Weekend Open Thread (and, Nordstrom Clearance Roundup for Shoes, Coats, and Lingerie)

more nordstrom saleSomething on your mind? Chat about it here.

The Nordstrom Clearance Sale continues, and there’s still a ton left.  We rounded up our top workwear and handbag picks on Wednesday, but I didn’t really get to shoes or coats until today.  Thus, here are some of my top picks for shoe brands (selection as well as quality and comfort) and coats, below… happy weekend, everyone!

Shoes: Anya Li, Aquatalia by Marvin K., Attilio Giusti Leombruni, Børn, Clarks, Cole Haan, Diane von Furstenberg, Dolce Vita, Enzo Angiolini, Franco Sarto, Frye, Halogen, Hunter, Isola, Ivanka Trump, Kate Spade New YorkSam Edelman, Sole Society, Stuart Weitzman, Taryn Rose, Tory Burch, Vince

Lingerie: Chantelle, Cosabella, Fantasie, Hanky Panky (reader favorite), On Gossamer Shimera (reader favorite), Yummie Tummie, Wacoal

Coats: Burberry, Cinzia Rocca, Cole Haan, Gallery, Guess (not a brand I normally look at, but lots of cute ones with high ratings), Lauren Ralph Lauren, Mackage

Some of my favorite picks for individual shoes are below (in order of price):

[Read more…]

Nordstrom Clearance Sale: Top Workwear Picks

nordstrom sale workwear picks smallWhoo! Kate and I have been poking through the Nordstrom clearance sale for hours at this point — I’m pretty impressed with the offerings.  Lots of good discounts, lots of cute, work appropriate clothes.  After all of our recent discussions about how to upgrade your wardrobe, and which brands fit in which buckets, I thought it might be helpful to separate the brands in the sale into tiers (or buckets) of affordability… I’ll also pick out some of my top favorite pieces, below…

TIER 1: Adrianna Papell (cute work and cocktail dresses), Bailey 44Donna Ricco, Eliza J Foxcroft, Halogen (including reader favorite Seamed Pencil Skirt), Ivy & Blu (including reader favorite Ruched Faux Wrap Dress), Marc New York by Andrew MarcMichael by Michael Kors, Nic + Zoe, Olivia Moon, Pleione (lots of inexpensive blouses and tunics),  Tahari, Taylor (lots of cute dresses), Vince Camuto

TIER 2Classiques Entier, Diane von FurstenbergEileen Fisher, Elie Tahari, French ConnectionKate Spade New YorkLafayette 148 New York, Pink Tartan, Rachel Zoe, Rebecca Taylor, Ted Baker, Theory (including classic suiting set Gabe, Golda, Max C, Betty), Tory Burch, Trina Turk

TIER 3: Armani Collezioni, Boss Hugo Boss, Burberry, Donna Karan, Max Mara, M Missoni, St. John

Noteworthy plus size brands: Anne Klein, City Chic, Eileen Fisher, Foxcroft, Gabby Skye, Halogen, Lauren Ralph Lauren, Nic+Zoe, Pleione, Sejour, Taylor, Vince Camuto

Accessories: Alexis Bittar, Kate Spade New York, Majorca, Michele (watches),

Handbags: Coach, Dooney & Bourke, Kate Spade New York, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Michael Michael Kors, Rebecca Minkoff, Tory Burch

I’m still poking through the shoes, lingerie, and coats selections… stay tuned. :) In the meantime, here are a few of my favorite pieces for workwear: [Read more…]

The Next Step: Bags

How to Upgrade Your Handbag Collection | CorporetteHow to Upgrade Your Handbag Collection | CorporetteWhat are the different “levels” for handbags — and how do you upgrade your handbag collection?  I’m curious to hear what readers say.  We’ve already talked about how to upgrade your professional wardrobe, as well as where to buy grown-up furniture… up next in our Next Step series: handbags. I’m pretty solidly in Bucket 3 at the moment.  I had a lot of fun wearing purses a few years ago, striving to wear a new one from my collection every week — but now I tend to reach for the same one whenever I head out, so I can see the sense in having a Bucket 5 bag if that’s the only one you wear. (Here’s what I usually carry in my bag.)  To me, the must-have details in any bag are a good leather or durable canvas (unless it’s a really fun color that I’ve never owned before — and a good sale), interior pockets, feet, a zipper on top — and I always appreciate an attached key fob and fun lining.  Ladies, what are your must-haves?  Which buckets of bags do you currently own — and have you been upgrading them as you move up the career ladder? Which brands am I forgetting in the different buckets? 

Bucket 1: Budget Bags

[Read more…]

The Best Shoes to Wear with Tights

best shoes wear with tightsAre tights appropriate to wear to the office? What sort of shoes or boots look best paired with thicker tights?

Reader M wonders:

With winter coming on, I would love to see a post about what sort of footwear is appropriate to wear with tights in a conservative office. My current work shoe wardrobe consists entirely of your run-of-the-mill low-heel no-frill pumps. These work fine with hose, of course, and seem mostly OK with thinner tights (particularly if they are the same color) but they don’t look quite right with thicker tights, like sweater tights or fleece-lined tights. I think I might need a bootie, or maybe an oxford pump, but I’m unclear on the professional/conservative boundaries of these trendier styles. Or maybe the answer is that thicker tights are just generally inappropriate for the conservative office altogether?

Interesting question. I know fleece tights were hugely popular among the commenters last year, and I’ve always been a fan of sweater tights and the like. But: are they professional? And what shoes look best with them?

(Pictured: Nordstrom ‘Love’ Sweater Tights, available at Nordstrom for $28.)

[Read more…]

The Hunt: Tweed Blazers

The Great Tweed Blazer Roundup of 2014 | 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.

It’s been a while since we last rounded up tweed blazers, so I thought I’d go on a hunt for some on the market right now.  Some of my favorites are below — ladies, which are your favorite from the options below? Have you bought any tweed blazers recently, or do you have some in your closet from years past?

Other options in the budget price range, not pictured below: Ann Taylor (three great options in regular, petite, and tall sizes, all $72-90 with code FASHION50), Talbots ($75-$130, regular, petites, woman, woman petites), White House | Black Market ($99), Calvin Klein ($104),  Anne Klein ($139), Limited (three great ones in regular, petite, and tall sizes, all for $168 full price), and J.Crew ($186 with code STYLETREAT).

Here are some plus-size options, not pictured below: here, here, here, here, and here.  Also, I’ve tried to note in text where there are petite or tall sizes available throughout the piece.

[Read more…]

How to Be Taken Seriously When You Look Young

looking young - body languageWhat should you do if you look young for your age, and you do all the basic things you’re supposed to in order to seem older (dress professionally, wear heels, etc.), but you still get mistaken for a college student? What more can you try to get your colleagues to take you seriously?

Reader E wonders…

I’m a college professor (outside your normal demographic, but I really enjoy the conversations here). I often am told that I look like an undergrad. I have two questions. First, how do I respond to this in a workplace setting? With a frosty “Nope, I’m actually in my mid-thirties”? With “I’m told that I’ll be grateful for it one day”? Why do people think this is an acceptable thing to say to someone? Second, how can I actually look older so that I avoid these comments and am taken more seriously? I’m short (5′), which is part of the issue, but I already wear 1-3″ heels/wedges (more would look out of place here and are not my style). I use basic makeup (tinted moisturizer/blush/mascara), wear professional and structured clothing, have nice-looking but understated jewelry (including my engagement/wedding rings), keep my wavy hair shoulder-length and mostly under control, and make an effort to speak in a lower voice. This all feels like Looking Older 101–I need the upper-level class!

Hmmmmn. Hmmmn. We’ve talked about a lot of this before — how to avoid acting young, how to lower your voice, and whether long hair makes you look younger — but it sounds like Reader E has already taken a lot of these tips. What else can be done? I’m curious to hear what the readers say, but I did come up with a few tips. I don’t think everyone needs to take these steps, but for people like Reader E, who have tried everything else and are still frustrated by people telling them they “look young,” these may be the tweaks you need to consider:

[Read more…]