Archives for June 2016

Coffee Break: ‘Paradise’ Croc Embossed Suede & Leather Satchel

Blue & Black Handbag: AllSaints 'Paradise' Croc Embossed Suede & Leather SatchelI don’t know which I’m more excited about: to see shoulder bags coming back in style, or to realize that Nordstrom carries the brand AllSaints, at least as far as bags are concerned. This boxy black/blue shoulder bag looks perfect — functional but interesting, and the tighter shoulder strap makes it look just a bit more fresh. It’s $278 at Nordstrom. AllSaints ‘Paradise’ Croc Embossed Suede & Leather Satchel

Here’s a lower-priced option on clearance.


Personality Tests: An Open Thread

the best personality tests for working womenHave you taken any personality tests, either out of curiosity or because your job required it? Did you get anything worthwhile out of it, or learn anything new about yourself? Which do you think are the best personality tests for working women? At my last nonprofit employer, we all took the DiSC assessment and then sat through an extensive training session about applying the principles at work. The training session was interesting and the tips seemed useful, and my seemingly accurate assessment results gave me some insight into my personality. Still, five years later I can barely remember what we learned — or my personality type. So, in the long run, I don’t think it was that helpful for me. (I do remember the facilitator said my results suggested good customer service skills, but then I already knew that.)

Pictured: this lovely little keychain is $1.95 at Etsy, available from seller Bohemian Findings

Today we thought we’d ask the readers about personality tests — your experiences with them and your opinions about how useful they are. (I’m thinking that some of you must have more intriguing stories than mine.) First off, though, let’s review some of the most common personality tests:

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Early Fourth of July Sales are Starting!

nordstrom 4th of july sale picksEarly Fourth of July sales are starting, ladies!  Some quick notes from around the web:

Updates as of 7/3 in red. Updates as of 7/4 in blue. 

  • Nordstrom has quietly been marking a ton of stuff down, including a ton of Classiques Entier ponte dresses. Instead of being $230ish they’re marked $92-$142 — significant savings.  The red one comes in a TON of colors, including black and navy.  Pictured: red / white / blue.  Tons of lucky sizes, so start by filtering by your size first!
  • Ann Taylor is offering 60% off sale styles, and 40% off full price styles (use code JULY40)
  • Anthropologie is offering an extra 30% off clearance styles.
  • ASOS – Further reductions, up to 50% off.  15% off everything, even sale, with code USYAY.
  • Banana Republic – Extra 50% off sale.
  • Barney’s – Final markdowns, up to 75% off. 
  • Bergdorf Goodman – Grand Finale, the designer sale! 75% off. 
  • Boden – lots for your lolly, up to 60% off sale!
  • Brooks Brothers has summer clearance, offering up to 70% off select pieces.
  • Club Monaco has an extra 30% off clearance with code KEEPCOOL.
  • DvF – Enjoy an extra 30% off sale. 
  • J.Crew has 40% off summer styles and 40-60% off sale styles with code COOLSTYLES.
  • J.Crew Factory has 50% off all clearance with code HAPPYSALE. Plus, extra 15% off your purchase + free shipping (today only). 
  • French Connection – Summer sale, up to 60% off. 
  • The Limited is offering 50% off everything (but exclusions apply) — total discounts of up to 70% off.
  • Loft is offering 50% off sitewide as well with code JULY4TH — and 60% off select summer styles and all sale.
  • Neiman Marcus is taking 35% off all sale styles, online only.
  • Talbots is offering 40% off ONE Red Hanger markdown, or 50% off two or more. Plus, an extra 5% off for Talbots credit cardholders.

Pictured: red / white / blue

Thursday’s Workwear Report: Seasonless Peplum Jacket

3/4 Sleeve Blazer: White House | Black Market Seasonless Peplum BlazerOur daily workwear reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

White House | Black Market is having some crazy sales right now, including blazers. This pictured peplum one is cute and comes down from $150 to $66 — and it’s available in regular and petite sizes 0-16. Nice! (I’m also a fan of this three-quarter sleeved blazer, although it’s only available in lucky sizes at this point.) Use code 62787 at checkout to get the full discount. Ladies, what are your favorite things to buy at White House | Black Market? Any basics you love there? White House | Black Market Seasonless Peplum Jacket

Two plus-size options are here and here.

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


Suit of the Week: Weekend Max Mara

navy linen suit for women weekend max maraFor 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.

I’m not sure how I missed this lovely linen blazer in our recent summer blazer roundup, but it’s on a great sale over at Lord & Taylor — and has a good number of sizes left considering the discount. I’m not familiar with Weekend Max Mara, but I’ve drooled over enough Max Mara to give the offshoot a try. The jacket (Weekend Max Mara Linen Two-Button Jacket) is $180 (down from $450!), and the pants (Weekend Max Mara Straight-Leg Linen Pants) are $106.


This similar blue linen blazer comes in regular, petite, plus sizes, and plus size petites; here’s a matching ankle pant and trouser.

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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?)