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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Blaze A Trail

{the best blazers for fall}

A lovely reader recently requested a post on blazers.  She correctly pointed out that straightforward suits can be boring- blazers, on the other hand, are more versatile and interesting.  Said another way, blazers can compliment a variety of outfits (both work and casual), and going for a patterned or textured jacket and a simpler dress, skirt or pant, creates a more put-together, sophisticated appearance much of the time.

This request could not have come at a better time because fall is the perfect season to invest in some new blazers.  So, we’ve shopped around and compiled a list of our favorites below:

This Camel Hacking Jacket from Banana Republic is moderately priced and quintessentially fall.  The rich camel hue will pair wonderfully with any neutral palette or with navy, chocolate brown, and even black.  And, it’ll pair just as nicely with your work wardrobe as it does with jeans and a button-up for a preppy weekend look.  A true staple blazer that you will wear for years.  Love.

blazer 2

For something less traditional, we love this uber affordable Elena Quilted French Terry Moto Jacket.  The moto-inspired design makes it edgy, but the soft waffled fabric make is work with professional attire.  Of course, this should not be work to a formal meeting or formal court appearance, but when paired with a dress for work and jeans on the weekends, you have a great go-to jacket.

blazer 1

Also, we’re crazy about sweater-jackets.  The ultimate combination of comfort and functionality, and perfect for business casual and weekend wear.  This affordable waffle sweater jacket available through Piperlime is a fabulous option.

If you’re looking for color, this Textured Crop Jacket from Topshop in bold orange is utter perfection.  The textured fabric is luxurious and bold, and the structured cut makes it perfect for the office.  The rich orange hue is to-die-for and perfect for fall.

blazer 5

Add some texture with this Colorblock Soft Blazer, also from Banana.  The cotton fabric is comfortable, but the tweed-inspired pattern and solid-black detailing on the pocket and collar add another level of sophistication.

Blazer 4

We also love collarless blazers, like this Rope Stripe 3/4 Sleeve Jacket from Ann Taylor.  The neckline and cropped sleeve make for an overall flattering look.  Pair simply with a black dress, as pictured below, or throw on over a crisp white button-up and oversized trousers for a truly nautical-inspired office look.

blazer 3

What blazers are your favorite this season?  If you have any ideas for posts, hit us up at info@houseofmarbury.com.

Cheers,
Team HOM

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Rule Of Three

{shopping advice from personal stylist, Hanna Donnelly}

aj-kane_120620_hanna-lee-style_110

We’re thrilled to have Chicago stylist, personal shopper and fashion consultant Hanna Donnelly writing for us today.  We were inspired by Hanna’s recent post on this topic, and thankfully she agreed to share her wisdom with the HOM community!  

As a stylist in Chicago I help successful women look effortlessly put-together. As a very plan-driven, practical shopper, I’ve developed a true love for my “Rule of Three” when considering a new purchase.

The first and most important Rule of Three: Can you wear it three different ways in your existing wardrobe?

When I buy pieces for my clients and put together wardrobe collections, most importantly, I consider an item’s versatility.

There’s nothing like a beautifully made, neutral sweater that can be worn:

  • Under a suit for classic perfection
  • With a skirt, tights, boots and earrings for date night
  • Worn casually with dark denim and boots for strolling the city

Easy! Three outfits and more.

While that beautiful leather pleated skirt may look fabulous on the mannequin and in your (dream) life, will it pair easily and effortlessly in your existing wardrobe?

Don’t get the leather skirt if:

  • You don’t have or want to take the time to play with outfits
  • You’re unsure if it’s office appropriate
  • You have to buy three or more pieces to make any one piece work

Secondly, if it’s an investment piece, will you wear it in a year? Two? Three?

Don’t get caught in the trends of the moment. If a piece or accessory is an investment for your current budget, have it be a piece you’ll love in minimally a year but five or more is really fabulous.

There’s nothing like a well-made, black handbag that’s timeless and can be worn with anything- a black handbag or a gorgeous pair of black pumps is a worthwhile investment.

Lastly, the big four letter word: Sale!  If an item weren’t on sale, would you pay full price?

It’s so easy to get caught up in the frenzy of a “sale.” Give yourself 24 hours and if you’re still thinking about the piece the next day, go ahead and buy it.

More often than not, you’ll forget about it.

Do you really love the item and it’s on sale? That’s just a shopping bonus!

ruleofthree

Love the leather look featured above?  Shop it here.

Cheers,
Hanna

PS. Read more about Hanna, her fabulous business Hanna Lee Style, and her amazing fashion tips and shopping strategies on her website.

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Fashion Week: Recreating Looks From the Runway Cont.

{wearing tanya taylor inspired clothing to the office}

For those of you who read HOM regularly, you know we love this game – making office-appropriate looks from runway inspiration.  Kate featured Jason Wu brilliantly last week.  This week, we’re obsessing over Tanya Taylor, our new favorite designer, and pouring through our favorite work wear sites for a TT inspired look.

This look from the Tanya Taylor Spring 2015 collection was my favorite by far:

Screen Shot 2014-09-07 at 8.19.41 AM

Here is how you can recreate it for work:

Sleeveless Button Up

The first thing that stood out to me about this look was the high collar – it’s unique and edgy, while also business inspired.  This particular collar is a bit exaggerated and perhaps a bit stiff, but, as a substitute, this silk Vince sleeveless button up has a nice yet subtle collar and would work perfectly as a layering piece.

vincebuttonup

Three-Quarter Sleeve Sweater With Print Detail

The runway look sweater is lovely, and work appropriate in its own right.   The monochrome pattern is interesting but not overwhelming, and the sleeve and silhouette are uber flattering.  Before you can shop the runway, however, you’ll have to look elsewhere.  For a similar look, try this black and white striped cropped Theory sweater, or this Diane von Furstenberg lace applique wool sweater.  While both are slightly more subdued, they are similar in shape and concept.  In other words, Tanya Taylor inspired and office-chic!

DVF

Asymmetric Hem Skirt

We adore the runway skirt.  It’s gorgeous.  Amazing for a night out or for a shower or other day-time occasion.  For work, the hemline is a bit short and, paired with the sweater, is a bit busy for a traditional work environment (for our non-lawyer ladies, if you can get away with mixing patterns like this, go for it!).  Drawing inspiration from the beautiful asymmetric hem while still staying true to business attire, opt for this Anglomania by Vivienne Westwood drape skirt.  The draping is beautiful and the asymmetry is subtle – perfect for the office and beautiful for a date night, too.

skirt

The pattern of the skirt pairs well with the pattern of the sweater – neither is quite as bold as the Tanya Taylor look, but the inspiration is clear.  The sleeveless button up shirt pulls the look together.  Chic, funky, and office ready.  Love!

What was your favorite runway look this season?  Please share in the comments below!

- Team HOM

 

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NYFW Spring Trends

{2015 spring trends from the runaways of new york fashion week}

New York Fashion Week (NYFW) is underway, launching a month of fashion weeks across the globe.  We’ve shared some of our favorite outfits and designers this week, but today it’s all about analyzing the trends coming down the runaway and how we can start wearing them as soon as possible.

Silhouettes + cinched waists

NYFW Spring Trends Silhouettes and cinched waists

Donna Karen, DVF, Novis, Rebecca Minkoff and many others are flaunting the hourglass shape for spring, but it comes with a twist: a-lines and flowy skirts.  So think a cinched waist with a thin or wide belt and then material floating down and around your legs.  Come chilly weather, cinch your coat a la Victoria Beckham.  In short, look forward to pretty spring dresses and highlighting your curves as often as possible!

Asian infusion

NYFW Spring Trends Oriental Infusion

Vivienne Tam seems to have started it all with her collection inspired by a recent trip to Beijing’s famous Forbidden City.  The infusion of Asian culture and eastern textiles was evident on the runaway this season as designers mixed in airy fabrics, watercolor forest scenes, classic cherry blossoms and lots of foliage.

To wear this trend, try pieces like this orchid print top tucked into a pencil skirt, or this oriental print dress that can be worn for pretty much any special occasion!

A pretty work suit

NYFW Spring Trends A pretty work suit

This spring designers are all about reinventing the traditional business suit.  DVF’s navy suit featuring a tiered skirt with gathering accents  is to die for (and makes us wish that hemline was a tad big longer), and a we’re loving this Kaelen white suit with feathered fringe at the waist, too.  Altuzarra featured gingham-print suits (who knew that pattern was going to come back into style?!), and Karen Walker showed off the most stunning pant suit ever!  Costello Tagliapietra even showed off a silk suit!

So to perk up your suits this spring, go for an unusual pattern, color, structure or even texture that you would not normally go for.  For example, this yellow Tahari Arthur S. Levine suit is perfection!

Drop the hemlines

NYFW Spring Trends Drop the hemlines

There were a few short hem lines, but a lot of the skirts and dresses featured hem lines that hit a few fingers below the knee (usually with a thigh-high slit, but we highly discourage the slit for work!).  There were fancy cocktail dresses by Lela Rose, pretty coral midi skirts by DKNY, a purple suede pencil skirt by Derek Lam, and the most beautiful skirts in neutral colors by Jill Stuart.  To wear this trend right now, try this Rochas midi-length skirt.

What trends are you most looking forward to copying from this season’s shows?
-Team HOM

All photos via style.com

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It’s Time To Begin Thinking About Fall

{the everygirl’s fall essentials guide}

Labor Day has passed, and retailers and bloggers alike are thinking fall.  The Everygirl recently published a post highlighting fall trends and wardrobe essentials.  As with everything the Everygirl does, the list is flawless.

While many of the pieces are not appropriate for the office, the plum lipstick, dark metallic nail color, ankle booties and art deco jewelry are spot-on and perfect for the professional female.  Read the full post for more fall inspiration…

And for additional fall inspiration, check out our Preparing for Fall board on Pinterest.

4a385998f2248624522291933901f602

Cheers,
Team HOM

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Fashion Week: Recreating Looks from the Runway

{how to recreate the best looks from fashion week}

Jason Wu showcased a variety of gorgeous dresses, skirts, blouses and matching separates in subdued hues ranging from hunter green to navy to retro orange.  We love Wu’s designs, in particular, because while they’re artful and sophisticated, they are far easier to transfer from the runway to real-life.

Jason Wu Spring 2015

[Photo credit:  NY Times Style Magazine Blog]

So, how do you take Wu’s inspiration and create your own outfit?  We’ve gone ahead and done it for you:

Inspiration:

Jason Wu 5

[Photo credit:  NY Times via nowfashion.com]

Reality:

This gorgeous black gown has a beautiful sheen and drape to it.  To take this look and make it office-appropriate, start with this Splendid Woven shirt dress and add a more structured black belt to tie it together.  Throw on pointy-toe flats and a sleeveless open-front sweater, and you’ve got a chic business casual look for fall.

Or, try a more straightforward approach with this Steven Alan Alcot Dress or this uber-affordable Mango Belted Waist shirt dress.

If you’re really in the mood to splurge, this Valentino number is just as glamorous as the Wu original and could be worn to work and then onto a fancy cocktail reception.  Stunning.

Inspiration:

Jason Wu 4

[Photo credit:  NY Times via nowfashion.com]

Reality:

A white shell with a dramatic ruffle feature is a great addition to any professional wardrobe.  For an affordable version of the above, consider this Michael Kors sleeveless tie neck blouse.  Pair it with a patterned pencil skirt, such as this Autumn Bloom Pencil from LOFT, or this a-line wintery floral in slate gray.

Inspiration:

Jason Wu 2

[Photo credit:  NY Times via nowfashion.com]

Reality:

A slouchy black trouser + a belt + embellished top is perfectly office-appropriate.  These custom stretch trousers from LOFT are affordable yet sleek in a cotton-polyester blend with some sheen.  As for tops, this embellished Pim + Larkin top is adorable and would work easily with a cream or black blazer over top.  For the holidays, consider something more flashy, like this sequined top from Calvin Klein.

Have you been paying attention to fashion week?  What have your favorite runway shows been thus far? 

Cheers,
Team HOM

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Just In Time

{a guide to pronouncing the hottest names in fashion}

Thanks to Harper’s Bazaar, we no longer have any excuse to mispronounce the hottest names in fashion.  And just in time for SS15!  Check out their two part guide here and here!

Screen Shot 2014-09-08 at 8.02.37 AM

Happy pronouncing!

xo,
Team HOM

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Post-Partum Attire For Professionals

{what to wear when you are transitioning from maternity clothes to non-maternity clothes}

One of our readers posed a brilliant question: as a professional woman coming off of maternity leave, what are the best transitional clothes to own before you are ready to get back into your pre-maternity clothing?  Whether your leave is 6 weeks or 6 months long, and whether you return to your pre-baby weight quickly or not, this is an issue most of us mamas have faced.  It simply takes some time before your body is up for being what it used to be.

We get it, and here are our wardrobe solutions in the meantime:

Invest in loose-fitting blouses:

Loose-fitting blouses are en vogue at the moment, and are ideal for any post-baby body.  If the bulk of your transitional clothing investment is here, you are doing the right thing – these blouses will accommodate any discomfort you may have with wearing anything too tight around the midsection, but they’ll make valuable additions to your wardrobe long after your are back to your ideal shape.

We love kaftans, and this Michael Kors Mixed Print Flowy Top is up there as both a transitional piece and an investment piece down the line.  Pair with a cropped pant or pencil skirt and you’re good to go.

kaftan

Any blouse that is slightly more fitted on top and A-line toward the mid-section is also perfect for a transitional wardrobe piece.  We love this Shoshanna blouse in peach (the sleeve detail is lovely and draws the eye up) as well as this split neck blouse by Graham and Spencer (again, the detailing at the top is good for keeping the eye focused upward if you are self-conscious at all about your mid-section).

shoshanna

Go for low-waisted pants:

Low-waisted pants are not necessarily for everyone, but we’ve found that in those transitional months our mama friends love pants that sit below the belly rather than across.  The low waist is more comfortable, and because it’s designed to be a bit looser than your traditional higher waisted work pant, doesn’t create unwanted bulging (particularly when paired with shape wear – see below).  (I suppose there is an argument for high-waisted pants to pull everything together – this depends on your comfort threshold in those early months.)  The Limited carries a great line of low waisted pants (the “Drew”) that we’ve had a lot of luck with post-maternity.

drewpant

Find your dream wrap dress:

A wrap dress is for the ages.  Everyone should have one.  And by everyone we mean post-partum mamas in particular.  A wrap dress is flattering on every woman, is forgiving in the mid-section, and can be loosened or tightened to conform to your body no matter the stage.  If you’ve still got a bit of belly, the wrap and tie will not interfere and will keep that all on the DL.  As you flatten out and return to whatever shape you are aiming for, the wrap can be pulled tighter for a sleek and chic look.  It’s iconic, and so are you mama!  This Banana Republic Gemma Wrap dress is a classic – and, in black, is perfect for new moms.

wrapdress

Pick cosy coverups:

In those post-baby months, feeling cosy and comfortable is high on the list of priorities (i.e., sweats are a pre-back to work staple in my view).  When you head back to work initially, there is no reason to shake this up too much.  That is, we’ve found that you will still need a little bit of that comfort feeling until you are back to your old self.  Go for cardigans and other cover ups that are work appropriate but still comfort inducing, and that you can wrap around yourself and feel like you are settled in your skin.  This BB Dakota oversized cardigan is a great transitional piece, but our heart skips a beat for this Thakoon ribbed knit vest.  The Thakoon vest is a little pricey, but this is the type of item we’ll be wearing post-maternity and for a long long time after.

vest

Bonus:

Get some shape wear.  We were not big fans of shape wear pre-baby, but we definitely get it now.  Whether it’s traditional Spanx or body suits in various colors, shape wear will make you feel confident and allow you to go about your professional life without any distractions.

What transitional, post-partum clothing do you love?  Let us know in the comments below!

Sincerely,

HOM

 

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