Why The Lace Skirt Changes Everything

why the lace skirt is a game changer

[Photo credit: We The People]

We all know of the slimming effects of a pencil skirt, but as temperatures warm up into summer, we all need something lighter to replace our favorite black pencil skirt(s).  Enter the lace skirt – preferably in lighter, neutral tones and materials.

You can style a lace skirt with pretty much anything – a button down blouse (chambray looks so good!), a light summer sweater, or a silk shell with a blazer. Whether you choose a monochromatic look or contrasting colors, you’re bound to look professional, yet stylish.

Here are some of our favorites:

lace skirts for every budget

  1. My Fair Daisy ivory lace skirt, LuLu’s, $57
  2. Netted lace long pencil skirt, Rebecca Taylor, $350
  3. Pink lace skirt, Wallis, $49
  4. Lace midi skirt, Calvin Klein, $129.50
  5. Floral lace skirt, Joe Fresh, $59
  6. Pleated guipure-lace skirt, Joseph, $431
  7. Lace skirt, Burberry, $1,438
  8. Lace skirt, H&M, $34.95

Do own a lace skirt? If so, how do you style it for the office? 

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Becoming A Professional Wardrobe Minimalist

A friend and reader recently shared this article with us, featured on becomingminimalist.com.  Today, Kate shares why she began adopting a minimalist perspective on clothing and wardrobe.

House of Marbury - Professional Wardrobe Minimalist

[Photo credit Samuji.com]

You may think that as one of the writers behind House of Marbury, I would reject the idea of limiting ones wardrobe to a mere uniform.  The reality is, though, a fashion lover doesn’t require a massive wardrobe.  These days I prefer a minimalist, foundational wardrobe accessorized with seasonal jewelry, shoes, scarfs, etc.

Now that I’m in my 30s and have been practicing in the same profession for several years, my fashion needs are more aligned, which makes becoming a minimalist far more practical and appealing.  Today, I have far less time to experiment with wardrobe than I did several years ago.  I want a well-tailored piece that is versatile and can be dressed up or down, depending on the occasion.  I now know which colors and styles look good on me as well as what I feel most comfortable wearing for various professional events, and I’m able to invest in fewer, higher-quality pieces than before.

For all of these reasons, I have departed from my eclectic shopping habits to become a wardrobe minimalist, and especially a professional wardrobe minimalist.

Here are 10 pieces I am using right now as a foundation for my minimalist wardrobe (tip:  I use black and white as neutrals, and add in color and texture through jewelry, shoes, and accessories):

House of Marbury - 10 Minimalist Professional Wardrobe Pieces
  1. A great trench coat, like this Kensington trench by Burberry
  2. A classic wristwatch, such as the Classic Sheffield Lady by Daniel Wellington
  3. A black pair of flats, like these Pointed Ballerina flats from ZARA
  4. A neutral blouse, like this Prudence Silk-Pieced Shirt from Club Monaco
  5. A neutral pump, like these Adelina D’Orsay Pumps from Banana Republic
  6. An animal print pump, like these Loeffler Randall Pari Pumps
  7. Statement earrings, such as these Tassel Drop Earrings by French Connection
  8. A sophisticated yet simple dress, such as the Tory from MM.LaFleur
  9. A textured belt, such as this Everyday Exotic Belt from Ann Taylor
  10. A cropped jacket, such as this Framed Tweed Jacket from Banana Republic

What do you think about the minimalist fashion movement?  We’d love to hear your thoughts!

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Frida’s Found Objects

PicMonkeyCollage

A photographer recently discovered various items from the wardrobe of Frida Khalo.  The pictures are strange and a little disturbing (two pink booties with differing heel heights; a lace up red boot for her prosthetic leg) but also strikingly colorful and beautiful.

Today’s post takes inspiration from the color and spirit of one particular found object – this gorgeous, traditional mexican frock.

FridaDress

Here’s how we’re converting this look to office chic:

PicMonkeyCollage

#1. Red Pleated Skirt, Burberry London – $795

#2. Yellow Blouse, Diane Von Furstenberg – $198.00

#3. Turquoise Drop Earrings, Oscar De La Renta – $295.00

#4. Black Leather Court Shoe, Zara – $79.90

How would you convert Frida’s dress to office chic?

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Five Tips For Mastering Professional Communication

Whether you are a law student, attorney or other professional, these five tips will ensure you are communicating in a professional and effective manner, both in your personal and professional life.

House of Marbury - Communication Tips

[Photo credit: denniscummins.com]

1. Engage

When you are speaking with others in a professional or personal setting, you will want to demonstrate that you are an engaging, dynamic speaker. This should not be forced or disingenuous. Rather, focus on exuding a natural energy that is motivated by a genuine interest in the person or people you are speaking with and the subject matter you are speaking about.

2. Listen

The best communicators, in a professional setting or otherwise, are listeners first. Be sure to truly listen whenever you are communicating with others. Make eye contact. Respond directly to what is being said. Share empathetic nods and knowing facial expressions. By listening fully, we learn a lot about the person or people we are speaking with. And in turn, we learn a lot about what is expected of us. This ensures that we deliver on (and exceed) expectations again and again.

3. Learn

Whether you are the CEO or the summer intern, your ability to communicate professionally will depend on your openness to learning. Learn new things daily and continue to do so over the course of your career. As a professional, self-education allows you to stay ahead of the game and constantly improve your skill set. Additionally, striving to learn makes you relevant, and central to the business goals of your place of work. By learning, you are also in a position to speak intelligently and impressively on progressive or key topics of interest in your industry.

4. Practice

Like anything else, communicating in a professional manner takes practice. As you speak, present, or connect with colleagues, clients, and others in your industry, consider what communication skills you excel at and what skills don’t come as naturally. Seek out opportunities to practice, and seize those opportunities to foster your strengths and improve upon your weaknesses.

5. Disconnect

While there is value in displaying professionalism and communicating professionally in certain environments, from time to time in non-professional settings, let down your guard. Disconnect from the professionalism. Allow yourself some breathing room. Be yourself. This way, you are energized to be your best professional self when you need to be.

What advice do you have for mastering professional communication?  Let us know in the comments!

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Six Gorgeous Spring Flats

House of Marbury - the best flats for spring

We’ve been in the market for playful and affordable spring flats, and when we stumbled into ZARA last weekend, the search was over.  These lovely pairs are perfect for spring and are absolutely affordable.

House of Marbury - The Best Spring Flats

  1. Vinyl D’Orsay Flats, $35.90
  2. Moccasin in Navy Blue, $69.90
  3. Flat Shoes with Tassels, $35.90
  4. Tasseled Shoes with Metallic Heel, $59.90
  5. Pointed Ballerinas with Bow, $49.90
  6. Cross-Strap Flats, $49.90

What shoes are you loving this spring?

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Smoothie Love

{our favorite fruit smoothie recipe}

Green juice is all the rage.  And we dig it.  A great green juice (we love kale, pineapple, cucumber, and mint) is everything.  But, when we’re in the mood for something a little more substantive, a thick fruit smoothie hits the spot.

Here is our favorite smoothie recipe, made especially great by a few secret ingredients!

our favorite fruit smoothie recipe

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups or so of frozen fruit of your choice (we love blueberries and strawberries combined – buy fresh organic fruit and freeze it)
  • A handful of spinach
  • 1/4 cup of hot herbal tea – any flavor, steep for 3-4 minutes at least (the tea gives a nice flavor and melts the frozen fruit a bit so it’s easier to blend)
  • 2-3 tablespoons of applesauce, no sugar added (the applesauce gives the smoothie a thick consistency and natural sweetness)
  • 2-3 tablespoons of plain yogurt (also for thickness and tartness)
  • 1/4 cup of milk
  • 1/4 cup of fresh squeezed orange juice

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend. (If it’s too frozen to blend thoroughly, add a bit more hot tea. If it’s too stiff, add more milk and orange juice in equal parts. If it’s too liquid, add more frozen fruit. If it’s too sweet, add more yogurt. If it’s not sweet enough, add more applesauce.)

Drink!

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Pineapples Please

{pineapple inspired pieces for summer 2015}

Regardless of how long you’ve been out of school, it seems like as soon as the kids are out for summer vacation, the grown-ups also begin to lust after beach vacations and long days spent reading by the pool.

But, since most of us can’t take off more than a week or two at a time (or per year!), we find that the next best option is to surround yourself with little things that remind you of summer vacations.

For us, this summer’s inspirational print is pineapples (seriously, though, it’s amazing how popular this pattern is right now!).

Pineapples Please

What print reminds you of summertime? 

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Flared Trousers

{the best wide-leg pants on the market}

the best wide-leg pants pants on the market via House of Marbury

[photo credit: atlantic-pacific]

Flashbacks to the 70s aside, there is so much potential for present-day wide-leg slacks.  Most women feel like this style makes them look wider than they really are, but if styled correctly, wide leg pants can actually look ultra flattering (and as a bonus, they’re comfy if you choose the right type of material!).

The key is to try on as many different styles until you find just the right amount of width and flare that flatters your shape.  An additional tip:  if you hem them at just the right place so you can wear them with heels (the hem should almost hit the floor), then your legs will look ultra long!

If you want to ease into the style, though, go for a flared pant.  This style of pants is more form-fitting, but flares out significantly below the knee so you still get some of that wide-leg effect towards the bottom.

Here are a few of our favorite wide-leg and flared pant options:

The best wide leg pants for sale right now via House of Marbury

  1. Pleated Wide-Leg Pants, Chelsea 28, $88
  2. Joaquin Wide-Leg Jumpsuit, Black Halo, $390
  3. Chambray wide-leg pants, Michael Kors, $160
  4. Loretta wide-leg trousers, Saloni, $189
  5. Print flare pants, Search for Sanity, $68
  6. Striped flared trousers, Harvey Faircloth, $345
  7. 70s flared pants, Stella McCartney, $148.19
  8. Joan stretch-cady flared pants, Diane Von Furstenberg, $330
  9. Wide-leg suit pants, H&M, $59.95

How do you feel about this 70s trend making a comeback?

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Five Easy Steps To Becoming A More Effective Professional

{5 ways to be a more effective and impressive employee}

Being part of a white collar environment

[Photo credit careergirlnetwork.com]

The best way to become a stand-out employee, colleague or associate varies from firm to firm and business to business.  That being said, the five steps below are universally desired by working professionals and will help you succeed in all of your professional dealings.  What’s more, these steps are easy to implement and will make a lasting impression.

1.  Respond Promptly to Emails and Phone Calls

Whenever possible, you should respond to emails within 3 hours or less.  If you are unable to take the time to review and adequately respond to an email in that amount of time, simply respond that you have received the email, you are currently indisposed, but you will respond to it in a thorough manner as soon as you are able.

The same rule of thumb applies to phone calls.  If you cannot respond in an appropriate time frame, shoot over an email explaining when you will be able to return the call.

This practice makes you reliable and others will trust and think positively of working with you.

2.  Always Follow-up

One of the largest criticisms of junior attorneys and of professionals alike is a lack of follow-up.  Be sure to always follow-up on unfinished assignments, projects or even conversations.  And, when you follow-up, offer to take on the next step of the task.  Employees, co-workers and even outside colleagues who offer to go above and beyond leave a huge impression on those they are working with.  Making the extra effort goes a long way.

3.  Be Available

In general, it’s important to be available to co-workers and colleagues.  If your office has a morning meeting every day, make sure not to schedule other meetings during that time.

Similarly, if your sit in an office, keep your door open as much as possible so that others are inclined to approach when they are in need of assistance.

If someone reaches out to you, consider offering your cell phone number so they can reach you in the evenings or on weekends, if necessary.  This will reflect that you care about your work and are concerned about being available.  As above, this simple gesture goes a long way.

4.  Get Involved

No matter what line of work you are in, your job will be more rewarding when you make connections with other professionals both in and outside of your practice area.  Get involved in at least 2 outside groups – whether they be philanthropic in nature, social in nature, or professional associations.  Make connections, positively represent your firm or company while doing so, and work to keep up those connections after they are made.

Employers recognize when their employees go above and beyond in making a reputation both for themselves and for their place of work.

5.  Dress the Part

Dressing the part is one of the main reasons we started House of Marbury.  It is so important to make a good impression and to be a good representation for yourself and your office, and dressing the part does a lot to achieve that objective.  When in doubt, err on the side of formality and consult HOM!

What tips do you have to help other professionals succeed?

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The Shoe of the Moment: RAYE

{the shoe line all the fashionistas are loving}

Usually, we have to save for some time to splurge on a pretty pair of designer heels.  But, there is a new option in town: RAYE.  This new footwear line – created by the masterminds behind Lovers +Friends, Tularosa, and NBD – is exclusively available on RevolveClothing.com.  On the radars of all the fashion insiders – from Rachel Zoe to Who What Wear – this collection 30 pieces priced between $130-300.  Bookmark this page though, as the collection is being launched in pieces through the rest of this month!

Some of our current favorites are:

The (classic!) Carrie Heel, $198

RAYE-WZ9_V1

The Tara Heel, $198

RAYE-WZ11_V1

The Deb Espadrille, $155 (yes, a girl could totally wear these all summer long!)

RAYE-WZ1_V1

The Sienna Slide, $145

RAYE-WZ17_V1

The Tia Heel, $175 (talk about a statement heel!)

RAYE-WZ5_V1What are your thoughts on this new footwear line?

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