Black Friday Cheat Sheet

You have waited all year for this day and it has finally arrived. Your stomach churns with both excitement and apprehension as you depart your home and venture off to an unknown fate.  Black Friday: the day when people trample others for deep discounts mere hours after giving thanks for what they already have. Black Friday is an enigma in the truest form. It’s the one day of the year that integrates some of the most celebrated American pastimes – camping, shopping, and wrestling. In a real life manifestation of The Hunger Games, all common decency is abandoned as people cross swords for price-slashed luxury goods. Unless armed with helmets and shoulder pads, battling hoards of overzealous retailers is wrought with perils.

The first and most critical rule for Black Friday shopping – STAY HOME.  There, I said it. With few exceptions, shoppers extraordinaire can access the same deals online as in stores. This year, stay in your pajamas, grab some spiced cider, and bask in the warm glow of your computer screen. Below is my ultimate Black Friday Cheat sheet because it’s an “add to cart” kind of day!

Moda Operandi – Take an extra 30% off sale styles with code 30EXTRA.  Valid through 11/27.

Nike – Take an extra 25% off sale styles with code EPIC25. Valid through 11/28

Shopbop – Take up to 75% off sale items and 30% off full-priced styles with code MORE17. Valid through 11/27

Saks – Get up to 60% off at the Thanksgiving sale. Valid through 11/24

Rebecca Minkoff – Take 25% off all purchases over $100 with code BLACK25. Valid through 11/28

Kate Spade – Take 30% off all purchases with code GIVEJOY. Valid through November 211/26

Macy’s – Take 20% off with code HURRY. Valid through 11/25

LUISAVIAROMA – Take 20% off with code BFSUS17. Valid through 11/29

Intermix – Take 40% off select full-priced styles. Valid only 11/23

J. Crew – Take 40% off everything. Valid through 11/26

Topshop – Get up to 50% off plus free shipping. Valid through 11/27

Asos – Take 20% off everything with code WIN20. Valid through 11/28

Madewell – Take 25% off everything with code DONTSTRESS. Valid through 11/26

DIANE VON FURSTENBERG – Take 20% off site-wide with code THANKS20. Valid through 11/27

Farfetch – Take 50% off. Valid 11/23 for a limited time.

DKNY – Take 20% off your purchase + an additional 30% off sale with code BLACK. Valid through 11/25

Sam Edelman –  Take 30% off Sitewide with code SAMSGIVING. Valid through 11/25

Urban Outfitters – Buy one, get one 50% off. Valid through 11/24

TOMMY HILFIGER – Take 40% off site-wide + extra 20% off $150+ with code THATSALE. Valid through 11/28

Boohoo – Take 50% off everything. Valid 11/22 only

Tory Burch – Take 30% off $250+ with code THANKS. Valid through 11/27

 

Polished in Plaid

When summer comes to a close and the first brisk gusts of wind swirl through the towering New York City skyscrapers, we wrap ourselves in fleece blankets, sip spiced cider by the fireplace and delight in the splendor of the upcoming holiday season. At this time of year, fashion enthusiasts often become inspired by nature’s vibrant autumn palette.  Along with Jewel-toned cashmere and pumpkin hued embellishments, we commonly gravitate towards brightly colored plaid accessories. While the festive grid-like design is most often seen on flannel pajamas, plush throw blankets and other festive home décor, this season we’re really seeing plaid rule the runway like never before. New York City’s most fashionable are stepping out with swoon-worthy tartan-themed accessories and chic plaid footwear that will have NYC women sashaying all throughout autumn and winter. From sky high boots to chic flats, everyone can partake in this here-to-stay trend. Below are my most highly coveted plaid shoes of the season.

Chiara Ferragni Pointy Toe Flat – Nordstrom Rack

Chiara Ferragni

This Chiara Ferragni Italian-made loafer is a classic shoe with an air of luxe eccentricity. The playful twist on a traditional fabric and sleek silhouette is both unexpected and masterfully executed. Thanks to the remarkably impressive acquisitions of Nordstrom Rack, these $420 flats can be yours for only $289. Sold!

Jeffrey Campbell “Lilith” Boot – Nordstrom

Jeffrey Campbell Lilith block heel boot

Leave it to avantgarde shoe designer, Jeffrey Campbell, to put the perfect feminine spin on the traditional combat boot. Punk meets plaid in this edgy patchwork boot that screams rocker-chic! Jewel-toned plaid swatches and silver-tone studded accents present a striking contrast to the thick lug sole and chunky block heel.

Jeffrey Campbell “Siren” Bootie – Nordstrom

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The “Siren” booties are made from strechy neoprine upper and instantly mold around your feet like a sock. For my friends who often complain about finding comfortable boots – you’re welcome. These are also available in 4 other color variations, including solid black and camouflage.

Karl Lagerfeld “Nara” Plaid Ballet Flats – Lord & Taylor

Karl Lagerfeld Nara jeweled flat

Karl Lagerfeld can do no wrong! An homage to Manolo Blahnik’s Hangisi flat, the “Nara” ballerina’s classic silhouette is both sophisticated and timeless.  Adorned with an opulent jeweled embellishment, this shoe can transform skinny jeans and a sweater into quite an elegant ensemble.

Mr & Mrs Italy Plaid Mule – LuisaViaRoma

Mr and Mrs Smith 

Move over Gucci “Princetown” mules, there’s a new fur-lined slipper in town. Mr & Mrs Italy, most well-known for their luxurious outerwear (and incorrect usage of punctuation), is the mastermind behind these decadent plaid mules. Crafted from virgin wool (taken from a lamb’s first very first shearing) and lined with mink fur, these slippers are fit for royalty.  Regal gold chain embellishment and dramatic pointed toe set this slide apart from others of its kind.

Tommy Hilfiger “Tonny” Plaid High Top Boots – Lord & Taylor

Tommy Hilfiger Tonny

These boots by Tommy Hilfiger are far from your ordinary hiking boots. For ladies looking to experiment with fashion trends without fully committing, this practical boot is the answer to your prayers. Crafted from cozy flannel plaid and lined with faux shearling, these boots will be sure to keep your tootsies warm all winter long.

Sorel “Major” Moto Boots – Saks Fifth Avenue

Sorel Major Leather & Suede Moto Boots

Sorel is most well-known for their expertly-crafted and waterproof cold weather footwear, but this season their design team has really upped and ante with their “Major” boot.  Fashion meets function, the biker-inspired boots lined with red/black plaid add instant style cred to any look and are insulated enough to wear throughout this winter’s deep freeze. With rugged leather upper, these boots will power through the slush on city streets this winter and beyond.

 

Crazy for Camouflage

Crazy for Camouflage

While camouflage was once synonymous with military personnel or those with an outdoorsy lifestyle, it’s virtually impossible to walk more than a few city blocks without spotting someone draped in the highly recognizable pattern.  A form of visual deception, “camo” was once used to blend into one’s surroundings, but ironically has cemented its place in mainstream fashion as an eye-catching style standout. The runways of Valentino, Balmain, Versace, and more are abounding with flashes of camouflage, a true indicator that the trend has major staying power. But why as a society are we so head-over-heels for this military-inspired print? Could camo be the new black?

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Pants: Design Lab   Top: H&M    Shoes: Christian Louboutin (sold-out) – similar here  Sunglasses: Fendi

Many women remain unaware that wearing camouflage is not merely a bold statement; it also has practical applications. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wear white or pastel around my kids for more than 25 seconds without being splattered with peanut butter or doused with ketchup. Ever wear white pants to a pizza party with 15 toddlers? I didn’t think so. And as much as I adore light colored garments, I have a severe aversion to spending time in my laundry room. I would much rather be playing with my kids than battling a Sharpie stain with Oxyclean. The designs used to outfit our nation’s bravest are more than capable of withstanding a shrapnel of diaper blowouts, spit-up, and slingshot purées, which is why as mom of an infant and toddler, the camouflage pieces in my wardrobe are my most essential commodities. Even after several hours playing in the grass or chasing after my son on the playground, my camouflaged garments remain neat and unblemished.

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Above all else, what I love most about camouflage is its versatility.  The classic print is gender-neutral and can be worn by people of all ages. The design’s subdued hues seamlessly cascade into each other creating the iconic patterns that are easily paired with both neutrals and pops of color. And while sweat pants and activewear made from the popular print are most traditional, skinny jeans and tailored blazer in a camouflage print are ultra-chic wardrobe additions. In fact, I wouldn’t be shocked if we see military-inspired looks on the red carpet this award season.

Although we most often see camo in earthy greens and browns, some of my most favorite pieces are those that incorporate vibrant colors.  Take a peek at my favorite pieces below.

Sanctuary War Is Over Jacket – $159

Santuary War Is Over Jacket

Sam. Camo Freedom Vest – $294

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Studded Camouflage Tote Bag – $1360 (marked down from $3395!!!)

Valentino Studded Camouflage Tote Bag

Design Lab Grunge Camo Pants – $59

Design Lab Grunge Camo Pants

Rag & Bone Sinclair Crew Cashmere Sweater – $395

Rag and Bone

Lottie Camouflage-print Stretch Sports Bra – $85

Lotie bra Net a porter

Splendid Woodbury Camo Pant – $128

Splendid Woodbury Camo Pant

Embroidered Denim – The Look For Less

 

This summer I’ve been swimming in a sea of embroidered denim cut-offs and delicately stitched separates.  First seen on the runways of Gucci, Valentino, and more, this here-to-stay trend has trickled down from department stores to fast-fashion retailers, like Zara and H&M and even faster-fashion online shops like Asos and Topshop. Stitched with beautiful floral, animal or tribal motifs, there are embroidered pieces that appeal to women of all ages and tastes. And with colder temperatures only a few weeks away, I’ve already started composing my Fall wishlist, which is unsurprisingly abundant in embellished denim. What better way to stay cozy in the chilly Fall temps than bundling up in one of this season’s hottest embroidered denim jackets?

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Gucci – Studded Embroidered Denim Blazer – Mid denim

Take this jacket, for example. Perhaps it’s the effortlessly cool silhouette or the embroidered birds on the lapels, but I was instantly drawn to this blue Gucci stone-washed denim jacket. Uptown chic meets Downtown edge, this piece is truly one-of-a-kind. But with its jaw-dropping gold-tone metal studs, this jacket also comes with a hefty price tag of almost $5,000. So what’s a girl to do?

While I’ve certainly been known to splurge on big ticket items, there are so many similar stand-out styles in a more affordable price range. Below I’ve rounded up some of my favorite embroidered denim jackets, all of which are under $300. As it turns out, it is possible to look fabulous without going broke! Get a head start on Fall by shopping these looks.

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Giddy for Gingham

When we think of gingham, we often conjure up images of the iconic red and white checkered table clothes so commonly associated with summer barbeques.  But while gingham may be the quintessential summer fabric, its scope far exceeds summertime table linens. A refreshing departure from traditional florals, gingham has re-emerged this season in bold new hues and show-stopping silhouettes. In fact, the classic print was showcased on the runways of some of the hottest designers, including Carolina Herrera, Altuzarra, Victoria Beckham and Diane Von Furstenberg.

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Top: Bloomingdales  Jeans: Gap   Shoes: Marc Fisher  Watch: Rolex  Sunglasses:  Prada  Bracelet: Aurélie Bidermann

What I love most about gingham is its versatility.  I chose to pair this cold-shoulder top in black/white gingham print with white denim and a platform wedge, but it can just as easily be worn with denim cutoffs for a more casual look or a chic pencil skirt and pump for a more sophisticated ensemble.

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The unique silhouette differentiates this top from many others of its kind and adds dramatic flair to an otherwise classic print. I just love how the fabric drapes, creating the most perfect billowy sleeves.

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Anyone who knows me knows how much I love a bargain and this shirt is no exception. Marked down to only $20 at Bloomingdales, it will be gone before you can say “Bloomingdeals”!

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Some other gingham tops on my summer wishlist:

Left to right (top): Caroline ConstasViva AvivaMLM Label  (bottom): MillyThe Lady & The SailorScripted

 

 

The One-piece Wonder

Romper, jumpsuit, playsuit – call it what you will, but this one-piece wonder is perhaps the most highly sought-after clothing item for summer.  Not only are rompers extremely on trend this season, but they’re the ultimate wardrobe MVP’s.  Here’s why:

Time Management

If you’re anything like me, you spend way too much time experimenting with different combinations of wardrobe separates before ultimately choosing an ensemble. The introduction of the romper into your summer wardrobe eliminates hours of tirelessly matching tops with bottoms to compose the perfect outfit. Rompers are fun, flirty and take all of the time and guess work out of looking effortlessly chic.

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Romper: Bloomingdales    Sunglasses: Prada    Espadrilles: Zara (sold out) – Similar here   Bracelets: Hermes

Versatility

Easily dressed up or down with the creative use of shoes and accessories, rompers are one of the most versatile pieces in my closet this summer. A romper paired with a classic blazer and pumps can easily be transformed from office-chic to high-class happy hour with the addition of a chunky heel and bold jewelry.

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Comfort

Most often constructed from lightweight material such as linen or delicate gauzy fabrics, rompers are synonymous with comfort. Just ask any baby – they spend a greater part of their first year in this clothing of convenience.

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Travel

Packing is such a daunting task, especially for this fashion-obsessed mother of 2 who wants to look fabulous even far away from home. This summer our family will be taking several trips, which under normal circumstances would require hours of packing (and unpacking) for both myself and my kiddos. There is no better way to ease the burden of packing than pulling a few rompers from my closet and some corresponding neutral accessories. Voila!

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Other striped rompers I am loving this summer:

 

Shop these looks from left to right:   BloomingdalesRevolveNordstromBloomingdales

Down with the Ugly Diaper Bags!

The diaper bag is arguably the most essential accessory for every mom on-the-go. As a busy mom of an infant and toddler in New York City’s Upper East Side, I know first-hand the importance of having a fully stocked diaper bag with me during every outing with my kids. Leaving home without a diaper bag is very much like a handyman arriving without his tools – extremely unprepared and amateur. A diaper bag contains all items needed for emergency diaper changes, spills on clothing, sanitizing of toys/dropped pacifiers, or any other unforeseen predicament. But let’s face it, most diaper bags are ugly. Rather than selecting a bag based on style or color, many moms choose diaper bags featuring the same pastel-colored zoo animals that often adorn the walls of their baby’s nursery. While it may momentarily seem like a cute idea, what woman really wants to tote around a bag covered in purple elephants? The diaper bags below are proof that moms’ most important accessory can be both practical and fashionable.  At many different price points, there is something for everyone.

     1.  The Thea Thea Indigo Diaper Bag in Navy – $145 at Thea Thea

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The Indigo diaper bag by Thea Thea features a chic quilted design with whimsy bow detailing. With 4 inner pockets and 2 outside pockets, this bag is roomy enough for all of your new-mom essentials. As an urban mom, I appreciate the value of rain-resistant accessories, especially when schlepping little ones to school and classes in the stroller. The denim-like fabric of the Indigo bag is water repellent, which will keep baby’s diapers, clothes and other contents protected from rain and snow. With it’s versatile design and removable stroller straps, this bag can also be used as a tote. And did I mention it’s only $145?

     2.  Rebecca Minkoff “Marissa” Studded Diaper Bag – $345 at Nordstrom

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Rebecca Minkoff really hit it out of the park with her “Marissa” diaper bag. Its quilted nylon exterior is gorgeously accented with golden studded hardware making this bag the perfect mix of femme and fierce. The nylon interior makes for an easy clean-up of any mess and multiple exterior and interior pockets make this bag  equal parts fashion and function. With stroller straps, removable tassel bag charm and a leather trimmed changing pad, this bag is a smart choice for trendsetting moms everywhere.
     3.  Timi & Leslie “Marie Antoinette” Diaper Bag – $139.99 (marked down from $169.99) at Timi & Leslie

timi

Exhausted? Scatterbrained? Running on only 4 hours of sleep yet desperately trying to appear sophisticated and fashionable? Enter: Timi & Leslie’s “Marie Antoinette” diaper bag.  This bag will keep even the most disorganized mom prepared for the whirlwind of parenthood, and she will even look chic changing diapers! This bag truly has it all. An insulated bottle tote, zippered pouch for wet clothes and changing pad with mesh pockets are just some of the features that differentiate this diaper bag from most others.  With interior credit card slots, key ring, matching clutch for Mom’s own small items, and detachable strap for cross-body usage, this bag eliminates the need to carry an additional purse. Is it just me, or does the Marie Antoinette diaper bag bear a striking resemblance to Miu Miu’s signature Matelassé nappa leather bags? See for yourself. 

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      4.  Storksak “Bobby” Quilted Diaper Bag – $195 at Storksak

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Also available in black, the Storksak “Bobby” diaper bag has a durable wipe-clean quilted exterior adorned with delicate bows that add subtle femininity. With four interior slip pockets, an interior pacifier case and detachable insulated storage bag for bottles and snacks, this bag is equally stylish and practical. The “Bobby” can be worn as a cross-body bag and comes with a luxury changing pad. 

      5.  Gucci “Original GG” Diaper Bag – $1150 at Gucci

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The Gucci “Original GG” diaper bag is absolutely fabulous and has been photographed on the shoulders of celebrities like Halle Berry and Nicole Richie. Made of durable GG monogrammed canvas and trimmed in leather, this bag is timeless and built to last. In addition to the tan/pink color, Gucci also offers the bag in a tan/blue combination as well as tan/brown and basic black. Although it comes with a hefty price tag, this diaper bag is a great investment for babies and future siblings to come.  I should know – I bought it (in black) when I was pregnant with my son and now I use it for my infant daughter. 

     6.  Kate Spade “Hildy” Baby Bag  – $189 (marked down from $378) at Kate Spade

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The “Hildy” is a diaper bag masquerading as a chic everyday tote bag.  Once a little one outgrows his/her need for a diaper bag, the Hildy easily transitions to an every day bag. Its classic silhouette and 14-karat gold-plated hardware exude understated elegance that make it a perfect choice for the posh mom on-the-go. It’s equally practical as it is polished with its wipe-clean nylon exterior, several interior pockets; two elastic bottle holders and adjustable stroller straps. Unique to this bag are metal feet on the bottom exterior that prevent scuffing on the underside of the bag. Marked down from $378 to $189, this bag is a steal and I anticipate it will sell out quickly.

      7.  Prada “Vela” Nylon Baby Bag – $1360 at Saks Fifth Avenue 6ab

Move over, ladies! This diaper bag indulgence is crafted from Prada’s durable classic nylon and is adorned with the brand’s signature triangle logo plate. With front and back zip pockets, large center pouch and interior zip and slip pockets, there is plenty of room to stash all of your necessities and signature jacquard fabric lines the bag’s interior and envelops your little one’s most shabby chic accessories. Fashion-forward meets functional with a washable changing pad, adjustable shoulder strap, and metal feet to protect the bottom. While this is the most expensive diaper bag on the list, it’s also a versatile option that even Dad would feel comfortable carrying. An instant classic, you’ll keep using it long after your baby is out of diapers.

     8.  Henri Bendel “West 57th” Baby Bag – $199 (marked down from $398) at Henri Bendel

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Henri Bendel is the quintessential playground of Manhattan’s modern woman, but who knew that Bendel’s also designs handbags for trendsetting tots? Meet the luxurious West 57th Baby Bag, Bendel’s tres chic diaper bag creation. The West 57th bag oozes high-fashion appeal and will add instant glam to any ensemble. The sophisticated silhouette is constructed from both Saffiano leather and water-resistant nylon, a combination that distinguishes this bag from most others. The purple sateen interior lining is fit for the most regal little darlings and the bag can also be monogrammed at no additional charge. With all of these lavish features people won’t even believe this is a diaper bag!

     9.  Mia Bossi “Tabitha” Diaper Bag – $280 at Mia Bossi

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Looking for something smaller? This petite diaper bag is perfect for moms of older babies who may not need to carry so many necessities. Its black quilted exterior (made from vegan-friendly faux leather) is embellished with gold chain link hardware reminiscent of vintage Chanel and its design is similarly sophisticated and timeless. A detachable shoulder strap makes this bag a wardrobe staple by allowing for it to be worn messenger style or carried as a satchel, à la the Louis Vuitton Speedy. With this diaper bag in tow, your baby will be only your second best accessory!

     10.  Nest Designs “Keira” Clutch – $85 at Nest Designs

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Who said that diaper bags have to be of mammoth proportions?  The “Keira” clutch is a refreshing departure from the cumbersome design of traditional diaper bags. On days when all you need are a few diapers and wipes, this bag’s got you covered. Made from genuine leather, this compact clutch surprisingly unfolds flat to reveal a full-size changing pad, making it possible to change your baby absolutely anywhere. With an enclosed wet wipes pocket and removable diaper pouch, the “Keira” is diaper bag simplicity at its best.  Wondering where you will stash your keys and cell phone? Fear not, for there is also a small pocket designed to hold some of Mom’s personal items.

 

Winter Fashion Round-Up

 

2016

The onset of winter weather elicits a multitude of feelings amongst New Yorkers, some of which include fear, dread, and the desire to hibernate indoors for several months. But for die-hard fashionistas, the extreme cold and heavy snow merely present an exhilarating opportunity for layering and extra accessorizing. It is possible to survive arctic temperatures without looking like an urban Eskimo, even while gallivanting around the neighborhood with a toddler and infant. This winter I traded my maternity long johns and unflattering layers for cozy cashmere, luscious furs, vibrant jewel tones, and luxe footwear. Pictured above (and described below) are my most adored pieces from my own winter wardrobe.

Over-the-Knee (OTK) Boots

2016-bootsOTK boots are the hottest shoe trend of the season and can instantly elevate your look from drab to chic and sophisticated. I fell in love with these “Breley” boots by Marc Fisher the moment I laid eyes on them and knew I had to have them. Made from rich caramel-colored suede, these boots ooze luxury. The neutral color beautifully compliments any color palate and their silhouette is universally flattering. OTK boots accentuate legs by making them appear longer and leaner and can be paired with skinny jeans, a mini dress, or even an oversized shirt. These boots are made for walkin’!

Statement Sweater

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This chilly-day companion from Bloomingdale’s exclusive Aqua collection is crafted from thick luxurious cashmere and provides mega warmth without the need for several layers. The vibrantly colored skull design adds edge to an otherwise feminine piece. Lauren Moshi is another designer whose unique cashmere sweaters are embellished with rock & roll themed designs (think Guns N’ Roses meets Breakfast at Tiffany’s). I am currently loving the relaxed-fit “Hollis Heart Breaker” cashmere pullover from her current collection.

Classic Cardigan

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This classic never-goes-out-of-style cardigan made by C by Bloomingdale’s strikes the perfect balance between comfort and chic. Its elegant design, delicate hardware and white contrast trim pay homage to Coco Chanel’s classic designs. I usually wear this sweater with skinny jeans, but it can also be paired with leather pants and heels for an easy day-to-night transformation. This is a fashion statement that will last you for years to come.

Down Puffer

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This lacquered nylon puffer comes from the Italian-based brand known best for their luxury outerwear – Moncler. Although this form-fitting jacket comes with a hefty price tag, it’s an investment piece worth its weight in gold. In a city where temperatures frequently dip below 20 degrees, freezing fashionistas need to sashay down the sidewalks in style.

Multicolored Fur

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This Jocelyn genuine fox fur patchwork vest is EVERYTHING! From school drop-off to grabbing drinks with the girls, this piece is the ultimate winter wardrobe investment. An undeniably chic way to bundle up, this vest makes heads turn every time I wear it. The multicolored fox section vest with hood by Blue Duck Shearling is extremely similar and at 60% off it’s an absolute steal. Buy it now!

Luxe Snow Boot

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The Australian Luxe Collective “Foxy” wedge boot is sheepskin done right. An elegant alternative to the long-established Ugg boot, these have a hidden 2 1/2 inch wedge heel and are adorned with authentic, opulent Fox fur. Never before has comfort looked so decadent!

Novelty Jacket

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The perfect addition to any winter wardrobe, the J. Crew Stewart Plaid Quilted Lady Jacket is the answer to my prayers. What sets this jacket apart from others is the attention to detail and quality of craftsmanship.  The cuffs, edges and pockets are framed by fringy braided trim and the tailored silhouette makes for an ultra-polished look even when paired with distressed denim.