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Inbox Stylist: NYC Starter Pack Edition
And everything is under $500.
Ed. note: While a fat wallet is not a requirement for this issue (everything is under $500, and most things are under $250!), a sense of humor is. With this letter, we’re bordering on Meme territory, so please don’t send me emails and DMs that infer you took the below literally or personally. We’re here in the spirit of silliness! In one sage New Yorker’s immortal words: “Be cool. Don’t be all like, uncool.”
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Leather jacket, Banana Republic, $500. Trousers, The Frankie Shop, $230. Tote bag, Dragon Diffusion, $218 (on sale). Earrings, Lié Studio, $210. T-shirt, Le Set, $78. Loafers, Emme Parsons, $495. Sunglasses, Le Specs, $85. Perfume, Byredo, $205. Book, Demon Copperhead, $19.50. Bronzing Illuminator, Westman Atelier, $58.
An established creative professional, she prefers her sleepy slice of Gilded Age grandeur because she appreciates polish and good finishes — down to her immaculate blowout. Being situated in this Downtown hamlet keeps her just far enough from the party-laden haunts of her 20s without fully retiring to the dusty UES — though she’ll always dutifully head uptown for Dr. Devgan (and visits to The Row townhouse). She likes to look current but not flashy, rested but not overdone.
While she goes weekly to Flatiron Pilates, she thinks posting workouts on social is vulgar. She is equally snobbish about good art, but she will never turn her nose up at taking the train if it’s the fastest way to get there (or turn down a late-night cigarette).
Find her at Friend of a Farmer for a low-key weeknight dinner or at the Greenmarket, where she calls the farmers her friends (particularly the flower guys). She knows the second-floor bar at Union Square Cafe is a better seat than Torrisi. Still, an intimate dinner party reigns supreme.
An accomplished hostess, she has the china collection to prove it (and a stash of Moro Dabron candles for when the guest is her). Sometimes, she’ll tuck into a post-work cocktail at The Ned and pick up an oven-ready Branzino at Eataly on the walk home. She loves cooking for two.
She summers in Southampton, with jaunts to Europe for creative inspiration. Though once Fashion Month wraps, she’s always firmly home for a stretch — fall is the best time in the city, and she secretly loves all the corny New York Christmas stuff. She gets the New York Times delivered on Sundays and reads it during her husband’s weekly bagel run to Tompkins Square. She has no idea why he stands in that line.
While she no longer worries about money, she doesn’t flaunt it. Though she loathes the term, she suspects Gramercy Park is Manhattan’s “quiet luxury” neighborhood, if there is one. After all, nothing says “if you know, you know,” like a key to the park.
Wool Blazer, COS, $285. Tank top, J.Crew, $34.50. Boyfriend jeans, Goldsign, $395. Suede bag, Little Liffner, $495. Mesh flats, Le Monde Béryl, $355. Earrings, CompletedWorks, $259. Bracelet, Mondo Mondo, $325. Serum, Merit, $38. Book, The Creative Act, $17.49. Dry shampoo, David Mallett, $45.
Her day started rough — the puppy got street scuzz on the white boucle sofa. She pops into the Khaite store and says hi to her SA. Nothing new worth having, but she snaps a pic of the tree and posts it to her story. She films some content on Crosby for a few hours and heads to the Webster for a facial at Augustinus Bader. After, a makeup-free selfie. She tags her aesthetician and throws a subtle filter on it.
She meets her assistant to review a potential partnership with Sézanne and gossip at Jack’s Wife Freda. Her assistant tells her she’s glowing. Maybe she should post her skincare routine. Again. She picks at her salad. Must remember to book with her trainer before those bikini pics in Ibiza.
She heads home to chill and reply to emails before getting ready for dinner. She lights a Byredo candle and scrolls on her phone. Her dog yips. She coos at him and admires his collar, gifted by a brand she needs to remember to tag.
Sure, her loft is overpriced, but the natural light is incredible. Plus, a really famous artist lived here prior, which is so fun.
Her followers have requested a home tour, but she’s holding back. She has to get it photographed for a magazine first. While her parents covered the deposit and broker’s fees, rent is her expense to carry. She maxed out her cards to afford the furniture she couldn’t manage to get gifted by brands. ROI is non-negotiable. Thankfully, Domino is on the hook.
Someone texts with an invite to Carbone. She rolls her eyes; that place is so tired. It’s not even a tough reservation anymore if you’re a member of Dorsia anyway. She’s having dinner with this guy she met at Surf Lodge last summer. Date two. Both of their schedules are crazy busy. He’s a Creative Director, though she still isn’t sure of what. Who cares? He’s a member at Zero Bond, and she’s got to keep the roster stacked.
He texts he’s running late. She swipes on Raya while she waits. Ew, is that Diplo?
Sweater, Doen, $278. Jeans, SLVRLAKE, $280. Sunglasses, Le Specs, $65. Clip, Emi Jay, $34. Shoulder bag, COS, $285. Bracelet, Ben Amun, $295. Loafers, J.Crew, $228. Earrings, Heaven Mayhem, $110. Finishing gel, Crown Affair, $42. Eye shadow, Merit, $24. Book, The Woman In Me, $12.74. Blotting papers, Bienaimé, $23.
In her mind, this is the closest it gets to living in Europe stateside — the whole neighborhood is just so aesthetic. Love her boots? Thanks, her SMU friend shared them on Insta. Here’s the link. She’s no gatekeeper. Did you hear about the place in Chinatown that does $25 blowouts? She’s going next week.
The highlight of her fall was meeting Sofia Coppola at Bookmarc; she got two copies signed because her roommate couldn’t make it. They’re both excited to see Priscilla. Jacob Elordi can get it.
Her P.R. job keeps her glued to her phone. She rotates the case weekly. Right now, it’s Ossa. But last week’s was Amazon. Here’s a link to that, too!
A quick swipe through her camera roll reveals one tipsy sidewalk selfie she took with Bradley Cooper after too many espresso martinis at Dante. Cringe. She hears he’s been staying at Taylor Swift’s vacation home with Gigi Hadid… oh my God, did you get tickets to the Eras tour? It was SOO good. Travis Kelce, we Stan.
She gets an alert. Shit. She forgot she booked a CorePower Yoga class tomorrow am. Can’t get too crazy tonight. Hangovers hit different after 25! Her boss texts her a media alert. Olivia Rodrigo wore a client’s earrings! She makes a note to send the stylist flowers. Maybe Fox Fodder Farm? Will think about it.
After a pensive swipe of her Rhode lippie, she realizes she’s so glad she didn’t spend that $200 on stilettos at the Jimmy Choo sample sale — these stone streets wreck heels. Speaking of sample sales, the TikTok on her Row haul got so many views! Finally, a pair of zipper boots to call her own. Totally worth the line.
Anyway, it’s time to meet the girlies. She checks on her roommate, who looks happy with a night of Doordash sushi. She walks to American Bar. The first of her group to arrive, she perches on a bar seat and waves at the bartender. “Hey, Bestie!” She says. “Do you have Body vodka?”