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    DRESS: Carolina Herrera (similar HERE)  |  HAT: Saint Laurent  |  SHOES: Maryam Nassir Zadeh (on sale!) |  BAG: Ulla Johnson  |  EARRINGS: Carolina Herrera


    At this point, I think it’s fair to say that my propensity to wear black and white clothing is officially a chronic condition.  I could wear this combo all day every day and be happy as a dalmation having tea with a zebra.  This look featuring the Carolina Herrera dress of my DREAMZ was my outfit of choice for the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic here in New York a few weeks back, and I’ve been binging on black and white fashion ever since.  Today, I’m rounding up my favorite black and white pieces (like this dress that’s very similar to the CH version I’m wearing!) along with my top tips on how to style them below!




    THE BEST BLACK AND WHITE PIECES AND HOW TO STYLE THEM

    • Add these black and white earrings to even the simplest t-shirt and jeans and it’s a whole different ball game.  Never underestimate the power of accessories, y’all.
    • The same styling rules apply to a chic black and white shoe.  My personal favorite might be these black and white leopard pumps because you can wear them year-round, but for summer, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a sandal cuter than these (check out the gingham option)!
    • This black and white gingham dress remains one of my very favorites from the 30 Dresses in 30 Days series.  It’s a classic summer staple that you’ll wear for years and also looks amazing with a black waist belt and white button up layered underneath!
    • When it comes to timeless wardrobe staples, you can’t beat this blazer.  Wear it to the office with white wide-leg pants and wear it on the weekends with your favorite denim shorts.

    Scroll through the slideshow below for a complete list of my favorite black and white pieces!

    DRESS: Carolina Herrera (similar HERE)  |  HAT: Saint Laurent  |  SHOES: Maryam Nassir Zadeh (on sale!) |  BAG: Ulla Johnson  |  EARRINGS: Carolina Herrera


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    I’ve shared many of my favorite travel accessories in previous Monday Memos, but thought it would make sense to round them all up in one place!  We’re currently in Paris for the week which has caused me to reflect on just how game-changing these items are while traveling.  Below, I’m re-sharing the items that I never leave home without: the versatile travel tote bag that never leaves my side, the best travel makeup case, my favorite travel jewelry case, the travel steamer that revives all of my clothing, an amazingly convenient phone case, an electronic luggage scale that makes packing a breeze and the best travel bottles for your toiletries.  Let me know in the comments if there are any additional travel accessories that you swear by!




    The Best Travel Tote Bag

    You’ve heard me wax on about the Senreve Maestra bag many times in the past, but I can’t emphasize how fantastic it is while traveling.  You can read the full post here on this bag and all its wonders, but in particular, the ability to transform the bag into a backpack so that you can be completely hands-free while on-the-go (especially with suitcases!) is mission critical.  It now comes in three sizes and a million colors (you can check out the full line-up here, and they’re also sold on Shopbop and Nordstrom), but as far as I’m concerned, every woman needs this bag!



     



    MY FAVORITE TRAVEL MAKEUP CASES

    Maybe I’m turning into an old lady, but at this point, I care a lot less about whether the case is cute and a lot more about whether it successfully keeps everything organized and in one. dang. place.  I came across this makeup case a couple months ago and it has been a true life-changer for long trips.  I was skeptical at first because it’s definitely on the large side, but then realized that its size allows ALL of my makeup and ALL of my toiletries to fit perfectly in one place.  I can’t tell you how amazing it is not to deal with 5 separate bags of makeup, makeup brushes, hair products, shower products and miscellaneous toiletries while traveling.  The movable dividers allow me to organize everything perfectly and the black, waterproof material makes it super easy to clean.  There’s nothing worse than getting some cute floral makeup bag and having your foundation explode on a flight the first time you use it rendering it marred forever.  Can’t recommend these highly enough!


     



    THE BEST TRAVEL JEWELRY CASES

    I’ve gotten a few requests for my favorite travel jewelry cases lately so here’s a breakdown of the best of the best after loads of research:


    The brand Wolf is probably the most popular on the market and the Caroline case, was featured in “Oprahs Favorite Things” in 2016. They have a lot of options, but my favorite is this one, a compact design that still holds a lot of jewelry. Not as suitable for larger costume jewelry, but for more precious and delicate pieces, it’s the best.


    Another great option is the Wodison Zipper Carry-on Case which has snaps to keep necklaces from tangling as well as earrings and rings in place. It also has lots of pockets and a removable pouch for chunkier accessories. The downside to this case is it is on the larger side and only comes in black.  A similar option is also available here which is a bit smaller and has more color options, but does not have as many compartments.


    The last travel jewelry case worth mentioning is this fantastic hanging jewelry case made by Tumi.  It’s a really nice size for traveling and super lightweight. Personally, I just love being able to hang it in the bathroom and see everything easily in one place.




    THE BEST TRAVEL STEAMER

    I absolutely love this travel steamer which packs easily, heats up in less than a minute, has a powerful stream of steam and boasts up to ten minutes of steaming time.  Especially for skirts, dresses and blouses, this is a much easier way to get out the wrinkles than pulling out the hotel iron and ironing board.




    The Best iPhone Case for Traveling

    This phone accessory is part case, part wallet, part cross-body bag and I can’t tell you how convenient and amazing it is while traveling.  It’s a sleek, slim leather case that also has a snapback pocket for any cards you want to keep handy while on the move.  The best part?  The case has a detachable cross-body strap that allows you to keep your phone at-the-ready without always having to be in your hand.  When I’m at home or at my desk, I easily remove the cross-body strap and it’s just like holding your phone in any sleek case.  However, when on-the-go, the cross-body strap is indescribably wonderful.  I have my phone immediately available (not shoved into a handbag) but don’t have to hold it in my hand.  It’s incredibly convenient to have both hands free of my iPhone while walking around or hopping in and out of ubers, but as someone who has had her phone stolen in Paris before, it also adds extra security (so you’re never setting it down and leaving it vulnerable on a cafe table!).  As mentioned, I bought this one from Amazon, but they also sell a ton of other styles at Nordstrom as well.  Easily one of the best purchases I’ve made lately and it doesn’t hurt that they look really chic as well.



    Electronic Luggage Scale

    This electronic luggage scale is arguably the best $12 I’ve spent on Amazon.  I do not understand the physics of how something so small can accurately weigh a giant piece of luggage, but somehow, it never fails.  Not only do we use it before leaving for a trip to make sure our checked luggage is under the limit (you’re likely shocked to hear that I’m occasionally known to overpack…) but we also always bring it with us (it’s tiny and weighs virtually nothing) so that we can weigh our suitcases when packing to come home as well—either because we’ve made purchases while traveling or simply don’t remember how we distributed our belongings across suitcases and need to make sure everything is underweight.




    THE BEST TRAVEL BOTTLES FOR SHAMPOO AND LOTION

    These squeezable travel bottles are my favorite for shampoo, conditioner, lotion, face cleanser, you name it.  I love that they’re silicone so they’re easy to squeeze (no awkward ketchup bottle smacking situation like other travel-sized products) and they also have a convenient suction cup on the side which allows you to conveniently attach them to a mirror or shower wall.





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    SKIRT: A.L.C. (also available HERE)  |  BLAZER: A.L.C.  (also available HERE)  |  HAT: Janessa Leone (old, similar HERE) |  BELT: Chloe (affordable alternative HERE) |  BAG: Mark Cross (unavailable, similar HERE and love THIS ONE)  |  SHOES: Sergio Rossi  |  SUNGLASSES: Le Specs


    As far as I’m concerned, magenta is a color for getting things done. Productivity, confidence, accomplishment—no one’s curling up with a book and some tea in bright, blazing magenta. This is the color you bring with you when it’s time to get after it, even better when you’re getting after it in Paris.  Last week my commute involved a trans-Atlantic flight, which was a little longer than the usual cab ride but you know what?  Worth it.  However, while the croissants beckoned and the wicker bistro chairs looked like they craved company, there was work to be done.



    There are very few cities where business and pleasure are such close companions for me, but Paris is the reigning MVP.  How then to style a scenario involving multiple business meetings, delightful Parisian cuisine, and the inevitable truth that I’ll never not be a tourist in Paris?  The answer is simple, but well-accessorized.  What’s more Parisian that that?



    This look is all business—or is it?  A brilliant shade of magenta brought to life with a classically structured blazer and a pleated skirt—with lace detailing at the bottom for a refined, feminine spin.  If you’re feeling intimidated by head-to-toe magenta, I get it, but I can accessorize the butterflies away.  Belt cinching gives the look continuity, and more depth than a standard blazer-skirt pairing.  The eye sees the look as a whole.  Neat trick, right?  Head-to-toe coordination comes in from black hat to smart shoe.  And before you can think there’s too much matchy, a white statement bag (can’t resist a good top handle) takes this from an outfit to a look.



    Another key reason why magenta works, specifically in Paris: there is no better backdrop, literally none better in the world, than a Parisian street. Yes, yes, the beach is lovely.  But your footwear options are limited and it’s a one-season wonder.  Paris gives your outfit a stage, no matter the season.  Walk around the Marais for 20 minutes and tell me I’m wrong.  The muted palette brings historical charm that practically wants you to wear a bold shade, and then ‘gram it.  So me and my magenta suit hit the streets, and got to work–en France.



    Since work brings us back to the City of Lights fairly regularly, I’ve amassed a list of favorites that are particularly perfect meeting spots.  However, these three places are killer whether your itinerary involves work or play…



    My Top 3 Meeting Spots In Paris

    The quick coffee: Fragments. Near Place des Vosges, this quaint cafe is known for outstanding coffee, and a serious cinnamon roll. A quick post-coffee stroll and you’re in the heart of The Marais.


    The power lunch: Pink Mama. Italian in Paris? Hear me out. This stunning surround is so captivating and impressive, the meeting will be a memorable one–forever. And as with any restaurant in the Big Mama group, the food is nothing short of scrumptious.


    The client dinner: Clamato. Run by the crew behind Septime, Clamato is the seafood-focused sister restaurant of dreams–with one of the best wine lists anywhere.  Dash across the street to La Cave de Septime for a glass of wine while you wait for a table.


    SKIRT: A.L.C. (also available HERE)  |  BLAZER: A.L.C.  (also available HERE)  |  HAT: Janessa Leone (old, similar HERE) |  BELT: Chloe (affordable alternative HERE) |  BAG: Mark Cross (unavailable, similar HERE and love THIS ONE)  |  SHOES: Sergio Rossi  |  SUNGLASSES: Le Specs

    Looking for more travel tips?  Check out my shortlist of game-changing travel accessories that I never leave home without. 

     


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    Laptop charged, coffee in hand.  Are you ready for this?  The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, aka the Shopping Superbowl, is here–and it’s DELISH.  This is one of my all-time favorite sales (Who am I kidding?  It’s my favorite.), so I’m sharing my add-to-cart secrets for making the most of the markdowns.


    The size, scope, and popularity of this sale mean it’s not your average, “oh I’ll just take a look” sort of thing.  That’s for amateurs.  Sale pros know to bring their A-game and a well-honed strategy to the table to stock up on style staples, trend moments, and everything in between. Like…finger exercises might be a good idea, I’m just saying.


    The thing to remember about this sale—it’s all brand new Pre-Fall items that are extremely marked down. It’s not the junk that’s no longer in style or just plain isn’t selling from seasons past. This is brand spankin’ new, latest and greatest fall GOODNESS that hasn’t even hit other retailers.  Trust me, come September you’re going to want that perfect leather moto, but—plot twist—it’s back to full price.


    I know, I know.  This July heat isn’t making you crave a wool jacket, but your future self will thank you for scoring it on sale—trust me.  Also, be aware that items sell out insanely, offensively fast, so consider yourself forewarned.  I’ve mentioned the missed jacket of 2012 that I still can’t really talk about it.  If you want it, buy it—otherwise prepare for some overtime sessions with your therapist and years searching your closet for a phantom garment.  You deserve better.  Let’s shop.


    FYI, Nordstrom card-holders will have Early Access to everything starting today through July 20th when it opens up to the public. If you’re not a Nordstrom card-holder, you can still preview everything, but won’t be able to actually buy until July 20th when public access begins.


    Enough chit-chat.  Here’s your plan of action:


    1.  Everyday Investments

    Everyday essentials generally mean that you wear them…you know, every day. Even the most stringent dry cleaning advocates and shoe repair aficionados need to replenish their stock. Think a classic sheath dress, the perfect skinny jeans, a timeless Barbour jacket or beautiful silk top.  Versatile pieces you need for the things you do most often, and timeless classics you can rely on, always.  



    2.  Trendy Steals

    Being timid around trends often has to do with price, but when they’re marked down, there’s no reason not to hop on the puff-sleeve bandwagon (how stunning is this sweater?!). 



    3.  Don’t Skip The Accessories

    We all do it. We give our attention to the dresses and perfect pumps of the world, and those stunning accessories sit there on sale, untouched.  They deserve your attention and you deserve these earrings.  And this Longchamp tote, too.



    4.  The Beauty Section Is A Goldmine


    And sometimes I mean that literally. The beauty section is un-skippable. Don’t wait until you’re scraping the bottom of the bottle, now is the time to stock up on your mainstays. Dare I say it’s also the perfect opportunity to try something new, too?  Much like my strategy around trends, now is the perfect time to test the waters of the Drybar products that everyone raves about.  Personally, I’ll be hoarding my favorite brow duo (among many other things).



    5.  DON’T FORGET ABOUT OTHER CUTE THINGS LIKE DECOR, DUDES AND BABIES.


    Yes, there are things for other people in this sale!  I know, this is a bit of a holiday season shopping mentality, but shine it on for a moment.  This is your chance to stock up on everything from baby finds (how CUTE is this?!) to hostess gifts—don’t miss it.  Pro tip: If your partner’s sharp-dressed essentials are looking dull, swap them out with sale finds (like this Patagonia half-zip). (It’s up to you whether or not you tell him.)


    I’ll be with you throughout the sale, posting more favorite finds and outfits—so be sure to sign up for Memorandum emails here and follow along on instagram so you’re the first to know!  


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  • 07/15/18--19:28: Monday Memo No. 19

  • Amazon Prime Day

    If you have Amazon Prime (of course you have Amazon Prime, what…like we leave the house to get things anymore?), from today, July 16th at 3pm EST through July 17th at 11:59pm EST, you need to be shopping on Amazon because it’s AMAZON PRIME DAY.  If you’re going to be passionate about a made-up holiday, this is the one.  Serious deals on things you’ve probably had in your cart or on your list are basically going to be falling from the digital sky.  And, while I tend to rush for the basics in home, tech, etc., it’s important to dip into the fashion section, too.  I know, Amazon’s been dancing an awkward tango with fashion for a long time, but check it out.  Everything from workwear staples to shapewear will be marked down, and this is the perfect time to cross the necessaries off your list.




    Image result for nordstrom anniversary sale


    The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

    I know, I know.  SALE OVERLOAD.  But, if you haven’t checked out my guide to making the most of this massive, once-a-year, can’t-miss sale, you should read up here and keep an eye on Instagram for more sale picks and ideas.  A word of advice?  Don’t skip the beauty section.





    Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean Toothbrush

    Absolutely the best toothbrush I’ve ever used (and the top toothbrush recommended by my dentist!), but this wonder really stole my heart when I discovered how well it travels.  Since we all clearly have enough chargers to travel with, this toothbrush doesn’t have to be charged at all during your trip (unless you’re away longer than two weeks).  Just fully charge it the night before your flight, and you’re good for the duration.  How you fill the extra space in your bag is up to you.  I’d go with accessories.




    Dakota Bow Slipper, Main, color, Chestnut Suede

    Ugg Slippers

    If you don’t own these slippers, join the dang club already while you can get them on major sale.  They’re simply the best slippers on the market, you’ll never wear another pair again.  They keep your feet comfy and cozy and the rubber sole introduces dash-out-the-door versatility.  It’s always a bonus when they come in four adorable colors, too.  I’m never not wearing these at home.





    KILLER RECIPE: Chrissy Teigen’s Chipotle-Lime Chicken Fajitas

    Some things are just universally true. For example, if Chrissy Teigen says it’s delicious–it is. Case in point, I just tried her Chipotle Lime Chicken Fajitas via Blue Apron.  Simply put, EAT THIS.  These are 100% the best chicken fajitas I’ve ever had.  Honestly, I think about them at least once a day.  And it’s not surprising, anyone who’s tried even one recipe from her cookbook Cravings knows that in addition to being a Clapback Queen and all-around hilarious human, Chrissy can cook.  This is the perfect excuse to sign up for Blue Apron if you’ve been mulling it over ($30 off if you click HERE), but if you’re not ready, at the very least check out the recipe and make it your own.  Ugh, now I’m starving.





    Elemis Cleansing Balm

    When it comes to skincare, I’ve gone into detail about my love of the double-cleanse method and this Elemis Cleansing Balm is seriously worth working into the lineup.  Follow your oil-based cleansers with this luxurious (but effective!) balm, and leave no trace of pollutants, dirt, or makeup behind.  The intoxicating scent is one the brand is calling “a spa in a jar” and who am I to argue?  Use it with this softest-ever cleansing cloth, and you’re basically pampering yourself every morning and evening.  In all seriousness though, this stuff works really, really well and gives your skin the effective cleanse it needs.  Everyone sleeps easier with clean skin–fact.





     


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    PINSTRIPED BLAZER: Rachel Zoe  |  HIGH WAISTED PANTS: Rachel Zoe (also love the crop version HERE)  |  CROP TOP: Rachel Zoe (similar affordable alternative HERE) |  SANDALS: Aquazurra (old, additional white sandal options HEREHERE and HERE) |  SHOULDER BAG: Stella McCartney  |  STACKED BRACELETS: Roxanne Assoulin  |  STUD EARRINGS: Chanel (vintage, similar HERE)


    Whites for summer?  Groundbreaking, I know.  But this summer, the white game is on a whole different level and while dresses are definitely taking center sidewalk, I’ve recently found love in a three-piece pinstripe suit designed by none other than my friend Rachel Zoe, queen of the California chic.  While it’s definitely white wine-only, this suit has really stood out to me as a warm-weather closet hero.  Versatility has been a key clothing requirement since… forever, and a long, hot summer is the perfect time to bring in pieces that give you easy, amazing options for everything from busy days to out.  Also, it’s just really beauty, and knowing I have it ready-to-go builds endless closet confidence.


    Closet Confidence

    Noun:  clos·et con·fi·dence  \ ˈklä-zət , ˈklȯ- \ ˈkän-fə-dən(t)s , -ˌden(t)s \

    Defined: The knowledge and comfort gained by knowing one’s wardrobe is seasonally on-point and ready for anything.


    I wore all three pieces of this suit to Rachel’s recent bridal presentation (cue the perfect rooftop view).  As you can tell, I never turn down an opportunity to be power suit twins.  This look is a style dream-team made up of Rachel’s Dominique Pinstripe Blazer, Belle Pinstripe Bustier Top, and Lee Pinstripe Pleated Wide-Leg Pants.  The event was an ideal setting for the crisp, delicately pin-striped suit, with the uniqueness of the bustier’s detail and killer wide leg pant keeping the look from feeling too courtroom.  As a bonus, it gives you a chance to join the wear-white world on a weekday, as those flowy white dresses are so often better suited to brunch.



    Altogether, the multi-piece look was a power move for an important event, but when you break it down into workwear staples, this is a suit that can take you through summer, repeat-free. While the bustier top and wide-leg pants sans blazer work better for a night (a date?) out, swapping the bustier for a more classic and colorful workwear top opens up so many looks for the daily summer grind, blazer or not.  Considering each individual piece is also strong as part of a multitude of summer looks, we might have stumbled upon summer’s most impressive power-pairing.


    If I could only throw my support behind one style investment this summer, you’re looking at it.  Don’t let the white sundress get all the attention (but still a little attention, you know how I feel about dresses), and increase your wardrobe’s versatility from here to Labor Day. (And maybe longer–who needs rules when you’ve got closet confidence?)


    BLAZER: Rachel Zoe  |  HIGH WAISTED PANTS: Rachel Zoe (also love the crop version HERE)  |  CROP TOP: Rachel Zoe (similar affordable alternative HERE) |  SANDALS: Aquazurra (old, additional white sandal options HEREHERE and HERE) |  SHOULDER BAG: Stella McCartney  |  STACKED BRACELETS: Roxanne Assoulin  |  STUD EARRINGS: Chanel (vintage, similar HERE)


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