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Traveling for Business and Surviving It

traveling-for-businessToday’s question about traveling for business comes from Nancy P…

I’d love a post on tips for traveling for business. (Thought of this last week when I was going to Chicago for a deposition and security took away my spray wax, because apparently it was an aerosol not allowed by the TSA. How am I supposed to sit through 2 days of deposition without hair product?!) Tips for packing? Good travel-sized products?

My (rather obvious) tips:
-Pack in the same color range — black, brown, navy — so you only have to bring one pair of dress shoes
-Bring a nice soft sweater to wear on the way home. I love changing out of a suit jacket to a cashmere sweater on the way home.
-Never bring shampoo/conditioner if you can help it — as long as you stay in decent enough hotels, you’ll have good products.

This is a great question, and we’re hoping our readers will be a wealth of information. For our $.02 — Almost everything can either be bought in a small size (see, e.g., Minimus) or converted to a small size (we like the travel supplies at The Container Store, but most any place has them).  You can also ship anything that the TSA might confiscate, or just purchase a new item when you arrive.  (The concierge is almost always helpful in directing you to a local drugstore — you may also want to see whether your arrival airport has any stores for beauty purchases, such as an Aveda or Sephora store.)  We would advise to save your packing space for things that you truly need large quantities of — for example, if your eye-makeup remover comes in a huge bottle, change it to a much smaller package that holds the quantity you need for your time away.  (We’ve actually used stacking pill containers to keep things like eye makeup remover, facial moisturizer with SPF (a little bit goes a long way!), and more serious SPF (on the off chance we go for a run outside or something).) (Pictured: Broken suitcases, originally uploaded to Flickr by toyohara.) [Read more…]

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Poll: When Wearing a Collared Shirt and Blazer, Does the Collar Go Out or In?

We’ve been curious about this for a while — ever since we advised that a collared shirt should always stay IN if you’re wearing a suit, and numerous readers wrote to say that they had always been advised (by various career counselors) to wear their collars out. So we thought we’d take a poll.

collars in or out madonna-in-business-suit

For our $.02 — which purely comes from observation, as we have never heard a “rule” on it — a tucked-in collar looks better with a suit. More fashionable women tend to do it (Angelina, Madonna) when wearing a suit; and it gives them a neat, sharp look. It also puts the emphasis in the desired place, as our eyes are drawn to their face, not their clavicle or shoulders. We suppose it’s possible that there are greater rules here that we’re not aware of, for example dealing with fabric (cotton goes in, silk goes out) or the type of collar or lapel. Perhaps it’s a regional rule — e.g., in DC, collars go out with suits; in Hollywood, collars go in with suits. Either way, we thought we’d start a dialog…

Readers, what say you? Please comment, particularly if you choose #3…
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The Hunt: Appropriate Bags for Summer Associates

The Best Bags for Summer Associates | CorporetteWe got this request in from a reader, and thought we might resurrect an old feature — The Hunt — in which we look for a great basic, available now, in a variety of price points. Here’s the request:

As an incoming summer associate at a large NY firm, I’ve been wondering – what kind of bag would be appropriate? I’ve been told that Longchamp is too casual, and would be interested to hear your thoughts on it. I don’t want to break the bank before I’ve even made my first paycheck, but would like something nice and versatile that will last a long time. Any thoughts would be appreciated!

We would actually disagree with that — we think Longchamp is fine for a big tote bag. It’s functional (fits a ton of papers), is made well (is strong enough to carry a ton of papers) and — especially if you get the black on black versions available in Canada or at the physical stores in New York City, quite appropriate for work. [Read more…]

Reader Mail: Semi-Formal Attire

semi-formal-attireWe recently got this request in from a reader…

Hi. I have a question about semi-formal attire I was hoping you and/or your readers could answer. I have been invited to attend a law firm event (cocktails and dinner) in early April and the invitation says attire is semi-formal. I was hoping for your thoughts on what is and is not semi-formal and maybe two or three suggestions for dresses that would fit the bill. I am still in law school, so I’m looking for something I could wear to more than one occasion. I’m hoping to keep the price to around $100. Thanks!

Semi-formal: the bane of everyone’s existence. It isn’t formal, it isn’t cocktail, and no one knows what to wear. So… where does that leave you?

Our advice here is to go on the conservative side of cocktail. Your goal is Jackie Kennedy, not Marilyn Monroe (or, ahem, Romy and Michele). [Read more…]

Weekly Round-Up: If you wear it to play, don’t wear it to work

pink polish for work– The Girls in the Beauty Department round up the best pink nail polishes. [Glamour] We totally want the one The Daily Obsession recommended, though (pictured). (Available at Nordstrom.)

– Eeek! How did we miss this? “Clothing” arguments for a new legal dress code. We luuuurve the rule that “if you wear it to play, don’t wear it to work.” [ForbesLife Executive Woman] Oh, and speaking of lady lawyers, the Observer, well, observes that the Litigatrix has eaten Ally McBeal for breakfast. [NY Observer]

– Oooh, ten bags under $1000. [BagSnob]

– On the off chance you’re working in Second Life, Counterfeit Chic has some fashion advice for your avatar. [Counterfeit Chic]

– Long days in front of computers make our necks hurt. But hey — at least we have some government-approved exercises to feel better. [MedicineNet]

– Here’s an interesting site: They focus on Top 15 lists. One we like: Top 15 Podium Tactics From Public Speaking Pros.” [Top 15s]

The Picture Perfect Professional Fashionista

blazer and jeansWe can’t believe we forgot to blog about this — Jezebel had the most perfect picture of Claudia Schiffer looking absolutely gorgeous whilst out and about with her kid. Yes, she’s a supermodel, but what struck us was how professional and chic and fashionable and gorgeous she looks. And annoyingly, a few days later, they had another picture. We almost want to revisit the idea of scarves, which we have not purchased since our college days haunting flea markets.