Weekend Wednesday: Swimsuits

For this month’s deeper dive into weekend wear for working women, I thought we’d ponder swimsuits. Ladies, which are your favorite swimsuits? Do you wear them to the beach, the pool, or somewhere else? For those of you who swim for exercise, do you have a different suit just for laps or whatnot? What’s the top thing you look for in a swimsuit? (And, this may be an odd, introspective question, but do you think your workwear style has influenced your swimwear style — or, if you prefer more modest, classic styles than you did in your youth, do you just associate that with growing up?) 

swimsuits for professional women

Pictured: red bikini / blue one-piece / black one-piece (up to DDD!) / purple one-piece (reg sizes too)

For my $.02, my bust has always dominated my swimsuit needs, so for affordable options (and with shaping too!) I usually like the swimsuits from Lands’ End. If I’ve got a short trip to the pool planned, I tend to prefer a one-piece — but for beach vacations or other days where I may or may not be in my swimsuit all day (and where it may or may not be wet) I tend to prefer two pieces, if only for the ease of use for the bathroom.  I’m also a big fan of rash guards (sun is my enemy! J.Crew often has cute ones), and I’ve been surprised how much wear I’ve gotten out of a pair of swim-friendly board shorts that I bought on deep discount somewhere (Lands’ End I think; these board shorts at Nordstrom are highly rated). In years past I’ve also been a fan of MiracleSuit (the purple one-piece above is highly rated in both regular and plus sizes) for when I really wanted to prioritize looking great over being comfortable.

Ladies, let’s hear it — is there a place in your weekend wardrobes for swimsuits? Which are your favorites? (And, just for kicks: which would you wear to an office pool party?)

Wednesday’s Workwear Report: Tailored-Fit Non-Iron Dress Shirt

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

classic non-iron dress shirtThis crisp blouse is a classic, and for a reason — it’s tailored, affordable, and the non-iron fabric makes it super easy to take care of (if you can, put it in the dryer for about 15 minutes and then hang it up to dry, making sure to button the top button and smooth/stretch/pull taut any wrinkles. It’s $98 today (2 for $165!), available in several colors and fits, as well as both regular and petite sizes 0-16. Brooks Brothers Tailored-Fit Non-Iron Dress Shirt

(Check out Foxcroft non-iron shirts for a slightly more affordable alternative that comes in plus sizes as well. Ladies, which are your favorite non-iron shirts? Here was our last Hunt for crisp button-front shirts.)

Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected]

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Coffee Break: Quilted Ballet Flats

Round Toe Ribbon Flat: Paul Mayer Quilted Ballet Flats We’ve mentioned these simple ballet flats before in round-ups, but I don’t think they’ve ever had their own Coffee Break. Not only did several readers call out these Paul Mayer flats in our last discussion on comfortable ballet flats, but the shoes are bestsellers at Bloomingdale’s, where they have nothing but positive reviews. For $225, that’s pretty great! They’re available in sizes 5.5-9, in lots of different colors and configurations at Bloomingdale’s. Paul Mayer Quilted Ballet Flats

Here’s a lower-priced option (sizes 4-11.5) and another in five (!) widths (sizes 4-13).

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How to Network When You’re Junior

how to network when you're juniorHere’s a fun question, ladies: what are your best networking tips for younger women just starting out in their careers? What’s your best advice on how to network when you’re junior? We’ve rounded up some tips from readers in our last discussion, and I have some thoughts as well, but I’m curious to hear what you guys have to say about this.

For my part, I remember when I was just out of school I felt like it was so much harder to approach older people whose careers I admired — like it would have been so much easier if I’d had connections, influence, or experience to  bring to the the table.  One of the best things that helped me overcome this fear of networking was doing a summer internship for magazine students where they heavily mentored us (every week we had a different major editor offering career advice to the group) and week after week people encouraged us to just reach out to people we admired and ask for coffee, lunch, breakfast.  The first trick was knowing what not to ask for — never a job, just advice — and even then it was often easier to ask them about their own path than for direct advice about your path. The second trick was to know that their time was valuable, so either ask small (could I get 15 minutes of your time in your office to talk about career stuff / hear more about Magazine X / hear more about your path to Editor in Chief?) or make it “worth their time” by setting up a group lunch with several other interns or junior people.  The final trick they passed on was that once you were on someone’s radar, to stay on their radar — say hi at every event, send an occasional email with news that they would find interesting, or more — even just send a congratulatory email when they get a new job or new accolade. (We’ve also talked in the past about the different tactics you may want to use when networking with older men vs. networking with older women.)

Now that I’m older I would also advise my younger self to not discount networking among fellow junior colleagues — make friends, get to know people, stay in touch. Hopefully this is totally perfunctory advice and you’re making friends with colleagues regardless of whether they can help you down the line — but it’s one I haven’t heard said a lot in networking advice, at least directly.

The last time we discussed this, the readers (as always!) had a ton of great advice on how to network when you’re junior:

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Tuesday’s Workwear Report: Shaded Plaid Faux Wrap Pleat Front Dress

Sleeveless Work Dress: Classiques Entier Shaded Plaid Faux Wrap Pleat Front Dress Our daily workwear reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

I like plaid anyway, but shadow plaid on a lovely navy silk dress? Sign me up. I like the faux wrap details at the waist, as well as the soft pleats on the skirt. (If sleeveless isn’t appropriate at your office, try this one with a shrunken blazer (such as this one or this one) or a simple shrug or bolero.) It’s $268 at Nordstrom, sizes 0-16. Classiques Entier Shaded Plaid Faux Wrap Pleat Front Dress

Here’s a lower-priced option available in misses, petites, woman, and woman petites.

Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected]   

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Coffee Break: Acqua di Parmi

acqua di parmaI’m curious, ladies — what are your favorite summer scents? I took a break from wearing perfume years ago when my sons were babies, but I’m starting to get into scents again, and am on the hunt. In years past, my summer scent was the men’s cologne, Acqua di Parma; Nordstrom notes that it is “a composition born from sunny Sicilian fruits and a harmonious blend of floral essences such as lavender and damask rose that merge with woody notes of vetiver, sandalwood and patchouli.” (Not surprising, I guess, considering vetiver and sandalwood are two of my favorite scents — I definitely tend to prefer darker, deeper notes.) It’s $105-$173 at Nordstrom. Acqua di Parma ‘Colonia’ Eau de Cologne Natural Spray

Psst: Know your office (and your coworkers) — many readers have noted in the past that they haaaaate working with people wearing heavy perfume

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Psst: White House | Black Market has some great sales going on right now — take an extra 40% off already reduced prices with code 62787.