The Hunt: Interview Suits

Stylish Interview SuitsSure, 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.

It’s almost time for thousands of law students and MBA students around the planet: interview week! We of course have the Guide to Women’s Suits for general advice, and we pick an interesting women’s suit once a week — but we haven’t rounded up interview suits in a while (charcoal suits in 2013, navy suits in 2012). There are, of course, a few Hall of Famers to note in this category:  Banana Republic’s lightweight wool suiting, Ann Taylor’s triacetate suiting, J.Crew’s Super 120s suiting,  Theory’s stretch wool suiting — in addition to those classics, below are the first six suits I’d try if I were looking to buy a classic, basic interview suit in today’s market.

Readers, do you have any favorite suits that are classic enough for interviewing? What’s your favorite budget suiting line — and your favorite splurge suiting line?

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Nordstrom Anniversary Sale – Kat’s Picks

nordstrom anniversary sale workwear picksI normally don’t blog the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale until it opens to the general public — but this year, with the 8-day head start for Rewards card members, I wonder if anything is going to be left!  (Plus, as I found out yesterday, it’s super easy to apply for/get a Rewards card, and there’s no real reason to wait to do it. No annual fee, either.) So I thought I’d pick some favorites from the sale NOW. If you’re not familiar with the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, this is a sale on NEW merchandise, not old leftovers from last season. Prices will go back up to normal prices on August 4, when the sale ends. Please note that you can only purchase (or see) these sale items if you have a Rewards credit/debit card and you are logged in to your account. Without further ado…

Bags: I’m seeing good representation from Brahmin, Kate Spade, Longchamp (including numerous colors for the expandable Pliage tote), Marc by Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors (including the reader favorite, the Jet Set line of totes), Rebecca Minkoff (including a ton of basic black bags and reader favorite M.A.B. tote), Tory Burch and Vince Camuto

Shoes: There’s a ton of great choices from Stuart Weitzman!  There is also a good selection from a number of brands in our Guide to Comfortable Heels, including Attilio Giusti Leombruni, Børn, Cole Haan, Enzo Angiolini, Ivanka Trump, and Tory Burch.

General Clothes Notes: Lots of choices from Burberry, Classiques Entier, Diane von Furstenberg, Eliza J, Halogen (including reader favorite, The Skirt), Joie, Karen Kane, and St John.

Lingerie: There’s a good selection from Chantelle, Commando, Hanky Panky, Natori, reader favorite Shimera camisoles, Spanx, Wacoal, and Yummie by Heather Thomson. There are also some online-only deals like a 6-pack of Cosabella thongs for $80 (normally $120).

Denim: There’s a good selection from 7 for All Mankind, Hudson Jeans, J Brand, Jag Jeans (including reader comfy favorite, the pull-on jeans), KUT from the Kloth, NYDJ, and Paige Denim.

Anyway — here are a few specific choices — if you hover over the item you’ll get details like brand, price, etc. They’re in order of least expensive (at $32) to most expensive (at, er, $839). [Read more...]

Professional Image, Outfit “Compliments,” and Confidence at Any Size

Self-Confidence | CorporetteWhen you get an unexpected comment on an outfit, does it make you question bigger things, like your judgment? Do plus-sized women need to be particularly wary of such office outfit comments? We’ve talked about when you can tell interns their outfits are inappropriate, and how to react when your male boss tells you you “dress too well,” but we haven’t really talked about a casual comment from a friendly coworker. A big welcome back to today’s guest poster, my old friend Kathryn Rubino, who’s written previously about the perfect plus-sized blazer and DIY options for gaping blouses. – Kat. (And I’m sure she looked FABULOUS in the blouse she’s talking about.)

“What a great top — I mean, I could never wear it, but it looks great on you!”

I heard those words and my blood ran cold, and I stuck a smile on my face and mumbled my thanks. Was this a genuine compliment or was I the victim of workplace shade?  Disturbing though it may be, most professional women have dealt with this sort of thing (Kat has even written about the back-handed compliment phenomenon before). But it is such a ubiquitous problem that for my guest post I wanted to discuss that moment that has you questioning every fashion decision you’ve ever made.

First, a little background  this is a workplace where jeans are appropriate on more than just Fridays. The general guidance is that you shouldn’t look “sloppy” but there is quite a range that is considered perfectly acceptable office wear.

Second, I felt great in the outfit. You know how some looks just put a little bounce in your step? That was this outfit. Yes, the shirt was a bold pattern (shades of taupe mixed with a bright yellow and pink), but I had it paired with a dark rinse jean, a reliable black stretch blazer, and nude wedges. So there wasn’t a lot of the pattern showing, just enough to make me feel like spring had really sprung after this interminable winter.

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Happy Fourth of July! 61 Sales (and Kat’s Top 17)!

sales175 punyHappy Fourth of July! May everyone have a long weekend free from work (or at least mostly free), and may everyone get a chance to enjoy some of the great sales going on! We’ve rounded up 66 sales (count ‘em, sixty-six sales!) — the ones that Kat would check first are in bold. Updates are in red.

If you want even MORE sales, check out the roundup for maternity, kids’, and baby gear over at CorporetteMoms!

  • Aldo – Additional 30% off selected sale items.
  • Anne Klein – Additional 40% off sale styles.
  • Anthropologie – Extra 20% off sale items with code BUZZ20.
  • Ann Taylor – Semi-Annual Sale: extra 50% off all sale styles; 40% off full-price shorts, cropped pants, jewelry, and shoes. 
  • ASOS - 20% off regularly priced items with code PARTYINTHEUSA. Up to 50% off other select styles.
  • Banana Republic – 40% off with code BRJULY.
  • Barneys – Up to 60% off regular prices on select clothing, shoes, and accessories.
  • BaubleBar – $10 off orders of $30+ (Need an invite? Click here.)
  • Bergdorf Goodman – 5F sale — additional 20% off previously reduced ready-to-wear, shoes, and handbags.
  • Bloomingdale’s - 20-65% off select styles.
  • BlueflyToday (7/4) only, additional 30-50% off.
  • Brooks Brothers – Semi-Annual Sale: Up to 50% off.
  • Canvas - 40% off 2 regularly price items with code FIREWORKS and pin 7006.
  • Club Monaco – 30% off sale styles and 50% off clearance with code MIDSUMMER.
  • Cole Haan – Additional 30% off sale items with code AMERICA.
  • CUSP by Neiman Marcus - Extra 25% off sale styles.
  • C.Wonder – Semi-Annual Big Wonder Sale, now up to 70% off.
  • DvF – Additional 40% off sale items with code JULY40.
  • eBags – Up to 65% off.
  • eShakti – Buy 2 get 1 free (extended through 7/15).
  • Eddie BauerEverything on sale: up to 60% off.
  • Express$20 off $60; $40 off $120; $80 off $240 with code 9238.
  • French Connection – Up to 60% off sale styles plus free shipping with code S14SHIP.
  • Henri Bendel – 50% off select items.
  • Intermix – Additional 40% off sale items.
  • J.Crew – 40% off final-sale styles with code SHOPMORE.
  • James Perse – Up to 65% off with code SUMMERFREE2014.
  • Johnston & Murphy - Up to 50% off on select styles.
  • Jones New York – Semi-Annual Sale: additional 50% off sale styles (through 7/4 only).
  • Karen Millen – Additional 20% off with code KMJULY04.
  • Kate Spade Additional 25% off all sale styles with code MORESALE.
  • Kate Spade Saturday - Extra 25% off all sale styles with code INSTANT25.
  • Kirna Zabête – Up to 70% off.
  • L.K. Bennett - 30% off all sale styles with code ID30.
  • Lacoste - Up to 50% off select styles.
  • Last Call by Neiman Marcus – Extra 30-60% off everything.
  • The Limited – 50% off everything, including sale items.
  • LOFT60% off select new styles; additional 60% off sale styles.
  • Lord & Taylor – Take an extra 15% off sale & clearance items, plus another 10% off with your L&T card with code JULY4.
  • Macy’s - Extra 20% off select styles with code FOURTH.
  • Nasty GalUp to 80% off.
  • Naturalizer – Up to 50% off plus additional 20% off all sale items with code CLEARANCE20WEB.
  • Neiman Marcus – Additional 25% off select sale items. 7/4 only (online): additional 35% select sale items.
  • Net-a-Porter - Extra 20% off sale styles with code SALE20.
  • Nordstrom – Up to 65% off.
  • The OutnetAdditional 30% off select styles.
  • Payless Shoes – 2 for $20 on select styles.
  • Pendleton – Up to 60% off.
  • Piperlime – Up to 50% off 150+ summer styles. 25% off your purchase with code SHOPFAST (by noon on 7/4).
  • Pottery Barn – Save up to 60% off on hundreds of items through 7/6.
  • Rebecca Taylor – Extra 40% off all sale styles with code RT14JULY40.
  • Reiss – Up to 50% off.
  • Rockport – Up to 50% off.
  • Saks - Up to 70% off select styles.
  • ShopBop – Up to 70% off hundreds of styles.
  • Spanx – Sale-ebrate Thindependence Day, enjoy up to 50% off select styles.
  • Splendid – Up to 40% off select styles; additional 10% off your purchase (sale and full-price merchandise) with code TAKE10.
  • Talbots - Red Hanger Sale, extra 40% off markdowns, now up to 60% off.
  • Ted Baker - Sale — Final reductions, up to 50% off.
  • Theory - Sale, up to 60% off.
  • Thomas Pink - Further reductions sale, now up to 50% off.
  • Topshop - 30% discount on select summer lines.
  • Tory Burch - Summer Event, up to 30% off with code SUMMER14.
  • Stuart Weitzman - Up to 40% off your SS14 favorites.
  • White House | Black Market - Summer Sale! 40% off select styles.
  • Zappos: 4th of July Clearance: swimwear, dresses, shorts, and more.

The Hunt: Low Heels

Six Low, Cute and Comfortable Heels | 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.

Low heels that are feminine and cute can be difficult to find!  We’ve looked before (in 2012 and 2013), and there are two Hall-of-Famers that I can think of:  Stuart Weitzman Poco and the Cole Haan Juliana 45 (2″, $90-$160).  In addition to those few, we’ve rounded up six other heels (below) that are currently on the market and all under 2.25″ — most are under $100.  Readers, what is your favorite heel height? Have you gotten any great low heels recently?  Can you think of any other “hall of famers”? 


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Guest Post: Stylish Work Bags

best work bagsWork bags: we’ve talked about bags for summer associatesinterview totessuitcases for overnight business tripsmessenger bags, and how much we end up spending on them all. In today’s guest post, Jean from Extra Petite brings you a roundup of stylish work bags, straight from her own closet. In addition to petite-focused fashion, Jean’s blog features workwear and accessories reviews across various sizes. Jean was kind enough to contribute a great guest post on suiting alterations during my last maternity leave — welcome back, Jean! – Kat.

Hello Corporette readers! I’m stepping in for Kat today to chat about work-appropriate handbags that fit at least a laptop and some documents. I know we each have various needs and preferences on material, structure, and price range, so I’ve pulled a few from my own closet that cover a wide span of options:

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