Coffee Break: Nesting Desk Set

office-suppliesI am lately obsessed with the color combination of coral and teal. It’s a hard look to pull off in outfits or interior design, but I like this small, happy pop of color here with this desk set from Poppin, which has tons of bright desk supplies.  The nesting desk set is $16. Paperboard Coral + Aqua Checka Nesting Desk Set

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The Hunt: Washable Pants

machine-washable-pants-for-work-2Sure, we all know what basics professional women are supposed to have in their closets, but if you’re buying one for the first time or replacing one you’ve worn into the ground, it can be a pain to find exactly the right incarnation in stores. In “The Hunt,” we search the stores for a basic item that every woman should have.

We haven’t talked about washable pants in far too long, so I thought I’d do a round-up today. (If having machine-washable garments is important to you, check out our Washable Wednesday feature over on CorporetteMoms.) As we’ve discussed before, these are my best tips for how to wash your washable pants:

  • Look for stretch if you’re shopping online. If you want to narrow your search to pants that are machine washable, look for ones with stretch in them — they almost always are washable. (But most online descriptions will tell you what the recommended care is.)
  • Get them tailored only after you’ve washed them first. After the first wash there may be a little bit of shrinkage — wait to get them hemmed until then. (But, note that there are a ton of brands that offer shorter inseams for “regular” pants, so you may not need them hemmed.)
  • Wash them in cold water at home — and don’t put them in the dryer. At least, not for very long. I usually like to put my pants in the dryer for about 15 minutes — it gets the wrinkles out, and just a bit of time with the dryer sheet makes them softer. I always wash my pants on cold, and I usually do use Woolite and the delicate cycle for my pants.
  • Hang them upside down to dry. The weight of the waistband will pull the pants taut, effectively smoothing them out. (I almost never iron ‘em!) When you put them on the hanger, do your best to keep the crease the pants came with — if there was no crease, just put the inseams together neatly.
  • “Dry clean” on the label usually means you can wash them (but proceed at your own risk).  The big thing to know here is that “dry clean only” means, well, DRY CLEAN ONLY. If it just says “dry clean,” though, you usually can either dry clean them or wash them. Your mileage may vary here, but: unless I really loved the pair of pants, I would give “dry clean” pants a whirl in the washer, as well — particularly if the pants are made up entirely of natural fibers (one of the benefits to unlined pants).  You may want to do a spot test first.

And, just for kicks, I thought I’d round up some special sizes, as well as a few of the brands and styles that have been around forever — readers, which are your favorites for washable pants?  What are your best tips for caring for them? 

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Sponsored: Gorgeous, Affordable, Quality Shoes from M.Gemi

mgemiThis post is sponsored by M.Gemi, but is written by your local friendly blogger, Kat Griffin.

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I was super excited for the new luxury shoe brand, M.Gemi — not only do I have a friend on the inside, but their launch last week went swimmingly, with some styles already selling out.  The basic premise: they sought out the most respected, family-owned specialty shoe factories all over Italy.  There, they conceive, design, source, pattern, last, stitch, and finish all of their limited edition shoes.  Then, they sell them directly to you.  Because they cut out the middleman, they can price their shoes much less than other luxury brands, even though they’re using the same quality leathers and materials.  As an added bit of fun, they’ve pledged to come out with new styles each week.  (You can read more about their process in their FAQs.)

Shipping and returns are free, but they do ask that you return shoes within 14 days of receiving them.

(Pictured at top, clockwise: Farfalla pump, Riveli pump, Fiero pump, Felize loafer.) 

Just launched today: the Reggia pump, in glorious blue. I love the slightly squared toe line, the light padding on the insole, and the soft suede.  It’s available in blueberry and raspberry pink for $248.

Reggia styled1

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Splurge Monday’s TPS Report: Fenice Gingham Seersucker Stretch-Cotton Blazer

Altuzarra Fenice gingham seersucker stretch-cotton blazer | CorporetteOur daily TPS reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

Yes, it’s almost Easter, so pink gingham may seem a bit twee — but I have long thought that a light pink blazer can be a nice basic. Wear it with navy, grays, blacks, beiges, browns — use it to springify an accent in a fall color like emerald or even burgandy — or wear it with white for the full-on SPRRIIIINNNGG effect.  I like the flattering cut of this Altuzarra blazer, and the sharp shoulders and collar is a refreshing change from all of the collarless blazers we’ve been seeing lately.  This one is $1,790 at Net-a-Porter (limited sizes left).  Altuzarra Fenice Gingham Seersucker Stretch-Cotton Blazer

A few lower-priced light-pink blazers are here, here, here, and here; and here is a plus-size option.

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

Weekend Open Thread

Steve Madden Vaale Cross Strap Sandal Something on your mind? Chat about it here.

Is it sandal weather yet? It’s totally sandal weather, right!?  Maybe? Kinda? If, like me, you’re dreaming of pedicures and hot weekend sandals, these sexy, slightly gold sandals from Steven look great.  (They also come in black.)  They’re $108.95 at Nordstrom. Steven by Steve Madden’Vaale’ Cross Strap Sandal

This looks like a nice option that comes in narrow and wide widths as well.

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Weekly News Update

michelle obama fashion - tripLike these posts? Follow us on Twitter or Facebook — this is the edited version of what we’re reading! (We also Tweet if we hear about a good sale through our CorporetteDeals Twitter feed.) You can also follow us on Pinterest and Instagram, or by our RSS feed.

  • The New York Times and Racked take a look at Michelle Obama’s fashion choices during her recent trip through Asia.
  • Elle talks to Fran Lebowitz about her style — and about what she thinks about everyone else’s.
  • Fashionista and Racked bring lots of shopping news this week: The time has come to say goodbye to Kate Spade Saturday and Marc by Marc Jacobs, while Gap will close some stores to focus more on e-commerce, and you’re likely to see fewer of those ubiquitous big-sale emails from retailers this year.
  • The Telegraph reports on a new survey in which employers reveal what they think about women employees who don’t wear makeup. (We just talked about interview makeup this week.)
  • Which would save more water: drinking one fewer beer a week or installing water-saving faucets in your home? Answer: skip that beer. Southern California Public Radio has a quiz to test what you know about saving water.
  • Speaking of drinking… NPR reported this week about heavy drinkers cutting back rather than giving up alcohol completely, while an Atlantic piece critiques AA’s methods. (Have you seen our most recent discussion of overachievers and drinking?)
  • The New York Times‘ Opinion Page has an essay by Anna North about the problems with egg freezing (complete with the requisite mansplaining in the comments…).
  • Do you read the Food Babe? A chemistry professor writes in Slate about the blogger’s claims.
  • In Corporette news: Kat was recently interviewed by Michael Peggs for an episode of his personal branding podcast, “You University.”

On CorporetteMoms Recently…

Did we miss anything? Add ‘em here, or send them to [email protected] Thank you! Also: Are you a mom or mom-to-be? Don’t miss this week’s news update at CorporetteMoms.