The Next Step: Shoes

How to Upgrade Your Shoe Collection | CorporetteWe’ve talked about upgrading your work clothes, buying better bags and grown-up furniture — but we haven’t yet talked about different tiers for shoes.  (Of course, we’ve talked in the past about comfortable heels, classic flats, which brands of shoes we love, which brands just don’t work for us, and even about how to find shoes for fussy feet.) I’m mostly grouping these by price, and only including brands that either I or the readers have noted as comfortable shoes — there are obviously a ton of brands that look pretty.  As with the other posts in this Next Step series, this is more of a continuum than a definitive ranking — do you agree with the shoe continuum? Are we missing any major brands?  Without further ado…

Bucket 1: Budget Shoes

(generally under $75, either with their MSRP or a frequently-on-sale price)

Bucket 2: Midlevel Shoes (Trendy)

(mostly known for style, but also reportedly comfortable) [Read more…]

Wearing Thigh-High Stockings at Work

thigh high stockingsWhat if you like your legs covered when you wear skirts — or your office dress code doesn’t allow bare legs — but you don’t like wearing full pantyhose or tights? Are thigh-high stockings acceptable to wear to work? Are some more appropriate than others? Reader N wonders…

I was wondering if you might consider doing a post on thigh high pantyhose that are functional and work appropriate. I hate the feeling of full pantyhose, but can’t go without, so I want to try thigh highs but have no idea where to start. Thanks!

Great question! We’ve talked about how to care for pantyhose, whether you should wear them in the summer, how many workplaces still require them, the appropriateness of fishnets at the office, rounded up everyone’s favorite lingerie brands, but not this. (Blast from the past: this 20-year-old Chicago Tribune fashion Q-and-A actually recommends layering opaque tights under thigh-highs.)  I’m going to apologize in advance for the sure-to-be-interesting AdSense ads that will follow us all around the interwebs, but I do think this is an important and legitimate question for working women — I’ve had a number of friends who preferred thigh-highs for hygiene, comfort, or other reasons, and there’s no reason they should be stigmatized.

The good news: it seems like there’s a HUGE variety to choose from out right now, in part (perhaps) because over-the-knee boots are so popular. Thus, we’re seeing a ton of “over the knee” socks and tights. Some of the bestsellers that I’m seeing: [Read more…]

Beauty Wednesday: What’s Overrated?

Overrated (But Classic) Beauty Products -- and What's Worth It | CorporetteIn the wake of all the makeup sales lately, I’ve been perusing the “best seller” lists, and am continually surprised to see some of the listed products because I’ve tried them and been underwhelmed. I thought today it might be fun to discuss classic beauty products — what’s worth the hype, and which beauty products are overrated? For your review, Sephora has a list of best sellers as well as a list from Allure’s Best Beauty Products of 2014, has another list of Award Winning Beauty; and Ulta has a list of their fan favorites.

My list of the overrated beauty products includes:

  • Diorshow — Meh. I briefly liked Benefit’s They’re Real!, but am still on the hunt for a good mascara.  I’m keeping my eyes peeled for a mascara gift set for the season so I can try a bunch.
  • NARS Lip Pencil – I have this in a dark mauve and I hate the way it wears.  I’m ok with Clinique’s Chubby Sticks, but I’m always baffled when I see this one on best-of lists. (Note that Sephora has a limited edition Chubby Colour lip set for $25 with four shades.)
  • Naked Palette.  I WANT TO LIKE THIS SO BADLY!  It just seems like a lot of blah to me.  Even for daily, low-key makeup, I reach for a million other things first.
  • Benefit’s High Beam – meh.  I do really like the eyebrow highlighter pencil in a very similar shade, though.  In general, I prefer Nars the Multiple to add a bit of shimmer to my cheeks before I head out for the evening.  I had a gold highlighter from Josie Maran (which they don’t seem to make anymore) that I loved, and was excited to see Benefit come out with a similar gold highlighter, but after watching the video it looks like it isn’t intended for my pale skin at all.  I’ll still try it the next time I’m in a store, though…
  • Benefit’s Benetint – I feel like I’ve been trying to like this one for 20+ years.  Meh.
  • Tarte cheek stains — in fairness, I’ve never owned one of these, but I’ve tried them on in the store a zillion times.  They just don’t look like anything on me.

My list of classic beauty products worth the hype:

[Read more…]

How to Handle Stains — At Work

How to Remove Stains -- at Work | CorporetteWhat’s the best way to deal with stains you get while at work — should you remove the stain, hide it, or leave it be entirely? Reader L wonders about a stain she got on a sheath dress:

Yesterday I was wearing my absolute favorite dress, a black and white colorblock Theory sheath, and at lunch I got a tiny spot of balsamic vinegar on it. Out came the Tide pen, but then that left a large light brown blotch. So I headed to the bathroom and tried to rinse that out…what turned out as a little spot ended in a huge off-white wet spot over my boob, right before I had to give a presentation. Help! What’s the best way to get rid of stains during the day?

Interesting! We’ve talked about how to remove deodorant marks from suiting (as well as our general suit cleaning guide), but not this. I have a few thoughts here: [Read more…]

Happy Veterans’ Day! 44 Sales (and Kat’s Top 13)

sales175 punyTomorrow is Veterans Day, and so a lot of stores are celebrating by offering some steep discounts.  Here’s the current state of affairs — stay tuned for updates. (Are we missing any that you guys know about?) 

  • – Up to 60% off coats, outdoor boots; up to 70% off Cole Haan, slip-on shoes, “Euro comfort & style” shoes.
  • Amazon - Use code 20OFFVET to take 20% off select clothing, shoes, jewelry, watches, and luggage.  (Here’s a general sale link, but note that once you choose a department you can sort by percentage off, Prime eligiblity, brand, and more.)
  • Ann Taylor – Extra 60% off all sale styles.
  • Anne Klein – 40% off sale styles.
  • Anthropologie – 20% off all sweaters.
  • ASOS – $10 off $100, $25 off $150, $40 off $200 with codes 10OFF100, 25OFF150, 40OFF200.
  • Banana Republic – 40% off your purchase with code BRGOOD.
  • Bare Necessities – Buy 2 bras get 1 free, buy 3 panties get 1 free, shoes 25-40% off.
  • Barneys Warehouse – Extra 40% off all clearance styles, and extra 30% off all women’s shoes, accessories, and jewelry.
  • Bloomingdale’s – 20% off selected items.
  • Bluefly – Designer shoe sale: save up to $500, up to 25% off home, Cyber Monday preview deals.
  • Boden – 25% off everything plus free shipping and returns with code 8A8C.
  • Brooks Brothers – 25% off all in-store purchases, save up to 70% on select clearance (here’s our sale roundup).
  • CUSP – Up to 60% off regular prices.
  • C. Wonder – Extra 25% off sale + free shipping over $100.
  • Dorothy Perkins – Mid-season sale.
  • – Up to 50% off.
  • eBags – Extra 15% off entire purchase with code COMJVETS.
  • Eloquii – 40% off entire purchase with code WOW40.
  • eShakti – 40% off regular prices (with purchase of at least $50).
  • Express – Up to 50% off everything. $25 off $100 with code 1476.
  • Henri Bendel – $50 off $250 full-price purchase with code OURGIFTTOYOU.
  • Hugo Boss –  Up to 50% off.
  • J.Crew - 25% off fall favorites plus extra 30% off fall sale styles with code GETWARM.
  • J.Crew Factory – Extra 30% off everything with code EXTRA30.
  • Jones New York – $50 off $200, $100 off $300.
  • Kate Spade – 20% off select items plus free 2-day shipping.
  • Kohls – $10 off $25 purchase with code VETSDAY10 plus Veterans’ Day Doorbusters.
  • Lands’ End – Friends & Family Sale: 30% off your order with code FAMILY and PIN 1800.
  • Last Call - Extra 20-40% everything plus additional 10% off on top of sale with code SALUTE10.
  • The Limited – Extra 40% off sale items (online only), plus 40% off new dresses and selected tops for fall,  extra 25% off your $100 purchase with code NIGHT.
  • L.K. Bennett – Up to 30% off select items.
  • LOFT – Jeans and pants 20% off, extra 40% off sale styles.
  • Lord & Taylor – 15% off with code VETSDAY, 20% off with Lord & Taylor card.
  • Macy’s – Extra 10-20% off with code VETS or $10 off $25 purchase (select departments) with code VETS25.
  • Neiman Marcus – Extra 30% off online clearance.
  • New York & Company – Everything — buy one get one 50% off (except clearance). $90 off $180 purchase with code 4014 or $60 off $130 with code 4013.
  • Nine West – 30-50% off select fall styles.
  • Nordstrom – Clearance Sale — save up to 40%. See Kat’s picks for clothing and shoes, coats, and lingerie. N.B.: Nordstrom price matches.
  • The Outnet – Up to 65% off party dresses and statement sweaters, up to 60% off 3.1 Phillip Lim, up to 55% off McQ by Alexander McQueen, extra 30% off trophy pieces.
  • Piperlime – Extra 30% off sale items and 40% off final-sale items with code EXTRAEXTRA.
  • Saks – Up to 40% off designer collections, free shipping and free returns with code HOLIDAY.
  • – 15% off sitewide plus free shipping with code SHOES15.
  • Talbots – 25% off all regularly priced tops.

Deal Alert: Brooks Brothers 70% Off Online Sale

Brooks Brothers Veterans Day Sale 2014Brooks Brothers has started their Veterans Day Sale early and is offering up to 70% off prices through November 11 — exclusively online. Their higher end line, Black Fleece is also marked up to 50% off, and there are some great deals to be had in the contemporary/fun line, Red Fleece (lots below $50).  There are a ton of great buys, so I thought I’d make a few notes:

Brooks Brothers sale