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.

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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. 

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"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.

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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!)

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When Skin Fitness sent me the above products to test-drive, I was skeptical. Serums and I have a checkered past. (Hello, zits.) But free things! So last night before bed, I applied drops of the Vital C Serum 20% with Elagi-C Plus Resveratrol, followed by a dot of Hyaluronic Serum Sealer. In the morning, after washing my face, came two pea-sized pumps of Pure Oxygen Serum

Y’all, my skin looks way more amazing than it did yesterday, and I give all credit to the super-moisturizing trio above. Get excited.

Anonymous said: Tell me more about the yoga (please)! I'm recovering from a back injury too and miss yoga very much, but am afraid of hurting myself all over again. What poses are being recommended to you?

Hi there, I am once again new to yoga after a year’s absence from the mat. Gave it up last summer due to a back injury! My doctor guessed that yoga was the reason for pinched vertebra; she assumed (rightly) that overstraining my back in an effort to perfect poses harmed more than helped. 

But I have never felt better about my body than I did when I was attending Vinyasa classes regularly, and just last month, I returned with a new focus on strengthening my body first and reaching full bow second. And instead of Vinyasa, I’m going to Iyengar classes at Yoga Shanti. Founded by B.K.S. Iyengar, this practice focuses on alignment, posture, and the very tiny movements that occur in each pose. It’s a slow process with lots of talk and observation and very little flow, but I’m learning how to move in and out of each pose correctly, and that in turn makes me stronger.

As neither doctor nor yogi, I can’t advise you on poses to ease your back pain, but I do recommend trying Iyengar yoga to stretch things out and draw you back in at a careful, considerate pace (after consulting with your doc, of course). Namaste!

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anindependentguinevere said: Hi Cary! Can you explain or just elaborate on your idea of a "uniform". I love the concept, but I have no idea how to put it into daily practice. Thank you!

For me, a uniform isn’t just owning five identical shirts and skirts and wearing them every day; it’s a  set of guidelines for building my wardrobe. I used to be adventurous and try every trend, but for the last year or so, I (and, it seems, every other fashion editor) gravitate to solid black and white, simple cuts, and slim lines.

My uniform consists of skinny white jeans, men’s button-down shirts, plain black dresses, black skirts, and white t-shirts. Practically every day I wear some variation of the above. When I shop, I look for the same with special details—a black pencil skirt with a bold silver zipper, a charcoal dress with a micro pleat, an oversized oxford shirt that fits just so. I don’t want to wear the same thing every day, but I do want to feel as confident and comfortable as I possibly can.

Once you’ve experimented with enough styles and silhouettes, you should have an idea of what really makes you feel great. Is it the color red? Black denim? Bold floral prints? Fill your closet with pieces that fit those strictures and your “uniform” will happen naturally.

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Saw this image on ELLE recently, and holy cannoli, does Natalie Matthews look amazing or what? Every time I think I’ve got my uniform figured out, something like this comes along and completely rocks my universe. Since basically none of us can afford the $500 Lanvin skirt Matthews recommends, I found some alternatives: Theory’s Janleen Arabis Tint skirt, Elizabeth and James’ Ava pencil skirt, and Ralph Lauren Black Label’s Cece skirt. Happy emulating.

Saw this image on ELLE recently, and holy cannoli, does Natalie Matthews look amazing or what? Every time I think I’ve got my uniform figured out, something like this comes along and completely rocks my universe. 

Since basically none of us can afford the $500 Lanvin skirt Matthews recommends, I found some alternatives: Theory’s Janleen Arabis Tint skirt, Elizabeth and James’ Ava pencil skirt, and Ralph Lauren Black Label’s Cece skirt. Happy emulating.

From SYN: "Yoga in India v. Yoga in America"

— Arundhati Baitmangalkar for Seattle Yoga News