How to Buy a Blazer to Keep at the Office

how-to-wear-a-blazer-as-a-separateLadies, what are your best tips for buying a blazer to keep at the office, or otherwise to look for in a blazer you’re buying to wear as a separate? (Does anyone have success with wearing suiting blazers as separates?) I often suggest to readers that they keep a blazer in their office to grab and go if you get an invitation to a meeting at the last minute or otherwise need to look (or feel) Very Professional. As another plus, it can also be a way to stay warm (whether with chilly air conditioning or a cold day), and — depending on the needs of the situation and the blazer you have — I might even grab a blazer with pockets if I were going somewhere and just wanted the use of the pockets.* But how do you know which blazer to keep at your office? We haven’t talked about wearing a blazer as a separate in years, so I thought we’d discuss. (Pictured.) Some of my top tips for buying a blazer to keep at the office include:

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Coffee Break: Colorful Double Letter Tray

green-colorful-desk-accessoriesI’ve posted a lot of clear desk accessories lately — but when I saw this colorful desk accessory I couldn’t help myself; I love those saturated colors! I think they’re fun and they’d add a lot of personality to a drab office at work or at home.  There’s only one review, but (sad trombone) it isn’t that great — but if you’re on the hunt for one of these eight saturated colors you just might want to take the chance. The set of two letter trays, a pencil cup, and two smaller trays is $29. Source One Acrylic Deluxe 5 Piece Set Stacked Desk Oragnizer Double Letter Tray, Accessory Tray, Odds & Ends Tray, Pen Cup


25 Ways to Repurpose Office Supplies

25 ways to repurpose office suppliesLadies, what are your best suggestions for ways to repurpose office supplies? Everyone likes to stock their office with the stuff they need — but from time to time you find yourself caught off guard and just need to make the best of a bad situation. We rounded up ten other uses for office supplies a loooong time ago, but I thought we’d expand on the topic and discuss today!

First up: ways to repurpose office supplies to help with fashion emergencies:

Clothing Hacks with Office Supplies

  1. If you need a lint brush, try a Fed Ex mailing label or packing tape.
  2. If you need to stop a run in your hose and don’t have nail polish, try using a glue stick or white out (obviously best if the run starts somewhere hidden).
  3. If you need to reduce static cling with pantyhose/skirt, try rubbing hand lotion on your hands and then smoothing it on your pantyhose.
  4. If you need to fix a fallen hem, try double-sided tape or packing tape folded double, or try stapling your clothes with the solid bar on the inside — many readers noted the holes rubbed right out when the staple was removed later in the day.
  5. If your pants are too tight after lunch (and/or you’re pregnant), try a rubber band or hairband to help extend the waistband.
  6. If you need to fix a broken zipper pull, try a paperclip.
  7. If you need to fix a broken bra strap or shoe strap, try a teeny tiny binder clip.
  8. If you’re going desk to dinner and forgot to wear or pack a racerback bra, try a paperclip to make your regular bra a racerback.
  9. If you need to remove a stain, try hairspray (for ink), or wet paper towels beneath your shirt with dry ones on top (especially for coffee stains).

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Affordable, Easy Office Decor Ideas

easy office decor ideasLadies, what are your favorite easy office decor ideas? What’s the first thing you do in any new office, and what ideas would you recommend to summer associates, interns, and others? Decorating your office with cute desk accessories and more can be an essential way to making your workspace happier — and giving yourself more energy. But, if you’re a summer associate, intern, on-site consultant, on a secondment, or any other kind of temporary worker, you don’t want to put in a ton of effort into decorating your desk or office. So what are the top affordable, easy office decor ideas that help you avoid staring at boring blank walls or that ubiquitous cubicle-wall shade of beige-gray-tan?

Obviously, you should make sure not to damage the office in any way, such as leaving behind adhesive residue or accidentally removing paint/drywall when you remove things from the walls. You also won’t want to bring too much stuff, or else by the end of your time there you won’t even want to bring it all home. (Plus, it’s a little weird when a temporary worker looks like they’ve moved in, yes?) So what are the best ideas beyond “colorful tissue box”? (Always an option!) We thought we’d round up some great ideas for cute desk accessories and other simple, fast ways summer associates can decorate their offices.

(Update: as you see in the comments, a lot of readers bristled at the very idea of this post, noting that summer associates or interns should NEVER decorate their office. We’ve updated the post a bit for clarity, but it’s a good reminder to know your office. )

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Cute Office Supplies: When To Use Them

Cute Office Supplies | CorporetteOur post the other day about the cute file folders got me thinking: When should a professional woman actually use cute office supplies? Should you use them only in a home office? Only for presentations? As part of a cohesive system for all of your office work? (Pictured: Smiley Face Binder Clips, $4 for 40 at Amazon.)

For my $.02, I’ve always loved cute office supplies — something about going to Staples or Kate’s Paperie or the like takes me back to the happy feelings of back-to-school shopping. (Yeah, I was that kid.) But once I got to my law firm, this is how I actually used them: for personal things in my office only. I had a nice folder for keeping track of my CLE credits, and a nice folder for holding my old timesheets and the like — things that I filed myself and didn’t need to hand off to someone else. They sat on my desk (as part of my organized office system) and made me happy — but they were but a small pop of color amidst the seas of red Redwelds, brown Bankers Boxes, and beige manila folders. It was still worth it to me to seek out pretty things and buy them, but it was just for a bit of silliness to cheer me up at the office.

Ladies, when do you use cute office supplies? Do you have a place for them in your life?


N.B. These substantive posts are intended to be a source of community comment on a particular topic, which readers can browse through without having to sift out a lot of unrelated comments. And so, although of course we highly value all comments by our readers, we’re going to ask you to please keep your comments on topic; threadjacks will be deleted at our sole discretion and convenience. Thank you for your understanding!

Petite Office Ergonomics (and: How Does Your Office Handle Ergonomics?)

ergonomics - employer's responsibilityIf you’re petite and your office desk is too tall for you — enough that it’s causing you pain while you work — how much is your employer required to do to make your desk/chair setup more ergonomic? What if you work at a nonprofit? Reader A asks…

I wonder if you could address what my work place is required to do regarding ergonomics? About a year ago I started a new position where I sit at a desk all day. (For the last 5 years I worked remotely meeting clients 90% of the time.) Since then I’ve noticed that I’ve been getting weird pains in my back, wrists, hips, and neck. I’m just about 5’2″ so my desk is too tall for me, my typing and monitor alignment are all wrong. If I raise the chair to the right height, my feet dangle, and resting them on the chair base caused weird hip pain (and a footrest just wasn’t convenient.) I work for a nonprofit, so buying new office supplies isn’t really at the top of our priority list, but can I request one for health purposes? If not, do you have another suggestion? (I live in Ohio if that matters.) Thanks for the help!

Interesting question, Reader A. We haven’t talked about ergonomics in a little while, and I’m curious to hear what readers think about this, both petite and otherwise. What ergonomic hacks have you used for your office? What help have you gotten from your employer in the matter, whether officially (ergonomics consultant, ergonomics budget) or after the fact (e.g., being able to get a $36 footrest reimbursed)?  

First, though, we asked an expert for his take on Reader A’s situation. Paul Krewson, OTR/L, CEAS III — an occupational therapist, ergonomist, and president of Peak Ergonomics — suggested the following:

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