Sponsored: Save Time and Sanity with Sassoon’s New Blow and Style Menu

Blow & Style_MR_10Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Sassoon, but written by your friendly local blogger, Kat Griffin.

I’ve written before about my love of blow-outs (including how to make a blow-out last for multiple days!), but here’s what I don’t love about blow-outs: the Question.  You know the one: “How do you want your hair blown out?”

“Um…. the normal way.  With a brush and blowdryer and stuff.”  (I say this because I once asked for a blowout and got a flat-iron instead because that was all they offered, and I was too crunched for time to go elsewhere.)

“Yes, but straight?  Wavy? Glamorous?”

“Ummmm… straight, I guess.”

I always feel a bit dumb for not knowing the answer to this question, and I suppose if I started a Pinterest board, or ripped magazine pages out, I could go to the salon and confidently say, “Give me X.”  But I somehow always forget that this is an issue until I’m in the seat.

So I was THRILLED when I heard about Sassoon’s new service: a blow and style menu that not only names popular styles and makes it easier to differentiate among them, it puts even more options right in my hands, right when I need them: when I’m at the salon.

blow-and-style-menu

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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…]

Sponsored: Ann Taylor’s Fall Collection

Ann Taylor's Fall 2014 CampaignDisclosure: This post is sponsored by Ann Taylor, but written by your usual friendly blogger, Kat Griffin.

Ann Taylor has always been one of my favorite workwear brands, and their fall collection is absolutely gorgeous. (And ladies, do note: they’re currently offering 40% off sale styles, with no code needed — huzzah!) I thought I’d take a look at some of the hot new pieces just hitting stores now — readers, do you have any favorites from Ann Taylor’s fall collection?

 

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Sponsored: Sole Society’s Great Collection of Work-Appropriate Flats, Heels, and More

sole society screenshot.indexedDisclosure: This post is sponsored by Sole Society, but written by your usual friendly blogger, Kat Griffin.

I’ve been intrigued by Sole Society since 2011, when the brand was founded by the HauteLook team as a subscription shoe club.  (It was spun into a separate company a few months later, and they’ve since dropped the subscription aspect — they’re now just a regular eCommerce site.)  They currently offer shoes designed by Sole Society, French Connection, Lucky Brand, Matisse, and Vince Camuto.  Note that shipping and returns are free, but in order to get a refund on your credit card (versus store credit) they charge a $7.95 restocking fee per item returned.  (Some Sole Society shoes are available at some Nordstrom locations.)

Meanwhile, I continue to drool over half of Sole Society’s stock — they have a ton of professional, work-appropriate heels, and — even rarer! — a ton of fun but appropriate flats (many with straps, too).  Some of the gorgeous pieces I’m dying over (all with rave reviews on the site):

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Sponsored: The Scoop on the Nordstrom Rewards Card

The Scoop on the Nordstrom Rewards Card | CorporetteN.B. This post is sponsored by Nordstrom, but written by your usual friendly blogger, Kat Griffin.

So here’s my dirty little secret: I’ve never had a Nordstrom card, despite the fact that for YEARS now I’ve been hearing about how you get early access to the Anniversary Sale and other perks. My main reason for holding out? I usually wait to get a store card until I’m about to make a huge purchase (a fancy bag, a particularly large order, etc) because most store cards give you a special discount ONLY on the day you sign up.  After looking at the Nordstrom Rewards card a bit more closely, though:

  • Card members earn 2 points per net dollar spent at Nordstrom on your Nordstrom credit or debit card.
  • Every 2,000 points earns you a $20 Nordstrom Note to spend on anything at Nordstrom. Card holders get early access to Anniversary Sale so they can shop online and in stores before every else.
  • Get a $20 bonus Note when you spend $100 at Nordstrom with your Nordstrom card the day you apply. (Nudge nudge!)
  • You can get reimbursed for some or all alterations on Nordstrom purchases with a Nordstrom Note in the exact dollar value of the charge.  (There are different levels of Rewards, and members at higher levels can get more alterations reimbursed.)

And then, once a year, you can also pick a day to earn TRIPLE points — so if you want to use it for the day you shop the Anniversary Sale, you get even more points than usual.  (You can just click a box during checkout to choose to use your Triple points that day, or you can call the store to set up a day to use them in person. The customer service rep I spoke with noted that it’s really easy to set up your triple points day — it isn’t a problem to schedule it; just let them know the day of.  Triple points can apply to both in-store and online purchases if they’re made the same day.) (As you move “up” the levels of membership, you can earn more triple point days.)

I went through the signup process in less than 10 minutes (it would have been faster if I’d had my driver’s license at the computer with me), and because I applied through my Nordstrom.com account, the info is already saved in my account and I can already begin earning points (and have access to the sale).  (The card will come in the mail in 7-10 days.)  Sweet!

Readers, are you excited for the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale? Cardholders, what purchases are you hoping to make?

Sponsored: Get Work-Appropriate, Custom-Fit Dresses from NUMARI

NUMARI bespoke dressesDisclosure: This post is sponsored by NUMARI, but written by your usual friendly blogger Kat Griffin.

Everyone wants a dress that fits you like a glove — but it can be a struggle to put in the time needed at the tailor (to say nothing of the money or the guesswork involved with the initial purchase), and getting a bespoke dress seems intimidating and expensive.  Enter NUMARI, an up-and-coming fashion brand with a triple threat: cute work-appropriate looks, an easy custom fit, and affordable price points ($160-$235 with free shipping and free returns).  I also like that the two founders both actually have worked in conservative spaces — one worked in banking, consulting, and consumer products, while the second was a management consultant in the tech world.  They sent me a few samples to look over, and I must say, I’m impressed with the quality and look. [Read more…]