Wednesday’s TPS Report: Sleeveless Sheath Dress

Our daily TPS reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

Adrianna Papell Sleeveless Sheath DressThere are a ton of cute sheath dresses out right now (Ann Taylor in particular has a number, all currently part of the 40% off sitewide sale — if the prices/inventory hold for another day that’s likely where tomorrow’s TPS report is coming from!).  For TODAY, though: I’m loving this simple black sheath dress — love those princess seams and the split round neck, as well as the fact that it’s lined — do note that it’s a pullover style, though.  (Hooray for no exposed zippers, I suppose?) It’s $129 at Bloomingdale’s, available in sizes 4-16. Adrianna Papell Sleeveless Sheath Dress

Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected]
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Coffee Break: Chelsea PT MJ Lo Pump

Cole Haan Chelsea PT MJ Lo PumpBasics can be funny things — to some women, metallic shoes are “basics” because they can wear them with everything — the same way that I would wear, say, a leopard blazer or animal print heels with almost anything in my wardrobe.  (Admittedly, my wardrobe is primarily dark solids, and I would probably wear it on a casual, no-big-meetings kind of day.)  But taste is a huge (and very personal) thing — I’ve always thought metallic shoes look gaudy and gross, and even this tiny touch on this otherwise fabulous 3″ heel (on sale at Zappos, btw) would be too much. For those of you who are a fan of the metallic shoe look, these do seem like a subtle way to integrate them into your office or try the look. Readers, which controversial “classics” or “basics” are the ones that you love the most?  The pumps were $298, but are now $199; lots of sizes left. Cole Haan Chelsea PT MJ Lo Pump

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Psst: Jennine just had an interesting discussion on The Coveted regarding her husband’s hatred (and her love) of leopard prints.

Corporate Headshots: Best Practices (And What To Avoid)

Corporate Headshots: Best Practices (and What to Avoid) | CorporetteWhat are the best tips for looking good in a corporate headshot?  Should “looking good” be the goal? Reader J wonders:

I have a professional photography session coming up. Any general recommendations?

Good luck, J!  We haven’t talked about corporate headshots, or whether to wear eyeglasses in your corporate photo in a while, so let’s revisit. As I’ve said before, above all else, I think the main goal in a corporate photograph is to look FRIENDLY. Don’t try to look “smart” or interesting or (God forbid) beautiful or stylish. It’s ok if you END UP looking like smart, interesting, beautiful, or stylish, because, you know, you are, but don’t try — leave the duckface and burning, non-friendly smizes for when you’re taking pictures with friends.  As for “looking smart” — most times, your corporate headshot will be displayed next to an abbreviated form of your resume and experience.  Let people evaluate your intelligence based on those years of work, not one single photograph.  (I’d say that the model pictured here is trying to look smart.  Don’t be that model.) The purpose of the headshot is really for that two second, subconscious, gut decision: do I want to work with her?  Does she look like someone who would get me what I want, on time, with no errors?  I could say “look responsible” here instead of “friendly,” I suppose, but I think attempting to “look responsible” or “look competent” is a fool’s mission beyond combing your hair and making sure that your face and clothes are free of smudges and so forth.

For my $.02, these are some other tips: [Read more...]

Tuesday’s TPS Report: Mehira Linen Blazer (and Deal Alert!)

Our daily TPS reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

Deal Alert: Saks Friends & Family Sale (plus today's pick, this Joie Linen Blazer down to $178)This fun leopard blazer first caught my eye over at Zappos, but for once Saks has the best price — not only is it marked from $298 to $238, but it’s eligible for their Friends and Family sale, so the price comes down to $178. (They also have it in a pale pink “mink” and a creamy “porcelain.”) I like the mix of linen and leopard print — it seems fun but also like a versatile basic. The Mehira cut seems to be a Joie classic (although some have buttons and some do not) — they have it in a “caviar” print at Nordstrom, and there are very limited sizes of other solid colors (navy, black) around the web. Off Fifth has a chambray linen version marked down to $130.89. Ladies, what else do you like to buy at Saks during their F&F sales? Joie Mehira Linen Blazer

Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected]
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Coffee Break: Btalia Satchel

Steve Madden Btalia SatchelIt isn’t surprising that I like this bag: it’s clearly inspired by the Balenciaga bags that I’ve been drooling over for many moons. I normally don’t like things that are so clearly “inspired by,” but for $65-$88, it’s hard to say that it isn’t a great way to at least “try” the style. I like the fun colors it comes in (Zappos has a ton for $88; Macy’s also has a bunch but on sale for $65). Note that it is a pretty big satchel — 14″ wide at the bottom, 11″ tall, and 4″ deep. Steve Madden Btalia Satchel

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Happy Administrative Professionals Week!

Gifts for Administrative Professionals | CorporetteAlthough Wednesday is officially Administrative Professionals Day, it’s been spreading into a weeklong affair for a few years now.  Readers, what are you getting your administrative professionals to celebrate?  Some past reading for you: we’ve taken polls on administrative professionals day gifts before, talked about how and what to delegate to your assistant, and swapped stories of amazing assistants (Pictured: It’s Your Day Bouquet® Thank You, available at 1-800-Flowers for $39-$49.)

For my $.02: in my BigLaw experience, this day and week paled in comparison to the year-end assistant’s gift, and a card + flowers presentation from the numerous people sharing a secretary was more than fine.  As we noted in our last poll, the vast majority of people gave less than $50.  Don’t discount the floral/balloon display as part of the gift, though — I’ve always thought that part of this holiday is about broadcasting to the world (and your higher ups) that YES, you remembered the holiday, and YES, you are capable of ordering flowers for your assistant without his or her assistance.

Readers, how much are you spending on your administrative assistant or secretary this week (cash plus gift)? What gift are you getting him or her?  In general, what kind of things do you delegate to your assistant?