Greetings from LA! I’m thrilled to be back in California to attend my favorite event: the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic. This will be my sixth Polo Classic, and I’m sure it’ll be the best one yet. Each time, the Veuve Clicquot team pulls out all the stops – from décor to drinks, catered food and beyond, it’s always a great day. Be sure to follow along on Instagram Stories for all the fun!

We arrived in LA on Thursday night, but on our way here, I had the most unique travel experience. Here’s the (longish) summary:

We’re standing at the gate at O’Hare International Airport, waiting for our 9:00 PM flight to LA. Meanwhile, I’m recounting my week of travel to Bob, and then United Airlines brought me coffee…

Wait, I’m getting ahead of myself! Let me start from the beginning. Thursday morning, I woke up in New York after a few days of work meetings. Since my flight to Chicago departed at 6:00 AM, my alarm rang well before sunrise. After landing home, I went straight into the office to focus on some major client meetings and new business discussions. I was focused and ready to take on the day. Everything at the agency went smoothly, and I even received amazing news about a new client. It was the perfect work day!

Once I got home, the wave of exhaustion hit me. I can only recall this happening to me once before, and I was kind of scared. Trust me, my body and mind are resilient, but this was different. I was tired, my spirit felt off, and, I just wanted to curl up in bed and sleep for the next two years. Sadly, that was not an option, as our flight from Chicago to LA was mere hours away. Bob and I grabbed an Uber and headed the airport. Upon arriving at O’Hare, we found a restaurant and ended up waiting an hour to get our dinner. As a result, we only had time for a few bites before running to a different terminal for boarding.

By the time we got to the United gate, I felt like we had made a HUGE mistake traveling again. Bob (being Bob) sensed I was not myself, and he kept saying, “you can sleep for the entire flight, love.” Then, all of a sudden, I heard my name being called over the loud speaker. “Passenger Jennifer Lake. Jennifer Lake. Please see us at the front podium.”

My thought? “Oh my gosh, what did I do?!” Since the entire day felt like a haze, I wondered if hearing my name was a dream. Maybe I left my driver’s license at security? Maybe they’re rescinding my upgrade? Is this real life? Lol! While conjuring up every possibility, I lifted my haggard arm and limp hand to acknowledge my presence and made my way towards the front desk.

When I got to the counter, two beaming crew members handed me a cup of Starbucks coffee.

Yep, coffee.

I immediately smiled, started to tear up, and couldn’t stop laughing. Clearly, the United social media team had seen one of my Instagram stories from that morning. In it, I joked that I would need four gallons of coffee to make it through the day.

In turn, they decided to bring the coffee to me (along with some United goodies).

Like, what?!!!

Their customer service team said, “we heard you needed coffee, so we wanted to bring the caffeine to you.” Friends, I was shooketh to the core! Seriously, can you imagine the time, approvals, energy, and effort it took for a brand of their size to make that happen?!

I do! And it’s NOT EASY.

Someone had to see my story, ideate, get budget approval, send emails, locate my reservation, and get a green light to get me a single cup of coffee. For anyone to even consider executing this sweet gesture makes my heart and head spin!

To be clear, United has never paid me for a collaboration. I’ve never previously worked with them on any projects. No free flights, no free upgrades. I simply love flying their airline whenever possible, and I simply organically share about them on my social media!

Granted, their Global Services status is number one on my bucket list. I hope to earn it by age 75, lol!

In all seriousness, United’s simple gesture of coffee (which must have taken hours to procure) left my spirit recalibrated and my adrenaline pumping. After a busy couple of days (and some rough hours of fatigue), United brought me back to life (with caffeine and kindness). While I’ll never fully understand why the airline decided to do this amazing gesture for me, I know one thing for sure.

When it comes to brands and customer service, we’re all so quick to critique and criticize. After all, it’s easy to complain when things aren’t good, verses celebrating when everything is great (or frankly – even just “okay”).

The lesson is… everyone has bad days. Brands, airlines, and yes, you and me! Regardless, we always have a choice – to brighten someone’s day or let the negativity take over. The world is always a better place when we choose the former.

Thanks for the coffee break, United. It was the best cup of coffee (and flight) I’ve ever had.

OK, onto the outfit in today’s post. In case you missed it, the Ralph Lauren 50th anniversary celebration recently took place this fall. The iconic brand hosted a magical evening in New York to coincide with it’s runway show. Moreover, the Ralph Lauren 50th anniversary collection has recently hit stores and their site. It’s a filled with some of their iconic pieces and many new favorites. I partnered with Polo Ralph Lauren to share a few of my fall favorites including this camel coat, cozy cable knit sweater, and this menswear-inspired blazer.

I could think of no better place to snap a few photos than at the Ralph Lauren flagship store in Chicago. Not only is it one of the largest Ralph Lauren stores in the world, but it’s also home to the very first RL restaurant. Next time you find yourself on Michigan Avenue, be sure to head to this multi-story home to one of the most iconic American brands. Plus, their burger is REALLY good!

Ralph Lauren Chicago

Coat: Polo Ralph Lauren 50th Anniversary Camel Wool Blend Coat {c/o}

Sweater: Cable Cashmere Turtleneck {c/o} // Bag: Tory Burch Lee Radziwill Bag

Pants: J. Crew Cameron Pants // Shoes: Tory Burch Clara Mules // Eyewear: Céline



Tory Burch Clara Mules
Tory Burch Lee Radziwill Bag Style Charade Ralph Lauren
Ralph Lauren Camel Coat
Jennifer Lake Ralph Lauren Chicago
Polo Ralph Lauren Camel Coat
Ralph Lauren Camel Cable Sweater

Coat: Polo Ralph Lauren 50th Anniversary Camel Wool Blend Coat {c/o}

Sweater: Cable Cashmere Turtleneck {c/o} // Bag: Tory Burch Lee Radziwill Bag

Pants: J. Crew Cameron Pants // Shoes: Tory Burch Clara Mules // Eyewear: Céline



Polo Ralph Lauren Plaid Blazer

Coat: Polo Ralph Lauren 50th Anniversary Camel Wool Blend Coat {c/o}

Blazer: Polo Ralph Lauren 50th Anniversary Plaid Blazer {c/o} // Sweater: Cashmere Tan Sweater

Bag: Strathberry {c/o} // Denim: AG Jeans // Shoes: Red Suede Pumps // Eyewear: Céline



Red Strathberry Bag
Style Charade Polo Ralph Lauren Ralph Lauren 50th Anniversary Bloggers Polo Ralph Lauren Layered Outfit Jennifer Lake Strathberry Bag Jennifer Lake Plaid Blazer

Coat: Polo Ralph Lauren 50th Anniversary Camel Wool Blend Coat {c/o}

Blazer: Polo Ralph Lauren 50th Anniversary Plaid Blazer {c/o} // Sweater: Cashmere Tan Sweater

Bag: Strathberry {c/o} // Denim: AG Jeans // Shoes: Red Suede Pumps // Eyewear: Céline


 

Special thanks to Ralph Lauren for partnering on this post. Collaborations like these help make Style Charade possible.

 

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