideas:

For a quick, healthful morning meal that will give you energy and also tide you over until lunch, try 2% Greek yogurt with blanched almonds, a handful of berries, and a touch (half teaspoon) of good quality raw honey.  If you need something a bit more substantive, try whole wheat toast with ricotta, plain walnuts (no oils, salts or other additives), and a pinch of rosemary salt.

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If you have time for a proper, cooked breakfast, a poached egg over whipped sweet potato (we steam the sweet potato and mash it with a teaspoon of olive oil) and a dollop of goat cheese is a surprisingly delicious combination.  If you need caffeine, opt for green tea over coffee – you’ll feel lighter, the caffeine isn’t as harsh, and your insides will like you better in the long run.

If you want to take back lunch, try this:

We’ve found that a great approach to eating healthfully at lunch is thinking small.  That is, pack a variety of things in small compartments (get a bento box, if you can – this is the best for compartmentalizing your meals) and snack throughout the day on delicious, clean foods.

For example, prepare a quinoa, raw kale, and avocado salad in a mason jar the night before.  Dress with a tablespoon of olive oil and some fresh squeezed lemon.  Mix well so that it marinates overnight.  By lunchtime, you’ll have an amazing, rich-tasting salad that is full of protein and good fats (note, if you’re using anything other than kale (like romaine or spinach), which stands up to dressing well, hold off on dressing the salad until right before you eat it).

Kale Quinoa Salad

[image source]

Experiment with similarly structured salads – cous cous with shredded chicken breast and pine nuts; brown rice with spinach and tomatoes – so you are eating something different each day and keeping things interesting.  To accompany your salad, cut up some pieces of cheese, some celery with natural, no-sugar-added peanut butter (old school but so good), and a small square of dark chocolate to enjoy with herbal tea in the early afternoon.  Amazing, healthful lunch that’s super quick and easy to prepare.

If dinner is your downtime, prepare:

Dinner in bulk is your best bet for controlling what you eat at dinner time and also ensuring that you get to enjoy some of your night without slaving away in the kitchen.  On Sundays, take a few hours in the morning to prepare healthful meals that will last you throughout the week.  For this purpose, we like vegetable lasagnas, lean red meat chilis, and hearty soups (like a low-fat milk based corn chowder) with freshly baked bread you can pick up at your favorite local bakery.

For great recipes for each of these items, check out Gojee.com – a well-designed recipe finder that we love playing around with.

What tips and tricks do you use for eating healthily throughout the workday – and work week?  Please share in the comments below!

Cheers,

Team HOM

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The Best Fall Handbags

{the top 8 handbags trending this fall}

Sometimes, a new handbag is just the thing to infuse your wardrobe with a whole lot of inspiration.  Maybe it’s because we wear our handbags all the time, everywhere, and with everything.  Or maybe it’s because a handbag is just the thing to complete an outfit.  Either way, what better time to splurge on a new bag than at the start of a new season?

Here are the most popular bags for fall 2014:

Kate Spade Beau Bag

Madison Ave. 2 Park Avenue Park Luxe Beau.  Named after Kate Spade’s headquarters in New York City, this version of the infamous beau bag toted by all the fashion bloggers features an embossed bow and the perfect color palette for fall!

she lo crossbody bag

she+lo Crossbody.  For the days when you’re exploring a new city or heading out for a walk in the park, a crossbody bag like this is the perfect fit.  For fall, go for a plum-colored bag like this one, or something in burgundy or wine-colored.

See by Chloe Bucket Handbag

See by Chloe Bucket Bag.  Similar to a crossbody bag, the bucket bag not only features the crossbody strap, but has a lot of room!  This bag is certainly an investment, so if you want something a bit more reasonably priced, try this braided leather bucket bag by Sole Society.

Mamuye Tote

Mamuye Tote.  Handcrafted in Ethiopia, this 100% leather tote is the perfect balance of durability and convenience.  It’s perfect for toting around diapers for the mamas or legal files for the full-time professionals (or both!).  Plus, we love the distressed look!

Moreau Tote

Moreau Bregancon Open Tote.  This bag is certainly an investment, but it’s the prettiest shade of blue, the size and shape is perfect for fitting everything important to you, and the quality (goatskin, anyone?) is worth every penny.  For a more affordable option or a darker hue, try this Calvin Klein leather satchel.

Calvin Klein Leopard Print Bowler Bag

Calvin Klein Leopard Print Bowler Bag.  Most women shy away from wearing leopard prints, especially to the office, but this bag features the perfect ladylike structure with just a small dose of leopard print that would still be perfectly appropriate for every professional woman!  Here is a bit more affordable option by Mango.

The Never Ending Love Story Book Clutch

The Never Ending Love Story Book Clutch.  For your next special event, replace your traditional little black clutch with this Kate Spade book clutch.  How is that for a conversation starter?  If you don’t want to splurge for the bag, you can rent a similar book clutch for only $15 from Rent the Runaway!

Michael Kors Satchel

Michael Kors Satchel.  A simple black handbag will never go out of style, and this Michael Kors satchel is a classic that will last you for many more seasons to come!

What handbag is on your wish list this season?

– Team HOM

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Target + Altuzarra

{yet another fashion luxury brand had made its way to target}

Target’s latest designer collaboration has us all sorts of excited.  Altuzarra is a luxury fashion brand known for merging femininity, sophistication, and practicality.  The collection became available Sept. 14, and an edited assortment is available on Net-A-Porter now (yes, it is mostly sold-out, but they plan to restock!).

altuzarra for target

“As a designer, I believe firmly in the transformative power of fashion. It has the ability to not only change how you look, but also how you feel,” said Joseph Altuzarra, the brand’s designer and creative director, in a press release announcing the collaboration.  “I’ve admired the elegance that Target brings to fast fashion.  By working together on this capsule collection, we hope to instill a sense of power, confidence and beauty in women everywhere.”

Items range in price from $17.99 to $89.99, giving women everywhere the perfect combination of French sophistication and American ease.  If you’re still not intrigued, just watch this video promotion.

What items are on your wish list from this latest collaboration?

-Team HOM

 

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