Long Flights: How to Look Professional But Be Comfortable

dressing for long flightYou want to look professional during a long flight with colleagues, but you’re understandably not too eager to wear a suit for several hours of waking, sleeping, and eating. So, with your trusty flight outfit of a fleece + yoga pants staying in the closet at home, what can you choose that will be comfortable but still appropriate if you end up sitting next to your boss? We’ve talked about traveling internationally in comfort and style, what to pack for an extended business trip, and traveling with coworkers, but not this exactly. Reader N wonders:

Could you do a post on comfortable, but professional attire for international or long flights? I have an upcoming business trip where my boss and two colleagues will be on a long flight with me. I want to look presentable but still be comfortable for the long flight. Thanks!

I can see this being a concern not only in this situation (traveling directly with coworkers) but in a situation I’ve been in, where there’s a conference that almost everyone in your industry attends, so even if you’re not traveling with direct coworkers, you end up seeing a million colleagues all over the airport, on flights, and via other travel hubs. A lot of sites have comfy-looking, wrinkle-free travel clothes (we just featured a washable top from Chadwicks’s line on CorporetteMoms’ Washable Wednesday) — but what is the chic alternative to the flowy pants-with-matching-loose-jacket look?  A few thoughts:

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Deal Alert – Limited Sale

FYI — Limited is offering 60% off sitewide today — plus free shipping.  Almost everything comes in petite and tall sizes, and a lot of it is machine washable. There are some great classics to consider getting, including:

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How to Blend Conservative Style with Business Casual

business-casualHow should you follow a business casual dress code (and avoid looking overdressed) when your personal style tends toward classic, understated, and conservative — without buying an entirely new wardrobe? Oh, and also: you’re in a technical field, you’re the youngest employee in your office, and the only woman there besides the secretary. Reader K wonders:

I have recently started at my dream job which is a technical one and I work with men only (besides the receptionist). I am on a very tight budget but have invested in basic pieces such as good quality black suits, classic dresses, blouses, black pencil skirt. The dress code is business casual. Yet the other day I wore a classic grey dress, black blazer, heels, and pearls and the CEO made a comment before a meeting insinuating I was overdressed. He wears cords and a polo everyday. What can I wear to work? I prefer to wear more conservative clothes and feel more professional in blacks, and greys and dark color palettes with a small pop of color (like a maroon or emerald blouse). I am in my early 20s and look especially young and am the youngest in my office and prefer the clean cut conservative professional look so am at a loss of what to wear. Any help would be much appreciated.

We’ve talked about how best to dress in business casual in a male-dominated, technical workplace as a younger woman, dealing with other women’s backhanded compliments about dressing well, and being told by a male boss that you dress too well and need to dress “frumpier,” but not exactly this.  Personal style is often important, but sometimes showing that you can “read” company culture requires dressing in a different way than you might otherwise.  Furthermore, when you look young, it can come off even worse — like you’re playing dress up.  So here are a few ideas…

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Deal Alerts – J.Crew, Club Monaco, Stuart Weitzman

Weitzman Sales, plus J.Crew, Club Monaco, and more...I’m seeing a ton of great deals — I may try to do a deal roundup for some of these, but if not, a few things to note:

  •  J.Crew is offering 30% off everything PLUS free shipping with no minimum — prices are lower than the similar J.Crew December sale we rounded up a few years ago.  Select colors of the No. 2 pencil skirt come to $20(!)-$77, select colors of the Minnie come to $49, and a lot of the Collection Cashmere comes down to under $150. Note that J.Crew Factory is 50% off everything as well.
  • I’ve been meaning to round up the Stuart Weitzman sale since I saw it a few days ago — great selections on things that don’t normally go on sale.  (Check the Nordstrom selection of Weitzman shoes on sale because prices are sometimes better there (like this over the knee boot marked to 40% off, pictured); Neiman Marcus also has a pretty great selection of Weitzman shoes (with an extra 20% off today, too).)
  • Kate Spade is also offering 25% off sale items with code COZYUP (ends 12/14).
  • Finally, I just happened to notice this: Club Monaco’s sale is on sale — extra 30% off sale and extra 40% off clearance with code SALEONSALE.

I haven’t done a full survey of the stores — ladies, are you seeing any noteworthy deals right now?


46 Green Monday Sales (and Kat’s Top 10)

sales175 punyGreen Monday may sound like it has something to do with recycling (and hey, two years ago even I’d barely heard of it), but I say if stores are giving themselves an excuse to give you big discounts and sales, we’ll round ‘em up.  Ladies, any stores where you’re still waiting for a major sale of the season (like the big cashmere sale at Lord & Taylor a few people noted in these comments)? My top 10 sales for today are in bold…

  • 6pm – Up to 70% off Frye, up to 65% off Asics, select boots and coats starting at 50% off.
  • Amazon – 30% off eligible items with code GRNMON14: clothing, shoes, jewelry, watches, handbags, accessories, and luggage.
  • Ann Taylor – 50% off full-price sweaters and pants with code FESTIVE50, and extra 40% off sale.
  • Anne Klein – 50% off sitewide.
  • Anthropologie – Extra 30% off with code EXTRAMERRY.
  • ASOS – 20% off select brands, including Boss Orange, French Connection, and  Zadig & Voltaire.
  • Bare Necessities – $20 off $99 with code XMAS. Buy one bra get one 75% off; up to 40% off women’s sleepwear.
  • Bergdorf Goodman – Up to 40% off women’s ready-to-wear, up to 30% off women’s shoes and handbags.
  • Boden – 25% off everything and free shipping with code 9Y6E.
  • Brooks Brothers – 40% off Red Fleece collection, plus up to 50% off clearance items.
  • Club Monaco – 30% off select items with code WINTERFAVES.
  • Cole Haan – 50% off select handbags, small leather accessories, and cold weather gear, plus free shipping.
  • CUSP – Up to 33% off regular prices plus free shipping.
  • eBags – 20% off your entire purchase with code GREEN.
  • Eddie Bauer – Today only, online exclusive: 40% off your entire purchase + free shipping & returns on all orders.  (Great for coats and sheets!)
  • Eloquii – 50% off $100 or more with code SPLURGE.
  • eShakti – Buy 1 get 1 free, select styles.
  • Express – $60 off $200 with code 9828, sweaters starting at $24.90.
  • French Connection – Up to 40% off select styles.
  • J.Crew – Up to 30% off with code MERRYMERRY.
  • J.Crew Factory – 40-60% off everything including new arrivals.
  • Jones New York – $50 off $200, $100 off $300.
  • Kate Spade New York – 25% sitewide with code JACKPOT.
  • Kate Spade Saturday – $25 off $100, $50 off $150, $75 off $200.
  • Kohl’s – Save 25% off $100+, save 20% on purchases under $100 with code DASHER.
  • Lands’ End – 50% off all fleece and down vests, additional 30% off all other sale and clearance merchandise with code SNOW and PIN 3210.
  • Last Call by Neiman Marcus – Extra 30% off everything. 50% off cashmere, cold weather, and more. Up to 55% on diamonds and pearls.
  • The Limited – 60% off sweaters with code DAY1, 50% off full-price items, buy 1 get 1 free on jewelry.
  • LOFT – Extra 40% off sale styles, full-price sweaters and tops 50% off.
  • Macy’s – Extra 25% off with code FRIEND, plus free shipping over $50.
  • Madewell – 30% off with code MERRIEST.
  • ModCloth – 30% off more than 1,000 festive finds. 15% purchases of $100+ with code JOY.
  • Neiman Marcus – Up to 50% off regular-price items, up to 65% off cashmere. Gift event: up to 20% off select items. Free rush shipping and gift packaging on all orders.
  • Net-a-Porter – Up to 50% off and free shipping/returns.
  • New York & Company – All sweaters and velour buy 1 get 1 free. Everything else buy 1 get 1 50% Off. $60 off $130+ with code 3757 and $30 off $70+ with code 3751.
  • Nine West – $99.99 boots, $79.99 booties, $59.99 pumps and flats, $49.99 handbags; up to 50% off select shoes; plus free shipping.
  • Nordstrom – Up to 40% off select new markdowns.
  • Piperlime – 30% off select holiday styles with code CELEBRATE.
  • Reiss – 30% off selected lines.
  • RueLaLa – Cyberthon: Over 150 brands, up to 80% off.
  • Saks – Up to 40% off designer sale and free shipping.
  • Saks Off Fifth – Take up to an extra 50% off with code HOLIDAYFF.
  • Shoes.com – 30% off sitewide with code BFF30.
  • Stuart Weitzman – 35% off the first pair, and 45% off each additional pair (select styles only).
  • Talbots – 30% off your entire purchase.
  • Thomas Pink – Holiday highlight, select lines 40% off.

The Pros and Cons of Thrifting for Workwear

thrifting-for-workwearWhat are best practices for getting workwear at the thrift store?  What are the pros and cons?  Reader JP wonders:

I’d love to see some people’s thoughts on THRIFTING. Macklemore seems to have popularized it. I’ve become an avid thrifter in the past year. This week I bought a Tory Burch shirt for $2. Curious to see the opinion of others.

Great question, JP! We’ve talked about workwear on eBay before, but not this (and now may be a great time to revisit that discussion — please tell us your favorite eBay finds in the comments!).   I know there’s been a fair amount of discussion of thrifting in the comments, and I believe one reader even set up her own blog to catalog her thrift store finds.  Personally I’ve never gotten into thrifting as much as I perhaps should have — in New York I’ve always felt that a) bedbugs are a concern in anything cloth and b) the hardcore fashion people are getting the good stuff anyway, so why even bother?  (I’ve read far too many profiles of random stylists and PR women to hear about how their ritual is waking up at 6 AM to go thrifting, or how the women at the consignment store just know them, etc., etc.).  My reluctance aside, though, thrifting is great for the environment as well as the wallet (and other reasons), so it’s a great hobby to get into.  I’ve always heard that the best way to go thrifting is to:

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