A Professional’s Guide to Shop It To Me

We’re the ladies of House of Marbury and we are honored to be guest blogging here on Shop It To Me, one of our favorite shopping resources as of late.  When we launched House of Marbury nearly a year ago now, our goal was to give lawyers and other professionals a one-stop source for fashion guidance and inspiration.

Here’s our suggested approach to finding the designers and items your professional closet can’t do without:

1) Consider Your Basics

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  1. Theory Cardigan 2. J.Crew Loafers 3. J.Crew Necklace 4. J.Crew Sweater

    Just like any shopping adventure, getting clear about what you actually need in your closet at the outset is a smart approach.  With Shop It To Me, we recommend that you include some of your basic, go-to designers and brands so that, no matter what, your feed will be populated with items that you are definitively missing in your closet.

For this purpose, we love:

J. Crew – J. Crew is your one stop shop for business casual clothes, preppy basics, shoes, and fun costume jewelry.

Theory – No one does women’s suits like Theory, and a professional wardrobe is not complete without 2 to 3 Theory suits (try navy, grey, and pinstripe for variety).

Rachel Roy – RR puts a twist on professional basics.  We especially love her jackets and shift/A-line dresses for their young, fresh look and flattering fit.

Kate Spade – This is the perfect finishing brand for a professional woman’s wardrobe.  Find the cutest skirts, dresses, and accessories (including scarves and eyewear) at Kate Spade to add color, pattern, and spunk to your professional wardrobe.

2) Find Standout Items

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1. Rebecca Minkoff Bag 2. Tory Burch Dress 3. Ralph Lauren Gown 4. Ralph Lauren Pants

In addition to the things you need, we tend to peruse our closets every once in a while and take inventory of those items we can’t live without.  Make a mental note of the size, designer, fit, and anything else about the item that makes it your dream piece.  And set your Shop It To Me feed to include those designers (or designers who make similar pieces).  That way, when you’re shopping on Shop It To Me, you’re well tuned in to what actually works for you (and not distracted by items that you like but that you’ve tried again and again and just can’t quite figure out how to wear).

For this purpose, we love:

Ralph Lauren – Ralph Lauren is a classic brand with fabulous basics that any professional closet needs.  We are always on the look out for this season’s staple Ralph Lauren pieces.

Rebecca Minkoff – Rebecca Minkoff makes everything from great work bags to the famous morning after bag to sweet little handbags and clutches that easily transition from day to night.  A few Rebecca Minkoff handbags make a decent start to an extensive purse collection.

Tory Burch – A great Tory skirt, a pair of boots, a blouse – we’ve got those irreplaceable Tory Birch items but we’re always on the lookout for more.  This is one of those brands that will make your wardrobe better, and that you can rely on consistently for great pieces to supplement your wardrobe basics.

3) Find Unique Pieces

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1. Alice + Olivia Dress 2. Anthropologie Necklace 3. Tibi Skirt 4. Anthropologie Tunic

Forgive us as we contradict ourselves for a moment.  While you should know yourself, and know what pieces you are certain to wear, shopping gets fun when you take risks.  As part of your Shop It To Me feed, include a few designers you might not have otherwise considered.  Go with something wild, adventurous, and unique.  Said another way, go with a designer who will add some color and interest to your otherwise professional wardrobe.

For this purpose, we love:

Tibi – Lovely patterns and shapes, Tibi is the perfect way to venture into unique, original looks without overdoing it.

Alice + Olivia – Alice + Olivia have perfected the funky-professional look.  Wide-leg trousers, great fitting sweaters and blazers.  This is not your traditional business/business casual brand, but you can certainly put together a stellar, work-appropriate outfit that’s guaranteed to be more interesting than the other girls’ get ups down the hall.

Anthropologie – We love everything Anthropologie, and their pieces work equally well for that bohemian-chic weekend look as they do for a business casual day at the office.  Pair cozy cardigans with full A-line skirts.  Choose an embroidered dress and a structured blazer.  There is something for everyone, and the way you combine Anthropologie pieces is what makes it your own.

4) Decide When To Splurge

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  1. DVF Dress 2. DVF Dress 3. DVF Clutch 4. Derek Lam Skirt

As much as we love to save, we recognize that from time to time certain items are well-worth the splurge.  (In fact, we’ve devoted an entire page of House of Marbury to this concept.)  As you browse your Shop It To Me feed, you are inevitably going to come across items that are technically on sale, but not necessarily part of your contemplated budget.  If you’re tempted, but not certain you’re ready to pull the trigger, mark the item as a favorite and hold off for a few days.  There is a chance the item may no longer be available (that’s our “it wasn’t meant to be,” Zen approach to shopping) or, preferably, it has been marked down even more, which is great!

The splurge-worthy brands we love include:**  **

Stella McCartney – Almost everything Stella is amazing, but her blouses in particular are a fabulous addition to any wardrobe- investment pieces you can showcase for years.

Victoria Beckham – VB is not only an incredible style icon, her clothes are gorgeous.  Every piece has so much subtle detail – they are edgy, unique, and striking, while simplistic at the same time.  The off-beat hemlines and funky jackets can be worn in business and social settings.

DVF – At House of Marbury, we are dedicated DVF fans.  No professional closet is complete without one of her signature wrap dresses, and DVF is making amazing work bags at the moment, too.

Burberry – A great Burberry bag, scarf, trench, watch or dress is irreplaceable.  While you don’t need a closet-full of Burberry, one or two nice pieces are guaranteed to fit like a glove and enhance any outfit.

Desiree and Kate run the popular blog House of Marbury, a daily fashion and style guide for professional women.  Click here for more from House of Marbury!