Coffee Break: Tate City Tote

Ralph Lauren Tate City ToteI’m loving the textured leather on this Ralph Lauren tote, as well as the saturated colors (I haven’t featured a red bag in a while, but there’s also a lovely cobalt, as well as neutrals like black, gray, luggae, and white). I like the lobster claw closure, the feet on the bottom, and the extremely deep interior — it’s 15″W x 7.5″ deep (!!) x 11″ high. This version is $268, but note that there’s also a Tate Classic Tote for $198 that has a zippered opening, with floppier straps. Ralph Lauren Tate City Tote

Here are a few more affordable options.

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Deal Alert: ShopBop’s Big Event Sale

shopbop big event 2015I believe ShopBop has this huge tiered sale twice a year — it’s a big deal because it includes so many things that don’t often go on sale. So here are the details: use code BIGEVENT15 to get 15% off orders of $250+, 20% off orders of $500+, and 25% off orders of $1K+.  The only brand that is excluded is Stuart Weitzman, at least as far as I can tell, so you can really clean up on some great accessories brands, including Ferragamo, LK Bennett, Rebecca MinkoffTory Burch, Kate Spade, Hunter, MZ Wallace, vintage Vuitton, and Michael Michael Kors’ Jet Set collection. (I particularly love their jewelry collection — it’s always hip and interesting.) Note that because ShopBop is owned by Amazon, Prime shipping is available (they have a general 3-day free shipping policy though); returns are free.  The sale ends March 7.

Some of my favorite pieces for work and the weekend are below; a few general brands to look for include Diane von Furstenberg, Black Halo, Equipment, and Smythe.  For the weekend, great selection of denim from Rag and BoneFrame, and Current/Elliott.

Ladies, what are your favorites? Any classics you’ll be grabbing at the sale, or are you drawn to the trendier things at ShopBop?

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Can You Wear A Tropical-Wool Suit in the Winter?

Can You Wear a Tropical Wool Suit in Winter? | CorporetteAre suits made from tropical wool acceptable to wear during the winter, or are they only designed for cooling you down in hot summer weather? And how does the suit color factor in? Reader P wonders…

I bought a dark navy colored suit last year from J. Crew in tropical wool, and I am wondering if it is okay to wear during colder months (I live in New York City). My gut is that since it is very dark with brown buttons, that it can look wintry and also be worn in summer, as it is light weight and breathable. However, it is my first suit in this kind of fabric and I don’t to seem gauche if there is a rule about seasons in which this fabric is appropriate, and when it is not. Any suggestions?

Interesting question, reader P — and I’m curious to hear what the readers say.  My initial reaction here was, OF COURSE you can wear tropical wool suits in the winter! They’re seasonless!  But then I second guessed myself and did some Google research.
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Tuesday’s TPS Report: Wool Color Block Cap Sleeve Dress

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

Brooks Brothers Wool Color Block Cap Sleeve DressHappy Tuesday! I love this blue and black colorblocked dress from Brooks Brothers — it looks chic but professional, and the blue is such a happy, bright color. I’d wear it with a black or gray cardigan or blazer, and if I wanted to have fun with it, try it with a yellow statement necklace (like this, this, or this). The dress is $298 at Brooks Brothers.Brooks Brothers Wool Color Block Cap Sleeve Dress

Here’s a pretty dead-on $79 option (and two more), and here are a few plus-size options (note that this one goes up to size 18).

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

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Coffee Break: Open-Stock Sharpie Permanent Markers

sharpie permanent markerIf you do a lot of internet shopping like I do, you are well familiar with the places to buy pens and markers in bulk. But finding a single pen or two can be a lot harder and take more time until I happen to be running an errand near a stationery/office supply store, or making a big order of office supplies from Staples.com to escape their $9.99 shipping fee. So I was THRILLED to find the “open stock” category on Amazon — regular colors like black and red go for as little as $.88, but there are even specialty items such as, say, green Sharpie markers for $4.97. Even that feels a bit expensive to me, honestly, but considering that I don’t have to make a special trip to a store just for a stupid marker, or get sucked into the “fill up your cart with $40 of stuff so you don’t have to pay $10 shipping” trap — and it will be here in two days, yay for Prime — it’s worth it to me. Open-Stock Sharpie Permanent Markers

What are your favorite spots for office supplies for your home office (or pieces with a bit more personality than the office supply closet)? Do you shop online or in person?

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The Hunt: Layered-Look Sweaters

Club MOnaco Mackenzie SweaterSure, we all know what basics professional women are supposed to have in their closets, but if you’re buying one for the first time or replacing one you’ve worn into the ground, it can be a pain to find exactly the right incarnation in stores. In “The Hunt,” we search the stores for a basic item that every woman should have.

I usually like to use The Hunt for a basic, timeless piece that everyone needs — cashmere sweaters, strappy pumps, etc — but when I got a request from a reader looking for layered sweaters, I thought, ooh, that would make a fun Hunt — they have been EVERYWHERE recently, and the sweater-and-collar look can be tricky to get on your own.  Some people have DIY solutions for the bulkiness that ensues, while for others static cling  is more of an issue — even rolling the sleeves can take some skill.  Still, I think it’s a classic look that range from “very preppy” to “casual” (such as the option from Loft, below) to some of the newer looks that are almost cropped sweaters with tunic blouses (such as here or here).  Ladies, what are your tricks for getting the layered look — short of buying a 2-in-1 sweater or wearing a collared dickey?  What rules do you think apply to the office? 

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