How to Reduce Static Cling

How to Get Rid of Static Cling | CorporetteHow do you reduce static cling in pants and skirts?  Reader K wonders…

Wondering how to deal with unlined pants & trouser socks (or long underwear, for that matter) such that the pants don’t get all bunchy and sticky, especially for wider-leg trousers. Are you just going to have to resign to have a certain amount of clinginess to your lower legs if you’re wearing trouser socks, or are some silkier than others/are there other products out there that function the same as a slip? Static is one issue, but fabric on fabric is what seems to be causing me the most trouble.

Wow — I had no idea before I looked into this a bit how many interesting techniques are out there.  For starters, I will say that I haven’t had this problem too much in the winter, perhaps because I’ve often worn silk long johns beneath unlined wool pants (with trouser socks, if any, below those) — in these nasty days I have to sing their praises again; they’re super warm when you’re outside but not noticeable at all when you’re inside.  (I also often tend to wear boots in the winter with pants, and generally switch from trouser socks to regular (often silly) socks such as those from HotSox and HappySocks.)

A few tips from the interwebs:

Readers, do you have problems with static cling in the winter?  How do you handle?

Pictured: Yarn Cake Static Cling, originally uploaded to Flickr by cakersandco.


Colorful Pants and Professional Women

Can You Wear Colored Pants to Work? | CorporetteAre colorful pants appropriate in an office setting?  Are they for young’uns only?  Reader J sent in this question a while ago:

Question – today’s trends are to wear colored pants.  What are your thoughts on wearing colored pants to an office setting on casual fridays?  And, more relevant to me, what are your thoughts on wearing trends such as this if you’re over the age of 35?

I am obviously all for colorful pants, and I don’t think there’s an age limit on them.  I’ll even make a few arguments in favor of colored pants before turning it over to the readers, because I’m dying to hear what other ladies think.  In my mind, the pros to colored pants: [Read more...]

How to Buy a Great Winter Coat

How to Buy a Great Winter Coat | CorporetteHow can you find a great winter coat? Reader M asked us to “share some guidance and advice…”

I’m curious to hear what the readers say here, because despite a lot of poking around online, I haven’t found a lot of other articles talking about this.  Here’s what I know:

  • I read somewhere once that a wool/cashmere blend is better than a 100% cashmere coat — after looking at this Ask Men article it looks like it may be because cashmere is such a delicate fabric, which makes sense.
  • I’m still largely against down for the office, but at this point I think that’s my own issue, perhaps caused by memories of Kathleen Turner’s puffer coat in Romancing the Stone — the look is hugely popular.  Land’s End notes that down is technically the warmest insulator.
  • As noted at Style Bakery, J.Crew and Delia’s offer coats lined with insulation like Thinsulate.
  • As someone who went to college on Lake Michigan (where they sent around a shuttle for us to get to class when it hit 20 below with the windchill), the wind is often what gets you more than the “cold” — and underlayers (such as silk long johns) can be almost more important than the coat itself
  • I don’t care if it’s a medical myth that 80% of your body heat escapes through your head — I still recommend wearing a hat when it gets cold outside.
  • I’m a total wimp, but I wear gloves the second it’s vaguely acceptable — when I go for a run or a walk I’ll often be in a t-shirt and gloves.  Yes it looks dumb, but I hate hangnails, raggedy cuticles, and other dry-winter-hand problems.
  • In terms of style, as the WSJ advises, bear in mind where most of your skirts and pants hit you; I have also made the argument that a winter coat should be big enough to fit a suit blazer (or very thick sweater) beneath, comfortably. (So watch out in July when you find that amazing coat that fits you like a glove… with bare arms.)

Finally, for my $.02, consider your coat an investment, and spend accordingly — I’d rather have one $800 coat that lasts me five years, rather than eight $100 coats that last me a year each.  (PARTICULARLY considering that it’s not uncommon, at all, to find $1000 Cinzia Rocca coats or $800+ Brooks Brothers coats on great sales, bringing prices down to $250 or less (at BB, there was one around this time last year, and I’m stalking the website again.)  This view is also formed by NYC practicalities, where closet space is limited so it doesn’t make SENSE to have eight winter coats.

I’m curious, though, readers — what rules of thumb do you follow when you’re hunting for a new winter coat? How long do you expect a winter coat to last?  What is your ideal style of coat, if you could only buy one?

(Pictured above: Cinzia Rocca Due Stand Collar Wool Blend Coat, on a baby sale at Nordstrom for 25% off.)

Three-Quarter Sleeved Blazers in Winter

How to Wear Three-Quarter-Sleeved Blazers in Winter | CorporetteHow do you wear three-quarter sleeved blazers once winter arrives?  Reader R wonders…

Now that the cooler months are approaching, I have a question about 3/4 length sleeve blazers. I have a belted one that is very warm and work-appropriate, but I never know what sort of shirt to wear under it. (Ditto for many cute blazers I see out there, especially tweed ones.) Is it OK to wear a long-sleeved shirt under a blazer with 3/4 length sleeves? If so, what color/fit guidelines would you recommend? It seems like a waste to have a blazer in a heavier fabric if your wrists and lower arms are going to be exposed to the elements.

Interesting question.  (Pictured above: Rebecca Taylor Raw-Edge Tweed Blazer, on sale at Last Call: was $395, now marked to $126.40 (sizes 4-8 only).) We’ve talked in general about what to wear beneath suit jackets, and how to wear a black blazer as a separate, but we haven’t talked about this.  For my $.02, this is how I’ve always worn them, but I’m curious to see what other ladies are doing: [Read more...]

The Best Stores for Maternity Wear

The Best Stores for Maternity Workwear | CorporetteWe’ve talked about the best stores for workwear for tall women, for petites, and for plus sizes; the last one we’re going to talk about is the best stores for maternity wear.  Spoiler alert: the choices are never great — but they have expanded quite a bit since I was pregnant (and since we last looked at professional maternity clothes).  Today I’ve asked blogger (and Corporette reader!) K from Work That Bump to guest post and round up some of the best stores for the working pregnant lady.  Welcome, K! – Kat.

Scaling Mount Everest, running a marathon, and collecting a suitable maternity working wardrobe — it may not seem that the last one belongs, but trust me, it does.  So although I can’t comment on the first two feats, I was thrilled when Kat asked me if I would guest post on the third.  I’ve created what I hope to be a comprehensive list of maternity brands and stores (something I wish I had when I was pregnant). Other issues I’ve addressed that may be helpful: I recently spelled out my approach to shopping for maternity wear and my maternity-wear budget. I’ve also tackled the difficult questions of intimate apparel while pregnant and a transition wardrobe while pregnant.

Before we get into the list of stores, though, it is worth noting that you can score some good prices on maternity wear on Gilt, Rue La La, Zulily, and Haute Look.  Gilt currently has eight pages of maternity wear from good brands like Maternal America and Eva Alexander, as well as nursing bras, jeans, and casual tops for the weekends.  For example, I really like this Charlotte dress from Nom Maternity that is available for $60 on Gilt (pictured above) — it should prove to be very versatile: you could wear it with pumps and a blazer for work or with riding boots and a cardigan for chilly weekends.

And now to the list of stores and brands: [Read more...]

Buying Multiples… from a Designer Collaboration

Buying Multiples... from a Designer Collaboration | Corporette Can you justify having multiples of the same kind of dress? Does the answer change if it’s from a “designer collaboration” (popularized by Target but seen at a lot of different budget-friendly stores)? Reader J wonders, particularly with respect to the recent Banana Republic/Issa collaboration:

I kind of went wild and bought a bunch of the “royal engagement” style Issa wrap dresses (royal blue, turquoise, deep purple, aubergine). As you know, these are classic looking dresses made of 100% silk … plus I love them. Can I justify having multiples of these dresses?

For those who don’t know, Issa is a fairly high end brand with dresses that normally retail for $400-$850 (sold at stores like ShopBop and Saks; The Outnet actually has a bunch on sale right now for $200+); they recently did a “collaboration” with Banana Republic where some of Issa’s designs, manufactured and sold by BR, retail for $50-$140. I have a few thoughts on this, but I’m curious to hear what the readers say…

1) If you buy something you like, that fits you well, buy multiples of it (or at least set up a price alert to stalk it when it goes on sale). I’ve done this with t-shirts, sweaters, blazers, pants, lingerie, shoes, even purses.  I’ve occasionally even bought the exact same color and size again because I liked it so much and wanted a spare.

2) That said, you want to be a bit careful with the ever popular “designer collaboration” – [Read more...]