Suit of the Week: Austin Reed

Austin Reed Signature BlazerFor busy working women, the suit is often the easiest outfit to throw on in the morning. In general, this feature is not about interview suits for women, which should be as classic and basic as you get — instead, this feature is about the slightly different suit that is fashionable, yet professional.

Austin Reed has some crazy sales going — lots of lucky sizes, unfortunately. This Signature black suit, though, is still available in most sizes — and while the discounts aren’t the steepest (33-36%), it’s still something. It looks classic and lovely. The jacket (Signature Collarless Zip Jacket) was $410, now marked to $262; the skirt (Signature Skirt) was $229, but is now marked to $148; the pants (Signature Trousers) were $248, but are now marked to $165.

Here’s a plus-size alternative (only one size left, alas).

Austin Reed Signature Womens Suit

Deal Alerts – J.Crew, Club Monaco, Stuart Weitzman

Weitzman Sales, plus J.Crew, Club Monaco, and more...I’m seeing a ton of great deals — I may try to do a deal roundup for some of these, but if not, a few things to note:

  •  J.Crew is offering 30% off everything PLUS free shipping with no minimum — prices are lower than the similar J.Crew December sale we rounded up a few years ago.  Select colors of the No. 2 pencil skirt come to $20(!)-$77, select colors of the Minnie come to $49, and a lot of the Collection Cashmere comes down to under $150. Note that J.Crew Factory is 50% off everything as well.
  • I’ve been meaning to round up the Stuart Weitzman sale since I saw it a few days ago — great selections on things that don’t normally go on sale.  (Check the Nordstrom selection of Weitzman shoes on sale because prices are sometimes better there (like this over the knee boot marked to 40% off, pictured); Neiman Marcus also has a pretty great selection of Weitzman shoes (with an extra 20% off today, too).)
  • Kate Spade is also offering 25% off sale items with code COZYUP (ends 12/14).
  • Finally, I just happened to notice this: Club Monaco’s sale is on sale — extra 30% off sale and extra 40% off clearance with code SALEONSALE.

I haven’t done a full survey of the stores — ladies, are you seeing any noteworthy deals right now?


Tales from the Wallet: Refinancing Student Loans (Guest Post)

refinancing student loansHave you refinanced your student loans, or are you looking into it? We’ve talked about tackling huge school debt, paying down debt vs. saving, getting financially prepared for grad school, creating a money roadmap, and switching from a lawyer’s salary to a student lifestyle, but we haven’t discussed refinancing student loans. Today, Blonde Lawyer (the name she uses to comment on Corporette posts) shares her experience of refinancing with SoFi, one of a growing number of peer-to-peer lending companies (CommonBond is another) that offer student loan refinancing. The author is including a referral link of her own, but Kat / Corporette is not being compensated in any way for this post — it sounded like an interesting topic for readers to discuss, and hopefully this one reader’s experience will be a launchpad for discussion.  Thank you for writing this, Blonde Lawyer!  Here’s a recent WSJ article and a Reuters article for further reading on the topic. 

I have noticed that a lot of Corporette readers are interested in potentially refinancing their student loans. I suggested to Kat that this would make a good “Tales from the Wallet” post and offered to write about my experience refinancing with SoFi. Hopefully there are other posters who refinanced with one of the other major players that can write about their experiences too.

So a little bit about me: I graduated law school in 2009. I went to an in-state school with in-state tuition. I paid my tuition 100% with Stafford loans ($59,500) and also took out living expense loans ($34,072) through a private loan company for a grand total of $93,572 in loans. After graduation, I was most worried about my $34,072 in private loans. My husband co-signed them and they were not dischargeable if I died or became disabled. The interest rate was a variable 8.61% with a 19% cap!!! I had one other issue with this company. I had selected a standard 10-year repayment for all my loans, but once the private loans entered repayment, the math wasn’t adding up to me.

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Wednesday’s TPS Report: Scoop Neck Sheath Suit Dress

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

Anne Klein Malachite DressThere’s a great deal on this dress today, which I liked even when I thought it was more: it was $99, but is now $56. I think it’s an unusual color for a sheath dress, but I suspect it’ll be a versatile one.  Obviously in the spring and summer you can wear it with white/navy accents… right now I think it would be great with black tights, tall boots, a black boyfriend sweater, and pop of purple in there somewhere — perhaps a belt, perhaps a necklace. It’s available in sizes 0-14 for $56, and eligible for Prime. (There’s a nice “matching” blazer as well.) Anne Klein Scoop Neck Sheath Suit Dress

I’m kind of surprised I can’t find a matching plus size AK dress, but ah well: I like this green plus-size sweater dress (very different green though).

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

Gift Guide: For the Guys

giftguide-175Whether it’s your boyfriend, husband, father, brother, or friend, guys always seem impossible to buy for.  These are some of my favorite gifts (and gift categories) for guys — which are yours?  Don’t forget to check out our full list of suggestions for guy gifts at our Pinterest board (which we will continue to add stuff too).

Looking for a gift for your mom, MIL, or mom-like mentor? Check out yesterday’s list and our board of mom gift ideas.

(See the full details after the jump…)

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Lunch with Partners: Who Picks up the Tab?

picking up the tab at lunchIf you’re out to lunch with partners, should you EVER pick up the tab? Oh, and also: you’re the youngest person present and the only woman. We’ve talked about summer associates paying for lunch, but Reader B has a slightly different situation.  Here’s her question:

I work in a small firm (12 attorneys) with a pretty casual atmosphere. There are 5 or so partners (“the guys”) and I am asked off and on to go to lunch with them; I am usually the only associate/only female asked to go. The guys are all about my dad’s age and can be somewhat old fashioned about manners with women. Most often we all just split the check, but from time to time one of the guys picks it up for the group. The lunches are casual and inexpensive. I am capable and fine with picking up the check for the group once in a while, but I’m not sure if that would come across awkwardly. What would you/the Corporette readers do? I think these lunches are good face time with the partners and are generally fun, I don’t want to be perceived as dead weight because I never reciprocate picking up the group check, but I also don’t want to create an awkward situation.

Here’s my $.02: there is no way these guys are going to let her pick up the tab because she’s the “kid” of the group — I don’t think it has anything to do with her being female. That isn’t to say Reader B shouldn’t try it, once — if she suggested the restaurant, or if she’s just had a nice bonus check, or if she’s celebrating something big (her first hearing or something) — go ahead, offer to pay in that magnaminous-I’m having such a great time and I want to treat you guys!-way — not an it’s-my-turn-dear-god-someone-help-me-figure-out-tip-math serious way. [Read more…]