Open Thread: Best Work Pants

best work pantsOk, ladies, let’s hear it: which are the best work pants? I’ve seen many readers bemoaning the decline in old favorites like the Banana Republic Sloan and the Gap Perfect Trouser — and other popular pants, like the J.Crew Minnie ankle pant, just aren’t formal enough for more conservative offices. So let’s discuss. First, here’s Reader A’s question:

I have loved the Gap Perfect Trouser pants for work — they are far and away the best fit for my body type (the thighs were roomy enough, I liked the leg opening width, and the short inseam option). However, the quality of these pants has deteriorated in the last couple of years. When I looked online recently, the reviews have dropped a ton as well, with a lot of comments that the fit has changed.
Do you have any suggestions for similar fit of pants? On top of this, I recently had my first baby, so in addition to some body changes, I don’t have as much time to shop for pants now, and online shopping seems like taking a shot in the dark.
Any tips would be appreciated.

Oi. We’ve rounded up washable pants for work recently-ish (March); as I noted in our lightweight pants for summer roundup a few months ago, full-length trousers have been getting harder and harder to find. (The bootcut and flared look is back for denim, though, so hopefully work pants will follow suit shortly!) Some affordable possibilities for you:

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FIFTY Labor Day Sales (and Kat’s 13 Favorites!)

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Big sales have already started — we count fifty noteworthy sales!  Kat’s favorite 13 are in bold. We’ll plan to update the list through the weekend as needed. Check out the list of family-friendly sales over at CorporetteMoms later today, and sign up for the CorporettePlus newsletter if you’d like info on plus-size sales.

  • – Big Labor Day sales on Coach, Asics, UGG, and Calvin Klein.
  • Alexis Bittar – Additional 10% off all sale items.
  • Amazon – Take an extra 20% off already reduced clothing, shoes, and more.
  • Anthropologie – Extra 30% off sale items with code EXTRA30.
  • Ann Taylor – 50% off select full price and all sales styles with code HAPPY50 (through 9/6 at 5pm EST).
  • ASOS – 10% off everything including sale.
  • Bare Necessities – Anniversary Sale: 25% off 1000s of styles with code CHEERS.
  • Barney’s Warehouse – Extra 30% off all clearance, extra 25% off bags and accessories.
  • BCBG – Extra 30% off markdowns.
  • Bergdorf Goodman – 5F Sale: Up to 40% off over 400 new arrivals.
  • Bloomingdale’s – Extra 20% off select sale and clearance items with code BIG20.
  • Bluefly Labor Day Sale: Up to 80% off. Up to an extra 20% off handbags, up to an extra 60% off clothing, clearance dresses $99 and under.
  • Boden – 20% off women’s and men’s clothing until Monday with code 3B4N.
  • Brooks Brothers – Labor Day Final Clearance Event – up to 60% off.
  • Club Monaco – 40% off sale and clearance merchandise with code NOTOVERYET (through 9/7).
  • Cole Haan – Up to 60% off (through 9/7).
  • CUSP – Up to 65% off regular prices.
  • – Up to 50% off wear-now styles (through 9/7).
  • eBags – Labor Day Sale: Save up to 70%.
  • Eloquii – 30% off all original ticket items with code STOCKUP (sign up for the CorporettePlus newsletter to get the full list of Labor Day sales for plus sizes!)
  • eShakti – Bestsellers on sale; plus free customization (ends 9/4).
  • Express – Take an additional 40% off already reduced clearance for up to 70% off.
  • Figure 8 Maternity – Get 15% off all Body After Baby products BODYAFTERBABY2015 (see the full list of baby and kids sales at CorporetteMoms!)
  • French Connection – 50% off of all sale items and free shipping with code 50SALE.
  • J.Crew  Online only: 30% off your order of $125+ with code GETSHOPPING.
  • J.Crew Factory  50% off everything (through 9/7).
  • Kate Spade New York – Extra 25% off all sale items with code DELIGHT (through 9/7).
  • Karen Millen – Take a further 20% off reduced items with code LABORDAY.
  • Lands’ End – 30% off regular prices on orders of $150 or more with code LEAF and PIN 9900.
  • Last Call by Neiman Marcus – Extra 30-75% off everything (see Kat’s deal roundup here).
  • The Limited – Up to 60% off full-price items. $10 off every $50 you spend with code BONUS.
  • L.K. Bennett – Extra 40% off all sale styles (through 9/7).
  • Loft – 30% off tons of new fall arrivals, plus extra 50% off 100s of summer sale styles.
  • Lord & Taylor – 20% off regular and sale items and 25% off clearance items with code LABORDAY (through 9/7). 50% off select women’s fall coats, select dresses buy one get one 50% off, select jeans $39.99 and up.
  • Macy’s – Extra 20%, 15% or 10% off with code DEALS. Extra 25% off clearance. 60% off select tops, 30% off select pumps and flats, 70% off all 10 and 14k gold earrings.
  • Madewell – 30% off fall essentials plus an extra 30% off all sale styles with code YESANDYES (through 9/7).
  • Modcloth – Up to 30% off select styles.
  • Nasty Gal – Extra 30% off.
  • Neiman Marcus – Up to 65% off Contemporary/CUSP, dresses, and more.
  • Nine West – Season Finale Sale: Extra 30% off sale. Shop by 9/7 and receive coupon for $25 off $125+ (coupon redeemable 9/14-9/28).
  • Nordstrom – End-of-Summer Clearance Sale: Save up to 40% (through 9/13).
  • The Outnet – Free next-day delivery, plus featured sales on Dolce & Gabbana, Equipment, Helmut Lang, T by Alexander Wang, and neutral cashmere.
  • Ralph Lauren – End of season sale, extra 50% off select styles (prices as marked).
  • Rebecca Taylor – Extra 40% off sale with code LABORDAY40 (through 9/8).
  • Saks Fifth Avenue – Big sales, plus free shipping.
  • Saks Off 5th – Last Chance Labor Day: Up to 70% off everything.
  • Shopbop – Hundreds of new styles added; prices up to 70% off.  (See Kat’s mini roundup here).
  • Talbots – Extra 70% off markdowns, prices up to 80% off.
  • Target – Labor Day Sale, save 25% on clothing, shoes, and accessories, plus an extra 10% off with code LABORDAY.
  • White House | Black Market – Fall favorites 25% off, plus tons of new markdowns.

Deal Alert: Last Call Labor Day Sale

last-call-deal-alertI was going through some emails tonight and saw that the Labor Day sale has already started at Last Call — and I must say it’s pretty great. Lots of good inventory, lots of sizes, from brands like the following:


Sniff Sniff: How to Prevent Stinky Shoes

How to Prevent Stinky Shoes | CorporetteWhat are the best practices to avoiding stinky shoes?  How do you destink your shoes once they’re already funky?  Reader K has a delicate question regarding smelly shoes:

I need advice on how to keep my shoes from developing a bad odor. I wear hose 90% of the time with my dress work shoes, and they develop a foul odor within just a few weeks of wear. I have tried odor eaters without success, old pantyhose filled with baking soda, rotating my shoes to never wear them two days in a row – nothing works. I haven’t normally had smelly shoes or feet, but now that I am in a professional environment and wear dress shoes instead of socks/sneakers, I can’t get a handle on this. I don’t notice the smell when my shoes are on, but when I take them off at home, look out. I am afraid that it will keep getting worse and my feet will smell all the time!

Interesting.  We’ve talked about delicate issues such as body odor, sweaty feet in pumps, what to do when drycleaning doesn’t remove smells, and general shoe care for women, but I don’t believe we’ve talked about stinky shoes. Reader K herself mentioned some of the other oft-cited advice, but I might stress a few things:

  • Give your shoes at least a day off — it lets the leather dry out.
  • Products like Silver Linings have insoles “infused with antimicrobial silver ions for women who wear shoes without socks.”  (They’re available at Amazon, but here’s the product page for more behind the technology.) Readers have also previously recommended Summer Soles, for open-toed shoes.
  • Look into ventilated shoes, like Geox — they’re designed to let air circulate better.  They’re sold at the usual spots (Zappos, 6pm, Amazon, Nordstrom), but here’s a link to their product page about the technology behind the shoes.
  • Avoid plastic shoes that don’t breathe at all.
  • Try the freezer — put your shoes in a ziplock bag, then stick them in the freezer for 24-48 hours.  (This is also supposedly a great way to defunk your expensive denim.)
  • Wear socks.  Trouser socks, knee-high pantyhose, even shoe liners all exist for exactly this purpose.  I tend to prefer toe liners when they don’t interrupt the line of the shoe. Here’s a link to our older discussion on what hose to wear with pumps (if any).

Here’s an extensive thread on Reddit with more tips for battling smelly feet; Mashable also has some advice.

Ladies, have you had to deal with stinky shoes?  What are your best practices for avoiding funk, and then your best suggestions for destinking your shoes?  



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Frugal Friday: Long Sleeve Turtleneck

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

Halogen turtleneckI’ve often suggested layering pieces beneath sheath dresses, but it’s been hard to find good pictures, so when I saw that this lightweight turtleneck not only had good reviews, was recommended by reviewers as being a great layering piece, and then Nordstrom actually SHOWED it as a layering piece beneath a sheath dress, I had to post it.  The lightweight turtleneck layer isn’t for everyone, obviously, but if it is for you it’s been hard to find recently — this Halogen turtleneck comes in black, gray and white and looks perfect.  Layer it beneath cardigans, sheer blouses, sheath dresses, vests, blazers, thicker sweaters (they’re particularly great beneath itchy ones!), and more. The turtleneck is hand washable, and $39; it comes in regular and petite sizes XS-XL. Halogen® Long Sleeve Turtleneck

Here’s a more lux version (Vince) if you’re on the hunt, and here’s a plus-size version (Lands’ End) that also comes in regular, petite, and tall sizes in a zillion colors.

Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected]


Wednesday’s TPS Report: Jeanne Wrap Dress

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

DvF Jeanne Two Printed Wrap DressI’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: when you see a DvF dress marked down to $140, that is the time to seriously consider buying… and Last Call has a number of DvF dresses, marked down to $119-$209.  The blue petal print is pretty here, I think, but not overly floral, and the Jeanne dress is a Hall of Fame workwear piece for a reason — it’s a classic. The pictured dress was originally $398, but is now marked to $140, and available in most sizes. New Jeanne Two Printed Wrap Dress, Lace Petals

Saks Off Fifth also has a nice selection of DvF dresses down as low as $99 (!), including some solid colors of the Jeanne wrap dress.

Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected]