How to Buy a Bra

Sizing for women’s clothing can be incredibly frustrating in general (meaningless numbers! vanity sizing! different sizing among brands!), but figuring out how to buy a bra that fits can be even worse. It’s pretty easy to tell if, say, a shirt fits you, but so many of us are wearing the wrong size of bra every day (which we’ve been told ad nauseum). Maybe you’ve lost or gained weight without buying a new one, maybe you feel like your bra fits well enough because you don’t realize you’ve never worn the appropriate size, or maybe you’ve simply given up on buying a size that feels just right.

We haven’t specifically talked about how to buy a bra before, although we recently had an open thread about readers’ favorite lingerie for office looks, we’ve discussed bra care (including washing, rotating, etc.), and a couple of years ago we specifically gave workwear style tips for busty women.

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Here are some tips on how to buy a bra that fits well, feels comfortable, and makes you look even better in your clothes:

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How to Make Sure You Get Your Money Back on Returned Online Purchases

how to make sure you get your money back on returned online purchasesMy own system needs a little work, so today I’m asking a question for advice as much as discussion: how do you make sure you’re getting your money back on returned online purchases? Have you found any good apps or systems?

If you’re like me, odds are you do a lot of online shopping these days, and part of the appeal is easy returns by mail. But keeping track of whether I’ve actually gotten the refund or credit is becoming more and more difficult. For example, sometimes when I’m returning items bought online  I have absolutely no idea how much I’m going to be getting back — for example, I remember returning stuff to Banana Republic/Gap/Old Navy once where I had purchased the items using their “super cash” and possibly had gotten an additional “buy $X and get 40% off” tiered deal — so I had no idea how returning some items from the order would affect the equation.  Other times, the store tells you clearly how much to expect back when you print out your return slips — but then returns trickle in on your credit card in smaller amounts, at different times.

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City Series: The Corporette® Guide to New York City

working girl's guide to NYCA reader suggested we start a series this summer for what to do in different cities — I DO often notice that there are a lot of comments about different cities, so this seems like a great idea. Let’s start with NYC! What’s your best advice on where to shop for workwear in NYC? (What about other fun shopping?) What are your favorite restaurants and bars? What hotels have you found to be decent; which attractions are a must for you? Here’s a template to use for your response if it’s helpful:

Where to stay:
Where to shop:
Where to eat:
Favorite attractions:
Etiquette tips if any:
Safety tips if any:
Other notes:

Readers, you can check out other posts in our City Guide series here. Want to offer advice for YOUR city? Please fill out this form — we’d be so thankful for any advice you have! 

For my $.02, here are my answers:

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Options: Online Stylists for Your Work Wardrobe

online stylists for your work wardrobeDoes your work wardrobe need a bit of a refresh — or are you just building one for the first time? It can all be a bit overwhelming in stores, so today I thought we’d round up some online stylists for your work wardrobe (especially since Keaton Row closed up shop)! A big welcome back to freelancer Ashley Wermick! – Kat.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes, shopping at the mall or a department store can just be overwhelming. So many people, so many clothes, and so many fitting room disappointments.

Luckily, there are companies that cut out the middleman and send fabulous clothes right to your door, and also share expert ways to style looks for work, play, and more. We’re discussing five of our favorites below…

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The Best Workwear For Size 16 (and 18, and 16P, and 16WP, and 14W…)

The Best Workwear For Size 16 | Corporette2017 Update: We still stand by this advice on the best workwear for size 16, but you may also want to check out a more recent threadjack on how to look cute for work if you’re short and cusp-sized. 

We haven’t talked explicitly about the best workwear for cusp sizes in far too long, ladies — if you’re a size 16 or 18, what are your favorite stores and brands? Given the fact that the average American woman is now a size 16 and 5’4″, this is particularly a difficult question because with those stats you may fit in regular sizes (e.g., 12, 14, 16, 18), plus sizes (e.g., 10W, 12W, 14W, or 16W), petite regular sizes (such as 14P, 16P, 18P) or that rare bird, petite plus sizes (12WP, 14WP, or 16WP) — this is why women in this size range are called “inbetweeners!” But a lot of “regular” stores only carry sizes up to size 12 — and a lot of “plus” stores only start at 18W. Add to that the fact that most stores carry very few of those sizes on the shelves, and you may be stuck in a never-ending cycle of online shopping and returning stuff, as several readers noted in our post on how to return items bought online. SO. Let’s discuss, ladies: What’s the best workwear if you’re a size 16? If you’re an “average” size and right on the cusp of plus sizes, which brands or stores have you found to be the best for you? What styles of clothes work best for your body type? What brands run small; which run big?  

Psst: If you are interested in plus size workwear, please sign up for CorporettePlus, our newsletter! Signing up helps us gauge interest in the project, and we promise not to blast your email more than once a week at most. (Right now it’s more like once a month.)

Some of the brands I know of include:

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The Best Online Glasses Stores for Women

online-eyeglass-shops-for-womenA reader wrote in the other day asking me to update our post on how to buy eyeglasses online — I’m still buying them (a pair or three every two years, approximately), so I thought we’d talk about the best online glasses stores for women because finding cute eyeglasses for women — online — can be difficult. As a reminder, these extremely affordable options can be great if you’re the kind of person who likes to change eyeglasses frequently like other accessories, if you’re looking for a back-up set to keep at your office, or if you’ve got a situation where someone keeps losing them, destroying them, or more. (I started buying online after my first son destroyed two pairs of eyeglasses…) Note also that if you have flexible spending dollars to spend before the end of the year, many of these will qualify, so now is a great time to buy.

I’ve bought from GlassesUSA most recently, but there are a lot of other great places to try out…

Some general tips for buying women’s eyeglasses online:

  • If you have a pair of old eyeglasses you love, measure the frames, nosebridge, and more — and take a picture of your eyeglasses (and you in them) so you can save it in your files. I regularly compare the measurements of old eyeglasses to new ones I’m considering.
  • I find it easiest to winnow down the selection if I’m looking for one particular color, so I almost always sort by blue — for you that may be clear, tortoise, or something else.
  • When in doubt, pay for a thinner lens.
  • Unfortunately, most prescription sunglasses can’t get a really dark tint — I still love them. I started buying them back in my contact days so I could go for a run in the morning without putting my contacts in before my shower; now that I wear eyeglasses 90% of the time, I’m thankful to have more stylish sunglasses that I can also see out of.
  • I tend to save any relevant pictures and measurements into one folder on my desktop– if I take pictures of home try-on glasses, if I save the “virtual try-on picture,” etc — and then I can flip through all of them at once on my computer.
  • Note the return policy carefully – most stores have really excellent return policies, just check before you buy.
  • Consider recycling your old eyeglasses when you’re happy with your new ones.

Some of the companies we covered in our first round-up are still around, and we won’t go into them too much today:

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