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Summer Workouts: Open Thread

Summer WorkoutsWhen it’s hot and muggy out, it can be difficult to stick to your regular workout routine, whether it’s running outside, walking to/from work, or doing a studio class like barre.  So let’s hear your thoughts on summer workouts!  Do you tend to exercise less during the summer? Do you move your workouts inside (perhaps with the help of a personal trainer?), or do you simply switch your summer workouts to mornings or evenings, when it’s cooler? Maybe you’re a hardcore runner who still goes for several runs a week and trains for the many 5Ks, 10Ks, and other races offered in the summertime — or maybe the closest you’ll get to vigorous exercise this summer will be watching the Olympics next month. It’s been a long time since we last talked about working out in the summertime, so let’s chat about it today!

Before we hand it over to the readers, we’ll share a few general tips for summer workouts from our last discussion:

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5 Tips to Stay Cool on Really Hot Workdays

how to stay cool on hot workdaysDid you hear that the highest temperature in the world last week was an incredible 129°F ? Even if you’re not dealing with crazy record-breaking temperatures like that, you’ve likely been dealing with a hellish commute if you walk, bike, or take public transportation to work. Aside from reveling in the frigid air conditioning once you get to your office, here are a few tips to stay cool on really hot workdays:

1. Use your drink for something other than drinking. Bring a cold can of soda (put it in the freezer for a while) or a frozen bottle of water and roll it on your wrists and other pulse points (here’s a picture pointing them out) when you want to stay cool. Once you’re at work, stop by the restroom to run cold water over your wrists.

2. Hack your commute. If you take public transportation, try to improve the most melty, disgusting portion of your commute. In most of NYC that’s the wait on the subway platform — not the subway ride itself. This may mean making yourself an iced coffee or a frozen bottle of water to take into the subway with you instead of grabbing one at your usual spot near the office; it may mean avoiding the subway entirely and taking the bus. If you can time it right (either with the help of an app or some of the newer MTA stops that tell you how far away your train is) you can wait to descend the subway until a minute or two before your train. (Try MoovitNextStop, or Transit App.) Wear as little makeup as possible so that you don’t smudge it when you’re wiping the sweat off your face, and if you have to/want to wear pantyhose in the summer, pop them in the freezer first, or just put them on at your office.

3. Pack a fan in your bag. It’s funny how a little breeze can make a big difference and help you stay cool when it’s hot, humid, and gross — so get a little battery-operated fan or a paper/wooden folding one (you know, the kind you can get in Chinatown). This one looks like a good bet, while this wearable one is intriguing… This model even has a misting feature — nice! (If the A/C at your office just can’t keep up, you can buy a small one like this for the top of your desk, too.)

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Weekend Wednesday: Swimsuits

For this month’s deeper dive into weekend wear for working women, I thought we’d ponder swimsuits. Ladies, which are your favorite swimsuits? Do you wear them to the beach, the pool, or somewhere else? For those of you who swim for exercise, do you have a different suit just for laps or whatnot? What’s the top thing you look for in a swimsuit? (And, this may be an odd, introspective question, but do you think your workwear style has influenced your swimwear style — or, if you prefer more modest, classic styles than you did in your youth, do you just associate that with growing up?) 

swimsuits for professional women

Pictured: red bikini / blue one-piece / black one-piece (up to DDD!) / purple one-piece (reg sizes too)

For my $.02, my bust has always dominated my swimsuit needs, so for affordable options (and with shaping too!) I usually like the swimsuits from Lands’ End. If I’ve got a short trip to the pool planned, I tend to prefer a one-piece — but for beach vacations or other days where I may or may not be in my swimsuit all day (and where it may or may not be wet) I tend to prefer two pieces, if only for the ease of use for the bathroom.  I’m also a big fan of rash guards (sun is my enemy! J.Crew often has cute ones), and I’ve been surprised how much wear I’ve gotten out of a pair of swim-friendly board shorts that I bought on deep discount somewhere (Lands’ End I think; these board shorts at Nordstrom are highly rated). In years past I’ve also been a fan of MiracleSuit (the purple one-piece above is highly rated in both regular and plus sizes) for when I really wanted to prioritize looking great over being comfortable.

Ladies, let’s hear it — is there a place in your weekend wardrobes for swimsuits? Which are your favorites? (And, just for kicks: which would you wear to an office pool party?)

Coffee Break: Acqua di Parmi

acqua di parmaI’m curious, ladies — what are your favorite summer scents? I took a break from wearing perfume years ago when my sons were babies, but I’m starting to get into scents again, and am on the hunt. In years past, my summer scent was the men’s cologne, Acqua di Parma; Nordstrom notes that it is “a composition born from sunny Sicilian fruits and a harmonious blend of floral essences such as lavender and damask rose that merge with woody notes of vetiver, sandalwood and patchouli.” (Not surprising, I guess, considering vetiver and sandalwood are two of my favorite scents — I definitely tend to prefer darker, deeper notes.) It’s $105-$173 at Nordstrom. Acqua di Parma ‘Colonia’ Eau de Cologne Natural Spray

Psst: Know your office (and your coworkers) — many readers have noted in the past that they haaaaate working with people wearing heavy perfume

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Psst: White House | Black Market has some great sales going on right now — take an extra 40% off already reduced prices with code 62787.

The Hunt: Lightweight Summer Blazers

summer blazers for womenSure, 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.

As temperatures start to climb, that blazer starts to look less and less attractive — constricting! hot! layers! oh my! And of course, if you CAN get away with it at your workplace or job, you ditch the blazer for a sleeved sheath dress, only keep it in your office as a topper for air conditioning, or find other professional things to wear. But for those of you who want to wear blazers in hotter temperatures (at conferences, cocktail parties, and other networking events that may be indoors or outdoors), I thought we’d round up some summer blazers in linen, cotton, and other lightweight fabrics — we looked at lightweight blazers last year, but it’s time for an update.  (Update: check out three work outfit ideas for summer blazers.)

*If you are interested in plus-size workwear, please sign up for CorporettePlus, our newsletter! We promise not to blast your email more than once a week. (Right now it’s more like once a month.) In keeping with our Privacy Policy, we’ll never sell your email address.

(Here’s our 2014 roundup of linen blazers, our 2013 roundup of white blazers, and our 2012 roundup of summertime blazers.)

First, some of the Hall of Famers we mention above — these are the best selling styles that have been around for years and years:

summer blazers

Pictured: Navy blazer / white blazer / pink blazer / black blazer / navy blazer
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Dining Etiquette: 10 Things to Know About Business Lunches

dining etiquetteHot on the heels of our discussion about how not to gain weight over the summer recruiting season, we thought we’d round up some of the readers’ top tips on dining etiquette, collected from our last discussion on the topic. Ladies, what is your top tip for dining etiquette? What etiquette mistakes do you see interns and summer associates making that you wish you could correct, and what mistakes did you make? 

  1. Don’t be the odd one out. To prevent awkward situations, e.g., ending up as the only person eating an appetizer while everyone waits for you to finish so they can have their entrees, feel free to ask your colleagues if they’re planning on ordering an app or starting with a main course. If they don’t order drinks, don’t order a drink. And, although it probably goes without saying, don’t make a habit of choosing the most expensive thing on the menu.
  2. Choose wisely. This classic advice is worth sharing: Don’t order something that’s hard to eat and/or likely to be messy.
  3. Avoid appearing “high-maintenance.” When you order, don’t ask too many questions of the server (remember that waitress scene in “When Harry Met Sally“?), and don’t make a zillion modifications to your meal.
  4. Don’t make a big deal about special dietary requirements. Meaning: a few questions or exclusions are fine — a 15 minute interrogation on different menu options isn’t. Check out our posts on eating gluten-free or being the only vegetarian at a business lunch where there’s nothing you can eat for more guidance. If you need to make a game plan, consider calling the restaurant ahead of time with your questions (so that you don’t have to spend an inordinate amount of time explaining your requirements and ordering your food).

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