What We Love at Henri Bendel

While a night spent hanging out with friends well past midnight is just as much fun as it was when I was 22, being almost 38 adds a few caveats. Being 22 was fun, wasn’t it? Remember when the only thing on your day’s agenda was your evening plans and your ability to recover was superhuman? These days, after a day full of parenthood, on top of a week full of balancing work and kids, a weekend night out requires days of preparation. When I was 22, I didn’t think about Monday until Monday morning, but at 38, if we have plans on a Saturday night, I need to think about Monday on Friday, because my ability to bounce back quickly is abysmal. So when I woke up yesterday morning after a night out with friends feeling every bit my age, I wanted nothing more than to roll over and enjoy a few extra hours of sleep. But not this Sunday, because this Sunday was our bi-annual private shopping morning at Henri Bendel.

We’ve created a lovely, albeit expensive tradition, of stopping by Henri Bendel for a  morning of private shopping, before the mall opens, at the beginning of each season. My friend Lauren organizes it with the help of our local HB (in the King of Prussia Mall). Lauren provides the friends, HB opens early, gives us some bubbly, and for two hours we hang out, play with handbags and jewelry and leave happier than we walked in. I look forward to it every season.

It’s a low-key, no pressure morning  with new and old friends. Aside from it just being fun, I like  it because it gives me insight into what women are looking for and reacting to in the store. This kind of information is invaluable to me as we continue to grow the blog. My focus is to show you the best quality, modern classic wardrobe must-haves to help make shopping and getting dressed easier. Within this kind of wardrobe, it’s essential to have a few updated accessories, so you don’t look boring, and your outfit isn’t what I would call “flat.” That’s what I love about Henri Bendel; their collections are always classic  but have enough of a twist to make it feel different and special. Over the years I’ve been super impressed with their quality. So while the items are not inexpensive, if you splurge on a few things,  you’ll get value for your money and enjoy their pieces for a long time.

The store and website can be overwhelming. I’m not a fan of everything. I avoid overly trendy pieces or heavily logoed jewelry, but there are so many good options. Today, like we’ve done the last few seasons, we are rounding up the most loved items from yesterday mornings event. There is something here for everyone, from investment worthy handbags to  better-priced gifts for the upcoming holiday season.

What we love at Henri Bendel1. Carlyle Satchel, $450; Gem Tassel Chandelier Earrings, $115; 3. Makeup Brush Portfolio, $58 4. Eucalyptus & Sea Salt Scented Candle, $40; 5. West 57th Crossbody Hobo, $298;  6. Military Ear Jacket Earrings, $98;  7. Hex Pearl Pendant, $148 8. Hex Pearl Studs, $78 9. Pave Stack Set, $118; 10. Travel Jewelry Case, $98; 11. Bendel Rocks Bowery Cuff, $168; 12. Rivington Convertible Tote, $450


  1. Carlyle Satchel, $450: Meet my new black everyday bag.  The Carlyle Satchel is so chic.  It fits a 13″ laptop easily, it’s wonderfully structured and so incredibly chic.  Three of us walked out with it yesterday.  I bought it so I don’t have to carry my Lo&Sons all the time. (I’m still using the Lo&Sons for travel.) It’s available in six colors. We went with black, but the “port” and “red” are also gorgeous.  Fun fact: you can have these bags monogrammed, which I would have done but I have no patience and wanted to start carrying it immediately.
  2. Gem Tassel Chandelier Earrings, $115: With the holidays coming up we’re going to need a few dressy options, but I don’t always want to buy a new outfit.  Instead, investing in one or two statement pieces of jewelry can make just as much impact.  These earrings are so gorgeous.  If you have long hair they will blend in and give just a wink of glamour.
  3. Makeup Brush Portfolio, $58: A few ladies picked this up yesterday. It’s a genius way to travel with your makeup.  There is a separate section for your makeup brushes and packs flat so you can keep your essentials organized and not take up much space.  It’s available in the above novelty print or their classic stripe.
  4. Eucalyptus & Sea Salt Scented Candle, $40: I love a candle but I don’t love seasonal scents.  You won’t find “pumpkin spice” or “mistletoe” burning in my living room.  Instead, I go with fresh, clean scents and alternate how heavy or light they are based on the time of year.  This Eucalyptus & Sea Salt Candle is the most lovely fragrance that balances seasonal depth with crisp and clean freshness.
  5.  West 57th Crossbody Hobo, $298: A crossbody bag has been on many of our readers wish lists.  I am crazy for this hobo, in a rich tan as an everyday, casual bag. The way the bag is constructed allows you to  fit all your essentials but still keep the bag streamlined and close to your body.
  6. Military Ear Jacket Earrings, $98: I use to claim not to love Vegas, but then I found myself out their quite a bit and always have the best time. Turns out I don’t like to gamble, but I love dinner, and dancing and getting dressed up and going to concerts, so yes, I love Vegas.  I’ll be out there again in a few weekends for a friends birthday and picked up this earring to jazz up a few simple black dresses for our nights out.  They also come in a dangle option, another way to  zhush up your holiday wardrobe.
  7. Hex Pearl Pendant, $148 Love a big, bold statement necklace?  Then this pendant is for you.  It’s substantial without being heavy. Pair it with a slim turtleneck, long knit tunic or sweater dress.  It will balance the weight of heaver pieces while elongating the line of your body.
  8. Hex Pearl Studs, $78: If you have shorter hair, or just don’t like a big earring, these studs that combined silver and gold tones with an pearl center stone will take you from day to night.
  9. Pave Stack Set, $118: I receive many requests for more silver options in our jewelry recommendations, but it’s not always easy to find.  Some look too southwest inspired (which is fine if that’s what you’re looking for), others seem too juvenile. Henri Bendel does a fantastic job giving multiple options, including, silver, gold and rose gold tones.  This stack ring set was a big hit in both color options.  Their jewelry really holds up. I’ve had no issues with discoloration or  chipping over the last few seasons.
  10. Travel Jewelry Case, $98:  I want to open my suitcase one day and have it perfectly organized with everything in this collection.  This jewelry case keeps all of your pieces safe and organized.  I like to keep it by my nightstand when I’m on a trip, so I know where I take off my rings and other pieces at the end of a long day.  I also have this travel pill case, and it’s surprisingly one of my most used travel items.
  11. Bendel Rocks Bowery Cuff, $168:  I didn’t buy this, but I wish I did.  It’s just a big, bold, chic cuff that will instantly dress up a simple black dress or pantsuit.  One of the reasons I like HB so much is because the jewelry and accessories are so different. You don’t see yourself coming and going.
  12. Rivington Convertible Tote, $450: Finally, this has been such a poplar bag. We’ve featured it several times on the blog and everyone loves it.  It’s a substantial, everyday bag that is absolutely gorgeous in the “port” color.  The best part is that the front pocket pops off and turns into a clutch.  It comes in seven colors and every one of them is perfect.

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Check out our other Henri Bendel Roundups here and here.


Megan Kristel

Megan Kristel is an entrepreneur, working mom, and former personal stylist. Tired of the one-dimensional portrayal of women online, she founded The Well Dressed Life as a resource for other professional women.

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