What You’re Shopping For: January 2022 Edition, Vol II.

*Image above via Collage Vintage. I love (!) the way she styles those Manolos!

Q: Bump friendly cocktail dress for a wedding at the end of January.

A: This post is a good starting point, though all are non-maternity (therefore most are better for earlier trimesters) and skew towards warmer weather. This Cara Cara would be gorgeous, this Hunter Bell is stunning, and I love this textured black style. This would be a fabulous statement, as would this ($126!) in the red (or black if more comfortable for you!). I also love this wintry velvet number, which is a maternity dress (best if you’re in third trimester), and under $100.

By the way, Emerson Fry has a bunch of gorgeous knit dresses out right now (button-front, turtleneck) that would be a dream for pregnancy. I like the way they are styled, with clogs!

Q: A warm and cute ski jacket under $400.

A: I love this Helly Hensen — the greatest colors (lilac!) and I hear this brand is LEGIT on the warmth/function scale. I’m so into this brand, personally! I also saw that my Instagram friend Stephanie from A Life Well Saved went skiing but did not want to invest in pricey bibs for such limited use and bought this $62 pair from the unlikeliest source…love the white! Snowbunny chic.

BTW, super cute puffers in great colors here. I am currently lusting after a Herno and noticed they are on sale in multiple places, including here, here, and here.

Q: Classic crewneck cardigans.

A: I own several of the cashmere ones from Everlane and J. Crew’s Tippi style in different colors. I love the buttons on the cuff of this style, but you can get the look for less with this Zara. And then, of course, RL! Such fabulous basics! If you’re talking more about an Aran knit style, I love this, this, and this!

Q: Long navy or black dress with ruffles or feminine detail for a beach picture.

A: I’ve always loved the silhouette of this Staud — feminine with that off-the-shoulder situation; HHH has a few great nap dresses in black that would be perfect, including their iconic Ellie and the romantic Akilah; this Johanna Ortiz is an investment but oh-so-gorgeous; if you wore a slip beneath, this would be lovely; and this LSF is ultra-pretty, too.

Q: Black tie wedding in ATL.

A: I think the most formal wedding I’ve ever attended was a black tie affair at a country club in ATL. Guests were truly turned out. A few standouts for such a formal affair: this black Chiara Boni, this spectacular navy wonder, this Sau Lee, this hot pink number (dress up with big statement earrings and dramatic high heels), this Tibi, this Needle and Thread.

P.S. Lots of party shoes here and more wedding guest finds here! I also shared a post on special occasion dresses for winter here.

Q: Just found out I’m pregnant. Pregnancy must-haves? Still early, but I’m a planner!

A: Oh!! Congratulations!! So exciting. I swore by Clarins’ Body Treatment Oil and I have no stretch marks, two pregnancies later. I know those are partly genetic, but still! Even if it had no impact on stretch marks, it felt so good to put on after the shower, as your skin gets so tight and itchy around the belly towards the end. I drank SO MUCH Harney’s peppermint tea during my pregnancies — caffeine-free and delicious. It was nice to have a ritual in the evenings, especially since I did not drink alcohol. I also strongly encourage you to buy a pregnancy pillow well before you think you need it. I feel like it happens overnight — one night you’re fine sleeping normally and the next you are desperate for one of these. Good to have on hand now and save for that night! I really liked this brand (actually bought it twice, because I threw it away during the move from Chicago to NYC since it wasn’t something I wanted to store in my tiny NY apartment) but there are tons.

For clothing, I bought Gap maternity tees in every color and stripe and invested in high-quality maternity jeans and leggings. For me, those were J. Brand J Mama (I know so many of you love this style too) and David Lerner maternity leggings, but I can’t seem to find the latter anymore? Maybe try Hatch? I think it’s important to invest in the jeans and leggings because you get so much use out of them, they stretch, etc! You want them to survive heavy use for several months in a row. I also treated myself to a few fun new pairs of shoes because my wardrobe was so limited. Mules are great because they don’t require any bending over to fuss with laces — these and these are fun — or maybe now is the time to invest in some fabulous Chanel flats to elevate a black-leggings-black-tee uniform. I also liked to go super trendy on accessories because my everyday vibe was so simple/minimalist — think Gucci hair clips and my favorite $12 rhinestone headband.

Last but not least, treat yourself to maternity underwear (I loved these and these) and some great maternity pajamas (I owned several pairs of these, and it’s like wandering around in a swaddle of the softest cotton, but I also loved Lake). Trust me — these are worth the expense. I remember counting the minutes until I could change into my pajamas, and I realized during mini’s pregnancy that I was actually excited for laundry day because it meant I’d have maternity underwear in hand soon. For micro’s pregnancy, I bought enough for every day of the week 🙂

Q: Gift for a friend who just got accepted to law school — feel like she has everything. Help!

A: So sweet of you. Maybe some of the ideas here or here will fit the bill? More generally — a lady can never have enough stationery, and I always think personalized gifts are tremendously thoughtful because they require special customization! I love this set and this one, and there are even more options here. A gorgeous leather Smythson notebook (personalized with her initials) would also be a chic statement. Beyond that, I often will ask myself: what’s something I want right now? I have been eyeing this purse organizer for awhile for my Goyard and I think it’d be a practical but splurgey gift for a gal about to head into a busy season of life. I would also absolutely treasure a Ginori mug for coffee/tea, and a personalized AirPods case.

Q: Black designer bag.

A: I’m currently lusting after Celine’s Sangle, and it comes in black. Their box bag is also timeless. A girlfriend of mine owns Loewe’s hammock bag and it is SPECTACULAR IRL. But you’ll never regret Chanel!

Q: Perfect white oxford.

A: I have great luck at J. Crew for this — they think through the length/fit well. I’m also currently into the boxier fit at Everlane and Ayr (and I know people LOVE the latter in particular). COS also has some good-looking, tailored ones at a reasonable price. And I know not everyone loves the visible pony, but I’m a longtime (decades-long!) fan of RL.

Q: Wintry bachelorette party outfits (for the bride).

A: Cute! Congratulations! This dress is the answer. It is beyond adorable! Alternately, pair your favorite jeans with an on-trend, perfect-for-a-bride feathered top like this, this, this, or this. (Even more fun feathered finds here.) If you’re not into the white/feathered moment, consider this $42 white top with some on-trend jeans and party shoes, or look through the fab statement tops here. Finally, this jumpsuit BRINGS the party.

Q: Ski clothes for a toddler girl.

A: I’ve not yet taken my children skiing, but have heard good things about these well-priced bibs (love them in the white — and check out all the 5 star reviews!), Helly Hensen’s ski jackets for children, and Smith ski goggles. These fleece-lined thermals are inexpensive and get great reviews — love the white and lavender colors. (You could layer beneath this ski suit!

Q: A pair of inexpensive table lamps for guest bedroom side tables.

A: These or two of these (which look so much like a style from S&L!)

Q: Storage bins for garage/basement.

A: These Iris weathertight ones are pricey but REALLY well made, keep moisturize out, snap in place. This is the only thing we use in our basement. We invested in these back when we lived in Manhattan and had a storage space in the basement/bowels of the building, and you really did not want to take your chances down there. (Rats, moisture, cold, etc!) We will never look back. We bought a bunch of additional ones after our move. More organization gear here and here.

Q: Help! Trying to create a solution for the clutter of kids water bottles, cups, plates, etc.

A: This is hard for us, too, because we have a bunch of differently shaped plates/cups/bowls that don’t all nest together nicely. I did recently see this water bottle storage solution and thought it was brilliant. Beyond that, I think just do the best you can stacking plates/bowls that match and then keep “like” objects together in bins like these, if only to contain and structure the mess. I will say that over time I have let go of some of the one-off/novelty plates (if they are holiday themed, I keep them in the basement in the weathertight bin associated with each holiday) so that we mainly have the ones from RePlay that all nest nicely together. That has helped. To other moms with younger kids: I wish I’d thought of this sooner rather than buying a bunch of different brands/styles to begin with! Might be a good tip…stick with one brand/style. The RePlay ones are my favorite because they are microwave and dishwasher safe, have deep enough wells to hold things like applesauce, yogurt, even cereal with milk (in small portions), and are refreshingly unfussy/unpatterned but come in great colors. A girlfriend of mine recently visited with her son and she ordered them on the spot after we served lunch in them!

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