The Best Clothes If Your Weight Fluctuates

What to Wear if Your Weight Fluctuates | CorporetteWhat wardrobe items should you invest in if you’re losing (or gaining) weight?  What clothes will fit even if you regularly fluctuate by 10-20 lbs?  Reader K wonders what the best clothes are for someone dealing with weight fluctuation:

I have a story idea; the work wardrobe for the weight fluctuator. Me and many of my friends bounce around by 10-20 lbs. It is expensive to buy everything in two sizes. I thought it would be helpful to do a post on the type and style of clothing to invest in if you want to have an office wardrobe that works when you’re up or down.

For instance; I have a lot of wrap dresses as they are forgiving and flatter across a 15 lbs spectrum. Sheer blouses can be belted in at any weight. I own a lot of dresses as they can be belted in if I’m training for a half marathon or without a belt they’re more forgiving after Christmas party season. I steer clear of non-stretch, and very fitted fabrics as they tend to look bad when too tight or too loose. I make sure to buy work pants with belt loops so that they’re not falling down after an ugly breakup has left me without an appetite. A longer camisole with a blazer over it can hide if I can’t do up the top button on my pants. Fitted work shirts can be paired with a camisole if the buttons won’t close over an increased chest.

This is a fantastic question, and I’m so curious to see what readers will say — we’ve talked about when to give in and buy a larger size, as well as how to keep a working wardrobe while losing weight — but we haven’t talked about this.  When I was younger I regularly fluctuated 10-20 lbs, generally in the same clothes — but when I was at my thinnest, I found that even a few pounds made my pants fit differently, so I knew pretty quickly when I was gaining.  Now that I’m heavier, of course I’ve said that I don’t want to invest the money in a good wardrobe because I’ll inevitably lose the weight (right? right!?) — but I’ve found that there are a few items that I can buy now that, for whatever reason, I can imagine being great even if I lose 10-20 pounds. So here’s my list:

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Cupcakes and the Office

avoiding-food-pushers-at-workHow do you politely say no to cupcakes at the office? Reader A has a great question, with shades of “how to stop the food pushers at the office,”  as well as how to adapt to the “snack culture” at a new office, and more. Here’s the Q:

I recently started in a new office, and people love to bring in food and snacks all the time. Trouble is, I don’t like to eat lots of sugary snacks, and, frankly, don’t enjoy flavorless cakes with too much icing. How can I say no without appearing standoffish or snobby?

Well, I wouldn’t include the bit about “flavorless cakes with too much icing.”  Instead, how about: “This looks delicious, but I’m good, thanks.”  or “What beautiful frosting! None for me though.”  or even “I’m not a big snacker, but thank you for offering!” [Read more...]

How to Fit Exercise Into a Busy Day

midday-workoutsAfter we linked to our last open thread on midday workouts, a bunch of readers expressed an interest in having another discussion on how to fit workouts into a busy day.  For my own $.02, in my ideal world I get my exercise out of the way first thing in the morning, my socializing in with friends in the evening, with a long day in between to do lots of work.

But of course, that’s easier said than done.  You may have work commitments in the morning, or prefer to use the time for other personal development.  And as a new mother, the thing I’ve realized since having a baby is that your concept of “me time” changes drastically once you have a kiddo.  Particularly that “morning/evening” time — if it isn’t already committed to work, that time quickly becomes blocked as “family time” — either because you genuinely want to see your child(ren), or you literally have no one else on hand to care for them (unless you have a nanny around the clock, lucky you).  So a midday workout is the only way a lot of people can fit in exercise at all.

So if you have to have a midday workout, here are a few ideas: [Read more...]

Can A Water Bottle Be Unprofessional?

Can something as simple as a water bottle be unprofessional? Are there business etiquette rules for drinking water in the office?  Reader M wonders.

Are there any tips for choosing professional-looking water bottles? This is perhaps a mundane question, but with an extremely youthful face, long hair, and a newly-minted JD, I’m trying very hard to avoid any hint of ‘intern.’ I occasionally worry that my current metal bottle — complete with the name of my law school — really serves as a visual reminder that I just got out of school (it often ends up on my desk). On the other hand, I’m proud of my alma mater. Is the answer to trade it in for something completely nondescript? Are certain types more common among professionals? Are designs/logos that reflect some aspect of one’s personality completely out? Thanks for any thoughts you may be able to share!

Hmmn. First, congratulations to M for trying to get her daily water. Fancy water bottles have a lot in their favor — you avoid some suspect chemicals from plastic water bottles (such as BPAs), and they’re easier to clean and reuse. And I’ll admit, in my law firm days I used a simple stainless steel water bottle to carry water to and fro my office (similar to this one from REI). (I always drank out of a plastic cup — easier to throw away, less to clean — so the water bottle was really just my pitcher.  One pitcher filled about three plastic cups of water, so it did help me cut down on trips to the office kitchen for water.)

Now: was I unprofessional to use a water bottle?  Is M being unprofessional by using a water bottle with her law school logo?  I honestly can’t imagine how, just by carrying a water bottle, it’s unprofessional.  [Read more...]

Easy Weeknight Dinners (and Kat’s Top Five Lazy Dinners)

Crockpot Kahlua Pork, originally uploaded to Flickr by Chung Chu.For busy women, preparing dinner all too often falls into the “takeout” category. (I’ll admit it: I totally lived off Seamless Web during my law firm years.) But preparing your own meals at home can be so much better — not only do you know exactly what’s in the dinner, it’s almost always cheaper and healthier to make it yourself. We’ve talked about how the crockpot is amazing for quick, easy dinners, my best tips on how to freeze food without a vacuum sealer, as well as great grab-and-go foods for snacking and lunches, but we haven’t totally hit on Reader K’s question before:

I’m starting my first biglaw job next week and I’m looking for a few easy workweek dinner ideas. My husband and I try to avoid eating takeout more than 1X per week, but I’m not sure how I’m going to manage cooking dinner every night with my new schedule. Do you have any advice for making quick and healthy meals during the week?

I can’t wait to hear what readers will say!  I know we’ve talked about the crockpot before, but I really do have to stress how great it is — you prepare food in the morning when you still have energy and the best intentions, and you come home to a dinner that’s usually ready to be served up.  (And crockpot liners make clean-up super easy, too.) I have a few other ideas for easy weeknight dinners, and I’ll also list some of my absolute easiest recipes below — I’m a totally lazy cook!  (Pictured.) [Read more...]

Office Stress v. Your Diet

Are you guilty of stress eating at the office (or failing to eat because you’re so stressed out)?  Today’s guest poster, Ruth More, tackles the issue.  You can also read her other guest post on Corporette, on downsizing your budget after you cast off your golden handcuffs. – Kat

When I was a young associate, I was continually in a state of fear or trauma. As a result, I didn’t really have the time or desire to make sure that I was eating healthily. To make matters worse, I still had a student mentality about saving money. I pretty much ended up subsisting on the little cups of cream that I would put in the free tea my office offered (I drank a lot of tea). Over the years, I have seen many female associates who have difficult workloads put eating on the back burner. They start to have that sort of adrenaline rush that starved people have, the beady eyes, the cold aggressive handshake. [Read more...]