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Can You Wear Interesting Suits to Court?

Can Lawyers Wear Interesting Suits to Court?Can you wear “interesting” suits to court — colorful, patterned, fanciful, haute? (You know, kind of like in our weekly Suit of the Week feature?) Reader E asks — specifically wondering about this teal LK Bennett suit that Kate Middleton is wearing here and here — and I think it’s a great question for all the women lawyers:

This is a lawyer-specific question – can you wear interesting suits to court if it’s still a suit? I agree with previous suggestions here that a dress/blazer combo, unless its meant to be a suit, is not formal enough for court. But, my question is, what about things that are true suit sets but are more interesting – like an AT tweed suit, or the LK Bennett dark teal dress and jacket suit set that Kate Mid. has? Or do you think court suits have to be black/grey/navy and totally plain? Thx!

I can’t wait to hear what the readers say here.  For my $.02, I always think of my reaction to an article years ago about a young public defender who wore Balmain (at the time, their blazers had super pointy shoulders) and other couture suits to court.  The impression it left on me was a bad one — it seemed like she was not showing any respect for her clients or the fact that she was there to represent THEM, in life-altering matters, before stodgy judges and juries who may or may not have approved of her fashion choices (or her designer budget). Plus, as readers have pointed out in the past, wearing ostensibly designer, moneyed things in front of juries can be a bad move, particularly if you’re a public defender.

NOW: A crazy/trendy Balmain suit is one thing — a dark teal LK Bennett dress and jacket is another.  But where is the line? And are there different rules for “first appearance before the court” and “day 30 of a 6-month trial”? For my $.02:

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Beauty Tuesday: My Lip Balm Wardrobe

The Lip Balms Every Working Woman NeedsI was thinking about lip balms the other day — totally basic, boring lip balm — and I was surprised to realize that not only do I have SEVERAL favorite lip balms, that they each have their own purpose (and that I’m perhaps looking for a better option in a few places). So: here is my lip balm wardrobe — and I’m curious to know: which are your favorite lip balms, and why? Do you have specific purposes for each of your lip balms — and what are the lip balms every working woman needs?

Update: Goodness, I didn’t realize people felt so strongly about the phraseology of balm vs gloss — I’ve updated this post to more accurately reflect the discussion, which, yep, is just about lip balms for working women. (I’m one of those people who gets distracted if my lips are dry, so perhaps I’ve got more lip balms than most ladies?)

The lip balm I put on every night before bed: Caudalíe. As I’ve mentioned before, I love that it has antioxidant properties and is formulated with 99.5% naturally-derived ingredients. The scent is minimal, and I find it comfortable to wear on a nightly basis.

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Cyber Monday Sales 2016: 34 Awesome Sales for Workwear

sales-for-workwearAs I’ve mentioned before, the Nordstrom sale is the big winner for me — but I’ve also placed orders this morning with H&M and Shutterfly,  and a few days ago with Limited and Ann Taylor, and texted friends about the sales at Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, and Lands’ End. (Yeah, I’m kind of a shopping enabler.) Some sale notes for the big workwear sales I’m seeing this Cyber Monday:

  • Amazon – This kicks off Cyber Week! One of the big sales today: 50% off Tumi Vapor Lite luggage, and 30% off select clothes. (Oooh, and they’ve got a nice little feature on Oprah’s favorite things too.)
  • Ann Taylor – Free shipping + 50% off sitewide; check out our latest favorites here.
  • Anthropologie – Extra 30% off sale items, 20% off full price items + free shipping over $150.
  • Bloomingdale’s – Online only: take 25% off a large selection of regular- and sale-price items for a total savings of up to 60%, plus free shipping and free returns for everyone.
  • Boden – 30% off, plus free shipping over $49+.
  • Brooks Brothers – Save an additional 10% off online, plus free shipping on all orders.
  • Club Monaco – 25% off $150+, 30% off $250+, 35% off $400+ — PLUS take an extra 30% off sale.
  • Dorothy Perkins – 50% off everything, plus free shipping on $50+.
  • Express – 50% off everything and free shipping on all orders. 50% off sale excludes gift cards and featured brands.
  • French Connection – 40% off lots of items.
  • Henri Bendel – enjoy up to 60% off sitewide, plus free gift (of a really cute convertible backpack) with $200+.
  • H&M – 30% off your
  • J.Crew – 40% off everything, plus free shipping.
  • J.Crew Factory – 60% off everything, plus extra 40% off sale and free shipping.
  • Journelle – 15% off orders of $150+.
  • Karen Millen – 30% off sitewide.
  • Kate Spade – 30% off (exclusions apply).
  • Lands’ End – 45% off sitewide.
  • Last Call – Extra 40-80% off everything, plus free shipping.
  • Limited – 60% off everything, plus $20 off your purchase of $100+.
  • LK Bennett – 30% off all orders over $250.
  • Loft – 50% off everything, plus free shipping.
  • Lord & Taylor – extra 25% off almost everything, plus free shipping on every order. (Up to 75% off storewide.)
  • Madewell – 25% off your entire purchase.
  • Neiman Marcus – Final day! Up to 70% off all clearance on sale, plus up to 40% off regular prices. Also, online only: $750 gift card with qualifying purchase of $3000+ (for lesser amounts: spend $200 save $50, spend $500 save $125, etc)…
  • New York & Co – All of the year’s best prices are back, plus take $30 off $100+ — savings up to 75% off.
  • Net-a-Porter – Up to 50% off sale.
  • Nordstrom – Huge clearance sale, plus an extra 20% off (ends tonight!). See our roundups for workwear and gift ideas.
  • The Outnet – Extra 15% off all orders over $150.
  • Rent the Runway – Get 30% off all rentals.
  • ShopBop – 15% off orders of 200+, 20% off orders of $500+, 25% off orders of $800+. Includes sale items!
  • Soma Intimates – 50% off your highest-priced item when you buy 2 or more.
  • Talbots – 50% off one item, plus 40% off your total purchase
  • Uniqlo – Free shipping on all orders (no minimum), deals on Heattech products, PLUS take $15 off $150, $30 off $200, and $50 off $300.

Gift Ideas from the Big Nordstrom Sale

Nordstrom Gift Ideas for 2016 (All On Sale!!)The Nordstrom Thanksgiving Sale is so good for workwear it’s a bit of a downer to remember, ah yes, I’m supposed to be buying for other folks too.  So I thought I’d put together a few quick gift ideas if you’re on the hunt — with Nordstrom’s very customer-friendly, open ended return policy, they’re great for everyone. CYBER MONDAY UPDATE: Don’t forget, Nordstrom is offering an extra 20% off select items through the end of today! (updated prices in red below). 

(Check out our other favorite Black Friday Sales here.)

Pictured at top: cardigan

Pictured below: pillow / glasses / hat / bubble bath


  • Barefoot Dreams. I’ve heard great things about the drape front cardigan for YEARS, and finally got the circle cardigan during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, and I’m hooked on the super, super soft material — it’s a nylon/rayon blend that feels like cashmere but is machine washable. In addition to lots of cardigans and wraps for the women in your family (note: they come in plus sizes also!), they also make manly-looking plaid pillows (pictured above) and throw blankets. The cardigan at top is now $54-$68; the pillow is $39.
  • Drinkware.  Personally, I’m a total sucker for anything art deco, like these $41 double old fashioned glasses (now sold out, alas, but check out this set of whiskey glasses and decanter, now on sale for $40)— but they’ve got a ton of nice glasses on sale.
  • Cashmere beanie. Kate and I were just talking about how it’s so hard to find a stylish winter hat — you either look like you’re 20 or you look like you’re 60.  This cashmere beanie is highly reviewed, and on sale for $26 — it looks like a great gift idea too. It comes in ELEVEN colors. They have a ton of hats on sale though.
  • Bath and beauty stuff. A bubble bath/gel is always a safe bet (this Philosophy special edition one is marked to $12 from $18, which is a pretty great deal) — but there’s a ton of fun makeup markdowns in the sale.  (PLUS, there’s a “mystery beauty gift with purchase” today.) Makeup can be hard to buy for grown women — but if you’re on the hunt for a teenager or a makeup addict, there’s a lot of fun things in the Nordstrom sale. (I for some reason am drooling over most of the MAC Star Trek collection, mostly 40% off — doesn’t this illuminating powder look like a much more affordable version of Guerlain’s Meteorites?). Hmmn: this $17 shower cap looks great for the blowout addict on your gift list (now sold out, alas).

Ladies, what are you hunting for as far as gifts go? Have you gotten anything great at the Nordstrom sale


Black Friday Sales for Workwear and Beyond

sales-for-workwearThe Nordstrom sale (an extra 20% off most sale prices, including lots from our roundup!!) is the one where I’ve personally spent the most money, but there are some other great sales afoot — some of our favorites for workwear and beyond include:

  • Ann Taylor – 50% off sitewide; check out our latest favorites here.
  • Brooks Brothers – Black Friday Sale, lowest prices of the year for men’s and women’s shirts – 4 for $199!
  • Club Monaco – 25% off $150+, 30% off $250+, 35% off $400+
  • Express – 50% off everything and free shipping on all orders. 50% off sale excludes gift cards and featured brands.
  • J.Crew – 40% off your purchase, in stores and online with code HOLIDAY.
  • J.Crew Factory – 50-60% off everything; prices as marked, plus an extra 40% off clearance.
  • Last Call – Extra 40-80% off everything!!
  • Limited –  70% off everything, plus free shipping! (Whoa! Lots of lucky sizes, so start by sorting by your size.)
  • Loft – 50% off everything, in stores and online, with code BERRYGOOD.
  • Neiman Marcus – $50 off your purchase of $200 with code THANKFUL. Includes beauty and fragrances, but excluding sale items.  The big designer sale is on, too, with 40% off regular prices.
  • Talbots – 50% off one item until noon on Friday, plus 40% off your entire purchase (both deals end Friday!)
  • Victoria’s Secret – Thursday only: free shipping on $30, plus $15 off  $100!
  • Saks – The designer sale, up to 40% off. Plus, up to $150 off women’s denim.
  • Zappos.com — They have a new rewards program where you can get free expedited shipping and more.


Nordstrom Thanksgiving Sale: Workwear Picks

Nordstrom Thanksgiving SaleWOW, YOU GUYS — the Nordstrom Thanksgiving Sale is GOOOOOOD.  I’m seeing crazy sales on shoes that rarely go on sale, including Stuart Weitzmanbeige Manolos marked to $385, albeit in lucky sizes, tons of Kate Spade (shoes, bags, and jewelry), new Hugo Boss and Classiques Entier markdowns, and a TON of great other selections. Some of my top picks for workwear in the Nordstrom Thanksgiving Sale are here — any favorites that you guys have had your eyes on? 

CYBER MONDAY UPDATE: Select items are now an extra 20% off, including many of the items below! Monday prices are marked in red. 

Affordable Finds in the Nordstrom Thanksgiving Sale Under $50


Gorgeous Work Dresses On Sale (All Priced $52-$101)


Other Great Work Fashion On Sale


Other Great Workwear in the Nordstrom Thanksgiving Sale (Not Pictured)

For the weekend:

  • For a warmer evening out, this strappy back dress is now $31 and looks really modern to me
  • This funnel neck mini sweater dress is now $39 and looks great with leggings or tights
  • This minidress is much more expensive but it might work for more casual offices as well — it’s $269 now

Ladies, have you hit the sale yet? Which are your favorites?