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Cute Office Supplies: When To Use Them

Cute Office Supplies | CorporetteOur post the other day about the cute file folders got me thinking: When should a professional woman actually use cute office supplies? Should you use them only in a home office? Only for presentations? As part of a cohesive system for all of your office work? (Pictured: Smiley Face Binder Clips, $4 for 40 at Amazon.)

For my $.02, I’ve always loved cute office supplies — something about going to Staples or Kate’s Paperie or the like takes me back to the happy feelings of back-to-school shopping. (Yeah, I was that kid.) But once I got to my law firm, this is how I actually used them: for personal things in my office only. I had a nice folder for keeping track of my CLE credits, and a nice folder for holding my old timesheets and the like — things that I filed myself and didn’t need to hand off to someone else. They sat on my desk (as part of my organized office system) and made me happy — but they were but a small pop of color amidst the seas of red Redwelds, brown Bankers Boxes, and beige manila folders. It was still worth it to me to seek out pretty things and buy them, but it was just for a bit of silliness to cheer me up at the office.

Ladies, when do you use cute office supplies? Do you have a place for them in your life?

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The Top 5 Things You Might Miss About Corporate Life (Once You’re Out)

Once you’re out of the corporate world, what will you miss?  If you’d known you’d miss it, might you have appreciated it more?  Today’s guest poster, Lisa Carnochan from Privilege, has put together the top 5 things she misses about the corporate life — as well as what she doesn’t. I recently met Lisa in person, and I’m absolutely thrilled to have her guest posting again — her first, Career Advice from the Hiring/VP Level, remains one of Corporette’s top posts.  Enjoy, readers! – Kat  (Pictured below: Empty desk, originally uploaded to Flickr by Aldric van Gaver.)

Empty desk, originally uploaded to Flickr by Aldric van Gaver.I imagine that most of you reading Corporette are working women. I was one myself for many years. And, now, it appears, I’ve semi-retired. I remember dreaming, on grey days full of mean emails and meandering meetings, of what it would be like to be done with it all. And now I know. Here’s what I miss, and what I don’t miss at all. By the way, you’ll notice I don’t mention the paycheck. That goes without saying. Getting paid rocks.

5 Things I Miss About Working

1. Job interviews

I’m not kidding. When else do you have such a clear chance to package yourself up all shiny and valuable-like? I also love the problem-solving aspect. Ask your interviewer questions about the challenges he or she faces and then show your qualitative analytic skills on the fly. You’re their drive-by consultant. Works like a charm and makes one feel so damn smart. [Read more…]

Open Thread: Tell Us About the Most Stylish Professional Woman You Know

I thought it might be interesting to have an open thread about some of the most stylish professional women we know personally. I would suggest we avoid names and, instead, focus on painting a picture of the women who inspire us. I also suggest that we limit this to women we know personally, not famous people — unless you see the person every day it doesn’t count.

Personally, I’m lucky to have almost too many women to inspire me! It’s funny to me that some of the most stylish professional women I know are also some of the most senior and successful women I know. Some of the stylish women I remember the most…

  • When I was an assistant editor at Family Circle magazine in my early 20s, the editor in chief of the magazine was stunningly put together every day. Beautiful suits that never looked wrinkled… shoulder-length blonde hair that was somehow perfectly coiffed — it had volume and bounce and curl. She had 2 or 3 children under the age of 15, also, if memory serves — no idea how she did it.  She was an extremely intelligent woman who had interviewed for an assistant editor’s position and, when asked what her ideal job was, had said “editor in chief of this magazine” during the interview — and 15 years later, there she was. [Read more…]

Business Cards for Everybody!

business-cards-for-funReader H wonders whether students should get business cards…

A couple weeks ago, you did a post about stationery and handwritten notes. In the run-up to OCI, I’m wondering if I should order business cards. Many law schools offer student business cards but I personally think the branding is sort of tacky and would much rather have a plain card with my name, email, and phone number. Should students going into interview season suck it up and buy their schools’ cards? Or is there a way to have a simple, stylish card of one’s own (without seeming pretentious)?

I guess this is an issue many people will have in the corporate world, too, but at least once you have a job, someone else is paying for your cards… as long as I’m paying for my own cards, I want to be able to design them well, but I’m wondering what’s appropriate.

I think I’ve mentioned my point of view here and there on the blog before, but I don’t think I’ve ever been really clear about it: I think everybody should have business cards. Ok, not small children, but everyone else — students! people out of work! people seeking new work!  stay at home moms! In short: business cards for everybody. (Pictured: Wellspring Double Flip Case, Audrey Medallion (2420), available at Amazon for $5.91. Check out our previous guide to business card cases!) [Read more…]

Reader Mail — Is vintage appropriate to wear to the office?

The other day, we got a request from a reader asking whether vintage fashions are ever appropriate to wear to the office or to court.  At the guts of her request, she asked:

Does the fact that a suit is vintage make it too costume-y?  Does it depend on the styling and the pattern (read: no fur collars, no plaid or speckles)?  Does it have to be very plain in color and details (read: black, navy, or grey only)?

This is a very interesting question to us, because we see her concerns — vintage suits are frequently more body conscious than today’s suits, and a lot of the details that went along with the vintage suits — the blood red nails and lips, the wild hats, the pin curls, the elbow-length gloves, and the seamed stockings — are more the province of a a Halloween costume than of a professional reputation.  But a lot of these suits, such as the brown one pictured (link courtesy of our reader!) don’t look, by themselves, that costume-y. [Read more…]

360 Review: Rachel Menken of Mad Men

In the 360 Review, Corporette examines a “professional woman”s” attire and critiques it from all perspectives: underling, boss, friend.

This week’s 360 review is in honor of the women of Mad Men, which just began it’s second season last night. (AMC is showing repeats all week if you missed it!) In addition to showing us exactly what sort of daily glamour was par for the course back in 1960, the show also manages to show us the rampant sexism and horrible working conditions for women. It’s a great show; we highly recommend it. One of our favorite characters last season was Rachel Menken, the wealthy daughter of a department store scion (played by Maggie Siff). She’s a modern woman, of sorts — she runs the store, she hires the advertising company, she’s waiting to marry someone she loves. She also has some crazy suits. Let’s take a look…

[Read more…]