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The Best Online Glasses Stores for Women

online-eyeglass-shops-for-womenA reader wrote in the other day asking me to update our post on how to buy eyeglasses online — I’m still buying them (a pair or three every two years, approximately), so I thought we’d talk about the best online glasses stores for women because finding cute eyeglasses for women — online — can be difficult. As a reminder, these extremely affordable options can be great if you’re the kind of person who likes to change eyeglasses frequently like other accessories, if you’re looking for a back-up set to keep at your office, or if you’ve got a situation where someone keeps losing them, destroying them, or more. (I started buying online after my first son destroyed two pairs of eyeglasses…) Note also that if you have flexible spending dollars to spend before the end of the year, many of these will qualify, so now is a great time to buy.

I’ve bought from GlassesUSA most recently, but there are a lot of other great places to try out…

Some general tips for buying women’s eyeglasses online:

  • If you have a pair of old eyeglasses you love, measure the frames, nosebridge, and more — and take a picture of your eyeglasses (and you in them) so you can save it in your files. I regularly compare the measurements of old eyeglasses to new ones I’m considering.
  • I find it easiest to winnow down the selection if I’m looking for one particular color, so I almost always sort by blue — for you that may be clear, tortoise, or something else.
  • When in doubt, pay for a thinner lens.
  • Unfortunately, most prescription sunglasses can’t get a really dark tint — I still love them. I started buying them back in my contact days so I could go for a run in the morning without putting my contacts in before my shower; now that I wear eyeglasses 90% of the time, I’m thankful to have more stylish sunglasses that I can also see out of.
  • I tend to save any relevant pictures and measurements into one folder on my desktop– if I take pictures of home try-on glasses, if I save the “virtual try-on picture,” etc — and then I can flip through all of them at once on my computer.
  • Note the return policy carefully – most stores have really excellent return policies, just check before you buy.
  • Consider recycling your old eyeglasses when you’re happy with your new ones.

Some of the companies we covered in our first round-up are still around, and we won’t go into them too much today:

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The Nordstrom Fall Clearance Sale

nordstrom-fall-clearance-sale-picks-for-workOooh: I’ve been shopping the Nordstrom Fall Clearance Sale all day, picking the best workwear for you guys — and there are some great deals in there. The selection is great among the usual suspects like Classiques Entier, HalogenFrench Connection, Vince CamutoAdrianna Papell (try this dress, this dress, this dress, or this dress). On the higher end, check out the sale selection from Ted Baker London, Vince, Equipment, and Theory (especially this lucky size L dress).

On the weekend side of things, there’s a great selection of denim like J Brand, AG, and Paige, workout duds like Zella and big savings on underpinnings like Natori, Chantelle, and Hanky Panky.

Some particular workwear favorites from the Nordstrom Fall Clearance sale, below…


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The Hunt: Tights for Work

the-best-tights-for-workSure, 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.

As cold weather sets in, I thought we’d do a roundup of some of the best tights for work out there. Ladies, which are your favorites — which are your favorite everyday tights, your favorite superwarm tights, favorite opaque tights, and favorite shaping tights? For me, my favorites for everyday are my Spanx shaping tights, for warmth, my fleece tights from Plush, and for opacity — which is lower on the list for me than comfort and durability, but I know is key for a lot of other women — are my Commando tights. I can’t wait to hear what your favorites are!

First, some general categories — and do note that we’ve talked in the past about how to care for tights, as well as hunted for the best thigh-high stockings for work.


Above: a few Hall of Famers, pictured: one / two / three / four

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How to Buy Suit Separates

How to Buy Suit SeparatesI’ve always said that suiting separates are far, far more flattering and versatile than discount bin suits (you know the ones, sold on the same hanger with a single size, some for very inexpensive prices) and we’ve seen an explosion in recent years with a TON of options for suiting separates.  Jacket, skirt, and pants, sure — but there may also be multiple jackets with cuts, buttons, and collars, ankle pants as well as trousers, a matching sheath dress or vest — I’ve even seen short shorts. So let’s discuss, ladies: how do YOU buy suit separates? Which pieces are your favorites to buy first (pencil skirt and collared jacket? ankle pants or trouser pants)?  Do you buy as many pieces as you can afford and dry clean all your suit pieces together so they wear the same, or are you open to “sale stalking” pieces from a matched suiting set, ready to swoop in if they go on sale? If you fluctuate between sizes, do you often buy two different sizes to keep in your closet and pull out the day of?

UPDATE: Ah, I’m seeing from the comments I’ve been unclear, so let’s set up a hypothetical. You need a new suit and go to a store like Talbots and find a beautiful suit on the mannequin — you love the color, the fabric, and hey, you need a new suit. You ask the clerk and she tells you there’s a pair of trousers, a pair of ankle pants, a sheath dress, a pencil skirt, a flared skirt, a collared jacket, a collarless jacket, a duster vest, a fitted vest, a pair of Bermuda shorts — all in that beautiful fabric and, wow, they all fit you perfectly. (Hey, it’s a hypothetical.) Do you buy ALL of those pieces at once? If you decide to only buy three pieces (say, pencil skirt, trousers, collared blazer), do you stalk the others to wait until they go on sale? (If you later saw one of the pieces on deep, deep discount — like the Bermuda shorts — would you buy them if only because you already had other matching pieces? Or at a certain point do you say NAH, I’m good, I have enough matching pieces for that suit.) If you buy three or four pieces and it becomes your favorite suit, would you ever go back to buy other matching pieces?

(Pictured: just a few of the suiting options that Theory has offered over the years — I’ll try to update the post later when I’m not having tech troubles to show some of the other great examples for suits with a thousand matching pieces.)


Weekend Open Thread

basics-in-the-nordstrom-saleSomething on your mind? Chat about it here.

Ladies, as I mentioned earlier, the Nordstrom sale is good. I did a fuller roundup for workwear earlier in the week, but I thought I’d mention some great weekend basics I just spied in the sale: tons of Splendid tops, 15-25% percent off. Not a huge sale, admittedly, but these shirts are some of my favorites for the weekend, and they’ve been on every “best of” list for the past thousand years — they’re soft, they wash well, and they last.  Pictured here: the deep V neck, the turtleneck (the thin jersey turtleneck is a growing trend — if you don’t have one I’d suggest picking one up!) and a simple white tee.  They’re $34 to $43, at Nordstrom.

Happy weekend! As you may know it’s Columbus Day weekend, which means a lot of sales — some noteworthy ones we’ve seen include:


Deal Alert: The Nordstrom Sale is Gooooooodd

nordstrom-saleI saw that this blue DvF dress was marked down a few days ago, and have meant to mention it on the blog — we all drooled over it when it was $398; it’s now $160 and has all sizes 0-14 left. But then I dug deeper — and there are a ton of great things in the sale section! I’ve rounded up some other favorites below, but some quick hits for you:

Kat’s Favorite Classiques Entier Sale Items

There are a ton of things in the sale from Classiques Entier — these are my favorites, all priced between $92 and $179.


black dress /gray suit pants (matching jacket) / plaid merino pullover / olive/black dress

Hugo Boss Picks in the Nordstrom Sale

There are tons of great Hugo Boss picks (some of these are down to Classiques prices, honestly! — these range in price from $77 to $375 for the suiting blazer) — some of my favorites include:

twist blouse / gray dress (matching jacket & pants) / blue dress (similar) / suit (in blue and gray!)


Nordstrom Sale Picks Under $50

There are a TON of affordable options — all of these items (below) are under $50 and have lots of sizes left (and readers LOVE that cardigan).

taupey blouse / red sweater / wrap blouse / tweed jacket

Ladies, have you gotten any crazy deals at Nordstrom lately? (I know one reader was just extolling the virtues of their return/price adjustment policy!) Anything you have your eye on, hoping it goes on sale?