A long time ago, I used to wear all sorts of bras to work. Lacy bras! Bras with seams! I even had a few beautiful demi-cup bras that I got on a trip to Paris that really did not “contain me,” so to speak, for the office. I don’t remember if t-shirt bras got popular in the meantime or if I just discovered them, but since that discovery I really cannot wear anything else to the office. It actively bugs me if I’m wearing a blouse or a simple jersey top and I can see the lace through the top, or the seams of the bra — it just seems to be distracting, which is the number one office no-no. Every woman is particular, of course, as to which bra will be comfortable — but I thought I’d round up some of the bestselling bras that I’ve heard great things about or could vouch for myself. You can see Freshpair’s entire selection of t-shirt bras here, or check out our round-up after the jump… Please chime in with your own favorites in comments!
New Year’s Eve approaches, and I hope all of you have fun plans — and great outfits! If you need any help making a dress or top look *just so,* though, you may be turning to shapewear — and it may be a bit of a mystery which piece is best for your outfit. I do my best to de-mystify it, after the jump… Also, do note that Freshpair.com has free 2-3 day shipping for all orders over $30. Nice!
I had the pleasure to talk with Angie Stocklin, the founder and primary buyer for The Affordable Style Network. In 2005, she was a 28-year-old school psychologist when she started Sunglass Warehouse out of her home as a side project with her husband. Since then, she’s “taken a big swing” at it as a business, added a number of sites to their roster (including Inexpensive Watches, Handbag Heaven, Affordable Scarves, ABC Neckties, Reading Glasses Shopper, and Socks 4 Life), and has had a lot of fun doing it.
They choose their stock in a variety of ways. “We definitely buy some things based on touch and feel after seeing it at the shows,” Angie said. “We always try to pay attention to what’s pretty for next season, and we watch the runway shows and major fashion magazines. At the same time, we try to keep classic things in stock — they’re in style but not so trendy.”
While Angie notes that some of their products are “inspired by Valentino or Marc Jacobs, etc,” she wanted to stress that the bags are not knockoffs or replicas. “We don’t represent any of our bags to be the exact same style, quality, or size as the designer brand. Yes, you can tell that they’re inspired by a designer brand, but an actual knockoff will have a faux name on it, a similar lining, similar hardware, and so forth.”
Angie took me through some of her favorites (and her mother’s favorites, her sisters’ favorites, and more…)
|This pashmina is one of Angie’s and her mother’s favorites. “You can’t go wrong with it,” she says, noting that her mother has gifted them to all of her sisters, as well as several co-workers and ladies she knows from church. The pashmina is $11.01 and comes in dark purple, berry pink, sky blue, dark green, orange, light purple, and turquoise blue. Solid Colored Pashmina|
|Angie is personally rocking these vintage-looking sunglasses. “They’re a nice square oversized style,” she notes. Some of her other favorites include the #3660, which has “just a glimmer” of a cat-eye (pictured at very top), as well as her trusty aviators. The shades at left are $13.56, available in purple, black, brown, black tortoise, and brown tortoise at Sunglass Warehouse. SW Vintage Style #8939|
|“I always really like to direct people to our business card holders, also,” Angie says. “They’re perfect for credit cards, IDs, business cards — and you can just stick them in your back pocket and go.” The card holder is $8.46, and available in black, brown, purple, blue, and green. Cork Business Card Holder|
|Angie also points to the Ruby scarf as one of her favorites. “Our knits are really big, and this scarf is a big, warm scarf. It’s extra long, so you can loop it 3 or even 4 times around your neck. With the fringe at the bottom, it’s really pretty.” Some of her other favorites include a leopard print scarf (“leopard is hot, but it’s just a little bit of a print, so it isn’t so overwhelming,” Angie explains), as well as some of the infinity loop scarves. The cable scarf, pictured, is $25.46 and available in creamy ivory, olive green, and black. Ruby Cable Scarf|
|As for handbags, one of Angie’s favorites is this zipper clutch, which has a bit of a rock-and-roll vibe to it. It can be worn as a wristlet, also, and the numerous pockets make it great for organization. It’s $31.41 at Handbag Heaven. Anderson Zipper Clutch|
This is a sponsored post written by Kat Griffin, but brought to you by The Affordable Style Network.
Noteworthy Cyber Monday sales seem few and far between this year, but I like the extra 25% off that the various stores in The Affordable Style Network are offering — especially given the low (extra low!) (really low!) prices the stores have regularly. The stores in the Affordable Style Network are Inexpensive Watches, Handbag Heaven, Affordable Scarves, ABC Neckties, Reading Glasses Shopper, Sunglass Warehouse and Socks 4 Life.
|For example, Handbag Heaven has an extra 25% off. That means that great bags, such as the red Colby Oversized Canvas Hobo (pictured at top,was $47.95, now $35.96) or the Quinn Geometric Tote (pictured at right, was $50.95, now $38.21) are even more affordable.|
|I’m always a fan of fashionably large shades, including these simple polarized ones in tortoise. They were $17.95, now $13.46 at Sunglass Warehouse. SW Polarized Style #9927|
|OK, I’ve mentioned my love of the new/old cape trend before — but no one wants to spend too much money on a trend that just happens to catch your fancy. I love this Sherrie Button Cape as a great way to try it out — in either white or black. Was$27.95, now $20.96 (25% off at Affordable Scarves).|
I’ve noticed that “pantyhose” seems to be a popular search term here on the site, so I thought it’d be a great time to talk pantyhose, tights, and more. For older commentary, check out some of our previous posts on point here…
|To be honest, I’m normally a tights girl for work — they’re more durable than pantyhose, and here in NYC they’re completely acceptable. I’ve recently started splurging on Spanx tights — they stay up, don’t get saggy, and are truly comfortable. I’m drooling over this pair of high-waisted body shaping tights, which would help a multitude of, er, sins. They’re available in black and “bittersweet” brown for $38:
High-Waisted Body-Shaping Tight-End Tights. Another great option: reversible tights (pictured at top), which give you two colors for $34. Two-Timin Tights with Tummy Control
|If Spanx are too expensive, FreshPair has a great sale on Hue tights — they’re 25% off until 11/21. (And FWIW, I definitely prefer control-top tights over non-control top tights — even when I was a size 2 and didn’t need the “control.” They just stay up better!) This pair was $12.50, now $9.38 (with free shipping). Sueded Opaque Tight with Control Top|
|Love these herringbone mesh tights from Hue as well — they’re less opaque than proper tights, but just as durable and as comfortable. If you’ve always thought you needed to wear pantyhose instead of tights, this pair (or any “patterned” tight) can be a great “in between” compromise. This pair was $8, now $6 with the sale. Herringbone Mesh Control Top|
|When actual pantyhose are required, I look for them to have a control top and a reinforced toe — maybe it’s just me, but if my pedicure is less than perfect (which, um, it often is) then regular, non-reinforced pantyhose just tear in seconds. Yes, the choice of shoe is a bit more limited by having a reinforced toe (unless it’s an invisible reinforcement, like these Hue pantyhose: So Silky Control Top with Invisible Reinforced Toe), but hey — I’m wearing *pantyhose,* so my shoe and outfit options were already pretty limited. The pictured pair is $15. Perfect Pantyhose High Waist|
Readers, do you wear tights or pantyhose? Which are your favorite brands, styles, etc?
The holidays have ambushed us yet again. One would assume that after a couple decades with the good old 12 month pattern, December’s eminent arrival would be less stealthy. But alas, you’re now faced with the familiar question: what do I get for my gal pal, favorite co-worker, sister…the list of significant working ladies in your life goes on.
The professional woman is a tricky target. She knows what she needs, and what she needs she simply buys herself. Thus, the key is to find an item fun enough that she might not classify it as a necessity, yet practical enough that the gift won’t be cast to the dreaded closet o’ trinkets. Follow along for our top six holiday gift pickings under $50.
There’s nothing more classic than houndstooth. The fact that the print happens to be on trend this season is just a cherry on top of the perfect scarf cake. The Selena Houndstooth Wrap is the ultimate multi-tasker. It can double as anything from a blanket on an airplane to a cover-up at a formal event.
If the loudest print you’ve seen her in is grandma’s old floral-motif sofa, a solid-color version like the Peyton Crinkle Scarf is a perfect choice. It has the multi-function capabilities of its vivid counterpart, and is well-suited for the more conservative dresser. This one’s material also means easy transition to spring.
In a glance, this handbag will disprove her work-bags-are-stuffy theory. Ladies’ professional and laptop bag selections tend to range from nerdy and zippered-pocket-infested to sterile and manila envelope-like, so the Ashton Oversized Satchel is a true find. It comes in black and cream, both fail-proof color choices.
I know we all can only stomach so many “get (insert Hollywood type)’s sunglasses look!” messages in one lifetime, but Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Aniston and Jennifer Lopez are on to something with this style of shades. The SW Oversized Style #167 miraculously suit nearly every face shape and look much more expensive than the price of a couple of lattes.
Who doesn’t love a matching set? If the set happens to be practical and feature a lovely, subtle animal print, all the better. The Alexis reading glasses are ideal for any far-sited friend, as the sleek square suits most face shapes. A little detective work on your part to discover her lens power needs makes the gift that much more thoughtful and customized.
Before you gawk at the idea of giving socks, think about what a smart pair of argyles on the feet does for the psyche. I can almost see your mind changing. A successful look starts from the toes up, literally, so grab a set Chatties Women’s Argyle Crew Socks and give her a jump start on that complete professional look.
What was the best wearable accessory you ever received as a gift? Do you still use it?