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Poll Results: We Are Not Fashion Police

why you shouldn't play fashion police at workSo about a week and a half ago we asked: At what point do you tell a colleague if her attire is inappropriate? In our theoretical situation she was wearing a see-through miniskirt…

– 51% of you would tell her only if you were good friends with her or were in some way responsible for her

– 37% of you said you’d tell her if it was something she might not realize (undergarment issues, etc)

– 18% of you said you’d NEVER tell her, under any circumstances

– 11% of you said you’d call HR and make them tell her

and 3% of you said you’d only tell her if she would embarrass the company.

If you haven’t taken the poll yet, it’s still open…

Photo by striatic, courtesy of Flickr.

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10 Things to Know About: Wearing Button-Down Shirts

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Someone was telling us recently that they didn’t wear button-down shirts, didn’t even know how to wear ’em. So, here ya go…

1. If you’re going for the crisp cotton look, go for non-iron. Brooks Brothers makes a great fitted non-iron shirt. Thomas Pink (very high end, typically thought of as a man’s store) makes amazing button-down shirts for women, also, with interesting prints and a lovely fit.

2. Collars and jackets: Collars should stay on the inside of the jacket, not splayed open on the outside.

3. If you have a white shirt, try not to put it in the dryer in order to avoid yellowing. Actually, in our experience the iron-free shirts look best when hung dry. (Just pull them taut, a bit, when they’re wet and you’re hanging on the hanger — it always seems to help the fabric figure out where to go.)

4. If you’ve got a French cuff shirt, do not bother with those tiny knots you can buy at places for $10 — you’re wasting your money and time, because they take forever to put in. Instead, make an investment in a good pair of cufflinks — Thomas Pink has great ones; Nordstrom also has some beautiful ones right now.

5. Tucking: If you’re wearing a fitted, button-down shirt (such as the ones from Pink) you can experiment with how it looks untucked. The key is that it can’t be too long — it should hit mid-hip, and no matter what should not be longer than your suit jacket. Silky shirts should always be tucked.

6. If you want a very clean tucked-in look, there are some stores that make leotard-like button-down shirts. See, for example, Victoria’s Secret or Donna Karan.

7. Non-traditional style idea: Wear a short-sleeved button-down shirt beneath a vest or even a t-shirt. (We’ve given up trying to wear anything but silky button-downs beneath full-sleeve sweaters — the static cling gets us every time.)

8. Non-traditional style idea, Part 2: Wear a camisole/tank top underneath the button-down shirt, tuck in the shirt, and only button it up halfway, so people can see the camisole beneath. See Allison Janey in West Wing.

9. Gaping: If your shirt is gaping, this could mean a few things. A) You need a larger size, and should take it to a tailor to get it to fit you the way you want it to. B) You need to wear a camisole beneath it, so when you turn to the side people don’t get a view of your bra. C) You can experiment with Hollywood Tape and so forth to keep it from gaping — we’ve found the camisole is just easier.

10. Beneath the slightly sheer white shirt: Wear a bra that matches your skin tone, and a white camisole, no matter how convinced you are that no one can see through it. We’ve tried the nude camisole, and trust us: white just looks better.

The Hunt: Black Linen Trousers

Sure, 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.

It’s disgustingly hot outside, and linen trousers can be an absolute lifesaver in this sort of heat. Khaki and white linen is festive and seasonal but, let’s face it, fraught with problems — do you really trust that you’ve found exactly the right pair of underwear to wear beneath them? Black linen pants are much less dicey, and hide wrinkles. They’re a great way to survive the summer in style.

[Read more…]

Generation Pantyhose

pantyhose-for-workThere’s an interesting story in today’s WSJ regarding pantyhose, and how it causes a generational divide between workers. That’s definitely true! We here at Corporette think they should be worn on the most formal of occasions — court appearance, meeting with the CEO, etc — but for daily work they aren’t necessary. We were surprised, a few weeks ago, when we ran our first poll and 50% of you said that they weren’t ever necessary. At left: SPANX All The Way Up! Pantyhose Hosiery.

Anyway, our jaw dropped when we read the article in the WSJ:

This is the issue that lately has occupied the mind of Jim Holt, president of Mid American Credit Union, a small financial institution in Wichita, Kan. Mr. Holt is 58 and a three-decade member of the U.S. Army Reserves. He joined Mid American, which has 50 employees, four years ago, inheriting a dress code that prohibited, for women, such things as boots and mules, or backless shoes. The company required “hose” at all times — even under pants. [Read more…]

How To: Polished Hair for a Busy Woman

professional hair video
We were sort of, well, busy in grade school when all the girls were learning how to do pretty up-dos — clubs and lessons galore. (As were most of our friends!) However, on the off chance you have 5 minutes free in the morning and would like to go for a more polished look, this is a great how-to video from PurseBuzz. We like that she goes from long wet hair to a sleek up-do in 7 minutes flat. (We’d skip the headband.)

Weekly Round-Up

– The ChicagoTrib looks at the prevalence of sleep problems in today’s society. If you’re having trouble sleeping, we recommend working out in the morning, not drinking caffeine after 3 PM, and avoiding thoughts about work/career issues before bedtime.

– Oldie but still relevant: WSJ’s The Juggle has lots of good links to old articles about how neglecting your appearance may negatively affect your career.

Oprah Magazine and Jezebel explore one of the primary dangers of the office bathroom: the Tinkler.

– WowOwow has lots of excerpts from Cokie Roberts’ new book on the First Ladies.

– NYT has an article about how, for a mere $156,000, you can buy a share to an apartment in Paris for one month a year. We don’t think this is such a bad idea, but then again, we also can’t imagine being able to get away from the office for a full month, so we’re thinking of this more as a 1/22nd share in a Paris apartment.

– The secret to succeeding in the law for women lawyers is, apparently, a deep love of practicing law. [Ms. J.D., New York magazine: Women Leaders in the Law. ]

– Drool, drool, drool: The World’s Most Dazzling Royal Jewels. We’ve bought right-hand rings and diamond earrings before, but these are stunning. [Forbes]

– Totally unrelated to business or fashion, but if you are as big of a Buffy fan as we are then enjoy: interview with Joss Whedon about his new project, starring Eliza Dushku. [LA Times]

work fashion blog press mentions