The Best Winter Blazers to Wear To Work

the best winter blazers to wear to workSure, we all know what wardrobe essentials for work 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.

Around this time of year, we typically feature stylish velvet blazers among our blazer picks for the best winter blazers to wear to work (including a beautiful blue one from Self Portrait that Kat shared a couple of weeks ago). Many are festive enough for weekday holiday office parties but still professional for workday wear — and versatile enough to pair with jeans on the weekends. We’re bringing you some more recommendations today, including some of our favorite velvet blazers on the market right now — as well as (in our roundup) a few options for tweed jackets if you want a more sedate alternative to velvet. Readers, how do you change up your blazers for work in wintertime? Do you like to wear them as toppers to sexier looks on the weekend? Do you like to wear them to “business attire” events around this time of year such as networking events through alumni or professional organizations, or even holiday office parties held on workdays?the best winter blazers to wear to work 2017

Pictured at top: rosey orange / purple / gray.

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The Hunt: Sleek Strappy Pumps for the Office

Sleek Strappy Pumps for the OfficeSure, we all know what wardrobe essentials for work 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.

When the weather starts to get brisk, I’m always on the hunt for great strappy pumps to wear with tights to work, whether they’re ankle strap, T-strap, Mary Jane, crisscross, or other styles with straps. (Particularly as someone with narrow heels but a wide forefoot, I swear by these for comfort and stability!) Strappy pumps like these are great for days where boots may feel too soon — and they can also be great as shoes that “live in your office” to change into if you do your commute in rainboots. This year, there are more heeled oxfords on the market than in previous years (like these nice ones from Isolá and Calvin Klein) — and of course wearing booties to the office is so trendy right now that we’ll do a separate roundup for booties (stay tuned!). We’ve included some of our favorite strappy office pumps this year — which are your favorites, ladies? In general, what shoes are your favorites to wear with tights to work — pumps, strappy pumps, booties, or something else? 

Psst: here are our favorite tights for work (just updated the post!).

Pictured at top, clockwise from top: one / two / three

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The Best Merino Wool Sweaters for Work

The Best Merino Wool Sweaters for WorkSure, we all know what wardrobe essentials for work 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.

Now that the calendar says it’s officially fall, we’re supposed to be easing into sweater season — cozy merino wool sweaters, for example — but in most parts of the country, temperatures are in the 80s and 90s. Let’s put that aside for now (it helps if you’re sitting in air conditioning) and start picturing the more typical autumn weather that will have you reaching for your boots, jackets … and merino wool sweaters. We’ve mentioned the many advantages of merino before: It’s very warm but also lightweight (often light enough to wear beyond fall and winter), and it holds its shape much better than cotton. It’s not quite as luxuriously soft as cashmere, but it tends to be more durable and is often machine washable. (Here are some tips on washing merino wool.) If you’re on the hunt for merino wool sweaters for work, now is a good time — there are a lot of sales out there, some offering deep discounts. Which brands are your favorite for merino wool sweaters? Do you prefer merino to cashmere for warmth? Which brands have you found to be the best at holding up to washing and/or dry cleaning — and do you typically machine wash, hand wash, or dry clean your merino wool sweaters? Anything else you like merino for, like socks, tights, skirts, long underwear, shells for under jackets? 

(Psst: Here’s our last roundup on the best affordable cashmere for work. And, er, our post on the best summer work clothes might be helpful today as well.) 

Here are some of the best merino wool sweaters for work available now:

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Wine-Colored Pumps: A Versatile Shoe for Office Looks

What to wear with wine-colored pumpsSure, we all know what wardrobe essentials for work 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.

Every year, I argue that wine-colored pumps are some of the most surprisingly versatile pumps you’ll have, particularly for office looks. Wear them with black, gray, navy, beige, and white! Wear them in spring with kelly greens and pastel colors! Wear them in autumn next to emerald tones and other fall hues! If you’re looking for a fun, colorful shoe, a dark red/deep purple shoe is a great workhorse for your work wardrobe. It was interesting to note that this year there was a dearth in general of colorful pumps of any color — red is about as wild as most brands are going. (Embroidered/fabric/velvet shoes are popular — so many embroidered booties! — but I think that’s more of an impulse purchase and, frankly, much harder to incorporate into a work wardrobe.)  So: onward with the wine-colored pump roundup for today — but I’m curious to hear from you guys: do colorful pumps have a place in your working wardrobe? Do you prefer embroidered/fabric/velvet shoes to mix things up at the office — and how do you wear them? (For example, do you play it safe and wear a shoe with a bold print/detail with a neutral or monochromatic outfit? Or do you delight in mixing patterns, colors, and textures?)

Links for the pumps pictured above, going clockwise from top LH corner: one / two / three / four

Here are some of our favorite wine-colored pumps out there right now…

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How to Protect Your Credit After the Equifax Data Breach

How to Protect Your Credit After the Equifax BreachMillions of people (unfortunately, not an exaggeration) are wondering what many Corporette® readers are also wondering: how to protect their credit after the Equifax data breach. On September 7, Equifax revealed that hackers may have exposed Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, birth dates, addresses, driver’s license numbers, website security questions/answers, etc., for up to 143 million people — a “breath-taking amount of highly sensitive data [handed] over to criminals,” as Ars Technica put it. (With all the upsetting news stories recently, someone thought we needed even more things to worry about!) We’ve seen some contradictory information online — and the sheer amount of advice out there is overwhelming — so we thought we’d round up some expert advice in a post. Ladies, what steps have you taken to protect your credit after the breach? Have you used any services or had any success in freezing your credit? If you’ve written to government officials about changing the laws, share your script!

Here are the latest recommendations for how to protect your credit:

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Tales from the Wallet: How to Pick the Best Rewards Card For You

How do you typically use credit cards — and what are your tips on how to pick the best rewards card for you? We’ve discussed some great rewards credit cards (Kat is still using her Amazon Visa!), but we thought we’d have a broader discussion today about readers’ credit card habits — the good and the bad. Which do you think are the best credit card rewards — and what are your tips on how to pick the best rewards card for you? (Pictured: bright red Kate Spade wallet – highly rated and only $88 at Nordstrom.)

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I’m always using my credit cards, because like a lot of people, I barely ever carry cash. (It bugs me when I’m at a bakery or other business that doesn’t take credit cards, even though I get it.) I like how the fraud protection is better with credit cards than with debit cards, too; my cards have been compromised a couple of times and I’ve never been liable for anything. And the rewards don’t hurt: My Citibank Simplicity card lets me earn cash back, and my TJX card (Marshalls, TJMaxx, and Sierra Trading Post) earns me gift certificates at those stores. My husband and I also have a UPromise card from Barclaycard that generates money for our son’s 529 plan. (His grandparents have one too that also contributes to his account.)

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