Archives for March 2016

Coffee Break: Avie Heels

blue stripey heelsWhat fun heels! I’m loving these gorgeous striped heels from L.K. Bennett, also available in a red version, as well as flats. This is the perfect kind of shoe to wear with a really neutral outfit, like a black dress or a simple suit. On the converse, if you wanted to turn it up a notch, it’s always fun to mix patterns. Try the shoe with a polka-dotted blouse, or even perhaps a long scarf with a big floral pattern. The pictured heels are $425, just over 3″, and selling out fast. L.K. Bennett Avie Color Block Suede Heels

It’s hard to find a similar but more affordable option, but: here’s an $89 stripey heel (sizes 4.5-11!), and this $69 heel has some fun patterns. If you need/prefer wide sizes, this affordable slingback looks kind of awesome.

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Answering Work Email at Home

Answering Work Email at Home | CorporetteDoes your boss send you emails at all hours? Are you expected to respond immediately to answer work email at home — either in a clear “policy” way or in an unspoken, pissy-but-won’t-tell-you-why way? Do you try to draw a line in the sand and purposely not reply during certain hours, even if you get the email? If you’re a supervisor or boss, do you make an intentional effort to not send email during nights and weekends? I’ve seen a lot of friends and readers bringing up this issue lately, so I thought we’d discuss.

Looking back — the BlackBerry hit the market when I was a second or third year in BigLaw. It was a sea change — before that you had to be sitting at a computer to log in to check your email.  I remember feeling like a rebel by setting my BlackBerry to turn off automatically every weeknight from 12am to 6 am, and (gasp!) 10 PM to 8 AM on weekends.  (I mostly did this because — without fail! — we’d get what amounted to a spam digest alert every single morning at 4 AM. My BB would vibrate loudly on the table in the tiny studio apartment I lived in then, waking me up and causing stress.)  Now that everyone has an iPhone, though, I feel like it’s every industry — no longer just lawyers, and no longer just high level employees.  For a while you could refuse to have work email on your phone, but I don’t even think that’s an option any more, at least for most workers. Of course, a lot of this comes down to “know your office” — as well as “know your boss.”

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Thursday’s Workwear Report: Textured Collarless Blazer

Red Blazer: Loft Textured Collarless BlazerOur daily workwear reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

Loft has a number of cute things right now, including this simple collarless blazer in red, white, and navy. (I’m also eyeing this fringe tweed blazer, and for more casual days, this floral dress.) I just read somewhere about how the collar is where you can tell the difference in quality in different jackets — so I suppose I’m not surprised to see more collarless blazers. But if you have to choose, look for collared blazers from fancier brands, and collarless blazers from more budget-friendly brands. At full price, this blazer is $98. Loft Textured Collarless Blazer

Here’s a plus-size option.

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

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Yea or Nay: Light Blue Suits for Workwear

For busy working women, the suit is often the easiest outfit to throw on in the morning. In general, this feature is not about interview suits for women, which should be as classic and basic as you get — instead, this feature is about the slightly different suit that is fashionable, yet professional.

blue suits for women for summer

Pictured: Elie Tahari / Express / Theory / ASOS / Limited Collection / Antonio Melani / Nanette Lepore 

It’s that time of year, ladies: blue suit time! I’m seeing a million suits out, so instead of featuring one in particular for our Suit of the Week, I thought we’d have a conversation about them in general: do you wear a blue suit during the spring and summer? Which shade of blue have you found to be the most versatile? What colors do you like to the wear the suit with, and do you wear the suiting pieces together or mostly as separates?

For my $.02, I was shocked when I first realized how versatile my light blue blazer was (it was a lighter gray/blue, almost the shade of the Theory or ASOS one above). I wore it a ton, mostly with black (pants, sheath dresses) and white tops and blouses, with the occasional pop of color like a red pendant necklace or purple heel thrown in. That said, while I’ve found the light blue blazer to be amazingly versatile, I think light blue pants or a light blue skirt can be a lot less versatile (although I suppose blue pants could take the place of my beloved staple, light gray pants). How about you?

If you’re looking for blue suits in other sizes, here are some plus-size options (Talbots, Tahari, Lane Bryant), as well as petite options (Talbots, Brooks Brothers, Pendleton).

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Beauty Wednesday: Serums, Sunscreen, and Retinoids

aging skincare tips serums sunscreens retinoidsLadies, what is your skin routine? At what age did you get serious about skincare? What are your favorite products, both over-the-counter and prescription, whether for anti-aging, anti-wrinkles, exfoliating, or something else? I’ve seen a lot of readers talking recently about serums, sunscreens, retinoids and more, so let’s discuss. I’m curious to hear what everyone else is doing, what products you like, and if you have any tips/tricks for applying — but here’s my own story:

After years of using only organic options while pregnant/nursing (based on something my first OB/GYN said to me), I was eager to get “the good stuff” when I finally had my body back to myself. As I often do, I turned to the commenting threads for advice and found an older thread where a reader had said that for a woman in her 30s, the main things you need are Vitamin C, sunscreen, and a retinoid. I liked the simplicity of this statement, as well as the chorus of agreement from other readers. I already had an organic, nursing-approved Vitamin C serum and have been using sunscreen daily since my teenage lifeguard years, so I thought, OK, to the dermatologist I go for a retinoid. (Just a quick science/vocab lesson, at least as I understand things: Retinol and retinoids are both Vitamin A. Retinols are available in over the counter (OTC) products; retinoids are available in prescriptions only. Retin-A is the brand name for one of the retinoids you can get.)

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Wednesday’s Workwear Report: Catrin Dress

Blue Sheath Dress: Hobbs Catrin DressOur daily workwear reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

I always forget about Hobbs, but they have some killer basics and not-so-basic items on deep discount right now. This pretty blue sheath dress is calling my name — I love the asymmetrical pleats, the non-clingy but fitted design, and the work-appropriate length and back. I’d wear it with a white blazer. It was $315 but is now marked to $190 on sale. Hobbs Catrin Dress

Here are a lower-priced option and plus-size alternative.

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

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