Viewing category ‘accessories’


my new favorite handbag (it will be your fave, too, I promise)

Categories: accessories


Here’s a funny thing about being the mom of bigger kids: You get your handbag back. Once your kids are school-age (mine are in third and fifth grade this year), you’re no longer responsible for carrying all their junk around all day — that’s what school bags are for! Plus tweens just don’t seem to need so much junk; my kid who always, always had to take eleventy toys with him on the road when he was little (seriously, he carried a pile of I don’t know what all stuff with him every time we left the house, all the way through kindergarten, you all) now carries nothing. In fact, he doesn’t even wear a coat most of the time, which is a whole other thing that I am refusing to think about. I’m just glad it was warm here this winter.

But the point is, my bag is my bag these days. Not the bag I carry to hold all of the boys’ things. And it is delightful.

Because of this change, I find that a whole new world of handbags has opened up for me. I can carry a clutch for day, which I love to do because it’s easy and chic — but it also means that if I’m going any place where I want to bring my iPad, I have to lug that separately. And that’s a pain. But I’m also really over my huge tote bags, the ones that were big enough to carry extra diapers and sippy cups and changes of clothes and superhero action figures and LEGOs and … you know the drill. I don’t need that bag any more. I need the perfect Goldilocks in-between bag.

And you all, I have found it! And it is beautiful.


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The everyday bag dilemma, or how to pack like a man

Categories: accessories

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Lori is having a bag dilemma.

I’m in grad school, so I regularly have books, notebooks, and papers to take to campus. For that, I bought the Ellington Eva Messenger bag. I have a more industrial messenger bag from LL Bean for days I have a lot of books to carry. I bring my lunch because I’m on campus all day. Lunch isn’t going to fit in my Eva bag. I also carry a purse because I generally need that smaller bag for running those inevitable errands and it transitions me from campus to off-campus. My purse has my wallet, on-the-go makeup-y things (chapstick, lipstick, mirror, handkerchief, nail file, spare hair ties and pins), mints, a small notebook, my planner, some pens. I’m one of those nerds who makes it a requirement that my purses can fit a book, so most of my purses are mid-sized, but not HUGE. Naturally, I feel ridiculous carrying a messenger bag, lunchbox, and a purse. Do you have any sort of suggestions?

I’m sure it’s a matter of reassessing and reorganizing, but everything feels vital to me. An outsider’s opinion would probably help.

This is a pretty common dilemma; when we leave the house, we feel like we need to take everything with us, all the time, because we never know what we might need, right? Here’s the thing: men manage to go all day without carrying six bags. What do they know that we don’t?

They know what to leave behind. Simple.

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the best hosiery options for holiday dressing

Categories: accessories


It’s party time, which means that most of us are standing in the closet wondering what the hell to wear to the next gathering. Sometimes, we’ve got the big picture down but are lost when it comes to the details. Specifically, what to wear on our legs.

“I’m going to a holiday party in a few weeks,” writes Laura, “and have a great sleeveless, knee length black wrap dress that I’m going to wear. What kind of hosiery and shoe style would be appropriate this season–not crazy about the vibrant colored tight look. As an additional note, we live near Chicago so it’s quite cold already. Any advice is appreciated.”


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5 ways to ease your closet into fall

Categories: accessories

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GAP oversized floral scarf, $29.95

Labor Day is almost here, which means the pool is closing and that when we wake up on Tuesday, it will be a cool, crisp 60 degrees. Right?

Yeah, I don’t think so.

I’m ready to be done with my summer wardrobe, but there’s no way I’m busting out the cardis and tights, not if the temperature is going to continue to hover near 100 degrees. But still, summer’s over and it’s time to bring in fall. Here are five simple ways to transition your closet without having to hover over the AC vents all day long.

Change up your pedicure. Summer is all about bright nails — I’ve been alternating between pink and coral this year — while fall is the best time for dark nails. Change your color, but start slow; opt for a gray or brown pedi for early fall, but keep fingernails light and neutral. When the weather really turns cold, I’ll go with black polish on my toes, but for now — while I’m still wearing sandals and open toed heels — I’ll stick with something a little brighter. My pick is Essie’s Chinchilly.

Mix up your makeup. The best part of summer is not worrying about makeup; the best part of fall is bringing the makeup back. Ease into fall with a more dramatic lip, or a slightly darker eye, but don’t go overboard — choose eye or lip, not both. A deeper pink lip, one with a brown undertone, is perfect for fall and wearable for day and doesn’t feel too made up. MAC Pink Plaid lipstick is a nice option; order it online or test it at the department store makeup counter.

Put away your sandals. Nothing’s better on a hot day than open-toed shoes, but if you’re trying to feel more fallish, swap your sandals for ballet flats or loafers. Either will go with shots and summery skirts, but they’ll give your look a more substantial feel, one that is in keeping with cooler fall weather.

Add a scarf. No, not your big pashmina — look for a light, woven cotton option, one that doesn’t weigh much and won’t make you hot. Layer it over your sundresses and tanks for a simple fall upgrade without any extra heat. The GAP scarf, pictured above, is a perfect transition piece; it’s big enough to give your outfit some weight but light enough to keep you cool.

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bracelets from Stella & Dot

Bulk up your accessories. If a scarf seems like too much, go with a substantial necklace or bracelet instead. Summer is a good time for minimal jewelry, or none at all — who needs a necklace with a swimsuit, right? But while you’re easing into fall, add some heavier pieces to transition from warm to less warm. A leather wrap bracelet is the perfect transition piece; I love Stella & Dot’s options. They’re light and easy to wear and pair well with other pieces.

The perfect mom handbag

Categories: accessories


Banana Republic colorful exotic hobo, $120

Shannon needs a bag. And, like many of us, she needs it to work in a pretty specific way. All the time. Of course.

“My girls are 4 and 6 - -partly in school, partly not, and still young enough that my bag goes to the playground and to playgroup as often as it goes to, say, the supermarket or a moms’ coffee date. I need a day bag that’s large enough for all my stuff (kid water bottles and spare granola bars and packets of antibacterial wipes) but no longer needs to be a diaper- or spare-clothes-for-the-toddler bag, one that can go from parent-teacher conferences to toddler soccer. I need to be able to carry it to school drop-off but also on an impromptu walk to the park, where it might sit on the grass or on a dusty park bench. AND it needs to fit with my mom-style, which tends toward the dark skinny jeans, striped tee, boots, and scarf end of the fashion spectrum, or, in summer, casual dresses and chino skirts with flats or sandals. It has to have two handles, that I can both carry in one hand or over one shoulder — not a long strap or that cross-body style. (I know, I’m pretty picky. I prefer to call it discerning.)”

I totally get all of this. I’ll bet the rest of you do, too.

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Vacation must-haves

Categories: accessories, basics, dresses


I’m on vacation this week, which means that I’m pretty much just wearing a swimsuit all day long. Not bad, really.

My kids are finally old enough that the idea of a “family vacation” isn’t as much of an eye-roller any more. You know what I mean — when they’re wee and tiny, any journey with them isn’t a vacation in the purest sense but a road trip, one that necessitates hauling the entire nursery to the beach or the mountains or wherever it is that you will be “vacationing.” And then, once you’re there, doing all the parent things you do at home, but on the fly in a strange place.

I do not miss those days.

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Regatta-stripe knit dress, Talbot’s, $79.50 currently $62.99

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Put a little spring in your closet

Categories: accessories, beauty

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February is the longest month — you know, for a month with only 28 days, February goes on forever. This winter, the weather has made these four weeks seem even longer (no more snow, please!) and it’s starting to feel like spring will never come.

I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of my boots and my tights and my parka. I’m ready to put some spring in my wardrobe. Here are five simple ways to snap out of your winter rut.

Boyfriend cardigan, Boden USA, $88

Add some color. It’s easy to fall into the black-every-day winter rut; work some color into your closet. A bright scarf can change your look — and your attitude — and still keep you warm.

Work the layers. All but the lightest summer pieces can be worn with winter layers; try a substantial cotton dress with a chunky sweater and boots.

Mix in a trend. Boyfriend cardigans are huge for spring; you can wear yours now over a turtleneck or long sleeved tee, or with your sweater dress. Opt for a fresh, summery color — coral or pale blue or purple.

Try a new lip gloss. Or eye shadow or blush — go for a fresh look. Lips are an easy way to add color; a perfect pink is a nice balance to darker winter shades, and warms up pale winter skin.

Dress up a little. Even if you’re piling on the layers every day, you can make your look a little more festive with a pair of beautiful earrings or a bold bracelet. Treat yourself to one of spring’s hot jewelery trends — pins are back, and they’re easy to wear now, and later.

How do you break your winter rut? And what spring trends have you longing for warmer weather?

The perfect laptop bag: Geek meets chic

Categories: accessories


I’m in the market for a laptop bag, one that’s sturdy enough to hold my MacBook safely but hip enough to look good when I’m hauling it through an airport. So what’s the best bag for the chic geek? Here are five great choices; all are substantial enough to withstand the wear and tear of travel but cool enough to go out and about during the day.

Large Rita from Queen Bee Creations, $140

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