Weekly Round-Up

– A Boston Globe columnist explores what things women should never wear, including an item of clothing so vile it inspires the columnist to ask: “Is there anything a woman could wear that says more loudly, ‘I am not to be taken seriously in either the professional or sexual arenas’?” We’ll let you click to find out what that is. [Miss Conduct]

– Ms. JD has a hilarious assessment of an article on a male author’s article, “How to Use Gender Bias To Ensure Your Career Success.” Tip: no giggling or crying. [Ms. JD] A more serious piece (written by a woman) on how to negotiate boardroom-speak is here. [The Glass Hammer]

– Bunnyshop has a guide to international hair salons. Handy! [Bunnyshop]

– Learn from the mistakes of Zoe Cruz, Carly Fiorinina, and Martha Stewart: Maintain your “Feminine Mystique.” [Boston Herald]

– Tips for boosting your brain power and preventing Alzheimers. The tip we like: use your non-dominant hand for basic things such as brushing your teeth. [WSJ]

– Do you travel frequently for work? Here are the top 20 airports to avoid. [Forbes]

– NYT has 31 Places to Go This Summer (and avoid the Euro). [NYT]

– Addicted to caffeine? Us too. Here’s a guide on how to break the addiction. [New York]

– If your parents and grandparents are just starting to think about divvying up their estate, we recommend this article: you may have a very interesting Thanksgiving dinner ahead of you. [BusinessWeek]

– Ooh, great round-up of different online stores to sell you local produce. [NYT]

– A musical version of the movie 9 to 5 is coming to Broadway! Musics and lyrics written by Dolly Parton herself. [ET] [Photo above: Nine to Five – Sexist, Egotistical, Lying Hypocritical Bigot Edition – Full Screen]

– Finally: a cool little video on The Girl Effect. [YouTube via Feminist Law Professors]

Generation Pantyhose

pantyhose-for-workThere’s an interesting story in today’s WSJ regarding pantyhose, and how it causes a generational divide between workers. That’s definitely true! We here at Corporette think they should be worn on the most formal of occasions — court appearance, meeting with the CEO, etc — but for daily work they aren’t necessary. We were surprised, a few weeks ago, when we ran our first poll and 50% of you said that they weren’t ever necessary. At left: SPANX All The Way Up! Pantyhose Hosiery.

Anyway, our jaw dropped when we read the article in the WSJ:

This is the issue that lately has occupied the mind of Jim Holt, president of Mid American Credit Union, a small financial institution in Wichita, Kan. Mr. Holt is 58 and a three-decade member of the U.S. Army Reserves. He joined Mid American, which has 50 employees, four years ago, inheriting a dress code that prohibited, for women, such things as boots and mules, or backless shoes. The company required “hose” at all times — even under pants. [Read more…]

Poll: How often do you dryclean suits?

how-often-to-dryclean-womens-suitsWomen’s suits: No one really knows how often to dry clean them. For men, the answer that is given time and time again is the same: Rarely. Once a season, maybe. The less the better. But then again, men’s suits fit differently than women’s, and the things men wear beneath a suit (the long-sleeved shirt, the undershirt, the boxers) are very different than things a woman wears beneath hers — our skin is in contact more with the suit. So let’s take a poll: how often do you dryclean? (Photo by uncleboatshoes, courtesy of Flickr.)

Except! Before we get to the poll, we’d like to pass along this advice from a recent Esquire article by Dr. Oz (he of Oprah fame):

De-plastic your dry cleaning. Right now. Go into your closet and remove the clothes from their plastic capes, then hang the clothes outside for an hour. There’s a toxin almost all dry cleaners use called perchloroethylene, or perc, and it’s not something you want in your lungs. So either find a dry cleaner who doesn’t use it — some now use liquid CO2 instead, which is good — or air out your duds every time. But not in your bedroom — then the perc inhabits your other clothes.

Ew. OK, poll time:


Our $.02: Dry-cleaning is expensive, bad for the environment, and bad for the clothes. Also, we never seem to be available when the dry cleaners are open to go pick up the darn stuff. Thus: We dry-clean our suits as soon as they begin to smell. For other items in our closet: We have a “first year” rule for cashmere, and will follow the tag directions for the first year of purchase, but after that we’ll give it a whirl in cold water with Woolite. (And, then air dry, of course.) (And we have yet to be disappointed with Woolite.) For dresses, we dry clean only if visibly dirty — unless we’ve borrowed a formal gown from a friend, in which case we dry clean it before returning.

Like our polls?  Click the new link on the sidebar and go take all of our polls, including our very first poll (about whether bare legs are appropriate in the office).

The Secrets of Style [Esquire] (scroll down, it’s there)
Dry Cleaning Your Clothes [Ask Men]

Wednesday’s TPS Report – Tracy Reese Skirt

Our daily TPS reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices. We begin the week in splurge mode, with our most expensive suggestions, and wind our way to Friday, where a less expensive item of clothing might be just what you need to make it to the weekend.

tracy reese pencil skirt net-a-porterThis Tracy Reese canvas skirt is, admittedly, kind of crazy, but we keep coming back to it at Net-a-Porter. We usually don’t go for big patch pockets on our hips, either, but we like these — again, functional enough for a building pass and a debit card for our lunch run. We’d wear it with a black fitted cardigan or jacket for the office — maybe with a red heel — and then wear it out for cocktails with a bright top and a big clutch in a contrasting color. (Purple and yellow, perhaps, or orange and pink.)

UPDATE: If you like the print, there’s a puff sleeve wrap dress on sale at Nordstrom’s in the same print. It’s only available in size 4 and it’s on sale from $350 down to $139. If you’re interested, go now!

How To: Polished Hair for a Busy Woman

professional hair video
We were sort of, well, busy in grade school when all the girls were learning how to do pretty up-dos — clubs and lessons galore. (As were most of our friends!) However, on the off chance you have 5 minutes free in the morning and would like to go for a more polished look, this is a great how-to video from PurseBuzz. We like that she goes from long wet hair to a sleek up-do in 7 minutes flat. (We’d skip the headband.)

Nancy Pelosi and the “Maternal” Style

nancy pelosiJezebel has a piece today on Nancy Pelosi’s style, inspired by a recent article in The New Republic. They also link to a 2006 WaPo article about Nancy Pelosi’s style. All the pieces talk about her maternal style — the Tahitian pearls, the Armani suits, and how integral they are to her success.

We’ve posted a few fun quotes below…

Photo at left by Rob Goodspeed, courtesy of Flickr.

  • “Nancy Pelosi . . . is presently loathed by the Clinton campaign, some supporters of which charge — oh for fuck’s sake — that she wants to maintain her status as the “senior skirt” in Washington. But there’s the thing: Nancy Pelosi wears skirts. She schmoozes and flirts and has a feminine-maternal touch, and she always looks great!” – Jezebel
  • “[I]n the context of Washington, Pelosi cuts a distinctive figure. She gives the impression that she cares about the way she looks, but gives no indication that she obsesses about it. Such pride is an admirable quality and one that most parents attempt to instill in their children, admonishing them to sit up straight, polish their shoes, or smooth their hair for the class picture.” – WaPo
  • “This look–in fact, the whole maternal role–is key to Pelosi’s political identity. Pelosi may be tough, even feminist, but not in the in-your-face ’70s way that Hillary Clinton is often associated with. She has never downplayed her femininity and is known for her Armani suits, Tahitian pearls, and oh-so-girly chocolate habit.The pronounced femininity works because it is naturally who she is, but it is also savvy politics: Such self-marketing undermines GOP efforts to paint Pelosi as a left-wing extremist out of touch with mainstream values. The speaker makes frequent reference to her years as a stay-at-home mom, while staffers and colleagues are quick to attribute leadership tricks and personal ticks to her time in the domestic trenches. Following Pelosi’s swearing in as speaker, the media was awash in photos of her, gavel in hand, surrounded by her grandkids as well as the children of other members. She looked deceptively like your garden-variety grandma–albeit vastly better coiffed.” – TNR

The interesting thing to us is the fact that those style tools are difficult ones to co-opt if you’re in your late 20s or early 30s. That is the time your reputation begins to be built, that is the time you need to work the hardest to earn respect — and women are advised to emulate grandmotherly style. This is, of course, why we started the blog — we don’t necessarily have an answer to it, but we wanted to start a dialog. Let’s try a poll on this one…


Nancy Pelosi: Love Her Or Hate Her, There’s No “Ambiguity” About Her Sense Of Style [Jezebel]
Muted Tones Of Quiet Authority: A Look Suited To the Speaker [WaPo]
House Broker [TNR]

work fashion blog press mentions