The Hunt: Beige Pumps

beige pumpsSure, 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.

One of my must-have pieces to keep at the office is always a good beige pump.  It’s an easy neutral for all skin tones, as noted by commenters in our roundup last year, and most people find it to be a real workhorse. We’ve been doing the beige pump roundup for so long that the Hall of Fame listing (the shoes that have been around for forever) is impressively long — we’ve also rounded up a few shoes we like in wide, narrow, and other categories.  Pictured below: some of the more noteworthy beige pumps we found this year.  Ladies, have you recently bought any beige pumps that you love?   

[Read more…]

The Hunt: Layered-Look Sweaters

Club MOnaco Mackenzie SweaterSure, 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 usually like to use The Hunt for a basic, timeless piece that everyone needs — cashmere sweaters, strappy pumps, etc — but when I got a request from a reader looking for layered sweaters, I thought, ooh, that would make a fun Hunt — they have been EVERYWHERE recently, and the sweater-and-collar look can be tricky to get on your own.  Some people have DIY solutions for the bulkiness that ensues, while for others static cling  is more of an issue — even rolling the sleeves can take some skill.  Still, I think it’s a classic look that range from “very preppy” to “casual” (such as the option from Loft, below) to some of the newer looks that are almost cropped sweaters with tunic blouses (such as here or here).  Ladies, what are your tricks for getting the layered look — short of buying a 2-in-1 sweater or wearing a collared dickey?  What rules do you think apply to the office? 

[Read more…]

The Hunt: Great Cashmere Sweaters

cashmere-sweatersSure, 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.

Cashmere is a must for any working woman — it’s warm (great for the freezing office!), a bit luxurious, and (shhh) usually Woolite/delicate-cycle friendly.  We haven’t done a roundup of cashmere sweaters in a while (2014, 2012), and so many of the great ones are on sale that I thought today would be a great day to discuss it.

Ladies, have you bought any great cashmere sweaters recently?  Which are your favorite brands for cashmere in general? 

[Read more…]

The Hunt: Strappy Pumps

SJP Phoebe Patent Leather Mary Jane PumpSure, 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 that classic winter conundrum — you commute in to the office in snowboots or Wellingtons, wearing tights for warmth, and then find that your regular pumps feel super slippery with tights on.  My answer to this has historically always been to keep strappy pumps at work to wear with tights (if not commute in strappy pumps)!  However, we haven’t talked done a round up of strappy pumps in almost a year, so let’s discuss… Note that if you have fleece-lined tights (or other really thick tights) these strappy pumps may not be the best option.  Readers, what shoes do you wear with tights in the winter?  Are you a fan of strappy pumps for this purpose — or do you prefer to wear booties and shooties?  Bought any great ones recently?
[Read more…]

The Hunt: Flat Boots

flat knee high boots for work 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.

Flat dressy boots are one of those know-your-office situations — just a few years ago they were fairly scandalous, but now they’re everywhere.  We haven’t done a roundup in a year (here’s our 2013 and 2012 roundups), so I thought I’d poke around… these are my favorites.  First, a few specialty categories that may be of interest — note that if you’re really on the hunt for a custom style, check out  Duo boots — you have the ability to tailor your fit, but they already have a large sale section that is up to 30% off today.

Ladies — have you bought any great flat boots for work lately? What are the top qualities you look for in an office-appropriate boot?

[Read more…]

The Hunt: Knee-High, Heeled Boots

knee-high boots smSure, 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.

We haven’t done a roundup of knee-high, heeled boots for a while (2013, 2012), so I thought we’d go on the hunt. (Note that in our last poll, almost 70% of readers said knee high boots were office-appropriate with regular skirts (not minis) — still, knee-high boots are definitely still a know your office situation.) Note also that I’m going to do an entirely separate roundup for flat dressy boots (hopefully in two weeks) — so please stay tuned!

Some great general sales to note if nothing here strikes your fancy:

[Read more…]