The Hunt: Interview Totes

stylish interview totes 175Sure, 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.

A stylish interview tote is something that every woman needs — yet it can often be a hassle to find the perfect thing (at a price you like).  For my money, a good interview tote:

  • is black (and can be worn with any color, including navy)
  • has structure to it and will stand up by itself if you set it down
  • is big enough to hold at least a folder with your resume, as well as a small bag of makeup and a bottle of water
  • has interior organization (pockets and the like) so you can find what you need, quickly and easily, without digging

In an ideal world, a good interview top would also zipper on top (so it’s secure and won’t accidentally spill out), and would be able to be carried by a shoulder strap so your hands can be free.  We’ve gone on the hunt for these before (see our 2013, 2012, 2011, and 2010 roundups here); also, guest poster Jean from Extra Petite recently shared her favorite tote bags with us.  Some of the classics that we’ve included in previous roundups (and are still available) are Rebecca Minkoff MAB totes, the Kate Spade Maryanne line, most MZ Wallace bags, nylon Tory Burch totes, and Lo & Sons totesReaders, what qualities do you look for in an interview tote bag?  Are there any classics that we’re forgetting?  Have you made any recent purchases of a great tote bag?

 

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The Hunt: Interview Suits

Stylish Interview SuitsSure, 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 almost time for thousands of law students and MBA students around the planet: interview week! We of course have the Guide to Women’s Suits for general advice, and we pick an interesting women’s suit once a week — but we haven’t rounded up interview suits in a while (charcoal suits in 2013, navy suits in 2012). There are, of course, a few Hall of Famers to note in this category:  Banana Republic’s lightweight wool suiting, Ann Taylor’s triacetate suiting, J.Crew’s Super 120s suiting,  Theory’s stretch wool suiting — in addition to those classics, below are the first six suits I’d try if I were looking to buy a classic, basic interview suit in today’s market.

Readers, do you have any favorite suits that are classic enough for interviewing? What’s your favorite budget suiting line — and your favorite splurge suiting line?

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The Hunt: Low Heels

Six Low, Cute and Comfortable Heels | CorporetteSure, 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.

Low heels that are feminine and cute can be difficult to find!  We’ve looked before (in 2012 and 2013), and there are two Hall-of-Famers that I can think of:  Stuart Weitzman Poco and the Cole Haan Juliana 45 (2″, $90-$160).  In addition to those few, we’ve rounded up six other heels (below) that are currently on the market and all under 2.25″ — most are under $100.  Readers, what is your favorite heel height? Have you gotten any great low heels recently?  Can you think of any other “hall of famers”? 

 

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The Hunt: Fit and Flare Dresses

fit and flare dressesSure, 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.

I noticed a few weeks ago that readers wanted a Hunt for fit and flare dresses, so I thought we’d round some up today! I usually consider a “fit and flare” dress to be one that is fitted from the waist up, but A-line/fluid/flouncy/full from the waist down. (Interestingly, a quick Google for “what is fit and flare” turns up lots of wedding dress results.)

I generally think of the look as being less “classic work” than a sheath dress because it tends to be popular one season and disappear almost entirely the next — so, like the flouncy skirt, if you like this style on your body type, this is a great time to stock up.

The style is often described as “curve hugging” and with words like “flirty!” which make it seem like it’s less work-appropriate, but I think all of the pictured dresses are totally work-appropriate for even the most conservative offices. Obviously, watch your skirt length and your sizing, but that’s true of everything with workwear. One bonus with this style: there are a TON of budget options — almost all of my picks are below $100!

Readers, have you gotten any great fit and flare dresses recently? What defines a great fit and flare dress for you?

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The Hunt: Linen Blazers

The Best Linen Blazers of 2014 | CorporetteSure, 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.

I think a classic piece every woman should have for summer is a linen blazer.  As noted in our last summer blazer roundup, there are other lightweight options for summer — silk, seersucker, cotton pique, etc — but nothing breathes quite like linen, and there are a ton of great options for linen blazers in stores right now.  Ladies, what is your favorite fabric for a lightweight blazer?  Have you bought any linen blazers recently that you’re loving (or have any from previous years that you can’t wait to break out of your closet)?

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The Hunt: Sheath Dresses

The Best Sheath Dresses | CorporetteSure, 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.

There are a ton of cute sheath dresses out right now, so I thought we’d hunt for a few since we haven’t done a roundup since last year! Readers, what does your perfect sheath dress look like? Sleeves? Neckline? Have you gotten any amazing sheath dresses recently?

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