When Should You Wear Pearls?

1.indexedWhen is the right time to wear pearls?  We’ve talked about how to buy pearls, but Reader C sent in a super short email wondering when to wear them…

One of my favorite jewelry pieces is my strand of Mikimoto pearls that I got for my 30th birthday.  They were an investment piece, and they get so much wear that I’m glad I did invest in a quality piece.  That said, there are a ton of price ranges (and there’s nothing wrong with faux pearls) so there’s something for everyone.  For my $.02, when to wear pearls depends on the kind of pearls we’re talking about: [Read more...]

The Red Dress at the Black Tie Event

1Can you wear a red dress to a professional black tie event?  Reader “Confused in VA” writes in, wondering:

Is it ok to wear a red gown to a professional black tie event? The event will be in the evening with dinner.

Hmmn.  We’ve talked about what not to wear to a black tie event, how to do black tie on a budget, and whether cocktail dresses are appropriate for black tie events — but never what colors are appropriate.  To be honest, my gut reaction here was “If you are the honoree or the hostess of the event, knock yourself out.  Otherwise, step away from the red dress.”  But after some Googling, it seems like a red dress is becoming more and more popular — even Tim Gunn says “absolutely” to bright colors at evening affairs.

Still, for my $.02, I would stick to dresses in muted colors for professional events — a dark plum or an emerald, or a navy — and leave brighter colors to details like your clutch, or your bag.  [Read more...]

Sponsored Post: Go Desk to Dinner with Ann Taylor

With Thanksgiving out of the way, it is officially holiday party season — which means that it’s time to perfect your desk-to-dinner shuffle, if you haven’t already. For me, separates have always been the way to go — that way you don’t have to change your entire wardrobe before you go out after work, and you only need to carry one or two additional pieces with you to the office.  Maybe it’s just me, but separates always feel more “true” to me — more like a “dressed up, sparkly version of me” and less like “Kat’s pretending to be a glamorous jet-setting party-goer!” [Read more...]

The Hunt: Festive Blazers

Sure, 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.

I seem to recall that some readers were dubious about this the last time I posted that a festive blazer was a must-have, but I’m 100% serious here. Velvet is my fabric of choice — the matte fabric is more office-friendly than a metallic blazer, and — should sequins enter the picture, such as the tank I posted this weekend or one of the sequined miniskirts we’re seeing this season — velvet holds up much better than, say, lace.  [Read more...]

How to Do Black Tie on the Cheap

Caparros - Webster (Black/Clear Satin) - Footwear How do you do black tie on a shoestring budget?  Reader J wonders…

I am a law student who will be working at a firm over the summer. I am expected to attend a black tie event, but I don’t know what to wear nor how to find the dress without breaking the bank. I am also hoping to find a dress that is multi-purpose, so that it won’t gather dust in the closet until the next black tie affair comes along.

Congratulations — black tie events can be a lot of fun, and I don’t think we’ve covered them in quite a while (see my advice for what not to wear to a black-tie, as well as how to dress for a black-tie affair at the last minute).  Here are my tips:

[Read more...]

Are Louboutins Appropriate For the Office?

louboutins for workAre Louboutins appropriate for the office with those sexy red soles? Reader J wonders…

What do think about wearing Louboutins in the office? Is the red sole too sexy?? I have a pair of Simple 85s, which are not high at all. They’re conservative, black kid leather, round toe, surprisingly comfy, but they have this in-your-face scarlet sole. I’ll be working at a bank that has a reputation of being somewhat laidback, but I don’t want to make the wrong impression… Help please?

When I was a first year associate I was completely jealous of another first-year associate who had done some serious shopping during her bar trip — LV bags, Hermes scarves, and Louboutin shoes. She had a classic kitten heel Louboutin, with the trademark red sole. This was before Louboutins were quite as “big” as they are today, so the red sole really stood out, and I thought, looked fabulous. So for my $.02, yes, simple Louboutins are appropriate for the office. [Read more...]