Weekend Wednesday: Pajamas

pajamas for grown ups

Pictured: pink chemise / art deco pants / blue jogger pants / green PJ set 

All right, ladies, let’s talk about something near and dear to my heart: pajamas. Do you treat yourself and sleep in luxurious fabrics like silk — or pull our your old college t-shirts and boxers to sleep in? What brands are your favorite, and how have your pajama choices changed over the years?

If you’re curious about MY choices: I’ve alternated between mismatched PJ bottoms and fancier (but not va-va-voom) chemises over the years for regular sleepwear. In my college and law school years I usually wore a yoga top (with a shelf bra) with PJ bottoms from spots like Anthropologie, although I remember getting a ton of PJs from Chico’s because my mother had gotten a gift card and regifted it to me.

A few years ago I discovered the brand Midnight by Carole Hochman, and her chemises seemed to be the perfect mix of all worlds — not too sexy but not too frumpy, comfortable, and machine washable — and for a few years I exclusively wore chemises. (The gorgeous pink one pictured (from Natori) was about my speed — more pretty than sexy, and machine washable.) After my eldest son got to the toddler stage I felt a bit funny running around the apartment in a chemise on the weekend, so I started buying PJ pants again, and now I’m back to those, but worn with a proper t-shirt and sleep bra.

Here’s another question: do you buy t-shirts just to sleep in, or do you just wear old ones? I feel like Marie Kondo would slap my hand, but I can’t bring myself to pay money for a t-shirt to sleep in when I have so many old ones with holes or other fit problems. I have one matched PJ set for when we stay over at my in-laws, similar to the green one pictured above, but I feel odd wearing it, like I’m pretending to be someone else.

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The Hunt: Stylish Comfort Heels

comfortable heels for workSure, we all know what basics professional women are supposed to have in their closets, but if you’re buying one for the first time or replacing one you’ve worn into the ground, it can be a pain to find exactly the right incarnation in stores. In “The Hunt,” we search the stores for a basic item that every woman should have.

One of our top pages of all time is our regularly updated Guide to Comfortable Heels — and while that guide includes brands outside of those that bill themselves as “comfort” brands, sometimes you just really want a heel that is built like a sneaker, whether for commuting, for long days on your feet, or for general foot problems.  Finding stylish “comfort” heels can be a challenge, though, so I thought we’d round some up.

comfort heels under $100 Aerosoles are known for having affordable comfortable shoes, and these 3″ heels have 24 5-star reviews over at Zappos.  They incorporate Heel Rest, a “technology designed to distribute your body weight toward your heel, and away from the ball of your foot.”  They’re available in four colors in sizes 5-12 in regular and wide sizes. Another highly rated shoe from this brand: the Domino dress pump — sold out in all colors except navy at Zappos, but Amazon still has it in black and red for $46-$77. Pictured, for $79:  Aerosoles Dolled Up
stylish comfort heelsWe’ve featured this shoe a ton over the years (and it’s got a zillion great reviews on both Nordstrom and Zappos), but I’ve never noticed it in any colors but the neutral ones — I’m excited to say it now comes in NINE colors over at Nordstrom, all for $98. Corso Como Del
comfort heels for workEven though this platform is higher than what I usually recommend for work (they’re .75″ and I usually recommend no higher than .5″), I think these shoes look great for work.  They use a Cushion Plus™ technology to ensure “feet are comfy withe very step,” and though they only have 3 reviews, they’re all five stars. They’re available in black suede and patent, as well as this lovely plum suede, for $110 at Zappos. (These are from Clarks’ Narrative Collection; note that lots of ladies have also loved the Artisan collection over the years — if you have a strong preference for Artisan you may want to check out these pumps.) Pictured: Clarks Kendra Sienna
comfortable heels for workOK. I didn’t intend to feature quite so many purple pumps today, but I’m excited about these heels too: the Rockport Total Motion pump has been around for years and is highly rated over at Nordstrom — and now it comes in this lovely burgundy snake print leather (also in a black snake print as well as a ton of solid neutral colors). The shoe is $119-$128 at Nordstrom and Zappos.  Rockport Total Motion Pointy Toe Pump 
comfort heels cole haanWe’ve drooled over these Cole Haan pumps before, but it’s nice to see the ten solid reviews they have over at Nordstrom. Even better: they’re on sale! The shoes were $250, but are now marked to $159. (Amazon has more colors, some sizes and colors marked as low as $103.) Cole Haan ‘Highline’ Half d’Orsay Pump
minimalist comfort heelsI originally dismissed Eileen Fisher shoes as just another licensed brand name, but their shoes are worth noting if you’re looking for comfortable, minimalist styles. I like these architectural block pumps, which feel really modern.  They’re available in black and gray for $210. (Another modern heel in this price range: these well-reviewed pumps from Paul Green.) Pictured: Eileen Fisher ‘Hawk’ Block Heel Pump

Ladies, when you’re looking for a comfort heel, where do you start the search? Have you bought any amazing, comfortable, stylish heels lately? 

 

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Workhorses for Your Working Wardrobe

working wardrobe workhorsesLadies, what are the workhorses in your working wardrobe? Are there any surprises in there — things that you reach for a ton more than you thought you would when you bought them? On the flip side, which were the wardrobe disappointments — the things you thought you’d wear a ton but found aren’t that versatile? (Are there any suiting pieces in the mix on either side, either bought as separates or as a suit set?)

When we last discussed surprise basics for workwear, I called out my love of colorful purses, olive-colored pants, a good watch, and nice pearls as things that I was surprised to find myself wearing a ton. (I’ve had good luck with dark olive pants, like the ones pictured, as well as lighter olives with more brown in them. I’d wear the pictured pants with neutrals like black, white, navy, gray (as well as with cobalt); pastels like peach/pink, lavender, or French blue; dark eggplant, or even limited pops of red or orange.) I’ve also written of other things that are outside the usual “must have” lists, including very light gray pants instead of summer whites, velvet blazers for festive in-office holiday luncheshuggie earrings, light blue blazers, and purple pumps. It also came up a bit with our discussion of light blue suits, with lots of readers noting that they often wear a pair of colorful blue trousers or a colorful blue blazer (but not together).

(Pictured above: shoes / pants / earrings)

In our last discussion, some of the items the readers noted they loved included:

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The Best Beauty Advice You’ve Ever Heard

The Best Beauty Advice You've Ever HeardLadies — what’s the best beauty advice you’ve ever heard? What advice has changed your routine, and what tips do you always follow? For my $.02, here’s the beauty advice that I think of most often:

  • Put real sunscreen on your face, neck, clavicle/chest, and hands as often as possible. The skin there is far thinner than the skin elsewhere on your body. (By “real sunscreen” I mean like SPF 50 — not the “moisturizer-with-SPF-15-added” stuff I used for years!)
  • Visine gets the red out — whether your face is blotchy from crying at a inopportune time, or you’ve got a pimple that’s bumming you out.
  • Some products are best applied at night — from skin products to dry shampoo to deodorants, and more!
  • Don’t wash your hair too often. Maybe your hair only needs conditioner rather than shampoo. Maybe you only need to wash the front of your hair or your bangs. (This is also handy if you’re trying to fit in a lunch workout!)
  • If you always wear your hair curly, go all in and get a “curly cut” — this often means getting tons of short little layers so your curls can do what they want. (There are tons of posts on this around the web — here are a few.) The con that I learned the hard way: It’s often difficult to get a blowout if you have a curly cut, and possibly even to pull your hair back if you’re going for a run or something. So if you’re like me and you have curly hair but get blowouts for anything important, just stick with a “straight hair” cut. (Here’s our older post on how to make a blowout last for days.) (Just to be 100% clear, there’s nothing unprofessional about curly hair or anything wrong with it, and that goes for natural hair too; my own curl pattern is just really uneven, and there’s a straight bottom layer for some reason, so my personal preference is to wear my hair straight.)

Pictured: Pixabay

Best Beauty Advice for busy women

Fashion Startups To Know, Part Two: 25 Brands Making Bags and Shoes for Work

independent shoes and bags for workA while back we rounded up thirty workwear brands you probably hadn’t heard of, focusing on smaller, startup fashion companies serving up new, interesting clothes for working women. Shoes for work and bags for work (laptop totes and beyond) became such a huge portion of it we thought we’d save it for its own post — and here it is! Below: meet 25 companies on our radar catering to the market of working women. Ladies, do you prefer to buy from independent retailers, or do you just like to see what kind of products they’re imagining? Have you tried any of these brands? Do you know of any others that should be on our radar?

Independent Brands Making Shoes for Work

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The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale ends SUNDAY!

final 3 days of NAS saleDeal alert, ladies: it’s the final three days of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale — after Sunday, all of the new fall merchandise currently marked down will go back up to full price. There’s still a ton of good stuff left , but even now it’s flying off the shelves. (WAAAH to the leatherish jacket I added to my cart last night at like 1 AM and was sold out in my size by 10 AM this morning.) We’ve already rounded up workwear in the sale, NAS shoes, and last week we took a deep dive at the highest rated items for work and play since customer reviews weren’t available in the early days. I thought I’d take a quick swing through the sale today to see what else is sticking out to me now — I’m still seeing new things.  Note that all of these have a TON of sizes left, and that reader favorite brands for workwear like Boss, Classiques Entier, Theory and Halogen have lots of stuff left, including full suits.

For the Office

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