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

Curious for some of our older roundups? Here they are from 20162015, 2014, 2012, and 2010.

Here are some of our favorite purple pumps out there right now…

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The Best Laptop Bags for Work

the best laptop bags 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.

Which are the best laptop bags for work, ladies — which ones have the pockets you need, the weight (or lack thereof) that you like, and generally looks great on your commute? Do you prefer to have a laptop sleeve within a larger tote bag, or a laptop bag by itself? How big is your computer — and how important is padding to you? We haven’t rounded up stylish laptop totes and sleeves in a while, so I thought we’d take a look!

Pictured at top.

Some of our Hall of Famers styles, mentioned below:

the best laptop totes for work

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The Best Tote Bags for Work, Interviews and More

The Best Tote Bags for Work - 2017 Roundup!Sure, 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.

Here’s today’s question, readers: what do you think makes for the best tote bags for work, interviews, and beyond? I’ve argued in the past that the best tote bags for interviews are nylon (lightweight) but structured (non-floppy, stand up by themselves on the floor), large enough for a folder (for copies of your resume), and are mostly a solid color without brash logos. In contrast, I’ve argued that the best professional tote bags in general may be leather (they often look more polished), be a laptop bag (or have a removable laptop sleeve), and have a ton more organization as needed for your daily schlep.

Ladies, do you have different tote bags for interviews and tote bags for work? Do you tend to collect tote bags in general? (I know I’ve got about 10 of them in my closet…) Which ones do you carry the most (and/or love the most)? In general, what qualities do you think makes the best tote bags for work?

Pictured at top, clockwise from top left: one / two / three / four .

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The Hunt: Job Interview Heels

Sure, 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.

In honor of on campus interviews coming up, I thought I’d focus today’s Hunt on job interview heels. What DO you look for in a job interview heel, readers? The most important thing to me, first, is that a job interview heel is comfortable for you — this may mean arch support, it may mean a puffy, sneaker-like insole, it may mean anywhere from a 2″ heel to a 4″ heel. (You can also wear flats for an interview, of course!) A comfortable shoe means a confident stride — I’ve seen some women interviewing look wobbly and unsteady on their feet. Don’t choose height  for “style reasons” if you feel like a baby giraffe just learning to walk! The second thing that’s most important for an interview shoe is that the shoe should be pristine — no scuffs, marks, or anything. If you’re interviewing in a heel you’ve had for a while, take it to the cobbler for new tips and polishing, at the very least. (Along the lines of a “confident stride,” note that many cobblers can add rubber tips to heels and even replace part of the sole with a rubber portion to make the shoe less slippery.) Readers, how about you — have you gotten any great job interview heels lately? Have you seen any faux pas or other fashion gaffes (or made any yourself) while choosing heels for job interviews?

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

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The Hunt for Budget-Friendly Interview Suits

budget friendly interview suits for womenSure, we all know what work wardrobe essentials 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. Today: we’re hunting for budget-friendly interview suits for women!

Obviously, we cover a Suit of the Week every week, and we have our regularly updated Guide to Interview Suits as well as our recent overview of brands of suits for women for every budget— but we haven’t specifically looked for budget-friendly interview suits in a few years, so let’s round them up! (Here’s our last discussion on cheap interview suits, as well as our discussion of whether you can mix black separates to make a suit (noooooooo!).  In general, if you’re hunting for an interview suit, keep an eye out for options with a) suiting separates b) available in a solid, dark, neutral color, c) that fit your budget. By buying suiting separates you can get a better fit off the rack (such as by buying a size 10 pant and a size 12 blazer, and maybe even a petite skirt even if everything else is a regular size) — and you can make several outfits, particularly if there are two blazers, such as one that’s collarless and one that’s the traditional lapel+button. (If you have problems finding suits in your size range, check our Guide to Plus Size Suits, Tall Suits, Petite Suits, and Maternity Suits!) Readers, which are your favorite budget-friendly interview suits? 

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The Hunt for Nude-For-You Heels

Sure, 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.

Beige pumps and other “nude” heels are starting to hit the stores, so I thought we’d do a hunt for nude-for-you heels today. The theory is thus: the closer to your exact skin tone you can get with any shoe, the more elongating and flattering a look it can be with sheer hose or bare legs. (Here’s our last guide on when and how to wear pantyhose if you need a refresher!)  Ladies, do you have any favorite beige/tan/pink/caramel/brown pumps that you love because they match your skin tone and are YOUR nude heels? What style of nude-for-you heel are you on the hunt for most this year — block heel, a strappy heel, a wedge, a classic pump, or something else?  (Looking for nude flats? Check out our last roundup here.)

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