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...]

The Feminine Touch of Gray

Men who go gray gain an air of experience and gravitas — but women who go gray are often seen as “letting themselves go.” Why can’t we go gray too (wonders the girl who first saw gray hairs at age 26)? Today’s guest post from anonymous blogger Siouxsie Law tackles the issue. – Kat

The recent lawsuit filed by a 52-year-old woman who says she was fired over her gray hair makes me wonder whether it is okay to go just a little gray in the corporate world.

There are, of course, some women in the corporate world who have a complete head of stunning silver hair.  This, though, is only occasional.  But what is rarer yet is a woman who is partially gray.

For men it is common.  There are even products designed to let them retain some of the gray to achieve that “distinguished look.” [Read more...]

Is Curly Hair Professional?

Pictured: Curls 1/27/09, originally uploaded to Flickr by dianecordell.Is curly hair professional enough for interviews? Reader R writes in to ask the question, which has come up a ton of times in comments but hasn’t been discussed directly. So let’s talk about it. First, her Q:

I am 23 and interviewing for a new position. I have the suit/shoes/accessories combo set for interviews, but my problem is my hair. I have very curly (shoulder length)hair, which is made more curly because I live in the very hot, humid South. I do have any frizz under control (with a veritable arsenal of hair products), but I have had trouble deciding exactly what to do with my hair on interview. I have worn my hair both straight and curly for interviews in the past, but it takes forever to blow my hair out, and it seems like my potential new bosses should see me the way I will really look when I come to work everyday. What do you think?

This question hits near and dear to my heart because, as I’ve mentioned a few times, the older I get, the curlier/wavier my hair gets. For my $.02: There is nothing unprofessional about curly hair. It looks beautiful, and a lot of strong, professional women I know (whose style I envy!) in fact have long curls. Furthermore, I strongly believe that it takes more time and energy to FIGHT your hair’s natural texture than it does to work with it — time that, frankly, is better spent elsewhere for most women.  (Pictured: Curls 1/27/09, originally uploaded to Flickr by dianecordell.) [Read more...]

Can Long, Platinum Blonde Hair Be Professional?

long blonde hair unprofessional.indexedThis is a perennial question:  is long hair professional?  Reader K wonders:

I’m a law student with upcoming fall recruiting, and want advice for doing my hair for interviews. I have naturally platinum blonde hair (which is long – about 4″ below the shoulder). It makes me look younger than I am, but I don’t want to dye it or cut it short. How do I make it look professional and say, “I am not an airhead” for interviews?

I’m curious what the readers are going to have to say about this one, because we haven’t talked about long hair for the office in a long while, and I don’t think we’ve ever talked about platinum blonde hair.  (Pictured: If you’re not watching HBO’s Game of Thrones yet, I highly recommend it — the first season just ended.) [Read more...]

Coffee Break – Wide Double Headband

France Luxe Wide Double Headband As weather starts to get hotter, you may want to think about putting your hair back (and off your face) in a professional way. I feel like headbands may be making a resurgence of late — and I love these double headbands on sale at France Luxe.  The “sand” color in particular seems like a great basic for women with blond or brunette locks. They were originally $40, and are now marked to $16.90. France Luxe Wide Double Headband

Readers, what are your opinions on headbands?  Do they still scream “Hillary Clinton in the 90s” to you, or are they more fashionable these days for women?
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Coffee Break – Purple Check Elastic Ponytail Holder

I’m always a fan of pretty ponytail holders for those days when you intend to wear your hair back all day. This one walks the line from being really interesting and pretty, but being better priced than a lot of similar things I’ve seen: it’s $6 at Ulta. If only it came in other colors! Purple Check Elastic Ponytail Holder
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