White Out

{how to wear head to toe white}

Something about spring makes us crave simplicity – maybe it’s the fresh air, or the relief of shedding all the winter layers.  And nothing is more simple than an all white ensemble.  With this said, we do recognize that wearing all-white can be difficult to pull off.  So, we’ve scoured the Internet for some tips and inspiration.

Head to toe white tips via House of Marbury

[Photo credit: Style Du Monde]

Stick to one-pieces.  The easiest way to pull off this style is to stick to pre-made outfits.  We recommend dresses and jumpers.  For example, this white pop-over dress by Maggy London is the perfect statement piece for work and social events!  Or, this white jumpsuit is perfect for a work suiting option – just add a white (or any other color or patterned) blazer!

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Material matters.  Unfortunately, white is one of those colors that in certain materials looks really cheap or flimsy.  Think of that one white cardigan you had as a little girl that wore out so quickly – between the arm pit stains and the wear all over, cheap white pieces rarely last long.  So, invest in the good stuff.  Splurge for a white silky blouse like this Hugo one or one of J.Crew’s classic cardigans.

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Mix and match.  For those of you who are more willing  to play around with your looks, try mixing and matching the white pieces in your wardrobe. For example, pair a silky white top with a white eyelet skirt. Or, white slacks with a white crochet top.  The key is to mix textures, not necessarily the materials.  Also, make sure to keep at least one of the main pieces in your outfit simple and classic.

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Accessorize.  Wearing all white is literally a blank canvas, so you can have more fun with your accessories.  There are two basic options: (1) classic gold or silver jewelry, or (2) bold, statement pieces. For option one, go for a simple gold pendent like this and nude pumps.  For option two, you can try pretty floral pumps or a statement necklace in a pretty color.

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Do you ever wear monochromatic white?  Do share your tips with us in the comments! 

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The Best Fringed Pieces For Spring

{our favorite fringed accents for your wardrobe this spring}

We told you fringe was going to be big this season, and we were right.  Well, when Desiree featured this fringed crossbody bag, we had to revisit the topic.  We love fringe for its fun and playful look.  And, spring is the perfect season to add something unexpected to your wardrobe.

House of Marbury - Best Fringe Pieces

Unless you’re going for a super edgy look, the best way to wear fringe is as an accent.  Pair a straightforward black jumper with the black fringe heels featured below, for example.  Or, pair this white fringe top with black cropped pants and black pumps, as seen below.

House of Marbury - Best Fringe Pieces

  1. Tall Midi Dress, ASOS, $99.00
  2. Fringed Bikini Top (because, why not?), Zara, $25.90
  3. Layered Fringe Statement Necklace, AQUA, $38
  4. Vicki Shoulder Bag, Chloe, $395
  5. Babette Fringe Flats, Anthropologie, $228
  6. Structured Knit Top with Fringe, ASOS, $68
  7. Fringed high-heel sandals, Zara, $99.90
  8. Sibylline Necklace, Anthropologie $88
  9. Light Cotton Poncho, Moon & Meadow, $125

What accents are you loving this season?  Share with us in the comments below!

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Style Guide – Professional Networking Events

{what to wear to professional networking events}

In today’s edition of Style Guide, we’re styling you for a professional networking event.  In our experience, the dress code for networking events can be elusive.  Proper attire depends in large part on venue, who will be in attendance, and whether the invitation specifies a particular dress code.

Where a networking event calls for business attire, professional suiting is required.  Check out our posts here, here, and here for guidance.  Where a networking event calls for business casual (for example, a meet and greet with potential employers at a happy hour) or casual attire (for example, a baseball game with in-house attorneys), follow our head to toe style guides below!

Business Casual Networking Event

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#1. The Limited Collection V-Back Sheath Dress, $49 (on sale!)

#2. Vince Camuto Drape Front Blazer, $169

#3. Elsa Peretti Diamond Earrings, $6,450

#4. Dolce & Gababana Peony Pump, $695

Casual Networking Event

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#1. Paige Denim Skinny Jeans, $134.25 (on sale!)

#2. Anthropologie Terrene Drop Earrings, $98

#3. Tory Burch Woven Striped Pullover, $150

#4. Anthropologie Leather Lattice Belt, $49

What are your go-to outfits for professional networking events? Let us know in the comments below!

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Styling a Shirtdress

{five ways to style a shirtdress}

It’s no secret that we love a good shirt-dress and layering a dress over pants.  But, the other day, while scrolling through the H&M site, we spotted this image and were utterly inspired.  If you don’t own a shirtdress, then you can get a similar look with a long cardigan in a light and airy material (think silk or cotton blends).  For example, you can also substitute a long kimono or a light draped trench – the perfect transition and layering piece for spring!

For now, here are five ways we’ll be styling our shirt dresses this spring:

Option 1: unbuttoned shirtdress + slacks + a simple shell + simple pointy toe pumps

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Option 2: unbuttoned shirtdress + a simple form-fitting sheath + a pretty light scarf + sandals

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Option 3: unbuttoned shirtdress + a pencil skirt + a simple shell or blouse + pretty floral pumps

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Option 4 (for the weekend): shirtdress + leggingsflats (or boots in the winter time!)

Option 5

Option 5 (for a special occasion): shirtdress layered under an organza skirt + wedges

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How do you style your shirtdresses?  Inspire us in the comments below!

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Handbags for Working Women

{another lovely feature, compliments of Your Coffee Break}

Laptop? Check. Notepad? Check. Keys? Check. All in one bag? Check.

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You’ve finally got your system down to a fine art: you have your laptop for everyday work, your tablet for travel, you have a highly skilled technique for organising all your documents, and you’ve even managed to match your pen to your notepad. Office Organisation Aficionado, they call you (well, at least they should!) But then trying to carry all that with your keys, phone, extra lipstick, and can of Diet Coke? That’s the sort of mess that’ll see your official title whipped away from you quicker than Carrie Bradshaw races towards a new pair of Manolo’s!

Organisation is key when you’re trudging all your personal belongings to and from work, but purpose-made briefcases tend to be stiff, boxy and quite honestly just a little bit ugly. On the other hand, there are of course those beautiful, chic bags that’ll make sure all eyes are on you as you strut in to the building …because the delicate material has fallen apart under the weight of everything you need and everything’s rolling around on the floor.

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In a style conscious world looks often end up taking precedence over practicality when buying a bag, but if we’re being really honest with ourselves we know a breath-takingly bold design won’t make up for the lack of zip compartments and large laptop space long term.

Now at this point we have a secret to share with you: you don’t have to compromise on style or practicality. You may scoff but really, it’s true. Maxwell Scott are adamant that working women should never have to choose between appearance and use; their products work to combine classic, luxurious, stylish leather with large, organised internal space so no sacrifices will be necessary.

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I began supplying briefcases to corporate clients in London after noticing that many colleagues brought plastic bags to work instead of business cases’, founder William Forshaw told us. Understandably shocked – that’s neither stylish nor practical! – William decided to start designing for women who appreciate the finer things in life. ‘When we think of style icons we immediately turn to Kate Middleton, she even has one of our bags!’

One Maxwell Scott bag we’ve been buzzing about recently is their new ladies work bag: the Fiorella (it just sounds fancy, doesn’t it?). The Fiorella comes in three shades (classic tan, dark chocolate, and night black) and looks just as professional as it does stylish. Bonus? It comes with multiple pockets for all of your knick-knacks, a quilted laptop sleeve to keep your precious devices safe, slots for business cards—so you’ll never have to do the embarrassing fumble again—and a very convenient pen and pencil holder. Its simple shape, neutral colour, and sleek top handle also means you won’t have to be switching out your bag for different seasons or trends. The different compartments make organisation so easy and it’s classic enough to work in most office settings, from the super corporate to the super creative.

If you’re looking for something a little more androgynous, whether because of your personal style or your office’s vibe, the Lorenzo small leather briefcase is a gorgeous option. A twist on the classic briefcase, the envelope-style detail drew our eyes immediately to one. It also comes with a detachable shoulder strap—perfect for when you’re travelling and need all available hands free to carry a million other things into the office. Like the Fiorella, the Lorenzo features an organisational panel which has space for your phone, pens, and business cards. The only problem with this bag is you’ll have to keep your eye on it—your significant other may try and ‘borrow’ it while you’re not looking!

‘The Scala A4 ladies work bag is perfect’, William offers when we ask which of his bags is best for a busy day darting around the city meeting clients. ‘With a zipped opening and several compartments it is ideal for organising and keeping daily essentials safe and secure whilst dashing to and from the office’. Plus, no worrying about it falling apart as you tear across the road because all Maxwell Scott bags come with a 25 year guarantee!

Maxwell Scott have recently re-branded and launched a very sleek new website (we’d expect nothing less from a label with such sleek bags!) ‘We have an aim to become the most loved British bag company in the world’, they say. Well, they’re already the most loved British bag company in the YCB offices, and that’s a pretty good place to start!

Thanks, YCB and Maxwell Scott!

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Our Favorite Florals

{the best floral pieces for your spring wardrobe}

House of Marbury - Floral Pieces

[Photo credit:  Kate’s closet]

Desiree featured a beautiful pair of Manolo Blahnik floral pumps in her spring wish list, which got us inspired.  Today we’re going beyond footwear, and sharing our favorite floral pieces for your all-over wardrobe.  We love floral patterns this season because they pair well with navy, white or black basics and instantly refresh last season’s outfits.

A funky pair of earrings, a sweet silk top, skirts and dresses with different silhouettes, a scarf and even a jumper (!) round out our list.  What’s more, 6 of the 9 items we feature are under $100.

House of Marbury - Best Spring Florals

  1. Charmesa High Heel, Ted Baker London,  £110
  2. Kate Spade Love Print Scarf, $225
  3. Bold Print Pleated Skirt, ZARA, $79.90
  4. Printed Midi Dress, Wells Grace, $59.97
  5. Abstract Floral Midi Skirt, Leith, $48
  6. Floral Jumpsuit with Lapel, ZARA, $99.90
  7. Full Skirt Floral Dress, Anthropologie, $178
  8. Flutter Silk Blouse, Anthropologie, $59.95
  9. Tirreanu Earrings, Anthropologie, $68

What patterns are you digging this spring?  

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Crossbody Bags for Spring

{our favorite crossbody bags for spring}

As much as we depend on large totes and carry alls for work, we adore a great crossbody bag.  So, when one of our readers suggested a post surveying spring’s best, we were all about it.

This spring, throw an easy crossbody in your work tote and pull it out when you’re off to lunch mid-day or as the perfect day-to-night transition.  Light and bright colors are perfect this spring, as are bags with a little structure or fringe.

Here are a few of our favorites:

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  1. PS1 Pouch Crossbody in Blue, Proenza Schouler, $1,325
  2. Fringed Leather Messenger Bag in Beige, Zara, $49.99
  3. Crossbody Mini MAC in Pink, Rebecca Minkoff, $195.00
  4. Structured Envelope Crossbody in Yellow, Forever 21, $24.90
  5. Small Marcie Crossbody in Grey, Chloe, $795

What crossbody bag are you eyeing this spring?

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Good-bye, Piperlime!

{get your favorites from piperlime before it’s too late}

A sister brand of Old Navy, Gap, and Banana Republic, Piperlime has been the go-to place for trendy, designer finds.  We say has been because the brand has closed its New York store and will close its online store on April 30.  Although the brand has not made any promises for a liquidation sale, it has been offering various discount codes.  So, we’re taking advantage of this (unfortunate) situation and stocking up on some closet staples + trendy pieces we’ve been wanting to buy:

Piperlime favorites via House of Marbury

  1. Army Anorak Jacket, Piperlime Collection, $119
  2. Parisian Striped Coat, Tulle, $119
  3. Night After Night Skirt, Keepsake, $168 (for some pretty spring florals, check out this midi skirt)
  4. Dylan handbag, Cynthia Rowley, $308.99
  5. Rebecca Top, Generation Love, $136 (if you’re more into classics, this Cooper & Ella top is a must have!)
  6. Aleid Bracelet, Nocturne, $180
  7. Larisa pump, Kate Spade New York, $350
  8. Mia Collarless Blazer, Greylin, $128
  9. Freya Dress, BCBG Max Azria, $248

Is there anything you have your eye on at Piperlime before the brand retires?  Do share with us in the comments!

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The Best Nude Pumps For Spring

{our favorite neutral heels this season}

House of Marbury - best nude pumps for spring

[Photo credit LaceandLocks.com]

Spring is in the air (finally!) and it’s time to freshen up your wardrobe with new spring pieces.  (For an excellent how-to guide to cleaning and organizing your shoes between seasons, check out Amye’s wonderful step-by-step guide!)

We always make sure we have strong basics before investing in fun pieces, and a great pair of nude kicks is an essential basic.  We love nude heels for wear with patterned spring dresses, navy, brown, or gray suiting, and even with jeans on the weekends.  Below are a few of our favorites:

House of Marbury - Nude Heel Roundup

 

  1. Nouveau Pump in nude patent by Stuart Weitzman, $365
  2. Caelina d-Orsay Pump by Enzo Angiolini, on sale for $59.90
  3. Cutout d-Orsay Pump by Calvin Klein, $119
  4. Nancy pointy-toe Pump by Michael Kors, $119.95
  5. Elsie Pump in Gossamer Peach (also available in a beautiful misty green) by J. Crew, $265
  6. Neevo Pump by Ted Baker London, £110
  7. Gemini2 pointy-toe Pump by Topshop, $70

What footwear are you looking for this spring?  Let us know in the comments below – or give us an idea for a future spring-themed post!

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Style Tips From Parks and Rec’s Jennifer Barkley

{taking style tips from one of TVs most politically savvy ladies}

At HOM, we’re big fans of Parks and Recreation, and even bigger fans of the great Amy Poehler, who made that show what it is. So, when one of our readers wrote in asking us to feature Jennifer Barkley’s style, we thought it was a brilliant suggestion.

Jennifer Barkley, played by Kathryn Hahn, is Parks and Rec’s politically savvy campaign manager whose business style is on-point, particularly for those of us who work in more conservative business environments.

Here are three style lessons we’ve learned from Jennifer Barkley that are invaluable in a conservative working environment.

Pick A Uniform 

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[Photo credit here.]

In a conservative working environment, when you’ve found a look you like and that works for you, stick with it.  You can mix it up with color, texture, and details, but you’ll save yourself a lot of time and agony if you can pull together fabulous looks with little thought.  We love Barkley’s go-to suit and button up look, and she keeps it anything but boring by opting for great colors and other details to add interest to her style.

Keep The Accessories And Makeup Classic

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[Photo credit here.]

A conservative working environment is the best place to pull out your classic jewelry and other accessories.  A gorgeous pearl necklace, like the one here on Barkley, a timeless gold watch (like the one she’s wearing below), tiny stud earrings, and delicate bangles work best.  Keep your makeup classic, too.  Soft eye shadows and blush, plus a pop of mascara and a deep but subdued lip will make you look and feel great.

Go For A Bold Detail

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[Photo credit here.]

Conservative outfits can still be chic and fun to wear.  Once you’ve settled on your uniform of sorts and picked out your classic accessories, play around with the look by adding bold details.  We love the deep “V” of this black suit, as well as the great stripe of this shirt.  The shirt is nicely styled, too – open just enough, with the collar pulled up so the white contrast collar is exposed.  Love!

What TV character inspires your work wardrobe?

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