Q: Classic but tastefully on trend looks for my mom. 60ish. Age-appropriate but fresh.
A: This is such a thoughtful query — I love it. I feel like shirtdresses are my answer to everything, but they are en vogue right now and suitable for any age. I would look for ones in on-trend patterns or textures (i.e., blockprint or corduroy), are a midi- or maxi-length (versus knee-length), and/or have on-trend details like tiers or puffed sleeves to keep the look “fresh.”
For more casual wear, I’d look at ankle-length straight-leg jeans or cords (also like these in the olive) or even velvet pants and encourage her to have fun with the top — love interesting shapes like this, this, this, this, or this.
Q: Casual clothes that still look put together for school drop off.
A: I shared some “dressed up” athleisure looks here that might be what you’re after — otherwise, I have been finding it super easy to pair my favorite shirtdresses/midi dresses (many by the brands listed above) with my flats from Chanel, Vibi Venezia, and Talbots. I have five or six dresses I have been wearing at least once a week the last few weeks I feel like. Another easy formula is exhibited beautifully by the chic pea at the top — invest in a few pairs of comfortable, on-trend pants — think wide-leg crop jeans — and then pairing with basic white tees and your favorite flats. Go with basic colors — black, brown, white, navy — and just mix and match. Last but not least, one sneaky workaround is to buy a statement coat you love and a pair of trendy flats or boots (look for less with these) and a smart crossbody — in the winter, you’ll rarely be seen sans coat! All of those pieces can be worn over your secret daily uniform of Lululemon leggings and sweatshirts or Kule turtlenecks with no problem!
Q: Statement blouse for fall, under $100.
Q: Late fall to holiday dress that is friendly for an 8 month baby bump.
A: Congrats, mama! I would say this Rachel Pally in the oxblood color, this Hill House tartan nap dress, this plaid mini, and/or this basic black dress. I swear I lived in a black dress similar to that and wore it to every single imaginable occasion — black basic dress can be dressed up with velvet mules and sparkly earrings or dressed down with sneakers.
Q: Chic winter wear — scarves, hats, gloves.
A: I love a statement glove. (In fact, when I studied abroad, I purchased a beautiful pair from a small leather boutique in Venice that were pale pink with elegant dot detailing on the topside.) A few current favorites: Gucci gloves ($$$), Surell, more Gucci, Barbour, Marcus Adler (under $20), Ugg, and cableknit cashmere RL. For hats, I love these Acne ones — such great colors! — and this customizable Ralph Lauren one (love with the athletic letter in front) and have always been a sucker for earmuffs (I don’t know why no one is making them anymore — you can still score some of those adorable Burberry ones gently used). For scarves, I love this colorblocked Boden, a classic cashmere, an oversized ACNE, this ACNE-inspired Zara, Barbour-esque plaid from MANGO, an actual Barbour.
Last but not least, this bejeweled beanie and gloves set brings me joy!
Q: Low heel boots!
A: High-end picks: Isabel Marant Dernee, Alexandre Birman Kittie, and Paris Texas snakeskins (I own both of the last two pairs). More reasonable and more versatile: Talbots Iona and J. Crew. Casual: No 6.
Q: Black tie dress for a December event. No sleeveless or strapless, please!
Q: Fall shoes.
Q: The perfect fall jeans — modern yet classic, not trendy.
Q: African safari outfits that I can repurpose.
A: Wow — trip of a lifetime! I would turn to my girlfriend Mackenzie, who went on a safari on her honeymoon, or do a deep dive in Bradley Agather’s Instagram (I know she’s been on a safari in the past and always looks impeccable) for inspo. I do think proper footwear is a must, and I’ve wanted Danner boots with the red laces forever. These Sorels are also cool. Both are chic enough to repurpose back home in cold weather! I would also prioritize a good field jacket — J. Crew always has fabulous ones at reasonable prices and you can for sure wear these back home!
Q: Affordable but classy everyday bag.
Q: Simple, round glass lamp for bedside table, under $75.
Q: Christmas gifts for hard-to-get couple.
A: Unusual food/gourmet gifts go a long way with this crowd (see some ideas here) — maybe some oysters and a few oyster knives? I also personally adore (am obsessed with) the champagne coupes I bought last year. I use them constantly, for cocktails or a weeknight glass of cava. These are so pretty. Bundle with a bottle of champagne. Or maybe buy them a personalized tote (love this holiday tartan one) and fill with your favorite fancy snacks — truffle chips, bottle of lambrusco, pimento cheese dip, etc.
Q: 3/4 sleeve shirts.