Holiday Weekend Open Thread

Birkenstock Arizona | CorporetteSomething on your mind? Chat about it here.

Happy Fourth of July to all!

White Birkenstocks are having a moment, thanks to a lookalike shoe that was a smash hit on the Celine Spring 2013 runway and some serious fashion editor love. Personally, I’m excited that super-comfy orthopedic footwear is suddenly cool again. I’m definitely taking advantage by snagging this pair of white Birkenstocks to wear with all of my weekend basics this summer. The classic Birkenstock Arizona is available in a huge range of colors (including white!) for $89-$130 at Zappos. Birkenstock Arizona Sandal

Thanks to Stephanie from Adventures in the Stiletto Jungle for sharing her picks this week!

(L-3)

Frugal Thursday’s TPS Report: Plus Size Cap-Sleeve Sheath

Calvin Klein Plus Size Cap-Sleeve Cutout-Neckline Sheath | CorporetteOur daily TPS reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices. This week of TPS reports comes to you from Stephanie Rahlfs of Adventures in the Stiletto Jungle, who also shared a week of her picks back in 2011. 

This Calvin Klein cap-sleeve sheath dress is an amazing plus size option for a chic summer in the office. The neckline is fashion-forward, yet still 100% professional, and the ruched waistline is crazy flattering. It can easily go from day to night with a change of accessories, plus it’s fully lined, which is a rare detail at this price point. No need to just take my word for it — this dress has seven perfect 5-star reviews at Macys.com! Of course I love the sleek black option, but it’s also available in a very pretty lagoon blue. The dress is available at Macy’s in sizes 14W to 22W for $99.98. Calvin Klein Plus Size Cap-Sleeve Cutout-Neckline Sheath

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

(L-2)

Wednesday’s TPS Report: Dress with Contrast Skirt

COS Dress with Contrast Skirt | Corporette

Our daily TPS reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices. This week of TPS reports comes to you from Stephanie Rahlfs of Adventures in the Stiletto Jungle, who also shared a week of her picks back in 2011. Welcome back, Stephanie!

If you’ve spent any quality shopping time in Europe, Asia, or the Middle East in the past few years you’ve likely run into COS. This super popular chain store known for affordable high-design basics has developed a cult-like following that is reminiscent of H&M in the early 2000s. The COS fever is about to hit the States hard. They opened an online store for U.S. shoppers in May; an NYC bricks-and-mortar location is in the works.

Although their offerings are mostly casual, there are many office-appropriate blouses, trousers, and dresses available at COS. I’m particularly fond of this Dress with Contrast Skirt, in the not-so-contrasting navy color option. Although it’s hard to see without a close-up, the skirt has a slightly different texture than the top portion, which adds a stylish element that won’t be too distracting for work. If you’re into more colorful workwear, it’s also available in a pink and beige colorblock option. It’s $135.00 at COS. COS Dress with Contrast Skirt

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

(L-0)

Guest Post: Women Breadwinners Can Level the Financial Playing Field

Women as Breadwinners | CorporetteWomen breadwinners is a topic we’ve touched on before: we answered a reader question about dating a guy who makes significantly less money, and a few breadwinning readers had some interesting comments on our recent Tales from the Wallet about managing your money after you get married. I was curious (and excited) to hear about an entire new book examining how relationship dynamics change when the woman is the breadwinner, and reached out to the author.  Please welcome Farnoosh Torabi, sharing an adapted excerpt from her book When She Makes More: 10 Rules for Breadwinning Women.  Kat

Evidently, if you make more than your man, you’re more likely to be the one in control of the money. My nationwide survey co-conducted with clinical psychologist Brad Klontz revealed that women who bring home the bigger paycheck are significantly more likely to be the primary decision makers on money matters and take charge of things like paying bills, budgeting, saving, and planning for retirement.

But while such an arrangement has its advantages, it could also be asking for trouble. It calls for a new rule.

A sense of equity between two committed people is important, even if there’s an income disparity. But to keep a man’s dignity and sense of engagement, he needs to feel like he plays an important role in the relationship and that he’s not completely isolated from the financial decisions. And for a woman to keep her sanity and sex drive alive, she shouldn’t have to do the equivalent of a CFO’s job after she’s gotten home from her 9 to 5 (or 7 to 11).

Consider this scenario: When Kyle lost his job in IT, his social worker wife Lynne suddenly became the breadwinner for their family of six. The Houston couple’s income shrank by 50 percent, but their bills continued to pour in. The stress was mounting, so Lynne took it upon herself to manage all of the family’s finances (i.e., paying bills, balancing the checkbook, managing the savings account), while Kyle buried himself in his job search. It felt like she was helping out — why saddle Kyle with more work when he could be polishing his resume and practicing his interview skills? But in taking over the finances, Lynne cut Kyle out of the decision-making process. Yes, she took care of the bills, bought the groceries, but she also did not appreciate when her husband used their discretionary money to buy, say, a new pair of golf shoes. And thus a vicious cycle was born: Kyle, grasping for some sense of autonomy and dignity, started making (and hiding) personal purchases outside of the budget. Lynne then clamped down tighter. Both started to lose respect for the other.

The challenge: How can men and women help each other not just feel, but be accountable for their finances when she makes more? From a practical standpoint, who pays for the mortgage, vacations, and everyday living expenses? From an emotional standpoint, how do you make him feel like a player and that his contributions — financial or otherwise — matter? What steps can a couple take to reach financial fairness? Although he may not make as much, how can he feel as involved with and connected to their shared financial life as she is? The answer lies in the following When She Makes More rule: Level the Financial Playing Field. In every relationship the solutions are different and no one way is necessarily right or wrong, as long as both of you are on the same page and agree to these simple protocols:

[Read more...]

Tuesday’s TPS Report: Dear Cashmere Sweater

Acne Studios Dear Cashmere Grey Melange | CorporetteOur daily TPS reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices. This week of TPS reports comes to you from Stephanie Rahlfs of Adventures in the Stiletto Jungle, who also shared a week of her picks back in 2011. Welcome back, Stephanie!

Remember yesterday, when I lamented about how most of my favorite minimalist fashion labels fail in the workwear category? There are a few exceptions to this general observation, particularly over in the knitwear section at Acne Studios. This Stockholm-based label has more than its fair share of super conceptual pieces, but they also have some amazing luxury basics that boast just enough designer detail to make them interesting.

This luxe, yet artistically constructed, grey mélange cashmere sweater would look gorgeous and chic with a black pencil skirt. It’s available in grey mélange and black for $690.00 at Acne Studios. Acne Studios Dear Cashmere Sweater

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

(L-0)

Splurge Monday’s TPS Report: Cashmere-Blend Top and Skirt

Giorgio Armani Long-Sleeve Stretch Jersey Top | CorporetteOur daily TPS reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices. This week of TPS reports comes to you from Stephanie Rahlfs of Adventures in the Stiletto Jungle, who also shared a week of her picks back in 2011. Welcome back, Stephanie!

My personal style is squarely in the modern minimalist camp. I love luxurious separates that paint clean lines on the body. But, I find that most of my favorite minimalist designers are weak in the professional work attire department. The best pieces from labels like Helmut Lang, Acne Studios, Vince, and Alexander Wang are either too conceptual or too casual for the office. It’s disappointing.

This Giorgio Armani cashmere blend skirt and top combination, however, manages to turn a clearly minimalist silhouette into something work appropriate. The barely below-the-knee length skirt and modestly cut blouse are right on point for a professional workplace, on a day where a traditional suit isn’t a necessity, and the cashmere-blend jersey is dressy enough to take it out of the weekend-wear category. The top and skirt are $3,345 and $1,795, respectively, at Neiman Marcus. Giorgio Armani Long-Sleeve Stretch Jersey Top + Bias-Seamed Jersey Skirt

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

(L-2)