Frugal Friday’s Workwear Report: Wool Blend Pinstripe Blouse

Short-Sleeve Work Shirt: Brooks Brothers Red Fleece Wool Blend Pinstripe Blouse Our daily workwear reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

This entire outfit is now deeply discounted over at Brooks Brothers, which I suppose isn’t that hard to believe considering BB’s base clientele is probably not super interested in pinstriped pants with drawstrings and semi-cropped blouses. Still, I kind of like this wool blend pinstripe blouse — the mix of patterns is fun, but it still reads very conservative. If you’re looking for something different, do consider it — it was $128 but is now marked to $38, and it’s available in sizes 0-14. Brooks Brothers Red Fleece Wool Blend Pinstripe Blouse

Two plus-size options are here and here.

Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected]

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Coffee Break: Mini Transport Tote

Top-Zip Black Tote Bag: Madewell Mini Transport Tote Ooh. I tend to dislike crossbody bags personally, as well as large flappy totes, but something about this tote is calling my name — despite it being a smaller, crossbody version of Madewell’s very popular Transport tote (which can be a bit floppy). It feels fresh and new — as well as flattering — and I like the structure that comes with the smaller size. It’s $148, over at Shopbop. Madewell Mini Transport Tote

Here’s a lower-priced similar tote.

P.S. We apologize for the tech troubles today! The site is back up and running as of late this afternoon, so our fingers are crossed. Thanks for your patience.

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4 Types of Vacation Packages for Busy Women

Specialty Vacation PackagesTravel planning can be a lot of fun, but it’s also time-consuming — and stressing out about a vacation kind of defeats the purpose. Vacation packages can take almost all the planning out of the equation — and they don’t have to be the run-of-the-mill, giant-tour-bus trips that might spring to mind, either.

We’ve rounded up five types of vacation packages that seem just right for busy professional women who don’t have a lot of time to spend researching hotels, restaurants, activities, sightseeing spots, and so on. These companies are booking through 2017, but if you’re looking for something last-minute, you’re in luck: Now is a good time to find deals, as late summer is a less popular vacation time than early/mid-summer. (Check Last Minute Travel, CheapCaribbeanTravelzoo, or Groupon. You can also read our guest poster’s tips for traveling solo, as well as check out our last discussion about using all your vacation time.)   [Read more…]

Thursday’s Workwear Report: Stripe Sheath Dress

Machine Washable Sleeveless Dress: Michael Michael Kors Stripe Sheath DressOur daily workwear reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

My endorsement of stripes has been middling at best — I’m certainly not all about the Breton shirts the way other bloggers are. Still, I like the contrasting patterns on this sheath dress from Michael Michael Kors, and the fact that it’s marked 40% off and is machine washable doesn’t hurt. It’s available in regular and petite sizes 8-16 at Nordstrom for $83. Michael Michael Kors Stripe Sheath Dress

A couple of lower-priced options are here and here; two plus-size alternatives are here and here.

Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected]

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Suit of the Week: Reiss

Reiss Premium Collection SuitWell, well: I did not realize Reiss has a premium line of suiting. According to the site, it’s “exclusively created in-house with a focus on luxe fabrications and precision fit.” Other retailers have tried this, of course — The Limited still has their Luxe line, but Banana Republic has stopped and started its “premium” line, Monogram. (Awww, here’s a link to one of our very first Suit of the Week posts featuring a Monogram suit.) Still, Reiss’s suiting is great, and the price point isn’t too much higher, so this new Premium line is definitely worth a mention. On the pictured suit, I love the texture, as well as the cut. The blazer (Moss Textured Blazer) is $495, and the pants (Dartmouth Trouser) are $230.

A couple of more affordable suits are here and here. Here’s a plus-size option (jacket and pants).

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Weekend Wednesday: Pajamas

pajamas for grown ups

Pictured: pink chemise / art deco pants / blue jogger pants / green PJ set 

All right, ladies, let’s talk about something near and dear to my heart: pajamas. Do you treat yourself and sleep in luxurious fabrics like silk — or pull our your old college t-shirts and boxers to sleep in? What brands are your favorite, and how have your pajama choices changed over the years?

If you’re curious about MY choices: I’ve alternated between mismatched PJ bottoms and fancier (but not va-va-voom) chemises over the years for regular sleepwear. In my college and law school years I usually wore a yoga top (with a shelf bra) with PJ bottoms from spots like Anthropologie, although I remember getting a ton of PJs from Chico’s because my mother had gotten a gift card and regifted it to me.

A few years ago I discovered the brand Midnight by Carole Hochman, and her chemises seemed to be the perfect mix of all worlds — not too sexy but not too frumpy, comfortable, and machine washable — and for a few years I exclusively wore chemises. (The gorgeous pink one pictured (from Natori) was about my speed — more pretty than sexy, and machine washable.) After my eldest son got to the toddler stage I felt a bit funny running around the apartment in a chemise on the weekend, so I started buying PJ pants again, and now I’m back to those, but worn with a proper t-shirt and sleep bra.

Here’s another question: do you buy t-shirts just to sleep in, or do you just wear old ones? I feel like Marie Kondo would slap my hand, but I can’t bring myself to pay money for a t-shirt to sleep in when I have so many old ones with holes or other fit problems. I have one matched PJ set for when we stay over at my in-laws, similar to the green one pictured above, but I feel odd wearing it, like I’m pretending to be someone else.

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