The Next Step: Jewelry

Jewelry for Work | CorporetteIn our ongoing discussion on The Next Step — i.e., how to upgrade various areas of your life — a reader suggested we discuss how to upgrade your jewelry collection, and how to buy jewelry for work in general. Excellent idea, and I’m curious to hear what people say. (I swear, I intended this to primarily be an open thread — but it turns out I have a lot of favorite designers I just HAD to look up and link to.) Note that I’ve talked about my own jewelry for work, and we’ve had excellent guest posts on how to buy jewelry for other women, as well as a 411 on different jewelry terminology (different metals, pearls). In other posts in this series we’ve talked about upgrading your bag collection, upgrading your shoe collection, how to upgrade your work wardrobe, better personal services for busy women, and how to buy grown up furniture.

For my own $.02, here is how my own jewelry buying has looked through the years:

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Trends and the Conservative Office

trends-for-conservative-officesWhat trends can a younger woman safely wear to work?  You don’t want to dress too “old” — but you also doesn’t want to appear too trendy and/or in styles that are inappropriate for workwear. How do you find a balance so that you look professional without feeling like you’re wearing someone else’s clothes? Reader K wonders…

Would you be interested in doing a feature directed at the youngest of your audience? 23-26yo females? This would be regarding the interface between young/trendy and office appropriate. While a lot of the items TPS features are great-looking, I can also see a way in which it might be premature for a younger demographic to be shopping in those styles. I would like to look dignified, for example, but not necessarily older than I am.

This is a great question. The conservative office is all about the classic, chic look — you will always be well served to have a crisp white blouse, a simple sheath dress, a pair of great pumps, and a well-tailored blazer and matching skirt and pants. That said, there do exist trends within those relatively narrow boundaries, and THOSE are the trends that I think you can experiment with, without too much fear that they make you look inappropriate. So let’s dig in.

First, let’s define the kind of trend we’re NOT talking about for a conservative office:

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How to Wear Belts with Skirts

belts with skirtsWhat are some good guidelines for choosing belts to wear with skirts to work? Reader S wonders…

I’d love it if you could do a round up or a how to wear belts with skirts. I love the look of belts with skirts and I’m not really sure how to pick which width to go with or to coordinate colors.

We’ve talked about wearing belts– as well as the closely-related question of when to tuck – before, but not specifically with skirts. I’ll be honest here: I’m not much of a tucker myself, so I don’t often wear belts with skirts.  Pencil skirt plus fitted pullover plus blazer equals outfit.  Fit and flare skirt plus fitted cardigan equals outfit.  I have a lot more fun, in general, with other accessories. If a skirt doesn’t fit at the waist, I am much more likely to get it tailored than I am to try to hold it up with a  belt.

So I’m curious to hear what other readers say regarding wearing belts with skirts.  I don’t think there are any hard and fast rules — just guidelines to play around with.  Some thoughts: [Read more…]

Sponsored: Save Time and Sanity with Sassoon’s New Blow and Style Menu

Blow & Style_MR_10Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Sassoon, but written by your friendly local blogger, Kat Griffin.

I’ve written before about my love of blow-outs (including how to make a blow-out last for multiple days!), but here’s what I don’t love about blow-outs: the Question.  You know the one: “How do you want your hair blown out?”

“Um…. the normal way.  With a brush and blowdryer and stuff.”  (I say this because I once asked for a blowout and got a flat-iron instead because that was all they offered, and I was too crunched for time to go elsewhere.)

“Yes, but straight?  Wavy? Glamorous?”

“Ummmm… straight, I guess.”

I always feel a bit dumb for not knowing the answer to this question, and I suppose if I started a Pinterest board, or ripped magazine pages out, I could go to the salon and confidently say, “Give me X.”  But I somehow always forget that this is an issue until I’m in the seat.

So I was THRILLED when I heard about Sassoon’s new service: a blow and style menu that not only names popular styles and makes it easier to differentiate among them, it puts even more options right in my hands, right when I need them: when I’m at the salon.

blow-and-style-menu

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The Hunt: Beige Pumps

beige pumpsSure, 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.

One of my must-have pieces to keep at the office is always a good beige pump.  It’s an easy neutral for all skin tones, as noted by commenters in our roundup last year, and most people find it to be a real workhorse. We’ve been doing the beige pump roundup for so long that the Hall of Fame listing (the shoes that have been around for forever) is impressively long — we’ve also rounded up a few shoes we like in wide, narrow, and other categories.  Pictured below: some of the more noteworthy beige pumps we found this year.  Ladies, have you recently bought any beige pumps that you love?   

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Deal Alert – Jones New York

JNY big saleThere are some crazy sales right now at Jones New York — all of the sale prices are an extra 50% off, meaning there are a ton of dresses to be had for around $20, blazers below $50, and even some winter coats below $75. Things aren’t looking good for JNY, so if you like the brand, stock up now. They have a ton of options in regular, petite, and plus sizes; lots of my favorite are still left from our sponsored roundup last October. As near as I can tell these are NOT final sales; shipping is a flat $7 but free if your purchase is more than $125.  Below are a few of my favorite things in today’s sale… (note that the real action is with the dresses, but tons of nice blazers as well)…

Pictured at left: Blue Leopard Wrap Dress, also available in plus sizes — was $119, now $19.50. Faux wrap, machine washable.  Below:

JNY sale

Not pictured, but also noteworthy:

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