What You’re Shopping For, November Edition: Vol I.

Q: The sweater in this picture!

A: The sweater above is by Closed, and the chic pea paired it with the matching scarf by the same brand. Get the look for less with this sweater and a camel scarf from Uniqlo. This vibe also reminded me of Dudley Stephens’ camel-colored fleeces, out now.

Q: Christmas Eve!

A: I am eyeing this La Ligne, this tartan RL, or one of the unexpected dark green florals from Damaris Bailey. All three of these would look perfect with green velvet pumps and emerald-inspired studs!

Q: Office holiday party outfit!

A: I love these navy velvet trousers. Depending on the party style, you could pair with a cashmere crewneck and glitzy earrings and platforms (probably the route I’d go). I also *love* this tartan La Ligne dress, which feels effortlessly chic. This red maxi dress is a big statement but would be very chic as well. If you’re looking for something more casual but still festive: this chunky knit is trend-forward (more knit dresses here) and would look great with suede boots, and this sweater dress mini would look so cute with a tartan headband. This black velvet mini is demure and Parisian-chic — there’s a similar, glitzed up style on offer at Zara. I think you could pull this off at work by pairing with opaque black tights and she-means-business black suede pumps. Finally, go Nellie Diamond with a short Hill House tartan nap dress, black tights, and sky-high platforms!

Q: Baby boy winter coat (9 months).

A: I have always loved Patagonia fleeces, especially the ones with hoods. Widgeon also makes a fantastic fleece coat that I loved for my children when under a year in cold weather because the hood cinches around the face and the velcro closure makes it SO easy to get on and off. Janie and Jack makes adorable quilted barn coats in tiny sizes — great for dressier occasions.

Q: A “family” gift. Last year we gave all of our neighbors board games we love and it was a hit.

A: I love that idea! Along similar lines — maybe Table Topics: Family Edition, a card game book and some handsome playing cards, a backyard boules set, or a puzzle (<Levain cookie, Jeni’s Ice Cream, or babkas from Breads Bakery in Manhattan (it is soooo good). Finally, personalized LL Bean totes with the family’s name on the side always come in handy.

Q: $150 secret santa gift for a friend who only wears designer things.

A: Play to her interests with Gucci socks or go off-script with one of the items in this post for women who have everything. Maybe the Chantecaille compact is her speed? Or go totally classic with, for example, beautiful personalized letterpress stationery.

Q: Designer “mom but not 100% mom” bag (i.e., not LV Neverfull).

A: This quilted Khaite and this Metier are well-sized and have the crucial feature that makes a bag work for a mom — shoulder straps — but the materials could be difficult to keep clean / take care of in the presence of small hands. Still, you’d be quite the talk of the playground with those beauties. More functional but perhaps a tad small: this Gucci logo tote. I love the throwback vibe and the oversized horsebit! Chic chic! These J. W. Anderson belt totes and Anya Hindmarch’s metallic woven style have always caught my eye, too, and then I’ve wanted one of these Chanel Deauville totes forever!

FWIW, two of my most-visited posts of all time are this post reviewing the M.Z. Wallace bag as a diaper bag and this post on what I carry in my diaper bag. I will need to do a refresher since our needs have changed so much with a 2.5 year old and a 4.5 year old, but I still swear by pouches for organization. Pouch life!!! Especially those wet-dry ones which mean that even if, say, an applesauce pouch explodes, or you have to stow the wipes you just used to clean off your child’s hands in your bag, it’s not going to get all over the inside of your designer bag. I also really liked the ToteSavvy mini when I had bottles and diapers to tow — kept everything in its place and easy to find, and you could transfer the organizer between bags if you so desired.

This is irrelevant to diaper bags, but I really want one of these beautiful Cuyana bag organizers for my Goyard, which is a constant mess, even with lots of pouches in rotation, just because I find I’m always digging for my keys and mask in its shapeless form.

Q: Cute nutcracker inspired stocking stuffers for part of a team gift.

A: These crackers from Meri Meri are perfect! And this Etsy shop does cute nutcracker-themed Purells, which feels very on-brand for this winter. Or maybe skip the knick knacks and wrap some delicious Levain cookies or Milkbar truffles in these nutcracker treat boxes.

Q: What are your thoughts on your current vitamin C oil?

A: I have been loving Biossance’s Vitamin C oil! I was originally thrown off by the oil formula — for some reason I didn’t read the name and assumed it was a serum (ridiculous gaffe on my part), but the oil absorbs beautifully and is especially hydrating as we head into winter. I apply a drop or two directly to my skin on my forehead and then on my cheeks and massage into my skin. Vitamin C products in general work wonders in terms of brightness, and this one achieves the glow I’ve come to associate with Vitamin C PLUS feels deeply hydrating. If you’re looking for an affordable Vitamin C product, I’d recommend Mad Hippie, though the product is the tiniest bit tacky. Otherwise, I think Biossance rivals Ole Henriksen — my two favorite Vitamin C products I’ve ever used. Biossance might slightly outpace Ole Henriksen in the rankings just because I find a bottle lasts a really long time, whereas I’d tear through Ole Henriksen in just a few months. I mentioned that once before and had a Magpie write in to say her bottle was last an eternity, so maybe I am just over-generous with the application of this product, though!

BTW – I did a poll not long ago survey Magpies for the best Vitamin C serums on the market, and, in addition to Biossance, you all strongly upvoted Obagi and Skinceuticals, though most of you were quick to add that Skinceuticals smells HORRIBLE. I don’t feel compelled to switch from Biossance, though, especially for products more expensive (and smellier).

Q: Cozy yet fashionable tops for casual entertaining.

A: My favorite cozy look at the moment is a tissue tee beneath a chunky, embellished knit like this, this, or this, or a poncho like this, this, or this. Finish with jeans and statement flats. Warm and stylish. Also love the idea of this statement cardi over a silk tank, or this pearl-knit sweater on its own. If you’re looking for something a little glitzier, check out this comfortable but jeweled top from HHH, which I would layer under a cardigan, this sculpted bustier sweater, this gorgeous bow-front blouse, or this velvet puff-sleeve.

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