Articles on this Page
- 09/07/15--21:15: _Kate Spade Classics
- 09/10/15--09:46: _Sleeveless Coats an...
- 09/14/15--05:38: _Day to Night: Black...
- 09/15/15--22:01: _Ivory Culottes
- 09/18/15--11:57: _Suede Skirt
- 09/20/15--23:38: _What to Wear to Wor...
- 09/23/15--10:04: _Marissa Webb Croppe...
- 09/24/15--23:59: _All Ivory
- 09/28/15--09:03: _Knit Pencil
- 09/29/15--20:26: _Striped Midi Skirt
- 10/04/15--07:32: _Sleeveless Turtleneck
- 10/04/15--21:41: _Layered Sweater Dress
- 10/07/15--11:20: _Burgundy Leather Skirt
- 10/08/15--00:46: _Oxford Sneakers
- 10/09/15--11:56: _Casual Friday: Velv...
- 10/11/15--22:24: _Colorful Knit, Leat...
- 10/13/15--11:30: _#SALEMEMO
- 10/14/15--10:09: _Fall Mountain Wedding
- 10/14/15--22:42: _The 5 Things You Ne...
- 10/19/15--09:08: _Cableknit Turtlenec...
- 09/07/15--21:15: Kate Spade Classics
- 09/10/15--09:46: Sleeveless Coats and Bodysuits
- 09/14/15--05:38: Day to Night: Black to Black
- 09/15/15--22:01: Ivory Culottes
- 09/18/15--11:57: Suede Skirt
- 09/20/15--23:38: What to Wear to Work-Related Formal Events
- 09/23/15--10:04: Marissa Webb Cropped Vest
- 09/24/15--23:59: All Ivory
- 09/28/15--09:03: Knit Pencil
- 09/29/15--20:26: Striped Midi Skirt
- 10/04/15--07:32: Sleeveless Turtleneck
- 10/04/15--21:41: Layered Sweater Dress
- 10/07/15--11:20: Burgundy Leather Skirt
- 10/08/15--00:46: Oxford Sneakers
- 10/09/15--11:56: Casual Friday: Velvet Flare Jeans
- 10/11/15--22:24: Colorful Knit, Leather Culottes
- 10/13/15--11:30: #SALEMEMO
- 10/14/15--10:09: Fall Mountain Wedding
- 10/14/15--22:42: The 5 Things You Need This Fall
- 10/19/15--09:08: Cableknit Turtleneck Tunic
We’re finally back from our honeymoon, and in an attempt to stave off the post-vacation back-to-reality depression, I thought I’d gear up for work today in these classic Kate Spade fall favorites. That seems to always do the trick. The days I most desperately want to just wear sweats all day are the days when dressing up for the office generally succeeds in drop-kicking my crummy mood. Thanks to my girl Kate, mission accomplished.
Except then I looked back at this picture of baby freaking elephants and started eating ice cream for breakfast and looking at one-way tickets back to South Africa. I feel like I could totally live the life of a game ranger and be happy forever. Stay tuned.
But back to these mood-boosting clothes: If you’re looking to freshen up your fall work wardrobe or are a recent grad entering the workforce for the first time (dun dun dunnn), definitely check out Kate Spade’s new fall collection. Epitomized by this plaid midi skirt and ivory bow blouse, the brand’s blend of classic preppiness with trendy relevance always seems to turn out the perfect pieces for work and play (many with the versatility to span both).
On another note, apologies for the sparse posting last week while we finished up our honeymoon. As you might have gathered from my instagram posts, we had the absolute time of our lives in the Seychelles and South Africa. I’ve received lots of comments and even more emails from many of you eager for honeymoon tips and recommendations, so I’ll be sharing lots of those in the coming weeks along with pictures of the wedding festivities too! Thanks for your continuing patience…
Tomorrow, I’ll be hopping back on a plane to head to New York Fashion Week, where I look forward to re-styling this skirt for the Kate Spade presentation. I’ll be doing a few fewer shows this season because I’m loaded up with meetings while I’m in NYC (lots of work to catch up on since I’ve been gone for our wedding and honeymoon for the past several weeks). However, I’ll share lots of snaps from the fashion week frenzy both here and on instagram so stay tuned. In the meantime, it’ll be back to the Memorandum work-style business as usual… Happy Monday!
Thanks to Kate Spade for partnering on this post.
With our wedding and travel over the past many weeks I feel like I’ve lost all sense of time and space, but my friends tell me it’s fall? So, as we enter this wonderful time of year when everyone awkwardly dances around mother nature’s transitional bipolarity, I thought I’d share this sleeveless camel coat. Now, while a sleeveless coat seems to ring oxymoronic, it’s actually an amazing piece for fall, especially as we get further into September and October. I’m a big fan of vests (most often of the puffer variety) to layer over sweaters during fall, so this sleeveless coat seems like a chic alternative with the added benefits of (a) covering my bum and (b) feeling like I’m wearing my bathrobe in public without looking like I’m wearing my bathrobe in public. The latter is especially frowned upon in professional settings. Don’t ask me why.
Speaking of things frowned upon at the office, I wouldn’t recommend wearing this spaghetti strap magenta number sans vest or blazer at work, but I wanted to highlight it because it is no ordinary tank. It is actually the elusive and formidable BODYSUIT. I feel like bodysuits are always polarizing, but I for one am an enormous, enormous fan, especially for working ladies. The level of rage that builds within me as I constantly try to tuck my shirts back into my pants or skirt every damn time I stand up or sit down throughout the day is both unreasonable and unhealthy. And yet, it’s unlikely to change, so let’s slap a bodysuit on that situation and just have a great day, shall we? Deal.
VEST: Theory | PANTS: Theory | CAMISOLE: Lark & Ro | SANDALS: Loeffler Randall | OXFORDS: Stuart Weitzman | BAG: Loeffler Randall | EARRINGS: Vince Camuto | NECKLACE: Ann Taylor (similar here) | BRACELET: Brandy Pham | LIP: Nars (Biscayne Park)
Navigating both business meetings and fashion shows has been a tad tricky during fashion week this year. While in NYC, I need to look professionally appropriate one minute, and then a short cab ride later (ok let’s be real, the cab ride is never short) I need to look sorta… well, fashunable. Or, at least noticeably distinguishable in wardrobe from Dwight Schrute so that the PR reps manning the show doors don’t punch me in the mouth and throw me into the street before I even have the chance to show them my e-ticket.
Disclaimer: PR reps at fashion shows don’t actually punch people in the mouth. I’ve also never seen them throw anyone into the street, but I try to keep hope alive.
Enter this easy sleeveless all black suit ensemble featuring a poppable collar and detachable shoes.
Whether you’re headed to a date, drinks, dinner or just want to look sharp for Wednesday night Bingo after work, it’s always tough to find a day-to-night look that’s really legit in both scenarios. For me, this outfit does the trick. As illustrated above, I wore the sleeveless blazer with the collar down during business meetings, then pulled it into the full upright and locked position (airline safety has brainwashed me) en route to shows.
I also swapped out these Stuart Weitzman pointed toe wingtip oxfords and put on these Loeffler Randall lace-up heels. Then I thought, hey, let’s go crazy! And I rolled up the cuff of my pants a bit so that the aforementioned lace-up heels had a little more leg room, if you will.
It’s probably worth noting that I generally talk to myself in third person plural. It’s a #squadgoals thing.
Before I leave you to the rest of your Monday, I wanted to make quick mention of the camisole I’m wearing because I’ve received lots of comments and emails in the past asking for recommendations. I just discovered this black camisole from the new-to-me brand Lark & Ro and have worn it both under a blazer and on its own at least three times in the five days since it arrived on my doorstep. So, needless to say, I’m a FAN.
Produced in collaboration with Amazon Fashion.
As you’ve seen recently in this post and on instagram, these ivory culottes have been on constant rotation as we transition into Fall. I wore them last week again in NYC and thoroughly enjoyed when someone complimented me on the “almond milk” hue of my culottes as we walked into a fashion show. Naturally, we then became engrossed in a conversation about teff recipes and bone broth and instantly became BESTIES.
But actually, I just thanked her, and sat down in my seat where I reflected on the irony of the on-trend NYFW compliment, choked down laughter and began writing this post, starting first with the title: IVORY culottes.
Can we just call them ivory? Because they’re ivory. Or cream. I’d even be willing to concede antique white, ecru or eggshell. BUT WE’RE NOT DOING ALMOND MILK, MMK? So get it together.
It’s worth noting that I actually really like almond milk because unlike regular milk it doesn’t make my apartment stink when I don’t clean out my refrigerator for six months which is something that happens quite a lot.
Just kidding, mom! I totes clean it out more than that!
I absolutely do not.
Back to these IVORY culottes. White House Black Market’s fall collection is all about living to the #BeatOfYourDrum. For me, that harkens back to why I started Memorandum two years ago. Regardless of whether your professional environment is casual, creative, conservative or some combination of the three, you don’t have to abandon your personal style Monday through Friday.
To me, marching to the beat of your drum means you don’t have to
clean out your refrigerator more than once a year sacrifice professionalism to wear what you want at work, or, on the other end of the spectrum, ascribe to some sterile corporate uniform to get ahead professionally. There are endless ways to look professional AND embrace your own sense of style. And, since there’s an indisputable link between appearance and work performance, I think this topic is worth addressing so that we all look, feel and do our best both in and out of the office.
I’ve always been a big culotte fan, so wearing these today is the perfect example of taking a non-traditional workwear piece, and making it “work” in my professional life. If you’re still not sure about diving into the culotte trend, you really should check out these suckers. Great price point. Fully lined. Fitted to perfection. Gorgeous neutral four-season hue. Perfect for work. What more do you need?
Produced in collaboration with White House Black Market.
SKIRT: Joie (affordable options here, here, and here) | TOP: Joie (affordable options here and here) | SHOES: Loeffler Randall | BAG: Christian Louboutin | EARRINGS: Vince Camuto | SUNGLASSES: Ray-Ban
Runways for the past several seasons have taught us that leather (including suede) is officially a seasonless staple. I was so thrilled to find this suede skirt, because I think it looked as good in 80 degree weather this week in sunny NYC, as it will with chunky knits, tights and boots this winter. The work-friendly knee length was icing on the cake, and made it perfect for my schedule during fashion week this year. As indicated above, I love it paired with black, but if you’re wearing it to a more conservative office environment, try switching into these pumps. I just got a pair and they are phenomenally comfy.
Dressing for your 9-to-5 while maintaining your sartorial soul is hard enough, until your boss throws a black-tie event at you, and you start planning ways to fake your own death so you don’t have to face the challenge of finding a dress that’s conservative enough to wear at an event where your boss will be present but festive enough to fit the occasion. Been there, done that. Turned out faking my own death was less fun and more complicated than anticipated.
Whether it’s a black-tie work party (yikes, holiday parties are just around the corner), a client-related charity event, or even a colleague’s wedding, I’ve always wanted to avoid being “that girl” who is the subject of water cooler whispers on Monday morning because her low-cut mini dress didn’t obscure as much as she thought it would once food, alcohol, and dance floor movement was brought into the mix. On the other hand, c’mon, it is a PARTY. So, I also don’t want to show up looking like Angela Merkel running for re-election.
What to do when caught between this sartorial rock and hard place?
Fake your own death. Find a frock like the above cross-back abstract floral Milly dress that’s super comfy, super festive, and super appropriate for both the occasion and the near-boss-proximity.
I will now refrain from saying the word “super” for the next 18 months.
This dress is more of an investment piece, so I’ve assembled a line up of dresses that I think would work perfectly for these types of work-related formal events at all price points below.
This is another look I sported during Fashion Week in New York last week. I’m wearing a graphic tank under the Marissa Webb cropped vest, which worked for the creative professional vibe I needed between meetings and shows that day. Since then, I’ve worn the vest over this black dress, for a more classic work-ready look, but I also think you could swap out the tank easily with a white silk blouse like this one if your work environment is more conservative. I’d also check out this tee and this tank as great options for layering under the vest as well. Options, baby, options!
BLAZER: c/o Reiss | CULOTTES: c/o White House Black Market (previously styled here and here) | TANK: Lark & Ro | HEELS: c/o Reiss | SCARF: Versace (vintage, similar here) | SUNGLASSES: Stella McCartney | BAG: Loeffler Randall | EARRINGS: Vince Camuto
I’m sorry if you’re sick of seeing these culottes, but as you can probably tell from the frequency with which they’ve appeared here on Memorandum recently, they’re still my favorite fall staple. I sported this all-ivory look in NYC last week during fashion week and aside from spilling coffee all over my top and pants later in the day, I thought it was a winning monochromatic look. Cheers to one more day of coffee chugging before the weekend… Happy Friday!
P.S. If you’re starting to think about beefing up your fall wardrobe, check out my Shop page here. I just added tons of new fall favorites : )
SKIRT: Club Monaco (also love this black one) | CROP TOP: Alice + Olivia (similar here, here, here & here) | JACKET: old, similar here | SHOES: c/o White House Black Market (similar here, here & here) | WATCH: c/o Daniel Wellington (use code ‘MEMORANDUM’ for 15% off!)
There are few things I enjoy more on cool fall days than throwing on a giant, cozy, chunky-knit sweater. There are few things I enjoy less on cool fall days than realizing after shoving my head through aforementioned cozy deliciousness that I now have to put on pants (or a skirt or whatever) before facing the world. The dichotomy of your upper half being swaddled in the soft and ever-forgiving embrace of low-gauge knits while your lower half is suffocated by… well anything that’s NOT a low-gauge knit, especially on a Monday, can often be too much to bear.
Enter this glorious sweater SKIRT. I’ve seen many iterations of knit pencil skirts before and have commonly found them to be too body-skimming (read: awkward) to wear to the office. This one, however, is a Monday morning dream come true. It’s cozy, it’s forgiving, it holds its shape well, it’s a great neutral, and it has a sort of Angelina, but not too Angelina, side slit for a little stylistic oomph. Sign me up.
MIDI SKIRT: Anthropologie | SHOES: SJP Collection | SHIRT: Brooks Brothers | SWEATER: Tommy Hilfiger (old, similar here, here & here) | BELT: Gap (old, similar here and here) | Watch: Daniel Wellington (use code ‘MEMORANDUM’ for 15% off!)
SWEATER: Club Monaco | PANTS: Theyskens’ Theory (old, similar here, here, and here) | SHOES: Stuart Weitzman (sold out, similar here and here) | LEATHER JACKET: old, similar here | WATCH: Daniel Wellington (use code ‘MEMORANDUM’ for 15% off!) | BRACELET: Monica Vinader | SUNGLASSES: Stella McCartney
This sleeveless turtleneck sweater is my new favorite fall staple for work and play. While it’s still warm out, the sweater is perfect worn solo, but I look forward to wearing it with blazers or layering long-sleeves under it as chilly weather sets in. If you’re updating your fall wardrobe, be sure to check out the Bloomingdales Friends & Family sale that’s going on right now (ends tomorrow, October 4th!). Be sure to use code ‘FRIENDS’ at check out for 25% off basically everything. I’ve included some of my favorite sale items below…
DRESSES & SKIRTS
TOPS, SWEATERS & COATS
PANTS & DENIM
SHOES & BAGS
(most come in multiple colors, so click on the style you like for more options…)
I wore this sweater dress as-is with over-the-knee boots recently to dinner and drinks, but was eager to do a little work-week spin on it as well. Of course, this comes only after I got the sweater dress dry-cleaned because an over-served man spilled his drink on me that night and unconfirmed reports indicate that he muttered “pirate” under his breath as he looked down at my boots.
For me, there’s something about Monday mornings that demands a comfy, oversized knit (read: It’s Monday, I Hate Everyone… as discussed last Monday), and this layered sweater dress does the trick. My white shirtdress (which you’ve seen styled a few times over the past year) was the perfect piece underneath to make it office appropriate and drop the otherwise too-short-for-work hem length.
Also worth mentioning are these black mules, which are currently 40% off and available in tan and burgundy as well. I wore them a bunch last summer, and they’re transitioning really well to fall, so have been well worth the investment. I have also never been called a pirate while wearing this particular type of footwear, so they have that going for them too.
SKIRT: BCBG (another option here) | TOP: Theory (similar here) | SHOES: Tory Burch (old, similar here and here) | COAT/VEST: White House Black Market | NECKLACE: Ann Taylor (similar here) | BRACELET: Brandy Pham | SUNGLASSES: Stella McCartney
Incorporating leather into your work wardrobe can be tricky. Yet, the leather trend remains ubiquitous for yet another season, so what’s a sartorially savvy working girl to do? Not wear leather? Ha. Don’t even joke.
On the other hand, it’s never fun to be the recipient of questions from coworkers about where you parked your harley and/or whether you enjoyed your role in the local revival of Grease.
It’s like, dude, I’m not an anarchist, I just kind of like fashion. Go iron your pleated khakis, bro.
For very conservative offices, a little leather piping can be just the touch you need to embrace your inner biker chick without inciting violence around the water cooler. Aside from those subtle touches, I’ve also found that colored leather like the burgundy leather skirt I’m wearing today, or even this camel colored leather skirt that I styled a couple months ago, can be more amenable to a conservative professional environment.
For those of you in creative and casual environments that can espouse a less tepid approach, I’ve got some black leather options comin’ in hot next week, so stay tuned…
SKIRT: 7 For All Mankind | BLAZER: Theory (old, similar here) | TOP: Eileen Fisher (affordable option here) | OXFORD SNEAKERS: Cole Haan | HEELS: MANGO (old, similar here) | NECKLACE: Gorjana | EARRINGS: similar here | SUNGLASSES: similar here
As a fan of both the sneaker trend and basically anything menswear, I immediately gravitated towards these Cole Haan oxford sneakers. The wingtip perforations make them a pair of sneaks you won’t be embarrassed to change into before you leave the office, while simultaneously operating as covert air vents that give your barking dogs a little breather after a long day in heels. They’re also INSANELY lightweight and suspiciously comfortable. And they come in four sick colors. Nothing but wins with these guys.
Produced in collaboration with Nordstrom.
So after the last three posts, I guess it’s official that I’m a big fan of burgundy for fall, huh? Well, consider this the funky 70s finale of my week-long burgundy binge.
I know. It’s really not that funky. But there’s velvet and fringe involved and that counts for something on a relative workwear scale, right? I never imagined I would be sporting velvet flare jeans on a casual workday, but as a whole-hearted fan of the 70s style revival, I fell hard for these flare legs and am also not opposed to wearing super soft things that make my legs feel like they’re enveloped in cool whip all day.
Speaking of things I never imagined, if you’ve clicked through any of the links above you may have noticed that basically everything I’m wearing today is from Amazon. Amazon she says? Amazon! Now believe me, I’ve been an Amazon junkie for YEARS. That prime membership? Oh heck yes. I literally buy everything humanly possible with that golden ticket to free two-day shipping. Advil, a curling wand, gold spray paint, a printer, jumbo ice cube trays, Father of the Bride 1 & 2 (to torment my poor father), an external hard drive, and shampoo are just a few of the wondrous nuggets that have recently graced my doorstep in 48 hours or less. (I actually didn’t make a single one of those up.) If I could order my groceries from Amazon, I would. Wait… can I? I should look into that. They probably have a drone for that.
But until a couple months ago, I had somehow overlooked Amazon Fashion which turns out to be a super legit shopping destination. As indicated by the pieces (and brands) above (and also in recent posts here and here), the merch is top notch. So dollop some perpetually free two-day shipping on that yummy situation and I’m in. Happy Friday!!
Produced in collaboration with Amazon Fashion.
In continuation of my fall Monday morning requirement to be bundled up in some sort of uber-comfy sweater (check previous posts here and here), this colorful knit and leather culottes combo certainly does the trick in kickstarting my workweek. While the pairing is a more creative play on both color and volume, both pieces are incredibly versatile. I especially look forward to pairing the culottes with classic white button downs for a more conservative spin, and even more slim-fitting crop tops (how insanely good would this one be?) for sleek evening looks.
Gotta love a little Tuesday morning surprise―the Shopbop Friends & Family Sale! It’s one of the very best of the year, so I’ve listed some of my favorites above (give it a second to load). If you saw yesterday’s post, the colorful sweater I featured along with basically everything else on the site is 25% off with code ‘INTHEFAM25‘ through Thursday!
DRESS: Black Halo (also love similar purple dresses here, here & here) | SHOES: old, similar here and here | MINAUDIÈRE: old, similar here | SUNGLASSES: Stella McCartney (similar here and here) | EARRINGS: c/o Emma McKinstry | CUFF BRACELET: similar here
If you follow me on instagram you know that I was a guest at my cousin’s wedding in Beaver Creek, Colorado this past weekend… which was ridiculously awesome. As it happens, this orchid dress that I wore to their black tie nuptials is currently 25% off during the Shopbop Friends & Family Sale! I would consider that ridiculously awesome as well (though of a less life-altering variety of ridiculous awesomeness than getting married, to be fair). While it may be the only purple item in my closet, I thought the hue of this dress was perfect for a fall wedding in the mountains, and the style was conducive to many hours of dancing like a rabid maniac.
In case you missed yesterday’s post, the Shopbop sale is on and it’s no joke. You can flip through a bunch of my sale favorites below or click here for yesterday’s post with my full sale round up containing lots of workwear favorites and off-duty gems (like today’s dress) as well.
Click on individual products above for more information. To reference the posts featured in each category, click the following:
1) FLARE LEG JEANS: Dark Wash Flares
4) FRINGE: Brown Leather Fringe Backpack
This post was created at the request of one of my best friends who was looking for a little guidance in navigating her fall shopping and this season’s trends. Over drinks and dinner, she exclaimed, “MARY. STOP HOARDING THE KETCHUP. Also, please do a post on the five things I need this Fall.”
While I did not oblige on her first request, I figured I’d make good on the second.
Luckily, it also just so happens that today is the last day of Shopbop’s 25% off basically freaking everything sale, so it’s a great time to scoop up some pieces to freshen up your cold-weather wardrobe and/or get a head start on holiday shopping. In case you missed yesterday’s post or my sale guide on Tuesday, check those out for some more sale finds. The fun ends at midnight, so get crackin’.
SWEATER: Bailey44 (also similar options here, here, & here) | PANTS: Chelsea28 (40% off and available in 5 colors!) | SHOES: Steve Madden (similar here and here) | BAG: Zac Posen (also similar here) | SUNGLASSES: Stella McCartney (similar here) | WATCH:Daniel Wellington (use code ‘MEMORANDUM’ for 15% off!)
The chunky knit black number in this post last winter was my first foray into life with a sleeveless turtleneck tunic. As you may have noticed on instagram and this post from fashion week in February, it became one of my most versatile cold weather staples for work and play. Since we’re still enjoying the indian summer here in San Francisco, I’ve been able to wear this new camel cableknit version as a great sleeveless transitional option. When the weather starts to turn, however, I look forward to lots of good layering with this guy.