2016 Trends: What WON’T You Wear to Work?

2016 trends to avoid wearing to workI’ve noticed a few trends that seem to be EVERYWHERE of late, and I thought we’d discuss, if only because so many of them seem inappropriate for officewear — I’d love to hear your thoughts.  What trends WON’T you wear to work? Every office is different, of course — know yours! — but it’s always fascinating to hear the reasoning behind them.  I was intrigued to see readers noting that any lace-up shoes (including flats) were inappropriate for their offices, if only because that feels like a trend that’s been around for several years, and while I can see the sex appeal of lace-up high heels, the flats struck me as almost ho-hum.  On the flip side, jumpsuits for work seem to be something that’s gaining ground, with tons of readers noting that they’ve worn jumpsuits to the office regularly.  As we’ve noted before regarding trends and a conservative office, we’re against any trend that’s body baring, illogical, or too “new.”

Pictured, clockwise: Huge exposed zipper / cape blazer / high slit / culottes / off the shoulder top

We haven’t talked about trends in a while, so let’s discuss… Some trends I’m seeing more and more of:

  • high front slits in business dresses and skirts (pictured)
  • voluminous sleeves and ruffles (for example)
  • lace-up blouses (for example)
  • bodysuits (for example)
  • exposed zippers running completely up the back (why, Classiques Entier, why?!?)
  • cold shoulders / off the shoulders (pictured — even Vogue, Glamour, and WhoWhatWear admit they’re not the best for the office, but I swear I’ve seen someone else do a tutorial on “how to wear off the shoulder tops to work”)
  • the culotte trend that will not die (pictured)
  • dusters / super long cardigans (for example)
  • wide trousers
  • high waists
  • cape blazers (pictured; similarsimilar, similar, plus)
  • moto jackets for work
  • crop tops, or crop-top-inspired clothing (for example)
  • joggers (they’ve been around for a while but I think they’re still a serious “know your office” item)

So let’s hear it, ladies — what’s off bounds for your office? What trends have you been seeing more and more around your office (either welcome or not)?  Are there other, less controversial things (like kick flares, joggers, or jumpsuits) that still make you shake your head?

 

what trends won't you wear to work 2016

Pictured, clockwise: Huge exposed zipper / cape blazer / high slit / culottes / off the shoulder top

Workhorses for Your Working Wardrobe

working wardrobe workhorsesLadies, what are the workhorses in your working wardrobe? Are there any surprises in there — things that you reach for a ton more than you thought you would when you bought them? On the flip side, which were the wardrobe disappointments — the things you thought you’d wear a ton but found aren’t that versatile? (Are there any suiting pieces in the mix on either side, either bought as separates or as a suit set?)

When we last discussed surprise basics for workwear, I called out my love of colorful purses, olive-colored pants, a good watch, and nice pearls as things that I was surprised to find myself wearing a ton. (I’ve had good luck with dark olive pants, like the ones pictured, as well as lighter olives with more brown in them. I’d wear the pictured pants with neutrals like black, white, navy, gray (as well as with cobalt); pastels like peach/pink, lavender, or French blue; dark eggplant, or even limited pops of red or orange.) I’ve also written of other things that are outside the usual “must have” lists, including very light gray pants instead of summer whites, velvet blazers for festive in-office holiday luncheshuggie earrings, light blue blazers, and purple pumps. It also came up a bit with our discussion of light blue suits, with lots of readers noting that they often wear a pair of colorful blue trousers or a colorful blue blazer (but not together).

(Pictured above: shoes / pants / earrings)

In our last discussion, some of the items the readers noted they loved included:

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Fashion Startups To Know, Part Two: 25 Brands Making Bags and Shoes for Work

independent shoes and bags for workA while back we rounded up thirty workwear brands you probably hadn’t heard of, focusing on smaller, startup fashion companies serving up new, interesting clothes for working women. Shoes for work and bags for work (laptop totes and beyond) became such a huge portion of it we thought we’d save it for its own post — and here it is! Below: meet 25 companies on our radar catering to the market of working women. Ladies, do you prefer to buy from independent retailers, or do you just like to see what kind of products they’re imagining? Have you tried any of these brands? Do you know of any others that should be on our radar?

Independent Brands Making Shoes for Work

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The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale ends SUNDAY!

final 3 days of NAS saleDeal alert, ladies: it’s the final three days of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale — after Sunday, all of the new fall merchandise currently marked down will go back up to full price. There’s still a ton of good stuff left , but even now it’s flying off the shelves. (WAAAH to the leatherish jacket I added to my cart last night at like 1 AM and was sold out in my size by 10 AM this morning.) We’ve already rounded up workwear in the sale, NAS shoes, and last week we took a deep dive at the highest rated items for work and play since customer reviews weren’t available in the early days. I thought I’d take a quick swing through the sale today to see what else is sticking out to me now — I’m still seeing new things.  Note that all of these have a TON of sizes left, and that reader favorite brands for workwear like Boss, Classiques Entier, Theory and Halogen have lots of stuff left, including full suits.

For the Office

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The Highest Rated Items Still Left in the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

highest rated items in the Nordstrom Anniversary SaleAs I may have mentioned a few times, the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is still going on, featuring tons of new fall merchandise temporarily marked down until prices go back up on August 8. I did my initial workwear review and rounded up my favorite shoes from the NAS when the sale first began a few weeks ago, but it’s been interesting to watch the progress of the sale — I’m always intrigued to see what becomes a best seller, what sells out, what gets rave reviews, and more.  Much has sold out — but there are still a TON of highly rated items in the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. So I thought I’d do a “highest rated edit” of the NAS — these are things that have tons of good reviews, almost entirely 4-5 stars, and almost everything here still has a ton of sizes left.  I’m picturing a lot of workwear and shoes, but I’m also rounding up the highest rated lingerie, lounge, and weekend pieces in the NAS.  Ladies, what have you bought and loved, whether to wear to work or for the weekend? Have you tried any of these highly rated NAS styles — and do you agree with the reviews? 

The Highest Rated NAS Work Clothes

You can check out my initial NAS workwear review here — many of the pieces are still left but have zero reviews (or single 5-star reviews, like this dress). I always feel there’s strength in numbers, so these are the highly rated styles with the most reviews:

highest rated tops for work in the NAS

Pictured tops above, L-R:

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5 Tips to Stay Cool on Really Hot Workdays

how to stay cool on hot workdaysDid you hear that the highest temperature in the world last week was an incredible 129°F ? Even if you’re not dealing with crazy record-breaking temperatures like that, you’ve likely been dealing with a hellish commute if you walk, bike, or take public transportation to work. Aside from reveling in the frigid air conditioning once you get to your office, here are a few tips to stay cool on really hot workdays:

1. Use your drink for something other than drinking. Bring a cold can of soda (put it in the freezer for a while) or a frozen bottle of water and roll it on your wrists and other pulse points (here’s a picture pointing them out) when you want to stay cool. Once you’re at work, stop by the restroom to run cold water over your wrists.

2. Hack your commute. If you take public transportation, try to improve the most melty, disgusting portion of your commute. In most of NYC that’s the wait on the subway platform — not the subway ride itself. This may mean making yourself an iced coffee or a frozen bottle of water to take into the subway with you instead of grabbing one at your usual spot near the office; it may mean avoiding the subway entirely and taking the bus. If you can time it right (either with the help of an app or some of the newer MTA stops that tell you how far away your train is) you can wait to descend the subway until a minute or two before your train. (Try MoovitNextStop, or Transit App.) Wear as little makeup as possible so that you don’t smudge it when you’re wiping the sweat off your face, and if you have to/want to wear pantyhose in the summer, pop them in the freezer first, or just put them on at your office.

3. Pack a fan in your bag. It’s funny how a little breeze can make a big difference and help you stay cool when it’s hot, humid, and gross — so get a little battery-operated fan or a paper/wooden folding one (you know, the kind you can get in Chinatown). This one looks like a good bet, while this wearable one is intriguing… This model even has a misting feature — nice! (If the A/C at your office just can’t keep up, you can buy a small one like this for the top of your desk, too.)

4. Wear your hair up. On hot days you know your hair will end up off your neck, so you may as well plan ahead and make it look nice. Check out our roundup of easy office updos for inspiration.

5. Layer, layer, layer. Especially if you’re going from a hot, sweltering summer day into frigid air conditioning, you need layers. Outside: wear a skirt or dress (possibly layered with slipshorts for comfort), or lightweight pants like linen or cotton pique, with a simple t-shirt or shell. When you get inside, add the cardigan, blazer (keep one or more at work if you like), a scarf, or (if you must) pantyhose. Note that if you’re looking for a good sweater to put on at the office, a silk cardigan is going to retain its shape and wrinkle less in your bag than a cotton or poly-blend cardigan will. (If you absolutely need to wear a blazer when outside, check out our recent roundup of lightweight summer blazers.)

Ladies, what are your best tips that help you stay cool during the dog days of summer? 

Pictured: Pixabay.
Image credit for pin and other social media: Canal Street subway, originally uploaded to Flickr by m01229.  

how to stay cool on your commute