Your Personal Style: What Just Isn’t “You”?

Your personal style is made up of many preferences and habits — your work style vs. your off-the-clock style, how conservative or edgy your wardrobe is, the accessories you choose to complement your look, your opinions on what’s office-friendly and what isn’t, and the styles/colors/trends that you’ve decided you just don’t wear, ever.

Many moons ago, I had a purple t-shirt with a teensy flower stuck on it, right at the base of the jewel neck. I was in college — and wearing primarily black — and one of my new best friends (ah, freshman year) took one look at me in the shirt and said, “WHAT ARE YOU WEARING? YOU DON’T WEAR FLOWERS!” At the time, the comment really irked me — I hated that it was such a blanket statement, and I hated feeling pigeon-holed. Like I was giving up my right to wear flowers simply because I primarily wore something else all the time.

[Read more...]

Deal Alert: Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

NAS WorkwearAs mentioned earlier: hooray, the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is now open to the general public!  I did a round-up a week or so ago when it opened for Rewards card members, but thought I’d revisit.  (A lot of my original picks in terms of specific items are still available — at the very bottom of this post you can see which ones are no longer available.  Some, like that gorgeous orange peplum blazer, are only available in limited colors.)  For today I also thought I’d revisit my original roundup of brands — some I’m taking off the list because they’ve sold out, or what’s left in the sale isn’t great for work. (That said, for some of the brands, I swear there’s MORE inventory than there was last week — so they may be adding pieces.)

Bags: I’m seeing good representation from Brahmin, Kate Spade, Longchamp (including numerous colors for the expandable Pliage tote), Marc by Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors (including the reader favorite, the Jet Set line of totes), Rebecca Minkoff (including a ton of basic black bags and reader favorite M.A.B. tote), Tory Burch and Vince Camuto

Shoes: There’s a ton of great choices from Stuart Weitzman (but not as many as last week!).  There is also a good selection from a number of brands in our Guide to Comfortable Heels, including Attilio Giusti Leombruni, Børn, Cole Haan, Enzo Angiolini, and Ivanka Trump (but not as many as last week). and Tory Burch.

General Clothes Notes: Lots of choices from Burberry, Classiques Entier, Diane von Furstenberg, Eliza J, Halogen (including reader favorite, The Skirt), Joie, Karen Kane, and St John, Tahari, Theory, Vince, and Vince Camuto.

Lingerie: There’s a good selection from Chantelle, Commando, Hanky Panky, Natori, reader favorite Shimera camisoles, Spanx, Wacoal, and Yummie by Heather Thomson. There are also some online-only deals like a 6-pack of Cosabella thongs for $80 (normally $120).

Denim: There’s a good selection from 7 for All Mankind, Hudson Jeans, J Brand, Jag Jeans (including reader comfy favorite, the pull-on jeans), KUT from the Kloth, NYDJ, and Paige Denim.

Anyway — here are a few new workwear picks from the NAS. If you hover over the picture you’ll get details like brand, price, etc. They’re in order of least expensive to most expensive in each category. (Can you guess which is the most expensive and the least expensive just by looking at the pictures?). [Read more...]

Guest Post: 7 Stores to Shop for Summer Workwear

Summer Workwear | CorporetteWhich are the best stores for summer workwear? Everyone has their own list, it seems, but today’s comes from the online shopping experts at SHEfinds, a blog I’ve been reading since before I started Corporette. Welcome! – Kat. 

Whether you live in the city or the country, drive to work or commute, every woman knows the perils of dressing for work during summer. It’s hot when you’re outside, cold in the car or on the train, hot on your walk to the office, and then cool again in your office. How the heck are you supposed to dress for this?

One word: layers. Yes, it may seem like a bother to carry something extra when it’s 80+ degrees out, but not only will a good blazer, cardigan, or jacket keep you warm in A.C., but it will also pull together a professional outfit like nobody’s business.

So as we embark on sweltering summer months, we rounded up seven stores every woman should hit up for workwear to survive the season. Whether you’re looking for business attire or something more casual, these spots won’t fail you. (Pictured: Notch Neck Shift, $67-$134 at Boden, marked down from $168.)

[Read more...]

Professional Image, Outfit “Compliments,” and Confidence at Any Size

Self-Confidence | CorporetteWhen you get an unexpected comment on an outfit, does it make you question bigger things, like your judgment? Do plus-sized women need to be particularly wary of such office outfit comments? We’ve talked about when you can tell interns their outfits are inappropriate, and how to react when your male boss tells you you “dress too well,” but we haven’t really talked about a casual comment from a friendly coworker. A big welcome back to today’s guest poster, my old friend Kathryn Rubino, who’s written previously about the perfect plus-sized blazer and DIY options for gaping blouses. – Kat. (And I’m sure she looked FABULOUS in the blouse she’s talking about.)

“What a great top — I mean, I could never wear it, but it looks great on you!”

I heard those words and my blood ran cold, and I stuck a smile on my face and mumbled my thanks. Was this a genuine compliment or was I the victim of workplace shade?  Disturbing though it may be, most professional women have dealt with this sort of thing (Kat has even written about the back-handed compliment phenomenon before). But it is such a ubiquitous problem that for my guest post I wanted to discuss that moment that has you questioning every fashion decision you’ve ever made.

First, a little background  this is a workplace where jeans are appropriate on more than just Fridays. The general guidance is that you shouldn’t look “sloppy” but there is quite a range that is considered perfectly acceptable office wear.

Second, I felt great in the outfit. You know how some looks just put a little bounce in your step? That was this outfit. Yes, the shirt was a bold pattern (shades of taupe mixed with a bright yellow and pink), but I had it paired with a dark rinse jean, a reliable black stretch blazer, and nude wedges. So there wasn’t a lot of the pattern showing, just enough to make me feel like spring had really sprung after this interminable winter.

[Read more...]

Sponsored: Get Work-Appropriate, Custom-Fit Dresses from NUMARI

NUMARI bespoke dressesDisclosure: This post is sponsored by NUMARI, but written by your usual friendly blogger Kat Griffin.

Everyone wants a dress that fits you like a glove — but it can be a struggle to put in the time needed at the tailor (to say nothing of the money or the guesswork involved with the initial purchase), and getting a bespoke dress seems intimidating and expensive.  Enter NUMARI, an up-and-coming fashion brand with a triple threat: cute work-appropriate looks, an easy custom fit, and affordable price points ($160-$235 with free shipping and free returns).  I also like that the two founders both actually have worked in conservative spaces — one worked in banking, consulting, and consumer products, while the second was a management consultant in the tech world.  They sent me a few samples to look over, and I must say, I’m impressed with the quality and look. [Read more...]

Guest Post: What to Wear For a Presentation or TV Appearance

What to Wear: TV Appearances | CorporetteWhat should you wear when you’re the star of a corporate presentation, or making a TV appearance for something job-related? This can be a bit different than what to wear for a conference or for interview attire, to say the least, and while we’ve talked about HD makeup for video interviews, we’ve never answered this specific question. So I’ve brought back Sally McGraw, the blogger extraordinaire behind Already Pretty, who does regular TV appearances — she’s guest posted before for us on power dressing for yourself, as well as letting us excerpt her book, Already Pretty: Learning to Love Your Body by Learning to Dress it Well.  Welcome back, Sal! – Kat.

I’m a ham. Happy to admit it. I landed my first lead role in a play at the ripe old age of 10 and have been performing onstage ever since. I may have shifted from drama to music and now to television appearances and lectures, but it’s all performance-related and even after all these years I still get a little jittery every time I walk onstage.

So I know from personal experience how important it is to nail my look before the audience begins to applaud or the camera turns my way. I want to be totally focused on my message and avoid fidgeting and fussing with my outfit at all costs. And, of course, I want to look my best. Here are some guidelines to help you look your best before an audience: [Read more...]