The Best Women’s Dress Shirts

Sure, 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 gone on a hunt for the best dress shirts for women in a long time — so let’s take a look, ladies! Which are your favorite spots to check first if you’re looking for a classic, button up dress shirt, whether for interviews or beyond? Do you prefer a crisp dress shirt (like the ones we’re featuring in this article), or do you prefer a silkier dress shirt? A few older articles may be of particular interest in this discussion: a) if you prefer silky button-fronts, check out our Hunt for that one, b) if you’re busty, check out our guide to specialty shops for busty blouses, c) one of our all-time top posts: 10 ways to wear a button-down shirt, and, finally, d) as a laundry tip, I’ve had great success with putting the shirts in the dryer for no more than about 15 minutes and then hanging them up to air dry. Oh, and I’m on Team White-Camisole-Beneath-White-Shirt–but many others are on Team Nude Camisole; you can check out our discussion here.

Pictured at top, clockwise: blue / blue / white

First, some of our Hall of Fame styles — these are the best-selling, classic styles that have been around for years and are always highly rated:

Pictured above: pink / stripey / blue / white / blush

And, before we get to our featured styles for today, here are some of special interest categories for women’s dress shirts:

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The Best Places to Meet Up with Prospective Clients (Other than Your Office or Theirs)

The Best Places for Informal Business Meetings for WomenYears ago I had a meeting with a lawyer-turned-entrepreneur, and he made an interesting comment I still find myself thinking about: his preferred place for informal business meetings was hotel lobbies. (Looking back he probably got the idea from this NYT article!) There are obvious advantages to this — they’re nice, public spaces; they usually have food and drink available, as well as bathrooms, free WiFi (or WiFi you may be able to get if, say, you stay one night) — and they also generally don’t mind if you linger or talk. But at the time, I wondered: was that really the best place for informal business meetings for women? Could I steal that trick for myself?

Cut to a week ago, when I had a phone conversation with a consultant I’m mentoring, and we were discussing whether she needed conference space of her own — and my mind came back to the conversation about hotel lobbies. My hesitation here has always been the one a lot of you are probably thinking right now: you don’t want any client to misunderstand you and think you’re propositioning them.

We’ve talked before about where to find new clients and general business development tips — how to network in a general way so you can meet new people who eventually become clients — but not where to physically meet up with prospective clients if you want an informal meeting place — so let’s discuss.

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Adventures in Online Shopping: Which Flash Sale Sites Are Still Worth Stalking?

flash sale sites I was looking through the archives of this blog a while ago, and found my old post on sample sale sites.  Man! I remember when flash sale sites like Gilt and Ideeli were shiny and new, and things seriously did sell out in minutes. Then, everyone and their sister started a flash sale site — and half of the comments on this site were asking whether people thought X site or Y site was reputable/worthy.  It’s 2017 now, and I thought it might make an interesting discussion: do YOU still use flash sale sites? Which ones do you love the most — and do you look for specific things on them, or do you just generally like to shop on them? Do you have any preferred tricks for shopping the sites (always use the app! search by X! stalk sales with THIS site)?

For my $.02, while I’m no longer setting my alarm to flash sale sites, I’m still vaguely aware of Gilt (ooh, now offering free returns at Saks OFF5TH stores), Rue La La, and Hautelook (now affiliated with Nordstrom Rack, with free returns to any Rack store). I’ve bought something from all of them recentlyish, I think — a painting from Gilt, Spanx tights from Rue La La, and some hot pink Alexis Bittar earrings from Hautelook — but none of them are really on my radar on a daily basis. (OK, fine: I’ve also searched One King’s Lane and Joss & Main lately for a piece of furniture, as well as Zulily for kid clothes.) I have heard of them being particularly good for some categories of shopping, though, so I thought I’d share:

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The Best Affordable Cashmere For Work

affordable cashmere for workSure, 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.

Which are your favorite affordable cashmere sweaters for work, ladies? Which ones do you reach for, for warmth, style, or comfort — and which have held up after laundering or dry cleaning? We haven’t talked about this in a while, and cashmere sales are starting (Neiman Marcus, Uniqlo, Lord & Taylor, and Nordstrom all have some crazy markdowns right now) — so let’s discuss.

Pictured at top, clockwise: black / cream / navy / blue.

Pictured below, some of our Hall of Famers: boatneck / crewneck / turtleneck / faux wrap / turtleneck

 

Before we get to our featured cashmere sweaters for work for today, let’s talk about some greatest hits:

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Deal Alert: The Best Shoes For Work Still Left in the Nordstrom Winter Clearance Sale!

Winter #NSale 2017: Shoes EditionLadies — The Nordstrom Winter Clearance Sale is still on through 2/26! I did our big workwear roundup from the Winter #Nsale last Thursday — but I thought I’d take a look at what’s left in the sale at this point. Click this link to see all of the previous things we’ve featured for Coffee Breaks and Workwear Reports that are now in the sale — TONS of stuff we’ve previously featured is on sale, including a ton of shoes from our Workwear Hall of Fame (the best-selling, top-rated styles that have been around for EONS).

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Help! My Assistant Talks Too Much

Help! My Assistant Talks Too Much!We’ve talked about the chatty boss before, but Reader N has a slightly different question: how to deal when your assistant talks too much? Reader N wonders what she can say to discourage her chatty assistant:

What are some ways to end a conversation with people at work that work for you? I have a new assistant, who is fantastic at the job! But she is VERY long winded for the smallest things (e..g, dropping off a file) & ends up on very long tangents completely unrelated to work. I understand that part of her need to chat with me / be friendly with me has to do with me being the boss,but need to be able to get work done during the day. I want to keep things friendly as she is helpful.

We haven’t talked about this problem in far too long — I still remember a fellow lawyer who used to “pop in” my office for what became two hour gabfests in the middle of the day. (Funnily enough I haven’t heard from her since we stopped working together.) Here, the added dynamic of the chatty coworker being your subordinate makes things a bit more complicated from an etiquette standpoint, but not unworkable.  Obviously, you can just tell her sternly to “please let me do my work” or actually sit her down for some bigger conversation about her talkativeness being disruptive — and because you’re the boss, the direct approach is absolutely fine. Readers in our discussion of chatty coworkers suggested saying things such as “hey, now isn’t a good time to chat, but I’ll stop by later” — but if you don’t actually ever want to hear her 45 minute theory about Westworld, that may not work either. (Or, Westworld aside, maybe you just prefer to keep a healthy distance and not be friends with your subordinates.)  But: of course you still want to be friendly and have a good working relationship.  This may take us back to our discussion of whether women bosses should aim for being liked or respected, but here are my top tips for solving the problem of when an assistant talks too much in a non-direct, friendly way:

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