The Perfect Work Bag

The Best Bag for Work/Life | Frock Files

One of my favorite things about working in a space with other creative people is having the opportunity to flex my fashion muscle on a regular basis. Soon after getting hired, I realized that I just didn’t have a bag that would fit all of the things I needed for work and look appropriate for general running around. My friend PJ introduced me to a line called MZ Wallace, and after watching a video in which a woman packed so many things into one of their bags that I began thinking of her as Mary (as in Poppins), I knew I had to have one.

http://www.mzwallace.com/studio/videos

More to Love

I bought the Belle and fell in love with it instantly. It’s the perfect commuter bag, with so many pockets that I could easily carry everything I needed — laptop, notebook, thermos, lip balm, tissues, phone, charger, a ridiculous number of pens, my lunch, and headphones — and still have plenty of room for more. Since I tend to be that girl who dumps out the contents of her bag to find her keys, I appreciate the front pockets the most, which make it easy for me to put my keys in the same place every time. How many minutes of my life did I just get back by not having to do that any more?

The Best Bag for Work/Life | Frock Files

And you know nothing tickles my fancy more than beautiful things that are made with function in mind. Aside from the space and the aesthetics of the bags, I love love love the signature nylon that the company uses. While the trim, handles, and accessories are made with high-quality leather, the nylon is used for most of the structure of the bags, and that makes them super lightweight and durable. On top of that, the fabric has proven to be stain resistant, so even though I’ve used mine through the winter and I’m hard on my stuff, it still looks as new as the day it arrived. Oh, and the zippers? Like buttah.

Spring/Summer 2014

When MZ Wallace sent me the Tri Color Bedford Fiona bag from their Spring/Summer 2014 collection, I fell in love all over again. This is seriously the most ladylike bag I’ve ever owned. The proportions are just lovely — the straps are a good length, the bit of chain is just chunky enough without being burdensome, and the flat bottom leaves plenty of room for everything I need to carry. I don’t think I’ve ever received so many compliments on a bag before! It goes everywhere with me these days. I just love not having to transfer bags every time I get home from work. This bag will be available soon, so keep your eyes peeled for it.

The Best Bag for Work/Life | Frock Files

What are your work bag necessities? And for you mamas out there, what essentials do you keep handy? I know PJ, who just had her second little boy (congrats, friend!), has used an MZ Wallace as a diaper bag and just got another for the new baby because it’s so roomy and easy to organize. I love that idea!

P.S. More office fun here!

This post was sponsored by MZ Wallace but all opinions are very much my own. (I’m seriously, seriously a die hard fan.) Thank you for supporting brands that keep Frock Files going.

A Little French

French Connection USA | Frock Files

The first thing you’ll ask when you see these pictures is, “Weren’t you cold?” And the answer would be yes. I’d intended to take these pictures in the woods, but once we got there we found all the dead trees and dirty snow too depressing. So we flew over to this cute little square while we still had light, and once we got there we realized I’d forgotten the faux fur stole I’d planned on wearing. So I took a deep breath, and we shot quickly!

French Connection USA | Frock Files

French Connection
sent me this frock to wear to the Green Party at Alt Summit, but since I left a day early to beat the snow storm, the dress and I crossed paths. A total bummer, since the it’s gorgeous and totally fit for a fancy party. Luckily, it’s a classic staple piece that I’ll be able to keep in my wardrobe for years and years, and will be excited to wear every time the opportunity arises.

French Connection USA | Frock Files

With their new US collection, French Connection is all about clean lines and contemporary chicness. Their dresses, in particular, are at the crossroads of classic and modern, which makes them easy to dress up or down. As I work on building up my wardrobe now that I actually work outside my home, I’m turning to French Connection for the effortlessly cool undertones their collection brings.

Now I’m daydreaming about throwing a fancy tea party just so all of us can break out our fanciest frocks! Or maybe, just maybe, Valentine’s weekend will bring about an occasion worthy of this number.

Dress: French Connection // Earrings: J.Crew (similar) // Shoes: Me Too (past season) // Clutch: Macy’s

This post was sponsored by French Connection. All opinions are my own.

Nine to Five Necessities

Five Fashionable and Functional Items for The Workday | Frock Files

One of the things I’ve always loved about working outside of my home is the abundance of accoutrements that can make you feel at home, even when you’re commuting or at the office. There are few things I salivate over more than objects that are both beautiful and serve some kind of function.

5 Work Day Essentials

Take, for example, my little espresso machine. It’s been in storage for the past year, but now that I actually have to wake up by a certain time I’ll need the full strength of a latte in the mornings. It doesn’t take up much counter space and it pulls beautiful shots of espresso. Years ago, a girl in Lucky Magazine recommended this machine and said that it makes “Reliably perfect cappuccinos every time.” She was right.

It’s also been fun to break out my favorite pair of pumps and my giant pashmina, neither of which got a lot of use since I started working from home. Pashminas are my go-to for work and travel, since they can double as blankets.

And since I never really outgrew my love of thermoses, I’m super excited about the new one I got from Zojirushi. This Japanese brand must put magic into their products, because they keep food and drinks hot/cold for literally hours. I’ve put iced drinks in our travel mugs at the beginning of the day and that night, I’m surprised to find that there’s still ice floating in them. Now I have a little squat one to keep my soups and stews hot for lunch!

I’ve also had the chance to break out this beautiful Swarovski crystal pen that my friend Stephanie gave me as a gift. It’s too special to use for grocery lists, but when I broke it out for my first meeting I instantly felt a little more confident. Having a token of friendship nearby makes everything more delightful!

Are there any things that you use daily that bring you glee? I’m always looking for recommendations!

 

Featured on The Chic Site!

The Chic Site: November Fashion

Over the summer, I was thrilled that The Chic Site featured my little “One Dress, Three Ways” video on their site. So when they asked me to contribute a style post about what November fashion looks like in Boston, I said yes right away!

From November through April, my fashion choices revolve around accessories, since most of the time people only ever see the coat part of my outfit. Since moving here seven years ago, my purse collection has expanded healthily (!) and I’ve begun splurging on brightly colored shoes. These bright pink pumps seem to make people around me smile, which is the best part.

The Chic Site wanted a realistic version of what we would be wearing this month, so I got dressed the way I do when I head into the city, with a mix of old and new things. This coat from Gap is the first one I bought here, and it’s still my favorite because it fits nicely — a rarity when you’re petite!

Head on over to The Chic Site to see what seven other lovely ladies from around the globe are donning this month. It’s so fun to see how different the styles are based on location! Oh, to be sleeveless in Monterrey…

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Coat: Gap (past season) | Shoes: Kate Spade (similar) | Purse: Kate Spade (past season) | Earrings: Vanilla Moon (custom) | Headband: Nordstrom

Photo by Stephanie Rita Photography

Cozy Fall Fashion for Under $30

Cozy Finds Under $30

Today marks the first part of that decline into really chilly weather here in New England. Temperatures won’t reach above the mid-fifties and may even dip close to freezing at night. It’s time to bundle up, but with two big trips and lots of holiday shopping right around the corner, I’m keeping my eyes peeled for wallet-friendly fashion.

At under $30 each, these pieces hit the mark. The cute “Hello There” sweatshirt? I bet it costs less than your last lunch out.

What are you bundling up in this fall?

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Sweatshirt / Gloves / Socks / Boots / Skirt

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