How to Look Professional in Flats — All the Time

how to look professional in flatsHow can you make flats look good with conservative ensembles, without looking frumpy? Reader N is particularly curious because she has MS:

I’m sure you’ve encountered similar questions in the past, but…here goes: I am 31 and work in downtown Manhattan in a technology org for a big bank. Us females are a rarity in a mostly male-dominated environment. I simply must look good. ;) My biggest issue, specifically, is shoes. I have MS – thankfully without me telling you, you wouldn’t notice (until I throw on a pair of heels >2″….then I wobble around like I’m 3 sheets to the wind. Not cute.) I feel like my options are so limited! I can get away with reasonably flat-soled platforms, but otherwise I feel like I get either loafers or ballet flats. Which don’t always work with my conservative work attire. Any tips that won’t demolish my wallet? Thanks!

I think this is relevant for a lot of women (whether they have MS or not) — not everyone wants to or can kill themselves in 3″ heels all the time. We’ve talked about whether you can wear flats for a court appearance, and we’ve addressed other issues (such as how to buy shoes that you can wear socks with), but we haven’t talked about how to make conservative styles look good when you’re wearing flats around the clock.  It can even be a challenge to find classic heels under 2″! (That said, if you can happily live with a 2.5″ heel your options expand dramatically).  Personally, I still love a lot of the strappy, pointed-toe flats we rounded up for a Hunt last June. [Read more…]

Slips, Camisoles, and More: What Are Your Go-To Pieces?

what-to-wear-beneath-wrap-dressesWhat do you wear under wrap dresses? Are there camisole-slips? Reader V has an interesting question about what to wear beneath clothes that I think leads us to a great larger question: what are your favorite brands and pieces in slips, camisoles, support garments, pantyhose, and more?

I have a question re slips. I understand that people wear them (even the non-control ones) to even out the lumpy-squishies, make things less sheer, improve drape, etc. But for an unlined v-neck or wrap dress, where one might want help with smoothing out lumps and VPL and sheerness, what if you also want to raise the neckline. Are there camisole-type slips that are designed to be seen (so maybe in white or black, depending on the color of dress; not nude-for-you)? I’m not sure what to do for something like a DVF wrap dress — I want to wear a slip, but don’t want to slip up. Thoughts? Suggestions? Thank you!

This is a great question. We’ve talked about how to keep wrap dresses closed, but not what to wear beneath them. While reading her answer I found myself going through the things that I would wear beneath a wrap dress:

  • Spanx Higher Power (either shaper or tights, because I wear them with every dress)
  •  camisole (here’s our last roundup of great camisoles — based on reader suggestions I might upgrade my collection to a half-camisole, such as this one)
  • half-slip on the bottom (similar to this)

Now that’s a lot of undergarments. [Read more…]

Sniff, Sniff: What to Do When You Think You’re Getting Sick

What do you do if you think you’re getting sick — and how do you ward off a cold? We’ve talked about how to work when you’re sick, as well as whether you should cancel client meetings if you’re sick and “heavily drugged with cold medicine.”  But I think we’ve all been there: you wake up and feel that nasty tickle in the back of your throat, or perhaps you sneeze twice (when you always only sneeze once) — and you can tell: it is coming.  So what do you do to ward off the sickness, or make it pass faster? (Pictured: Monster tissue cozy by Trigo, available for $8 at Etsy.)

For my $.02, I swear by a few big things: [Read more…]

Socks, Cold Feet, and Professional Shoes

Feet in the snow, originally uploaded to Flickr by BuzzFarmers.What shoes look professional and can be worn with socks? I keep getting questions about this, so let’s discuss. (Pictured.) First, reader J wondered:

I was wondering if you have ever covered where to find great workplace-appropriate shoes that you can wear with socks (that aren’t tall boots). The weather where I live is often cloudy and rainy so wearing shoes without socks leaves my feet cold, but I don’t want to wear boots all the time. Any suggestions? It seems like all I can find are very casual shoes or something that looks like it belongs in the men’s department.

Then, Reader L asked:

I’ve been searching your blog and others for advice about what shoes to wear to work when you have to wear socks. I mean real socks, not trouser socks. Did you already do a post about this? If not, would you consider it?

Great questions! I’m one of those people who constantly suffers from freezing feet, so here are the solutions that I’ve found in the past:

- Wear medium-height boots. Whether they’re flat-footed, wedge-heeled, or high-heeled, there are a ton of great options out there. We just did a roundup of knee-high boots, but in the past my go-to boot with pants has been the medium boot (above the ankle but below the calf) — I find the medium boot to be much more comfortable and less restrictive than the knee-high boot.  [Read more…]

Comfortable Heels: Which Are Your Favorite Brands For Comfortable Heels?

shoes shoes shoes shoes, originally uploaded to Flickr by dhutchman.One of the top Corporette posts of all time, The Quest for Comfortable Heels, turned into one of the best resources on this site: our Guide to Comfortable Heels (which I’ll be trying to update today). But I’ve long wondered what the top brands, for the most people, truly were. Some of the shoes that I’ve worn into the ground were actually from random brands (such as a pair of red peep-toe Liz Flex heels that I bought on sale for $17!) while other much-lauded brands have sat in my closet, unworn. And then there are some high-end surprises — after all, Tiffany of I-Am Styleish praised Miu Miu above other designer brands in her Newbie’s Guide to Designer Shoes.  So I want you guys to dig deep, and think: you know that amazing pair (or two? or three?) of shoes in your closet, the super comfortable ones? What brand are those shoes? We’ll also accept answers for “when it’s time to find a comfortable shoe, the first brand I check out is…”  (Pictured.)

I’ve arranged this as a poll — please write in if there are other brands and I’ll try to add them. You’re allowed up to 10 answers.  If you know the style names, please add them in the comments!

[Read more…]

Guest Post: How to Travel Internationally in Comfort and Style

Aeroplane, originally uploaded to Flickr by Vox Efx. Hot on the heels of our discussion about where to shop in Asia, today’s guest poster has some advice for how to travel internationally in comfort and style — and to keep your cool as a business traveler. Readers, welcome Courtney Gould Miller, a Los Angeles attorney and founder of the blog Chinaful, focusing on all things China, from law and business to culture, food, and travel. – Kat.  (Pictured: Aeroplane, originally uploaded to Flickr by Vox Efx.)

Before joining a law firm, I spent much of my time traveling Asia and Europe for study and leisure, learning new cultures and having a few mishaps along the way. As I’ve learned since joining the firm, international business travel is very different – you’ve got to be prepared and ready to work, regardless of the setting. Kat keeps us all up-to-date with the latest clothes, supplies, and technology we need as busy professional women, and I’m excited to share with Corporette readers a few of my must-haves to travel internationally for work in comfort and style. [Read more…]