Coffee Break: ‘Friar’ Shopper

Gray Shoulder Bag: Hobo 'Friar' Shopper Hobo is a solid brand for affordable, quality leather. They have a very popular, long-running bestseller, the Lauren wallet, but today I’m featuring this shoulder bag, the Friar. Note that the leather has a soft, distressed look to it, which can be great, but some colors may veer a little too far into the “ooh, she needs a new bag” territory, at least for a work environment. I like this gray “granite” color the best, which Nordstrom, Zappos, and Amazon all have for $238. Hobo ‘Friar’ Shopper

P.S. A few shopping alerts for you: Ann Taylor’s having a “50% off everything” sale (including sale items), 6PM is having its “biggest sale ever” (with free shipping today only) — TONS of Coach shoes — and Nordstrom Rack is having its Alexis Bittar sale event now.


Coffee Break: Pamina Wedge

Black Wedge Heels: Via Spiga Pamina WedgeThese simple wedge pumps look great. They’re available in a nice size range of 5-11, and in both black patent leather and “nude Chicago patent leather.” They’re $195 at Zappos. Via Spiga Pamina Wedge

Here’s a lower-priced option.

Update: We’ve found these wedges on sale (mostly in lucky sizes) at 6pm (black nappa), Bloomingdale’s (both black and nude patent), and Amazon (black nappa, black dotted suede, black patent, python print, ash nappa, nude nappa, and nude patent from $86-$195).


Coffee Break: Small Square Stud Earrings

Pink Earrings: Kate Spade New York Small Square Stud Earrings  These bright stud earrings come in a zillion colors, and I like how they bring a healthy dose of color to your face while still staying small and pretty discreet. There are 13 colors to chose from in flat colors, and seven more in glitter colors, if that’s your jam. They’re $38 at Bloomingdale’s. Kate Spade New York Small Square Stud Earrings


Coffee Break: Resin Nate Chain Necklace

Red Necklace: Diana Broussard Burgundy Resin Nate Chain NecklaceMany moons ago, back in the days when I would haunt DC’s Eastern Market flea market every weekend (it was a stone’s throw from my apartment!), I got a plastic red beaded necklace for a pittance. It was a round, short necklace, with the beads knotted together like pearls. I intended to cut it up and use it for the beads (this was also back in the days when I still had time for a necklace-making hobby), but instead wound up wearing it EVERYWHERE. It ended up being the perfect pop of red that brought color to my pale skin/dark hair. Admittedly, red lipstick does the same, but red lipstick can smudge, bleed, wear unevenly, dry your lips out, and require constant reapplication/vigilance — whereas the necklace, well, doesn’t. Anyway, I was heartbroken when it broke a year or two after I got it, and have been searching for a new one ever since. This may just be the one I was looking for. (Note that the bright red is now sold out; the burgundy is pictured.) It’s $275 at Avenue 32 — and note that it comes in several colors. (The black might also be awesome, particularly if you like the fashion bookends theory.) Diana Broussard Burgundy Resin Nate Chain Necklace

A couple of more affordable options are here and here.


Coffee Break: Lissa Heels

Platform Heels: Rose Petals LissaI love the look of these affordable beigey heels — I always like a strappy heel, and one that doesn’t cut straight across your ankle is a much more flattering, leg-lengthening look. Platforms can be yea or nay with me, but I think .5″ is still professional, and these certainly add comfort along with the height. Note the rave reviews, too — many from people on the fringes of the brand’s extraordinarily wide range of sizes. The shoes are $130, are available in sizes 4.5-12 in regular, wide, and extra-wide widths; they also come in black and beige patent. Rose Petals Lissa

N.B. Know your office! Peep toes aren’t appropriate in every workplace.


Coffee Break: Workout Tank Top

Workout Shirt: FitPink Workout Tank TopNow that my ACL surgery is a full two months behind me, I’m trying to commit to a weightlifting regimen … and funny workout shirts make it THAT much better, riiight? Etsy seller FitPink has a ton of shirts that look great, and her reviews are through the roof. Activate Apparel also looks pretty awesome (like this shirt). Ladies, what’s your favorite outfit to work out in? The tank top pictured is $21.99 and up on Etsy. FitPink “I Workout Because Punching People Is Frowned Upon” Tank Top

Psst: I just bought the Girls Gone Strong Modern Women’s Guide to Strength Training, but note that the authors of New Rules of Weight Lifting for Women do have a new book out.