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I love a lunch break. No, not that ten-minute dash to your local salad joint to get a bowl of greens to eat at your desk while you answer all the emails that came in during those ten minutes. (I can’t be the only one whose keyboard is covered in toppings—L for lettuce, C for crouton…)

I mean a real lunch break. One of those long, lavish, forget-it’s-a-Thursday lunches at a place set to a slower pace. Like my lunch yesterday at Lafayette.

Being a proper brasserie (inasmuch as there is such a thing outside of France), the interior somehow hits that quintessentially French balance of grand and quaint; the perfect ambiance for what felt like a mini-vacation from my workday. Whether it’s a business lunch or personal affair, the warm decor and tall airy ceilings are a welcoming contrast to the bustle outside.

 

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Waiting for my table, I browsed the boulangerie up front, my heart aflutter. Hello, I am a carboholic, and it’s been… 24 hours? since my last pastry.

 

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The afternoon lunch crowd was a mix of business professionals and what I’m telling myself were off-duty models. My fitted turtleneck, skinny jeans, heeled boots, and oversized sleeveless vest worked into an understated, but stylish that let me feel like the observer, not the observed, without being outclassed.

Lafayette’s chef, Andrew Carmellini, former chef for Daniel Boulud (hence the mouth-watering sweets) did not disappoint. Stinky cheese, fresh bread, and a crisp bibb lettuce avocado salad made for a welcome break from cuisine routine.

And hey, no dried drops of vinaigrette on my trackpad.

 

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And just like that, it’s window-shopping weather again. I’m finding myself inspired (and tempted) by a Stieber’s assortment of vanillas, creams, and caramels, my mouth watering as I stroll through the Village (umbrella handy—it’s not that nice out yet).

But I’m not talking confections, I’m talking collections.

 

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What I love about warm neutrals is that, like their corresponding candies, they all go well together. A mix of faint pinks, khakis, and subdued camel tones has a way of turning white into an accent. Like an unexpected marshmallow filling.

 

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You know that daydream you have at work in the afternoons before a big social event? Your eyes glazed over as you read and reread and rereread the same email without ever comprehending it because you’re too busy picturing the who, the what, and the where of that party in a few nights?

Who will I have to talk to? And what about the ambiance? Will there be fluorescent lighting (please no)? Will everyone be dressed up? Will the new accessories I ordered get here in time?    Where else might the night take me, and will I be prepared for that too?

I know, I know, it all sounds a bit superficial, but come on—you  know it’s true. We’ve all fantasized about our own grand entrances and perfect statement ensembles.

So when you’ve got two big to-dos on your agenda (like a 30th birthday party and a bridal shower back to back in a single weekend) you’re tasked with turning two daydreams into two stylish realities.

And so the outfit planning begins:

 

Friday @ 7:30pm

What: My friend’s 30th.

Where: La Birerria Rooftop Bar.

What to wear: Let’s be real: you’ve got to forget the grand entrance when it comes to a happy hour-style celebration. Think cool chic, not Coco Chanel. With spring in mid-bloom, I start with a pair of high-waisted, wide-leg jeans and style from there. In this case, a bohemian crop top with minimal accessories and a statement heel that keeps me on my toes and others’ eyes on my outfit.

Bday The look: Theory Leather Jacket, Elizabeth & James Top, Rag & bone Justine Jeans, Oliveve Clutch, Vita Fede Ring, Vince Heeled Sandal

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Saturday @ 1pm

What: My (other) friend’s bridal shower.

Where: Upstate country club.

What to wear: There’s this notion that you should never wear white to ANY bridal/wedding occasion you’re invited to. It’s not a law, but it’s wise to abide. So I’ll play it safe, but still think outside the bridal gift box. Instead of dainty spring florals, I’m thinking androgynous neutrals around a pair of crisp culottes. Cropped as they are, they feign a flowy midi-skirt in a silkier fabric.

showerThe Look: Rag & bone Vest, Acne Studios Tank, 3.1 Phillip Lim Culottes, Joie Sandal, Loeffler Randall Clutch, Giles & Brother Cuff

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