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Stylish Summer Dress Pants for Work

summer dress pants for womenLightweight, summer dress pants can be difficult to find — you want to look professional, yet be cool, and of course you don’t want to look like a wrinkled mess.  It’s been a while since we talked about lightweight pants for work, so let’s discuss. Ladies, do you prefer to wear pants year-round — and if so, what fabrics and styles do you prefer in summer? Any classic pants you buy year after year in new colors? 

Some general tips at the outset:

    • Watch the pockets — painters’ pockets, cargo pockets, and even regular five-pocket styles can be too casual for most offices (but know your office!)
    • look for details like pintucked creases down the front (for example, these Theory pants) — the pintucked creases have a way of keeping the look sharp and structured even as the pants loosen up through the day
    • check out our tips on how to avoid sheer pants if you’re leaning towards wearing white pants for summer

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Summer Dress Pants in Stretch Cotton

For a more conservative business casual office, stretch cotton is probably the first line of defense. These are widely available in ankle pants; you can also find some stretch cotton trouser options.

Pictured below: onetwo / three / four 

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The Best Online Women’s Management Training

online women's management trainingManaging people is hard. And managing people as a woman brings its own complications and considerations. Management and leadership training specifically designed for women can help, but if traditional in-person training isn’t an option for you, there’s plenty of online women’s management training out there, and that’s what Reader K is looking for. She asks:

Do you have any suggestions for online leadership/managerial training programs for women (or anyone really)? I am a government lawyer stepping into a managerial position and there is no formal training beyond my past experience watching my supervisors. I would like to take a more proactive step toward developing better managerial and leadership skills, but don’t know where to start. Thanks!

Great question, K! It’s been a couple of years since we talked about resources for becoming a better manager, so this is a great time for an update. (We’ve also discussed online classes for working women, executive presence for women leadersdressing like a managerimposter syndromedelegating work, and whether you should be friends with staffers.)

Here’s our list of online women’s management training (plus some general training for everyone):

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How To Dress Like Selina Meyer in Veep

If you’ve ever watched HBO’s comedy Veep, starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus, you know that Selina Meyer’s workwear represents some serious wardrobe #goals. First she was the vice president — then the president! — and, well, if you’re not yet caught up to season 6 we’ll leave it at that. Part of the plot is that she’s bumbling, inconsequential, doesn’t accomplish anything — and is super mean about all of it to her staffers while presenting a smiling face to the public. Her main goal seems to be staying in power for power’s sake. But whether you think she’s a brilliant politician or her character represents a big part of the problem, her wardrobe is always on point. We wondered what lessons we could learn by taking a look at her wardrobe, and if you wanted to, what are the best tips for how to dress like Selina Meyer in Veep? What are her style secrets?

Selina Meyer Style Secret #1: An Amazing Tailor — and a Willingness to Let the Dress Speak For Itself

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Tales from the Wallet: Seasonal Spending

seasonal spending budget tipsHere’s a fun question for today: Do you think you spend more in certain seasons? How do your strategies for saving or budgeting change from season to season — and what do you think your biggest money challenges are for each season? For those of you at big law firms and companies with extensive summer intern/summer associate programs, do you actively plan to bolster your savings this summer when there are so many firm-sponsored outings, to take care of things like food/drink/entertainment/transportation?

Pictured: love this floral wallet from Halogen for $89 (affiliate link). 

For my $.02, I definitely spend differently in different seasons, although I’m not sure which season I spend more during. A few ways my spending changes from season to season, off the top of my head:

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Sheath Dresses for Work: The Best Dresses of 2017!

The Best Sheath Dresses 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. Today’s Hunt: the best sheath dresses for work!

The sheath dress is an easy basic for so many offices, from formal to conservative to business casual. It’s hard to go wrong with the sheath dress, but watch out for these pitfalls when buying it:

  • is the cleavage too low?
  • is the hem length appropriate for work?
  • does it have any trendy detail that will make it more memorable and thus less wearable in regular rotation (exposed zipper, embellishment at neck, etc)?
  • is the skirt’s slit too high (sit down and do the mirror test to make sure!)?
  • does the dress look “tailored” (good) or “body conscious” (less good) to you?
  • can you wear a normal bra with it? (some of the versions out this year are almost like halter dresses, with a lot of the shoulder exposed — I’d put those in the “less appropriate for work” bucket)

Once you’ve purchased your new wardrobe workhorse: make sure you cut your vents. Hang the dress up immediately after each wearing and let it air out a bit.  If it’s part of a suiting set, be sure to dryclean all your pieces together so they show the same wear and tear. Pictured immediately below are some of our Hall of Fame favorites — the best-selling, classic dresses we’ve drooled over for years — but we’ve also rounded up six of the best sheath dressses for work in 2017 that we’ve just noticed (including some killer sales). Ladies, which are your favorite sheath dresses for work right now? What are your favorite features (pockets, machine-washable) for your sheath dresses? 

First up, the classics:

the best sheath dresses for work in 2017 - the classics!

Pictured above: one / two / three / four / five

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Tips and Tricks to Spring Clean Your Office

tips and tricks to spring clean your officeDo you have a spring cleaning routine at home? Do you spring clean your office? I’m sure there are more “yes” answers to that first question. But no judgment here! After all, my office cleaning “routine” is typically something like, “Wow, how did all this dust get here? I guess it’s time to wipe it off!” We touched on office cleaning in our post on things to do in a quiet office a few months ago, but today we thought we’d share some tips and tricks to spring clean your office. (We’ve also talked about when an office is too messywhen to use cute office supplies and how to organize your office.)

Obviously, before you start to clean your office yourself, consider what’s already being done, such as work by a regular cleaning service at the office. You may want to coordinate the effort with them; for example, they may be able to sprinkle stuff on your carpets, vacuum vents, or dust blinds if they know the area will be clear. Depending on how strongly you feel about things, you may also want to ask them if they can give you a fresh trash can or recycle bin as well.

With that said, here are some tips and tricks to spring clean your office:

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