Sponsored: MM.LaFleur Delivers Polished, Professional Looks to Your Door

MMLafleur ReviewThis is a sponsored post, but I really am delighted to tell you about my experience with MM.LaFleur. I’m impressed with their well-made, beautiful clothes, and I thought the Bento Box experience — where a stylist chooses and sends you a box of clothes to try on at home, for free — was smooth as well as fun.

But first, let’s back up: here’s what I knew about MM.LaFleur coming into this. There is some serious fashion and workwear cred behind the brand, which was founded by two ex-management consultants, Sarah LaFleur and Narie Foster, along with their head designer, Miyako Nakamura, formerly of Zac Posen and Jason Wu. Their mission: to take the work out of dressing for work.  They make luxurious clothes with fabrics imported from Italy and Japan, ethically made (mostly) in NYC. Plus, a lot of it is machine-washable and wrinkle-resistant, and that’s made clear right on the shopping pages (not just the product pages!), which I really like.

washable-workwear

mmfleur-bentoThe Bento Box: While you can shop their online store yourself, they’ve recently started offering a “bento box” — you fill out a quick style survey, and then (based on your preferences and needs), you’re sent a box of hand-picked, office-ready looks. You keep what you love and send back the rest.

My Experience: I filled out a quick survey online, and got a box of hand-picked items the next day in the mail. It was reminiscent of a bento box, with fun compartments (including one with a lovely red notebook — mine to keep — emblazoned with “Luck Favors the Brave”). My box contained several dresses (most below: Etsuko, Felisa, Toi, and Lydia), the Tribeca Skirt, the Angelique sweater, a silk scarf, and a luxe-feeling belt (Greenwich Avenue). I loved almost everything — the only miss for me was the skirt, which fit too long for my taste. I was really impressed with everything they sent — the fabrics felt lovely and had the right amount of stretch, the fit was great, and the construction was solid. There were no obvious workwear gaffes like a super deep V, high slits, or things like that, and instead there were intelligent details like pockets and washable fabrics.

A closer look at some of my favorites: [Read more…]

Fashion Resolutions

fashion resolutionsHere’s a fun topic for today’s open thread: what are your FASHION resolutions (if any) for 2015? Some different forms this may take:

For my $.02, I’d love to start wearing heels again.  Between the babies and the babywearing and the work-at-homing I’ve gotten out of the habit — I put on a pair of 3″ boots last week and nearly fell over.  Part of the problem was that all of my old shoes haven’t fit for a while <sob> because I seemed to pick up an additional half shoe size with each pregnancy.  After Jack was born I knew I wanted to get pregnant soonish so I didn’t want to bother with buying a ton of shoes in my new size, so I tried to squish myself into my old shoes — and it went about as well as it sounds. (Not good…. ow.)   I’ve heard your feet can still change size (up or down) in the postpartum months, so I’ve been waiting a bit after Harry’s birth as well.  Obviously I don’t need to wear heels — no one does! — but I really miss them! (Pictured above: I may just have to pull the trigger on these best-selling Cole Haan booties at Zappos.  Hmmn…)

Ladies, what are your fashion resolutions?  (Any other general resolutions you’d care to share?)
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Top Posts of 2014 (By Page Views)

Corporette-2014-reviewEvery year I round up two kinds of “top posts” — MY favorite posts (that were the most fun to write, or I thought sparked an interesting discussion) — and then the ones that are the top posts according to Google Analytics.  I’ve already rounded up my favorites — these are the top posts of 2014 according to Google Analytics.

 

  1. What To Do About Your Work Email After You Quit
  2. Must a Blazer BUTTON To Fit?
  3. Comfortable Heels for Wide Feet
  4. Are 4″ Heels Too High for Interviewing?
  5. Which Undies Are Best for Avoiding VPL?
  6. Feeling Too Fat to Interview?*
  7. Professional Frump: What to Avoid
  8. Quick, Easy Hairstyles (from guest poster Lindsey Frederick)
  9. Professional Image, Outfit “Compliments,” and Confidence at Any Size (from guest poster Kathryn Rubino)
  10. How to Wear Heels (If You’re Used to Flats)

* I apologize (belatedly) to everyone who felt this title was incendiary — to me it’s a totally normal feeling to have to struggle through of feeling “too fat” to do something — that additional noise created in your head when you don’t feel “your best” for why you shouldn’t do something already challenging.  I usually try to keep the blog clear of my own body issues; my apologies for failing to do that in this case.  Obviously no one IS too fat to do anything, and of course not for interviewing.

Check out this page for our top posts of all time!

Kat’s Favorite Posts of 2014

Corporette-2014-reviewI always do a roundup of which posts were my most-viewed ones for the year — but I thought I’d start our review posts this year with some of MY favorites.  Some of them were fun to write — some of them sparked a great discussion — and some of them were just something that I thought was important we talk about.  Ladies, which were your favorite posts?  Any I’m forgetting?

Here were my favorites of 2013, as well as my favorites of 2012 and 2010.

Tech Problems

I know we’re having tech problems but I’m lacking information — is it mobile only? Can you identify which ad (or which ad spot)? Anyone who can send me screenshots and more information will win my undying affection. (I know of two potentially separate problems: Vindicosuite.com and a redirection to some app/game…. please fill me in if there are others.) Thank you all for your patience!

Tales from the Wallet: Refinancing Student Loans (Guest Post)

refinancing student loansHave you refinanced your student loans, or are you looking into it? We’ve talked about tackling huge school debt, paying down debt vs. saving, getting financially prepared for grad school, creating a money roadmap, and switching from a lawyer’s salary to a student lifestyle, but we haven’t discussed refinancing student loans. Today, Blonde Lawyer (the name she uses to comment on Corporette posts) shares her experience of refinancing with SoFi, one of a growing number of peer-to-peer lending companies (CommonBond is another) that offer student loan refinancing. The author is including a referral link of her own, but Kat / Corporette is not being compensated in any way for this post — it sounded like an interesting topic for readers to discuss, and hopefully this one reader’s experience will be a launchpad for discussion.  Thank you for writing this, Blonde Lawyer!  Here’s a recent WSJ article and a Reuters article for further reading on the topic. 

I have noticed that a lot of Corporette readers are interested in potentially refinancing their student loans. I suggested to Kat that this would make a good “Tales from the Wallet” post and offered to write about my experience refinancing with SoFi. Hopefully there are other posters who refinanced with one of the other major players that can write about their experiences too.

So a little bit about me: I graduated law school in 2009. I went to an in-state school with in-state tuition. I paid my tuition 100% with Stafford loans ($59,500) and also took out living expense loans ($34,072) through a private loan company for a grand total of $93,572 in loans. After graduation, I was most worried about my $34,072 in private loans. My husband co-signed them and they were not dischargeable if I died or became disabled. The interest rate was a variable 8.61% with a 19% cap!!! I had one other issue with this company. I had selected a standard 10-year repayment for all my loans, but once the private loans entered repayment, the math wasn’t adding up to me.

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