A Quick Look at the Nordstrom Summer Sale

nordstrom summer sale 2017There are a lot of sales going on right now, including the big summer sale that just started at Nordstrom. I took a quick look — there’s a lot to love! Deep discounts on dresses, shoes, lingerie, blazers, and others — lots to be had under $100, but if you’re a fan of pricier brands like Hugo BossEquipment, Theory, Ted Baker, DvF, Milly, and even designer brands like Max Mara, there’s a lot of great discounts in there, as well. Some of my particular picks for work…

Dresses for Work

As a reader commented, a lot of the things that are in the sale is leftover stuff from the Anniversary Sale. This year’s sale was VERY big on dresses, so I had a look there first… and there are a TON of great dresses for the office. [Read more…]

What to Wear to a Business Cocktail Party

what to wear to a business cocktail party2017 Update: We still stand by our advice on what to wear to a business cocktail party, but you may also want to check out The Ultimate Guide to Business Casual for Women.

Reader C wrote in with an interesting question about what to wear to a business cocktail party, and it has definitely been ages since we talked about business cocktail party attire! Here’s her question:

I am due to start on a graduate programme for a large energy multinational. I have a 3 day induction in London, and I am informed that on two of the evenings there will be dinner and cocktails.

What should I wear? Scared of going over the top, but also don’t want to play it safe with jeans and a ‘nice top’.

Interesting! We sort of talked about this years ago when we answered a reader question about what to wear to an interview dinner, but that was a bit different because she was meeting them for dinner, not working all day and then going to dinner. Similarly, we’ve discussed the best networking dinner attire, as well as what to wear to a dinner reception and interview — but it’s been a while.

Here’s my thing: if you’re going straight from the induction activities to dinner, then you should wear basically the same thing you wore all day, unless you’re told specifically to wear something else. Take some time to freshen up your makeup to go from desk to dinner, and perhaps reconsider a portion of your outfit (remove the blazer, switch to different shoes for standing-around purposes, add a cocktail ring so it’s an easy conversation starter while holding your drink, etc). Ultimately I think people will remember your energy and attitude at these things far more than your outfit — so do what you have to do to look awake and alive and feel fresh enough to meet a zillion new people and express excitement for working on their projects. (For me this becomes a mix of “put on Touche Éclat and a highlighter like Haloscope or High Beam while listening to a crazy upbeat, silly song like Rock Me Amadeus” — but for you this may look different. Some of my favorite makeup products for faking a good night’s sleep may be helpful here.)

Readers, what’s your advice — what would you wear to a business cocktail party under these circumstances? In general, do you ever think the kinds of things stylists in movies come up with (such as bustiers under blazers or other outlandish ideas) have a place in the real world? what to wear to a business cocktail party during orientation

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What Color Shoes to Wear with Different Colors of Pants

what color shoes to wear with different colors of pantsReader S wonders about what color shoes to wear with different colors of pants…

Could you do a story on what color shoes to wear with different color pants? I never know if I should find shoes that match the color of the pant, the color of the shirt, black or something else.

Interesting. I’ve seen a handy-dandy guide for men on Pinterest, but I don’t know if I’ve seen one for women.  In general, I’d say that the question also depends on the kind of pants — which color shoes you choose to wear with ankle pants or straight pants matters much less because there’s a stretch of skin; it isn’t a seamless look; on the other hand for a full-length trouser that is closer to the floor (generally a wide leg, flare, or bootcut style) you’re going to get a leg-lengthening effect if you choose the same color shoe and continue the line.  My own breakdown would probably go like this:

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Coffee Break: Natural Silk Pillowcase

As I mentioned in our post on the best beauty treatments to save time, I just got my first keratin treatment for my hair earlier this summer, so I’ve been on the “take good care of your hair treatment” train, using only sulfate-free shampoos and other things that are often recommended for people who color their hair. (Here are two affordable sulfate-free shampoos if you’re hunting.) One tip my hairdresser gave me was to try to sleep on a silk pillowcase, which I’d read before as generally being good for curly hair — so I got this $20 one at Amazon (in a briiiiight royal blue, one of the 30+ colors this thing comes in). For a $20 pillowcase, I like it! Will it be as sumptuous as the $300 silk pillowcase I was drooling over at ABC Carpet & Home the other week? Nooooo… no it will not.  Will you notice a $280 difference? Eh.  ALASKA BEAR – Natural Silk Pillowcase

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Your Favorite Colors for Your Working Wardrobe

the best colors to wear to workHere’s a fun question for today: which colors do you usually buy for clothes for work? Do you buy different colors for the weekend you? What colors do you think you don’t look good in/do look good in? What color combinations do you find yourself wearing a lot? Do you think there are best colors to wear to work? (For example, here’s a whole Business Insider article about color psychology, suggesting that gray is unacceptable because it’s “too passive,” which kind of makes me laugh when I think about all the fabulous gray suits and trousers we’ve featured over the years!)

I was thinking about the my own color preferences for workwear while shopping at the Carlisle outlet last week — the brand was new to me until I saw that a reader had mentioned the outlet in our NYC shopping post. While perusing the store, I sort of felt like I was in Texas or somewhere, well, not New York — there were lots of light colors, floral patterns, and numerous colorful dresses and pants that I kept thinking, ah, that would be so cute if only it were black or navy. (I was also thinking a lot about our older discussion on whether colorful suits are primarily for older women!)

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Workwear Hall of Fame: Bi-Stretch Sheath Dress

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

This dress from Tahari has been around for years and has gotten really great reviews at Nordstrom as well as at Amazon, but I don’t think we’ve ever featured it in a morning workwear report. Say what you will about the little details at the waist, but I think it’s a flattering look — and the sort of architectural design at the neckline reminds me of much higher-priced dresses like St. John‘s. It’s $128 at Nordstrom and comes in four colors (blue, green, navy, and black) in sizes 2–16 and petite sizes 8P–14P. Bi-Stretch Sheath Dress

Here’s a plus-size option.

2017 Update: We’ve added this dress to our Workwear Hall of Fame! It comes in several colors and petite sizes, and gets rave reviews.

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