The Hunt: Black Linen Trousers

Sure, 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 disgustingly hot outside, and linen trousers can be an absolute lifesaver in this sort of heat. Khaki and white linen is festive and seasonal but, let’s face it, fraught with problems — do you really trust that you’ve found exactly the right pair of underwear to wear beneath them? Black linen pants are much less dicey, and hide wrinkles. They’re a great way to survive the summer in style.

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Monday’s TPS Report – TSE Italian cotton twinset (Saks)

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.

TSE cardigan sweaterA good sweater set will take you through the summer with grace and style. We like this floral crewneck sweater from TSE, sold at Saks. You can wear it as a set, obviously, or wear the tank as a vest, on top of a collared button-down shirt. The best thing about the twinset is the ability to wrap the sweater around your shoulders for the hot commute into the office and then put the sweater on for the chilly air-conditioned day.

Tip: We’ve always found that the trick to the “cardigan over the shoulder” thing is to button the entire sweater (otherwise it looks like a cape), put the buttons against your back (not facing outward), and bring the arms up over the shoulder as neatly as possible and knot it once. We prefer to tie the sweater on top of our shoulders, rather than around our arms, but we’ve seen it both ways.

5 Tips For Surviving the Day After an All-Nighter

tips for surviving the day after the all-nighter2017 Update: We still stand by these tips for surviving the day after an all-nighter (and links have been updated below) — but you may also want to check out our more recent post on how to function at work without sleep.

We’ve all been there — stuff needs to get done, and stuff needs to get done now. In the high-stress job, the all-nighter (sometimes several nights in a row!) is par for the course. One of my bosses once said she reveled in looking like crap the next day, wearing it as a badge of honor. I don’t. If you look sloppy and tired and incoherent, well, that’s how you tend to get treated. So, that said, here are my tips for surviving the day after an all-nighter, after the jump…

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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:

how-often-to-dryclean-womens-suits

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]

work fashion blog press mentions