Q: Outfits for me and said (almost) one-year old for family photos. End of October, taking photos outside with hopefully beautiful changing leaves in the background.
A: I had a few variations on this question and will try to answer all here! I would wear a patterned fall dress like this or this with suede boots and put the little in a bubble/dress in either a solid knit or contrasting fall pattern. (Bellabliss has great options, too, for girls over 2, like this, this, this — layer the latter of a white blouse.). As long as there are similar colors, and different scales, I promise it won’t be too busy — just interesting and intentional and fashion-focused. Have the men in the family wear solid colors/tweed to ground the look. This or this for a little boy would be perfect.
Q: Striped sweaters for fall.
Q: Would love recommendations for “milestone” gifts to get oneself (or for ideas to give a partner) to commemorate a special occasion, promotion, birthday, etc. Was thinking an investment piece of jewelry or handbag (or open to other ideas!) Something timeless but “meaningful” and can be passed down. Ideally under $3K but we can flex 😉
A: An Hermes watch! This is one of the best investments I’ve made in my own wardrobe. I wear it close to daily and it elevates even a simple tee. This is the exact style I have. Some days I contemplate buying a new wrist strap since the solid leather does scratch and show (as the saleslady put it) “patina.” But it also looks kind of fantastically lived-in? Anyway, a more practical Magpie might prefer the pebbled variation. Another great buy: a classic pearl necklace from Tiffany or Mikimoto. They never go out of style and accommodate any age. If you have a more whimsical sensibility, you must check out the fabulous jewelry from Brent Neale. She is so inventive and no one is making jewelry like her (or, well — now there are lots of copycats, but she is a true original). These will definitely be pieces coveted in the future and will likely have a strong secondary market (though you will probably won’t to hang onto it!). Her mushrooms already have a cult following! For something more sentimental/romantic/feminine, look at the beautiful pieces by Aurelia Demark, many of which can be customized/personalized.
Q: I need a good quality dress for some upcoming black tie events. I’d love to find one great piece that can be styled in different ways. I haven’t had a formal event since COVID, and right now I’m thicker than I’d like to be. Depending on the fit, I’m size 10 or 12, so I need something fundamentally flattering. Under $1000. Any genius ideas?!? THANK YOU!!
A: I would look at the brand Chiara Boni La Petite Robe. This label is known for its elegant, last-forever styles that flatter a wide range of body types, ages, etc. This one is a best seller for a reason — so elegant, so flattering, so timeless. Love the saucy decolletage but then demure sleeves. I also LOVE their velvet pieces out for fall: this looks like Lanvin and would look insane with big statement earrings. You can add a little edge with fun earrings like these, which I personally own and am obsessed with; they add just a little spunk but are very lightweight. I know some people are allergic to strapless, but this is divine, too.
Q: My firm (social impact investing / venture capital) is doing a firmwide outing to a resort in Mexico in March. Spouses / significant others / etc. are invited also. There are dinners every night including a gala dinner the last night (4 nights total). I have no idea what to bring. My style leans toward classic with a bit of an edge. I’m in my mid 40s and need to be able to wear a bra with anything that I pack. I work with mostly middle-aged men. And, I live in Chicago (and prefer mountains to beaches), so the likelihood of me wearing anything that I buy for this trip frequently enough to make it worth spending lots of money is slim to none :)! I’d love to stay under $150 / evening if I can (maybe a bit more on the last night).
A: I would raid the Farm Rio sale section — tons of spectacular pieces, like this and this, that can be worn with bra and feel appropriate for dining with colleagues. A solid white dress like this could be fun/chic with bright sandals or earrings, and could be worn day-to-night (just swap into wedges/espadrilles). Now is a great time to be buying warm weather clothes because so many epic pieces are on sale…a few other great options:
Q: Fall jackets, jeans, and knee boots.
Q: MOH dress, January in PA. Only reqs: floor length and black. Love under $350 and forgiving.
A: This Aqua is gorgeous and the panel over the back I think keeps it from being too aggressively form-fitting. I love the style/silhouette of this simple one from Anthro, too — it reminds me of the Staud I’ve been eyeing all season. This one also feels elegant, though you’ll have to figure out the v — is it too low? Not sure if it can be worn with a bra, which is annoying. Finally, over budget, but had to include this stunner.
Q: Fall work outfits that can handle office and toddlers — and don’t require dry cleaning.
A: I like a shirtdress like this, this, or this. Easy, chic, machine-washable. I also love this tiered chocolate brown dress, which could be dressed up or down easily. And this sweater dress is under $100 and machine-washable — would look great with tall boots or sneakers. Or pair smart-looking jeans with a statement knit like this or this and some great loafers.
Q: The daughter of a dear friend has suffered a few miscarriages, but is now set to deliver a baby girl in November. I want to send a special gift after she arrives. It could be clothes, accessories, jewelry, toys, maybe something personalized. Any ideas for something beautiful and meaningful? Thanks.
A: What a sweet question.
If she’s a traditional gal, my first thought was one of these gorgeous knitwear sets from La Coqueta (heirloom quality and so beyond precious), OR one of the gifts from Tiffany’s baby section — something pretty she can put out on her baby’s dresser and pass on as a memento. My aunt sent one of these combs for my daughter and it is a treasure. You can have a lot of them personalized.
Another thought (more practical) would be one of these Jacadi snowsuits — super splurgey (something a lot of moms won’t want to spring for) but great to have on hand for the cold.
Q: Tweed jacket under $200.
Q: Cords/pants for little boys that aren’t massively baggy (looking at you CPC).
A: Amen! I love Gap’s styles. More of a classic fit — not as skinny as J. Crew’s, but not poufy like a lot of the traditional brands. I also generally like the fit of Janie and Jack and am eyeing this pull on pair from Hanna Andersson.
Q: October wedding guest in South. Husband wearing a tux because he’s a groomsman, but it’s cocktail.
A: Rhode always has great options — I own this in a different pattern, and it’s fun but elegant. Or try this Kay Unger for an Audrey moment! I also love so much of Ulla and SEA right now — this one is gorgeous for a fall wedding, and this one is just fabulous. And sorry to sound like a broken record, but this Staud is perfection with big earrings!
Q: A chic timeless handbag.