Going-Out Clothes and Young Professionals

Going Out Clothes for Adults | CorporetteOnce you get to grad school, can you stick with your “going out” style from college, or is it time to make some changes? Reader C wonders how to dress for a night out on the town when she’s out with new friends from grad school…

I have a strange request/question. I’ve begun learning all about clothing for work, interviews, etc., and now know the difference between business casual and chic casual. My problem is that during my undergrad, “going out” almost certainly meant tight shirts, tight pants or leggings, and high heels, as well as blow-out hair and smokey eye makeup. Jackets were a never, and cleavage was a must.

I was recently invited to go out with from friends from my new school, and pretty much realized that I don’t know how to dress like a grown woman when I’m doing something super casual with friends, like going out for a few beers or even out dancing. I still want to look the part in some ways (these are, after all, my future colleagues — I don’t want to be remembered as “cleavage girl”), but still dress to have fun.

Please teach me to be a respectable adult, even while I’m supposed to be out having fun.

Great question, and I’m torn between a few thoughts. First: you’re in school; if you’re going out with friends it shouldn’t matter too much. On the flip side, I think it can make an impact on how people remember you, and the bigger the dichotomy between your work or student persona and your “weekend persona,” the more people will remember it.

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The Hunt: Booties for Work

Booties for Fall | 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.

Booties: they’re in one season, out the next — but right now they’re hot. They’re inherently a more casual look than, say, pumps — boots become more and more casual the blockier the heels get, and the more Western-y the details get; a seam or two is on one end of the spectrum, while fringe, buckles, and belts are on the other end. For casual days at the office they can be great with ankle pants (worn with low, hidden socks so your ankles are still exposed), tights and skirts for casual days, or — if hemmed appropriately — trousers or flares. (The bottom of the hem should graze the top of your foot, leaving only about 1/2″ of heel exposed in the back.)  On the weekends, of course, they’re great with all sorts of denim, and the bare-leg-plus-bootie look continues to go strong (but to me that really looks like a weekend look!). I thought I’d round up a few that look great to me — readers, which are your favorite booties this season?  Which are your favorite styles of booties (e.g., pump-booties, stiletto booties, rugged booties, wedge booties) to wear to work — or do you primarily wear them on the weekends?

(Another fun question: we haven’t talked about peep-toe booties in AGES — what’s your feeling about them now? Yea or nay?)

First, some roundups of special interest shoes (unless noted, most links go to Nordstrom, or Zappos):

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Frugal Friday: Boden Wrap Top

Our daily TPS reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

Boden wrap topThere are some crazy sales happening around the web today, probably as stores clear out whatever didn’t sell during Labor Day weekend. In particular, Boden has some great ones going on — the shoes, my goodness, the shoes). As far as work clothes go, though, I’m liking this simple wrap top in a variety of fun prints. Lots of sizes are left (both petite and regular), and it’s marked from $48 down to $30. Huzzah! Boden Wrap Top

Other good sales I’ve noticed: Talbots (nice $13 blouse!), Club Monaco (love this $69 dress for the weekend), and of course the Nordstrom Clearance Sale continues to chug along…

Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected]


Open Thread: Best Work Pants

best work pantsOk, ladies, let’s hear it: which are the best work pants? I’ve seen many readers bemoaning the decline in old favorites like the Banana Republic Sloan and the Gap Perfect Trouser — and other popular pants, like the J.Crew Minnie ankle pant, just aren’t formal enough for more conservative offices. So let’s discuss. First, here’s Reader A’s question:

I have loved the Gap Perfect Trouser pants for work — they are far and away the best fit for my body type (the thighs were roomy enough, I liked the leg opening width, and the short inseam option). However, the quality of these pants has deteriorated in the last couple of years. When I looked online recently, the reviews have dropped a ton as well, with a lot of comments that the fit has changed.
Do you have any suggestions for similar fit of pants? On top of this, I recently had my first baby, so in addition to some body changes, I don’t have as much time to shop for pants now, and online shopping seems like taking a shot in the dark.
Any tips would be appreciated.

Oi. We’ve rounded up washable pants for work recently-ish (March); as I noted in our lightweight pants for summer roundup a few months ago, full-length trousers have been getting harder and harder to find. (The bootcut and flared look is back for denim, though, so hopefully work pants will follow suit shortly!) Some affordable possibilities for you:

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FIFTY Labor Day Sales (and Kat’s 13 Favorites!)

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Big sales have already started — we count fifty noteworthy sales!  Kat’s favorite 13 are in bold. We’ll plan to update the list through the weekend as needed. Check out the list of family-friendly sales over at CorporetteMoms later today, and sign up for the CorporettePlus newsletter if you’d like info on plus-size sales.

  • 6pm.com – Big Labor Day sales on Coach, Asics, UGG, and Calvin Klein.
  • Alexis Bittar – Additional 10% off all sale items.
  • Amazon – Take an extra 20% off already reduced clothing, shoes, and more.
  • Anthropologie – Extra 30% off sale items with code EXTRA30.
  • Ann Taylor – 50% off select full price and all sales styles with code HAPPY50 (through 9/6 at 5pm EST).
  • ASOS – 10% off everything including sale.
  • Bare Necessities – Anniversary Sale: 25% off 1000s of styles with code CHEERS.
  • Barney’s Warehouse – Extra 30% off all clearance, extra 25% off bags and accessories.
  • BCBG – Extra 30% off markdowns.
  • Bergdorf Goodman – 5F Sale: Up to 40% off over 400 new arrivals.
  • Bloomingdale’s – Extra 20% off select sale and clearance items with code BIG20.
  • Bluefly Labor Day Sale: Up to 80% off. Up to an extra 20% off handbags, up to an extra 60% off clothing, clearance dresses $99 and under.
  • Boden – 20% off women’s and men’s clothing until Monday with code 3B4N.
  • Brooks Brothers – Labor Day Final Clearance Event – up to 60% off.
  • Club Monaco – 40% off sale and clearance merchandise with code NOTOVERYET (through 9/7).
  • Cole Haan – Up to 60% off (through 9/7).
  • CUSP – Up to 65% off regular prices.
  • DVF.com – Up to 50% off wear-now styles (through 9/7).
  • eBags – Labor Day Sale: Save up to 70%.
  • Eloquii – 30% off all original ticket items with code STOCKUP (sign up for the CorporettePlus newsletter to get the full list of Labor Day sales for plus sizes!)
  • eShakti – Bestsellers on sale; plus free customization (ends 9/4).
  • Express – Take an additional 40% off already reduced clearance for up to 70% off.
  • Figure 8 Maternity – Get 15% off all Body After Baby products BODYAFTERBABY2015 (see the full list of baby and kids sales at CorporetteMoms!)
  • French Connection – 50% off of all sale items and free shipping with code 50SALE.
  • J.Crew  Online only: 30% off your order of $125+ with code GETSHOPPING.
  • J.Crew Factory  50% off everything (through 9/7).
  • Kate Spade New York – Extra 25% off all sale items with code DELIGHT (through 9/7).
  • Karen Millen – Take a further 20% off reduced items with code LABORDAY.
  • Lands’ End – 30% off regular prices on orders of $150 or more with code LEAF and PIN 9900.
  • Last Call by Neiman Marcus – Extra 30-75% off everything (see Kat’s deal roundup here).
  • The Limited – Up to 60% off full-price items. $10 off every $50 you spend with code BONUS.
  • L.K. Bennett – Extra 40% off all sale styles (through 9/7).
  • Loft – 30% off tons of new fall arrivals, plus extra 50% off 100s of summer sale styles.
  • Lord & Taylor – 20% off regular and sale items and 25% off clearance items with code LABORDAY (through 9/7). 50% off select women’s fall coats, select dresses buy one get one 50% off, select jeans $39.99 and up.
  • Macy’s – Extra 20%, 15% or 10% off with code DEALS. Extra 25% off clearance. 60% off select tops, 30% off select pumps and flats, 70% off all 10 and 14k gold earrings.
  • Madewell – 30% off fall essentials plus an extra 30% off all sale styles with code YESANDYES (through 9/7).
  • Modcloth – Up to 30% off select styles.
  • Nasty Gal – Extra 30% off.
  • Neiman Marcus – Up to 65% off Contemporary/CUSP, dresses, and more.
  • Nine West – Season Finale Sale: Extra 30% off sale. Shop by 9/7 and receive coupon for $25 off $125+ (coupon redeemable 9/14-9/28).
  • Nordstrom – End-of-Summer Clearance Sale: Save up to 40% (through 9/13).
  • The Outnet – Free next-day delivery, plus featured sales on Dolce & Gabbana, Equipment, Helmut Lang, T by Alexander Wang, and neutral cashmere.
  • Ralph Lauren – End of season sale, extra 50% off select styles (prices as marked).
  • Rebecca Taylor – Extra 40% off sale with code LABORDAY40 (through 9/8).
  • Saks Fifth Avenue – Big sales, plus free shipping.
  • Saks Off 5th – Last Chance Labor Day: Up to 70% off everything.
  • Shopbop – Hundreds of new styles added; prices up to 70% off.  (See Kat’s mini roundup here).
  • Talbots – Extra 70% off markdowns, prices up to 80% off.
  • Target – Labor Day Sale, save 25% on clothing, shoes, and accessories, plus an extra 10% off with code LABORDAY.
  • White House | Black Market – Fall favorites 25% off, plus tons of new markdowns.

Deal Alert: Last Call Labor Day Sale

last-call-deal-alertI was going through some emails tonight and saw that the Labor Day sale has already started at Last Call — and I must say it’s pretty great. Lots of good inventory, lots of sizes, from brands like the following: