A Look In My Bag For Rue La La

November 24, 2014

When the lovely team at Rue La La — an online shopping destination for a wide range of contemporary designer goods from apparel and accessories to kitchen gadgets and bedding — asked me to help introduce their Style Guide to Handbags, I thought it would be a fun chance to turn my bag upside down, give it a good shake, and share what my daily carrying essentials are and why. If big hair is full of secrets, then what are big bags full of? Let’s take a look, shall we?

"In My Bag" for Rue La La | All Things Lovely - The Millay Vintage Blog


While I definitely switch up my bags to smaller choices like clutches for more formal outings and baguettes or mini satchels for dates and such, my daily mainstay is a generous-sized tote bag. As a stylist and the shopkeeper for Millay Vintage, I’m constantly out-and-about sourcing goods for the shop and picking up items for photoshoots and events, and having a bag that can carry what I need and give me room to plop in extra finds as the day goes by is incredibly handy.

Right now? I am loving the rich plum color of that pebbled leather tote bag that I borrowed from the Millay Vintage shop for the day to prepare this here post.


"In My Bag" for Rue La La | All Things Lovely - The Millay Vintage Blog


I like having the larger tote bag with me, but still only carrying some bare essentials to leave loads of room for dropping in finds and also getting the added benefit of not having to slug around a super heavy carry-all. My current (cold-weather) essentials?

  • A cozy scarf: Northeastern autumns and winters don’t joke around, so even if I’m not wearing it around my neck, I have one on hand for when I’ll inevitably need it at some point during the day. Pictured scarf is an old item from Madewell
  • Hand salve: Nothing dries my hands more than this brisk and cold weather, and when you are in the business I am, constantly hand-washing and repairing garments and home items, it takes a toll on your hands. A good lotion for them feels like a perfect luxury. Pictured one is from Anthropologie
  • On that same note, I’ve been relying on those Burt’s Bees tinted lip balms. They offer a touch of color while giving that needed moisture for chapped lips. Pictured balm is from Target
  • Toiletries: I’ve recently started carrying a title bit of my scent with me realizing that I often have long days at the Studio where I head straight to a dinner or drinks with a pal. Giving myself a little spritz helps me transition from business to social mode and helps me feel refreshed. Pictured spray is from Anthropologie
  • Compact mirror: Isn’t that brass etched one a beauty of it’s own? I honestly rarely use it, I just love having it with me…that’s not weird, right? #ilikeoldprettythings #notsorry Pictured compact is vintage
  • Get down to business: My holy trinity are my planner notebook, wallet, and business cards. I use what I think was meant to be a little leather clutch as my wallet because its gots to hold all my pertinents — a checkbook, business cards (my own and others), receipts, and actual currency. Pictured old from Madewell
  • Market finds: While this ^^ all seems like a longish list, those items don’t actually take up too much real-estate in my tote bag, which is exactly how I like it. That way, I have room to drop in buys from the day, which in this case were some beautiful peonies that I nabbed in preparation of hosting some family visiting us for a few days.

"In My Bag" for Rue La La | All Things Lovely - The Millay Vintage Blog


"In My Bag" for Rue La La | All Things Lovely - The Millay Vintage Blog


"In My Bag" for Rue La La | All Things Lovely - The Millay Vintage Blog
"In My Bag" for Rue La La | All Things Lovely - The Millay Vintage Blog


The aforementioned Rue La La has put together a fun little Style Guide breaking down the different categories of handbags and what situations they are useful for. They also offer a handy guide for identifying authentic designer bags, which is useful for both contemporary bag connoisseurs and vintage collectors. My favorite part, though, is at the bottom of the guide (scroll all the way down), where they detail the history of handbags from the 16th century to current day. Super fascinating and worth a read since they break it all down into bite-size nuggets of information.

/  To see more from Rue La La, browse their full Style Guide to Handbags

/  The beautiful pebbled leather tote bag from this post can be purchased in the Millay Vintage shop HERE (and there is only one available!)


So tell me friends, what bag are you carrying on the daily? And more-so, what do you carry inside of it?


–  –

Photos courtesy of Chloe Berk. All styling and photo editing done by myself.

Inspired Interiors: One Home Two Ways

November 19, 2014

Two real-estate agents in Sweden (from the Fastighetsbyran firm) had the brilliant idea of commissioning three different designers to transform the same dwelling space in order to offer three different renditions of the same abode. Each brings their own beauty (balanced with that iconic Swedish sense of minimalism and function), but two in particular caught my eye: one cloaked in darkness and the other integrating lots of crisp whites and pale neutrals. I’m generally drawn to lighter tones but I’m finding my eye wandering more and more to darker tones, so I love seeing these two takes fleshed out through an entire home.

From Interior Designer Hans Blomquist:

Inspired Interiors: One Home Two Ways | All Things Lovely - The Millay Vintage Blog

Inspired Interiors: One Home Two Ways | All Things Lovely - The Millay Vintage Blog

Inspired Interiors: One Home Two Ways | All Things Lovely - The Millay Vintage Blog

Inspired Interiors: One Home Two Ways | All Things Lovely - The Millay Vintage Blog

Inspired Interiors: One Home Two Ways | All Things Lovely - The Millay Vintage BlogInspired Interiors: One Home Two Ways | All Things Lovely - The Millay Vintage Blog

Inspired Interiors: One Home Two Ways | All Things Lovely - The Millay Vintage Blog

Inspired Interiors: One Home Two Ways | All Things Lovely - The Millay Vintage Blog


Those dark charcoal walls bring such a sense of warmth and coziness while still keeping the contents of the home fairly minimal, which I love. Don’t you just want to throw on some cozy socks and an oversized shirt and just curl up in any given corner of this apartment? That richness in the darker hues also help those white moments pop, which offers such a clean sharpness to the space.


From Interior Designer Tina Hellberg:

Inspired Interiors: One Home Two Ways | All Things Lovely - The Millay Vintage Blog

Inspired Interiors: One Home Two Ways | All Things Lovely - The Millay Vintage Blog


Inspired Interiors: One Home Two Ways | All Things Lovely - The Millay Vintage Blog

Inspired Interiors: One Home Two Ways | All Things Lovely - The Millay Vintage Blog

Inspired Interiors: One Home Two Ways | All Things Lovely - The Millay Vintage Blog

Inspired Interiors: One Home Two Ways | All Things Lovely - The Millay Vintage Blog

Inspired Interiors: One Home Two Ways | All Things Lovely - The Millay Vintage Blog


On this flip side though, I love how refreshing and spirited the lighter tones make this space feel. All of the light airiness gives off such an energetic feeling, don’t you think? I appreciate that this space does get grounded with a few accents of darkness.

Overall, I think I’m loving that the darker rendition a touch more — there is a real sense of elevated elegance that collides with comfort that is so well done in each room. I’d happily live in either of these spaces though…they are both divine.

What do you guys think — do you have a favorite?

/  To see more photos and to check out the third Interior Designers take, visit the original source here.

Fresh Monday

November 17, 2014

Fresh Arrivals at Millay Vintage | All Things Lovely

A new collection landed in the shop last week, and I am just loving some of these darker, richer hues for these last months of the year. That late 1940s / early 1950s Chocolate Ballroom Gown is one that I drool over and wish was in my size, and it pairs perfectly with the 1950s Golden Confetti Evening Bag. A few of these items have already been snatched up, but there is still plenty of lovely available.


Fresh Arrivals at Millay Vintage | All Things Lovely

1960s Le Chateau Bridal Gown   |   1960s Swiss Dot Fascinator

There is something so sacred about this 1960s bridal gown. The lace details, the neckline, and that long train exude a timeless elegance. That fascinator is oh-so-lovely too — the velvet band mimics a woodsy crown, and the swiss dots on the veil add such a sweetness. Goodness I’ve loved sourcing little bridal gems like these.


Fresh Arrivals at Millay Vintage | All Things Lovely

Mint 1970s / 1980s with Tags Oscar de la Renta LBD   |   1930s Rosalind Silk Velvet Suit 


Let me just say that photographing black silk velvet is one of the hardest things in all the land to do well. It is SO beautiful and luxurious and soft and absolutely amazing in person, and then looks like a sad black blob when I try to take product photos. Its like on Modern Family when they try to take photos of that cute little munchkin Lily, but she gets all weird in front of the camera. It’s a shame. Just trust me that its one of the best indulgences you can invest in. It has a weighty drape that is perfect for cold months. And that suit looks so amazing separated or worn together, and boasts one hell of a flattering fit.

And with the sad recent passing of designer Oscar de la Renta, this piece is a timely reminder of his attention to detail for the sleek, timeless, yet slightly unexpected sense of design. Its a dead stock piece, meaning its never been worn and still has its original tag on it.


Fresh Arrivals at Millay Vintage | All Things Lovely


Charcoal Wool Midi Skirt    |   Nouveau Box Clutch   |   Art Deco Beaded Handbag   |   Hazelnut Hi-Lo Skirt


Do you all have any favorites from this collection?

/  Shop all Fresh Arrivals here

/   Sign up for our newsletter to get a heads up on when new collections go live by clicking the envelope on the top right of The MV Shop page


Monochrome Studies

November 5, 2014


I’m in the monochrome zone and think I might have a crush.

I wouldn’t call it full blown love (yet?), but it’s fair to say that I’m intrigued. And while I haven’t quite ventured into assembling any monochrome ensembles for myself, I’ve been stowing away a number of images that have caught my eye these past several months. When monochrome is done right, it can be rather striking: minimal but bold, simple and classic while being a bit avant-garde too.

All Things Lovely | The Millay Vintage Blog

Single colors head-to-toe can certainly be done wrong (not really my cup of tea there), but when layering the right cuts in the right hues, single tones can create an unexpected yet classic set of separates. It can be like a visual “hell yes, I did this on purpose, because that is how confident I am” sort of look, while still exuding a bit of “oh, who me? This old thing?” …… You know what I mean. Right?


All Things Lovely | The Millay Vintage Blog


^^  Yes and yes.


All Things Lovely | The Millay Vintage Blog


^^ Varying shades of the same color-family is frankly a hard look to craft, but I can get on board with this rendition above. Its a little like a 1970s Bridget Bardot meets the new millennium…I also just love the silhouette and drape of this outfit, so maybe I’m distracted by those bits of beauty.


I love to layer creams on creams and whites on whites all throughout my abode, so layering single hues or variants within the same Pantone family seems like a natural extension. A natural crush, at the very least.

What do you guys think, does monochrome feel too much like a passing fad, or can you get on board?

/  All image sources can be found here.


Bonjour November

November 3, 2014

Millay Vintage Blog | All Things Lovely


Goodness it’s been a spectacular month. We released not one, but two collections in the Millay Vintage shop, got to share some vintage styling tips over on the Holly Marie Design blog, and on a personal note, I’ve been toiling away at nights getting settled into our new home here in Philadelphia and drooling over loads of interior inspiration on these nets (you know, what the kids are calling this Internet thing).

These past few days have dipped beyond cool to cold, and I’m officially putting sweaters on General Gazpacho (#notsorry, that precious pup is too little and short-haired to make it in just his birthday suit). I’m also elbow-deep into Amy Poehler’s new book (because you know I’m a total fangirl for her), and am vowing to try to squeeze in at least two more books in this month of November. It is going to be a BUSY month—with a capital B—but one can set a goal, right?

You guys got any goals for this November? I’d love to hear!

Millay Vintage Blog | All Things Lovely


A few other things you may have missed in October:

/  Tips on caring for all your cozy sweaters and cashmere (without breaking the bank at the dry cleaners)

/  Personal thoughts on the tough balance between humility and confidence

/  Styling tips on how to wear this current favorite dress and bag from the MV shop


Phew, that was a lot of linking up. Thanks for reading along all my web friends!


How to Wear. . .

October 29, 2014

Vintage the MV Way | All Things Lovely - The Millay Vintage Blog


It’s no secret that I’m a neutrals gal based on what I typically stock the MV Shop with (beaucoup des creams, whites, and blushes). Fall, however, offers such a fantastic opportunity to take your color palette into moodier hues, richer colors, that somehow still exude some sense of earth toned neutrality.

As a personal advocate of blending modern and vintage, I thought I’d style up a couple of my favorite items in the shop right now. That dress has such a beautiful blend of darker hues, a flattering fit-and-flare silhouette, and the buttons (I suggest you click on over to the listing to see more detailed photos) are really such an example of why vintage garments are such treasures. And that vintage bag is exceptional — it’s simple, handsome, and versatile — and magically fits everything you need, from your tablets and planners, cold-weather gloves, an adorable puppy (I kid) — but whatever it is you throw into your totes these days, it can easily house.

I love that this outfit doesn’t try to camouflage its vintage elements, but instead draws attention to the dress and bag without being too costume-like. What do you guys think?

1. 1950s Dress  /  2.  Boots  /  3.  Sunglasses  /  4.  1960s Bag  /  5.  Trench Coat


Monday Musing

October 27, 2014

Monday Musing | All Things Lovely: The Millay Vintage Blog

I ran across this quote the other day and it has been jogging around in my mind ever since. Call it a trademark of being from the South, or call it a well-conditioned gender response, but the balance between humility and confidence is something I struggle with on the regular.

My gut tells me it isn’t polite to be confident. My instincts tell me any outward sign of confidence is conveyed as arrogance. My upbringing tells me to always give compliments, not to take them.

When someone pays me a compliment? I quickly deflect any praise with self-deprecating punches and instead start showering who I’m chatting with in praise. I’ve realized over the past couple of years — in which I have prioritized my own creative pursuits career-wise — that I’ve become self-conscious about what I do, frustrated by a lack of respect, and convinced of my nothing-ness. All that self-deprecating humor I use to deflect a compliment? It messes with my psyche and convinces me that my own attempt at humility doubles as an anthem of not valuing what I do and convincing others that they, too, should not value me or what I do.

But that is, to call it what it really is, bull shit. I LOVE what I do. I truly believe that I have creative gifts that others don’t, that I am specifically talented in ways where I can tease out beauty in any surrounding, help people feel more confident in who they are, to see their loveliness and compliment it with the right garments, to come home or to work and surround themselves with decor that makes them feel calm and understood, safe and comfortable. And I think those are incredibly important traits that I get to capitalize on every single day! And heavens knows I pull so many late nights and early mornings and long days toiling away hard at work to allow myself to succeed at what I do, and make a living off of what makes me come alive, and to push myself towards newer, bigger goals.

Beyond that, if there is anything I endlessly do, it’s taking notice of all the awesome, insanely talented and diligently hard-working women in my life — whether they are friends, or just someone I’ve followed and admired from afar. And when I get together with these ladies? I’m not shy in telling them how they inspire me. How I notice the little details that set them apart. So why is it so hard for me to take a compliment in return? The big truth I’m learning to believe in and want to start reinforcing is that it isn’t a sin to feel proud of your hard work and your passions. That is a silly taboo that has an incredibly effective way of keeping you down. Instead, if we believe in supporting those that inspire us to be better and do better, then we should also get better at learning to take in sincere compliments as well as give them. Constantly deflecting kind words — I’m learning, at least for me — is a tick I have because I don’t believe I deserve kind words. Everyone else does, sure, but not me. And when I articulate that and write it out, I see how stupid that really is and how much that type of mindset hinders my potential.

So, I’m making it a goal, friends, to get better at saying thank you rather than saying, “oh no no no.” To get better at taking that compliment and believing it, to get better at conveying pride in what I do, the impact I make in my professional circle, and the value I think my skills bring to the world at large. Just make sure for every compliment you take in, you are paying it forward to others that inspire, motivate, and support you too.

How much more effective and successful can we be if we stop telling ourselves we are less than we are? I can’t wait to see. Let’s hold each other accountable, shall we?


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