Wednesday’s TPS Report: Balina Jacket

Joie Balina Jacket | CorporetteOur daily TPS reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

Piperlime is closing at the end of this month, which means there are some crazy deals to be had (but lots of lucky sizes).  This tweed blazer, still available in M and L, was $425, but is now marked to $395 — take an extra 40% off and it comes down to $195.  Not bad for a cool tweed moto jacket.  (I’m also in love with this blouse, even though, yes, a strapless bra is most likely required for it… sigh. Wouldn’t it look just perfect beneath a blazer?)  Joie Balina Jacket

Also: Just in case you make purchasing decisions based on the sales at the brand’s sister stores (I know I do), note that today, BR is offering an extra 40% off sale styles (and card members can take an extra 40% off regular styles), Athleta is offering 20% off dresses, Gap is offering 40% off sweaters and tops and 30% off everything else, and Old Navy is offering 30% off regular price items, and 20% off sale.

As for the pictured jacket: here’s a more affordable version (on sale for $40!) and a similar plus-size version.

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

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Coffee Break: Caelina Pumps

Enzo Angiolini Caelina PumpsThese pumps from Enzo Angiolini look great — I love the squared off details on the vamp, and the d’Orsay styling looks chic.  The shoe is available in both black and white stripes (pictured) as well as a plain beige for $99 at Zappos.  Enzo Angiolini Caelina

Update: Drat, just realized these are available in very limited sizes.  Amazon has a few more sizes in different colors, and Macy’s has a very similar shoe in a variety of sizes and colors.  (And, wow, Nordstrom has them on sale for $59.)

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The Sleeveless Professional: Body Types, Bare Arms, and Expectations

sleeveless-professional-2Is it professional to go sleeveless at the office — even if you don’t have perfect arms? When you want to bare your arms at your sleeveless-is-acceptable office, is it worth considering other people’s potential reactions if you don’t exactly have Michelle Obama arms to show off? Do people adjust their expectations of what’s “appropriate” when considering coworkers of different body types? Reader C wonders…

Some of the women in my department (including those who outrank me) wear sleeveless dresses and tops in the summer months, and I’d like to as well. However, from what I’ve seen, my arms are a lot flabbier and dimplier than those of the women who usually go sleeveless. I don’t want people to be grossed out (though I don’t think they should be and I am NOT ashamed of my body) but I was wondering if you think there are different attire expectations for different body types.

Hmmn.  We haven’t talked about going sleeveless at work in a while — in general we’ve noted that you should know your office when it comes to bare arms, and when we talked generally about what not to wear to work, many of you mentioned in the comments that sleeveless tops and dresses are acceptable at your office. I’m really, really curious to hear what readers say here.  (Pictured: Classiques Entier Colette Sleeveless Dress, available in green and black, marked down to $142 (from $235).  Here’s an awesome plus-size sleeveless sheath dress available in three colors, also on sale.)

For my $.02: I think that if sleeveless dresses are appropriate for some in the office, they are appropriate for everyone in the office — so listen to your own comfort level, and go ahead and wear them if you want to!  Note that in general, sleeveless tops and dresses are more professional when they have a thicker strap, a very high armhole (so there is no underarm… spillage, shall we say), and (obviously) no peekaboo issues with the bra.  The more formal the item of clothing (blouse vs. t-shirt, sheath dress vs. maxi), the more likely it is to be appropriate.  

As someone who has always had flabbier arms as well, though, I will note that sometimes a fake tan helps a bit, as does having a lightweight (cotton, linen) sweater or blazer to wear when you’re arriving places.  Even if you end up removing the sweater or blazer to be more comfortable, the initial impression is more formal.

Ladies, what are your thoughts on going sleeveless at the office?  If you have flabby arms, do you go sleeveless?  

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Giveaway: Win a $250 Gift Card For Luxury Workwear Brand Of Mercer

of-mercer-giveawayI’m excited to introduce you guys to another great workwear brand: Of Mercer, specializing in desk to anywhere clothes.  I’m even more excited to share that one lucky reader will win a $250 gift card from the brand!  The brand — started by two women who met at Wharton Business School — specializes in workwear for professional women who want to look and feel their best in the office.  The brand uses the same luxurious Italian wool as high-end designers, yet their dresses all sell for less than $200.  (They also have classic black wool suiting — check out their classic blazer ($235) and sheath dress ($165).

The Rules: Readers enter the giveaway by entering their email address at this link: http://www.ofmercer.com/pages/corporette-giveaway. One winner will be chosen the morning of Tuesday, April 28 (chosen at random by the ViralSweep software), and the winner will win one gift card worth $250 to spend at Of Mercer. Please note that, due to legal reasons, this contest is only open to adult residents of the United States. The winners will have one week to respond to claim their prize or a new winner will be chosen.

Disclosure: Corporette® charges advertisers a fee to promote giveaways.

Tuesday’s TPS Report: Brinton Pants

Our daily TPS reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

Theory Brinton PantsCall me a sucker for a slight flare, but I like the look of these high-waisted cotton blend pants with a “subtle flare.”  I’ve always thought flared/bootcut pants are more flattering with sleek tops, but I also like the look here (which I think is a cropped blouse, but a similar look could be achieved with a loosely-tucked blouse).  The pants are $295 at Theory.  Theory Brinton Pants

Update: It looks like both Nordstrom and Amazon have the pants on sale for $176, sizes 00-12.  In fact, Nordstrom seems to have several pairs of Theory items on sale for 30%-60% off…

Here’a a plus-size option, as well as a more affordable option. Along these lines: check out our recent guide to washable pants for work!

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

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Coffee Break: Boutique Tote

Hynes Eagle Boutique Tote | CorporetteA friend of mine just got this bag, and I have to say, I’m pretty impressed for a $30 bag. The brand has a ton of nice looking, well-reviewed, stylish bags, and many of them have intelligent little details, like colored linings, interior pockets, and more.  For today’s Coffee Break, I liked the look of this 15″x5″x11″ tote, with handles as well as a cross strap — the bright red color looks lovely, and if you’re on the fence about such a bright color, the price will certainly help you take the plunge: it’s $27 at Amazon (eligible for Prime — and also available in brown).  Hynes Eagle Boutique Tote

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