More Sales – Sephora, ASOS, Ann Taylor, CUSP, Tory Burch, and more…

It seems more and more sales are ramping up…

Sephora has a rare 20% off sale going on: of the lots and lots of gift sets already marked down, take an extra 20% off. You can buy some for gifts for friends, sure, but you can also buy some for yourself. Personally I loaded up on eyeshadow sets to play with…

ASOS‘s reductions have hit 70% off…

Ann Taylor is offering 50% off your entire purchase (but exclusions apply)

Bloomingdale’s has increased their sale — now save up to 75% off original prices through Jan. 2.

CUSP (by Neiman Marcus) is offering an additional 25-33% off all sale merchandise, for savings of up to 60% off

-------Sponsored Links--------

Nordstrom is offering Winter Savings up to 50% off on women’s and kids’ styles (and the men’s Half-Yearly Sale is on)

Reiss is offering up to 60% off

Tory Burch is offering an extra 25% off all sale items




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  1. Just a small, insignificant vent:

    Please do not call sunglasses “sunnies”!! I don’t know why, but this drives me CRAZY!!

    That’s all…Happy New Year!

  2. Thought I’d tell you all about the project I’ve been working on for the past 2 days. I’m on vacation, but I’m working on a project for my dad’s birthday. He’s turning 70 next month.

    I basically stole this idea:

    But I don’t have a printer. My dad has one, but it’s hooked up to his laptop and that would basically give the game away. So I got business cards printed up with the instructions at Staples. They do postcards, but it was quite expensive and they wouldn’t sell the blank postcards so I bought blank index cards. I put numbers on them with colored sharpies. I’m going to print out the labels on his printer when he goes out to the hot tub as usual.

    My brother and sister said they’d help, but it’s been just me, with some assistance from my mom. I think my dad will like it, though.

  3. Jacqueline :

    Ladies, I’m curious about your thoughts on 401(k) investing when your company does not provide a match. I recently changed jobs and went from a company that gave up to a 5% match to a company that gives no match. However, I also got a significant raise at the new job, so I have a lot more money to invest in my 401(k). Should I still max it out before moving my remaining spare cash at the end of the month to other savings vehicles (like a Roth IRA), or am I better off having more liquid funds, or maxing out the Roth first, or buying individual stocks… or what? I know there isn’t really a right answer to this, but it would be helpful to hear how others handle it. For what it’s worth, I am debt-free and already have an emergency fund and plenty of liquid savings, so I don’t need to build that up at this point.

    • IMHO i would 1) max out the Roth, assuming you still qualify for it, and then b) max out the 401(k), assuming you like the 401(k) investment options themselves. Sounds like you don’t need more cash sitting around, and buying individual stocks is rarely a good idea for most investors.

      The Roth is a good savings vehicle assuming your tax rate in the future will be higher than it is now, and the 401(k) also has valuable tax benefits which are still worthwhile even without the match. Again, assuming the investment options are good and expenses are reasonable.

      • Check if your work has a Roth 401(k) available. Then you don’t have to set up a separate Roth and you can make out your 401(k) in a Roth vehicle, with the taxes prepaid.

        There’s always a debate on whether it is better to use Roth or a tax-deferred vehicle. However, assuming that your tax rate in retirement will be higher, it is better to pay taxes now and use a Roth. It is hard to predict tax rates, but have you looked at our deficit recently? And pre-1986 tax rates (much, much higher than today)?

    • Suze Orman says…

      if your company has a match, fund your retirement there up to the max, then stop. from there (or if your company does not have a match), fund a Roth IRA.

      Ideally, you want that maxed each year plus zero credit card debt, 8-12 mos of living expenses in savings, and then pay down/off student loans (which typically have a lower interest rate than any other loan).

      Hope this helps!

    • karenpadi :

      If you can, I’d still max out the 401(k). Above a certain income, people are no longer eligible for Roth IRAs and taxes become a much bigger deal. A 401(k) is just a way to shelter some money from taxes until retirement.

    • Like the others, max out both your 401k and your Roth (if you qualify). It’s all tax free (at some point). Then invest in the indivudal stock market – maybe just a variable CD to begin with.

    • Jacqueline :

      Thanks, all! That’s what I was thinking, but it helps to have it confirmed. I probably need to do some further investigation about the expense ratios on the funds available in my 401 (k), but assuming they’re decent, I’ll try to max it out along with a Roth.

      • Money-grubber :

        I work in biglaw. There is no match. The way I do things is, (1) max out my Roth 401(k) (can’t open, but can convert) (I max this first because generally once your employment is terminated/you receive your last bit of salary, you can’t contribute anymore (until you have a new employer that sponsors a 401(k) plan in which you are eligible to participate), and I am always nervous about layoffs given the past few years, or just being asked to leave). (2) Then, max out my Roth IRA. (For both cases, Roths because I presume taxes will be higher when I start dipping in, both because taxes need to be higher and because I presume I will be in a higher bracket.) (3) Then put money into a mutual fund. (Biglaw says we aren’t allowed to trade individual stocks, and I am happy to put my money away and not have to think about what to buy/sell.) (0/4) I also have about $20K in a savings account. (I am in a pretty lucky living situation; my monthly expenses are about $800/month + food, so this is quite a safe amount for me.)

        Right now, all of these things are basically losing me money or at best breaking even (except the savings account money, which has maybe 0.1% interest? Something piddly). But I figure that over the long term, either they will get better and I will start making money on these stupid investments, or things in the world will get so bad that it doesn’t matter what I do with the money right now, so why worry?. Every once in a while, I investigate whether I should be doing something besides contributing to a mutual fund like a lemming, but then I am reminded that the next step is less liquid investments, like real estate, and I don’t like money enough to start looking into things like that.

        Also, if you aren’t making enough money to contribute fully to an IRA and 401(k), then it might make sense to contribute to one more than the other based on matching status. But if you have >$20K to save per year, you should absolutely contribute to both. They are both ways to save for retirement while avoiding some tax, so if you are saving $X, you might as well save it in a tax-efficient way. Even if there is no matching, there is still a decent-sized benefit to you.

        • ? huh? can you tell us more about the law firm’s ban on investing in stocks? how can they tell you what to do with your private money? my company has a ban on selling our company stock during certain periods for corrurption prevention purposes, but beyond that i’ve never heard of this, so curious.

          • This is pretty common in law firms. Big firms work on so many large companies including M&A work, that the risk of inadvertent (or even intentional) insider trading is just too large. Even in firms that don’t ban trading you might have to clear trades with some sort of ethics committee first. It is sort of like the issues you have at your company, times hundreds or thousands of clients being handled by the firm.

          • got it- interesting- thanks.

  4. Anyone have tips on starting a blog that remains anonymous? Best format- blogger? wordpress? I want to transition to a niche practice of law different from my current employer, so no competition, but also plan to do it in my spare time and don’t need them to know about it. Anyone (besides Kat!) do this? TIA !

  5. Sydney Bristow :

    I need some online dating advice please! Hopefully this is different than what has been discussed before, but if it has please feel free to let me know/direct me to the old threads.

    One of my goals for 2012 is to get out there and start dating again. For now, I’m going to be using OK Cupid. Does anyone have any advice for how to decide what to include in the profile? I feel like everything I try to write comes out sounding so generic and boring. Specific advice or other sources to look at (blog posts, books, articles, etc) would be awesome.

    I’m definitely going to try out the advice that’s been given before about going out with lots of people that I talk to, not getting trapped emailing back and forth forever, etc. I’m excited to put myself back out there after quite awhile of focusing on other things in life.

    • good for you! while i’m not familar with OK Cupid specifically – IMHO, the best way to write an online profile is
      1) read thru a bunch of other profiles (male and female) to get a feel for it
      2) jot down 5 or 6 personality traits/hobbies/characteristics you think are important for someone to know
      3) invite a good friend over, crack open a bottle of wine, and
      4) start writing.

      the ideal profile is brief but funny, witty (if you think you’re witty), free of grammatical and/or spelling errors, and has a few unique things that give prospective date-rs something to write/chat to you about.

      and just as importantly (like it or not) – the photo. include 2 or 3 flattering photos, at least one of which shows you doing something other than [standing around at a party posing for a photo].

      i agree with the advice others have given about dating lots of people and not wasting too much time on the emails before meeting in person.

      my last piece of advice – which may seem contradictory: don’t take it personally. really. people you contact won’t email you back, some guys will go out with you once and then not again … whatever. don’t burn energy wondering why this guy didn’t do that thing. doesn’t matter. the beauty of online dating is you can move on to the next one.

      good luck!

    • Jacqueline :

      First of all, good luck! It’s exciting that you’re going to give online dating a try. I used OK Cupid this summer, and while I didn’t find anything serious, there were some good guys on the site, especially if you like the creative types.

      As for what to include in your profile, I can empathize with the challenge… it does seem like after awhile, everything feels cliched and boring. And while music/book tastes don’t really tell you that much about a person, everyone seems to include them! I would add a paragraph about what you’re looking for/hope to get out of the site (it can be pretty general, but be sure to say if you’re looking to just meet people or if you’re hoping to find something more serious).

      Also, don’t be afraid to have a close friend or two review it before you post. I thought I had a decent profile, but after having several friends review it separately and give me similar feedback, I realized it was a little too serious and didn’t reflect my offline self as much as I’d like.

      Lastly, give yourself a time limit and then just decide that whatever you have is going live. Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good! Getting a decent profile up is better than agonizing over one for months in hopes of getting that just-right turn of phrase.

      Good luck, and have fun out there! Post updates if you can.

    • There’s some research about how to construct personal ads that gets touched on here (scroll down):

    • I find that ok cupid is hit or miss, so be specific in what you’re looking for so you don’t get tons of marriage-seekers if you want casual hookups or vice versa. Also, the site only seems to put you on people’s lists if you spend a lot of time on it, so don’t expect to be passive.

      I tried to join match but they billed me twice. When I disputed one charge, they froze my account and said they’d rather refund me the other than unfreeze it, so I’m done with that.

      I do kinda wish though that we had Corporette dating of some sort… I’d bet people here have tons of attractive (and obviously professional) colleagues who just isn’t the right fit for them. Wish we could trade and set each other up!

      • DC Kolchitongi :

        I wish there were Corporette personals, too! I’m happily married, but my brother could really use them. He likes smart, driven women and has a hard time meeting them in his current location of small-town North Carolina. I would be so happy if I could put him on a dating site full of Corporettes!

        Kat, can you make this happen please? :)

    • My sole piece of advice would be not to say that you’re looking for a “partner in crime.” For some reason, everyone on online dating sites seems to include that line.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Thanks all! I’m taking the advice of getting it up instead of waiting for it to be perfect and will be putting it up tomorrow. Choosing my username turned out to be the hardest part!

      • Yay! you could always revise it if you think of a better way to express something along the way. You’ll get a better feel for the profiles as you use it. I haven’t used ok cupid, but used eharmony, and made some tweaks to my profile in the process, especially after dud dates.

    • I second the advice to just put something together and post it, without agonizing too much over the details. I had the same resolution as you, and jump-started it a few days early. I also agree that you should have friends look at it — both male & female. Mine was too serious at first and didn’t really reflect who I am, but it was easy to fix after the fact. I set up my profile on OkCupid just before Christmas and already have 5 dates lined up for this week and next. More excited about some than others, but you never know! Good luck!

  6. Another “what to do I wear in this poorly-defined professional situation” question: I’m meeting a contact over coffee to discuss a position I’m considering applying for. A suit would be overkill, and it’s a holiday, so I can’t claim I’m headed into work later. Would I be okay in dark jeans, heels, and a nice top, or should I wear something more business-y?

    I don’t know his exact position or role in the hiring process (and the usual googling/company website checks haven’t helped), but I want to be sure I make a good impression, of course! I’m not telling anyone IRL that I’m looking at other positions (which is an issue unto itself), but I’m really glad I have Corporette to lean on! Thanks in advance, ladies!

    • Anne Shirley :

      Last time I did that I wore jeans, heels, a blouse, and a blazer, which I think is formal enough to show that you’ll dress okay on the job.

      • I like the jeans+blazer idea, but I don’t own a casual blazer (I’m kind of ashamed to admit that here!) Maybe it’s time I did a little after-Christmas shopping. Thanks!

        • Me either! I can’t find a nice petite one that is tailored (not boxy) and in a reasonable price range. I’m on the constant lookout though…

          • I feel better knowing I’m not the only one! If you find a good one, please share – the boxiness has been a big problem for me, too.

    • I second the jeans + casual blazer suggestion.

    • dc 'rette :

      I think a sweater is fine instead of a blazer. I’d wear jeans or cords, a top that’s neither a t-shirt nor sparkly/shiny/going-out-ish and a cardigan.

  7. Maternity clothes: update for non-Canadiennes.. I’m 4 months pregnant, been piecing together a wardrobe here for corporate wear with mixed results in Seattle. Went to Vancouver for a few days for fun, on the way out of town today checked a second-hand maternity/kids shop, and VOILA: whole new brands of nice stuff! Things from Paris, Australia, and a brand called Thyme I don’t know where is from. Point being: sad that we don’t have access to this stuff in the US- it is better than Motherhood crap- but glad I live near the border now that I know. If only I’d made the rounds while in Montreal last fall, bet they have some nice stuff.

  8. Seeking suggestions: I’m expecting a healthy bonus this year, but most of it needs to go to debt reduction and unexciting household needs. I have wanted nice diamond stud earrings for years, but I still can’t justify the price tag. I’d like to try good quality CZ, and the period after bonuses are disbursed is a perfect time to roll out some new fake jewelry credibly. Can anyone recommend a seller? I’ve looked online, and Mystique of Palm Beach looks good, but it’s hard to tell. And does anyone know if good quality CZ will look sufficiently real?

    • Anonymous :

      Don’t do it IMHO. Save for the real thing. CZs are easy to spot (if such things matter to you).
      Ideal-cut diamonds that have inclusions and a yellow tinge make great earrings and are quite affordable (no one will closely inspect your earrings, they just notice the sparkle).
      Or if you want fakes look at Swarovski studs. Way cheaper, same effect.

      • Well, I do want the earrings to look real. It seems ideal cut real diamond earrings with inclusions and a yellow tinge, just over 1.5 tcw, will run me nearly six grand on Blue Nile. That’s a lot of money, to me. Maybe I just need to wait a few more years.

        • FWIW, go to a jewellery store and try on. “H-I-J” diamonds are so much more expensive than “K-L” diamonds (Blue Nile doesn’t sell them) with an I1-I3 and the difference is really tough to see for earrings and pendants.
          Also, a .75 carat stone is frigging huge so I’m wondering if you’ve tried them on? (Just asking, different stones for different body types and regions of the country).
          The thing with fakes is they’re often poorly set and mounted — dead givaway of cheap jewellery (sometimes that’s OK). Well crafted CZs are great but I’d bet the people you work with will be able to spot the difference. Buy what you love and makes you happy.
          You’ll likely be able to get a pair of .94 TW studs (with some resale value) for well under $1000 if you look around. HTH

    • I don’t have suggestions for where to buy but I love my CZ earrings. My husband wanted to get diamonds but my cheapskate practical side just can’t abide that kind of expenditure for jewelry. I am no discerning jewelry shopper but they look real to me. YMMV. I don’t really care if people think they are real or fake or whatever though.

    • Alanna of Trebond :

      For anyone buying diamonds this article is extremely interesting:

      This is probably harsh, but after reading this, I honestly will judge everyone for buying real diamonds. They are like Uggs. Your desire for them, and their price is completely manufactured. Why should you pay more for them than for CZ?

      • I don’t mind if you judge me. Ethically sourced diamonds mined by union aboriginal workers can and do change lives in remote communities. I’ve seen it, and I’m proud to wear the product.
        But to each their own.

  9. Happy New Year!

  10. Happy 2012, everyone!

    I almost started the year by ordering this suit from BR (see skirt here: Whoops! So glad I looked at the back view. WTF are you thinking, BR??? I know people’s opinions vary on exposed zippers, but seriously, this is one accident away from disaster, no? ;)

    • dc 'rette :

      I’m not against all exposed zippers, but an exposed zipper that also goes the entire length of the garment strikes me as pretty overtly sexy. Also, I’d be concerned that, if it can be unzipped from the bottom (as opposed to just having a decorative zipperhead there), it could accidentally be unzipped and make the slit in the skirt really high. My jacket unzips from the bottom, and it regularly unzips itself when I twist around in it.

      • My fear exactly! Also, not that this is the case for ALL exposed zippers, but one that unzips the whole length down your a** seems unnecessarily suggestive, no?

  11. I’ve finally gotten tired enough of not printing out my digital pictures that I’m going to start making photo books for every year. The problem is that the choices are overwhelming. One thing I would really like is to have the year of each book – 2011, 2010, etc. – printed on the spine. It doesn’t seem like a huge request, but I can’t seem to figure out which services offer that. Also, I would like to be able to make my own pages without templates so I can add a text box or picture wherever I want. I know Snapfish won’t do either of these things. Any suggestions? I also care about quality, of course, so if it appears there aren’t any good choices with these features, I will just pick the highest quality.

    Thank you in advance!!

    And happy new year!

    • dc 'rette :

      Shutterfly! I just made photobooks for a friend and they were very affordable, with options to design your own or to use a template, and you can customize the cover and put the title on the spine.

    • don’t know, except, NOT snapfish for anything! Just ordered prints- they are awful quality, it was a pain from flickr, and they are spamming me despite unsubscribing 3x already.

    • I used recently to print digital photos for framing and was blown away by the quality. It puts anything I’ve received from Shutterfly or Snapfish to shame. Plus, the prices are incredibly reasonable.

      I think Mpix has a book option, but I haven’t looked into it. I don’t know if it fits your exact needs, but it’s worth considering.

    • I can’t recommend MyPublisher highly enough! I just finished a photobook myself and it turned out great. The quality of the finished product is fantastic and the software is the right mix of easy to use templates and customization.

    • I’ve had great results with Blurb. Layouts are adjustable, or you can choose blank pages, add text boxes, headlines, etc. We did wedding photo albums for the parents who just LOVED them.

    • Classof2011 :

      I second my publisher. I chose it to make a photo book from my wedding for my parents. High quality all the way.

      Here is a good run down of the top online photo book sites:

      This really helped me make my decision. All the sites run specials all the time, so you can always save your project and order it when a good promotion comes along.

  12. screwedup :

    I need advice! How do you deal with a terrible mistake you made at work? I started a job a short time ago and am still getting used to it. I really need this job and need to do well in it. Unfortunately, I made a stupid assumption I shouldn’t have made and a clerical error resulted. A deadline was missed by a few minutes. I have looked into it and the mistake can probably be fixed but worst case scenario is that it costs the company a lot of money. I am going to speak to my boss about it as soon as I go back to work but I am terrified about how to approach the subject. You ladies always have such good advice. Please help!

    • Divaliscious11 :

      Be direct and own the mistake. Go in with a corrective plan of action to rectify, as well as your plan of action to avoid this happening again. Everyone makes mistakes. Fix it, learn from it, and move on.

    • Another Sarah :

      As my boss says, if you make a mistake and it’s fixable, it’s ok – it means you’re doing something. People who don’t do anything also don’t make mistakes. You know how to fix it, and even if it costs the company a lot of money, you probably won’t make the mistake again. So own up and say, “I messed up, but I fixed it, and it won’t happen again.” :-)

    • Do you have clients, or will this directly cost your company money? If this is something that would cost a *client* money, your firm/company is likely to eat the cost. Not awesome, but at least it doesn’t damage the client relationship.

      If it’s your company that will be directly on the hook, then figure out what the costs will be (best-case, worst-case, middle-case), and try to also guess how likely each outcome is. Present that to your boss, taking full ownership for the error.

      • screwedup :

        Thanks for the advice, all. My plan is to explain my mistake, apologize, explain what I will do to ensure it won’t happen again, and suggest a solution to the problem.

  13. Anyone feeling blab with their makeup? I am on the fair side and all of a sudden all my makeup seems beige and dull. Anyone have subtle face brightening or makeup favs they love? Thinking I need a foundation that is uber moisturizing with a pinky hue. Any pretty eyeshdows you’ve seen lately?
    Happy new year!

    • *blah

      • A light application of bright peach or pink blush will perk you right up. I’m a big fan of Lorac. Lorac Exposed is a nice peach blush and Lorac Flaunt is a bright pink. Revlon’s Berry Flirtatious cream blush is nice for a more subtle but natural glow.

    • I’m fair as well and absolutely love the Laura Mercier kit in “Nude.” The eyeshadow colors are great, it comes with a nice eyeliner and great blush and highlighter. It’s now my one and only for makeup needs (just need the mascara separately) which makes it amazing to travel with.

  14. new poster :

    Hi–I just wanted to say thank to everyone who helped with advice about a down jacket for my January Chicago trip. I ended up buying the one I saw at Loehmann’s. I just tried it on again inside my apartment, and was immediately so hot that I had to take it off. So I think it should be good for the trip! Thanks and happy new year!

  15. Fashion Faux Pas :

    Any suggestions for a top to wear under the Nanette Lepore constellation top (I’m not posting a link to avoid moderation.). It’s very sheer and I always struggle with what to wear under sheer blouses. TIA!

    • I normally wear beige camisoles under tops like this. Beige is similar enough in color to the top so it doesn’t scream “exposed undergarment”, especially if beige is at all close to your skin color.

  16. Anon-a-boot :

    Okay, hoping the collective wisdom here can help with a rather embarrassing wardrobe issue. I live in a city that necessitates wearing boots to/from work at least 4 months of the year. My commuting boots are amazing — weatherproof black leather that looks decent enough that I could wear them at work (but usually I do change into heels when I get to the office).

    The problem? Smelly smelly smelly. This isn’t a usual issue for me except in boot weather, and I’ve tried cleaning the inside of the boots, using odor-killing sprays, etc., which seems to work…until I wear them again, at which point it’s back with a vengeance. Please help!!

    • Always a NYer :

      Are you wearing the boots barefoot? I’d think if you were wearing socks or knee-highs that could cut down on the odor issue.