Winter is Coming (…and ShopBop sale time!)

Black Friday is rolling around and I for one don’t plan to set one foot in a store this year! Instead I’ll be doing my shopping online with a cup of coffee and giant plate of Thanksgiving leftovers.  While we have had a beautiful Autumn this year here in Brooklyn we know winter is coming, and I picked out the below items to help get me through the start of the winter season. Make sure you check out the big Shopbop sale to pick up everything  you need to beat the cold!

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MZ Wallace Small Astor Tote // You can’t go wrong with MZ Wallace bags. Lightweight, good pockets, and a clean simple design.

Dolce Vita Kincaid Shearling Lined Booties // I’ve been searching for the perfect pair of moto boots all Fall. These fit the bill – tough and feminine – and they are also shearling lined so I will be able to wear all winter long.

Mackage Qeren Convertible Down Jacket // A puffy black winter coat that is more sleek and sophisticated, than stay puff marshmallow? Sign me up!

Birkenstock Boston Shearling Slip On Clogs // I’ll start by wearing these indoors all winter long as slippers, then come Spring I’ll wear them for all those days where it should be warm, but I’m still a little chilly.

Dolce Vita Ryker Clogs // This cinnamon color is a perfect punch to beat the late fall gray after all the leaves are gone.

MZ Wallace Medium Floral Quilted Tote

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I first set eyes on the MZ Wallace Medium Floral Oxford Metro Quilted Tote in a post from Gretchen’s Closet and instantly loved the combination of the fun floral pattern pop along with the open, practical, and lightweight (yay!) design. The two seemed like the perfect combination. Florals are hard to get right – can look too frumpy, or too cartoony, but these photo real flowers against a dramatic black background hit all the right notes. Apparently I wasn’t the only one who was impressed, since the bag was exclusive to Nordstrom and sold out pretty quickly.

Fast forward about a year later and the bag popped up in one of my EBay searches, and just like that the bag was finally mine at a fraction of the original price. I used this bag all spring and summer, and only stopped in the fall since I went on maternity leave, and switched over to diaper bags (more on that later!). But I haven’t tired yet of the florals, and the pattern still seems really fresh to me now, especially against my normal all black outfits. I plan to pick this bag back up again come March, or April when NYC is grey and bleak, and I love to tote around a reminder that spring and flowers are on their way!

Overall the bag is a great solution for a daily commuting or roomy weekend bag. Straps are a good length, and the lightweight nylon makes it easy to carry all over the place, even when full to the brim. The zip top is useful, but I pretty much always left it open. I didn’t find the inside side pockets to be very useful, and they were really only good for holding little lip gloss tubes or other tiny things, and I would have preferred large patch pockets on each side. I also didn’t get much use out of the the little zip bag that comes with the tote, but I have since started using it with another bag to keep my wallet/important things in one place to make it easier to switch from bag to bag.

You’ll need to search on EBay or find a hand me down if you want a Floral Metro Tote of your own, but my next favorite is the Medium Metro Tote in a super sleek Midnight Blue/Black. It is more crisp and elegant than the lush floral version, and the clean color blocks can easily go from day to night, or with jeans for the weekend.

Shopbop Classic Bag sale!

I love a good classic bag, so I am excited to share with you the Shopbop Classic Bag Sale starting today until – August 20th 4am EST. Best part is that a number of the bags featured in this sale are bags I have already written about and are still to this day some of my regular favorites.

Sale details and enter code: INTHEBAG at checkout

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Old pre-pregnancy photo!

Madewell Transport Tote // Originally blogged here. You can’t go wrong with the classic “English Saddle”, but for variety there is Zipper Transport Bag, True Black or the Mini Transport Tote

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Another old pic!

Foley + Corinna Mid City Tote // Originally blogged here. I got mine used on Ebay and it is a copper-y metalic color, but looking back I wish I got the classic black version. If fringes are your thing for Fall try the Fringed City Tote.

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Marc by Marc Jacobs Pretty Nylon Medium Tate Tote // Originally blogged here. This one might also double up as a diaper bag come September! I’ve also had my eye on the Pretty Nylon Knapsack for a long time now.

Fall Leather jacket

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I’m convinced I will not be able to survive the fall without a leather jacket. Especially since our baby is due in September, so most likely I will be in sweats for days at a time, but sweats with a moto leather jacket is actually a pretty cool option. Here is a round of some of my favorites that I have found online at all different price points, from vegan to real leather.

1. H&M Vegan Biker jacket
2. H&M Vegan Biker Jacket II
3. H&M Biker Vest
4. Madewell Washed Leather Motorcycle Jacket
5. BLK DNM Motorcycle Jacket With Quilted Stripes
6. Oak Rider Leather Jacket
7. BB Dakota Benton Leather Jacket

Slightly Larger Cross-body bag for Summer

Although I love my “honeymoon” cross body I am starting to realize I need some thing a little more substantial for weekends. The big question now if to fringe or not to fringe?

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1) BDG Thayer Dome Stud Shoulder Bag
Love the slouch, grey color, and the clips for converting the bag to different share. Size is just right, but afraid all the hardware will weight it down.

2) LeSportsac Liberty x LeSportsac Cross Body Bag
Love the beautiful flowered print, and likely a very lightweight bag. Think the size though would be a little too small.

3) Alite Cub Backpack
Not a cross body in this case, but a fantastically simple backpack.

4) Star Mela Nori Cross Body Bag
An updated, larger version version of my honeymoon bag. Perfect color for summer, and love the pom pom decorations.

5) Unique Batik Chichi Bucket Bag
Fabric bucket bag

6) H&M Shoulder Bag with Fringe
There is something really perfect about blue suede and fringe all summer long

Everything Buffalo Check

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Uniqlo HeatTech Hat (Men’s) // JCrew iPhone 6 Case // Eddie Bauer Jacket (similar & reviewed here) // Herschel Supply Co. Tote Bag // Seven for all Mankind Roxanne jeans // UGG Brooks short boots

It’s the time of year in NYC when the Christmas sparkle is gone, and we are left with a long stretch of grey. A nice red pop of buffalo check seems the be the winter antidote for me this year. Would it be wrong to wear all these at once?

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From top: JCrew iPhone 6 Case // JCrew Excursion quilted vest in buffalo check // Herschel Supply Co. Tote Bag // Maine Guide Wool Parka // Bean’s Fleece Robe// Buffalo Check Blanket

The Perfect Bag for Tulum (and Beyond)

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For our honeymoon in Tulum I was picturing that I would buy the perfect bag in Mexico the first day or so after we arrived. The bag in my mind was colorful, handmade by local tradespeople, long straps so I could wear cross body, and definitely not something you could buy in the US.

Well I did in fact find that exact bag – but it was on the sale rack at the Urban Outfitters at 59th St & 3rd Ave about a week before my trip! There is no label other than “Made in Guatemala” but as best I can tell it is the Stela 9 X UO Mini Tavniah Crossbody Bag that (sadly) is sold out.

The Tavniah bag was the perfect size for a travel/adventure bag, with a zip top that made me feel secure that nothing would be stolen or accidentally fall out of my bag. The strap was adjustable so I was able to change to fit whatever outfit I was wearing at the time. The body of the bag is a black/white/gray pattern with a colorful center accent, and multi colored fringe which pretty much worked will the neutral color pattern I picked out for all my honeymoon outfits. This bag was with me for the majority of our honeymoon – perfect for the beach or climbing up the side on a Mayan ruin, or hiking through a jungle. The whole trip I kept looking around to buy a local bag, but I couldn’t find anything better than the Tavniah bag. By the end of our week and a half in Mexico my Stela 9 bag was looking a little beat up, but I just tossed it in the wash when we got home and it is as good as new, and ready to be worn all around Brooklyn!

My Stela 9 bag is sold out at Urban Outfitters, but you can purchase a similar one direct from their website (here, here, or here). The whole Stela 9 collection is pretty interesting as the bags are handmade by indigenous artisans in Guatemala who are paid a living wage. See below for some additional bags.

Packing for Tulum – The Shoes

We’re headed to Tulum, Mexico for our honeymoon next month so of course I’ve already started working on my packing list, starting with the shoes….

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I’m trying to get to Mexico with one carry on so need to keep it light with the shoes, and I plan to be casual and comfortable for the entire trip.

1. Birkenstock Gizeh: I’m a longtime fan of the Gizeh in black patent leather. The pair I bought six years ago are only now starting to look a little beat up, so I am bringing them along as my pair of “fancy” sandals. I thought of bringing my new Arizonas in black oiled leather, but I’m a little worried about beach wear and tear so decided it was less risk to go with the older pair.

Wildcard Birkenstocks: The very trendy Arizona Birkenstocks in white have been haunting me recently. At first I dismissed as too impractical in such a light color, but now I am thinking they are in the perfect shade of “bridal white” for our wedding after party, and beachy enough for the honeymoon.

2. Toms Shoes in Purple Woven: I mean you just can’t do better than a pair of Tom’s, especially for a pair of traveling shoes. This will be my third pair, and I tend to wear them for years until the toe section starts to rip apart. I still have my original beat up pair of grey Tom’s as they are perfect for weekends camping, cleaning, or painting. I had originally planned on getting a new pair in a nice classic color such as navy or olive green, but the fun summery neon pop in the Purple Woven pair convinced me to change it up a bit. I’ve had these shoes now for a couple weeks and they are beautiful – especially the pretty details such as the pink elastic triangle, and stitching decorations on the side. I keep the rest of my outfit simple when I wear these so the shoes get the attention – like jeans and a white t-shirt with a green army jacket. A note on shopping for these – I wasn’t able to find my size online, but when I popped into my local Urban Outfitters they had a whole slew of this shade in my size and more.

3.Havaianas Slim Flip Flops: I don’t know how to pronounce the name of the these shoes, but I’ve read many a raving review, and my fiancé really likes his men’s pair of flip flops. I generally avoid all plastic flip flops (ouch!) but decided to give these a try since I wanted a pair that could handle the beach, and rain, and not have any fabric or foam that would need to dry out. Jury is still out though – they look really cute, but the first time I wore them the plastic predictably ripped up my feet, and I got a huge blob of gum stuck to the bottom (not the shoes fault!) and the gum seems impossible to remove. I think I will still bring them on our trip, but might also bring my tried and true LL Bean flip flops as an alternate pair.

In Search of a Travelling Bag – the Convertible Travel Tote Bag from Patagonia

Travel bags are always a tough call for me since I need the perfect combination of ease and utility, but also a dash of cool. For my trip to Montreal last month I decided to give the Patagonia Lightweight Travel Tote Bag 26L a shot.

Our vacation agenda included both nice restaurant dates, and a ton of walking around the city and hiking to the very top of Mount Royal so I knew I need a bag that could handle double duty. I ended up taking a trip down to the SoHo Patagonia one day and picking up this bag that I had first read about in I Want to Be Her. The helpful Patagonia employee showed me how to convert the bag from tote to backpack, and the extra hidden pockets for hiding the extra straps away.

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L. Wearing the bag as a backpack for a hike to the top of Mount Royal, R. Switched over to a tote bag for an evening out

The bag was easy to convert back and forth, and I also give it bonus points for all the extra pockets. For a day hike, the side pockets help my water bottle and phone for easy access, with plenty of room in the center of the bag for maps, snacks, and scarves. Switched over to a tote, the bag had extra pockets for all the important things, and the plain black kept it simple enough to both carry to a bar or restaurant.

The trade in for the convenience of the lightweight ripstop fabric is the the bag is pretty unsturdy and tends to flop around when you put it down. The material also has a polyurethane coating which did come in handy in the rain/snow, however it did give the bag a shiny, crinkly appearance that I couldn’t quite get used to. But overall I did love being able to just flip to a backpack when needed, then back to a cute tote bag in seconds flat. This is a bag that I hope will come with me on many future adventures.

What’s your best traveling bag?