How to Play “Closet”

How to Shop Your ClosetHow do you “shop your closet”?  It’s frequent advice from stylists and fashion magazines — but what does it really mean?  I’ve noted before that one of my favorite weekend activities has always been to play “Closet,” meaning much the same.  (Pictured: my closet!) Reader R wonders…

I know you have covered wardrobe basics before, but I have a slightly different question in that vein. I am always intrigued when you mention having spent time in the weekends in the past trying different pieces together. I would like to do that, but feel hopeless in that regard–most of which is probably my own lack of fashion sense, but I also suspect that a lot of my wardrobe pieces don’t actually go together. Outside of having lots of boring black pants and white shirts, how would you suggest building a wardrobe that is both interesting and has lots of different combinations? Are there certain fabrics or colors that are more mix-and-matchable across seasons? Or should one stick to say, subdued blazers and pants but interesting tops? Or is it just a matter of having fun and bold accessories? Thank you!

Playing Closet is, without a doubt, one of my favorite games. It’s a perfect activity for this time of year, when you’re bored of everything in your winter closet but not yet ready to shiver in your spring clothes yet (but, perhaps, are still gearing up for doing a seasonal closet shift). Just a warning: you make quite a mess. Clear a few hours here so you can start AND finish the game by putting stuff away. [Read more…]

How to Look Professional With a Wool Allergy

professional nonwool sweatersWhich are the best sweaters if you suffer from a wool allergy?  Are there any other tricks for looking professional while avoiding wool? Reader P wonders:

Like a lot of people I seem to know, I am allergic to wool. It makes me itch. Even cashmere. Even soft merino wool. Even if the sweater is a mixture with only 5% wool. My question is–where do I find good quality sweaters made of silk, linen, cotton or other non-wool fabrics that are light enough to wear under a blazer or suit jacket in the winter?

We’ve talked about how to look professional in cold weather, but not the allergy question, which is something I’ve gotten a few times over the years — let’s discuss.  I’m curious to hear what the readers would say here. A few suggestions — [Read more…]

The Hunt: Work-Appropriate T-Shirts

The Most Work-Appropriate T-Shirts | CorporetteSure, 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.

We just rounded up demi-camisoles, but I thought we’d take a look at that other versatile layering piece: work-appropriate t-shirts. These are great for days where the temperature is in flux (or the office radiator is on the attack), as well as a way of injecting some color into your wardrobe to mix up the sea of neutral basics. Try them belted, tucked, untucked, or layered (I especially like a simple T under a suit), and remember — if you’re wearing them to work, t-shirts should be in impeccable condition. Readers, which are your favorite work-appropriate tees? Which brands do you buy again and again? How do you distinguish between a lounge-only T and a work T? 

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The Hunt: Demi Camisoles

The Best Demi Camisoles | CorporetteSure, 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’ve always been intrigued when, amidst a discussion of great camisoles or what to layer under wrap dresses, numerous readers have expressed their love for the demi camisole.  There are a number of companies making these things, and the general idea is the same: you get a bit of fabric to raise the neckline of your dress or blouse for modesty, you don’t have to deal with bunchy/extra fabric around your middle, and they can even be a great way to make regular shirts more friendly to nursing/pumping moms.  Some of the brands (such as HalfTee) even make half-shirts with sleeves, which I think would be great beneath silk/cashmere tops to to extend the time between laundering.  I’ve mostly heard of women wearing them on TOP of regular bras, but every woman is different.  I thought I’d round up a few — readers who swear by demi camisoles, which brands are your favorites?  Readers, do you prefer demi- or full camisoles? [Read more…]

Three-Quarter Sleeved Blazers in Winter

How to Wear Three-Quarter-Sleeved Blazers in Winter | CorporetteHow do you wear three-quarter sleeved blazers once winter arrives?  Reader R wonders…

Now that the cooler months are approaching, I have a question about 3/4 length sleeve blazers. I have a belted one that is very warm and work-appropriate, but I never know what sort of shirt to wear under it. (Ditto for many cute blazers I see out there, especially tweed ones.) Is it OK to wear a long-sleeved shirt under a blazer with 3/4 length sleeves? If so, what color/fit guidelines would you recommend? It seems like a waste to have a blazer in a heavier fabric if your wrists and lower arms are going to be exposed to the elements.

Interesting question.  (Pictured above: Rebecca Taylor Raw-Edge Tweed Blazer, on sale at Last Call: was $395, now marked to $126.40 (sizes 4-8 only).) We’ve talked in general about what to wear beneath suit jackets, and how to wear a black blazer as a separate, but we haven’t talked about this.  For my $.02, this is how I’ve always worn them, but I’m curious to see what other ladies are doing: [Read more…]

Sponsored: Winter Layering Fun with Adea

Adea_White_Turtlenck_Banner_250x250_10-22-13Disclosure: this post is sponsored by Adea, but written by your regular friendly blogger Kat Griffin.

We first talked about Adea, a company focused on luxurious layering pieces, back in May — some of the pieces they sent me have become favorites of mine (they really are super lux but easily washed, as I noted last time), so I’m excited to take a second look at Adea and some of their great layering pieces for fall.  As a bonus, they’ve just expanded the size selection for a lot of pieces up to size 3X, which is always great to hear (particularly since a number of readers who were happy with Adea products recommended going up a size (or two) to make the pieces more wearable by themselves, not layered.)

In addition to all of the tanks and camisoles we featured last time (great for under sheer blouses, to raise the neckline of sweaters, and more), these are some of my favorites: [Read more…]