I'm really excited to share another favorite brand with you this month - I love to find and support like-minded, and especially women-owned, businesses and I'm so glad that many of you have been enjoying this series! Please, let me know what you’d like to see next!
I would like to introduce to you, a brand and business I admire, MM.LaFleur.
Founder Sarah LaFleur got the idea for MM.LaFleur while she was working in finance. She dreamed of a new philosophy on shopping and getting dressed. She wanted a more inspired wardrobe, a simple, beautiful uniform that didn't take much effort to put together in the morning, and she didn't want shopping for it to take up much of her time. So, she teamed up with with Zac Posen's former head designer, Miyako Nakamura, to create a line of classic pieces that would appeal to professional women of all ages, shapes, and sizes.
To round out their idea of creating a new way to shop, the team added a third co-founder, Narie Foster, and together they came up with unique way of selling these gorgeous clothes to busy women without taking up much of their valuable time, the bento box. After filling out a short questionnaire, customers are sent a box filled with complete outfits, including accessories, that will help take away the guesswork and decision making that goes along with getting dressed every morning. It's not a subscription service either, the box is designed to give you the sense for the quality and fit of the pieces, but, there's no commitment necessary to anything sent, so you can simply ship back what doesn't suit you, and you can order whenever you like.
WHY YOU'LL LOVE IT
The collection is made up of stylish shift dresses and gorgeous separates, like beautiful blouses and luxurious sweaters, as well as amazingly flattering pants. Similar to Cocoon, the line is designed with the idea that the clothing we invest in should be timeless, it should be modern without being overly trendy. Each outfit would look stunning styled with your favorite Cocoon coat.
One key thing about the collection that I love is that the clothes are designed using several different sizes of fit models to ensure the styles work on various body types. I also appreciate how the pieces are designed to fit into everyday life, most of the items are machine washable and are designed to be able to just pull out of a suitcase and throw on without having to use an iron.
Other Cocoon favorites: Vintner’s Daughter | Marion Parke | Uniforme
The Fourth of July is nearly here and as we celebrate America, I think it's worth taking a few moments to remember why American made is so important.
Producing domestically allows me to have complete control over my final product - I'm able to be involved in every part of the design and manufacturing process and to get to know the team that is sewing each garment. My goal is to make the highest possible quality garment, and I couldn't do that without direct access to my production team.
American made not only leads to a higher quality product, but it is also better for the environment, for the people, and for the economy. We use deadstock material, reducing waste, and our products don't travel very far. Even more importantly, the people who work in our factory are paid well for their work, and they work in a safe and clean environment. For every $1 spent in US manufacturing, another $1.40 is added back to the economy - this is the highest multiplier of any economic sector.
I'm proud to produce my collection domestically, and I am so thankful for all of your support.
Happy Independence Day!
I'm a believer in good skincare - we focus so much on what we put in our body and what we put on it is equally important. I kept reading about this "wonder serum" and thought it had to be too good to be true... until I tried it.
I'll try most things, but am highly skeptical when it comes to skincare. I did not expect this serum to live up to the hype... and was pleasantly surprised to find that it far exceeded my expectations.
ABOUT VINTNER'S DAUGHTER
Determined to ditch the toxic chemicals she’d found out were hiding in her skincare routine, the serum’s creator, April Gargiulo set out to craft the most luxurious, toxin free serum possible. Using her experience in winemaking she began by sourcing the world’s finest ingredients and uses a time-honored formulation process, called enfleurage, which infuses the foundation oils with nutrients from other plants, to create the multi-functional serum that targets everything from fine lines to acne.
WHY YOU'LL LOVE IT
I’ve battled large pores and blackheads most of my adult life, and my skin looks so much better after using this serum. It’s clear, smooth, and has this underlying radiance. An unexpected perk? The scent - it smells almost like a flower garden and if you use it at night it has a kind of calming quality that I love! I've spoken with several friends and customers who also use Vintner's Daughter - each woman has a different skin type and various concerns, and each woman feels that Vintner's Daughter has been a wonderful addition to her regimen.
One of the things I connected with when I started learning about Vintner's Daughter is that her process is not unlike mine - similar to how I choose fabrics and trims for the pieces in my collection, April chooses each ingredient “not only for its individual capabilities, but also how it works in synergy with other ingredients”. And her process for creating the serum takes no shortcuts, she uses the whole plant to derive each nutrient needed, it’s expensive and time consuming but the result is something vastly different and of the very highest quality.
I'm really excited to share another favorite brand with you this month - it's so fun to find and support like-minded businesses and I'm so glad that many of you were as enthusiastic about the perfect white shirt from
Today I'm thrilled to introduce you to shoes by Marion Parke. When it comes to shoes, form and function
Marion created her namesake line of shoes "alongside Italian master cobblers" to have a unique insole, which is designed to "acknowledge the structure and function of the foot and ankle", that is patent pending. Each shoe is designed with built in arch and heel support, and a medical grade cushioning that will shape to your foot over time, and essentially become a custom orthotic. I must say, that I have had issues with my feet since I was a kid, and I can honestly tell you that after wearing these all over Paris last month, these shoes are a dream come true!
In addition to the comfort factor, which I so appreciate, she has the designer look and feel nailed down as well. Marion has gotten it right when it comes to a dainty, modern, and stylish look and feel, which for me, is key. The design elements were equally important to her as the science behind the comfort, so she went to the experts for the sourcing and manufacturing as well, she has her shoes made in the same Tuscan factories as designer shoe mainstays Jimmy Choo and Isabel Marant!
Marion Parke has become a constant in my wardrobe and I think you'll love them too.
Interested in learning about more brands like this one? Read my first post in the wardrobe favorite series here.
Many of you have shared with me that you are in search of some great basics to add to your wardrobe, and that you would love for Cocoon to expand into more categories, such as tops and pants. I love that idea, but for the time being, I am focused on building our signature luxury outerwear collection.
However, because I am always on the hunt for great pieces to supplement my rather extensive outerwear wardrobe, I thought it would be fun to start sharing some of my favorites with you! I do my best to support like-minded businesses - small, responsible, often female-owned and locally made- and I'm so excited to share these incredible brands.
To start: The perfect white shirt, by UNIFORME
UNIFORME is a wonderful new company, based in New York City, that focuses on creating simple, luxurious, and timeless pieces. Inspired by the way men typically dress in more of a uniform style, designer Alice Wang, has taken her philosophy and created a wonderful collection of basic pieces, including, in my opinion, the ultimate white button down shirt. Everything from the fabric to the fit is just right, and I would highly recommend getting one for yourself!
Her attention to detail is fabulous, right down to the buttons, they're made from white Australian mother-of-pearl they are just thick enough to give it that extremely luxurious feel, without being bulky. And the fabric is sublime, it's an ultra soft oxford cloth, woven in Switzerland at one of the finest shirting mills in the world.
The fit is wonderful too! It's fitted through the shoulders so that it doesn't look baggy, but the arms and body have a bit of a looser fit, which I love while I am working, I hate having restricted movement when a shirt's fit is too snug. The length is perfect, it has a lower back hem length, so it covers what it needs to cover, especially in skinny jeans, while the front fits just a bit higher than tunic length so that it doesn't read like a dress.
The pleat ties the whole piece together, I love how it gives the look just a little bit of added style, so that it's more than just a shirt, and it's not too simple that you can't wear it alone. Pair it with your favorite jeans or black pants and you're out the door, I love that!
I look forward to sharing more of my favorite brands and pieces with you, and please, let me know if you have suggestions of anything you would like featured!
As the holidays approach, I find myself reaching for one of my capes more often than not – which may explain why the style has been a best seller for several years!
The effortless elegance of the 1940s and 1950s inspire me greatly and influenced the decision to include a cape in one of my first collections. I believe that women should feel good in what they wear, and the cape is timeless, versatile, and still extraordinarily chic. It can make or complement an outfit and pairs perfectly with anything from your favorite jeans and boots to an elegant cocktail dress.
The cape is the perfect holiday gift (or gift for yourself!) – it is destined to become a staple in the recipient’s closet and the relaxed fit will ease the sizing concerns that are inherent in gifting apparel. We’ve been selling more capes than ever this year; you can see some of my favorite photos of our capes on Cocoon customers below!
In honor of our best-seller and the holiday season, we are offering $100 off of every cape purchase made now through December 25th! Simply enter "CocoonCape100" upon checkout.
Thank you so much for your continued support!
I love seeing you all in your Cocoon! Here are some of my favorites of you all wearing your Cocoon capes on instagram.
The holiday season is, for me, the best time of the year. I view it as a touchstone, a reminder to slow down and enjoy time with my family and friends.
Despite the rapidly falling temps, I've always associated the colors and lights of the start of winter as a happy, joyful time. However, I recently learned something startling - by necessity, many families struggling to survive must prioritize food, heat and rent over appropriate winter clothing, resulting in children missing school. This translates not only to missed learning and social opportunities but also missed meals, as many children receive balanced nutrition through the Federal Free & Reduced Meal Program. I was so sad to learn that this special time of year can lead to additional fear and stress amongst those who are already struggling.
I don't want anyone to have to endure winter without a warm coat, especially a child! So I have partnered with the Minneapolis Firefighters Operation Warm program to help deserving children get outfitted with brand new American made coats.
This week, I am committed to donating 2 coats to Minneapolis Firefighters Operation Warm for each Cocoon purchase. If you are considering making a Cocoon purchase this week, we would be honored to donate on your behalf. If you are interested in spreading the warmth but don't feel like shopping this week please click here to learn more about this amazing organization and click here to make a donation on your own. This is such a great cause and I would love your help supporting it.
Have a wonderful week, enjoy this time with family and friends, and stay warm!
I'm so thankful for your support, and for your business.
Like almost every woman, I consider Kate Middleton’s style to be the epitome of chic. She’s timeless and refined; that’s something I think we’d all like to emulate, without the benefit of a team of personal stylists.
I’m most inspired by the way Kate rocks the coat-dress throughout the fall and winter. When Kate wears a coat, it is a whole look, and those always stick with me.
While designing for this season, I was thinking of coats that could make an outfit, like Kate’s, but could also fit into day-to-day life. I wanted a piece that made a statement, but that I could also wear every day. I started with the cut – a simple, slight A-line, with one button for a clean finish and a universally flattering length.
Plaid may be on trend, but the print is as classic as stripes when it is done well. To balance the print and make the coat more wearable, I paired it with black merino, and I really love the juxtaposition in this piece.
When I found this gorgeous whiskey alpaca, I knew it would suit the clean lines of this coat. A camel coat is an absolute classic and something everyone should have in their wardrobe, and this version has become one of my very favorite pieces that I’ve ever made.
Last month I partnered with some of my favorite bloggers to launch the collection, and it has been so fun to see how they have worn these coats and made them their own. Some of my favorite photos of the Waldorf coat are featured throughout this post!
How do you wear your Waldorf coat? Send us an email or tag us on Instagram!
I adapted this from a cooking class I took in Minneapolis and a Mario Batali recipe from The Chew.
STEP 1 - Prep
My trick for peeling squash is to start by poking a few holes in the squash and popping it into the microwave for about a minute or so to soften it up. Then I lop off the bottom to create a nice flat base. I stand it up on the base and use a knife and run it down the sides to peed the skin. Then I cut it in half and remove the seeds with a spoon. Then you can slice it up into chunks really easily because it's already slightly soft.
Prep the onion, carrot, garlic and spices.
STEP 2 - Make the soup
In a large dutch oven, or heavy soup pot, over medium heat, add about 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the squash, onion, carrot, chili flakes, nutmeg, and about a teaspoon or so of salt. Stir and let that cook for 15 minutes or until the vegetables have softened, they will begin to break apart a bit as you stir. (during this lag time, see Step 3 and prepare your fixings)
Then add garlic and cook for about another minute or two.
Add the broth and bring to a boil. Once it's boiling reduce the heat to low and let the soup simmer for about 15-20 minutes.
Use an immersion blender and run it around in the pot until the soup is a smooth and creamy texture.
Taste and adjust seasoning, the amount of salt you will need really depends on the stock you use. If the soup is too thick you can add water as needed, blend and see where you are at. It should be thick, but not too thick!
STEP 3 - Prepare the toppings
Chop up some chives, stir up some creme fraiche, and unwrap the pomegranate seeds. Make a little station with bowls, spoons, and the toppings.
STEP 4 - Serve and enjoy!
Serve the soup with a dollop of creme fraiche (You can use a little sour cream if you cannot find creme fraiche), a sprinkle of chives, and a small handful of pomegranate seeds.
The pom seeds add a nice cooling pop when you bite into one with the hot soup in your mouth!