5 Things I Can’t Live Without – Nancy Keene

5 Things I Can't Live Without - Nancy Keene

Personal style is an element of one’s brand. We all have our go-to look – our preferences, practical necessities and a touch of something special.

Here is my Can’t Live Without list:

1. Big, roomy, gorgeous handbag

Louis Vuitton Estrela

I am a Big Bag person – a connoisseur, in fact. I like to be able to load technology, file folders or a notebook so that I can be a one-woman traveling office at any time. I do have specific criteria – highlighted here in an earlier blogpost.

2. Technology



I always have my iPhone with me. And unless it’s an event where I carry a smaller bag, my iPad is with me too, as it is better for show-and-tell. It’s on my can’t live without list because it allows me to always be accessible to clients, and I always have something to do or read when waiting in a line. I am always prepared to engage in a business discussion or showcase a creative project, as outlined in one of my thought leadership programs, The Opportunity Mindset .

3. Notebook

Mead notepads

OK, it’s a throwback to the analog world. But, I am a note-taker and constantly collecting content – at luncheons, lectures, etc. And, I like to do it on paper. I love a particular 9.5″x6″ spiral notebook that fits easily in a bag (see above). It is the Mead 5-Star. Colorful, with a handy pocket divider.

4. Cool Shoes

I love Manolo Blahnik. For me, it’s the ultimate shoe for comfort and style – especially the Carolyne sling. It’s the touch of luxury in a shoe wardrobe.

Manolo Blahnik
Manolo Blahnik


Then, a dash of something bold and trendy – orange patent leather pumps or metallic flats. Ivanka Trump has very fun styles at a moderate price point.

Ivanka Trump gold flat
Ivanka Trump

High heel bonus tip: A good shoemaker can help you look good on the outside but comfortable on the inside. The secret is to have your shoes stretched then cushioned with rubber soles + pillow/gel inserts.

5. Core Basics

Mireille Guiliano

, former CEO of Clicquot, Inc. (LVMH) has showcased the understated style sensibility of French women in a series of best-selling books.


Majestic black turtleneck

Here is my favorite French accent: Majestic Filatures, maker of beautifully fitting knit tops. I have a mini-wardrobe of turtlenecks, tees, v-neck, scoop, long-sleeved, 3/4 length etc. They are perfect for jacket underpinnings, layering or standalone. They are ideal for travel. They come in a selection of subdued, classic colors. The best part: you can toss them in the washer and dryer, gentle cycle.