Are Midi Rings Appropriate for the Office?

Midi rings Midi rings at the office: yea or nay? In terms of the bigger picture, how do you know whether to try out a fashion trend at the office? What makes certain jewelry or accessories too trendy or unprofessional for work? Reader J wonders:

I normally don’t wear any rings other than my wedding bands but I recently bought some midi rings on a whim and I am wondering if they are appropriate to wear to the office. I am a solo attorney, so I can wear what I want but I don’t want to look unprofessional. I’m thinking like 3 max on my right hand and I would not wear them to court, just on days that I am at the office. What do you think?

We’ve talked about how to start a professional jewelry collection, when to splurge on jewelry, wearing religious jewelry to the office, when to wear pearls and how to buy pearls, but not this.  I just yesterday saw a Facebook post where people wondered whether midi rings were “connected somehow or separate,” so there’s obviously some confusion there — let’s discuss. (For the record, they can be both! But most of the ones we’re discussing below are separate.)

For my $.02:

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The Hunt: Strappy Pumps

SJP Phoebe Patent Leather Mary Jane PumpSure, 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.

It’s that classic winter conundrum — you commute in to the office in snowboots or Wellingtons, wearing tights for warmth, and then find that your regular pumps feel super slippery with tights on.  My answer to this has historically always been to keep strappy pumps at work to wear with tights (if not commute in strappy pumps)!  However, we haven’t talked done a round up of strappy pumps in almost a year, so let’s discuss… Note that if you have fleece-lined tights (or other really thick tights) these strappy pumps may not be the best option.  Readers, what shoes do you wear with tights in the winter?  Are you a fan of strappy pumps for this purpose — or do you prefer to wear booties and shooties?  Bought any great ones recently?
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How to Style Long Hair for Job Interviews

long-hair-interviewWhat’s the best way to style your long hair for a job interview if you’re a woman in your early 20s? Could wearing it down make you look too young? Reader D wonders:

How should a 20-year-old style her long, straight hair for the interview process for a management consulting job? Is wearing it down and straight too young/collegiate? Is styling it with a curling iron too beauty-pageant/date-y? Just how conservative is the corporate culture of the big three consulting firms? Must hair be pulled back? Interview wardrobe all taken care of, and nails are neat and well-groomed, but what about long hair?

We’ve frequently discussed workplace hair, from whether long hair makes you look young, to whether ponytails at the office are acceptable, to what easy, maintainable hair looks like, to work-appropriate up-dos. We’ve also talked about what your hair says about you at work.

For this post I was going to find a bunch of YouTube tutorials and pictures of women with interview-appropriate updos, half-updos, and long hair. But… here’s the thing: so many of those look totally pageant-y, and on a young woman it’s going to look even more like you’re playing dress up. So here’s my answer:  for an interview, your hair should be neat, recently trimmed, and not something you play with. Ultimately, the hairstyle should be forgettable. I mean that in two ways: first, it should be forgettable for you —  once you do your hair and leave your house, you should be able to forget your hair and focus 100% on the interview(s). No touching, no smoothing, no combing — no thoughts of “ow, these bobbypins are sucking my will to live and when.can.I.get.them.out.please.God.is.it.now.” (Ahem. Personally I hate bobbypins.) Secondly, though, your hair should really be forgettable for your interviewer as well, because you want them to notice your resume and your qualifications and your smarts — not your hair. [Read more…]

Suit of the Week: Jones New York

JNY Suiting SaleFor busy working women, the suit is often the easiest outfit to throw on in the morning. In general, this feature is not about interview suits for women, which should be as classic and basic as you get — instead, this feature is about the slightly different suit that is fashionable, yet professional.

Jones New York is having a pretty great suiting sale right now: create your own two piece suit for $99. There are a ton of nice blazers marked down to $59 (lots of my previous picks still available).  For today’s suit of the week I’m liking this birdseye pattern — it’s slightly different than a black or a gray suit, but just as wearable.  The blazer (Emma Birdseye Seasonless Stretch Blazer) was $139, but is now $59; the skirt (Lucy Slim Skirt in Birdseye Seasonless Stretch) was $79, but is now marked to $39, and the pants (Sydney Birdseye Seasonless Stretch Slim-Leg Pants) were $99, but are now $99.  All pieces come in sizes 2-16, as well as plus sizes; there seem to be a few other pieces in birdseye in lucky sizes.

Psst: along the lines of other big sales, there are a few hours left in Talbots’ big cashmere sale — all cashmere sweaters are $54.99 with code TREAT24. This includes reader favorite, the Audrey sweater.  Sizing for regular, plus, petites, and plus-size petites. Also, the Loft sale has hit 75% off, bringing prices down to $15-$20 (including their popular waterfall cardigan).

JNY women suiting sale

(L-all)

Joining the Boys’ Club When You’re a Woman

Boys' club at work | CorporetteShould you join the office boys’ club if you’ll be the only woman? What if your male coworkers meet and talk shop outside of work while taking part in an activity — such as tennis or golf — that you don’t even like? Reader K, who works outside of the U.S., wonders:

I have a question regarding the ‘old boy’s club’ at work; my workplace is fairly conservative, with only 15% of the workforce women (although the number is increasing in the younger generation), but quite politically correct and thus nothing seriously sexist or misogynist. My male boss, in his mid-50s, has been fantastic to work with, and as a recruit (from a different company, relocating quite a distance), I’ve been happy with my position and also see potential in the company itself. BUT, after three years, I see that there is a ‘boy’s club’, where they get together and play tennis, have a beer, and get things done. My boss has even suggested that I join the tennis club (playing once a week or so) — but I’ll be the only female and really don’t like tennis. What would you do?

Tough question, K. We’ve talked about networking with older men, dealing with sexist coworkers, and whether or not to pick up the tab at lunch with a group of male partners, but not specifically about this topic. I’d ask myself a few questions first:

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Happy MLK Day! 52 Sales (and Kat’s Top 14)

sales175 punyThere are so many good sales going on right now, ladies — we’ll update them if any new ones arise, but there are so many good ones already going on.  I wanted to bold half the list, but here are my top 14… Updates are in red!

  • 6pm.com – 60% off Coach.
  • All Saints – End of season sale, 50% off all sale lines.
  • Ann Taylor – Extra 70% off sale styles with code STYLE. 60% off sale styles, 40% off full price styles with code SHOPBIG.
  • Anthropologie – Extra 40% off sale items with code EXTRAEXTRA.
  • ASOS – Up to 70% off sale in their end of season boutique.
  • Athleta – 20% off your entire purchase, including sale items, with code ATHLETA20.
  • Bare Necessities – Extra 25% off clearance.
  • Barneys New York – Final markdowns! Up to 75% off clothing, shoes, accessories and more. 
  • Barneys Warehouse – End of season sale, extra 60% off all clearance. (!!)
  • Bergdorf Goodman – The Grand Finale, save up to 75% off.
  • Bloomingdale’s – 5 day weekend sale. Save 25-65%.
  • Bluefly – Winter wow shoe styles, now up to an extra 30% off.
  • Boden – Save an extra 20% off winter clearance.  Ends midnight Monday.
  • Brooks Brothers – Online exclusive, winter clearance event.  Up to 70% off select styles.
  • Club Monaco – 30% off sale and clearance with code SALE2015.
  • CUSP – Final day, $50 off $200 regular-price order with code NEWYEAR.
  • C.WonderClosing sale. Take an extra 75% off your order.
  • DSW – Clearance, up to 50% off women’s boots.
  • DVF – Extra 20% off sale styles with code JAN20.
  • eBags – Winter sale and clearance. Save up to 70%.
  • eShakti – Clearance sale, 40% off.  Introductory offer of 25% off sitewide (ends today).
  • Express – Clearance up to 70% off, plus take an additional 50% off already reduced clearance items. On full price items, $25 off every $75 you spend with code 1042.
  • Halsbrook – Holiday sale, up to 60% off sale.
  • Inhabit – 70% off their fall collection, plus 50% off all holiday styles.
  • J.Crew – Extra 40% off final sale styles, with some at 50% off.  Use code SHOPNOW.
  • J.Crew Factory – Online only – extra 30% off clearance styles with code TICKTOCK.
  • Journelle – Semiannual sale, up to 70% off.
  • Karen Millen – The KM Sale. Extra 20% off, limited time only.
  • Kirna Zabête – Designer sale, save up to 70% off.
  • Land’s End – 20% off your order.
  • Last Call – Extra 50% off cold weather, 40% off boots, and 30% off everything else.
  • The Limited – Save, up to 70% off.  Also, online only, $20 off every $60 you spend.
  • L.K. Bennett – Up to 50% off sale.
  • Loft – Enjoy an extra 60% off all sale styles.
  • Lord & Taylor – Winter break. Up to 75% off clearance with 20% off your savings pass (or 25% with your L&T card).
  • Macy’s – Online exclusive, extra 25% off clearance.
  • Madewell – The Get Cozy Event: Enjoy an extra 30% off all sale styles with code AHHH.
  • Neiman Marcus – up to 65% off.  Plus, final day: take $50 off your select regular-priced qualifying purchase of $200 or more.
  • Net-a-Porter – Final clearance. Extra 20% off sale items now with code 20SALE.
  • New York & Company – The Big Sale! Up to 70% off — plus, $100 off your purchase of $200 or more, $50 off your purchase of $100 or more.
  • Nine West – sale, up to 70% off. Plus, extra 20% off select styles (price as marked).
  • Nordstrom – Thousands of items more than 50% off.
  • The Outnet – Up to 65% off handbags, and an extra 40% off coats and boots.
  • Piperlime – prices up to 75% off.
  • Reiss – Sale, final reductions.
  • Rebecca Taylor – End of season sale, extra 40% off with code FINAL40. .
  • Saks – Final sale, up to 70% off.
  • Shoes.com – Final sale event.  Blowout prices. No promo code needed.  Priced as marked.
  • ShopBop – Tons of stuff up to 70% off.
  • Sierra Trading Post – New Year Inventory Reduction, up to an extra 65% off select items.
  • Talbots – Savings up to 70% off, extra 50% off markdowns, and 30% off regular priced tops.
  • White House | Black Market – end of season sale, up to 70% off.