Fun But Professional Patterns and Colors

Fun but Professional Patterns and Colors | CorporetteCan fun colors and patterns ever be professional? Reader S wonders:

The only black piece of clothing I have is one blazer and I don’t have a single white thing. You could find me in a floral skirts with striped tops, long bright dresses, and when I occasionally wear jeans, I always pair them with shirts and blazers. My favorite patterns are stripes and florals, favorite colors are purple, red, orange. Can this ever be professional? I feel very uncomfortable in black and would hate to give up my favorite pieces. The field where I hope to find a job is business causal.

Great question, S! We’ve talked about how to start wearing prints, as well as how to mix prints — but not in a long while (other than this brief mention in our post on how to shop your closet and Play Clothes). So let’s talk about it. First: I don’t think there is anything inherently unprofessional about prints, colors, and patterns — indeed, some of the most adventurous dressers, who mixed prints and patterns in the boldest ways, are some of the male partners I knew at my old law firm.  The easy advice here is that it’s very, very easy to throw on a solid cardigan or blazer that picks up one of the colors in your print, throw it on with a neutral trouser or skirt, and go to work.  But let’s have a bit more fun with it…

Fun but Professional Patterns and Colors | Corporette

Layer multiple patterns and anchor them with a solid piece, either in a neutral (black or white) or a color from one of the prints. (Check out our new Professional Prints board on Pinterest to see the pictures bigger, and click through for the sources.)

[Read more...]

Tuesday’s TPS Report: ‘Dicaila’ Stretch Wool Sheath Dress

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

BOSS 'Dicaila' Stretch Wool Sheath DressSo yesterday, I forgot to look up one of our other favorite brands to see what the landscape was at Nordstrom’s secret sale: Hugo Boss. They’ve actually got a ton of great stuff (tons of suiting separates) for 40-50% off. I like this stretch wool sheath dress, which has some of the pintucking we see a lot on ponte dresses. Nice. The dress was $575, but is now marked to $345 (sizes 0-14 left). BOSS ‘Dicaila’ Stretch Wool Sheath Dress

(For a plus size option, here’s something that took me a good bit of looking to find: a plus size wool sheath for $159 (which also comes in regular, petite, and woman’s petite sizes). Plus-size readers — where do you get wool sheaths and other wool suiting separates? In hunting, I also found this sheath dress that is totally h-o-t (but a bit unrelated to the Boss sheath dress).

Psst: want to see more plus-size content from Corporette? Sign up for the plus-size newsletter, here.

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

Coffee Break: Tie Stripe Scarf

Brooks Brothers Tie Stripe ScarfBrooks Brothers’ Friends & Family sale is on, and ends tonight! I always like the scarf and accessory selections there, so I’m drooling over these tie stripe oblong scarf — it seems fun in a “borrowed from the boys” kind of way. It was $98, then marked to $68, and it comes down to $51ish with code FF25. Brooks Brothers Tie Stripe Scarf

Deal Alert: Nordstrom’s Secret Sale (?!)

Nordstrom secret saleNordstrom is not usually one to have a secret sale, but not only is there no big announcement on the home page, I can’t even find a good link to send you guys to the entire collection of sale stuff. Yet, I noticed a ton of great workwear that has just hit 60% off (thank you, Shop it To Me newsletter), and thought I’d round up a few…

My best tip for the sale: if there’s a brand you love that I haven’t already mentioned, do a search on it, then filter by “Sale” — for some reason it doesn’t put the largest amount of sale stuff first (e.g., 33% stuff may be filtered before 60% stuff), but it does put all of the markdowns stuff ahead of the full-price stuff.

Readers, did you get anything at Nordstrom’s secret sale today? Any great pieces on sale not mentioned above?

Are You an Office Mom?

Office Mom: Valid Management Style, or Career Suicide? | CorporetteOffice Mom: Valid Management Style, or Career Suicide? | CorporetteHere’s a fun question for you: are you the office mom*?  I’ve read that being the office mom tends to hurt your career because people see you as, well, the MOM instead of the professional you are. So here’s the Q: do you agree that being the “office mom” is a bad thing — or is it just another management style? Are you the office mom, or do you work with one?  Is it more appropriate (or effective) in some office cultures, and less in others? 

For my $.02, I have always been totally guilty of this — long before I became a mom. I never baked cookies or cupcakes for people, BUT: I like to be prepared, and I generally remember the birthdays and other fun stuff (with a little help to remember personal details).  So I used to carry with me (and keep in my desk) all sorts of stuff — Shout Wipes! Bandaids! Tissues! Spare chargers! Fans! Sweaters! Coworkers always came to me when they needed something.  In some ways this was a plus — I’m definitely an introvert, and I’m sure I sometimes come off as cold if I’m focused on other stuff (thank you, resting bitchface!) — so this was my own little way of being friendly and approachable. I suppose I subscribe to the idea in the WSJ article — office mom as management style.

I’m curious, ladies — what do you think?

Pictured: Pink cupcake – meeting leftovers, originally uploaded to Flickr by Alpha.

[Read more...]

Splurge Monday’s TPS Report: Beasley Fit & Flare Dress

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

Burch Beasley Flare DressOoooh: purty. I like the seamed panels and texture on this black Tory Burch dress, as well as the ladylike length and neckline. What a great example of a fit and flare dress! (Click here for our last roundup.) It’s $450 at Nordstrom, sizes XS-L.  Tory Burch ‘Beasley’ Fit & Flare Dress

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

Psst: here’s a less expensive option and a plus-size option.

Another deal alert (’tis the season, I guess): Bare Necessities has a great sale on some of my favorite brands like Fantasie, Freya, Panache, Le Mystere — 40% off plus an extra 15% off with code EXTRA15.  Also, panties starting at $6.99.  (Here was our last discussion on the best lingerie brands and styles — readers, any favorites in the sale today?)