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60 Responses to CONTACT

  1. Megan M says:

    Hello Mary,

    I love you blog. What is your opinion on how short dresses/skirts can go at the workplace? Does wearing opaque tights with a skirt/dress make a difference in terms of how far you can go with length?

    Thank you!

    • Mary Orton says:

      Hi Megan! I think opaque tights *help* but still don’t make short skirts OK in the workplace — especially in conservative ones. As you can see on my blog, I never go more than three inches above the knee. That’s the rule of thumb I recommend!

  2. Kimberly Turner says:

    Hi Mary!

    Just a quick note to say I love your style. Thanks for all of the great tips! I look forward to reading your blog, receiving your newsletter and to all of your ideas and recommendations on fashion and style!

  3. Nikki says:

    Hi Mary

    I LOVE your blog. Thanks so much for sharing your style and for taking the time to post tips on where we can find similar items.

    Is there any chance you could do a wardrobe organisation post? I’ve always struggled to optimise how to find what I need to pull together creative looks when rushed in the morning so I inevitably just wear ‘easy’ outfits.

    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Thanks and merry Christmas!

  4. Stephanie says:

    I’m recently transitioning from a very casual nonprofit job to a high end hospitality firm, and I just know your blog is going to be lifesaver for putting together my new wardrobe. I have some basics butam looking for a good, structured, slimming blazer – and I’m stumped. Where would you recommend? Thanks- happy holidays!

  5. Mary says:

    Hi,

    I’m hoping for your advice about what to wear during *really* cold weather. I’m starting a new job in Chicago in January that requires business attire every day. I’d like to wear a lot of dresses, but I’m wondering what kind of tights/nylons to wear with them? Is wearing nude nylons ok? I’d like to avoid wearing opaque tights with my black dresses.

    Thanks!

  6. chris juneau says:

    When will we see you in Black Hawks gear? Frankly, it’s the only couture that will do you justice. Thanks, Chris Juneau

  7. Kristine says:

    Hi Mary,

    As a new graduate, I was thrown straight into corporate finance and your blog is EXACTLY what I needed to help me figure out how to be professional without being stuffy. I absolutely love it!

    A quick question though – I’m going on a business trip next week and during the day I’ll be wearing business formal, but I’m also invited to a cocktail event and a dinner (at a high-end restaurant). I’m the only female going and my male colleagues will not be changing to go to these events, so should I wear my outfit from the day (more likely suit skirt/trousers with silk blouse) to the event, should I change into a dress that is office appropriate but wouldn’t necessarily choose to wear to formal meetings with clients (but is fitting in a cocktail/dinner environment), or should I wear the dress during the day also and not change?

    As you point out yourself, there are often very few female role-models in corporate jobs and sometimes it’s difficult to get the nuances just right when it comes to appearance, but you’re doing a wonderful job of providing the guidance and inspiration to “Classy” ladies everywhere!

    Thank you in advance.

    All the best,

    Kristine

    • Sacha Irving says:

      Kristine,

      Completely understand the struggle your facing as Ive faced the same issues in investment banking. From experience people generally change attire for evening drinks if you have time to go back to the hotel room before. A dress is good for both occasions, but recommend changing regardless.

      Sacha

    • Mary Orton says:

      Hi Kristine, I’d actually recommend not changing. From my experience in many, many situations exactly as you described (only female, business formal, evening event afterwards) it’s better to stay professional throughout. If you change, it can draw unwanted attention and even suggest that maybe you see the evening events as a date-type setting that requires a wardrobe change, instead of a continuation of your job. If your male colleagues aren’t changing, you probably shouldn’t either, in my opinion. However, I would say that you could definitely get away with a hybrid of the two! Wear a dark suit that features a matching jacket and dress… perhaps with a scarf. At the evening event, it’ll seem very natural for you to ditch the suit jacket and scarf on the back of your chair, and now all of a sudden you’re in a sleek black dress. Win-win!

  8. Cara says:

    Hi Mary! I love your blog, especially your posts about office holiday gifts. I’m hoping you could do something similar regarding retirement gifts. My boss is about to retire and, as you can imagine, she has just about everything. I’d love to get her a gift that shows how much I value and appreciate her mentorship and friendship, but I haven’t been inspired yet.
    Thanks!
    Regards,
    Cara

  9. Kathy says:

    Hi Mary,
    I just read another blogger posting about “A Day in The Life Of…” and though immediately that is something you should do. Oh, how I’d love to follow you around for a day. How do you choose your clothes? How do you shop? Do you have a personal shopper at you favorite stores who calls to let you in on things as they first arrive, or do you just show up and start digging through the racks? Do you have other people who work with you? How do you decide whether to do the shoot in SF or NYC? How did you fit everything in when you were still working in the financial world? Do people recognize you off-duty? Do you have to line up sponsors or do they contact you? Have you ever thought of expanding into lifestyle posts? Gosh, I sound a little like a stalker, don’t I? Anyway, hope you give a post like I suggest some thought. I bet I’m not the only one who would love to read about your endeavors.’
    Best wishes for a highly successful new year, and thanks for keeping things classy!
    Kathy

    Thanks for your site

  10. Mayte says:

    Hi Mary! I Love your blog. Please can you tell me where did you buy the white and black jumper that you wore at the airport.
    Thank you very much.
    Mayte

  11. Kathy says:

    Mary,
    I totally get why you currently prefer the sunny west coast to the snowy east, but it would really be cool (pardon the pun) if you did an all-out winter styling session for dealing with brutal cold and deep snow. Did you maybe do some when you went skiing?
    Kathy

  12. Debbie says:

    Classy style Mary…love it! Quite a while ago you wore a pearl like adornment on the color of a button down blouse. It appeared to be like collar jewelry, for lack of better description. It has stuck with me and reminds me of the tie-back jewelry used in the 80’s on over-sized shirts.
    Wondering where you got it. It really dressed up the blouse.

  13. Rachael says:

    Hi Mary,

    Can you do a post on sales call attire. I find it hard to dress for these, as you have to be able to travel relatively easily, you can’t look disheveled during your pitch, and you want to balance both office “vibes” with your outfit. For example, I work for a start up (creative)…but it’s in the healthcare industry (conservative). Any advice you have would be great!

    Thanks,

    Rachael

  14. Laura says:

    Hi, just had a quick sizing question — can I ask what size your Brooks Brothers camel hair blazer is, and also what size you usually take from J. Crew? I’m considering buying this blazer (the patch-pocket one, from an online reseller) but unsure of how it fits, and the fit it has on you is exactly what I’m looking for. Thanks!

    • Mary Orton says:

      Of course, although I don’t know if you’re bigger/smaller/taller/shorter than I am, so I’m not sure how much it will help! But for what it’s worth, I’m 5’10” so in Brooks Brothers blazers I’m a Size 4 for sleeve length and a Size 2 in general from Brooks Brothers and J. Crew — though I go up to a 4 or a 6 in J. Crew blazers for sleeve length as well. Hope you love the blazer!!

  15. Sonia says:

    Hi Mary,

    I really love the black belt with a round gold buckle that you wear with many of jeans outfits–can you tell readers where to get it or something similar?

    Thank you!

  16. Kathy says:

    Thought you’d want to know that the Bloglovin feed on March 26, featuring the St. John’s classics isn’t showing up on the blog when I go directly to Memorandum.com rather than through Bloglovin. Perhaps it was actually scheduled for the blog today and Bloglovin released it early? Just wanted you to know in case there is a technical glitch somewhere.

  17. Emily C says:

    Hi Mary! Love the blog and I’m a big fan.

    Question for you – what are the best sources for well-made women’s suits? Looking for something well made and well tailored at or around $1,000. I work in a conservative office, and all of the men are able to get custom suits made for around $800, but I haven’t found anything as custom or as nice for women! Would love any tips that you have

    Thanks!!

  18. Alyson says:

    Hi Mary,
    I was wondering your thoughts on tights. I have been told that buff tights to blend in with your skin tone are a necessity when wearing skirts and dresses in the workplace, but I have also heard that they are not necessary at all. Another thing I have heard is that if you do wear tights, you should match them to your shoes. I have no idea what advice I should take. What do you think?

    I am just getting a start with my profession so I don’t have a lot of practice creating classy but original work outfits. Your blog has been really helpful so far!

  19. Rosanna Tuite says:

    Hi Mary,

    Just wondering if you have heard of the Bicester outlet in Oxfordshire, it has to one of the best in the world. I am hoping to get back there real soon.

    Regards

    Rosanna.

    Ps. Love your blog, I check into it everyday.

  20. Kathy says:

    Technical glitch on today’s Memorandum “View the Post” link. Says page not available. Trying to access on my laptop w/o success.

  21. Kathy says:

    Hi Mary,
    Since I’m living in the last century without a smartphone, I don’t think I can access your snapchat postings. So I’m wondering if there will be another way to view those posts. Another blog perhaps? (Hint, hint).

  22. Kelsey Reaves says:

    Hi there!

    I really love your website, Memorandum, and was wondering if you ever have guest contributors? I work for Modernize.com and we would love to write something 🙂 Over the past few months, we’ve written for The Huffington Post and About.com and I think we can provide some pretty awesome content for your readers.

    Here are a few samples of our writing:
    Maximizing Your Closet Space (http://www.inpursuitofsimple.com/2015/06/18/guest-post-maximizing-your-closet-space/)
    Creative Ways to Display Your Makeup (http://brokebutbougie.com/2015/05/12/creative-and-affordable-ways-to-display-your-makeup/)
    Looking forward to working with you!

    Kind regards,

    Kelsey

  23. Kathi says:

    Hello Mary,

    first of all your blog is what I was looking for since I started as a professional in banking industry facing everydays challenges how to dress at work in an adequat and non boring way. I love your inspirations and advices. Btw advice: how many colors are the max to have in one business outfit in order not to look like a clown? 😉

    Thanks in advance.

    All the best,
    Kathi

  24. Kathy says:

    I’ve been wondering about what type of bra you recommend when wearing something with spaghetti or narrow straps. I hate the exposed bra strap look and wonder if you go with a strapless bra or do you use the double sided sticky tape to adhere strap to strap?

    Thanks
    Kathy

  25. Caitlin Boss says:

    Hi Mary,

    I came across your website the other day because my fiance and I and going on safari and then to Mauritius for our honeymoon next year and I have been trying to figure out what we will need to purchase for the safari part. I have already used your blog to help me with my office fashion. My norm used to be slacks and a button down….that’s right just like a dude because I didn’t know what else was appropriate. Thank you so much for telling me through this blog that I can wear other things! Anyway, I saw that you did a post for your honeymoon portion in the Seychelles and was wondering if you planned on doing something similar for the safari or if you can give me any pointers as to where to buy stuff. Thank you so much again!

    Cheers!
    Caitlin

  26. Ed Bathen says:

    Mary, I am in the process of starting a new company, Compass LED Solutions dealing in LED lighting for all situations…commercial, industrial and residential. My lady says you once published an article about how to start a blog.
    Could I get that material sent to me so that I might figure out how, when and where to get a better feel for this media.

    Thank you,

    Ed Bathen

    • Mary Orton says:

      Hi Ed, I’m sorry, she must have me confused with another blogger. I don’t think I’ve ever published anything about how to start a blog, but will keep that in mind for future content! Best of luck with your company!

  27. Kathy says:

    Hi again Mary.
    I noticed you have changed your home page headings a little to include “Lifestyle”. I wonder if under that category you have ever considered expanding into décor? Little things such as your copper Moscow Mule mugs, and the tray you featured in your Holiday Memo Gift Guide, and the dining table you had on Instagram are all things I’m thinking of. Please give it some consideration.

    Kathy Edens

  28. Maggie says:

    Hi Mary,

    Finally a lovely, modern fashion guru with timeless looks! I adore the looks you share and find them so applicable to my 9 to 5 in the Financial District of NYC. As of late, I’ve been struggling with heel and height etiquette in terms of my superiors.

    You see… I work with many men around my height (5′ 9″) while my manager is only 5′ 5″ or so… The troubles are caught between my desire to look kick ass and polished in heels,while not wanting to literally belittle my manager. This also comes on the heels (no pun intended) of being newly hired and quite young.

    Do I skip the heels to not feel so domineering or do I accept the freedom to tower at 6′ around the office?

    Sincerely,
    Maggie

  29. Allison says:

    2015: A Retrospective – the link to the second photo does not work, can you resend or let me know where the black and white blazer is from?

  30. Samantha says:

    Hi Mary! Love your blog! Your looks are so creatively classy and inspiring!

    My office is very casual, which is so nice. Sometimes I dress up, but a lot of times I wear jeans and a cute blouse. A lot of my wardrobe doubles as work clothing and dinner/drinks/casual Saturday clothing.

    Today I need your help with shoes. I am seriously struggling! It seems every pair of shoes I buy cuts and blisters my feet. Both heels and flats alike. I am 5’9″ already, so all I want is a little black kitten heel (2″ max) and a good pair of pointy toe flats. I try shoes on in the store and they feel fine (trust me I do a good walk around the store). But the first time I wear them, I can barely stand the pain. Some times I can break the shoe in and sometimes not. I have tried all the tricks (band-aids, moleskin, friction block). So Frustrating! I feel like my true size is a 7 3/4.. the 7 1/2 is usually too snug and dig in, but an 8 can be too loose and slip.

    So far I have bought middle of the road brands like Cole Haan, J Crew, Clarks with no luck. I am wasting so much money! I have my eye on a gorgeous pair of Manolo Blahnik suede kitten heels but do not want to pay the high price tag if the same thing is going to happen. I tried on Stuart Weitzman, but they felt worse than anything I have tried yet!

    Do you have a secret? Do you think these high end names will be better for me? With shoes, is it better to be too snug or slip a little?

    Your help is really appreciated!

    • Mary Orton says:

      Hi Samantha! I’m not sure I have great advice to offer, because I’ve personally had great luck with all of the shoe brands that you mentioned (Cole Haan, J. Crew, Stuart Weitzman, etc.). I have a relatively narrow foot and am a true 8.5, so don’t run into the same issues as friends of mine that fall between sizes like you and/or have wide feet (not sure if this is true for you or not). In general, I would say that there is indeed a reason high end shoes are… high end. From my experience, Manolo Blahnik, Jimmy Choo, Christian Louboutin demand those high price tags because they have superior construction and are made from the very best leather out there — leather that molds to your foot better than more affordable options. Since it sounds like you’ve exhausted all other options, it might be worth a try splurging for a pair of Manolos. Otherwise, since you’ve tried all the band-aid, moleskin, etc. tricks, the only other thing I can think of is to continue buying the shoes that are a tad small (7 1/2) and try taking those shoes to a cobbler for them to be stretched in the places that typically rub before you wear them for the first time. I’ve had this done before and it’s awesome. They’re able to loosen up the places that are stiff and rubbing so you don’t have to go through the pain. Hope you find something that works!!

  31. Kelly says:

    Hi Mary–Love your blog! I was wondering if you color your hair? If you do, did you have a favorite colorist when you lived in New York City? I’m looking for one in NYC!

  32. Katie Swenson says:

    Mary,

    Love your blog. Creative and classy. I have to ask though, for a girl on a budget keeping fashion fresh can get pricey. How do you do it?

  33. Jocelyn says:

    Hi Mary! I love, love, love your blog!! I missed writing down your snaps the other day with all your books! I was hoping you could post them here. Also, do you have any recs on how to keep flats from getting worn out too soon? My flats seem to always get scratched and I don’t know if it’s me or just how flats are from normal wear and tear.

  34. Kaitlyn Rikkers says:

    hi good morning,

    I moved to San Francisco about a year ago from London and trying to step into some more west-coast fashion sense. I’ve been buying jewelry from this place: http://vraiandoro.com/ but don’t know of a local shop in SF where I may be able to find some things that are similar, less costly and with a greater variety.

    Thanks so much for your help in advance.

    All the best,
    Kait

  35. Tamara says:

    Hi Mary,
    I’m curious how you maintain your designer shoes.
    Do you have a cobbler add a thin rubber lining to the bottom if the shoe has leather soles? or do you go “bare”?
    And which cobbler in SF would you recommend for such work if you have it done?
    I live in Reno and nobody here appreciates how delicate designer shoes are and tend treat them like hiking boots instead…. sigh.
    Thanks!
    Tamara

  36. Hannah says:

    Hello Mary! I have been following you for quite some time and you are the one who has taught me classy style and office essentials! I am currently in college, and during these hot summer months I am taking summer classes. With that, I just landed an incredible job working for the Office of the President on campus. Do you have any advice for dressing business professional during sweltering temperatures while walking to class and attending the office?

    Thanks in advance!

    Hannah

  37. Mare says:

    Hello Mary!
    I have an off-duty style (date night) question for you – What is your opinion on purposefully shown under garments, such as a lace bralette or bodysuit? I have a wrap dress I absolutely love but is has a very deep V-neck. To avoid any showing any bar or too much cleavage I use boob tape and wear a plunge bra. It’s kind of a lot of work/stress. What do think of instead opting for a bralette or bodysuit and forgo trying to hide the bra at all? Do you think a late 20 something pull this off? Or should we leave the bralettes to a younger crowd?

    Thanks!
    Mare

    • Mary Orton says:

      Hi Mare! For a date night, I think a bralette/bodysuit/lace cami is the perfect solution! It absolutely can be pulled off, and in my opinion, can even sometimes look better/more tasteful than the plunge bra option. Go for it, lady! : )

  38. liz says:

    Amazing site with some awesome content on fashion and lifestyl!

  39. Patia Storms says:

    Hi Mary,

    First of all, thank you for imparting your wisdom on us everyday! I truly enjoy reading your posts each week. Secondly, I know it may be out of your typical repertoire, but would you ever consider writing a post about your favorite books? I would love to hear about your choices of literature in all genres. Thanks!

    Patia

  40. Rachel says:

    Hello Mary,

    I am a marketing professional in the IT industry and will speaking at a women’s conference soon (yikes!). I would love your advice on what you think is appropriate (yet edgy/memorable in the right way) to wear to something like this. I love the idea of a tailored jumpsuit with a blazer, or a crisp white shirt with well made leather pants.

    What do you think?

    Thanks,
    Rachel

  41. Jessica says:

    Have you ever thought about doing an “Closet Tour” post? My closet always feels like a mess even when everything is up on hangers.. I’d love to see what your closet layout/shelving configuration is like and how you organize your clothes. Any advice would be much appreciated!

  42. Gina Rayson says:

    Hi Mary 🙂

    I love the idea of wearing a jacket styled to be open and on the shoulders, but have a hard time determining fit. You do it so beautifully: are yours purchased to fit as if you will wear them traditionally, or do you size up/down based on your intent to wear on your shoulders?

    Thanks!
    Gina

    • Mary Orton says:

      I always buy coats and jackets in my normal size, ensuring that they actually fit while wearing them. Personally, I don’t buy any coats or jackets with the sole purpose of wearing them over my shoulders, but always love having both options (to wear them fully on, or wear them like a cape). If you make sure the coat fits you properly (especially in the shoulders), it will fit comfortably when choosing to style it open, sans arms, over your shoulders, because that’s the place where it will hug and cling to your body. If you go too big, it will be falling off, if you go to small, it won’t layer comfortably over other pieces. In general, the style works best for coats or blazers that are meant to have that slightly “oversized” look. For super form-fitting tailored jackets, it’s not as easy, as they don’t flow over other pieces as nicely. Hope that makes sense!

  43. Alex says:

    I cannot wait to see your registry tips! This is the most challenging part of wedding planning so far. My fiance and I are pretty well established but we don’t have a full set of anything.

  44. Marian says:

    Hi Mary,

    Thanks for all of the great office wear tips! I love love your blog!
    I have an office etiquette question for you. I work in a midsize CPA firm in VA (a conservative field and semi-conservative market). I am most often client facing and must dress in business attire. My go to is a sleeveless dress and blazer. When is it appropriate to take off a blazer during a meeting with clients and partners of the firm? Today I was in a meeting with 3 prospects and was freaking hot but I was worried about taking off my jacket. My concern is that it would be unprofessional to take off the jacket in general and then to also reveal my unclothed arms would be wholly offensive and unforgivable. Maybe I have overthought this but your input would be greatly appreciated!

    • Mary Orton says:

      That’s a tough one! It entirely depends on the setting, your colleagues and the prospective clients. If it’s a formal setting with everyone in business formal attire (jackets intact), then, unfortunately, you’re going to have to sweat it out. Of course, if you get so hot to the point of sweating profusely or feeling like you are going to faint, then by all means take the jacket off and just call it out–“Is anyone else particularly warm? Do you mind if I take my jacket off for a minute?” If this happens often, then I’d highly suggest investing in some suits where the dress has a short sleeve or elbow-length sleeve. That way, you can remove the jacket in the meeting without as much trepidation. Hope this helps!

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