To Try: Work-Appropriate Up-Dos

I don’t know about you, but I end up pulling my hair back a lot in the winter — the frizz, the hat hair, etc., etc. I always used to keep a few bobby-pins and other pretty hair supplies in my office so I could pull it back once I got into work, but I never made it all day in any one up-do because it started to hurt. It even feels weird to write that — your hair hurting you — because I’ve never seen anyone talk about it in magazines, but after an hour or two my head and scalp would start to hurt, and I always seemed to end up with a headache. Probably the longest I’ve ever made it in one updo was while carrying out bridesmaid duties, and I remember vividly getting home each time and ripping out the hundreds and hundreds of bobby pins (or so it seemed) stuck in my hair. Ahhh… relief! (Pictured: A Gibson Roll, from the tutorial by A Cup of Jo.) [Read more...]

On Natural Hair in the Corporate Environment

Can natural, kinky hair be a professional look for women of color? We’ve talked about long hair, blonde hair, even no hair — but we haven’t truly talked about this. Accordingly, I’m thrilled to introduce Patrice Yursik, the blogger behind Afrobella, where natural hair is a regular topic. (It was not so long ago that some women — even fashion magazine editors! — professed that natural hair was a “don’t,” so I’m curious to see what readers say here.) – Kat

Natural Hair in the Corporate Environment || Corporette (guest post by @Afrobella)There are so many things to consider when beginning a new job. Will you be able to live up to expectations at work? What will your new coworkers be like? What should you wear? And what about your hair — how should you wear it to the office? Hair might not seem like an issue worth seriously worrying about, especially if you’re born with naturally straight tresses. However for many women around the world with naturally curly hair, there can be deeper issues at play. You might encounter old fashioned and unfortunate attitudes about office appropriate hairstyles. And if you’re a woman of color who wants to wear your hair as it naturally grows out of your head, things can be even more complicated. (Photo credit: stevendepolo.) [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...]

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...]