The Making of POLO Ralph Lauren for Women’s 4-D Fashion Show, presented in Central Park on September 8-10, 2014. 

"Act your age, mama, not your shoe size."

Prince

It’s SHOESDAY, and I’m just going to die if I don’t get my toes in these styles this season. From the top, the suede Bletisa sandal, the suede Silvana sneaker, and the leopard Blithe sandal, all by Ralph Lauren.

(PS, have you watched the video of Polo’s 4-D fashion show, which took place this week in Central Park? I saw it last night with the rest of our team, and it was just…spectacular. The music, the misty light, the cheer of the crowd, the way Ralph dances on the water, all of it. I cried a little! Fashion!)

Fresh reads, every day.

Anonymous said: Do you really work 10-6 at RL? I also work in fashion, but our office is more like 8:00-6:30, and even that isn't considered enough. My boss also left for maternity leave so I am literally working two jobs for the price of one, and I know I am drastically underpaid to begin with. How can I work this in my favor, either at my current company, or somewhere else if a promotion isn't presented in the nearish future? I feel like I'm drowning here and I have nothing to show for it.

I do work ten to six, but I also eat lunch at my desk every day and spend a lot of downtime meeting with writers, researching story ideas, and otherwise “working” when not working. If you feel like you’re being poorly compensated for your work, making a list of everything you do at your job, some of your recent achievements, your goals for the future, and a few clear ideas of what you could accomplish with more money and/or an assistant. Go to your boss (when she’s in a great mood), and lay it out. Be gracious. Try not to complain too much about what you’re not getting (money, respect, free time, a life), and focus on how much more you could do for your company if they give you more opportunity to succeed.

Example: Right now, I’m covering my own position and that of the PR coordinator. I understand that we may not be in a position to hire a full-time replacement for the PR role, but a part-time or freelance assistant could help the whole department.

Example: I’ve been covering two positions full-time for the past six months and despite the overload have still managed to improve our numbers over last fiscal year. At this rate, we’re on track to double those numbers in FY15. With this in mind, would you be open to talk about a raise in compensation? 

If you love what you’re doing and can’t imagine leaving, consider picking up some freelance work on the weekends. Write, style shoots, consult on marketing projects. Or do something totally unrelated. Get a front desk job at the gym so you never have to pay for Equinox again. Babysit. 

Still feel as though you’re drowning? Time to update the résumé.

Ask. Answer. Anything.

Anonymous said: I am looking for the perfect heel to get me through a day/evening in Newport RI (early September) I love nude but I am wondering if I should invest in a good black shoe. Looking for advice thank you

If you don’t have a good black shoe yet, this wedding sounds like the perfect excuse to shop. Polo Ralph Lauren’s new patent leather Mary Jane has a block heel that will support you through day and night festivities but is still sleek enough for the office and for evening engagements back home. If you’d like a more traditional pump, Stuart Weitzman’s Queen style is off the charts and comes in several different shades, should you decide something jewel-toned (totally not as versatile as black or nude but definitely, absolutely amazing). A third option is grey, which has the benefit of pairing with more colors than stark black yet looks no less elegant, especially at a wedding. For that I recommend Schutz’s Rita d’Orsay heel.

Ask. Answer. Anything.

Fifty Shades of Frozen. Have you seen this?
(Thanks, BPE!)

Snacks.

Lately, I’ve found myself eating a lot of snacks. Normally, I’m not a snacker. I eat two big meals a day and, for roughly one week per month, a third meal consistently entirely of chocolate around three in the afternoon. But as an adult I rarely snack the way I did in, say, junior year of high school, when I regularly polished off entire boxes of Cheez-Its while mindlessly surfing the still nascent internet. 

But lately as in right now, here I am tossing back a plastic cup full of Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies (so much tastier than their Pepperidge Farm predecessor) on the heels of two pieces of pork jerky and chocolate-covered macadamia nuts. I look around the office. An economy-sized bag of peanut M&Ms holds court in the middle of a work station. Cheddar Bunnies are piled everywhere. It’s snack time at Ralph Lauren! 

Point being it’s okay to have snacks in the middle of the afternoon if they’re lying around, and I probably didn’t need to eat that entire Chipotle burrito last night.

Anonymous said: alright. high school reunion coming up and i'm heading back to ladue/st. louis. it's been awhile. what to wear?

Depends on what message you’re trying to communicate, I suppose. (I skipped my recent ten-year reunion, oops.) If there’s some dude that is still semi-in-the-picture, I’d go for broke in a classic red dress. If the mood is casual and you’re just there to throw some back with the old girl gang, how about a weird, fashiony leather short and blouse? Regardless, throw lots of sleek silver jewelry into the mix—it’s more unexpected than gold. Get a blow-out and manicure before the party, leave the yearbook at home, and when you run into people who were mean to you way back when, be super-friendly. It will drive them crazy. 

Ask. Answer. Anything.

"I think your whole life shows in your face, and you should be proud of that."

Lauren Bacall

Smooth as silk to the end, Lauren Bacall defined beauty for me—style and movement and a cool detachment—but above, you can see she might have just been all warmth. Hollywood’s greatest generation lost another one last night. Pictured with her children Stephen Humphrey and Leslie Howard.

Smooth as silk to the end, Lauren Bacall defined beauty for me—style and movement and a cool detachment—but above, you can see she might have just been all warmth. Hollywood’s greatest generation lost another one last night. 
Pictured with her children Stephen Humphrey and Leslie Howard.

"Don’t use very sad; use morose."

Robin Williams as John Keating in Tom Schulman’s Dead Poets Society (1989)

Mom wouldn’t let me watch The Birdcage when it came out on VHS, but otherwise Robin Williams was a constant presence in our house—on the screen, through the speakers, and in the way my sisters and I developed our own senses of humor, mimicking him mimicking others. So when I heard last night that he died (announced, fittingly, in a group text between Jane, Emily, and myself), it felt as though that screen had been turned off and the speakers gone silent. But he was a husband and father first, before he was our entertainer, and it is his sweet children and widow who must really feel the void. I hope he is at peace now and his family finds it soon.

Mom wouldn’t let me watch The Birdcage when it came out on VHS, but otherwise Robin Williams was a constant presence in our house—on the screen, through the speakers, and in the way my sisters and I developed our own senses of humor, mimicking him mimicking others. So when I heard last night that he died (announced, fittingly, in a group text between Jane, Emily, and myself), it felt as though that screen had been turned off and the speakers gone silent. But he was a husband and father first, before he was our entertainer, and it is his sweet children and widow who must really feel the void. I hope he is at peace now and his family finds it soon.

Anonymous said: My long distance boyfriend is coming into NY for our anniversary at the end of Sept. Any suggestions for dinner? Looking for something intimate and romantic, preferably in the West Village. He's not a big foodie so trying to stay away from any places with too adventurous a menu. Thanks!

Babbo! But make a reservation now.

Ask. Answer. Anything.

Anonymous said: Regarding your answer to the uniform question, what brand of men's button-down shirts do you prefer? I'm having a hard time finding one that isn't too tight around my hips and isn't too billowy elsewhere. I'm about 5'10" and usually wear somewhere in the size 4-6 range in dresses/skirts.

You will probably like Polo Ralph Lauren’s slim-fit oxford sport shirt, size medium, and a size 8 Thomas Mason for J.Crew Mandarin-collar tuxedo shirt. (That last one is a woman’s shirt, but the cut is all man.) I’m still searching for the perfect men’s broadcloth dress shirt. Will let y’all known when I find it!)

Ask. Answer. Anything.