Coffee in Bed

Weekend Vibes: Edition No. 6

Happy weekend, Magpies!  If you are reading this in the morning, this is what I’m doing, plus nursing or pumping:

Coffee in Bed

And also, trying to sneak in a few minutes here and there of this book, which I started reading during a middle-of-the-night feeding session and it scared the bejesus out of me.

Also, update on the HBO series Big Little Lies (thoughts on the book here): it’s amazing.  I even have Mr. Magpie hooked on it!  The casting is incredible, and I am totally caught up and anxiously awaiting the finale this Sunday.  Adam Scott is particularly gifted in his performance–so believable.  And the soundtrack!  We are constantly holding up our iPhones to the screen and saying, “What is this song, Siri?!” and then instantly downloading.  Full of off-the-beaten-path songs by famous singers–like, it won’t be Van Morrison’s “Brown Eyed Girl.”  It will be his other amazing hit you never heard from a b-side or something.  Strongly encourage you watch this, even if you’ve not read the book!  #Thatsoundtracktho.

And, we also just started watching Netflix’s Lovestruck and it’s hilarious.  (Not for you, Mom and Dad.)

P.S. — DON’T FORGET, there’s a cute giveaway for your mini here — I’m announcing a winner MONDAY!

My Latest Score

I know I’ve mentioned these 1.3 million times, so these aren’t technically “my latest score,” but I am absolutely living in my Alo Yoga Moto Leggings ($114) these days.  Part of me hates myself for living in athleisure gear, but part of me sees them as temporarily functional, and not totally hideous (see inspo below).  I like that they have a lot of stretch in them and have a higher rise than most yoga pants…because, c-section.  Even Mr. Magpie commented that they “looked cool….and expensive” (with a glare at me on the expensive part).

The Fashion Magpie Alo Yoga Leggings The Fashion Magpie Alo Yoga Moto Leggings

You’re Sooooo Popular

Most popular items on Le Blog this week:

+The cutest could-shouldered, striped top ($65).

+Our go-to swaddles from Aden+Anais in the cutest woodland pals print ($49 for 4).  These bibs ($20 for 2) from the same brand were also tres popular.  More #mini must haves here.

+This floral, trumpet-sleeved top ($60).  Was I right when I said this season is the season of the statement top?!

+This gorgeous linen slipper chair ($150).

+Floral OTS top from Loft ($59).

#Turbothot

My father forwarded me this Washington Post article on a new clothing start-up, MMLafleur, focused on dressing women for work who can’t be bothered with the inconvenience of shopping and dressing themselves in corporate environments.  Her solution is to basically remove shopping from the equation: you can set up an appointment to have clothing pre-selected for you so you hop in and try on a selection of pieces hand-picked for you, or can order one of their “bento boxes” to have items curated and shipped to you based on a survey you complete.  All of the pieces in their collection are pricey “basics” appropriate for the corporate world.

In another article, the founder states: “Your clothes should be the least interesting thing about you.”

I’m curious to hear your reactions to this…

…but I could not be less interested in this brand or its ethos.

I’m sure that there is a market segment she is serving–basically, someone like her, who has worked in ultra-conservative, male-dominated environments, with a generous salary.  And if there’s one thing I’ve learned from building my own business, it’s that you’re never building a product for everyone.  You’re building it for a specific segment of the marketplace with specific interests, attributes, motivations, and demographics, and then going as deep as you can to acquire customers that fit that profile.  That’s why there are stores like Chicos vs. Forever 21–each built around a specific demography with particular tastes, preferences, etc.  So, there’s no doubt that there is a group of women out there that rally around the anti-shopping, clothing-is-nothing-more-than-fabric-to-get-through-the-day mentality.  (Sort of the parallel to people who think of food as, simply, sustenance…vs. something to delight in and enjoy.)  And, no judgment on that woman.  Or that food-as-sustenance-and-sustenance-alone person.

In the words of Amy Poehler: “Good for you, not for me.”  (And if you’ve not yet read her memoir, it’s worth a read.  Not as good as Tina Fey’s, but interesting.  She returns to this mantra time and time again when talking about her general attitude when talking with other women about parenting, marriage, lifestyle decisions, career paths, etc.  Sort of a live-and-let-live mentality that I find myself increasingly embracing, especially now that I find myself on the receiving end of a lot of motherhood advice, for which I am eternally grateful but also mindfully cautious.)

BUT.

If I were to make a bet on women–even women in high-powered, corporate, ultra-conservative career environments–I would have to bet AGAINST the idea that we want our clothing to be the “least interesting thing about us.”  Sure, we don’t want to call attention to our cleavage or give anyone any opportunity to offer up gendered commentary, but who wants to look drab and boring?  Who self-elects into the “blah” category?  Even women who are hyper-conscious of fitting in with the men, who–of necessity–look for straight-forward black or gray sheaths.  I am highly skeptical that there are many women who would say: “please, dress me as blandly as possible.  Help me blend in with the wallpaper.”  Clothing don’t make the woman, but they can certainly lend you a sense of confidence.

(As an aside, personally, I think the idea of having to schedule an appointment to try on items pre-selected for me is a more disruptive and constraining experience than stopping by a store on the way home from work / when I have a few minutes on a lunch break.  You know how it feels when a sales attendant is waiting outside your dressing room stall, asking “how things are going?” every two minutes?  Terrible.  That’s what it feels like.  We’ve all been there–stuck in a stall trying on something that truly does not fit while a saleslady is trying to poke her head in, and you’re covering your boobs and sucking in and wishing you could just slip out the back door.  And, can you imagine how pressured you would feel to buy something after setting up a time and trying on items hand-selected for you?)

(And, as another aside, I think a lot of us have been conditioned to expect discounts and sales, which MMLafleur categorically opposes.  I think this will be a tough pill for many of us to swallow from a consumer standpoint.)

(And, as another aside, based on my research for my company on the impact of millennials and younger generations in the workforce, the “dress up for work”/”dress code for work” mentality has given way to a “dress down for work to meet the preferences of the more junior folks in the office” concession.  Even at McDonalds, a bastion of the old corporate world, they’ve recently relaxed dress codes!  So.  There’s that macro trend, too.)

OK.  I feel slightly guilty for putting this start-up on blast.  I love that it’s a female-founded business, and that the founder built it around a need she saw in her daily life.  And, I do agree that chic options for work are pretty tough to come by.  There’s pretty much Theory, J.Crew, and Banana.  Maybe a muted DVF dress if you can pull it off in your workplace.  But I personally think she’s missed the mark on what most women want.  Or, if she’s really going after the sub-set of shopping-averse women, I can’t imagine the business will be a huge success–how big can that segment be?

Thoughts??  Curious to hear what you sharp (and chic) ladies have to say about this, knowing that most of you are probably in my camp (of the fashion/shopping-obsessed) if you’re reading this blog.  Still.  Am I missing something?

Shopaholic

+CUTE iPhone case ($48).  I’ve never used an iPhone case — I think the design of the phone is too good to cover up.  But, with babe in tow, I find myself dropping my phone constantly…or chucking it onto the coffee table with a clank…or what have you.  This one is on my radar as a solid option.

+The cutest yoga pants ($99) — love those bows at the ankle!

+I don’t think I’ve ever bought anything for myself from Brooks Brothers–not exactly my style–but this printed dress caught my eye as an elegant, work-appropriate spring style for some upcoming meetings and events that I have.  Ruh-roh.  Have I turned into a mom?  Eeep.  But seriously, I would wear this dress in a flash with some great pointed-toe pumps.

+Dying over this floaty, striped Ulla Johnson ($345).

+Love this mini mercury glass bud vase ($14).  Perfect for a stray peony…

+This gauzy floral ($139) is just the thing for an upcoming spring birthday I’m attending.

+Sometimes, when I’m gross and haven’t showered in over 24 hours (I much prefer to shower once a day), I add a little texturizing spray to my hair to make it look intentional.  I typically use DryBar’s Triple Sec spray, which adds texture and volume, and doubles as dry shampoo, but I’ve heard good things about Bumble + Bumble’s Cityswept spray.  Going to give it a try next time around.

 

10 Comments

  1. I only know one person who likes/uses MM.LaFleur, and she works in a super-corporate environment (finance in NYC). Oddly enough, she does like and appreciate clothes, which is why I’m surprised that she uses the service, now that I know a bit more about it. It’s so weird to me that they take the angle of essentially saying, as Alison brilliantly put it, “just wear this, it’s fine”. I agree that their market segment can’t be huge if they’re only going after shopping-averse women. Curious, curious.

    Then again, I am NOT close to who I imagine the core customer to be – I love clothing and style and work in a creative field where I can wear nearly anything I choose to work (as long as it’s appropriate and covers the bits that need covering!) So maybe it’s hard for me to understand why someone would use a service like this, having never had a truly corporate job. Not sure.

    That Ulla dress is gorgeous!

    1. Right on point per usual, MK. I’d be so curious to hear your friends rationale/thoughts on MMLaFleur. Maybe we’re missing something as I, too, am not in a traditional corporate job and maybe I’m just out to lunch. (I haven’t had to wear a suit to work…ever.) xo

    2. Me either, thankfully! My parents bought me a skirt suit from Brooks Brothers for interviews when I graduated in the oo’s, and it still hangs, with tags on, in my former closet in their house, now in a guest bedroom. So funny!

  2. I have never really understood the appeal of any of these shopping “services” — StitchFix being the worst offender in my mind, but MMLafleur seems close behind. I think it’s really just a service for people who don’t like and don’t care about clothing but have to get dressed every day and have some money to throw at the problem. Which is cool, I know some ladies like that. But it doesn’t feel like the audience there is huge. And it seems hard to be inspired by a company who seems to be saying, “ugh, just wear this, it’s fine”.

    Glad you are loving Big Little Lies! I’m sad it’s almost over. Vulture did a great round up of Madeline’s best lines which are now tucked in my head for future use (“you can go fuck yourself on the head” seems quite useful), and you’re right, the music is AMAZING. I love the theme song — it’s unexpected but perfect, and sometimes it is playing in my head as I drive around looking pensive, a bit haunted, but still beautiful 😉

    1. Alison, THANK you for this smart commentary. I totally agree. I also think you should start your own column of sorts — so many insightful observations you have made on this topic and so many others on this here little bloglet. Mr. Magpie read me your comment while I was nursing minimagpie and we both had a good laugh about your remark “a company who seems to be saying ‘ugh, just wear this, it’s fine.'” LOL. I still haven’t seen the finale of Big Little Lies (Mr. Magpie’s parents were in town!), but can’t waiittttt to tune in tonight! As always, thanks for reading and commenting. xoxo

    2. Aww, thanks. I rarely comment on other blogs but for some reason I come here and I’m all “teacher, I’m going to need another blue book!” Glad I could at least bring a little chuckle 🙂

  3. I struggle with work place attire constantly, but not because shopping for it is an inconvenience or I don’t want to look “interesting.” I don’t think blending in or wearing a traditional suit is the solution to moving forward in your career. Some days I go to Court and must wear true business attire and the struggle is how to make a suit, particularly a pant suit (woof in my opinion) look interesting. I think the women who this service is trying to appeal to can already already go to Banana and buy three suits and a bunch of oxford blouses (on sale) and be done for a year, they don’t need to pay the premium for a service.

    However, I constantly admire the female lawyers I see wearing non-traditional blazers, skirts and suit pants, who look fabulous while still being completely court room appropriate, and I am always on the hunt for new, fun options for myself. Unfortunately I’ve come to the conclusion that a lot of their unique styles come at a cost I cannot afford this early in my career. So nope, this start-up is not for me! However, I agree with you Ms. Magpie, I’d love to see more brands who make interesting, workplace appropriate close for the younger business set.

    On a separate note, I am obsessed with and have been lusting over those moto leggings for awhile. I recently bought a bunch of Athleta leggings that I love for working out (and let’s be serious, lounging all weekend) and they have a similar legging that is a little less expensive than the Alo version.

    1. I made a spelling error that is killing me, last sentence of the second paragraph should be “clothes,” not close. Embarrassing.

    2. Could not agree more, Jen! Also interesting to hear this coming straight from a lawyer’s mouth — confirming some of my hunches. It also inspires me to do some hunting for some work-appropriate-but-cool looks…HMMM. Food for thought. xoxo

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