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The Best Workwear For Size 16 (and 18, and 16P, and 16WP, and 14W…)

The Best Workwear For Size 16 | CorporetteWe haven’t talked explicitly about the best workwear for cusp sizes in far too long, ladies — if you’re a size 16 or 18, what are your favorite stores and brands? Given the fact that the average American woman is now a size 16 and 5’4″, this is particularly a difficult question because with those stats you may fit in regular sizes (e.g., 12, 14, 16, 18), plus sizes (e.g., 10W, 12W, 14W, or 16W), petite regular sizes (such as 14P, 16P, 18P) or that rare bird, petite plus sizes (12WP, 14WP, or 16WP) — this is why women in this size range are called “inbetweeners!” But a lot of “regular” stores only carry sizes up to size 12 — and a lot of “plus” stores only start at 18W. Add to that the fact that most stores carry very few of those sizes on the shelves, and you may be stuck in a never-ending cycle of online shopping and returning stuff, as several readers noted in our post on how to return items bought online. SO. Let’s discuss, ladies: What’s the best workwear if you’re a size 16? If you’re an “average” size and right on the cusp of plus sizes, which brands or stores have you found to be the best for you? What styles of clothes work best for your body type? What brands run small; which run big?  

Psst: If you are interested in plus size workwear, please sign up for CorporettePlus, our newsletter! Signing up helps us gauge interest in the project, and we promise not to blast your email more than once a week at most. (Right now it’s more like once a month.)

Some of the brands I know of include:

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The Office Pashmina: 9 Ways to Use a Wrap at the Office

Ways to Use a Wrap at the Office | CorporetteBesides keeping a blazer at work, it’s also a great to have a wrap handy in your office. Sure, they’re great to grab as a top layer when you’re freezing, but that’s just one of the many ways to use a wrap. Here are nine other reasons to keep a wrap at the office:

  1. Use it as a lap blanket when you’re wearing a skirt or dress and your legs get chilly.
  2. Need a quick power nap at work? Fold your wrap and use it as a pillow.
  3. Could your dreary office really use some color? Drape a folded wrap on the back of your chair or on another chair in your office.
  4. Sit down at work and realize your new skirt is shorter than you thought? Add a little coverage with a wrap. This also works if you like to get comfy at your desk by putting your feet up, etc.
  5. In the same vein: If your new top didn’t seem revealing in the dressing room but you end up inadvertently flashing someone at the office, layer a wrap over it. 
  6. Hold a wrap over your head (or wrap it around yourself) in the rain when you’re caught without an umbrella.
  7. Spill something on yourself? Cover it up with a wrap until you can change your outfit. 
  8. On a work trip and the plane is freezing? Use it as a nicer and softer blanket/pillow than the ones from the airline.
  9. Cover your neck in the wintertime if you’re wearing a neck-baring winter coat and don’t have a scarf with you.

Now that you’ve realized all the great ways to use a wrap, check out a few of Kat’s favorites, most of which are currently on sale:

Pictured above: one / two / three / four

You may have noticed that one of those is called a ruana and the rest are labeled wraps. What’s the difference, anyway? The terms are often used loosely, but here’s a guide to the technical definitions:

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Work-Appropriate Nails: Length, Shape, Color, and More!

work appropriate nailsHere’s a topic we haven’t discussed in FOREVER: nails and the office. What’s your definition of work-appropriate nails? Do you think there are any definite nail DON’TS for the office? What is your favorite nail polish color and nail shape to wear to work? And, readers — as busy women, do you prefer gel or acrylic over regular nail polish? Reader L has a great question:

I have read a good deal of advice online about work appropriate nail colors, but I cannot find much on length and shape. I like to wear acrylics that are modestly long and rounded in order to enlongate my stubby fingers. They are short enough to look natural, but they are about a centimeter past my finger tips. I also always wear nude or light pink polish to soften the look. I will be starting at a somewhat conservative firm in the fall. Can I keep my nails?

We’ve talked in the past about finding a nail salon near your office, nail care for the minimalists, and the best nail colors for work. But we’ve never talked shape/length, and even our work-appropriate nail color discussion was many moons ago. So let’s talk, ladies!

For my $.02, I’m hoping Reader L meant a millimeter instead of a centimeter — holding up a ruler against my very short nails, a centimeter past my fingertip looks like it would be double the length of my nail.  (#NoNosferatuNails!) (Admittedly, my ruler is neon pink and see-through, so, uh, perhaps the measurements are off?) I’m going to take a hard line position and say that if your nails interfere with regular typing, they’re too long. In terms of the best shape of nails for work, I think it really comes down to preference.

In terms of color, I think colorful nails have come a long way towards being work-appropriate; when I started this blog we were debating whether dark red nails were professional! I still think it’s very much a “know your office” thing, though — so I’d advise women to stay away from wackier colors and designs if it’s your first week on the job or if you have a big meeting with new clients.

Ladies, what are your thoughts on work-appropriate nails? What length do you like to keep your nails? What shape and color are your favorites to wear to work?

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Tailoring Alterations for Women: What to Ask For to Look More Polished

Tailoring Alterations for Women | CorporetteWhat are the most helpful alterations a tailor can make for professional women? What tailoring alterations really make an impact in looking polished? Reader L wrote in with this question, and I thought it might make an interesting open thread:

I’m 99% sure you did something on this years ago but could be worth reviving a post on what tailors / shoemakers can to do help fit or fix your clothes (i.e. Adding extra belt or shoe strap holes, protective soles, sewing in those bra strap holders, etc).

Great point! We have talked about the most common suiting alterations, as well as the most common tailoring alterations, but not in a while. I know some people get every single thing tailored; personally I’m probably on the lower end of the spectrum, where it has to be a pretty special item for me to take it to the tailor. I’ve had pants and jeans shortened, a waist or two taken in, the bustline of an empire dress moved down so it laid better, and added extra strap holes to belts or shoes (although if memory serves a friend just had one of those hole-punchers). (But I’ll fully admit that a lot of my pants were hemmed by my mother, especially in my younger years!) Reader L’s note about bra strap holders is a brilliant idea — and I probably should get the sleeves on most of my blazers (and possibly a good winter coat or two) shortened — although in more recent years I’ve been buying petite blazers, for just that reason.  Ah yes, and I’ve also tried to replace the lining of a winter coat, many moons ago, although that was more of a DIY effort and turned into a huge PITA. Another DIY alteration I’ve done a few times is to sew pockets closed. (If I buy them sewn closed I often keep them closed!)

As we’ve noted in the past, a big tip for any tailoring is to make sure that you’ve washed the item BEFORE you’ve had it tailored, as certain types of cotton and other washable fabrics can shrink.

What about you, ladies — what are the things you ask your tailor to do most often? Do you have any a-ha moments to share regarding tailoring alterations — things that once you heard about you thought were brilliant ideas (like Reader L’s idea for bra strap holders), or “not worth the time and energy” lessons, like me with the coat lining? If anyone has any favorite tailors in your city, please feel free to shout them out in the comments also.

(Ooh, and here’s another question — what tailoring alterations for women (or men) have you learned to do yourselves? Anyone have any favorite tutorials to share?)

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Happy MLK Day! A few good sales for workwear…

Happy MLK Day, everyone! Here are some of the best sales going on today… my favorites are in bold!

  • Aerie –  All clearance $20 and under. $2.99 undies.
  • Ann Taylor Ends Monday night, online only, extra 70% off all sale styles. (All sales final.)
  • Anthropologie – New sale styles added + extra 40% off with code TAGTIME.
  • Boden – Up to 70% off final clearance (all final sales).
  • Brooks Brothers Up to 50% off select fall and winter styles, and up to 70% off select clearance sales — PLUS an additional 15% off.
  • Club Monaco – New styles added, up to 65% off sale when you take an additional 40% off already marked-down styles.
  • Express – 40% off everything, plus hundreds of new styles added to clearance.
  • J.Crew Extra 50% off all final sale styles with code MONDAY.
  • J.Crew Factory 40% off everything in stores and online, PLUS free shipping with code BRRRSALE.
  • Last Call Extra 60 5o 90% clearance!
  • Limited – 50% off entire site; all sales final.
  • LK Bennett – Take an additional 40% off sale with code HURRAY.
  • Loft – 50% off everything, plus an extra 60% off all sale styles.
  • Neiman Marcus – Extra 20% off last call sale prices, online only.
  • New York & Co. – $100 off orders of $200+, and combine with all of our new arrivals 30% off. PLUS doorbusters of $20 pants and jeans till 2PM. 70% off clearance.
  • Nordstrom – TONS of new markdowns, especially on workout clothes — tons of great leggings and more.
  • Reiss – Winter styles added to sale, up to 50% off.
  • Talbots – Extra 50% off markdowns (up to 70% off original prices), PLUS $20 off every $100 you spend.
  • Victoria’s Secret – Semi-Annual sale, bras start at $9.99, panties at $3.99, sleep at $19.99, and sport at $12.99.
  • Zappos – Sale! Up to 50% off thousands of markdowns, including classics like this beloved Sam Edelman bootie or this TOMS wedge bootie.

(L-all)

Resolutions for 2017 – What Are Yours?

Resolutions for Busy Women | CorporetteResolutions: Do you do ’em? We talked last year about how some people have a resolution theme instead of a list (I had to read my post to remember that “hungry” was my resolution — sad!), but I think this year I’m back to a simple list of things, all aimed at finally losing the baby weight and trying to grow my business.

Like I did last year, I thought I’d round up some of our posts that might help you with popular resolutions, like looking more polished, moving more, growing your career, and more.  Ladies, what are your resolutions for 2017? How did you do on your resolutions from 2016? Did anyone have any breakthroughs that you’d care to share?

Look More Polished

Appreciate More, Stress Less

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