Putting Workwear to Work for Halloween


It’s that time of year again: the leaves are changing, the air is crisp and pumpkin spice is everywhere. With October 31st fast-approaching, Kat asked me to create a few fun outfits to show you how to put your workwear to work for Halloween. (Yep, it is possible.)

So, I chose a cast of characters (two fictional and one very real, very eccentric designer) who not only have iconic style, but are also well-known for rocking head-to-toe black. Check out the inspired looks below…

(Curious for more ideas for making Halloween work at work? We previously discussed Halloween costumes in 2013 and 2010 open threads, and I shared a big list of ideas for office costumes a couple of years ago. – Kat)

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Open Thread: Vacation Time

Vacation Time | CorporetteAs the close of 2015 is almost upon us, here’s a question: did you use your vacation time? If you did (congratulations), please regale us with stories — wheredja go, whadja do, how’d you find the time to plan/schedule it, which app/service would you recommend, etc. — but if you DIDN’T (which historically was me), why not? Did you just have too much work? Did you not feel comfortable scheduling something with your work calendar? Was it a budget/priority thing? For everyone — do you have any big plans for 2016?

For my $.02 — I almost never used all of my vacation time, and looking back it was largely because I worried it would reflect poorly on me at work. I also was worried that I would spend all this time/energy/money researching a vacation only to have it cancelled at the last minute due to work. I felt pretty comfortable in BigLaw scheduling trips to see my parents, both because we had religious reasons (Christmas, Easter) for the trips, as well as because I knew my parents had good Internet service and would understand if I had to turn it into a working vacation. And of course I would tack on a day or two here or there if I was traveling for a friend’s weekend wedding or whatnot.

But in terms of fun vacations, particularly in places without reliable Internet access? The stress usually stopped me from going. For example, my now husband took me to Paris a few months after we started dating, and I was terrified the trip would be cancelled, that there would somehow be a disaster ON the 5-day trip (I had nightmares of having to find an “Internet cafe” to work in for hours, paying in 15-minute increments with a dial-up modem). I worried that when I left I would be working without sleep to get all the work done — and I worried that when I returned there would be a mountain of work waiting for me. The trip turned out fine, of course. (Ok, I got food poisoning, which was less than awesome for a romantic vacation, and we totally failed to make it to Reims because I misunderstood the train schedule, but workwise it was fine.)

Another reason I didn’t travel much while working in BigLaw: I could never get the timing right to travel with friends, and I never dated anyone seriously enough to even ponder a vacation together (until I met my husband) — and I was hesitant to travel by myself as a single woman. In my non-profit job, I didn’t have nearly as much vacation time, I didn’t have seniority to choose when to take it, and we didn’t have the budget anyway to take vacation without some serious sacrifices. [Read more…]

Coffee Break: Extra Large Weekender

Weekend Travel Bag: LeSportsac Luggage Extra Large WeekenderIf you don’t already have one of these — or if you know someone who doesn’t — this needs to be on your gift list, stat, particularly if there’s airplane travel coming up. Not only does this collapse small enough to fit in the zippered sleeve of most luggage, it’s so durable that you can even check it on the way back. (I often use mine for dirty laundry — the bag is also washable if needed.) The crazy colors and patterns can be a bit much, sure, but what are the odds that you’ll be looking at a luggage carousel of 15 similar bags? The pictured bag is $154. LeSportsac Luggage Extra Large Weekender


Gift Idea: Mark Bittman Cookbook

Cookbook gift - How to Cook Everything: The BasicsWhere do you fall on cookbooks as a gift idea? Yes, they can be boring — but they can also be really expensive, so they can make indulgent gifts. This Mark Bittman book is on my wishlist — the whole series looks amazing. It’s $19.77 at Amazon for the hardcover book. How to Cook Everything: The Basics


Gift Idea: Ombre Wrap

Stylish Wrap for Work: NordstromI feel like a cashmere wrap (also sometimes called a ruana) is one of those things that every woman should own — and they’re great things to gift, because you don’t even need to guess at size. Plus, should they not like it, it’s an easy gift to return to the store — no hanger or huge bulky shoe box needed). This ombre one is calling my n… wait, uh, it’s calling my MIL’s name. Yessss. That’s the ticket. It looks gorgeous, though, and it’s on sale (and available in solid colors) — it was $298, but is now marked to $223.

Tales from the Wallet: Black Tie on a Budget

Black Tie on a Budget | CorporetteHow do you dress for a work-related black tie — on a budget? Whether you have a formal holiday office party coming up, or you’ve been invited to a charity black tie on behalf of work, you now probably have two primary questions: a) how to dress in a formal dress and still maintain a professional demeanor, and b) how to do it without breaking the bank.  We’ve talked about what not to wear to a black-tie event for work before, as well as how to do black tie on a budget, but not for a while, so I thought we’d discuss. (We also recently did a style guide for the more low-key, weeknight holiday office party.  Ladies, what are your best tips for doing black tie on a budget?  Any amazing scores to share?

Pictured: dress, earrings, clutch, shoes

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